Stuff White People Say

October 18, 2008

“Post-racial America”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 10:53 am
Tags: , , ,

There was and perhaps still is the excitement by whites that America would be a post-racial country now, a country where skin-color no longer matters. Barack Obama, whose candidacy allegedly shows that all is truly possible today. Together with Hillary Rodham Clinton, the female first, some in America did, what some in America like to do: Celebrating themselves unreflected.

Germany already has a first female chancellor. There was no euphoric excitement. Admitted, Germans today have difficulties with being excited with politicians, but in Germany also the belief that “everybody can make it”, is not so ingrained in people’s brains. There may be the belief that everybody can find a job, but there isn’t the belief that everybody can become millionaire. So Angela Merkel as the first female chancellor is acknowledged as a ‘first’ and that was it.

There are two ways how to watch Obama’s run for president: The Eurocentric one, which concentrates on the possibility of the first Black president. Proof for some or many whites, that Black people now can stop complaining because, as Obama demonstrates to them, race is no longer an issue in America, therefore racism no longer exists.
The other way to watch the campaign is to realize how much race and racism still is a factor and how white supremacy tries all tactics, regardless how absurd or threatening, to prevent Obama from becoming the first Black president.

White America which wants to pride herself with ‘freedom of speech’, often making fun about German hate-speech laws and that we Germans allegedly don’t have freedom of speech, white America can’t deal with granting freedom of speech when they have to hear what they don’t want to hear.

White people’s reaction to the Reverend Wright’s sermons, or the parts they got to hear and their unreflected cries about “racism”, “hate-speech”, indicates, that white America still has a long way to go to be able to face her own ugly truth. Rev. Wright put in words, what many people outside and probably also inside America more or less think about America. People, who cannot afford the blinders of white supremacy and European dominance, who have to look from a different perspective about the reality of America and also global affairs, because they are affected by American white supremacy.

White America displays an “automatic racism” – rejecting all what comes from Black people or PoC in general, if this doesn’t please white people’s ears.
The post-racial America – the code word in many white people’s mind, the desire and hope that finally, now, Black people will be silent about white supremacy and racism, because now Black people get what they allegedly want: A Black president, symbolizing in some white people’s mind that MLK’s dream is fulfilled.

Obama doesn’t indicate the end of racism and white supremacy, the same way that the election of Nelson Mandela didn’t indicate the end of racism and white supremacy in South Africa. But they are examples that the demand for justice can’t be silenced and the demand that human rights aren’t a privilege for some but must be a reality for all people.
Whites as a collective who want to feel superior because whites are able to dominate the world via wars, weapons, corruption and money, but they aren’t able to understand basic human rights. The collective is not able to deal with the fears and stereotypes Europeans once created and let these irrational feelings dominate their lives.
And while individual whites struggle with acknowledging white privilege and work through some weird feelings of guilt, at the same time racism is the deadly reality of countless people inside and outside the USA.
Racism cannot be combatted by the same methods how racism is created. Racism cannot be combatted by applying Eurocentric ways and racism cannot be elected away.

Whites may live the illusion that assimilation and integration into their system makes people human. They live the illusion that only our so-called civilized way of life is a human way of life and that we have the right to define who is human and who is not. But those affected always have known that they are human, whites as a collective are the ones who don’t know this.

Whites want to ignore the additional hurdles Obama has to face, just because he is Black. The more whites realize that the ‘last refuge’ of white male dominance – the American presidency – could be occupied by somebody Black, the more it stirrs the shyt up in them together with all their stereotypes, fears and issues they have. Too many still support McCain and Palin, who they consider as ‘they are like us’. The campaign demonstrates how much somebody has to cope with, just because he is Black. That there is nothing dumb enough for whites to come up with in their attempts to degrade and insult and threaten the Black collective.

White America’s reactions to this campaign demonstrates how superficial many white people judge and live, also not understanding the impact of this election on the rest of the world. The chance Obama offers with a more balanced point of view as well as the understanding that America is not the only nation on earth they just don’t get. They don’t get why the majority of the rest of the world hopes for Obama as president. Most of the rest of the world is ready for a Black American president, with white America I am not so sure.

And while some parts of white America celebrate herself and a “post-racial” America, the social reality of white supremacy will remain. Discriminating against PoC on a daily basis, individualizing racism to just a few ‘bad apples’ without looking at the greater picture what racism = white supremacy truly means: creating white life built on exploitation and violence, including the destruction of planet earth.


  1. “and how white supremacy tries all tactics, regardless how absurd or threatening, to prevent Obama from becoming the first Black president”

    Maybe white supremacy tries all tactics, regardless how absurd or threatening, to enable Obama to become the first Black president?

    What do you think?

    Comment by Michael Fisher — October 19, 2008 @ 8:37 pm | Reply

  2. to control PoC? No I don’t think so.
    I think, that the system of (global) white supremacy is starting to collapse. Of course I can be wrong because I have too less knowledge about the economic situation.

    Comment by jwbe — October 19, 2008 @ 9:49 pm | Reply

  3. I found this article by Juan Santos to be a very insightful analysis of Obama and this “post-racial” rhetoric.

    A couple of quotes:

    “In the white imagination, Barack Obama represents, not the ‘End of Racism’ (racism has an experiential, existential meaning for only the barest sliver of the white population), but, he represents, rather, the end of the struggle to end racism.”

    “As we have seen, Obama doesn’t represent peace – he represents an expansion of war and the power of Empire. He’s even more extreme on this than Bush himself, except in his public rhetoric. He doesn’t represent the real and legitimate needs, desires and hopes of Black people – he refuses to speak openly of the most fundamental issues affecting Black people. He doesn’t represent the ‘end of racism’ but the perpetuation of oppression in a new guise.”

    “Barack Obama and the ‘End’ of Racism”

    Comment by Lxy — October 20, 2008 @ 5:16 am | Reply

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