The Ongoing Racial Discussion: The NY ComPost and
“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and I believe continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards,” Holder said.
This he said on the same day that the New York Post ran a cartoon with police shooting a primate and one officer quipping to the other, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
There are some who are still waiting for the NY Post to weigh in on who the primate is supposed to be, but do we really need to hear their excuse? They could say they were trying to evoke the image of the recent story of police in Connecticut who killed a pet chimpanzee and use the animal as a symbol for the stimulus. Yeah, but then who would be the author of the stimulus? Who is the one who has been pushing for the stimulus?
And who is are the ones who have been often depicted as primates for hundreds of years in this country?
Does anyone remember this cartoon from just a few months ago?
Unless the artist is an alien that just got to this planet last week then I am sure that he/she is well versed in the underlying meaning of the image of the ape. Come on now, we’ve been having this discussion for years.
So, it’s not that we don’t discuss race or what we think about other races. What we really don’t discuss is how race shapes how we see ourselves.
African Americans do up to a point. We can talk about ourselves in relationship to white people and sometimes in contrast to other minorities. But what it would be like without that racial frame, that we haven’t given much thought to.
But whites try to tip toe around the American story of race because their role in it hasn’t been the one to covet. As the racial landscape shifts, making white level out on equal footing with the rest of us, it’s not one that some whites are going to reconcile with easily. In a multiracial society they won’t always be the leaders or the facilitators. A lot of times it won’t even be about them or thought of.
The NY Post comic was a throwback to past times, when minorities could be dehumanize and the rest of America could laugh at it. Or if not laugh at least be obsequious to the majority.
But now the minorities are the rising majority that they used to cast derision upon. Not a smart thing for a news paper business to do when newspapers are struggling as it is.
So, do we want to have that race discussion right about now?