I just read an editorial written by Colson Whitehead from yesterday’s New York Times called ‘The Year of Living Postracially’ that was his humorous public grab for a new political appointment to the position of secretary of postracial affairs. The whole thing is both hilarious and dead-on, and really relates to a lot of the racial identity questions I’ve been thinking about over the past year or two. One of my favorite parts is excerpted below:
Pop culture is the arena for our hopes, our fears and our most cherished dreams. It is our greatest export to the world. That’s why as your secretary of postracial affairs I’ll concentrate on the entertainment industry.
Some changes will be minor. In television, “Diff’rent Strokes” and “What’s Happening!!” will now be known as “Different Strokes” and “What Is Happening?” Other changes will be more drastic. “Sanford and Son” trafficked in demeaning stereotypes. In these more enlightened times, everyone knows that one person’s “junk” is another’s compulsive eBay purchase. A more postracially robust version features Sanford père as the genius behind a community-based auction site, with his son, Lamont, the reluctant Webmaster. Think of the opportunities for fleet-footed banter and sophisticated, pun-based aperçus. Like “Frasier,” but postracial.
(both of these images are of Colson Whitehead—I couldn’t decide which to use and they juxtapose nicely anyhow)