ByWILLIAM DANNEY, writer at Creators.co
Ironically some who make and / or support this claim would cite the back to back elections of Barack Obama, the first Black president of the United States as an excellent example of this supposed post racial era in US history. The irony is that President Obama’s two terms in office are actually near perfect examples of how the United States is absolutely not in some post racial period. In fact, race in regard to President Obama’s two terms in office seem to be more apparent than ever before in U.S. history. To elaborate, firstly there’s the allegation that Black Americans voted for Barack Obama merely because he is Black. To suggest that people who voted for Barack Obama casted their ballots based on the candidate’s skin color as opposed to his political views is insulting to many American citizens. Secondly, some argue that conditions for Black Americans have not improved during the presidency of Barack Obama. Some go so far as to suggest that conditions for Black Americans have actually gotten worse during the two terms of President Obama when considering unemployment of Blacks in America, poverty for Blacks in America as well as income Inequality for Blacks as well. While thorough investigation and analyses of any statistical data used to make these claims is required, the realization is such that regardless of the race of the president of the United States this nation and society has much more deeply rooted and systemic issues with which to deal. Before we as an American society and specifically Black Americans can make any claims that we are living in some post racial environment, we must at least agree that very deeply rooted issues exist. To make this point abundantly clear, while considering race as a social construct also realize money is a product of social construction as well. Money is not real. Think about that. Money is only valuable because people give it value. Through social construction people have agreed that a currency is the acceptable medium of exchange for goods and services. A dollar is only valuable to a person because that person knows he or she can exchange that dollar for merchandise and / or products. It matters not if we are speaking about 1 dollar, 2 dollars or 3 billion dollars; money is only valuable because people give it value. Money is not real. This statement is true regardless of inflation, and deflation, monetary, economical or fiscal policy. Money is a social construct. Drawing a parallel between the two social constructs of money and race helps us to understand and appreciate the incredible challenges involved with dealing with these two concepts. Understanding that money is a product of social construction, if a person were to go shopping in a grocery store, acquires their groceries and then decides to forgo the register and cashier to simply bagging their items and then walking out the store without paying, this scenario will most likely not end well for our person in question. While money just as race is merely a product of social construction, living in this day and age we do not have to be numismatics, economist or even historians to realize the history, power and influence of money in the world as well as in our daily lives. Money isn’t real however anyone attempting to live especially in the United States without money is going to have some very challenging struggles. Simply denying that money exists will not allow a person to shop and make transactions without the power to purchase. Believing that we are living in a post money environment will not work out well for us as we are submersed within a society that is not only powered by money but was built upon money, greed and the love of money. Similarly, as our society is submersed in a culture of race, simply saying we are living in a post racial society will not bring about justice or even real change to heal the ills of the society in which we live. Ignoring race will not end racism. Just as with the social construct of money, our society was built on the idea of race, racial injustice and improper education. These bad ingredients are baked into the American pie so to speak. We’ve all been eating this poison for far too long and are too sick to simply wish the sickness away or ignore that our nation is ill. Too many people have suffered and died, too many people are frustrated, fed up and angry. Too many people feel hopeless and are depressed. While surely anger is a healthier state to be in than depression, anger needs direction else it turns inwards and becomes a tool which can facilitate self destruction. While depression, anger and frustration are branches of trees in the forest of Black American pain in the United States, at the root of these trees are racism, greed, injustice and improper education. Throughout Black American history including the survivors of U.S. slave industry, America has never truly addressed the issues of Black Americans. These issues have transformed into Black on Black crime, a disproportionate number police brutality cases in Black American neighborhoods, a school to privatized prison industry pipeline and several other chronic problem that are plaguing not just Black Americans, all Americans. Likewise, Black Americans have yet to collectively address our own issues in this country. However the effects of so much anger and frustration have been culminating over centuries and generations of pain and inequality. American society is seeing the manifestation of this build up in cities such as Ferguson and Baltimore where frustration and injustice is giving way to civil unrest and social uprising. I challenge us all to think, WilliamDanney.com
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