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Opinion: Tim Wise: What is post-racial? Reflections on denial and reality
Tim Wise writes that believing in a post-racial U.S. requires "unwillingness to stare truth in the face."
January 31st, 2012
05:27 PM ET

Opinion: Tim Wise: What is post-racial? Reflections on denial and reality

Editor’s note: Tim Wise is the author of six books on race, including his most recent: Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority.  He tweets at @timjacobwise.

By Tim Wise, Special to CNN

(CNN) – Being asked to describe what “post-racial” means is a bit like being asked to describe a leprechaun, cold fusion or unicorns: we know what is meant, but, if we are willing to be honest, we also know that none of the four describe something real, something tangible, something true.

To me, “post-racial” is little more than a nonsense term devised by people (mostly white, frankly), who would simply rather not deal with the ever-present reality of racism and ongoing racial discrimination.

It is a diversion, intended to paper over the divisions that have long roiled our nation, and continue to do so today.

Though some sincerely believe this describes America’s reality– especially since a man of color was elected president – the illogic of believing this signals the veritable death of racism should be apparent: after all, we certainly wouldn’t claim that sexism and patriarchy had been smashed in Pakistan, India, Great Britain, Israel or the Philippines just because they all have elected women as heads of state.

Perceptions of discrimination a black and white story

To believe that the United States is post-racial requires an almost incomprehensible inability or unwillingness to stare truth in the face.

How can we be post-racial, after all, when the typical white family has 20 times the net worth of the typical black family, and 18 times that of the typical Latino family?

How can we be post-racial when studies find that even white men with criminal records are more likely to be called back for job interviews than black men without them, even when all other credentials and personal characteristics are indistinguishable?

How can we be post-racial when evidence suggests that the lightest-skinned immigrants earn roughly 17% more than the darkest-skinned immigrants, even when qualifications and levels of productivity are the same?

How can we be post-racial when Asian Americans, Latinos and blacks with college degrees are anywhere from one-third more likely to nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts? When schools serving mostly students of color are more than ten times as likely to be places of concentrated poverty, and far more likely to have the least experienced teachers?

How can we be post-racial when people of color continue to be so disproportionately targeted by our nation’s drug laws?

Although whites use drugs just as often as blacks (and more often than Latinos), it is people of color who comprise nearly 90% of persons incarcerated for a drug possession offense.  And it is people of color who are disproportionately stopped and searched for drugs and other illegal contraband, even though they are no more likely (and sometimes less likely) to be in possession of such items than whites are.

How can we be post-racial, when presidential candidates are either too afraid to raise these issues publicly, for fear of voter backlash (as with the Democratic incumbent), or willing to shamelessly exploit racial anxieties and resentments (as with at least one of the primary Republican challengers) by calling President Obama the “food stamp” president, or suggesting that poor black kids have “no habits of work” and should be made to clean their own schools as janitors?

This, despite the fact that most people in poor communities do work, and black teenage unemployment rates (now well over 40 percent) reflect only those black teens who are searching for jobs, and thus, by definition already have a solid work ethic, lacking only the opportunities to put that ethic into practice.

Sadly, the claims of America’s equanimity and post-raciality are not really new.

Even in the early 1960s, before the passage of civil rights legislation, at a time when we were still a formal apartheid state, polls found that a vast majority percent of whites already believed that blacks had just as good a chance to obtain a good job, housing or a good education as we or our children did.

In other words, white denial - one might say, delusion - on the matter of the nation’s racial reality has been longstanding.

It’s hard to say when or if we will actually arrive at that place called “post-racial”, or, better yet, post-racism.

But until whites begin naming streets in our neighborhoods after Martin Luther King, and naming the schools that our children attend after him (rather than fearing that such a designation might signify that our kids attend a “ghetto school”), I know for certain we are not “post-racial” yet.

 The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Tim Wise.

Posted by
Filed under: Discrimination • Ethnicity • Gender • Race • What we think
soundoff (2,116 Responses)
  1. Alva

    Your mode of describing everything in this piece of
    writing is actually nice, every one be able to easily know it,
    Thanks a lot.

    Swimming Tips

    November 2, 2012 at 4:55 am | Report abuse |
  2. ticondy

    There actually is a mainly white school named Martin Luther King High in Riverside, CA. But, yeah I wouldn't really say America is post-racial either.

    March 16, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      Should be obvious.

      March 16, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MissTee

    I always thought that there was a difference between "post racial" and "post racist". But I can see the point here of how white people will cling to "post racial" as getting them off the hook, so to speak. Obama's election does not mean racism is over, but I have to say, I never ever thought a black man would be elected president in my lifetime. Obama's election did mean some sort of seismic shift, and any time there is a seismic shift, some nasty stuff happens.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. redsand1989

    Big ups to you for writing this article! My husband and I talk about this all of the time. Please continue to write and enlighten those who refuse to believe that "racism is no more"!

    February 15, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kalai

      I know Bird will never actually get elceted for anything, but just imagine if he had been successful the last time he stood. Question Time would become even more of a farce, as Birdy would get worked up and abusive and be ejected, they'd get on for a while, then he would return, get worked up and abusive and ejected again, and again and again. Rinse and repeat until the next election.

      August 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Erik

    Someday you'll recognize your real heroes, like Tim Wise, who courageously and with a majestic sense of purpose faces jeering and hostile mobs and with agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of a pioneer.

    February 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Erik

    Someday you'll recognize your real heroes, like Ron Gochez, who courageously and with a majestic sense of purpose faces jeering and hostile mobs and with agonizing loneliness that characterizes the life of a pioneer.

    February 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Haaa, Ron Gochez??????? You are kidding?? Have to be kidding, that was good... Thank you

      February 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        Except you are not an online defender of anything Ghost/Spirit.. What you are is upset that someone would dare request that you provide facts for your ridiculous statements, upset that someone would try to tell you that typing in all caps does not make anything you say more important or truthful, upset that someone challenges your claim to having two masters degrees from an Ivy League school while you spout racist gibberish (still my favorite word), upset that I will not lower myself to your level and call you schoolyard names.. You are just an uneducated mean little bully, but I love ya anyway.. You make reading these things so much fun.. :)

        February 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        You have been called racist many times Ghost/Spirit, and not just by me, so you must be enjoying it much.. :) As I've said before, no one wants to debate you because of your obnoxious, racist tone. You apparently don't know how to win people to your cause by presenting facts that will convince them of the righousness of it. Instead you lie about your education, spout racial slurs and lower yourself to name calling.. You do your cause a great disservice.. But you are fun to mess with, because you make it sooooooo easy.. :)

        February 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cameron Catlett

    The President of the United States of America is half black and half white he is not mostly black he is not mostly white he is both is father was black and his mother was white.For the people saying we haveour first black persident.No, we have our fist interacial or mixed president.

    February 13, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      He is the first African American president whether you consider him black or mixed is beyond the point. Also, people keep conveniently forgetting that Mr. Obama self-identifies as a black man. Consider this:mixed people of African descent born in America have the same history as the "full" black people and have traditionally been part of the same community with the exception of the gens de couleurs in New Orleans. America has never recognized mixed people of African descent as anything but blacks living in America. Therefore, the president IS the first African American president.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
      • RTB

        You said it! A great many people who are part of the black community have as much non-black as black ancestry., but society has always considered them black if they looked like they had African features. All of a sudden, a mixed race black man isn't "really" black because he's President. I wonder why that is? As the president himself noted, when he was in NYC and couldn't get a cab at night, he certainly was black then.

        February 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        I have been to New York City once, and the whole time I was there I never saw a White cab driver. I am sure that there are some, but evidently not many. Just curious RTB, why do you think these non-White cab drivers wouldn't stop for the then Mr. Obama?

        February 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • RTB

        What does the race of the cab drivers have to do with it? The point is that they saw Obama as a black man, not an "interracial man."

        February 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        RTB, you didn't answer the question.. mmmm.. You are the one who brought up the issue of cabs not stopping for Black men, and then get upset when someone ask why you think that might be.. You like to throw racial bombs, but get upset when someone asks for an explanation.. :)

        February 14, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • RTB

        Kelly,

        No one is upset. I was trying to keep the discussion on topic – which was the claim that President Obama is not black, when he is.

        As to your question, you would need to ask cab drivers why they won't stop. Fear of crime is one reason, but fear of not receiving a tip is pretty high up there as well. I will say that when NYC increased the number of cab medallions a few years ago, it suddenly became A LOT easier to get a cab.

        February 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • madamelaverite

        I will answer. Those drivers are playing into the same stereotypes perpetrated by society that black men are dangerous and will rob you and/or blacks live in dangerous neighborhoods. Obviously their apprehension to pick up black men is in part based on some experience, but I find it hard to believe those drivers have never been robbed by other races.

        It's also interesting that no matter how the black man is dressed or comporting himself, all that is seen is skin color. That's where the actions become more racist than self-preserving. I had my own issues with cab drivers in NYC. They did not want to take me to a neighborhood in Brooklyn, and felt that I should pay them hazard money for doing so. When I refused he started spouting off something about black people never tipping.

        Now while he apparently has run into his share of black people not tipping him (I did, just not how he wanted) it was kind of racist for him to pull out that gem on me, and again, hard time believing he's only been not tipped by black folk alone. It's weird how often blacks are seen as a criminal monolith but whites are more often taken as individuals. I've been treated like sh* by many whites, but I never said I won't do business with, date, or befriend a white person because of that.

        February 14, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        Again, you brought up the point.. Not sure why you can't understand that. Anyway, President Obama chooses to self identify as Black, that is fine..

        February 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kelly

    The comments on this story can be so sad and funny at the same time..
    Sad part: two racists, Stormfront and Ghost, calling names an using slurs back an forth..
    Funny part: two racist, Stormfront and Ghost, calling names an using slurs back an forth..

    February 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • EM

      There was plenty of White Slavery in America.
      They were White and they were slaves.

      March 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • RTB

        No. There was white indentured servitude in America, just as blacks initially were indentured for a period of years and then freed. Life long chattel slavery was applied solely to black people.

        March 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • madamelaverite

        Derailment. This post isn't about white slaves. Besides, whites had the option to completely assimilate and benefit from the work of black slaves. In America, whites were indentured servants. That's totally different from generational slavery that you can't buy your way out of.

        March 4, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      It's amazing to me that when either Ghost or I say something negative, and unfortunately true, about the white power structure it is somehow racist. Truth is truth. I'm sorry you can't deal with it.

      I also noticed that you completely skipped past the points I was making and only glommed on to white...negative observation = automatically racist. It's obvious that you, and many of the whites posting on this thread have an extremely poor understanding of what racism is.

      I invite you all to read more and most importantly, listen more.

      March 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Alston

    This excellent website is awesome. I continually encounter interesting things & unique listed here. Thank you for that information.

    February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Vas

    He delivered an amazing speech at Hoff Theater at the University of Maryland. Take a look: http://kinetictypography.com/tim-wises-between-barack-and-a-hard-place/

    February 9, 2012 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
  11. BlackStormfront

    I knew you had it in you "Go back to Africa" huh! It's not the first time you have used that statement I also know you have used the word N-I-G-G-A see you are no better than the people you criticize. I just had to bring that racist Mexican out of that little pepper heart of yours. Imagine that a racist illegal.

    February 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BlackStormfront

    im speaking up PEDRO how about reducing the deficit and get your A Z Z back across that porous border.

    February 8, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      You are not black, but Stormfront posing as black and you need to take your azz back to Nazi Germany to be embraced by your racist brethren.

      February 13, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. BlackStormfront

    high dropout rate

    February 8, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. BlackStormfront

    rio grande swimming soaking up the healthcare

    February 8, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BlackStormfront

    yep

    February 8, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  16. KELLY

    mmm,.. I hide?? It is you who changes monikers so you can pretend to be someone else whenever you post. I have told you before that Kelly is my real name, I don't need to use made up nmaes to make myself seem somehow important, I don't need to type in all caps to make my point, I don't need to call people name or make racial slurs, I don't need to make accusations without evidence.. I am not a charismatic leader like MLK, or JFK, but I do my part in my own way. I get along very well along with my entire multi-ethnic family & neighbors, I donate to charity (both money and time) and I don't judge others based on appearance. I try (not always successfully) not to lower myself to the level of others (you as an example) when discussing sensetive topics like race an religion. While we at times do need great leaders, even us average people need to do our part. You use grade school type language to criticize myself, and others, while repoeatedly mentioning that you have two master degrees from an Ivy League school and are an educator. If that is true, yet you still act the bufoon here, then as I have said before I truly feel sorry for your students..

    February 8, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • KELLY

      Good job Ghost.. See, you can type without using all caps.. Bacause I am a just an average person, without the resources or time to combat every evil in the world, I fight the battles I can.. I guess I chose you because you are so bufoonish that it's easy to point out the error in your thinking. Plus, you are soo easy to provoke,, Stormfront, who I have also critisized, gives up after a few posts.. You just go on an on with your gibberish.. I wouldn't mind discussing Arizona or Alabama, but I do not think you could do so without resorting to grade school name calling and use of racial slurs.. And I have no idea who Pete Hoekstra is, sorry..

      February 8, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • KELLY

      I don't get my feelings hurt that easily, and never on here. This is just people spouting off, many just to see what reaction they can get.. Sorta like you.. I am only noise, noise that upsets you so much that you call names and slurs, noise that upsets you so much you feel the need to type lies in all caps so you sound important.. You forget me easily, but feel the need to respond to anything I say, even if it has nothing to do with you and is not on your post. Haaaa.. Ghost, you are so easy..

      February 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yepyep6598

      @THE SPIRIT OF ANASTACIO HERNANDEZ, KILLED BY THE BORDER PATROL
      me speak no english

      February 10, 2012 at 12:07 am | Report abuse |
  17. KELLY

    I would expect better from an Ivy League graduate with two masters degrees.. Come on Ghost, stop the name calling, the lying and the slurs.. Phrase your agruements in language that demonstartes your education, and if your going to denegrate someone cite evidence.. There is probably only you, me, stormfront and madamelaverite who even read this stuff anymore. You can stop the hysterics..

    February 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  18. madamelaverite

    The only "race" that truly belongs in America is the Native American. You and your neo-Nazi brethren have no claims to any territory unless it's in HELL with your buddy Adolph.

    February 8, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  19. madamelaverite

    I find it hilarious that Kelly has consistently called me a a racist for pointing out racism, but has not called Stormfront out for the racist he obviously is.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      I find it even more hilarious that you do not seem to know how to read.. See below, and past days.. :)

      February 7, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • KELLY

      Gotta love ya Ghost.. Another post with no quotes, no evidence, nothing but hot air.. You are soo predictable and easy.. Always good for a laugh while I drink my morning coffee.. Still working on those two master degrees??

      February 8, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  20. scott.

    Cnn the race baiting news network...

    February 7, 2012 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Faux Noise: The "White Flight" network

      February 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Stormfront

    If you're white and living in an Affirmative Action state, and are looking for work, give it up. The work goes to the "minorities" that outnumber the resident population (whites) pretty clearly. It's time to remove those infestations now, so we can work and get our country back out of the third world this trash puts it in.

    February 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Or you could just move away. Russia's population is falling. Why not go add your whiteness to theirs and leave America to those of us who love this country for all it's glorious contentious diversity.

      February 6, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stormfront

        "Diversity" and "love of country" are mutually exclusive. The country you love was built BY whites, FOR whites. I don't have to leave. The third world invaders that don't belong here do. They can either leave peacefully or in a box, but they will leave.

        February 6, 2012 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      I believ Affirmative Action only applies to goverment jobs.. Storm, you need to chill out..

      February 6, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stormfront

        Actually, Affirmative R-a-c-i-s-m applies to any and every job. That's why you see "Equal Opportunity Employer" everywhere. It's required under Affirmative R-a-c-i-s-m laws. Also, many corporations receive incentives from the state and fed for hiring nothing but "minorities."

        February 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Kelly

        You don't know what your talking about Storm. Private employers cannot discriminate based on race, but affirmative action is something different. You are confusing the two..

        February 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • a black man

      you are right my brother lets get rid off all these third world invaders, lets get rid of blacks(who built the white house for free) and whites( who wiped out a whole nation of poeple) first, then we can start with the asians( who built all the rail roads in california. After we do all of this, i think we should find all the native americans, give all a bently and tell them to drive to the white house and let them appoint our next president.

      February 7, 2012 at 7:06 am | Report abuse |
    • RTB

      Hey stormfront, your grasp of American history is as poor as your understanding of biology. This country was built by a multi-racial population. Most of the infrastructure and original wealth of the south was built by and based on the labor of blacks. Much of the railroad infrastructure of the west was built by Chinese labor. East Europeans – who weren't considered white at the time – built much of the infrastructure of the Northeast. And Latinos are building many of the gran structures being built in this generation. Oh, and you are nothing but a light skinned African yourself. All humans are descended from a small group of Africans since you are, alas, human, that includes you. And if your family has been in America for three generations, you've almost certainly got a recent black ancestor. Do a DNA tests and find out. Just don't come by my house trying to call me "cousin," when you find out one of your great grandparents was black!

      February 7, 2012 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Stormfront

        Everything you just mentioned was actually designed and mainly built by whites. The railroad was BUILT by a mix of chinese and white labor, but the white house itself was designed and built by whites, so were congress, so was the supreme court building. Mount Rushmore? Whites. Every city in America? Whites. There's nothing "multicultural" about the way our country is built. Even the original (and only LEGAL) immigration policy was for Free White Persons. Now get over it.

        February 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Actually, Thomas Jefferson said it himself when he said America is a "Melting Pot." No one race (even whites) can proclaim "America" as their own with the exception of Native American Indians. That is the beauty and uniqueness of America. Americans are not defined by their race. Americans are white, brown, black, red, yellow, etc.

      The sooner you understand that, the better off you will be. Legal immigration will not stop because you are whining about it.

      Oh, and – FYI – Homicide is against the law. If you are suggesting or engaging in homicide of minorities, then I hope the proper authorities will arrest you and sentenced accordingly. Cheers!

      February 7, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stormfront

        Who said anything about "homicide?" I don't believe in it. Oh wait, I'm white.

        February 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Willful Ignorance

      Despite the mountain of evidence showing that anyone with darker skin has fewer opportunities, lower wages, unfair treatment in the criminal justice system, we refuse to accept our racism. Affirmative action laws are getting in the way of maintaining our undeserved advantage. Right? That's what you mean. Right?

      February 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Bill, NY

    Well now that we can go into stores we cannot afford to buy anything in make the US post racial?
    This country is a joke!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Stormfront

    Tim Wise is doing the job his Jew Masters demand. Wipe out white culture, wipe out the white race, because we're the only ones who can stop the Jews from their New World Order, meaning them in charge. Do not listen to this traitor.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stormfront

      Okay Ghost, you admit you basically know absolutely nothing, but yet you spout off like you do. Let's go ahead and look at a few things:

      Jews donate to every politician. Except Ron Paul. Israel is saber rattling in the middle east to attack Iran for no reason, and are demanding that WE help them. The answer is no, we do not belong in the middle east, period. Don't tell Israel that tho, they'll call you anti-semitic. And no, I'd never condone the extermination of anyone, just their removal to their home area and absolute denial of any assistance to them ever again, or any other contact.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      There isn't a monolithic white culture. Italians, Scandinavians, Spanish, French, German, etc. and so on to my knowledge have their own cultures. What is a white culture? You neo-Nazi brethren? Why don't you go back to Stormfront and spout your ridiculous, xenophobic bullsh* Better yet, take your knuckle dragging a** back to Europe since you're telling people to go back to Africa. The black people born here are more American than you'll ever be. This country was built on the backs of their ancestors and over 90% of us have Native American blood. In short, you are the invader. If the diversity of this nation bothers you, GTFO.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • thenusz

        well said – this whole "ownership" cognitive dissonance is truly mind-boggling.
        one of these bitter, warped cells probably circulates something (hopefully a cut above the turner diaries and protocols) that explains how 'jews' kicked radical protestants out of europe (you know, because bankers have always made all the decisions and banking always equals 'jews', wellignorethemedicisbecausetheitalianswereinvadedbymoorsanddefiledandcanneverbetrustedbutanyway) ... thus forcing them to 'claim' north america, tie-in with pilgrim's progress, ad nauseam...

        February 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Liz in PA

    Tim Wise. The authority on the who what where of being typical and white in these United States? No. No more than Bryant Gumbel is the authority on typical black citizenry. One very well educated wealthy white man's opinion does not necessarily equate to the truth.

    February 6, 2012 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      FACT: This is a racist country. FACT: We are not a post-racial society. Exhibit A: This thread. Deal with it.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • thenusz

      you do realize you've merely (and with zero substance) denied that there is a problem, and not denied a single symptom described in the piece... right?

      February 9, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Mike P

    One thing is for sure: We're never going to be "post-racial" so long as we have government-endorsed things like "Black History Month" and affirmative action. Not paying attention to race means *not paying attention to race.* Otherwise what you're teaching kids (and adults) is, "Oh, yeah, there are definitely differences between this group and that group. You can't assume they want the same things as you or have the same feelings and beliefs as you. You can't implicitly trust them." When black activists start teaching black kids it's okay to have white role models, THEN we'll be post-racial.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • American Serviceman

      Concur.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • American Serviceman

      Concur w/ your first sentence too. He/She could have made the point the other way - white children can certainly have role models of any color. Respect and admiration can go any direction, across any human difference.

      Your second sentence, on the other hand... is ridiculous.

      February 6, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      What Ghost means by tolerant is that you never dare to disagree with him... He is after all an Ivy League graduate. Missed ya Ghost.. :)

      February 6, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      Difference is not bad. Diversity is a strength for this nation. Black history month, Asian-American month, Latino-American month (yes, those exist too) are essential in a nation where one point of view is consistently heard, the white point of view. We are not all the same. Even white people are not the same, that's not a negative. When we try to pretend otherwise we negate the contributions of others and we negate them.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      FACT: Ignoring race is not the cure for racism but a prescription for the continuation of racism
      FACT: Just about every ethnicity has a commemorative month in their honor – there's even an Italian American heritage month in October. Black people in America are both an ethnicity and a culture. Yes, we have our own culture. It brought you gospel, jazz, rock and roll, hip hop, the dozens, slang words like cool, and southern cooking among other things. You're welcome.

      March 4, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Hussein

      "not paying attention to race" means not paying attention of the contribution of people of color. People always say they don't care what color someone is when that person is a person of color. Post-racial does NOT mean that we don't pay attention to race, it means we celebrate ALL RACES. It means that a black person can be as stupid as Sarah Palin and win the nomination for POTUS. Until a person of color can be mediocre to sub-par and still do well like the zillions of mediocre and sub-par white folks, then we we will know that we are post racial. Affirmative actions seeks to correct a problem that still exists. Black history month seeks to tell the story of a people who only exist in mainstream texts in the form of slaves and MLK.

      March 4, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
      • madamelaverite

        I couldn't agree more. Perfectly put, Ms. Hussein.

        March 5, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Mike P

    "How can we be post-racial, after all, when the typical white family has 20 times the net worth of the typical black family, and 18 times that of the typical Latino family?"

    Define "typical". A typical white family may have significantly different characteristics from a typical black or Latino family. For example, one of the main factors that determines the average wealth of a group is the average age of a group. Latinos have historically been younger than whites on average, and it's almost a given that younger people make less than older people. So what should we tell Latinos to get them in line with whites: Start families later? Don't have so many kids? Average number of people in the household is a factor, too. Just saying "typical" this vs. "typical" that means nothing unless you define "typical" in a way that eliminates these major factors.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • American Serviceman

      The author seems inclined to throw inflammatory questions and accusations to further his agenda with little regard to explanations or opposing views. I wouldn't expect him to address these (and other) legitimate points/issues.

      February 6, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
      • madamelaverite

        Such as?

        February 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      These reminds me of the specious arguments from anti-feminists who claim women make less not because of discrimination, but because women choose female dominated professions that pay less. I won't say anymore. I will let you think about what the hell is the matter with this argument and yours.

      February 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Mike P

    "But until whites begin naming streets in our neighborhoods after Martin Luther King, and naming the schools that our children attend after him (rather than fearing that such a designation might signify that our kids attend a 'ghetto school'), I know for certain we are not 'post-racial' yet."

    How about when the people who live in neighborhoods where they have an MLK Blvd clean up their neighborhoods? Even Chris Rock tells us, "If you ever find yourself on MLK Blvd...RUN!!!" Believe it or not, stereotypes come into being when a number of people of a particular group exhibit a particular behavior long enough for the stereotypes to form. It's not racist to have stereotypes that actually reflect true patterns of behavior among groups. It's only racist when someone from the group who doesn't fit the stereotype is assumed to fit it or is harassed for not fitting it.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • LBJ

      For someone who seems so offended at the intolerance of others, your inability to allow people have thier own opinion without calling them names and inssiting that if they don't agree with your point of view they're stupid and wrong is only surpassed by your incredible hypocrisy. Grow up dude.

      February 6, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • a black man

      I think racial issues are important and i think the post are interesting and funny. You cant forget we are all Gods property( not just Kirk Franklin). In my opinion there are two major and greater conflicts going on in the world, one in the U.S and the other all over the world. I believe that America is the land of the free ( too an extent) ; i also believe racism is a problem. Racism bothers me, but the whole land of the free thing bothers me even more. How can u be free if you cant pay off your house, your car, or cant afford to send your kids to college. I cant even began to think about the petty color issues when we have homless veterans black white mexican all different back grounds no place to stay. It seems to me we have a civil war between the haves and have nots. If u notice our government spends more time and money fighting a war than pumping the money back into the country for the people. the moto is the government for the people but latley it has been the people for the government. Its funny how the U.S would rather sacrafice its own people and there financial well being in order to continue war efforts or other projects over seas. I think we have our own problems to deal with here in the united states, but government officials have little interest in the american people, so nothing gets done. How can u expect somone to care about u being broke or your kids future, if they have all the money in the world. I think the poeple at the top who ever they may be, do just enough to keep us satisfied so the country wont break out into riots. I think we as a poeple need to come together and make a difference regardless of our racial back grounds because if you look at its just us (Black white mexican asian) against them (gov officials, politicians and corperations. At the end of the day we as a poeple have to make sure our kids eat and have a future. We grow too dependent on politicians giving us a solution to our problems( Martin Luther King Jr) did more for people with his two feet and a bible than most officials have done in the white house. I just wonder what would happen if we just said we aint gonna vote no more until we get some jobs health insurance places for homless veterans and the end of the war.

      February 7, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  28. Dejwe

    Tim Wise hasn't had a real job outside of "the author of six books on race" (and a lucrative collegue speaking circuit thanks to US taxpayers - ask him how much he makes compared to the average white or black working class man) - he obviously has no financial dog in this fight and is objective ... lol! He's the Al Sharpton of (fictional) on-going white racism. Racism exists, for sure (from all sides) - but it's not holding anybody back.

    February 6, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  29. Paul Shelton

    Wise's treason to whiteness is a fraud, since in reality it represents Jewish racial loyalty to the age-old Jewish hatred of white Christians.

    February 6, 2012 at 4:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Whiteness is nothing but an idea. It's a social construct. What the heck is treason to whiteness.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
      • Stormfront

        @Rob: You're an idiot. Race is a genetic reality. Do some research, if you're capable of reading comprehension.

        February 6, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Awol

        @ Stormfuker-U keep attacking ppl on this forum. Catch my drift, u r the biggest idiot I have ever since discovered in this planet. He's right. Tell me what color is ur skin? Pig or pink color?

        February 6, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • BlackStormfront

      Im a black man I wish you F U K K I N G mexicans go back across the border.

      February 6, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
  30. hizzybold

    Wise relies on studies that involve self-reporting, which is a fatally flawed methodology. Because his views are of the general orthodoxy in America now (ie liberal white self-flagellation) nobody calls him on it. If I were to go prison and ask prisoners whether they are innocent or guilty, and then publish the results showing that for instance 85% of those incarcerated did not commit a crime, wouldn't I be laughed out of court and any peer-reviewed journal? Yes of course, but Wise knows which side the bread is buttered on (ideologically speaking) and his tripe has paid for his McMansion in a majority white community. But feel free to do as he says, not as he does.

    February 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      Another thoughtful post, maybe we can have a discussion without name calling..

      February 5, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Only some of the studies he cites involve self-reporting. Most involve simple comparisons of objectively verifiable data. And self-reporting can be a reliable form of research if followed up with quality assurance to verify accuracy. Certainly the inclusion of data from self-reporting does not, alone, make the data fatally flawed. Many medical studies use self reporting to very positive effect. Your prison example assumes a scenario where the participants have a direct interest in lying. What similar interest is there in lying about receiving an interview, being treated courteously or reporting income?

      February 6, 2012 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  31. Jim

    Extremely racist article. You talk about effect but not at all but cause. For every result there is an action or series of actions. Your article is also inaccurate. "

    "How can we be post-racial when Asian Americans, Latinos and blacks with college degrees are anywhere from one-third more likely to nearly twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts" Degrees in what? African American History? Social Fields? Language Arts majors?

    Asians as you strangely note as being unemployed at higher rate than whites are not. Whites are 8.5% Asians are 7.5 % did you not read the report you linked to or are you lying? . I understand that in order to make your article appear unbiased and to avoid discussing the truth about abilities, you need to fudge the truth and include Asians as if they too were being held back by whites who actually fund and create all of the assistance programs. But it is a blatant lie. Asians are the smallest minority group in the country. Why are Asians and Whites employed at higher rates? With Asians employed at a rate higher than any other race? Why? Why is a Black Teen looking for a job granted "by definition" from you as having a solid work ethic? How would you know if they haven't worked? Is there anything undesireable to employers making them select Asian teens over Blacks? Why is there no dramatic impact on Pakastanis, Koreans, or any other minority?

    This entire article is pandering drivel without one shred of common sense written by an anti-racist (racist against white people) lunatic peppered with liberal lies and obsfucation.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      WOW, someone who actually did research before posting.. I am impressed Jim..

      February 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      The truth about abilities? Is reading comprehension one such ability? He said that Asians with college degrees are more likely than whites with degrees to be unemployed. The rates you cited were for all members of those groups. It's also a lie to claim that "whites" create and fund all assistance programs. The US government is not an organization of "whites." It's actions are not the actions of "whites." If someone said that "whites" we're responsible for a war that killed over 100,000 Iraqi civilians, you'd reject that claim, but you would have our government be nothing but an expression of white racial nobless oblige when it suits your argument. Not very impressive reasoning for someone who wants to have a frank discussion of "abilities." The article points out continuing racial disparities that give evidence to the lie that America is post-racial. You attacked the author but actually supported his arguments.

      February 6, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Dejwe

      Wise has always had problems squaring the circle when it comes to (North) Asian communities - be it education, income gamps, or racial intelligence (where (North) asians generally score higher than your average white). For income, he has pointed out that Asian households earn more than whites because more Asians live in one house (a nice stereo-type btw) ... therefore earn more. However, if you AVERAGE per capita, they still earn more ... it doesn't matter how many live in the house. Intelligence studies he just dismisses as racist (maybe they are, maybe they aren't - just dismissing them isn't very intelligent, however). As for education, I'm not sure what his excuse is for why Asians are better educated than whites (it's cultural too! is probably his response). However, he'll continue to be invited to Universities (at publish expenses), make a few thousands for a 1 hour speech of BS ... he's onto a good racket for sure!

      February 6, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
      • thenusz

        *choke*
        please, link to a study that determines asians earn more "AVERAGE per capita" than whites. (also note that 'per capita' is a calculation of an average – you really don't have to SHOUT an extraneous word unless your mission is to be LOUD rather than accurate – which i would understand if you somehow think you need to (or can) match wits with tim wise.)

        February 9, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • thenusz

      you should get somebody to read your nonsense back to you out of order some time. "Why is a Black Teen looking for a job granted "by definition" from you as having a solid work ethic?" ... pay attention! can you grasp the difference between ~Looking For A Job~ and ~Not Looking For A Job~? the records he's referring to can only exist relative to individuals who are making the damn effort! but if you've never actually known an individual who could Look For Work and *didn't*, i understand – you may be isolated into the lower economic class, and i'm sorry that that ever happens to anyone, no matter how hard they try.

      also, your dig at i'm-sure-carefully-selected academic majors belies your selective willful ignorance as to the purpose of said majors, or what most minority graduates may or may not have majored in – and probably as to the purpose of universities in the first place.
      shame on you for regurgitating words like 'racist' and 'obfuscation' while clearly betraying your lack of critical analytical skills (or at a generous least, a pathetic and glaringly obvious refusal to apply them).

      February 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • madamelaverite

      Actually Black Africans are the smartest minority in the US. You should do some research. http://www.aracorporation.org/files/14._africans_most_educated.pdf

      March 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Nadine

    Tim Wise striking nerves. This is why I appreciate this white brother, he lay it ALL ON THE TABLE WITH TRUTH!!!

    February 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stormfront

      @"Nadine": You must be black. Anyone with an IQ higher than 85 would realize this guy actually has no truth in either his article or his "books" (anti white brainwashing materials.)

      February 5, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • educat

        You are making Mr. Wise's point with the IQ remark. Did you research that?

        February 6, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
      • madamelaverite

        Racism is real. Each time you post an attack you give credence to its existence.

        February 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • thenusz

        implying that IQ determines whether someone can avoid falling for rhetoric... is actually evidence that you've fallen for a brainwash or two yourself. that's even if we leave the blatant name of 'stormfront' out of the equation...

        February 9, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • aculat

      tim wise is NOT a white dud, he is a jew freak,who loves to manipulate and lie and deceive, thats why GOD cursed the jews .

      February 6, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jacob Cremer

        First of all, the bible seems to have some bigotry issues of its own. My favorite is Leviticus 20:13.

        Second, regardless of whether and/or why Tim endorses that book or not, the words in this article ring true.

        Jews, by the way, can fall under all sorts races. Race is subjective and has to do with perception and categorization. If Tim walked into a room, he would likely be perceived as white. That's all it takes to make a racial judgement. A last name can be judged as being Jewish, even if the person doesn't practice the religion. Jewish is a particularly complicated term, as it can refer to heritage, varying interpretations of a religion, or self-identification. Similarly, Dr. Lopez who is often perceived as white might be discriminated against differently when his name appears without a picture.

        The fact that we can deconstruct what race is and ultimately decide that it is meaningless doesn't eliminate the fact that people are still out there classifying in their heads and making decisions influenced by these classifications. That's why surveys still exist that ask a person to identify as a race – to monitor racism, albeit imperfectly. Racism won't go away by ignoring it, but by understanding what the construct of race actually is we can treat people more fairly.

        February 9, 2012 at 3:20 am | Report abuse |
      • thenusz

        wow.... yup, no other 'races' (or religions or whatever else you want to lump outside of whatever your miserable definition of 'jew' is) ever lie or deceive. those are just bad apples, right? "the jews" all collectively perpetrated something heinous, didn't they? wake the hell up already.

        February 9, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Nadine

    Tim Wise will get you told! Love his books.

    February 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dejwe

      Tim, is that you?

      February 6, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
      • thenusz

        oh WOW you're hilarious. why would he waste his time dropping minuscule blurbs like that? it's astonishing that he leaves this open for comment, look at the worthless crap that shows up.
        or are you in some smug bubble that actually doubts that there is more than one white person who thinks like he does? (obviously there aren't enough, but there are a few.)

        February 9, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • thenusz

        oops, looks like i forgot where i am. no wonder stormfront keeps trolling.

        February 9, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Garzheyn

        After 40 I have learned to get rid of those ploepe who are not enhancing my life. I have no time for relationships that suck the life out of me I am enjoying having less friends, but more quality and depth in the relationships I have now. Not missing the drama even a little!

        April 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  34. The Operative

    "I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don't believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn't want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I'm not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn't know how to return the treatment."

    Malcolm X – 1964

    February 5, 2012 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
    • thenusz

      1) once his name was X he was obviously not a devotee of Christianity.
      2) the golden rule is older than jesus christ.

      February 9, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
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