And because his dad is from Africa, if you really think about it, we actually voted for our first post-African president, too.
These days, people of post-color are all talking about how racism is over. My favorite blog now is “Racism Is Over” by Tamika and Jamal. On a recent post, Tamika talks about how happy she is now that she can make dinner reservations under her real name. You know, Tamika, I’ve experienced similar cultural shifts as a post-Korean-American, too.
One night, I was barhopping with some friends when a man yelled out, “Hey, Jackie Chan!” Hearing my high school nickname repeated with such familiarity and vigor, I was disappointed when I turned and saw someone I didn’t recognize. The old race-crazed part of me was upset until the guy apologized by saying, “Oh, don’t misunderstand me. I support Barack Obama.” At that moment, any misgivings I had were cleared up as I was reminded that we’re in post-black America. He really just mistook me for his old friend, the Hong Kong action star, Jackie Chan!
But you know who first noticed this cultural change?
Those smarties at MSNBC, The New York Times and other places that tell us what opinions we should have about complicated things. Way back in 2007 (doesn’t the pre-post-race world seem like centuries ago?), journalist Joe Klein wrote that Obama “transcends racial stereotypes.” A Times article quoted Rutgers political scientist Ross Baker saying how Obama, like Oprah, is “post-polarization.” And early in the Democratic primary, when there were more white people on the Obamatron than black people, Juan Williams—who was post-black before Obama was even born—couldn’t understand why black people’s politics were looking “less like post-racial political idealism than the latest in self-defeating black politics.” Well, Juan, it seems all those black folks came around. They’re just like you now.
During the Hillary-as-woman versus Obama-as-black runoff last year, the Times even wrote about how the Obama campaign was pitching its candidate as a “post-feminist.” I think it was sort of sexist that they even pointed out he is a man. They should have said that he is post-man.
Even Michelle Obama has received a post-black makeover, going from being a black power fist-bumper to a walking endorsement of J. Crew. But hey, J. Crew, too, has evolved from playing host for the book party of A Privileged Life: Celebrating WASP Style to having a post-black icon as its spokesperson. We are all now in a post-black paradise. (Or is it purgatory?)
It’s so refreshing to not live in a world where there are these identities that separate us! Now we can reach out and really touch one another. When people reach out and touch my post-black friend Corey’s hair, he now realizes they’re just trying to say hello.
So when you post-black and post-Latino men get pulled over by the police, just remember that your neighborhood policeman really is probably trying to tell you that your taillight needs to be fixed. Or, when you post-Arab people get your stuff rifled through at the airport, it’s only because you accidentally packed a whole tube of toothpaste in your bag! Silly you!
Now, if you’re wondering why most of the bailout money is going to post-white bigwigs in corporate America, and most of the House, the Senate, and Obama’s cabinet picks are all post-white, and poor people are still mostly people-of-post-color—don’t fret! Just go to your nearest retailer and buy your own Color-Blind 3-D glasses. They only cost your common sense.
*Editor’s note: Since we’re in a post-black America (at least for the duration of this column), ColorLines has adjusted its style guide to fit the new post-race paradigm and is not capitalizing the word “black,” as it refers to an arcane concept.
Alex Jung is a freelance writer.