Cynthia Tucker writes a great, honest column about the effect Obama’s win has on the assumptions about race from black Americans:
But my generation has seemed stuck in a different time and place, a place where race still matters — a place where workplace desegregation is considered a civil right, where neighborhood diversity is accepted, but where social intermingling across color lines is cautious, limited and often contrived. And that’s among the educated affluent. The nation’s middle-age working class clings more tenaciously to rites of race and tribe.
So I’ll be the first to admit I didn’t believe it would happen. Not so soon.
Born in Alabama shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down segregated schools, I’ve grown accustomed to a steady but plodding course toward racial equality. Sometimes, I’ve been surprised by the speed with which this country has accomplished a social transformation so near complete — from Jim Crow to Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice in 40 years. Other times, I’ve been depressed by the durability of stereotypes — the readers who bring up race every time I mention poverty, as if the two are interchangeable, or the cultural commentators who seem to believe every accomplished black American has benefited from affirmative action.
So as recently as September, I didn’t believe my country would elect a black president. Not yet.”
No, Obama’s win didn’t erase all racism. But, the assumption that most Americans care about skin color should be thrown out. Clearly, a majority of Americans could care less.
And, don’t forget — most McCain supporters voted for the best candidate, not the white guy.