I love when someone perfectly articulates something that’s been careening around in my brain but which I haven’t been able to get hold of tightly enough to turn into words.
That bit at the end about why he finds it insulting when people say things like, “I don’t care if you’re black, purple or orange,” that is a thing I’ve been trying to help people understand forever. Kids used to say that to me in high school, in college. People still say it to me. And it always leaves me with a sour feeling, and I’ve never been able to explain it as cleanly and simply as Jay just did.*
I feel the same anger when people say this “I don’t care if you’re black or orange,” crap as I do when people talk about Americans magically becoming “post racial.” What do people even mean when they say that, and can they really believe that our country as a whole has fallen into that rabbit hole? When there can be people making t-shirts showing my president as a monkey (did you miss the Curious George/Obama shirts? Lucky you), when a politician can make what he wants us to believe he thought was a joke about an escaped gorilla being a member of my first lady’s family, when the white descendant of my first lady’s white ancestor thinks it would be fun to sit with Mrs. Obama and share stories about that shared ancestor … when all this (and so much more) is possible, can it also be possible that anyone believes we’ve “moved beyond race,” as someone said to me at a meeting recently? I don’t want us to be “post racial.” I would, however, very much like us to be “post racist.” Think we’ll ever manage that one?
Check out the rest of the slices of life over at Stacey and Ruth’s.
* And by the way, when is Jay finally going to wake up and realize that he is my soul mate? I’m just saying.