This is a true statement. I make this statement not in jest (though I wish it was), but in full sincerity that, as of 1964, in the U.S., race is dead.
Most will need a little explanation. Here it is:
The events that unfolded in Florida resulting in an unarmed black teenager being shot and killed by a “neighborhood watch captain” led to no arrests and no charges. Though Florida’s state statutes protect people defending themselves with deadly force, the police played the role of judge and jury while George Zimmerman acted as executioner.
Media attention exists only because of demonstrations creating pressure on an inquiry into Trayvon Martin’s death. One month later, we are still discussing the legitimacy of lack of arrests made and media have begun demonizing the victim as is so frequent in rape and sexual harassment allegations.
Three weeks after Martin’s death, President Obama stated “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,” echoing statements from demonstrators and Martin’s parents who state “Trayvon was our son, but Trayvon is your son.” Potential presidential candidate rival Newt Gingrich responded to Obama’s statement calling it “disgraceful,” and that “Trying to turn it into a racial issue is fundamentally wrong.”
The problem is, this “issue” was racial from its inception. This sort of “race card” volleying back and forth is not uncommon. Listening to both political rhetoric and everyday conversations will show you how true this rings.
Racial discrimination and racism is no longer the taboo. Discussing race, racial tension, and racial disparities is now the taboo faux pas. Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964, one can no longer claim racial discrimination. Ironically, the moment when minorities in the U.S. gained the most legal protection was the same moment they lost the right to make the accusations that would lead to their legal protections.
It is because of this that, in the U.S., race is dead.
I wrote an article for Associated Content that made this very argument. I knew it would garner negative responses. Any time someone is told something contradicting their understanding of the world, they attack the speaker and their brains shut down. That’s why democracy can, and will, never work the way it’s designers envisioned. Human nature and democracy do not mix.
It’s interesting, but very disturbing the way race works in the U.S. now.
If a black man is pulled over a dozen times in a single night while driving home from work, that black man cannot claim racism. When he does, the response from the white community is “Oh! Of course! He’s black. He’s done nothing wrong” or “Oh, here we go again. He’s black and he’s just playing the race card” or “Why won’t black people just let the past be the past? That was so 1963!”
President Obama is not permitted to reference his racial background. If he does, he is called out as playing the “race card.” At the very same time, white people can question President Obama’s very BEING of AMERICAN decent…assuming such things exist. Obama cannot talk about his own blackness, but white people question his birth place and his religion.
The terrible red herring is that apologists claim questioning Obama’s birthplace and religion is legitimate. This claim by itself is half true, therefore one can remain hidden behind it’s true meaning. The truth is that McCain, Obama’s rival during the 2008 presidential election, was born in the Panama Canal Zone…outside the U.S.!!!! Further, questioning Obama’s religion is by itself not unusual, however, painting him as a Muslim (which is a religion already demonized by U.S. society) IS a sign of the racial tint of these arguments.
The truth is that these arguments get a deeper, more disturbing truth. We, as white Americans, in an otherwise white society, believe Obama to be an OUTSIDER…because of the color of his skin alone.
So, yes, race is dead. But not in the way you, or anyone else perceives it. The simple fact is that because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or at least white society hides behind this moment in time, blacks and Hispanics can no longer claim racism or racial discrimination. White society will just not allow it. White society believes that it’s debt to blacks and Hispanics is paid in full. Unfortunately, this may never change for the better, history has proven this time and again.