There Is No Black America

Barack Obama is a wet dream. He is a wet dream for the sectors of white America that would love nothing more than to finally be able to proclaim, with force, that racism has been dealt with. I am 32 and for most of my life, living in the city, I’ve been confronted with self-styled liberal whites. I’ve heard everything from ‘things are much better than they used to be’ to ‘racism doesn’t exist’ to ‘black people are the racists now’. As popular anti-racist poster girl Angelina Jolie, accused of racism in the filming of the upcoming film A Mighty Heart,

it’s the most insulting thing you could say

This, I think is how most whites feel about being accused of racism. Note: I didn’t say ‘feel about racism’. The accusation is the problem. Not the racism. Barack Obama represents an opportunity without precedence. On national television talking to Larry King of CNN, Obama made a historic statement for someone of his stature in this country. To quote him out of context, he said,

there is no black America

To be fair, he was explaining to King that divisions are things of the past in his mind and in the America Obama envisions. Even Larry King, not a black person, was taken aback by the statement.

Frankly though, Senator, isn’t it hard for a black American to say that there is only one America, with the history of the way blacks have been treated

Obama, caught slightly off guard by King’s further inquisitiveness on the subject stammered before going into the chapter on race in a book he wrote. The moment was surreal. A black candidate for president speaking on national television. Saying that there is no black America. Once embeds video in its catalog of terms, the video of this interview should fit well next to the word irony. If not for this black America Obama testifies doesn’t exist, he wouldn’t even be speaking to Larry King. Nor would he have been a Senator from Illinois. Nor would he have ever seen the insides of Harvard.

The hope, for certain, is for comments like this to be broadcast to the nation. And for whites to be psychologically soothed by these political promissory notes from this black candidate for president. Blacks are supposed to pretend not to have heard him say it and it isn’t supposed to be ever repeated again. But the ‘no black America’ moment is sure to happen again because it is a burgeoning meme. And over time, it will be mentioned with increased frequency. Until eventually whites, at present constrained by the inconveniences of reality, will be free to proclaim publicly what they’ve been saying privately for a long time.

Racism in America is a thing of the past.

This is essentially what the candidacy of Barack Obama represents. A promise to whites. The ultimate tradeoff. Do this and we’ll stop hassling you about Affirmative Action, racial profiling, police brutality, workplace discrimination, redlining, the whole shebang.

The fuel behind the candidacy of this black man that essentially came out of nowhere is ‘vote for Barack Obama and you will no longer be guilty of anything’. I don’t think this will work. Though the desire to escape white guilt is the fuel of the candidacy, the main objective of the candidacy is not to get Barack Obama elected president.

This ruse goes much deeper. But that’s for tomorrow.

2 Responses to “There Is No Black America”

  1. Why do you continue to write with so much angst? You continually generalize an entire race of people based on a few bad experiences. You would see the light if you removed color from your vision.

  2. Do you have anything to say on the topic at hand. Abstract conversations are generally not useful in making points around this kind of topic. And since there are so many very real situations to analyze, I’d love to discourse with you about the real world.

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