Today was historic. It was meaningful. And there is a lot about it that was moving. Barack Obama is a great American story.
But there is also much about the way the media and the popular culture are viewing this milestone that is wildly annoying and more than a little offensive. Allow me to explain.
Here is the narrative we are being sold over and over:
“Through great struggle and by some miracle, traditionally racist America found a way to shake itself free of its deeply rooted bigotry just long enough to finally elect a black man to the White House. It’s been a long time coming, but somehow, this inherently racist culture finally became ready for an African-American in the White House.”
Do I exaggerate? Here’s a small sampling:
Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration could be a line where future scholars mark the start of a new era of racial tolerance in America. (McClatchy Newspapers)
. . . it was just as much a strikingly symbolic moment in the evolution of the nation’s fraught racial history, a breakthrough that would have seemed unthinkable just two years ago. (New York Times)
Of course this is all nonsense on stilts but it is consistent with the way liberals view our country and with Hollywood’s standard caricature of Republicans, conservatives and fly-over-country-dwellers respectively. Ironically, the most vocal and visible racist in the previous election cycle was Jeremiah Wright.
Here’s the real narrative for this election victory: For some years now Americans have not only been ready to put a black person in the White House, they’ve been eager to do so. And the first opportunity they were given to vote for an African-American who wasn’t a grievance-mongering, race-baiting, shakedown artist (see: Jackson, Jesse; or Sharpton, Rev. Al) they pounced on it. Barack Obama didn’t win in spite of being black. He won in large measure because he was black. A white guy with his resume’ and ideology would have never made it into the primaries.
I have always assumed that the first black president would be a conservative Republican. And if Colin Powell had been a real-deal conservative instead of a RINO, he probably would have been.
Liberals reflexively view everything through the lens of race (or gender, or orientation, etc., etc.). And the powerful appeal of the politics of grievance and victimhood make it impossible for many liberals to see the truth that is so plainly in front of them. With the exception of a tiny, nutty fringe, white Americans are not racist. On the contrary, they will fall all over themselves to avoid even the appearance of racism.
The civil rights industry could seize this moment to declare victory and start working on some of the real problems that hold young black people back . . . like hip hop culture for example. But it won’t. As Rev. Joseph Lowery’s benediction at today’s ceremony illustrates
Certainly, today’s ceremony was meaningful and marvelous in the light of the fact that a mere 50 or 60 years ago a black man couldn’t even walk through the front door of the White House but would have forced to use the service entrance. But America didn’t just suddenly become some better, nobler place. It has been that place for a long time.
And now, in the midst of some of the most pressing challenges we’ve seen in 100 years, the stewardship of this wonderful place is in decent but inexperienced hands, and at the very moment both houses of Congress have been taken over by childish, power-grubbing, know-nothings.
I’ll be praying for him.