Obama Tries to Shift Focus Away From Race but sees a drop in support, according to a poll mentioned in the Times.
What have we learned from the past few days?
Well, that Americans are dumber than ever when it comes to talking about race or racial identity and that no one will ever say the words 'white privilege' on air.
Jesus. As long as Obama stayed imbued with the halo of his media-created 'magical negritude' then he was all right. But - as soon as he became associated with a less moderate point of view about America and America's treatment of communities of color, then he's militant and somehow unworthy of the candidacy.
(And HRC? All she has to do is sit back and watch it all happen.)
I spoke with someone about this today (a white woman that I respect a great deal) and she said that what disturbed her most about how this whole thing is playing out is how this is impacting speech. (And let's be clear about one thing - you might not like what Wright said but it's not hate speech.) Not only is this an instance of 'guilt by association,' something that would never seriously damage a white political figure, she said, 'If churches are where communities can safely vent their frustrations and troubles, then this means that those spaces are no longer safe.'
Here in Chicago are we suddenly going to pore over the sermons by people like Rev. James Meeks or even Fr. Michael Pfleger at St. Sabina's if they say something bad about white supremacy?
Because that's what Wright was talking about: White nationalist supremacy. Not you, oh clueless, individual white person. Get over the interpersonal and intentional way of framing your discussions about race or racial justice. It's not about YOU, it's about the structure of white supremacy in this country. How many times do we have to say this before you fucking get it??
(Angry? Yeah, I'm fucking angry. I'm always angry when I'm confronted with stupid.)
But, more importantly, we've learned that the much-ballyhooed 'post-racial' era in America is about as real as a jackalope.
(The president of the Chicago Urban League wrote a letter to the Editor here in the Chicago Defender about her reaction to the flap.)