Since 2009, we are less seen as an integrated, assimilated, and intermarried melting pot, but more a mosaic of competing interests that predicate their rival claims on society based on race, class, and gender.
Bloc voting and identity — the “base” — aid the Obama agenda; race as inconsequential does not.
Before Obama, the now explosive and globally viral video of two young black girls’ savage beating of a white transgendered victim in a McDonald’s would have been one of many tragic morality tales about the generic dangers of drifting into the wrong places at the wrong times in an unsafe contemporary America.
But after the precedent of the Skip Gates presidential intervention, the question naturally arises — when and when not does the president intervene in local issues, in symbolic terms, to offer the nation a teachable moment on racial bias: when an elite professor is inconvenienced in private or an adolescent is almost beaten to death in public?
(Where is the Malibu outrage in the tradition of Matthew Shepard?)
I’m far from the first to note that McDonald’s expensive (and cringeworthy) outreach program to African-Americans will never be viewed quite the same way again…