It seems to me that if you can’t see a man’s character without first seeing the color of his skin, then you prioritize your judgments of his character based on his skin tone. That racist people can look at a man and cloud their judgment, all because they misled their selves on prejudgments.
For example, if I asked you which would you rather have kill you, a black man, a white man, a Latino, or an Oriental? Well, which would you prefer? Think about it for a second before you continue reading. Now, some of you answered that pretty quickly with a specific race, but everybody should conclude that “none of the above” should have been an option. The truth is, it doesn’t matter what race the person who killed you is, you’re still dead.
Yet, we somehow treasure the life of an African-American who happens to be killed by a white guy, and treat the countless black lives as if their lives were not as meaningful because they died at the hands of African-Americans. If a person gets killed by a person of another race, then maybe it will be treated as a “hate-crime”.
It seems to me that most murders throughout the world are some how hate related. Still, some people think some murders should have different punishments than other murders, based in large part on the color of skin of the individuals involved.
I was once asked it bothered me that we’ve “never had a Latino President in the United States” and my response was simple. “No, why should it? I want a good President, regardless of his race. Would we want a horrible President like Fidel Castro all for the sake of having a ‘Latino President’, or would we want a good President?” Give me the latter 100% of the time. Being a Latino doesn’t make you a great leader, nor does it prevent you from being a good leader. It means nothing, in the end.
Yet, throughout America, we have thousands of people who look at our President and see his black skin, depending on their sentiments, and make judgments of him. Those judgments are not based on the content of his character, but based on his skin tone. In reality, when you judge a person based on his skin color, and not the character, you deprive yourself of making the best choice. Obviously, too many people in America saw Barack Obama’s skin color and voted for him, despite his promise to increase energy prices while gas was at $4.00 a gallon, despite his refusal to acknowledge potential threats from rogue nations, and despite his obvious incompetence on economic issues, all of which are clearly visible today.
During the Presidential campaign, I looked at both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as two white men. I did this to ensure that I separated the race and gender of the two individuals from the character. To me, Barack Obama is still just another white guy. I did this intentionally, to guaranty that my judgment of both Obama and Clinton was equal as compared to the other guys on the stage. What they were saying mattered much more than their skin tone or gender. What Obama does as President still matters more to me than the silliness of celebrating a black man in the White house.
I get why so many black people believed that it was important for Barack Obama to become President. It wasn’t so much about Barack Obama, nor did it have anything with getting even with white people, or that black people now ran the country. It had everything to do with a glass ceiling being shattered. A black President wasn’t supposed to be elected in our lifetime, and now it has happened. It wasn’t about having a black President, it had everything to do with black people finally becoming a full part of this country. A person of color can now do anything in this country, even become President.
Still, there is a new breed of racism that’s being sold to us. Trying to make us buy into it, trying to make sure they have something to point at and say “See, minorities still need us”. It’s a condescending tone, but it’s intention is clear. It is intended to reiterate to minorities that they are still being held back by some white people.
The truth is, these same people look at Barack Obama as somebody who needs extra help because he is black. That they need to fight for him more than any other President, because in their view, black people are still an inferior race. It’s a racism not based in hate, but they still believe in the superiority of the white man. More to the point, if a white guy can be President and handle criticism, why then can’t a black guy? Certainly Barack Obama is just as capable of handling criticism just as every President before him did. Or do you think color of skin dictates Obama’s ability?
What many people in the media don’t understand is that despite being sold racism in media and politics, racism is a dying thing. Recently, I had a conversation with a gentleman who said he thought the next civil war was going to be black against whites. My answer was simple, “racism is dying in this country, how are you going to convince a black kid to hate his best friend based completely on his color of skin or vice versa?”
The new generation of kids simply do not understand the relics of a racist era gone by. Each generation brings with it a new tone and better tone in race relations in America. The color of Barack Obama’s skin does not matter as much to a black child raising up in the United States today nearly as much as it does to Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, or Keith Olberman. Kids today are going to hear how opposition to Barack Obama equates to racism, and these young kids are going to listen to the selling of racism, then look at his best friend who doesn’t like Obama, and realize that Chris Matthews and others are wrong about the Tea parties. In the process, those who judge Obama based on the color of his skin will not understand when the new generation rejects Barack Obama.
You see, white guys are dating black girls more often, kids today have best friends from a different race, and color of skin no longer dictates your destiny. Those people who want to bring up race, have a national conversation on race, try to hold on to the relics of racism, and they do this in a world where people care less and less about the race of the individual, and care more about the content of their character. In the world that is beginning to exist, those who still see color of skin will be thought of much like we think of those 1950s relics of racism.