Thursday, November 8, 2012

Not So Post-Racial: White University of Mississippi Students "Riot" Against Barack Obama's Re-election

What would James Meredith do?

While Barack Obama has been re-elected to a second term as the United States first President who happens to be black, there is still much work to be done if America is to become truly "post-racial":
JACKSON, Miss. — A protest at the University of Mississippi against the re-election of President Barack Obama grew into crowd of about 400 people with shouted racial slurs as rumors of a riot spread on social media. Two people were arrested on minor charges. 
The university said in a statement Wednesday that the gathering at the student union began late Tuesday night with about 30 to 40 students, but grew within 20 minutes as word spread. Some students chanted political slogans while others used derogatory racial statements and profanity, the statement said. 
The incident comes just after the 50th anniversary of violent rioting that greeted the forced integration of Ole Miss with the enrollment of its first black student, James Meredith. 
Ole Miss Chancellor Dan Jones promised an investigation and said “all of us are ashamed of the few students who have negatively affected the reputations of each of us and of our university.”
The American people learned an important lesson during these last four years. Barack Obama is a transformative figure; however, Obama is not a superman who will heal America's racial wounds through his mere presence in the White House.

There are a number of puzzles and contradictions that still need to be resolved as we work through how the symbolic power of a black president may not translate into an improvement in relations across the color line. According to recent surveys whites and people of color remain very much at odds with one another. Moreover, a majority of Americans now report higher levels of anti-black animus than they did four years ago.

Could it be that Barack Obama was reelected because 1) voters found his issue positions much more preferable than Mitt Romney's, but also 2) that a good number of white voters like Obama as a person but do not necessarily feel much affinity towards their fellow black and brown Americans? The United States is a multicultural democracy which remains highly segregated along lines of race and class. Race relations in the Age of Obama are a confirmation of that fact.

Before the American people take a victory lap of self-congratulatory delight in how changing demographics may force a new multiracial political realignment in the near future, they still need to confront the racist vitriol which has moved from the front stage to the backstage--where it comes out through acts of implicit bias, institutional discrimination, micro-aggressions, and cyber racism.

Racism is a tradition and a habit. It is not just confined to older Americans. The hope that white supremacy and racism will quite literally "die off" is lazy thinking. As demonstrated by this near riot at the University of Mississippi, there are young white people who are more than willing to carry on the racist legacies of their parents and grandparents.

Ultimately, one of the greatest perils caused by the myth of post racial, post civil rights America, is that young people believe that a country which is capable of electing a black man as president has conquered its racial demons. They need to be reminded, often, that post civil rights America is a blip on the radar, what is an experiment, which could be undone.


Thordaddy said...

Yes, yes...

In the minds of the "black" liberationists, the "riot" consists of no more than racial slurs.


You clowns want to enslave us all in the service of your petty ideological indulgences.

Anonymous said...

The fact that President Obama could not only be elected, but also reelected, shows that we've made some kind of progress, but the existence of the Tea Party and nature of discourse they and the GOP use to try to discredit the President are proof of how much farther we have to go.

I can't believe that GOPers are saying that they haven't "courted" minorities enough, which is why they lost. Not courting us doesn't even begin to describe reality. Not only do they not court us, they make it clear that they don't consider us Americans, that they believe we all want "free stuff," and that they have no use for us. Until their policies no longer reflect that, they're crazy to think that any self-respecting "minority" would want to be in their tent.

The Sanity Inspector said...

We'll be dealing with the repercussions of the Bad Old Days for generations to come, long after the memory of first hand experience of them is gone. May as well get comfy...

Razor said...

Thordaddy, we understand that you are a troll. I will ignore you as you hangout under the bridge of reason and comportment.

Cavoyo said...

"The fact that President Obama could not only be elected, but also reelected, shows that we've made some kind of progress, but the existence of the Tea Party and nature of discourse they and the GOP use to try to discredit the President are proof of how much farther we have to go."

Obama won 39% of the white vote in this election, which is less than he won in the 2008 election (43%) and less than Dukakis won in 1988 (40%). Obama's win is due in large part to the record turnout of Latino and Asian voters, who helped him carry Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida.

makheru bradley said...

Thordad, did your slavemaster DV give you permission to post over here?

Bruto Alto said...

@ Thordad

Can you please for the love of God clean that kitchen and wash those dishes. No woman is going to take you if you live in a crappy home...Jokes

Being real though....really clean.