America does not need a dialogue on race.
In it's short history, America has done nothing but talk about race. Yesterday in the airport, two men, a white South African and a black Nigerian, are overheard discussing their views on America- views decided, naturally, by how one regards the 'American blacks'. Racist readers will be happy to know there are at least two less immigrants threatening to 'take yer jobs'.
America is known, nationally and internationally, for race. Other nations have elected minority and women leaders, but 'AMERICA elects first BLACK president' dropped the world's jaw. Doomsdayers were barely recovering the Prophet Chris Rock's analysis: “You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy..."
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was our dialogue on race. We discussed it through the language of the unheard, violence [MLK]. Through riots, assassinations, Emmett Tills, Jim Crows, and Voting Rights Acts, we discussed it among people and government loud enough for the world to hear. The era may just as well be a national embarrassment to some today.
Yet we are still waiting for a 'national dialogue on race'. How many comedians launched careers off "white people do this/black people do this" jokes? The president mediated a racial dispute between a white cop and a black man- how much more symbolic of a gesture could there be? Beer Summit was such a gaudy gesture that if it were a movie, it would have went straight to DVD. Yet every time a public figure says something racist, there are calls for a 'racial dialogue'. Who exactly needs to talk for America to have it's dialogue on race?
America needs a dialogue on dialogue. Then we can stop having the same tired racial dialogue every time different colors are acknowledged. There was racial dialogue in the slave times, through the runaways and revolts, or posted on billboards- "Niggers For Sale". There was racial dialogue amid legislators- they said Jim Crow, Voting Rights Act, 13th Amendment, and 'don't teach them how to read'. There was racial dialogue in the streets of Watts and Los Angeles. We had racial dialogue after Rodney King, Sean Bell, Don Imus, Michael Richards, and Skip Gates, Rush Limbaugh, "Real Americans", and Lou Dobbs daily. We write about it- every black author has to write about being a black author. If there is any dialogue America has, it's race. What America needs is a dialogue on nationalism. The KKK and Black Panther Party are not going to sign a peace treaty, but our uncanny inactivity has developed a society tolerant not only of races, but racism. Instead of trying to be post-racial, America should just go for racial. That way the question won't be "was that racist?", but instead "what are we going to do to get around the racist?" Whether you are using the system to oppress others or are oppressed by it, there is a system. Extremist, feeling the effects of a changing system earliest, adjusted- white sheets became obsolete, so blue uniforms & black robes were garbed. Politicians were right behind them, adopting political correctness to ride the winds of change. The beauty of this system is in its ugliness. White supremacist & black supremacist both decry assimilation, while living and working in close proximity to one another. No matter how much dialogue we have on race and racism, it just won't seem to go away. Instead of a dialogue on race, lets just try a dialogue- with race. Call me if you need a negro dialectician.