The Door of No ReturnJuly 17, 2009 Leave a comment
On Wednesday’s edition of the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Rev. Al Sharpton made a poignant observation about President Obama’s recent trip to the slave castles in Ghana. While noting the psycho-spiritual-historical significance of the First Family’s visit to the infamous “Door of No Return” his statement was that, contrary to the intent of the enslavers, indeed we (descendants of the enslaved) have returned — as President of the United States, the most important and powerful leader of the most powerful country on Earth.
Journalist Anderson Cooper will air a 1-hr special this weekend on CNN (8p, 11p on Saturday and Sunday) of his exclusive interview with the President during the First Family’s historic tour of these monuments to evil. In this clip, Cooper narrates a tour of the dungeons where captured Africans were held until they would be shoved through the Door of No Return to face their fate of either death during the terror-filled Middle Passage or a life of enslavement in the Americas.
While such observations evoke sobering, grievous as well as prideful thoughts, when coupled with my reaction to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearings of the brilliant, exceptionally qualified, impeccably credentialed, and yes, wise, Latina Judge Sonia Sotomayor — I am further vexed about the state of race relations in this country.
An excerpt from the opinion page of what is the first video-centric news website, www.theGriot.com, exposes the racist and race-fixated behaviour of U.S. Senators:
These senators seem not only to believe that Sotomayor’s race necessarily shapes her perspective but seem unable or unwilling to admit that their own race shapes their’s. In fact, the continual implication is that race is something that only people of color like Sotomayor have; that white people do not, in fact, have a racial identity which impacts their life and affects the lens through which they perceive society. Apparently, white men are the harbinger of neutrality, objectivity, impartiality and fairness. They apparently have the default position from which to determine others’ biases.
To be frank, this really ticks me off. An outstanding jurist is being subjected to discriminatory treatment at the hands of our own government representatives, live, on television, in plain view and with impunity. This flagrant display is the opposite of the “hidden racism” that is supposed be characteristic of the post-Civil Rights Era. Thankfully, a few journalists with national audience are exposing this sanctioned race baiting for the outrageous ridiculousness that it is. Where is the outrage? Where are people of color groups and women’s rights groups calling this out?
Sorry folks. We so do not live in a post racial U.S. I wonder if, on the issue of race, our nation has itself walked through an incorrigible Door of No Return, where despite some steps ahead, we cannot recover from our past and very much present entrenched racism. Anybody else peeping this? Anybody else connecting the dots in current events that bespeak the true reality of race and racism in our so-called post-racial U.S.? My proposal: Let’s just retire that word as the NAACP retired another useless word two summers ago.