Over the years I’ve had my fair share of awkward interactions with white people: Everything from them openly wondering why they can’t say the N-Word, rudely touching my hair with child-like amazement, weird attempts of them trying to “black friend” me whenever they find themselves accused of racism, to them telling me that I’m “pretty smart for a black guy“. Pretty standard stuff for any black person you talk to. But the one thing that baffles me most of all is when I see a white person never considering racism to be an issue. A group of hooded white men could burn a cross in someone’s yard, spray paint the word “Nigger” all over that person’s house and some white person somewhere would say, “Come on, that isn’t racist!!“
I’ve thought a lot about some white people’s inability to see racism recently with the scores of “If only the President invited Republicans to cocktail parties” articles that have come out. Whether it’s the Ron Fournier variety, where he suggests that all the President needs to overcome GOP obstruction is to have a coach give him a pep talk – or the Maureen Dowd variety, where she suggests that lack of leadership is the only thing keeping the President from swaying a garden variety of knuckle-dragging bigots in constant fear of being primaried. I swear, it’s like Fournier and Dowd fell into a coma during the President’s first inauguration and woke up yesterday.
Listen, I know for many of you simply saying that racism is the root of GOP obstruction might look too simplistic or just downright lazy. Sure, you could say that Republican recalcitrance is solely based on just them having fundamental differences of opinion – but that falls flat in it;s face when you consider that many of those same Republicans previously held the exact view point as the President on a plethora of issues. Also, to the dismay of many liberals, the President has gone a lot more than half way in Republican’s direction time and time again just to reach a deal. I guess you could say that the rise of the tea party has usually sensible Republicans giving Michelle Bachmann a run for her money in the “crazy as catshit department“, just because they are terrified of being Primaried. OK, what is the root of a primary scare? Yes, simply agreeing with the President on at least one thing. It feels like you are on some fucked up version of “Let’s Make a Deal“, there seems to be racism behind every door.
Listen, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of white people not understanding how racism works in the age of Obama – I just wish those piece came from the Onion. At least my laughter would be the intended effect.