Over the last 30 years racism has been used as a convention to reflect the nature of privilege in society. Right now the economy is down and racism is not a luxury anyone can afford.
Today's racism is not pragmatic.
Racism promotes one caste over another. Historically it has been convenient for a ruling class to dehumanize and subordinate persons based on inherent identity or class they were born into. Racism in the late 1800's was reinforced in the academic community for pragmatic reasons - rich land owners funded the Universities. Land on which they exploited child and slave labor to exponentially profit from. In order for the Universities to survive, they accepted money from pots that reinforced the industry of the day. What changed agrarian wealth was the industrial age.
After machines changed the game, the power scramble was to dominate process and invention so that if the inventors couldn't keep exclusive utility from the people for themselves, they would either own the IP rights or the power to license service to the community.
When I look at today's news, I see a field of puppets with nothing better to do than rehash tired ratwheel arguments which don't prove any point worth moving forward. This shouldn't be a controversial thing to say. It shouldn't be controversial to say we should legalize hemp and domestic marijuana crops, but unfortunately that threatens DOW chemical, the prison industry and the drug enforcement industry. It shouldn't be controversial to say let's simplify immigration policy for Latin America, but that would threaten people who endorse the modern functional equivalent of child and slave labor. It shouldn't be controversial to say let's move to solar power and off of the oil standard; but that would slow production to a trillion dollar industry whose survival is married to environmental destruction. However, the argument to keep racism alive is no longer pragmatic.
The profit from having diverse human resources has created dimensions and range for American business never before dreamed. America has a problem with concentrating on what they believe should be rather than what actually is. Pragmatists work with whatever is present - practicing the alchemy of turning a base situation into something of concrete value, like gold.
The fact is America is not a two gender country with slaves and wealthy owners sprinkled with everything else: human, plant and animal. The trouble with racism is that we are still fighting on the lines of "colored folk" like it's 1886 and it has no enduring positive effect on business. Watching prime time news feels like a tired civil war re-enactment for octogenarians who believe it's still a real fight with "winners" and "losers" divided into poor brown, black and asian vs. white people. This isn't the 14 - 24 year old demographic watching MTV "Cribs". However, they are the people who own the news networks and the major corporations. Racism is the psychological drama what they will pay to see played out until their extinction.
GETTING TO THE WIZARD
Race isn't a problem for the Internet. Technology doesn't discriminate one user from another based on income, class or societal conventions. Saturnine powers want to open their can of "shut-up" on the Internet, but a hacker will out mode them in 15 minutes or less. Wiley E-coyote, may or may not have ethics or morals when it comes to accessing private networks, dashing conventions and powers to bits of rapid rate information.
Hence, there was suddenly a big move this summer to pitch the Internet into the lap of the Department of Homeland Security vs. NASA.Logistically, it would work out better if NASA managed the cyber security effort.NASA is a more pragmatic IT solution provider and could aptly understand, develop and manage security upgrades as they become necessary. DHS is still the agency who wants enforce deep cavity searches with an X-Ray machine on every American flyer. DHS is busy inspecting shoes at the airport.
Cyber Security would lose its national security sting if NASA installed a more effective public version of McAffee net security supervised by MIT engineers who would make the average criminal hack want to quit. In short, if NASA ran cyber security it wouldn't be a "Cyber war" subject to "cyber terrorism". It would be colder faceless operation isolating and shoring up cyber vulnerabilities against cyber attacks.There is no way to politically massage anger and fear once you click past the machinations of social control represented by DHS. Economic disparity issues associated with the heat of nationalism couldn't be as easily and strategically manipulated onto the Net once it's out of the purview of national security.
Simple truths become apparent: problems create solutions which people will pay to resolve. Rich, powerful people like staying rich and powerful so they will sustain the problems which people pay to resolve. There is no way to continually fund the racial argument once certain problems in our society are resolved. People who became advantaged due to racial disparity are aging and dying off. In order for profits based on dehumanizing disparity to continue, it has to be based on some simple random oppression of " the other". I think it will continue as oppression of the Immigrant. If not, then we all share the same equal fate in the disparity process and it becomes the more volatile tier: rich citizens vs. poor citizens.
I think that was the point of Shirley Sherrod's speech; which was later remixed for a televised news circus. Fortunately, her point was not completely lost in the deliberate, noisy and abused distraction of racial politics.