Monday, February 28, 2011

We're Not Post Racial By a Long Shot

I keep hearing about how "post racial" the US is, and I always shake my head. First of all, if people feel such a need to point it out, it probably isn't true. It's like going on and on about how much you don't care about your ex. Secondly, Obama is our first black President. He's also white, but he's our first black President, and you hear about it all the time. Not exactly post racial.

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.


  1. It is incredible to me that we have reached an era where calling someone racist is worse than BEING an actual racist, and where people have seriously swallowed the idea that all the racism just somehow went *poof* when Obama took office.

    Oh how I wish!

    I had an argument with some random guy on facebook who claimed that the minorities were keeping racism alive, and that the NCAAP was...racist.


  2. Yes, it does rather blow the mind, meanwhile a perfectly nice man has to wonder if people will accept or reject him every time he tries to be polite.

  3. Here in Australia, indigenous people get the same treatment. People go on and on about how their culture makes them lazy, how they take advantage of indigenous benefits and how white people aren't allowed to refuse them employment even if they're worse than other candidates under fear of being branded a racist, etc, then with the same breath they say that racism is ended and they should stop fighting for equal rights. While carefully avoiding all the black people on the street as if they were carrying machete's and wearing hockey masks.

  4. Religion, sexism, and racism are the chronic problems our species suffer from. I'm not confident that we'll ever transcend those things, but hopefully the "isms" will get degraded to the point that they don't control people's lives.

  5. for what it's worth - rap is a sub-genre of hip-hop [oh, the untrammeled joys of a black boyfriend! and a doctor who works in the same office as my pain management doctor who thinks all black men are "thugs" and that i'm OBVIOUSLY "pretending" whatever so that i can get drugs for him to sell. not for ME to sell, because i'm "white" [then he found out i was Native, and NOW he can't decide if i'm giving them to Pete cuz he's a "drug dealer" or if i'm actually an "addict" cuz "All injuns are addicts" hee!] he has black patients - for short periods. i have NO clue how he keeps his license, i really don't]

    that said - xenophobia is EVIL. whatever fucking form it takes. and it makes my heart bleed a little, each time i hear one of these stories...


  7. Oh yeah, we're not post-racial by a long shot. We've made it a little less socially desirable to be overtly racist, but that's about it.

  8. vjack - you f*cking moron.... you're finished....

  9. Dave, why all the hate? I may disagree with parts of what vjack writes (for example, when whites voted for Barrack they did it in the privacy of the voting booth - that is real progress), but that doesn't make him a moron.

  10. Thank you, Denelian. I do enjoy some rap and hip hop, but it's not primarily what I listen to.

    As to that doctor, I don't know how some people make it through medical school in the first place. You'd think someone would have noticed his racism in med school and thought, "Huh. He really shouldn't be in charge of health care for the general public, which includes nonwhites."

    But I guess if you can pass the tests, who cares what a bigoted asshole you are.

  11. i don't listen to much, either - actually neither does Pete, but many of our friends do. and we learn by osmosis lol

    as for doctors - i've seen TEACHERS that were more so [sorry, medical school teachers] some can ignore it, some find it feeds their original prejudice, and some aquire a measure of bigotry they didn't have before...

    yay, medicine. and there was much rejoicing. blah.

    i presume Dave=DM=Dennis Markuze?

  12. "i presume Dave=DM=Dennis Markuze?"

    Yep (as if there was any doubt). It's a known pseudonym of his. Or possibly he thinks it's his real name. Fire up the nuclear-powered banhammer with all the spikes on it, PF.

    Oh, and vjack: you got a death threat from DM. Welcome to the circle of elites!

  13. i always wonder if i should be offended, bcuz he apparantly doesn't care about me AT ALL!


  14. That's really sad, and sort of disturbing. (Although I have to say that if someone had just sneezed on their hand, there's now way I'd shake it.)


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