Saturday, 25 July 2009

It's that time of the day again...

...I'm scoffing and bitching at the TV.

[Note: This is in the larger context of President Obama's reaction to the arrest of Professor Gates.]

Watching the news here, you get the impression that 1) the President called the arresting policemen stupid, and 2) that he started a race controversy when he did so.

As for 1) "...acted stupidly..." does not equal "are stupid". Adjectives and English tutees also have trouble with those. Still...condemning actions or condemning actors. I would say the difference is somewhat significant. But that's just me.

And about 2) the tensions regarding race, and the controversy around racial profiling in particular are not Obama's creations. In a very twisted way, it would be great if they were. Because then it would be easier to resolve...6 months worth of baggage are a lot easier to work through than a country's entire history and the history of colonialism and imperialism before that.

And yet, shocking as it is, that merely made me roll my eyes.
What really bugged me was one simple question, from the news anchor to their correspondent:

Can a black president really be neutral in a conflict about race?

Such a simple question, yet so very revealing. I hate this assumption. That Caucasian isn't really a race. That a cottage cheese-complexion precludes a racial agenda whereas all other complexions come with one automatically (and it's completely uniform, too). That isn't just preposterous, it also flies in the face of reality. Blatantly. Sometimes it's even wearing distinctive white robes and hoods, or brown uniforms.

En lieu of a lengthy and half-informed diatribe about othering, I'd like to humbly suggest somebody who can be neutral in a conflict about race: