[Sorry about the lack of updates...One more part after this, and I return to the usual silliness...]
The 2008 Election promises to be one of the most interesting elections we've had in a while. However, I think that the Democratic Party Primary will be even more interesting. If nothing else, that you have a woman and a black man that may be our next leader is probably the most interesting point. However, regardless of his other attributes, and what you think about them, Barack Obama's biggest problem is that he's not a black man.
Too many blacks have made the point that, whereas Obama is no doubt African-American, he isn't black. The problem is that Obama's heritage is that of Kenya, of Eastern Africa rather than Western Africa. As such, his ancestors didn't need to do deal with slavery and the subsequent racism; in other words, even though Kenyans had to deal with being slaves in their own country, and that subsequent fall-out, they lack the “proper black experience”.
I doubt that racists would make the same quibble.
This is yet another public relations strike against the black community. It seems that, every so often, the black community does something that actually sets the cause of equality back. Ebonics is probably the best example; in recent years, that any conflict involving a black person being called racist is probably the worst strike against civil rights. By defining conflicts as racist not only ignores the true roots of racism, but does nothing but provide more reason for blacks to treat themselves differently than others, and also being on the defensive against others. By splitting blacks from others, not only do you create a hostile situation, you also make civil rights harder to enforce.
Consider a black woman going into a store, looking for a specific tea, and she ends up looking at a number of different teas. A white grocery clerk, seeing that she is looking for something, goes over to help. The black woman tells, the clerk, “I don't need help”, and walks off. She then claims that the clerk was racist to all of her friends later on. Was the clerk really racist?
Look at “driving while black: seriously for a moment. You're going to seriously tell me that a policeman can tell a person's race, sex and age through tinted windows, or through window glare in a vehicle going more than fifty miles an hours, and can do so with just a glance? That's someone you don't mess with. I appreciate that blacks get pulled over more often, but why does it have to for some racist reason, and not just that blacks are simply worse drivers?
Heck, look at the current American Idol crisis: Racy pictures of Antonella Barba were recently leaked to the internet. Almost as soon as they were leaked, it was already hitting the blogs and op-ed pages that they were proof of American Idol being racist; after all, when Frenchie Davis' pictures were revealed, she was disqualified from American Idol. There's a huge difference between Davis' pornographic pictures, and Barba's pictures, especially considering that Barba's pictures weren't meant for public consumption. I'd love to say that there was a double standard here, but....No. Pictures taken while drunk that are of debatable taste are a universe away from pictures of simulated sex on a kiddie porn site.
Basically, if you want “racism” to mean something, use it when it applies, not just for when it's a problem between black and non-blacks. Otherwise, it just cheapens the concept, and makes it no longer relevant. Worse, it ensures that no one takes real racism seriously, and that benefits no one.