“Racism’s still alive, they just be concealin’ it”
– Kanye West ” Never Let Me Down”
In the wake of Barack Obama’s historic Presidential election that made him the first African American president of the United States of America, unbridled joy permeated the Black community. Many rushed to declare that the “American Dream has been realized.”
Unfortunately, the euphoria and optimism morphed into delusion for Black and white citizens alike. Many Americans’ proudly declared one of the following rhetorical cliches: “Racism is dead”, “America is now in a post-racial society”, “We have overcome”, or “The struggle is no more.” Unfortunately for us all, the above affirmations are far from accurate.
During Obama’s seven years as the POTUS, there has been an abundance of racially tinged incidents emanating from non-Black groups. African Americans justifiably upset at the senseless deaths of their brothers and sisters, often expressed their feelings of righteous indignation in American streets; the wisest of us realized that it was possible to have the highest ranking official in this nation be a Black man while racism was ascending. Despite many Americans refusal to accept the obvious, racism is still alive and well within this nation’s borders.
Time has proven that racism has remained a staple of the American cultural diet and political discourse, not to mention economic operations. Put simply, there is no quick means of reversing the effects of 400 years of white tyrannical rule that was publicly manifested during events such as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crow era, Black Codes, and contemporary maligning of the African-American image via the media.
The notion that a Black President, even one who was elected to a second-term, could wave a magic wand and undo centuries of oppression is the height of ridiculousness .
Although there is little debate that the African-American community has come a long way since the first stolen Africans arrived on this nation’s shores in 1619. However, the alluded to progress does not lessen the reality that the plague of racism still infects scores of this nation’s white citizens.
Ultimately, it is the Black community that must address the myriad issues affecting it; despite the extreme hopes and dreams of the most optimistic of our race, no one else is coming to solve the political and socioeconomic maladies retarding African-American liberation. Until black on black crime, the absence of a relevant education, lack of collective economics and a host of other issues are remedied, Blacks will continue to have a fair distance to travel before we can ever accurately relate that we have finally “overcome”.