Cain I Say What’s Hard to Say?
December 16, 2011, 3:57 am
Filed under: Race, Society | Tags: , , , , ,

I concluded earlier that I’d earned the right to treat death lightly in my writing. Why? Because I accept that death is a part of life, even though people avoid discussing it.

That’s when Herman Cain popped into my brain. Had he earned his casual approach to race conidering he denies race’s significance in American life, even as it obviously drives people’s marital and education decisions?

People pretend everything’s fine race-wise, but doing so really just shows that people are okay with some forms of racism, such as sending their kids to all-white schools, like my black parents did. The message to black children is similar to what it was before Brown v. Board (1954). They know something is wrong with them… in society’s eyes. I did. Has anyone seen a black little girl choose the black Barbie, yet?

I saw a white guy with a bumper sticker on his truck a couple of weeks ago, on the same day Cain resigned from the Republican primaries. It said: “Yes We Cain!” a play on President Obama’s slogan, “Yes We Can” in 2008.

It would’ve been different if it were a black Republican because black Republicans probably have to be unaware of racism to support a party that abandons social reforms aimed at equality. I doubt a black person would use that sticker, though, considering its purpose.

Translation of “Yes We Cain”: “We have an Obama, too. So, yes we Cain! elect a black president.” Republicans claim racism doesn’t exist, but at the same time wave the race of candidates like a flag that shows Republicans aren’t racists.

This is just another example of people reaching for the trophy after taking naps during the race. (Republicans have very few black leaders in the party, and Herman Cain was never one until he suddenly decided to run for president.)

Americans are the same way with race relations. Just because we gradually had mandatory integration after Brown v. Board, doesn’t mean that, “Voila, racism is fixed!” Hello?! White flight started back then and continues today. And racial divisions such as the income gap are as bad as they were in the 1960s, probably before interracial marriage became legal. (You can barely tell today it’s legal.) Just because it’s the law doesn’t mean people value integration and equality.

Part of the reason I know Americans’ napping game is because I play it. I think it’s human nature to want to fast forward through a struggle, especially because we’re insecure from suppressing socially unacceptable, yet natural things about ourselves, such as our sexuality, and  body hair.

I have done very little of my life’s work (writing), yet I expect my soul mate to show up on my doorstep, especially when times get tough.

BUT as I read a woman heard God say when she tried to kill herself (but survived), “You have to earn what you receive.” Maybe this will sink in by my next life time, or by the time I finish something that means something to me.

Hence the need for work that is meaningful for myself and for all. Doing what we’re called to do may be the only way to fix our race mess, which, like death, can be hard to face when we’re not really living, i.e. working jobs we hate, and counting down every minute til the weekend.


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