Anyway, my husband just related a story to me that made me sad, and showed how much of a lie "post racial America" really is. My husband has been making some money recording a local rapper*. (All the rappers in this story are black, just so I don't have to keep saying it.) It's a friend-of-a-friend situation, and my husband discovered that recording rappers is significantly easier than recording bands, and he gets to use the beats he likes to write so much but can't use in his own music.
Word of mouth has gotten my husband a few more rappers to record and they stopped by the house to meet him this morning. One of them stuck out his hand, and my husband automatically shook it. One of them said, "I was a little 'I dunno' about a white guy recording rap, but you're good people."
My husband couldn't figure out what he meant, so he asked.
"Oh, white people usually don't want to shake my hand. Like it's catching or something."
That's really sad. I can't imagine going through life with people refusing to touch you because of the colour of your skin. I was always taught that handshakes are irrefusable, though women don't get asked to shake hands as much as men do. I was taught, as was my husband, that even if you just watched the other person sneeze on that hand, you shake it. To do otherwise is to offer a level of contempt only applicable to Hitler or Stalin. Seriously, we tried to figure out whose hands we wouldn't shake and that's what we came up with.
A lot of people apparently add "black men" to that list.
*I'm not exactly certain if that's called "hip hop" or "rap" these days (get off my lawn!), but they refer to themselves as "rappers", so I'm going with it. They're also all my age, if that helps any.