MUHAMMAD: Watch Out for a 'Post-Racial' Backlash
Askia Muhammad | 10/23/2013, 3 p.m.
Newark, N.J., Mayor Corey Booker has been elected to the U.S. Senate. He’s only the fourth Black person ever to do so. The other three are: Edward Brooke (D-Mass.), Carole Moseley-Braun (D-Ill.), and Barack Obama (D-Ill.). A few other Black folks have served in the chamber, going back to Reconstruction, but barely enough to even “shake a stick at.”
And that’s a good thing that there’s a new Black senator … right? Right. Proof that we’re now in “post racial America” where the content of your character is more important than the color of your skin … Right? Well, I wouldn’t go that far.
But we’ve got a Black president, right? Right. A president who is mocked and scorned in more ways than you can imagine. Such that I wonder if any future president can ever again be respected by the American people.
A president whose most scandalous behavior is the enactment and ratification by the Supreme Court, of health reform legislation that defied presidential achievement for seven decades. And yet when the Johnny Reb Tea Party Caucus of the House of Representatives forced the shutdown of the U.S. government and almost caused a catastrophic default on the U.S. debt (which might still happen in three or four months), knuckle-dragging White visitors, some with Confederate flags in hand, visited closed Washington monuments during the shutdown, then stormed the White House and not the Capitol demanding relief.
But there’s more good news. A Black woman – Kamala Harris, attorney general of the State of California – may soon be elected governor of the most populous state in the Union. We’ve had other Black governors. Doug Wilder, elected in Virginia; Deval Patrick, elected in Massachusetts; and David Patterson, who succeeded disgraced Elliot Spitzer in New York, the third most populous state.
Of course we have 43 Black members of the House of Representatives, nearly 10 percent of the total, and almost at parity with the 13 percent U.S. Black population. There’s a Black justice sitting on the Supreme Court, countless other judges and state supreme court justices and even some state supreme court chief justices. Black mayors and sheriffs and county executives abound. It’s like full-employment season for Black politicians these days. And don’t forget CEOs, Black Fortune 500 CEOs.
But fear the backlash. Sometime in November, the founder of Judicial Watch, who said President Obama should “put down the Quran” and “get up off his knees” is calling for a “second non-violent American revolution” to literally chase the incumbent president out of office, three years before his term even nears expiration.
When does this smoldering White hatred of Black success boil over as it has in the past? In Tulsa, Okla., in 1921 the most successful Black neighborhood in America was destroyed by White jealousy turned to bombs and bullets and nooses.
In 1915 filmmaker D.W. Griffith produced his epic “The Clansman,” renamed “The Birth of a Nation,” championing the rise of the cowardly “Invisible Empire,” the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and Griffith is still celebrated today as a film genius whose techniques are taught in film schools around the country. That was 98 years ago. As we see with the Johnny Reb Tea Party uprising, the Klan is rising again in 2013.