The other day, rapper Talib Kweli (pictured) used Twitter to convey a sentiment many people have felt since talk of this mythical (read: nonexistent) land called “post-racial America” first surfaced in national media following the historic election of Barack Obama as president. I understand why people wanted to see his election as a manifestation of Mariah Carey’s “Hero,” but such a scenario was never going to happen.
Talib argued that, if anything, Obama is indeed a symbol, but his presence does not negate a longstanding systematic problem in this country. To him we are not “post-racial” but in fact “most-racial.” Have enough noticed? I’m guessing not from his series of politically themed tweets.
Talib Kweli writes:
These “we got a black president everything is great” losers kill me lol
This is how backwards ppl are. In 08 I was asked in more than one interview, if Obama wins, what would I have left to rap about? As much respect as I have for Obama as a man & historical figure, the president is a symbol.
Post racial society? Nah. Most racial society. Stop #stopandfrisk
There are MANY criticisms of Obama that I feel are accurate. But when u call him a socialist u expose yourself as a Fox News watching moron.
The president can be criticized for his record. No need to make stuff up just because you don’t understand your real reason 4 disliking him. Obama is Christian, a capitalist and a shrewd politician. He is not a Muslim or a socialist. Even if he was, so what?
I pray for the brain cells of those who posed Talib such an asinine question, but shouldn’t they be revisiting the aftermath of those post-racial proclamations more anyway?
Why not dissect the overt racism President Obama’s political opposition has leveled against him since he was sworn in? We had plenty of well-intentioned — albeit grossly superficial — fantasy works on America’s potential in light of his candidacy.
How about something revisiting the reality? The boldly racist, consistently xenophobic, vitriol often hurled Obama’s way.
Watch President Obama on “The View” this week:
Even during his appearance on “The View,” President Obama (pictured below) responded to Sherri Shepherd’s question about how competitive his reelection bid will be by quipping, “When your name is Barack Obama it’s always going be tight.”
There are countless other examples of divide to highlight, too. Say Travyon Martin’s death and the racial divide with respect to the perception of his killing, or the spectacle less-subtle Americans have made of it – i.e. using Trayvon’s image to sell target sheets. There’s a lingering hostility in the air as it pertains to race, and while it would be wrong to not denote improvement, it’s even more so to sweep it under a dusty rug completely.
Just a week ago, I tweeted: “How are all of you post-Black, post-racial, and other post-posturing folks enjoying the headlines of the week?”
I never got an answer, but perhaps I’m just as silly to expect that I’d ever get an answer on that or any one similar to it. What to do? I’m not sure, but I guess I’ll start humming Mariah in the meantime.
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer currently based in Los Angeles. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick