My Inauguration Day post covered the significance of the day as it pertained to race. As it was a solemn event, I really didn't want to get into discussing the aspects of race relations. But that was two days ago.
Now, I do need to clarify. The election of Barack Obama did not end all racism. Racism is a mental disease where you take prejudices and use them to classify and define people.
And we all have prejudices. Every damn last one of us. What separates a prejudiced person from a racist, though, is what you think after that instinctive thought goes through your head. If you see a black man and call a spade another word (the one that starts with N) then you're probably a racist. If you internally chastise yourself for even considering someone based on the color of their skin, then you're on the right track. And if you look at Barack Obama and you wonder why the black men have tears in their eyes, then you are the generation we have been waiting for. And that's my children.
The important thing though, is that we are over the hill on this one. We are at a point where, finally, there is no office, no place that is barred by race. And now it's a matter of letting the old racists die, the people who cannot overcome their prejudices grow old, and the generation that would consider black a color only to start to asserting themselves.
Which brings me to Rev Lowry:
"... help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give 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."Hey, Joe, what more do you want? At what point is enough going to be enough (no Ferengi jokes, please (#97))? There has to be a point where you stop harping on race to the exclusion of cleaning your own house and addressing the asshats that perpetuate the stereotypes. And if you can't get past focusing on the color of a person's skin, does that make you the new racist?
After all, I thought the goal of all your efforts on race centered around someone's dream:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.Let me know when you're ready to live by those words, Joe. Your minority (those who cling to race, that is) is getting mighty small.