Saturday, November 8, 2008

Some blacks need racism

Listening to Friday night's edition of News & Notes I was treated to the spectacle of one of your guests (Robert Jensen I believe) calmly insisting that Obama's election meant exactly nothing--that America was still a "white supremacist society."

For sheer mean-spiritedness this matches Rush Limbaugh's diatribes after Obama's election. And it demands that the host knock him up 'longside the head both for his sourness and for his ridiculousness. Instead Chideya pulled a Larry King and let him get away with such overheated hyperbole.

News flash! White supremacist societies don't elect Black presidents.


Sure there's plenty of racism to go around. But speaking as someone who's done a good deal of international travel, as far as I've seen across three continents, America is one of the least racist societies on Earth. In which other countries could a member of a racial minority be elected President? It's a really, really short list, isn't it?

Of course American Blacks have to deal with daily racism, large and small. But it's small potatoes compared to other countries. The Friday night guests sounded parochial--as if they had no international context for their remarks--as if they've obsessed about every real or imagined racial incident in their lives and organized their lives around these incidents.

Actually if sounded to me as if Jensen and his ilk NEED white racism; need it as much as some antebellum plantation owner needed it.

All in all this installment of News and Notes sounded sad, and dated, and small of heart. I received congratulations from friends in Indonesia, Scotland, Brazil, the Netherlands and elsewhere over this singular moment in America and how it had made us once more a shining beacon for the world--not because we say so, but because they do, with tears in their eyes.

Malcolm X warned Blacks about what he called the Slave Mentality. That included a blindly cynical 'tude. I suggest doing a program on this subject. Bring back Jensen along with someone who can take him on if Chideya isn't up to the task.

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