We live in a post-racial world, one in which we no longer even need racial discrimination laws because everyone knows employers in America, Europe, South Africa, Namibia, – basically anywhere there are white people – don’t even consider the race of applicants when hiring, not even at a sub-conscious level, and especially not at executive levels.
In this post-racial world, any white girl can introduce her black boyfriend to her parents and he’d be welcomed with open arms. In this same post-racial world, parents of white kids don’t even notice and start to draw up a shortlist of “better” schools when they notice that the percentage of black pupils at their kid’s school has risen to 10 per cent.
Of course in such a world, no one ever suspects a black boy walking through a “white” neighbourhood of being a threat, even if he is wearing a hoodie. Meanwhile, police forces everywhere gave up on racial profiling ages ago when they finally listened to black critics of racial profiling and understood how pointless and racist the practice was. SEE MORE AFTER CUT>>>>
And newspapers are now just as likely to refuse to print photographs of dead black bodies as they are of white bodies, because as we all learned long ago that this is a dehumanising insult, regardless of race.
The best evidence of this post-racial world? A black man is the president of America, the highest office in the world!
Don’t recognise this world? Then you need to step into the world of De Morgen, the supposedly liberal Belgian newspaper that published the photoshopped image of Obama and his wife as apes. Because in apologising for posting that image, the newspaper offered the excuse that their mistake was in thinking we live in a post-racial world, one in which it’s okay to joke about racism.
I laughed the first time a white person told me we live in a post-racial world. It was just after Obama first became president and I thought the man was joking. On realising he meant what he said, I thought, Oh, God. Does this mean some of the white people celebrating now aren’t doing so because a brilliant man had become president, and the fact that he was black was the chink of light we so desperately needed to feel there was some hope for humankind after all, but rather because they were relieved they could carry on oppressing and stereotyping black people without feeling guilty? Did anyone think for a second that feminists the world over could now consider the world free of sexism and the oppression of women when Margaret Thatcher was elected UK Prime Minister? I’m sure the people who now pretend we live in a post-racial world wouldn’t make the mistake of thinking it’s now open season on Jews. After all, the holocaust was such a long time ago and see how well Jewish people are doing.
Likening black people to monkeys
For any younger readers unaware of the history of racism, likening black people to apes is an old and effective way of conveying the idea that white people are higher up on the evolutionary chain than black people, who must be at the lowest rung because they are closer to apes. That most of us understand this to be a complete misunderstanding of Darwin’s theory of evolution doesn’t matter. The preposterous suggestion works on the idea that there’s no smoke without fire. It’s also effective because enough people (both black and white really do think black people are closer to apes than white people, having been conditioned to think that way.