The 2010 census forms are out to complete. I read a recent Washington Post letter to the editor that questioned why there are so many terms on it for various race categories. The writer wanted to know the necessity if we are post racial. And that’s my point. We are not post racial. I am so sick and tired of hearing we are in a post racial era. When I hear post racial, I hear many people saying let’s forget there are persons of color and racial differences among us. That’s what Chris Matthews said after President Obama’s state of the union address. Matthews referring to President Obama said he “forgot he was black”. Matthews said ” he is post racial”. Matthews and all others who think so are wrong. As an African American female, I am proud of my race and ethnicity. I do not want to become post racial invisible.
This country once thrived on the concept of the melting pot theory. Migrating from white European countries, white immigrants melted or blended in with white Americans. When ice melts, it becomes water. It is still H2o. Now, that most immigrants are primarily of color, the melting pot concept doesn’t work. The melting pot is a fiction for persons of color. There’s no way an African American, Latino, Asian, Native American or any other person of color can melt, blend, assimilate and become white. They will always be a person of color. That’s a very good thing. It’s called diversity. But now we’re entering, according to pundits, what is being called post racial society.
Diversity means we acknowledge our differences and accept them. We try to understand our racial and ethnic differences. We do not try to blend or assimilate our differences. I grew up in Baltimore where we always had ethnic festivals during the summer. Each ethnic group, whether Polish, Italian, African American, Greek or Hispanic show cased their customs and traditions.
The grim statistics and recent studies show that African Americans and Latinos were disproportionately affected by the foreclosure crisis and economic melt down. African Americans have been disproportionately affected by loss of wealth in this country for a long while. If we were truly post racial, this disparity would not exist. We would be on a level and equal playing field. Now whites are at the top of the ladder, while many blacks and persons of color are still at the bottom looking up. Again, we are not post racial.
But perhaps, we will become post racial by 2042. It’s projected by studies and census reports that whites will be the minority by 2042. I wonder in 2042 if whites will want to become post racial as that term is used today. I wonder if whites will want to become invisible in 2042. I doubt it.
A post racial society to me means there is no disparity between wealth, income, jobs, schools, housing and all opportunities are equal. Then we might have arrived at Post Racial Road. Now, we are still looking for our destination. We are not there yet.