Recently, President Obama made comments where he stated his belief that America is less racially divided now than before he was elected in 2008. Sadly, that’s a statement with which I completely disagree.
During an interview with NPR, Obama said, “I actually think that it’s probably — in its day-to-day interactions — less racially divided.”
I’m just not sure where he’s coming from with that. Though let me make myself perfectly clear, he’s not the reason why race relations haven’t improved. Outside of maybe a questionable decision to view Al Sharpton as some kind of advisor (someone whose presence often instantly divides people) I’ve not really seen anything that the president has done to make race relations worse.
Conservatives are the ones who’ve made race relations worse. From the moment it was clear that Barack Obama was going to win the Democratic nomination in 2008, the GOP set off a campaign to degrade and slander him in any way possible. And several of those attacks were racially based. To my recollection, I don’t ever remember a white president being asked to present two forms of his birth certificate.
And I’ve lost track at how many times his race has been brought up by members of the conservative media or conservatives in general.
Though I’m not going to let liberals off the hook on this either. Since Obama’s election I have seen the liberal media, especially the internet liberal media, almost go out of its way to make anything and everything about racism – even if the situation had nothing to do with it. I’ve seen far too many stories deemed “racial” simply because one individual was black and the other was white. As if we can’t have an incident in this country between people of differing races without racism obviously being the reason why. And every white person’s opinion on a racial matter is not derived from “white privilege.” This is a term that liberals have fallen in love with, but it’s not only ignorant because it’s essentially another form of racism (which is hypocritical) but it’s condescending to people you don’t know to dismiss their opinion on an issue based solely on the color of their skin.
I’m not sure how you improve race relations by telling an entire race “your opinion doesn’t really matter because you suffer from white privilege” – without knowing a thing about that person.
But what President Obama’s election did was make racism much easier to get away with because conservatives disguised it under the pretense of “I just don’t like his policies.” They could justify their vile and irrational hatred toward him through politics, when it’s clear a lot of this disdain they feel about him, for many, is based on the fact that he’s half black.
And while race relations are better now than they were decades ago, as evident by our nation electing its first African-American president, his election has also shown us how much further we still have to go.