So this piece was hard for me to get through. The two ring of fire videos reminded me of old school talk radio that I use to have to endure whenever I went anywhere with my grandfather. But unlike the many politicians who would put me to sleep in my younger years, I felt Tim Wise had so very good points regarding his “Racism 2.0.”
I agree with Tim Wise that there are other people of color out that who are wise and intelligent, and could be as influential as Obama. However I feel why Obama is now this figure head of black victory is because he is the president. Going back to Johnson, if a black person succeeds at some hard task, people say things like “Oh he or she did that and they're black!” Obama is opening up a new level to his race beyond the limits or “basketball and hip hop.” However, I feel as though he would only have been able to get this far in his political career because someone long ago taught him the rules and codes of power. Obama learned what he had to do to conform in this society and become everything it values to help make himself successful. Of course, there was a lot of hard work in becoming and politician and then president, but his physical characteristics make him come of as a respectable looking black man. I feel like people are intimated by African Americans, and that turns into fear. So needless to say if Obama had dread locks and tattoos running down his arms, he wouldn't be as easily approved by certain generations in America.
I believe racism is brought on out of fear. So having Obama look relate able to other successful looking like whites makes people feel better about having a black president. I think how a person of color chooses to portray themselves is apart of racism 2.0. I heard a lot of people at the time of the presidential election saying things like, “Well he's not that dark so its not so bad.” Its just so sad that our society hasn't been able to see past the color of someone's skin. Conformity is a disease that destroys creativity and weird beauty. America is suppose to be the melding pot of all cultures but if we set this image for the ideal, we are going to lose precious difference. Now I know I went sort of off topic from racism but like I said, I feel appearance conformity is a sort of racism, especially when applied to what is seen as “normal.” But maybe I’m the only one who wants authority figures that pop.