Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Time To Put The Race Issue Behind Us

Barack Obama’s first speech as President was monumental for the circumstances surrounding it, but not incredibly memorable or consequential for what was said by the new President. There were no standout lines, no soaring rhetoric, it was a straightforward speech aimed to appeal to everyone regardless of party and is likely an indicator of the strategy of triangulation, which is to be pursued by the new Commander In Chief.

While Obama’s speech lacked anything even remotely controversial, the speech marked a turning point in our history far greater than the transition of power itself. Jan 20th 2009 should be remembered as the day that the issue of race was diminished in importance to a point near insignificance.

This realization may be hard for some to swallow. Over the years the issue of race has been used to avoid discussion of serious problems facing the poorest African American communities as well as a weapon with which to bludgeon those who criticize the nanny state and the un-American nature of outdated Affirmative Action programs.

The torch was passed on Tuesday afternoon, but it did not simply pass from George W. Bush to Barack Obama, but also from a generation of civil rights leaders who until now represented the African American community to the post-racial leadership of the first black president.

Nowhere was this more on display than in Reverend Joseph Lowery’s statement following the Obama speech. Lowery, who seemed to have missed the last three months or so gave an impressively silly Benediction in which he prayed:

“…help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around ... when yellow will be mellow ... when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right.”

In a rhyming fashion reminiscent of the now equally irrelevant Jesse Jackson, Lowery proved to have completely missed the significance of the preceding 20 minutes. The day came, and Lowery still thinks he’s sitting at the back of the bus.

For anyone, black or white, to continue to imply that the racist tendencies of Americans are responsible for any of our country’s ills, be they local or nationwide, is the height of absurdity. A black man now occupies the most coveted job in the world. The fight for blacks to judged on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin is over. Martin Luther King won.

With victory comes a new normal. Black and white, public officials and private citizens alike should now receive scorn from all sides if they attempt to use race to justify their actions, or to criticize those who have stood in the way of their agenda.

Folks like Rep. Bobby Rush, who played the race card in defending Senator designate Roland Burris by warning Senate leadership against going “…on record to deny one African-American from being seated in the US Senate", deserve to be castigated with the same derision as we reserve for those who make comments deemed to be insensitive towards minorities.

Any attempt to claim institutionalized racism in today’s America should be met with a hand gesturing towards The White House.

If race-based excuses and the view held by some that America is a fundamentally racist country have not dissolved by this time, then I fear that the historic significance of Tuesday’s inauguration was a mirage. I hope that this is not the case.

Sphere: Related Content

1 comment:

Nearly Nobody's News said...

Not Spam just a conservative dude. I have started a new blog to help get small conservative blogs more traffic. http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com if you want me to include your blog shoot me an email with your blog address at greenacreshayfarms@gmail.com and I will put up a link along with a feed to your latest postings.