Post Racial?

While I am not black and have no truly comparable experience of perpetual and pervasive stereotyping beyond gender, I am in full agreement with Eddie S. Glaude, Jr. in his book DEMOCRACY IN BLACK: HOW RACE STILL ENSLAVES THE AMERICAN SOUL.

If the way for the US to be considered “post racial” is for blacks and other minorities to focus on universal issues and on empowering those minorities to gain equality with whites, then we are ignoring reality.  All failures of equality are seen only as failures of process and not practice and intent.  Even if that were so, ignoring that specific groups are more affected than others is discrimination in and of itself.  If a specific group suffers more, they need more assistance.  In my opinion, we are essentially saying to those groups (or minorities), that systemic bias is something they should be able to overcome.  The networks of access over generations that help (yes) whites are seen as inconsequential because those individuals still have to be qualified and then competent.

I am a white woman working in a predominantly male occupation.  I am not gender neutral or race neutral, but I try and I don’t pretend that the system is fair and unbiased.  The ideal may be a melting pot dominated by hard work and ability, but access just doesn’t work that way.  Neither does policing or community funding or education.  And asking those without access to stop making those with access uncomfortable is reducing public dialogue to politically correct theatre staging.

In my opinion, access should favor those groups as follows:  Native Americans, Native American women, African Americans, African American women, women, other minorities, others (such as LGBT/GLBT, veterans, or Wiccans).  Once access is boosted, ability should come into play.  If there’s an equally qualified Native American and a white person of either gender, the Native American should win … and I think this should even hold true for minor differences in qualifications or experience too. Reasonable accommodation should be made for disabled individuals and they should be favored in the instances where that is possible and they are qualified.

Our society may someday be free of social bias.  But as long as representation of these groups is economically and politically unequal, it hasn’t happened.  The “reverse discrimination” experiences bemoaned by white men is little more than “do as I say, not as I do/do as I said, not as I did.”

What do you think?

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