"Post-racialism" in the era of Obama

This morning, the Democratic National Committee released a video in which Obama urges the people of the United States to support the Democrats in the 2010 Congressional elections.

Well, sort of...

In the video, Obama calls on "African-Americans and Latinos" to take action; he also urges "women" and "young people" to do their part. However, Obama has nothing to say to the rest of the citizen body. Obviously, Obama is concentrating on reaching out to his main supporters. But try to imagine what would happen if, for example, the Tea Party Movement had released a video to mobilize its main supporters and called for "more Whites" to become politically active. Surely, the Tea Party Movement would be accused of racism and all kinds of things - not that it isn't already.

  1. The Tea Party Movement supports policies which are in the best interests of the U.S. citizenry, not the illegal immigrant and pending immigrant population south of the U.S. border. This upsets the some Hispanics, who accuse the Tea Party of "racism".
  2. The Tea Party Movement does not support the government digging into our pockets and giving out hand-outs. Most African-American interest groups do, because it helps poor, inner-city (primarily Black) folks. Not surprisingly, some African-Americans also accuse the Tea Party of being "racist".
  3. Many Tea Party supporters do not want the U.S. government to be meddling in foreign affairs. The pro-Israel crowd, on the other hand, wants the U.S. to take a side in the Arab-Israeli conflict and give special military funding to Israel. Incidentally, Israel's supporters have called the Tea Party "anti-Semitic".
  4. Many Tea Party supporters are against the government's regulation of the private and social sphere and do not want de jure desegregation projects (forced busing), federal laws promoting education and workplace quotas, anti-free speech laws, draft laws, stricter gun laws or higher federal taxes. However, some people are in favor of a "big government" because they want to use the government's authority to push their agenda. And so, big government enthusiasts try to marginalize the Tea Party movement by calling it just about anything, including "racist", "anti-Semitic", "homophobic" and just plain-old "bigoted".

Interesting how policy that does not explicitly favor the Hispanic population (a la example 1), the African-American population (example 2), or the pro-Zionist population (example 3) has come under attack; in fact, politicking in the name of any of the above-mentioned groups, solely to promote the interests of these groups, seems to be the only way to steer clear of labels. In other words, people are being accused of "racism" and "anti-Semitism" unless they support the preferentialist policies which benefit one single, ethnic or racial community at the expense of others. The irony is hard to miss.

This political age has led to other bizarre developments. For example, as this video shows, Tea Party supporters are challenged to defend their political views not by delivering sound arguments about policy, but by confirming first that they have friends and family who are African-American, homosexual and so on. Likewise, in the Tea Party's struggle to establish legitimacy, it has become vital for African-Americans and Latinos to be in the ranks. Political reasoning is only secondary.

This phenomenon extends beyond U.S. shores. Recently in Germany, hordes of Anti-Racists stormed a demonstration against the rise of Islam in Europe. "NAZIS OUT! NAZIS OUT," they screamed loudly. But the people being called "Nazis" were waving Israeli flags. And the man speaking for the "Nazis" was Joseph Intsiful, a black man. Under the circumstances, it was hard to tell who was using the spirit of the age more efficiently. One side was trying to pose as open-minded, tolerant and modern; it accusing the other side of being intolerant, closed-minded anti-multicultural "Nazis". But the "Nazis", who were actually anti-Islamification demonstrators, stole back their thunder by giving the mic to an Africa-born speaker who was concerned about the rise of Islam, and by calling their opponents Jew-hating "anti-Semites". Simply bizarre.

And so, we must ask ourselves: is this "post-racial" age of pro-diversity anti-nationalism really reducing racial tensions...or is it actually increasing them and making us more sensitive to our differences?

You decide.