Days after President-elect Barack Obama’s rousing defeat over Sen. John McCain, American Values president and long-time McCain supporter Gary Bauer declared an end to racial tension in America.
Barack Obama’s election should also signal something to all those who have made race baiting their raison de ‘etre: dust off your résumés — it’s time to find new work.
That includes Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, whose race baiting has done a disservice to the black community by turning every grievance into yet more evidence of America’s endemic racism.
Nevermind that on the same day that more than 65 million Americans cast their vote for America’s first Black president, Baylor University students reported seeing a rope resembling a noose on a campus tree. Also on Election Day, three students hurled racial epithets at a University of Mississippi sophomore who was celebrating Obama’s victory.
Less than 24 hours later in Maine, two black figures resembling gingerbread men were found hanging by nooses from trees. And in North Carolina, where Obama was officially declared the winner of the state’s 15 electoral votes on Thursday, the Secret Service was called in to assist in the investigation of four North Carolina State University students who spray painted racist graffiti including “Shoot Obama” and “Kill that n—-.”
In a report
entitled “The State of Minorities: How are Minorities Faring in the Economy?,” the Center for American Progress found that African Americans are still lagging behind whites in income, unemployment, and poverty, among other categories. African Americans median income in 2006 was $32,132, compared to whites’ median income of $52,423 in 2006. In 2007, the unemployment rate of African Americans was at 8.3 percent compared to 4.7 percent of whites. And poverty? In 2006, 24.2 percent of African Americans were living in poverty compared to 8.2 percent of whites.
Home ownership. Education. Health care. I could go on.
Reality check for Gary Bauer: While Obama’s victory clearly signals progress in the long arc of the American story, only willful ignorance could allow one to think it has ended racial tension.