I’ve been in one of those kind of moods lately. You know, the debbie downer-glass is half empty kind of mood. And it all started with the re-election of President Barack Obama. To begin with, the anticipation leading up to November 6th was too much, especially since I spent majority of my time trying to figure out how people like Romney still exist.
It has been three weeks since the election and I am still walking around feeling…I don’t know, blah. I was on edge during the entire campaign. Listening to Romney’s stupid stone age comments about women, using slogans similar to KKK mantras, and of course his very apparent lack of concern for half of the people in this country, was enough to leave me with a permanent bitter taste in my mouth. Obama’s performance during the first debate wasn’t making things easier for me, or the very real fact that there are drone attacks happening in the Middle East as a result of Obama’s order. Don’t get me wrong, I was more than excited when Obama was re-elected. On one hand it signifies a drastic change in the makeup of this country. The minorities, in terms of population, are slowly becoming the majority.
According to cbsnews.com, “Minorities made up roughly 2.02 million, or 50.4 percent of U.S. births in the 12-month period ending July 2011. That compares with 37 percent in 1990.” I always find it funny when I hear the word minority. Especially when “minorities” out number the white population in the U.S when grouped together. And of course when viewed from a global perspective the word is just plain silly. Therefore, at the superficial level one could say that American is on a fast track of increased diversity and acceptance of the multitudes of people and cultures that make their home in this land. We are walking and breathing progress.
I don’t know if this last statement is entirely true.
Hence, my conflicting feelings surrounding the election this year. The fact is, yes, the demographics of this country are changing. However, just because the country is becoming browner, is not an indication that ideologies are shifting. Obama’s position as President of the United States represents change and progress. Yet, this is not reflected throughout the country. In many ways 2012 is very reminiscent of the pre- civil rights era. Segregation did not end with Brown v. Board, mass killings of black and brown people are still rampant with little consequences to the perpetrators who commit the act, and the judicial system continues to pass laws that perpetuate inequalities and reinforce hierarchies designating who will succeed and fail in this country. So can someone please tell me where is all this progress that we have supposedly made?
Obama’s reelection is significant. It is historical. There is no denying the monumental impact of having an African American man reelected to hold the highest position in the U.S. That is powerful. But it also serves as a mask, hiding a reality that people don’t often want to discuss. This “reality” that I am referring to is called racism. It is called discrimination. If you don’t believe me, look at mass incarceration rates, anti-immigrations laws passed in Arizona and Texas, police brutality and the law that protect the officers and not the victims, and of course the socialization that takes place in our education system that neglects the history of so many people here in America. One man can’t change the world. One man can’t change the fact that biological and cultural racism are taught to future educators in 2012, thus impacting the academic success of the future generation. There is no escaping this because it is the seed that is planted deep within America’s foundation.
How can I be optimistic?
At the end of the day, I guess I am just coming to terms with what the election really means for me and the people in America. Though it represents change, the kind of change that I would like to see is still pending. At the moment, I am not so sure what the future holds. But what I do see is a lot of the same thing. Same power holders. Same bigotry. Same foolishness.