Or really two things.
First, racism is not dead. Or over. We are not living in a post-race America, for God’s sake. If I hear one more person saying we are now a united country, or that racism is over, or that Americans are no longer racist, I am going to puke. I thought it especially interesting that the Boston Globe said,
As they woke yesterday morning, settling into the news that voters had elected an African-American to be the next president, schoolchildren and professors, chief executives and bus drivers, black people, white people, and others were asking themselves a simple question. Is racism in America dead?
Really? Black people are asking that? Do they live in the U.S.? And, like, ever watch T.V. or leave the house? What about all these other people (including the media who seem to be asking this the most, may God have mercy on their souls)? Did they not not follow any of the election coverage? Like where the guys said that Obama was going to pull up the rose garden and plant a watermelon patch? Did they not receive the emails about him being a Arab Muslim terrorist or the other very racist emails that parts of my very extended family felt inspired to share with me? Did they not hear people say it isn’t that they don’t like Michelle Obama, it is just that she seems angry? Have they not read the incarceration statistics for the United States?
It is progress people, but it ain’t over.
Second, Barak Obama is not Jesus. Or the Buddha. Or a magic worker. He is a politician. And last time I checked, you don’t get to be the president of the United States without being far from perfect. Without having to answer to corporate interests. Without exaggerating, stretching the truth, and balancing a lot of competing interests. I think he is a decent guy, but I’m afraid people are going to be in for a shock if they think that THIS IS IT. I loved it how he said that this isn’t the change we seek – this is the opportunity for change. And how he asked for sacrifice. And hard work and service. Let’s see how that flies. I hope it does because we need it. I hope he can do something different. But I think we should keep our expectations reasonable and not project this savior thing on him. He is cleaning up a huge mess. It will be hard. And I don’t think even the greatest politician ever could do it in one term. I hope America will be patient. And that Obama will be able to live up to, at least to some extent, what I do believe he wants. It is just that if uniting and bipartisian work were very easy, my guess is that someone would have done it by now.
We shall see.