typing is not activism….

environ mentalism, fresh articles, interviews & checkitouts from Sydney.

Yay World, Racism’s Finished Now!

with 3 comments

What an amazing year for black people: Kevin Rudd apologized to the Aboriginal Stolen Generations, Lewis Hamilton won the Formula 1 Grand Prix, and now this – Barack Obama, first African-American President. Yay, racism’s all gone now.

Of course it isn’t. And it’s freaky that media – credible, generally reliable media – are so gaga over the African-American component of Barack Obama that his victory is now being painted as the realization of Martin Luther King’s I Have A Dream.

This is not to take away from what Obama’s victory is. It is profound, and by virtue of the fact that America must now change direction on so many globally impactive issues, it is world-changing. It is a relief, it is a chance for the world to take a long-awaited breath. It is generational and cultural change. It is the elevation of vision triumphing over the politics of fear.

But just like Rudd’s apology, although it is a starkly powerful symbol – and therefore open to all manner of broadly varying characterization from any and all with a response to such a symbol – it is not an end in itself. It is, if anything, a beginning.

The most pragmatic assessment (pre-election) of what an Obama victory might mean for shifting racial tensions in America was that people still beholden to racial discrimination, whether consciously or reflexively practised, might see their distrustful tendencies diminish over time. If they experience a long term engagement with or relationship of sorts to a black man as President, and come to judge him on his words and actions, rather than their kneejerk attitude to his skin, then their embedded prejudices might register as irrelevant and unsustainable. And, like most useless things, be let go.

That’s more realistic. Then again, this is perhaps more caustic than it is pragmatic (still thoroughly timely reading):

Jesse Jackson will be appointed lead editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal. and Al Sharpton will assume duties at The National Review.  Rush Limbaugh will inaugurate a series called “Great African American Inventors.” Spike Lee will be invited to run Columbia Pictures  and Amy Goodman will take over at NBC. The Newspaper Society of America will apologize for the lynchings and civil disturbances caused by an inflammatory media over the last one hundred or so years. A choked up Rupert Murdoch will read the statement on behalf of his colleagues.

In an emotional press conference, John McWhorter, Ward Connerly and Shelby Steele will admit that  they have been tools of the Eugenics movement and donate all of the millions they have received from far right organizations to scholarships for black and Hispanic students. Blacks will have as much access to a good education as those members of Al-Qaeda and Saddam’ s government who studied in  the United States. This will end the policy of you educate them, we fight them.

Gertrude Himmlefarb and Lynne Cheney will insist that the works by Hispanic, black and Native Americans be added to the cannon.  Cornel West will co host  a show with Dr.  Phil. The New York Review of Books will end its white only policy and begin to resemble America. Phillip Roth will admit that all of his novels are autobiographical. Several prominent abstract expressionists will confess that they can’t draw.

All of the blacks and Hispanics who have been driven out of New York, Oakland, and San Francisco, as a result of the policies of ethnic cleansing, advocated by Jerry Brown, Giuliani and Newsom, will be invited to return. The banks that aimed toxic mortgage loans to blacks and Hispanics, who would have qualified for conventional loans had they been white, will halt the foreclosure process and renegotiate these loans. CEOs on Wall Street will forego bonuses and golden parachutes. Sales conferences will be held at Day’s Inn. For rent signs will go up on K street. The American Enterprise will close its doors.

taken from Morning in Obamerica, by Ishmael Reed


Advertisements

Written by typingisnotactivism

November 5, 2008 at 8:56 pm

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I found it somewhat strange that the Herald asked the morning after if Australia would elect an Aborigine as PM…presumably this week’s water cooler question.

    Which kinda completely misses the point that Obama is black, not Indigenous. If he were a native American, it would make sense. So guess on the basis of that display of sophistication, the answer is obviusly no then?

    Bernice

    November 8, 2008 at 9:53 pm

  2. !!!!!!!!!!!!
    well, there you go. Racism must be extinct because somehow all brown people have merged into one. How f-tarded is the Herald getting. Unfortunately, I reckon the only way they’d do anything to reverse the decline would be if everybody boycotted it at once, and i don’t reckon that’s going to happen anytime soon. Sad that there are a whole bunch of good journos there embedded amongst the dong-lollies.

    typingisnotactivism

    November 8, 2008 at 11:32 pm

  3. I think it’s going to be interesting that Americans will see a black face behind the presidential podium thousands of times in the next four years, and hear what it says. We human beings are not as smart as we like to think we are, and so recurring images are pretty powerful conditioners. Let’s hope the recurring image of a black president will undo a little bit of Americans’ prejudices, many of which have been perpetrated or reinforced by TV and newspapers like your Sydney Morning Herald.

    moe

    November 18, 2008 at 6:39 am


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: