Race in America! Radio legend Don Imus! The Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team! Hip Hop! Rap! Black Comedians! Kramer (Michael Richards)! Whose fault is it that we all think and talk in terms of race?!
Because of the immediate nature of modern media and the Internet, every anybody is expressing their opinion on the Imus issue (of course, I’m referring to Don Imus’ “nappy-headed ho’s” comment). That’s good. We can now diagnose and debate, ad infinitum, based on this latest flare-up that the disease of racism has not yet been cured in America. We act surprised when opinions line up according to racial groups. That’s why it’s called racism, people!
Don’t get it twisted, friends. Imus and all the associated parties I named above are symptoms or the result of a disease. They are the living, breathing effects of a root cause. All the ‘isms (i.e. classism, sexism, etc.) that hang from America’s family tree are nourished by the diseased roots of racism.
Believe it or not, racism is the unspoken taboo that even shapes the debate about who comes into this country legally or illegally (consider: Canadian [phenotypically European] border vs. Mexican [phenotypically non-European] border). The constitutional and legal establishment of a social ideology that penalizes melanin content/hair texture we can call more formally a pigmentocracy/colortocracy.
Racism-and its constitutional/socio-political offspring/construct-was and remains one of the integral parts of our country’s founding core, and as this latest incident shows, will always haunt and create suspicion in black/white relationships that wear the mask of political correctness. If we think that the 21st century is race-neutral and colorblind, then we are tragically deceiving ourselves.
Just because we have more open interracial relationships and marriage than in the past is not a true measure of the state of race relations in this country. Black folk and white folk have always had a romantic/sexual interest in one another. (Even in the disfiguring womb of slavery, white slave masters and their Southern Belles were fiending for that black flesh. Really.) You can’t help who you like or have chemistry with. Today Afro-Europeans who can trace their white parentage are called “bi-racial.” Afro-Europeans who cannot trace their white parentage (think about this real good) are called “black.” “Bi-racial” is less of a stigma than the term “black” with its connotative definitional content fermenting with the historical leaven of a slavery-rape-filled past of miscegenation and human breeding.
The increased frequency of public displays of interracial affection (“Jungle Love”!) in the 21st century merely means that the previous penalties for such relationships are not as politically and economically practical as they used to be. Black folk of all classes are a huge consumer-oriented economic engine. Racism is an economic tool. It is not rational to destroy revenue generators.
Remember, green is still the only color accepted by all parties.
Had the Founding Fathers of this country known that slavery, white supremacy/black inferiority, Jim Crow, Willie Lynch, restrictive covenants and 1/32 drop rules would still be infecting the socially twisted and diseased roots of America’s family tree, well then I think, for example, Thomas Jefferson might have thought differently about color charts that created “impure” African “blood-thinning” color categories like mulatto, quadroon & octoroon and instead made sure America’s super-workforce were shuttled (shuttling workers is presently being crafted by Congress as a possible legislative solution to deal with America’s immigration problem) to Africa or at least the Caribbean. Those dominant Negro genes are just too insistent!
Whips, chains and shackles (and now handcuffs) were used to enslave the African body, but the mythology of race is used to enslave and deprave the black mind.
No matter how vigorously you might argue about black responsibility as it concerns America’s race problem, remember this: In America you can look white and say you’re black. No problem, right? But there has never been, to my knowledge, the case of a person who “looked” black and said they were white and said person was then subsequently acknowledged, accepted and given all rights and privileges accorded all those who are “free, white and 21” in the collective consciousness of white America.
Until the dominant power majority of this country repent and get rid of the above color test-the sinful and abominable practices, policies-the national tradition of racism will continue to rear its ugly head, scowling and spitting in the global face of progressiveness and the prosperity of all who bleed the red blood of hope over hopelessness, love over hate and people over profits. I’m willing to keep trying to get this thing right. You?