Obama doesn't speak in ebonics. He's not poor. Affirmative action didn't make him a bestselling author. He didn't grown up in a fatherless home nor do his own kids; he's not athletic, at least if his bowling is typical; he's neither tall, muscled, and intimdating or fat, whimsicle, and cheery; he didn't grown up in an urban ghetto or the Confederate South, isn't obsessed with violence, watermelon, chicken, hot sauce, hiphop, basketball, jazz, blues, yelling, religion, alchohol, crack, bling, or Nike. He's not even a whitified black man with khakis and dreads. I don't know a single black thing about him.
Racism isn't gone in America, it's just silent and ignored. When a sin goes silent and ignored, it doesn't heal like whites want to believe, it only festers and manifests itself quietly. The racial status quo in America is something like this: blacks and white are equal, integration is good but should come slowly, and no one should talk about any of this. Like all things, the status quo was set by those in power: Whites.
At first, Obama only violated the status quo by integrating too quickly. One or two hundred years from now and when 25% or so congress members are black and then a black president would be ok. Now the media got riled about this, as well as Clinton's vagina, but there wasn't anything to say except marvel at his melanin. Everyone had their hands tied because Obama escaped the negative (and positive) stereotypes so their was nothing rational to say. Yet on NPR, a listener called in to say he couldn't explain it, but he just would not vote for a black person. But most people like that at least quarantine themselves in their beloved silence. I wonder how many people sit in that prison. Yet Obama is still dangerous. Societies tend to see their societal system as pivotal to survival and when a group threatens their very survival, everything else, even common sense, becomes impractical. But Obama wouldn't bring mass hysteria if he didn't upset the status quo and thus avoid racism.
Jeremiah Wright, however, felt no need to tiptoe. That is his sin. Wright believes, as I do, that anyone who supports America's racial status quo of segregation or silence is racist. Wright has put a knife to the neck of those people simply by speaking. His yelling helps.
So this is Obama's one black stereotype: his pastor.
Wright, like Martin Luther King, refuses to play the stealth game. Racism doesn't go away just because one generation stops talking or because a few laws change. Racism will never die until Whites, and Blacks, stop profitting from it. Until fast food, janitors, thug hiphop, and soldiers stop becoming the vocation of Blacks and Whites get out of the dirty work, racism won't die. And that won't happen until, possibly, several centuries of ignorance go by or we until start dialoguing. But likewise, until brimstone sermons about God and America stop securing Wright's parish, racism still won't die.
The media wants to say it's about God punishing America. They're lying. They're probably lying to themselves. That's the shell; the meat is "Blacks, with God's blessing, will punish White America for their sin." And that's true. Its truth is why it scares the shit of out of Whites. When Harold Washington, the first white mayor of a racist Chicago, took office and he made Chicago government "Fairer than Fair." "Fair" is great for Blacks, but Whites are spoiled with better treatment. More importantly, Whites will have to face their continuing, silent racism. They'll have to face their ignorance. People are proven happier when they're around people worse off than themselves which is where Whites have lived in this country. Being equal is a political word for average, and we hate feeling average.
Lots of Christians preach about God punishing their own nation for its sins. 9/11, Katrina, floods, fires, and anything you could think of. It's downright Biblical! Every prophet, Jesus included, condemned Israel and expected God's wrath. And every one of those preachers endorsed Bush. And every media network saw no problem there. John Hagee, with more layers of hell than Dante, and McCain love each other and McCain be damned if Herald of Doom Pat Robertson doesn't support him by November. Maybe the media is too conservative and maybe they're puppets, but that's not why ignore the White prophets and condemn the Black. The media is racist. Religious hatred is only newsworthy when you can attach it to someone you hate, like terrorists, the KKK, or blacks. The media keeps saying that Americans are being prompted by race in this election and they're right. I am appalled that this is the way the dialogue begins.
Most people reading this are white as am I. They're also wealthy, heterosexual, and the women are in a generation blessed by feminism and post-feminism. It's not "fair," but most don't get it. And while my not-straightness helps me, I struggle with racism as well and that's why I talk about it.
Update: Apparently someone at the New York Times agrees, if only more politically correct.