The Argument Against a Post-Racial Society

Originally posted 2009-01-27 21:13:48 -0500. Bumped by Carol.



The Argument Against a Post-Racial Society

I recently read a letter to an editor suggesting that race should stop being used as a descriptive element in news stories. While I fully understand the writer's sentiment, isn't the fact that President Obama the first Black leader of the free world news? And beyond that, I don't think our goal in this country should be to do away with difference, but rather, to embrace and promote it.

The primary characteristic that makes the United States different from virtually every other country in the world is that we are a quilt as oppose to a blanket, and that very patchwork of varying cultures is what makes us more, rather than less. That isn't to say that we're the only country that's made up of different cultures, but rather, we are the only country that is defined by difference. Thus, one of the greatest gifts that America can contribute to the world is the understanding that "difference" is a good thing rather than the reverse.

It is a given that all cultural groups have identical intellectual potential, but to confuse that with thinking that different cultures don't have differing culturally developed skills to bring to the table is a fallacy. To say that Blacks tend to have "soul" is a fact. But that isn't the same thing as saying that soul is innate to Black people and not others. The reason that Black people tend to have soul, and a highly developed sense of creativity, is because that's an area that has been culturally rewarded in the Black community due to the limitations that's been placed on Black people in other endeavors.

But as Barack Obama is clearly demonstrating, creativity is an associative quality, and it's not limited only to a twelve bar blues. The very same creative that goes into the making of a Ray Charles, Areatha Franklin, or John Coltrane, can easily be transferred to finding a cure for cancer, or indeed, leading the free world--and the very same unique cultural assets are true of every culture.

But this nation, and this world, is being divided by a minority of people who, due to their own personal insecurities, feel the need to validate themselves–not based on their level of individual development, but by virtue of the fact that they are part of a group that has distinguished itself.

In short, these people take the position that, I may seem to be eminently mediocre, but proof of my personal value is that I'm wearing the same color shirt as Thomas Jefferson, or Malcolm X, or Moses. The stupidity of such an argument should be as transparent as the claim that a golden cocker is superior to a black cocker spaniel, but the human need to validate one's self has had an overwhelmingly negative impact on our common sense.

But it's only when we consider the true insignificance of the differences in man that the true silliness of this mindset comes into focus. Consider the fact that, in just the vastness of our solar system alone, the entire planet Earth constitutes nothing more than a dust particle from a grain of sand, and with respect to our galaxy, our solar system is but another particle of dust. Then when you go on to consider the fact that in just our galaxy alone there are a million billion times the number of such solar systems than there are grains of sand on every beach on the planet Earth, it is only then that the relative insignificance of the differences in man really begin to take focus.

But it goes even farther than that. If you lined up all of the "grains of sand" in our galaxy side by side so that they're almost touching, it would take us four years and four months, traveling at 136,000 miles per sec, just to get to the next closest grain of sand–and even with those vast distances within our own galaxy, our galaxy is but yet another particle of dust from a grain of sand in our universe (which scientists suspect is only one of many, many other universes).

Thus man's need to hate and kill one another based on who's superior and who God likes most, suggests much more about his unmitigated arrogance and limited intellect than his superiority. If it weren't for man's arrogance, he would clearly recognize that it is mathematically impossible that we're the only beings in this universe. The universe, in fact, our galaxy, has to be literally, teaming over with intelligent life.

The only things that keeps us separate from other beings who are REALLY different, is that the vast distances in time and space serve as a barrier. But our oceans here on Earth also once served as a barrier, but eventually those barriers were conquered, just as the barriers of time and space will eventually be conquered.

So man needs to wake up, grow up, and stop wasting his time arguing over whose navel is the prettiest. We need to start using our limited intellect in contemplation of the big picture, because eventually someone's going to show up at our front door and show us what being different really means–and we can only hope that they're not the cosmic equivalent of Terminix.

But in the meantime, we could make life here on Earth a lot more pleasant by simply recognizing that just as President Obama is demonstrating that the Black experience has contributed to unique qualities in Black people that can benefit the world, the very same thing is true of Hispanics, Asians, Jews, Native Americans, and every other cultural group.

So why would we want to downplay the beauty and unique qualities of cultural differences? God painted the beauty of difference into his creation, so the contrast of difference is clearly his will. He painted males different from females, he painted the planet Mars, much differently from the way he painted Earth, and he painted a bright and expansive sky, with a much different hue from the way he painted the dark and mysterious fathoms of the sea. So man's attempt to second-guess God, and interpret his masterpiece in a way that meets man's own liking, not only represents the height of human arrogance, but the very depths of human ignorance, and stupidity.


Eric L. Wattree




A moderate is one who embraces truth over ideology, and reason over conflict.






No votes yet


Just get rid of the Post-Racial DELUSION.


Kill an economist for Karl

umbrarchist said,

"Just get rid of the Post-Racial DELUSION."


Much of what we've seen transpire--both, with the unspeakable atrocities and assault on the United States Constitution under the Bush administration, and the election Barack Obama as president--would have been considered a delusion, less than ten years ago. 


Eric L. Wattree

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everybody who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

being seen as likely delusion by years past reminds me of the song/tune/thingy by Enigma called The Dream of the Dolphin:

In every colour there's the light.
In every stone sleeps a crystal.
Remember the Shaman, when he used to say:
"Man is the dream of the dolphin".


...anywho, with that aside -- I think it is very important to remember our cultural heritages, as well envision a shared cultural future where a fusion of sorts occurs; perhaps in the far-distant future these things will be moot, but in the here and now our past and current experiences shape how we interact, learn and grow.

It's important to acknowledge racial and cultural differences as unique and important to helping form the different perspectives that we all bring to the table, provided that we've also grown and developed enough intellectual and social maturity to learn from and embrace our different heritages instead of using those differences to isolate, divide and conquer.

...I'm not sure I'm making a whole lot sense; I've been puttering 'round in a half-dream for a few hours. I think I'll go back and finish sleeping, then return to comment some more, perhaps even with clarity. :)

Thanks for another interesting and insightful piece, btw.

So Obama gets to listen to White economists who have not been telling White people what they have been losing on the depreciation of automobiles for the last 50 years.  Would you believe $300,000,000,000 per year since 1995?


John Kenneth Galbraith released his book, The Affluent Society, in 1959.  There he spoke about the planned obsolescence of automobiles.  How old was Obama in 1959?  If the Crash of Consumerism was inevitable what can the first Black President be expected to do about it now?   Try to keep the delusion going?  What did Milton Friedman ever say about PO?  But now they are both dead.  The living are stuck with the economist's mess.  At least we can beat the crap out of the economists that are still alive.  LOL

Kill an economist for Karl

Great article.  Thanks for the link.  I read thru it, but had to bookmark so I can go back and read when my mind is fresher.  You present a lot of information and much to ponder.

{{{ Wow! Umbra ...
by roxy - 01/30/2009 - 22:39

Great article. Thanks for the link.}}}


So someone admits they like it. That doesn't happen often. I would appreciate it if you make a comment on the site.

Kill an economist for Karl

credited to "site visitor" - but it really was me.

George Carlin in my signature line with this quote from you ...

You give some people a little new knowledge and they will find new and improved methods of being stupid.  


If you give pseudo-intellectuals some new knowledge they will come up with more complicated ways of being stupid.

Kill an economist for Karl

I didn't mean to hi-jack your commentary with the exchange with Umbrarchist ... Cool

Your point about diversity is well made, however, I am not sure I totally agree with you.  In the list of things that I obviously am:

  • a woman
  • short
  • white
  • blonde
  • american
  • mother

none of those are who I am, or what makes me unique.  I would prefer a world where the color of ones skin, or their gender, or their religious preference was not important. But rather what they contributed to humanity defined them as a person.  I like to help people, but that is not dependant on any of the things I listed above.  Even if I were:

  • a man
  • tall
  • black
  • dark haired
  • Jaffa*
  • father

I would still like to think I could be the kind of person who like to help other people.  In my mind, I am:

  • a human
  • citizen of planet earth

period.  I don't want to be discriminated against or put above anybody else simply because of an accident of birth.

Does that make sense?


*In the fictional universe of the science fiction TV series Stargate SG-1, the Jaffa (pronounced j'FAH) are modified humans genetically engineered by the Goa'uld in antiquity to serve as soldiers and as incubators for their young.

Should Women be Referred as Simply Human

What you said does make sense, but the two concepts are not mutually exclusive. Being a woman doesn't take away from your humanity, it adds to it.

The human mind craves information. If you were reading a novel and all of the characters were described as humans who live on Earth, I guarantee that it wouldn't be a very interesting novel. What makes life, and people, interesting is definition. It gives insight.

If someone mentions shoes, I want more information about that shoe--are they sneakers, Manolo Blancs, or Florsheims. It’s not that one is in better than the other--after all, if I’m running a marathon I’d prefer the sneakers to Floesheims--but because it’s the nature human mind to crave information in order to make sense of the world.

I think you’ll find that most men are proud to be defined as a male humans, while women would be more apt to prefer being defined as simply human. The reason for that is woman assume that discrimination will accompany the further definition of female. But the key to addressing that is to stamp out the discrimination, not the definition. Being a woman is a positive thing, not something they should have to hide. After all, if you own the Mona Lisa, you’re not going to refer to it as just a painting.


Eric L. Wattree

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everybody who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

Baker says, "Obama is following in the footsteps of Lincoln --he will get his."

Eric L. Wattree

Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everybody who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.