Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things I Agree With

Ta-Nehisi Coates edition.

I had started a post about this this morning, but, honestly, it bummed me out so much, I just couldn't. I did post it to my facebook and a friend of mine chimed in about how he didn't think that Chris Matthews was a racist and that he was trying to say something positive (a point that Matthews made himself later). The part that bums me out is that's totally true. I don't think Chris Matthew is a racist, a bigot or anything like that. But it's also true that for Chris Matthews and a lot of other people, black man <> president. It really does not compute and it doesn't even compute how that could be offensive. The goal presented for black people is "transcend race" which, as Ta-Nehisi points out, really means, "transcend my ideas of race." Which apparently mean that the qualities of a good leader and a good president, things like intelligence, resolve, passion and courage, are not possibly black. They are "post-racial," they are "universal." They are anything but qualities you find in a black man. And no white president (or white man, for that matter) has to "transcend" anything to achieve them.

This is something I've personally heard all of my life, always framed as a compliment. It's something I'm particularly sensitive to, so the second I heard it, my anger rose up a bit. And then my heart broke a little bit. But then you move on.

1 comment:

cgeye said...

Fucking megadittoes, sir.

Being pointed out as the exception all the goddamn time surely tells us what sort of rule's iron clad and tacit. As long as that rule exists, we are not post-racial. How hard is that to understand?