Hello everyone! I’m Lyric and this is my show.
I was just texting my boyfriend.
Today we’re going to talk about the phrase “Post-Race.
” For many people, this election was a huge wake-up call.
A wake-up call from a deep, deep sleep thatI believe was induced, in part, by the belief that we are in a post-racial society.
So, what is post-race? I decided to take to the streets of New York and find out.
We’re talking about important issues.
Oh, important issues.
We need to find some important issues.
Some more important issues than race? Have you ever heard post-race before? Never heard of it.
I know nothing.
You know nothing about race? I know nothing.
Have you heard that? I haven’t heard that.
I don’t think I’ve heard that.
Oh, you mean presidential race or? No, no, no.
I’ve heard my uncle speak about it a fewtimes but I didn’t really listen.
In what context did you hear it? Surrounding the election, you know.
Just throwing it around in there.
What is it exactly? Post-race would be a world where race doesn’t actually matter but it’s still hugely a factor.
So, it’s clear that we need to break this term down.
Where did this actually come from? Well, in 1971, a group of 70 politicians andprofessors formed a group called the Southern Growth Policies Board.
This group was responsible for putting togetherpolicies for the future of the south.
The New York Times reported that there werefour black people there out of the 70 who declared that racism was over.
Now, let’s just cut to 2008, shall we? When we finally elected a black president.
This was another chance for people to throwaround the term “post-race” because the leader of the free world was black, right? An example: here we have Chris Matthews on NBC saying, “You know, I forgot that he was black for an entire hour.
” So, are we post-race? Do you think we’ll ever be post-race? That’s like.
Such a depressing question! I hope so.
I can only hope.
Yeah I don’t think anyone should be worriedabout race.
It’ll be minimized but it won’t be completely gone.
Like, what are we now? We’re humans.
We differentiate between one person and welook for things to make them different.
It’s always gonna happen.
Thank you Ben! Will you just sign a little paper for us? Now that we have gone through this history of this word some really awkward times when people have had to use it I brought in a very old friend and a new friend of mine to help us talk about what this means for us now.
Okay, so let’s talk about how we see post-race play outout in our everyday lives.
Have you guys heard it amongst your friends,in the streets, or in the news? I see it everyday in the comments sections.
I often see people saying, “Oh, haven’twe moved past this? Get over it!” It doesn’t really acknowledge or respectthe fact that we had a system of laws in this country that put people in the positionto have to regard themselves and their personal safety and livelihood on the basis of raceand to now conveniently want to sweep it away is just not appropriate.
If you take an example of someone like Barack Obama I think people who support the narrative of“post-race” would point to his success But it is completely an erasure of the veryreal struggles he had to face as a black man in America.
One of the things I found when I was studyinghis rhetoric on race was he talked about trying to hail a cab in New York City.
Even at that point of being someone of nationalstature and notoriety, still having problems doing that.
Well, no matter how many degrees you get orno matter what those vestiges of respectability are There are still people who will see you and treat you like you are less.
So now that we can definitely all agree thatwe’re definitely not post-race, do we even want to be post-race or do we see a future for ourselveswhere we’re post-race? I think it’s both impossible and also would be destructive.
My blackness was never the problem.
White supremacy was! I want to be able to celebrate blackness and I think so much of black culture reacts to that and it should.
I wouldn’t like to see that erased.
It’s dangerous not to name it, not to namethe fact that race, like gender and all sorts of other identity markers, do matter and theyreally do shape our cultural understanding of who we are and what we can be in the world.
Not only are we damaged and harmed, but itharms everyone else who doesn’t get the richness of what we bring.
I think in order to get past this, we needto prioritize honest and open education surrounding the institutions that were specifically meantto keep black people, women, etc.
out of positions of power and how those still have lingering implications.
The conversations that we need to be havingabout race, the conversations that we need to be having about injustices just need tobe happening out in the open.
I think we’re in a really important juncturewhere we can either speak our truth or continue to impede progress moving forward becauseI actually do believe that most decent human beings want the same things, values wise.
Listen everyone, we’ll never be post racebut this doesn’t even have to be a bad thing.
All we have to do is be post-racist.
Also to be clear, this is not an end-all,be-all conversation.
This is an invitation for you to go out there andhave these conversations with your friends, with your family, and with your coworkers.
Check back in with me in the comments andI’ll see you next time.