Clearly there are many in the liberal Democratic camp who are made profoundly uncomfortable by the recognition that racism is no more a defining feature of American life or even African American life. Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that racism does not exist. This is a big country, and surely one can find several examples of it. But racism, which used to be systematic, is now only episodic. In fact, when I ask young blacks on the campus today whether America is racist, many say yes. But if I ask them to give me examples of how that racism affects their lives, they are hard pressed to give a single one. The best they can do is to mention "Rodney King" or provide some well-known, recycled horror story.
Recently someone told me that McCain is still winning the white vote by a substantial majority and that shows "we have a long way to go" in overcoming white bigotry. By this logic, blacks are have even longer way to go in overcoming their bigotry since Obama is winning almost 98 percent of the black vote. When your logic leads to an absurd conclusion, go back and re-examine the premise.
Even though Obama's candidacy signals that America is overcoming its racial past, neither Obama nor his wife recognize that. Their personal statements, as seen for example in Obama's books, are suffused with race-consciousness, race-obsession and even racial resentment. The more privileges they have received on the basis of race, the more embittered they seem to become. The source of these pathologies is the very liberalism that the Obamas have embraced: a liberalism that declares them equal while treating them as inferiors who need preferential treatment. (Liberals hate to have this pointed out; hence the irrational invective of the early responses to this post.)
The solutions are obvious. If you want to get rid of racial obsession, stop talking and thinking about race so much. If you want to remove race as the basis of decision-making in America, let's eliminate America's policies that make race the basis of decision-making. And if you want a party that stands for color-blindess and equal opportunity, you might consider voting for the Republicans.