The New Racism

There is a new interview  with Barack and Michelle Obama out in People magazine, set to hit newsstands on Friday, which is very revealing on how the Obamas view the world.

The interview is, of course, about race – because let’s face it, now that we have our first black president and have broken down racial barriers across America, EVERYTHING is about race, even if it’s not.

President-Barack-Obama-Michelle-Obama-Kiss-Cam-Cover

Perhaps the most absurd is Michelle Obama’s tale about her publicity-stunt trip to Target a few years ago.  This was Michelle’s big opportunity to prove that she isn’t the elitist snob that she really is, and it’s quite telling that the First Lady can’t take a trip to Target without the ugly specter of racism rearing its head…because some lady in the Target store, not realizing that she is the First Lady, had the audacity to ask Michelle Obama to help her take something off of a shelf (oh, the horror!).

This is patently absurd.  I’m as white as they come (working 10 hours a day in an office with no windows doesn’t help any), and I have been approached at Target, Wal-Mart, Albertson’s, Pets-Mart, and I’m sure a few other stores that I can’t remember, by people who mistakenly thought I was an employee.  Part of it was my fault – on several occasions, I went to Target while wearing khakis and a red shirt, or to Wal-Mart in khakis and a Navy blue shirt.  I never thought anything of it, I just informed the person that I didn’t work there, and helped, if I could.

But the assertion that this person asked Michelle Obama for help out of some racial superiority complex is completely ridiculous.  I’ve asked people taller than myself for help getting something I couldn’t reach in a store.  I’ve had people ask me for help.  It had nothing to do with race, or even mistaking a shopper for an employee – it was just one human being giving another human being a helping hand.

But don’t you dare ask a human with darker colored skin for help, because that’s racist.

Or maybe the woman in Target was racist because she didn’t immediately recognize Michelle Obama as the First Lady, and fawn all over her.  It’s difficult to say, since she wasn’t so upset about the incident when she spoke about it with David Letterman.

Is this really what racism is in the 21st Century?

  • If some random Target shopper asks the First Lady for help, it’s because of racism.
  • If a black man has a tough time catching a cab on the South Side of Chicago – an area riddled with gang violence, it’s because of racism.
  • If you mistake the wrong person for a waiter at a fancy gala (like Valerie Jarrett did to a 4-star general), it’s because of racism.
  • If you don’t think Obamacare is the right way to fix our health care system, it’s because of racism.
  • If cops in New York accidentally kill an obese asthmatic African-American who is resisting arrest, it’s because of racism.
  • If a cop in Missouri shoots and kills a young man who was trying to kill him, it’s because of racism.
  • If kids dressed like gangster punks get treated like gangster punks by police, it’s because of racism.
  • If you’re white, it’s because of racism.

This is the new racism in America: if you say or do anything that inconveniences someone of another skin color – even if the inconvenience only exists in the other person’s mind – then you are guilty of racism.

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