Barack Obama: The End of Racism in America?

Barack Obama on the Cover of Time

This article is in response to The Wolf at AHH on his article Black History Now: Obama > Racism?. I’m not going to regurgitate what The Wolf said and even though I agree with most of his points, I disagree with him on one point which is fundamental to his argument. I’m not going to regurgitate his whole article (you can read it yourself), but his main point that systemic racism still exists even though Barack Obama has managed to win the democractic primaries in largely white states, seems a little “Al Sharpton” for me. He says,

When we look at the problems facing African-Americans today that stem, in part, from institutionalized racism: poverty, crime, lopsided incarceration rates, police brutality, and the scourge of drug addiction, we can easily see that a black democratic nominee or even a black president isn’t going to make these problems vanish when he puts his hand on the Bible and takes the oath of office. It’s not about what color the president is, it’s about what bills the president signs, and to really address these issues a President Obama would have to take some very controversial steps.

Al Sharpton aka Captain Save a Negro

Now for those of you who don’t know what I mean by “Al Sharpton”, I mean it seems like how Al & Co seem to be fighting systemic racism when systemic racism is really non existent now a days. Okay that was a bold statement, but let me make another one. If and when, Barack Obama becomes the president of the United States of America, it will be more than enough confirmation that systemic racism is a non-issue. Think about it? If the majority of people in America (who are white), vote for a half Black dude, as their leader, to the highest position in the land, doesn’t this by definition mean systemic racism is “water under the bridge”. Really think about it? A Black man beat the system. And this isn’t like being the first black man to play baseball (shouts to Jackie), this is the first black man to beat “THE SYSTEM”. A perfect analogy would be to compare Barack to Neo in the matrix.

Your the One Barack

As Neo believed with every once of his being that he could “beat” the matrix, Barack has fought (and been groomed) his whole life to take on the system and become exactly what he wanted to be (hopefully the next president). Now what does this have to with The Wolf’s comments that systemic racism still exists in “poverty, crime, lopsided incarceration rates, police brutality, and the scourge of drug addiction”. The reason Black people are over represented in the prison system is not because of systemic racism, but because they just don’t believe in themselves. The people who were trapped in the matrix didn’t have the will to break out of the matrix and some even wanted to live in the matrix over the real world. And it’s not just Black people, the majority of people are average to below average because they do not have the confidence to do something with their lives. These people are not victims of racism, they are victims of their own free will.

Donut Eating Cops

I’ve been the victim of racial profiling my whole life. But do I blame the police for stopping me to question me? Or should I blame the people who look like me for causing the crimes, the police are looking to arrest. Not to get into racial profiling, but this is usually the evidence those who think systemic racism still exists point out. Now before the few liberals who read YoRapper get upset, I’m not saying police are not racists, because I’ve come across a lot of racist police. But I’ve also come across a lot of police that are just looking for someone who happens to look like me and once they figured I wasn’t their man, I was let go. Think about it? If a Chinese dude shot up your crib, wouldn’t you be looking for anyone that looked Asian? Isn’t this just common sense.

The Solution to All Your Problems

The real problem facing Black Americans and as a matter fact the majority of Americans is the loser mentality. I am 100% for Barack, but at times I can’t stand how he and every other politician proclaims he will fix the average person’s problems in a snap. I say, fix your own damn problems, you’ll be much better off than relying on someone else. Essentially, once you believe you have the power to change your situation, blaming everyone for your problems becomes real childish.

Now go OBAMA!

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8 thoughts on “Barack Obama: The End of Racism in America?

  1. First off, thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. I appreciate it.

    Before I begin I should note that alot of what I’m about to say may sound like I’m equivocating, but I think it’s the right position. I see what you’re saying and I agree with it to a point. There’s no doubt that times have changed and alot of what we think is systematic racism is really an excuse for lack of will. And what those things are, exactly, are debateable, but I think it’s enough to say in this miasma of politics and policy that racism is there in some varying form. I really don’t think we can say that there is NO racism in America, and that racism isn’t tied to economic status. That being said, the point of my article was to say that Obama’s rise doesn’t mean that systematic racism, in my view, has disintergrated and possibly may be less affected then we’d like to think. The proof of it’s decline will be in both what he does, and what the white public’s reaction will be to those decisions.

    Those problems I mentioned before, which statisticly are black problems endemic in the community, are going to need specific policies to end them. You mentioned police brutality which is interesting since one of Obama’s greatest accomplishments in his IL senate tenure was his passage of the police interrogation law that forced cops to videotape interrogations to make sure that they weren’t coerced. One may say that this liberal law makes criminal justice more fair for everyone, and that is true, but pragmaticly it helps to stem the tide of systematic racism. Think of it, for whatever reason blacks get arrested more, are undereducated, lack less resources to defense lawyers, so on and so on, they are more likely to have their rights trampled on. Laws like the interrogation bill help not only help to defend those rights, but it makes police think twice about hauling in some black person it just cause they’re black and the cops need to close a case. This is what makes Obama, to me, the type of canidiate I want in office, because, rather than shape policy to fit the elite few, he finds ways to find just ways to help out the people that need it most. But I digress.

    What I’m saying is, should Obama become president, hopefully this will be the type of legistation he supports and endorses. Bills that will undoubtably help people of all colors but will directly affect the poor minorities. This is also the type of bills the right wing has a field day with and can get easily polarized. What I’m saying is that should he become elected the real test of his white support–a ton of which we can’t forget are independents, and moderate republicans–will be if they can support more than just his slogan and his image but his policies. That will, to me, be more of a test of the level of racism in this country rather than just getting him elected.

    PS: I also can’t exit this discussion without saying a brief word about former mayor of NYC David Dinkins, the first African-American mayor of New York. He was elected in a tight margin, (as Obama might if he makes it that far) and the day after got absolutly no support as the NYPD refused to work with the guy. His tenure was stained with tons of racist rehetoric that seemed to sprout up the day after he was elected. Now I’m not saying that Obama is Dinkins but you can draw a parallel.

  2. This is the most penetrating and accurate analysis I have yet read of the significance of the Obama “movement” which made me feel sick as it developed. It represents both the yearning hope for relief from oppression and for “change” (a word I’ll never say again without flinching), and it’s betrayal.

    Obama is a cipher, riding the wave of revulsion at our corrupt system, while attempting to salvage it, and co-op the opposition. He is, nearly, an empty vessel, with no more significance than a flea, yet there he is.

    God save us.

    PS. I’m a white guy that grew up in black neighbothoods and schools in the 60’s and 70’s and so am gratified to know Mr. Santos is not the only person who learned to see “through the lens” of black rage at injustice. It has shaped my entire view of the world since. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. Hey The Wolf, great response.

    Obama seems like the person that is going to be able to draft these kinds of legislation, I am only worried about how he is going to deal with corporate America. Right now, he seems like he’s on a war path against the corporations which scares me a little, but looking at his ability to work with organizations, I think he will be able to compromise with certain corporate lobbyist -even though now he’s blazing them every chance he gets.

    Skeptical, I’m not sure what your talking about. But I think you are agreeing with my point about individual responsibility.

  4. YoRapper,

    I see that in your article you give a lot of thought to America and why things are the way they are and use good common sense, like in the example with the police (not saying they are 100% right).

    I too agree with you on his stance on corporate America. It concerns me greatly that we are falling behind in taxes with China and the European Union.

    I found this youtube vid tonight. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5z9lD4C2Io

    You can dismiss it as propaganda, but when I see it, I get angry about how the people highlighted in this video just screwed up lives of the people they claim they were trying to help.

  5. I Agree with the analysis to a point. Most of it, and the article you quote are nothing more than generaliztions about people who generalize people based on race. The point being that there is racial profiling going on is an illusion. There is no difference economically between a poor white man and a poor black man. There is a difference however in the amount of support. There is ample opportunity for a black person to recieve the help they need to succeed. So if any racial profiling is going on, it is to the benefit of black people, not white.

    At this point, there is no reason for anyone in the US to suceed. I reject ANY arguements beyond that. Sure there are racist people on both sides, but guess what, it doesn’t stop there. There are people who don’t like you because of your hair syle, attitude, any number of reason why you would be shafted by your superiors at a job. Its all political and bias. You want to succeed, you either find the right job environment where you fit in, or you change to be what your boss wants you to be. No race involved. Life isn’t fair *plays a little violin*. Start speaking properly, wearing business clothes, learning manners, don’t shoot people with a gun, make good grades in school, don’t steal, show up for work, work hard, ect … ect.. These are basic things you NEED to do to succeed. That is american business culture, it isn’t a hit on your race, give me a break.

    Sure, its harder to rise above when you come from a poor family. But its not because you are white or black, it is simply because you are POOR and don’t have the money or resources available to you. You have to start from scratch.

    This is the fudamental meaning missing from such discussions–the details. What exactly and where did this racial discrimination take place. No one ever gives any examples, they just put it out there as a generalization. When did you get denied an opportunity because you are black? What? When? Where? Could it just be that you are lacking in certain attributes that are required to make it? Maybe you called out 20 times in the last 6 months, thats why you got fired. Maybe you stole something. Maybe you came to work too many times in baggy jeans. Maybe you didn’t finish your jobs right after being told multiple times how to do them and given the proper tools.

    There is no disparage in america other than what you choose to live in.

  6. Touchet thanks for commenting. I want to ask you though, how would you feel if Spanish became the dominate language in America and every business required that you learn Spanish. Would you “change” to learn Spanish?

  7. Under no circumstances should you ever blame a black person for committing a crime when you are profiled by the police. To do so is to submit to the notion that all “N*((%rs look alike” which another way of saying profiling. With as much crime that goes on in the white community, I am not about to submit to the idea that there is a criminal around every block, alley, and walkway in my neighborhood. Are all of the CSI etc shows we watching complete fabrications about how white people live and behavior or is it all done for the sake of art? And what about those reality shows such as Jerry Springer (or whoever because they are all basically the same)? For years I shunned watching television because of the idea of paying for it and because in my opinion it has lost its artistic value, however, one thing for sure it has been a revelation of how some people really live.

  8. Der Touhet, if there is no racial profiling going on then I would you explain how a minority can make up the majority of cases of victims of police brutality as well as the majority of the prison population in the US of A? From a sociological point of reference, you must always look at the mass population and not the exceptions when you are analyzing social phenomenon. There is the concept in sociology called dominant-minority relations which you should investigate to gain insight to how society works to maintain the status-quo. I would suggest that you read Dominant-Minority Relations in America 2nd Edition by John P. Myers to get some insight. By the way, all groups are racially profiled. For example, “the hard working Mexican”, “Asian’s are good in math and science”, “white people are rich” etc. are all racial profiles which just happen to designate positive attributes although if we go back in history, Italians were call “wops” and Jewish people were called “kytes”. Sad but true in capitalistic American racism, classim, and sexism have been the social practices both legal and informal since the country’s inception.
    Peace Out…

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