Beyond The Black Box

A reader writes:

Mickey is being deliberately obtuse, as is Ferraro. It is really breathtaking that anyone who has paid any attention to this campaign could seriously maintain that Obama's blackness is the sum total of what he brings to the race, or the reason he has won it. His superb out-organizing of Hillary alone proves that to be nonsense. And what it says at base is that a person's blackness is the only thing that someone like Ferraro is willing to notice, regardless of what that person has achieved and what gifts and talents the person brings to bear. And if such an attitude is not racist, the word has no meaning.

Ferraro's statement and Mickey's post amount to a statement that black people can just forget it if they think this country is willing to let them escape the box that we have put them in.

Boxes, however, make people comfortable. All you can do is endure against that impulse. It's maddening to know, for example, that Mickey will always see me, beneath everything, as gay. That's the box I'm in; and short of denying that box or ignoring it altogether, I cannot win with the Kauses of this world. But I can hope that younger people will see outside this box, as well as in it. Seeing both is the key. That's the hope Obama represents and it's why watching the forces of reaction and resentment this week has become so intensely depressing. But if I didn't believe that the box could be overcome, I wouldn't have supported Obama in the first place. I'm not alone in hoping for this.

Yes we can. Yes we can. Yes we can.