Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Why do white people hate talking about race?
On yesterday, I gave myself permission to relax and reflect on the state of America since that dreadful day – September 11, 2001. So much has happened since that day. We have our first black President. We entered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Troops are coming home, and Ben Laden is dead.
The days following the collapse of the World Trade Center united America like I’ve never seen. American flags could be found everywhere, and the call for unity stirred a deep pride and hope in the declarations of our Constitution. There was a movement beyond our differences. Those who died that day represented the myriad of cultures that make for this amazing union.
I began to believe in America again. That’s a statement that many have a hard time conceding. What you mean again! We are quick to pronounce America as the best nation in the world. Patriotism is not only expected, it is demanded. Shame on anyone who challenges the U.S.A’s place as the best nation in the world.
The aftermath of 911 brought a movement of change. Enter the candidacy of Barack Obama. Something was happening in America. Like magic, the plight of the past was minimized for the collective good. Black people could no longer talk about the implications of racism and the continued strain of those living with disadvantage.
Jeremiah Wright, former pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ, was attacked for what black preachers do. He confronted the hypocrisy of America in a speech were he declared “God, damn America.” It was a sermon that came after 911. It was used to expose the radical ways of Wright and the allegiance between Obama and Wright.
The underlying assumption was Obama is too black to be America’s President. After challenging the church Obama attended, it was rumored he’s not a Christian. That was followed by questions regarding his citizenship. People argued that Obama is a terrorist plant.
The insanity has intensified since Obama became America’s first black President. White people now claim they are being discriminated against due to their race. “Obama hates white people,” a man stated on NPR. It’s a sentiment spoken in numerous camps. People are tired of black people talking about race.
The use of the word black stirs the pot of hostility. “Although I do not support Rev Wooden's position, objecting to his statement because he is a black minister is wrong,” AJW responded to my recent blog. “We should expect a better argument from you than that, just as we should expect better arguments from Blacks who support the president and from Whites to oppose him because of his color.”
According to AJW, it’s not appropriate to raise questions related to the changing culture among black ministers. It is significant that a black pastor embraces a Republican agenda, but AJW refuses to concede the importance in pondering the shift. Race, in his mind, shouldn't enter the conversation. As insensitive as that may be, it’s not even the tip of the iceberg.
A student at Towson University is fighting to start a “White Student Union” on the campus. Matthew Heimbach says the center will allow students to gather to support ideas of white people. He wants a place that allows students a place to appreciate their history and heritage.
Heimbach was previously involved with an organization called Youth for Western Civilization, a group that placed messages of white pride across the Maryland campus. “When you have a group that calls themselves the White Student Union, their only purpose is generally hostility towards those who are non-white,” says Richard Vatz, professor at Townson University and a former advisor of the Youth for Western Civilization.
The point is, if black folks can have a center, we want one too. Heimbach fails to understand the history behind culture centers is due to how history has been taken away and not taught in those history books.
The thought fueling Heimbach’s agenda is a growing perception among white people. They are tired of talking about racism. Bob Parks has produced a video that asserts white people can’t criticize Obama without it being viewed as racist. Check it out at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbULBAjstBA
Bob makes a good point. It is possible to oppose Obama for reasons other than his race, but it’s also possible that people are against him because of his race? It’s one of those things black people carry every day. You never know the real reason behind not getting that big foot in the door. It could be because the other guy or girl is more qualified. Or, it could be because of race.
“Man, ole dude checked ‘other’ in the box where they asked for his race,” I overheard a guy say at a bus stop.” When he came in for the interview they saw he was a Nigger. They said we will call you. He’s been waiting for that call for 6 months.”
The two men laughed. It wasn’t funny. It could have been about race.
So much has happened since 911. Some for the good. Some for the bad. Most of it is in flux.
One thing is clear. White folks don’t like to talk about race.
Sorry, we need to have this talk.