You hear this over and over: For the most part, America is a post-racial society. There is no more, or relatively little, racism in this country. Except for a few weird instances, there are no more problems between white people and black (or non-white) people.
After all, as it is repeatedly pointed out, we now have a black president. As it is constantly argued, in almost a desperate way, how can we be racist if we elected a black president?
Yes, we have a black president, and his election was a stunning moment in this country, leading to literal dancing and singing in the streets which I saw for myself here in Claremont, but President Obama is hated. He is the most hated president that I have seen in my lifetime – more than Clinton (during his presidency) and Bush II – and the folks who hate him make no bones about it. During Obama’s first term in office, Mitch McConnell, the Republican senator from Kentucky now set to lead the Senate, publicly proclaimed that all efforts should be made to “make Obama a one-term president.”
Obama did win a second term, but a lot of effort has been made to block everything he does or attempts to do, not to mention all the attempts to show that he’s not an U.S citizen. Look at the incessant efforts to block the healthcare reform law. Look at the fury over Obama’s action on badly needed immigration reform, something the congress has dragged its feet on, and all the vows to stop it. Look at the way the government was shut down last Fall for 16 day and the way there is often a threat to again shut it down – all over pretty much something Obama has done or wants to do.
There are countless examples of this digging in and doing everything to block or go against Obama, and after a while, it’s hard not to think that it’s because he’s a black man. It’s hard not to think people hate the idea the idea that a black man is president. This is the racism we have now. It is not white-only drinking fountains and waiting rooms, but it’s still racism. Doing everything to try to make a black president fail, to refuse to work with him, is racist. It’s like a political lynching. Unfortunately, Obama’s efforts to be very polite and conciliatory, perhaps not wanting to be seen as an “angry black man,” backfired and made these attempts to block or stop him all the more easy.
A big part of this is something I have written about before. Conservatives can’t stand the idea of people getting something for nothing, without earning it by working hard and sweating, even when they themselves can benefit, as with Obamacare. They hate it that a black man, who could have gotten ahead with affirmative action, has made it to be president, not only once but twice. This frustration is also seen in various states’ efforts – and the judicial approval thereof – to roll back policies that make voting easier. These policies, such as Sunday voting, have tended to be popular with black people (who also tend to vote Democratic).
It is interesting that as this anti-Obama stance has continued, there has been an uptick in assaults and attacks, sometimes fatal and sometimes by usually white police officers, on unarmed, young, black men. Or at least we are more aware of them. Obama has noted, with some reluctance and after some pressure (again perhaps not wanting to be seen as an angry black man), that he could have been one of these men when he was younger or that a son if his could have been. And it has been noted that there was more anti-black violence after Obama’s first inaugeration.
So much for the post-racial-America-after-Obama theory. Are we any less – or any more – racist?