Racism Isn’t Just a Matter of Black and White

I’m sure you’ve heard those hypocritical right wingers cry foul whenever someone points out the racism behind the hatred of President Obama that is so evident among a substantial segment of the American population.

They would have us believe that Anerica has moved beyond racism, that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream has been fulfilled, that people “are judged by the content of their character, not by the color of their skin.”

And it would be nice if that were true.

But it is not.

Yes, there has been progress. Although the Ku Klux Klan still flourishes in the southern underbrush, the trees hereabouts no longer bear “strange fruit.” The faces on television are no longer universally pink and white but are more representative of America’s diverse population. Prominent politicians now include African-Americans, Hispanics and a smattering of other non-whites. American women also have “come a long way baby,” although they still have a long way to go.

Professionals from diverse backgrounds – and both genders – have emerged from America’s universities to take their place among the nation’s elite.

But, while you see quite a few black and brown faces on TV and read about Indian and Arab financiers making millions on Wall Street, you still don’t see or hear about many Chinese Americans in public life.

One reason may be that America’s 3.8 million Chinese are a quiet people who shun attention and go about their business without fanfare.

But I think racism may have something to do with it.

And the fuss over the choice of a Chinese beauty queen to reign as Miss World makes me wonder whether some of her critics are motivated by racism. This from Yahoo News today:

Yu Wenxia of China won the Miss World 2012 beauty pageant at the Ordos Stadium Arena in inner Mongolia, China Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. After Wenxia’s win, the Miss World Facebook page practically lit up with angry comments accusing judges of pandering to politics, and staging a ‘fake’ contest.

Do the critics think a Chinese girl could not be the world’s most beautiful?

In my eyes, Yu Wenxia is as beautiful as any Hollywood star … Her face is as classic as Grace Kelly’s, her figure as delicate and graceful as Audrey Hepburn’s.  She is every inch a beauty queen.

But apparently not to some observers.

In many ways, America is more racist than ever. Consider Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. It has focused laser-like on white, male voters, abandoning any attempt to appeal to African-Americans, Hispanics or Asians.

Or women.

I see ancient demons rising from the sleazy past to threaten all progress in American society. It’s not just racism that rears its ugly head but sexism, too.

And religious intolerance.

And persecution of homosexuals.

And oppression of the poor.

This election campaign has set the rich and powerful against the poor and downtrodden. It has even split the Roman Catholic church, with the bishops militantly backing the Romney-Ryan ticket and a group of nuns touring the country to oppose the Republicans’ oppressive budget plan.

And it has spread fear and hatred among America’s white majority, raising the spectre of  overwhelming non-white immigration and Muslim invaders.

It’s as if Satin himself walks among us in this election season. And he is white, male and very, very rich.

In November America will be choosing not just between one political party and another, not just between one economic plan and another, not just between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama but between Good and Evil.

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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