Friday, February 22, 2008

What We Mean When We Say Post-Racial

I have developed a true and utter hate for the use of the word post-racial when talking about the appeal of Barack Obama (or Corey Booker or anyone else). What's set me off this time is a U.S. Today opinion story that didn't even really seem to make a point worth the time to read the thing.

What drives me up the wall is how blantantly phony the whole thing is. First of all, if we're truly post-racial, why is this a term that only seems to apply to black candidates? It seems like you could argue that John McCain is a post-racial politician because he isn't making race an issue in the campaign. If we want to go down this road, just about any white politician since George Wallace has run largely post-racial campaigns, they just haven't been labeled as such.

What we mean when we say a candidate is post-racial is that they're black, but they're not mad at anyone about it (to paraphrase Mike Huckabee). I agree that what politicians like Obama and Booker are doing is different from what Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have done. But to call it post-racial is ridiculous.

No comments: