A friend of mine recently posted a blog article on Facebook about Governor Jan Brewer pointing her finger in the President's face. My friend's status above said article was "It never entered my brain that this was anything other than a crazy woman disrespecting our president." but she wanted us to read this blog article to teach what it was "really" about.
The article was a lesson in rules for "White Folks" when dealing with "Black People". The author instructed White Folks to NEVER point a finger in a Black person's face unless you want a beat down. The author went on to teach us about the origin's of the finger point and that, in this case, the Governor was trying to establish authority over the Black man (President Obama).
I responded to my friend's post that this whole thing made me sad. It's just a great big blinking sign saying "Racism is here to stay!" I think Obama's presidency has pretty much been a constant reminder of that. The one event in our nation that so many thought would heal so much of the racial anger out there has done exactly the opposite.
I liken this experience (having Obama as President) to those instances when one person apologizes for something and instead of just accepting the apology and moving forward, the person on the receiving end decides to go on a tirade and point out every slight the apologizing party has ever made. Instead of an act toward healing, it becomes a bigger rift.
Now I don't think that non-black citizens voted for Obama as an apology or for any other reason than they thought he was the best choice for the job. If anyone, black, white, native American, Asian, voted for him because of the color of his skin, that is an act of racism.....and I'm certain it happened because there are well documented testimony to it being time for a Black President. I personally would love to have a female president. That would be just as historical but I wouldn't have voted for Hillary Clinton. Just because her flesh fits some parameters not previously met in the presidency, it certainly doesn't mean she'd be fit for the job. I happen to feel the same way about President Obama.
One of my biggest issues with the whole Black vs White cultural divide in our country is how people of my generation are using slavery as an excuse for everything. I have no ancestors who ever owned a slave. I have plenty from Ireland and England who were servants and have plenty who fought in the civil war against slavery, but none who owned a slave. Why then am I expected to play by different rules than Black people. Why is it accepted that they can say and do anything they like and they get a pass because of the color of their skin? Why am I supposed to feel guilty about the color of mine?
I grew up in an area where the only people of color were adopted by white families. Skin color meant nothing more to me than any other pigmentation. It wasn't until college that I started learning about Black culture. It wasn't until I lived in a predominantly black dorm that I truly learned about racism....and I was on the receiving end. But I was told that Black people can't be racist because they are oppressed. It's one thing to read that, reason it out even, but it's an entirely different thing to live it.