post-racist, not post-racial
You’ll often hear people describe America as a “post-racial” society. That irks a lot people, myself included. The term “post-racial” implies that we are somehow “beyond race.” Of course, that’s not true. Also, people use the term “post-racial” when they are trying to evade difficult discussions of race. Or as a way of avoiding blame for their own tasteless actions.
That doesn’t mean that America hasn’t changed. Contemporary America needs a name because the post-Civil Rights world is much, much different than what came before. Overall, America is a much more humane place for many its residents, though we still treat immigrants poorly. So what do we these days? I’d venture the following:
- Racial discrimination is no longer legitimate.
- Most people don’t sit around and just hate people from other groups.
- People, though, still enjoy racial advantages.
- Race is still a big factor in our social lives. E.g., people overwhelming marry in group.
- It’s ok to talk about race. We can even poke fun at others.
- Some people are still “classically racist” in that they actually do sit around and hate others, but this, for the most part, has to be done underground.
I suggest the term post-racist because while race still exists, we don’t build racism into our laws and culture. We definitely past a time where a law can simply say “Blacks can’t do X.” But race is still around and it’s all over the place. At least we can talk about.