The "Old Navy" Interracial Ad Effect
OK, there is 'only' ONE AMERICA, but it is a BIPOLAR ("Passive-Aggressive") America.
While I used to think that America was divided into mainly a White (or White-like America) America and a Black (and Black-like) America, where the White-like and Black-like categories represented those who identified more as Whites or Blacks, there is really ONE AMERICA as Mr. Obama said in his speech, but he forgot to assert that it is a "Bi-Polar" America.
The impact of the "Old Navy" Ad was so revealing even to an open-minded person like myself... WOW!
This Photo is Owned by Old Navy and is Being Used Only for the Purpose of Promoting Understanding.
Relatively speaking, America is a young nation which has experimented with a lot of ideals, and rightfully, many of them have been attained. I am very proud of my American experience. The same America that elected its first non-White-Male President, may also elect a rather polarizing figure like Mr. Donald Trump who I happen to support for reasons that are different from many that support him.
I reckon that it must be hard to be a White male or a White person in an America that is becoming more diverse. As a young Black boy living in the Caribbean I often imagined being invaded by a lot of Whites who might have come over for diverse reasons, and it was never a comforting thought. As an adult, I realize that no nation that has a people of a majority race feels entirely comfortable with changing its racial demographics. The latter is called human fear and it is natural. An extreme version of it is "xenophobia" (i.e., the fear of people that are different from you or the fear of strangers altogether), and of course there are many people that happen to support Mr. Trump because they, secretly, don't want to have America invaded by non-White immigrants, who will further dilute the presence of the majority race. Trust me, I understand this position. It's a complex issue on which even the most sophisticated behaviorist could conduct limitless research yet remain baffled and interested concurrently. But, it proves that Americans are human beings too...
While I have dated inter-racially, and even considered having interracial children, I often had fears that I would dilute my own history... fears that those children would not look like my very DARK Black Father at all; a man who is so much a part of who I am today. While I do have the ability to love any woman, and can love any child, including a White child, I am often self-reminded of my own heritage, ancestors, and those who suffered from all levels of inequality to pave the way for me. So, yes, I too have been torn many times, and it is OK because I am a human being too. But that does not make me RACIST. Rather it makes me HUMAN!
I have many White friends that I love with all my heart, but it has nothing to do with the color of their skin. Likewise, I have many White friends that have proven their love to me and I am sure it has nothing to do with the color of my skin either. However, through that love, TOLERANCE has been fostered, and many have even told me that they have had a different view of a Black male through me. And undoubtedly I have expressed the same. What's wrong with loving someone who is of a different race? Obviously, love is love and I am sure it conquers all. However, there is the "OTHERS" effect. What will our friends think about it? What will our relatives or community think about it? And rightfully, people have their fears of the unknown, and it is a difficult issue that is neither a Black or White issue, but a HUMAN ISSUE!
While the Europeans (and primarily) White males have inflicted many ails on the souls of the human race at large, that does not imply that they have only perpetuated EVIL or that they have done nothing good for humanity. It is easier for those of us who are are less sophisticated or aware on both sides to make generalizations about an issue that is as complex as race relations in America. But the fact of the matter is, everyone is doing his or her best to co-exist in a multi-racial and multi-cultural America.
Yet, there are challenges. We have all heard of "colored-people time", "White Flight", "Single parent on Welfare or food stamps" and "The Hood" etc. There are many things in America that are negative that are still associated with Non-Whites (particularly Blacks and Hispanics) even though some Whites do them as well, if not more. And such associations are not always without merit.
Thus, for the most part, when you think of Whites, you think of nicely manicured lawns, safe neighborhoods, good schools etc. In fact, many migrate to White neighborhoods and schools and you have often heard of the effect of that which is commonly known as "WHITE FLIGHT". The latter is when too many non-Whites move to a neighborhood and the Whites feel that they will lower its standards and thus move out, culminating into neighborhoods with lowered aesthetics and standards. The latter is a fact but there are stereotypes that remain rampant even though there are many Whites who also live in deplorable states.
Accordingly, like Chris Rock said, many would prefer to be a disabled White person than to be Black in America. Why? Well, it is not because they are stupid, but rather it is because they recognize that there is still PRIVILEGE associated with being White in America. It is a privilege that many Whites simply do not want to lose and it is also associated with the notion that many non-Whites will turn America into a DEVELOPING COUNTRY-like nation. Well, it is a fear that any intellectual must also understand and it is not without merit. While many sophisticated Whites will have the single sophisticated, and intellectually-gifted "token Black friend", the stereotype persists because they never see that "Special Black" friend as an example of Black achievement, rather he is seen as "EXCEPTIONAL" and thus an exception to the rule.
The latter is such an issue, that many countries like Australia requires that one be educated and stable prior to being given most visas. Needless to say, you will NOT find a plethora of Blacks or Non-Whites there. They simply don't want to bring liabilities to their countries. Moreover, they simply want to maintain the status quo. While I do understand that love conquers all, I also understand the realities of most interracial relationships. When we date or marry someone, we also date or marry their families and best friends, and often issues arise, and relationships are already complex without such issues, which often exacerbate normal relationship challenges. Yet, I am very supportive of those who want to "mingle racially". However, I don't expect everyone to want the same. I understand their fears and it is not without merit. Likewise, instead of judging America and Americans, I learned to understand America's fears. Americans on both have secret reservations about race. While they have become very open-minded about it and can co-exist at work and on the ball court or club, when it comes to demographics and race the views could not be more polarized. A great percentage of Black women secretly or openly criticize a Black man who happens to want to date a White woman, marry her and treat her well. White men calls other White man who marry a Black woman "Nigg** Lovers".
I understand the fears that emanated on both sides. It is the fear of the unknown and it's a normal human reaction or coping mechanism. As a TRUMP supporter, I realize that many that support Donald Trump will do so because they hated Mr. Obama or the notion that America will widely open his doors to non-Whites and turn America into a completely different nation race demographics wise. I understand their fears as well. While I know that they have nothing to be scared of, as a Black man, and an immigrant, I know that the American immigration laws are too laxed. I also know that the jobs have been shipped over seas and that many jobs pay a lot less because they know that illegal immigrants will be willing to them and such jobs could have paid more and gone to Americans. It is a fact. Mr. TRUMP appeals to their fears, but believe it or not, he appeals to some of my fears as well. The killing of so many young Black males under the Obama presidency, the racial issues, among many others left some scare in my heart, and a realization of how unprepared America was when it comes to having a non-White President.
While my goal is not to make American "White" again, like many have been saying, we must find ways to understand others' fears if we want them to understand ours. But race aside, not all TRUMP supporters are fear-driven. There is a plethora of TRUMP supporters who are just tired by special-interest-group-run American sectors and politics; and tired of political dynasties on both sides of the spectrum (e.g., Bush and Clinton). During the last eight (8) years, minorities and non-White males elected Mr. Obama because of this same thinking and soon, White males and a diversified number of Americans may end up electing a figure who couldn't be more different from Obama, namely Mr. Trump.
There is ONE AMERICA, but it is a BIPOLAR (Passive-Aggressive) America. Like other human beings, often we are not aware of our own feelings and hidden fears and why we do certain things or not. It is part of the American experience or experiment as well. While we want to have one nation (under God) with liberty for all, a great percentage of Americans still want to maintain the status quo. It proves that Americans are human beings, who also have face their struggles with their own humanity. It is an American legacy. But at least they are trying. and at least, they are not beheading each other; and yet at least they are not committing genocides based on religion and race like people of many other nations are doing around the World; and yet at least they have rights and the notion of FREEDOM... "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men or women are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights and among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." As I walk in any part of America today, I see see Americans of all color with hidden fears who have tried to do their best to coexist. Like it or not, AIN'T THAT AMERICA for YOU and ME!