The Power of Rhetoric: ‘Post-Racial’ and the ‘Race Card’

The term “post-racial” became popularized after the election of President Barack Obama, and it’s reemerged ahead of the 2012 election. But many argue a “post-racial America” is a myth and that racism is still alive today. In his New York Times opinion piece, “No Such Place as ‘Post-Racial’ America,” Touré writes that frequent usage of such terms perpetuates the idea that racism is no longer exists. “In that way the lie becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy,” he writes, “and thus feeds the notion that it’s O.K. to be somnambulant about race or even aggressively dismissive of it.”

“Post-racial” is just one of several terms that only pervert and distort the discussion of race and give people who wish to disrupt the conversation a place to park their ideas. Others include “race card” and “reverse racism” and “race baiter.” The naïve term “race card” always refers to a black person racializing a situation that the person using the term thinks doesn’t need to be racialized. It’s as if race was not part of the situation, and no one was being black or white, and everybody was being color blind, and whistling sweetly, until a black person came along and ruined everything by pointing out race. But race is like weather—we only talk about it when it’s extreme but it’s always there.

Read more at: