Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Race in the race

In 2008 many of us thought we were standing on the cusp of a post-racial America. A racially diverse electorate had put a black man in the oval office and the time seemed right to hope for the fruition of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream.

Four years later, we realize that we had been eagerly naive. The first signs may have been the vitriol that spewed from Republicans who forsook their duty as representatives of all their constituents to ensure that the weeks old presidency would last for only one term.  Shrouded money, such as from the billionaire Koch brothers, funded the Tea Party - effigies and all - in their stances against all things Obama or Democrat, rather than for anything in particular.  Since the hostilities came early, before there were any actions to object to, one can only ask at what then was the acrimony aimed.  I may be lacking in imagination, but I cannot think of much else than race.

As the election campaign has waged on, race has been a constant irritating wart on all our asses. President Obama's nationality, academic record and religion have constantly been called into question - as if his very qualification for the office is dubious.  Black voters are accused of voting for the President based on race alone, but white voters apparently are using their good sense to vote for the better candidate.  Disagreement with the President comes laced with disrespect that has not been aimed at any other president in recent history.  Again, my imagination fails to conjure any other reasons than race.

No matter who wins this election, we all should feel a loss - a loss of progress and pride.  Not because we did or did not vote for the black guy, but because we aren't progressive enough to care more about the issues than his race.