Senator Barack Hussein Obama got 96% of the African-American vote, and his election is greeted with ecstatic outpourings from so many in that community. Rev Jesse Jackson is shown on TV in tears - of joy [ unless he is reflecting that it could, and should , have been himself who was the first African-American US President ].
Even tho outstanding people from that same community have been twice Secretary of State in recent years [and in Republican administrations ], Dr Condi Rice and Gen Colin Powell, and one of them [ Powell ] was also Chair of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, the ancient memory of slavery is still being dredged up - by many in that community.
Obama only got 44% of the white vote.
And the African-Americans [a] have registered to vote in unprecedented numbers, [b] have turned out to vote in similarly unprecedented numbers, and [c] have voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate in similar manner.
To vote AGAINST Senator Hilary Clinton only BECAUSE she is a woman, would clearly be sexist.
But is it not equally sexist to vote FOR her only or mainly because she is a woman ?
And to vote against Obama BECAUSE he is black would be clearly racist.
So why is it not equally racist to vote FOR him only or mainly because he is black ?
Or to register, or turnout to vote, only because there is a black candidate ?
And why is not equally ageist to vote against John McCain mainly because he is 72 ?
It is not the decisive ending of prejudice and discrimination that is being celebrated when his own color was itself clearly a significant factor in Obama's clear victory.
A color-blind world, or election, is one where color no longer is a factor - either FOR or against, any person or candidate.
Color is indeed relevant if a medical scientist is researching whether skin-color is associated with eg some forms of skin cancers, but not in elections, or employment.
It was precisely as another **person of color** [a very odd phrase since my own pink skin is also a color ] that Oprah vigorously campaigned for Obama. To exclude black citizens eg from a jury, is naked and unjustifiable racial discrimination, but to prefer them, on the basis of color, is no different. Yet Bill Clinton was attacked during the Democratic primaries, when he made the simple observation, now verified by the election rsults, that Obama's color was aiding his campaign.
Racism is evil in itself, not just when it is white racism. Obama's victory is not a victory of a **post-racial** society, but another sad reminder that racism is now again acceptable - provided it now comes as preference for black skin-color.
Real progress ?
Or just rank hypocrisy ?
Like the hypocrisy of an Obama campaign which relies on massive funding, both in the Democratic Primaries, and in the General Election, ignores Obama's earlier commitment to public funding and consequent limitations on spending, is supported by multi-billionare financiers like George Soros and Warren Buffet, and Hollywood millions, and yet proclaims Obama as the Messiah for the ordinary American.
This is a new era, but NOT a wonderful and inspiring new beginning, but the institutionalizing of racism, which, being unchallenged and celebrated, is all the more sinister and entrenched. Black, or white, are not beautiful, but merely skin-colors. Commitment to noble purposes, competence, and character, are what is truly beautiful, and also color-blind. It looks like a very long journey before a genuinely color-blind America can rightly inspire the world.
Racism is a two-way street, and Tribalism is not confined to Rwanda, or Kosovo.