Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Newsbits from Post-Racial America

In an effort to fan the lucrative flames of non-existent American racism, is running an article by John Blake under the headline "Black first family 'changes everything'" which aims to inform us of how the Obama family is showing us that African-American folks aren't the loud, expressive caricatures we see depicted through entertainment media.

The article opens with the perspective of Jamaal Young, a New York Press columnist:

Jamaal Young was watching Barack Obama and his family greet an ecstatic crowd in Chicago, Illinois, on Election Night when he realized that something seemed wrong.

Obama didn't shout at his wife, Michelle, to shut up. The first lady didn't roll her eyes and tell Obama to act like a man. No laugh track kicked in, no one danced, and no police sirens wailed in the background.

It goes on, continuing to wrap itself into a Moebius strip of stereotyping.

America has often viewed the black family through the prism of its pathologies: single-family homes, absentee fathers, out of wedlock children, they say. Or they've turned to the black family for comic relief in television shows such as "Good Times" in the '70s or today's "House of Payne."

But a black first family changes that script, some say. A global audience will now be fed images of a highly educated, loving and photogenic black family living in the White House for the next four years -- and it can't go off the air like "The Cosby Show."

Does that mean  that "black America" sees white people through the prism of Billy Bob Thornton and Kevin Costner?

Is Blake so embedded in a racially-tinged frame of reference that he thinks Americans are that narrow-minded?  We see only Will Smith, Spike Lee and Chris Rock, but somehow miss Denzel Washington, Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice?

One day, Lord, we shall overcome. Oh, Lord, we shall overcome.


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