Are We Postracial Yet?

Below is an excerpt from Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future, by Angela Glover Blackwell, Stewart Kwoh, and Manuel Pastor. For more on the book, visit UncommonCommonGround.com.

Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America's FutureThe presidency of Barack Obama defies simple analyses of racial progress in America. At precisely the same moment that a black man leads the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world, African Americans and Latinos are grappling with their greatest loss of wealth in history. With ties to Islam and the Ivy League, Obama, the son of an immigrant Kenyan father and Midwestern white mother, is the unquestioned and popular leader of a broad-based multiethnic coalition. And as we reflect on his historic electoral victory, we can’t help but wonder what Martin Luther King Jr. would have thought of an America that elects a black man to lead it, but still fails to graduate over one-quarter of its young black men on time from high school.

So what is to be made of this conundrum?  Was “the last racial barrier in American politics”  swept away by Obama’s election as some pundits have suggested, ushering in, finally, the nation’s long-overdue postracial phase? Or, have Americans merely watched one remarkably gifted and fortunate person of color vault spectacularly over a wall, and concluded, mistakenly, that the wall is no longer there?  And, just as importantly, what does a black man’s success have to do with the growing Latino and Asian Pacific communities, particularly at a time when immigration has emerged as a preeminent civil rights issue and is fueling a stark demographic transformation that by the year 2042 will result in a new American majority in which people of color outnumber whites?

2 Responses to “Are We Postracial Yet?”

  1. avatar

    Ppostracial" is perhaps a premature and presently unattained construct. My preference would be to focus on when this nation moves to post-bigotry and post-prejudice as justifiable claims of distinction. Unless my understanding is incorrect there is only one human race and to be post racial would thus be not existing at all.

    Some families have more boys than girls or more girls than boys. They remain a family. So too can we in this country with numerical variances in ethnic and cultural groups. Diversity is good.

    This study and the resultant book does not describe a threat, it describes the progress of the human family.

  2. avatar

    Will humanity have ever have common blood (racial ground)? Maybe…let's explore.

    If you believe in reincarnation like supposedly about 30-40% of Americans, then you might also believe or at least allow that you've occupied many different personalities. All this to gain the necessary spiritual unfoldment over 100's or 1000's of lifetimes to eventually return Home to the Source.

    But are you loving enough? While in our physical schoolyard you would have worn skin colors from many cultures – yellow, red, black, brown, white – all. Therefore, a high likelihood exists that you are becoming, or are, a common ground within yourself.

    The prejudice and intolerance a Soul as personalty carries here has more to do with learning about how to grow in expressing compassion and tolerance – which benefits all, including oneself – than common blood. Yet common blood arises from that expression.

    It's not easy. Look around you, here, over the waters, everywhere. They fight over anything. Is this conducive to common blood? Meanwhile, in a state of change resistant comfort many cling to their cultural, religious, ethnic and dominating tendencies, thus preferring their owns cliques, groups, villages, neighborhoods and nation-state powers. Is this conducive to common blood?

    As humanity, if you compare our technical growth with our emotional maturity just in the last 200 years, it would seem our hearts have much further to go than any other part of our Beingness. Yet some individuals live stridently loving lives while serving the greater good, setting examples for the rest. And common blood arises from that expression of goodness.

    Will humanity have ever have common racial ground? Maybe…let's keep exploring. But if we each focus on cleansing our own hearts first, more will come of this sooner, even common ground.

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