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Old 11-09-2008, 12:59 AM   #1
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Historic Elections - but overplayed?

I was just as excited and relieved as anyone when I found out our next president was going to be Obama. I thought to myself that he was definitely well qualified, very smart, intelligent, well spoken, eloquent, charismatic, seems to possess great leadership qualities, and out of the two candidates he certainly was an advocate for change. I voted for him. And those were some of the reasons why.

However, I never saw race as an issue. I didn't look at him and say that he's black so I won't vote for him, or I didn't say he's black so I will vote for him. I know they're calling this election historic because America went from beating down and enslaving black people to electing one as their president in a matter of 300 years? That's great. Exciting time to be alive. But does anyone feel it's being overplayed? people crying and getting so emotional over it? I heard Obama's speech and not once did he highlight his race or this issue of America overcoming the barrier of giving black people importance. But, many people did.

People are saying that finally black people can be considered equal; seriously? did it really warrant a black president to make people believe that maybe racism is finally over? sure it's not completely gone and it's one of those things that can never go away as long as people have their vision but I just don't think people should make this too big of a deal because to me that's racist. Is it racist if it's a negative thing only? the entire media is on about how he's black black and black; if say we had a white president and everyone was going on about him being white would that be racist? I know I would be offended and ticked. Why can't we forget the past, forget what colour we are, forget what religion we are, and realise that we're all human and there's no score to settle or no point to prove?

I just get the feeling that some people are happy that our new president is black. Well me, I don't care if he is black, white, yellow, blue, or brown? what I do care is that he's a great man, a great leader, a smart politician, and well suited to lead the country; that's what I am happy about. Would much rather have a well qualified woman as president than a white man or a black man who isn't.

If anyone's wondering.. I'm not white. I'm not trying to flame black people or any other people for that matter. Just ticked off at everyone making RACE such a huge deal. For once it would be nice to just focus on the facts and get on with it.
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:34 AM   #2
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I heard Obama's speech and not once did he highlight his race or this issue of America overcoming the barrier of giving black people importance.
It was inferred in:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:41 AM   #3
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I'm not American but I hope the day will come when the president's race and skin color are not an issue anymore. He should be treated and judged by the same standards than any other president. Obama made it very clear at his speech that he wants to be the president for ALL people in America, thus I don't think he should constantly highlight his race and what his victory means for black people.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:36 AM   #4
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I am glad the election craze is over. The mud slinging was getting to be a bit much and the media was having a field day with Palin-frenzy. Now the media scrambles for newsworthy stories. The Inauguration will be here before we know it and my only hope is that Obama keeps his word, surrounds himself with good people in all the important supportive giverning positions and that we can all work to get this country back on track! I'd like tax cuts, health insurance coverage, a job and to re build my savings and retirement account for starters!
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:00 AM   #5
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It was inferred in:

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.
Perhaps what he meant was you don't have to be an 'elite' to become a president. You can work your way through, no matter where you come from, and still become a prezzy.
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Old 11-09-2008, 08:20 AM   #6
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People are making a big deal about it because it is a big deal. Are you aware that in many states blacks could not eat in the same restaurants, drink from the same water fountains, go to the same movie theatres, attend the same schools, stay in the same motels as whites as late as the mid 1960s? Are you aware blacks could be legally denied a job or housing just because they were black into the 1960s? Are you aware that in many states people of different races could not marry (or even have sex) legally until as late as 1967? Are you aware many people (especially blacks) were denied the right to even vote until the mid 60s?

You're only 21, so the 60s probably seem like ancient history, but I was born in 1964, so the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the US Supreme Court ruling on Loving vs Virginia in 1967 all happened within my lifetime. Many people not that much older than me have more direct memories of these events. These things happened less than 45 years ago, and just because the laws were passed then doesn't mean attitudes changed immediately. I seriously doubt Obama -- no matter how good a candidate he was -- would have been elected (probably not even nominated) 20 or even eight or 12 years ago. And the reason would have been his race.

So the election of Barack Obama as President of the US despite his race is a huge deal. Until someone actually breaks various barriers, the "you can be anything you want" line is just lip service. His election gives hope and encouragement to a whole lot of people.

And you need to either read the transcript of or take another listen to Obama's election night speech. He certainly did comment on the significance of a man of his race being elected to this office. He didn't just comment on that -- he was very inclusive in his remarks, but it's very clear he understands how much his breaking this barrier means to so many people. Here's a link to a video and transcript of the speech.

Most people did vote for him regardless of, and in some cases despite, his race. They voted for him because they liked what he said he would work on accomplishing as president. We are moving slowly away from always seeing colour/race when we look at people, and the election of Obama is an example of this. But it's important and thrilling to many people to see someone who "looks like them" in office. Hell, I'll be thrilled when (if) I get to witness a strong, component woman elected president. I certainly won't vote for a candidate simply because she's female, but if a female candidate I support becomes the first female US President it will be a big deal for me.
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Old 11-09-2008, 09:28 AM   #7
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People are making a big deal about it because it is a big deal. Are you aware that in many states blacks could not eat in the same restaurants, drink from the same water fountains, go to the same movie theatres, attend the same schools, stay in the same motels as whites as late as the mid 1960s? Are you aware blacks could be legally denied a job or housing just because they were black into the 1960s? Are you aware that in many states people of different races could not marry (or even have sex) legally until as late as 1967? Are you aware many people (especially blacks) were denied the right to even vote until the mid 60s?

You're only 21, so the 60s probably seem like ancient history, but I was born in 1964, so the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the US Supreme Court ruling on Loving vs Virginia in 1967 all happened within my lifetime. Many people not that much older than me have more direct memories of these events. These things happened less than 45 years ago, and just because the laws were passed then doesn't mean attitudes changed immediately. I seriously doubt Obama -- no matter how good a candidate he was -- would have been elected (probably not even nominated) 20 or even eight or 12 years ago. And the reason would have been his race.

So the election of Barack Obama as President of the US despite his race is a huge deal. Until someone actually breaks various barriers, the "you can be anything you want" line is just lip service. His election gives hope and encouragement to a whole lot of people.

And you need to either read the transcript of or take another listen to Obama's election night speech. He certainly did comment on the significance of a man of his race being elected to this office. He didn't just comment on that -- he was very inclusive in his remarks, but it's very clear he understands how much his breaking this barrier means to so many people. Here's a link to a video and transcript of the speech.

Most people did vote for him regardless of, and in some cases despite, his race. They voted for him because they liked what he said he would work on accomplishing as president. We are moving slowly away from always seeing colour/race when we look at people, and the election of Obama is an example of this. But it's important and thrilling to many people to see someone who "looks like them" in office. Hell, I'll be thrilled when (if) I get to witness a strong, component woman elected president. I certainly won't vote for a candidate simply because she's female, but if a female candidate I support becomes the first female US President it will be a big deal for me.
Yes but now that we have a black president it makes up for all of the past? was this an apology for the past then? it suddenly means that we were racist before the elections and now we're not? a milestone like this does it mean the discrimination stops there? they're making it such a huge deal, but would the society live up to it? would people live up to it?

I think with the way things are we could have had a black president a long time ago had Obama come around say 15 years ago and I can't believe people are so stunned that something like this happened in their lifetime. Were people really that pessimistic about it? I mean Oprah Winfrey is black and she is the richest female in the world. That shows that black people aren't exactly the black sheeps of the society. American sports are and have been dominated by black people for decades now. Black people are really very influential and I'm not at all surprised we have a half-black President... finally.
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:21 AM   #8
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Perhaps what he meant was you don't have to be an 'elite' to become a president. You can work your way through, no matter where you come from, and still become a prezzy.
It's open to different interpretations, but I'll go with mine. He wasn't the first president to come from a tough economic background.

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American sports are and have been dominated by black people for decades now.
Not in head coaching jobs, however. Read the coaches' quotes from the 2007 Super Bowl (the first with 2 African American coaches). Even they thought it was significant.
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:03 PM   #9
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Yes but now that we have a black president it makes up for all of the past? was this an apology for the past then? it suddenly means that we were racist before the elections and now we're not? a milestone like this does it mean the discrimination stops there? they're making it such a huge deal, but would the society live up to it? would people live up to it?
No, it does not make up for all of te past, nor was it an apology. It means that another glass ceiling has been shattered. Black American men can become whatever they want to. They can even become president. Not just aim for that job, but actually getting it.

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I think with the way things are we could have had a black president a long time ago had Obama come around say 15 years ago and I can't believe people are so stunned that something like this happened in their lifetime. Were people really that pessimistic about it? I mean Oprah Winfrey is black and she is the richest female in the world. That shows that black people aren't exactly the black sheeps of the society. American sports are and have been dominated by black people for decades now. Black people are really very influential and I'm not at all surprised we have a half-black President... finally.
It's true that the way things are like today, the US could have had a black president a long time ago. But 15 years ago things were not like today. You talk about being surprised that people were pessimistic about this. Well, that glass ceiling may be invisible, but it's there and it's stronger than you maybe imagine.
I mean, it took about 180 years before a president was elected that didn't come from a WASP background (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant). That person was Kennedy, he was Roman-Catholic.

As Indra said, to have a black man elected as president, only a few decades after they finally got equal civil and voting right, is indeed a big thing.

(Yes, I consciously used 'man' in my comments. One of the next big barriers that is hopefully broken in a few years is having a female president of the USA)
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Old 11-09-2008, 01:20 PM   #10
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As Indra said, to have a black man elected as president, only a few decades after they finally got equal civil and voting right, is indeed a big thing.

(Yes, I consciously used 'man' in my comments. One of the next big barriers that is hopefully broken in a few years is having a female president of the USA)
It is a HUGE deal, but of the 2 candidates Obama was by far the better man for the job.

I would hope if/when a woman gets that job it's because she's the better person for the job and not because she's a woman.
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Old 11-09-2008, 02:49 PM   #11
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No, it does not make up for all of te past, nor was it an apology. It means that another glass ceiling has been shattered. Black American men can become whatever they want to. They can even become president. Not just aim for that job, but actually getting it.
Well anyone can become President so long as you're the right age and were born in America. That's what the constitution says. It doesn't say person has to be white nor does it assume so. The founding fathers were probably the most cosmopolitan and futuristic thinking individuals that were there. So to say that before today black people or women couldn't become president is ludicrous. All it needed was the right circumstance and the right person for the job. We had the perfect circumstance after eight years of shite government and the right person in Obama, and it had nothing to do with him being black it had to do with him being quite simply an amazing candidate.

I guess I'm just not as stunned and surprised as other people are. I think that this kind of thing couldn't have come at a better moment to be honest. And it's no surprise to me that it did, as it was a person like Obama running for president and sure was a walk in the park for him.
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:28 PM   #12
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Well anyone can become President so long as you're the right age and were born in America. That's what the constitution says. It doesn't say person has to be white nor does it assume so. The founding fathers were probably the most cosmopolitan and futuristic thinking individuals that were there. So to say that before today black people or women couldn't become president is ludicrous. All it needed was the right circumstance and the right person for the job. We had the perfect circumstance after eight years of shite government and the right person in Obama, and it had nothing to do with him being black it had to do with him being quite simply an amazing candidate.

I guess I'm just not as stunned and surprised as other people are. I think that this kind of thing couldn't have come at a better moment to be honest. And it's no surprise to me that it did, as it was a person like Obama running for president and sure was a walk in the park for him.
It seems like you're fast forwarding from the founding fathers' time to today, and ignoring the past 50 years of history. I think someone like Jesse Jackson has more credibility on the issue when he says "After a 54-year marathon race, Barack ran the last lap".
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:55 PM   #13
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Fair enough I guess I do see it now. A minority has finally breached the most coveted office in a country where only a few decades ago I would have had to sit at the back of the bus.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:08 PM   #14
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Well anyone can become President so long as you're the right age and were born in America. That's what the constitution says. It doesn't say person has to be white nor does it assume so. The founding fathers were probably the most cosmopolitan and futuristic thinking individuals that were there. So to say that before today black people or women couldn't become president is ludicrous. All it needed was the right circumstance and the right person for the job. We had the perfect circumstance after eight years of shite government and the right person in Obama, and it had nothing to do with him being black it had to do with him being quite simply an amazing candidate.

I guess I'm just not as stunned and surprised as other people are. I think that this kind of thing couldn't have come at a better moment to be honest. And it's no surprise to me that it did, as it was a person like Obama running for president and sure was a walk in the park for him.

Only because it was written in text doesn't mean it was really possible. It wouldn't have mattered how great and how qualified a black man, a woman or any other person that's not male, white and Christian were in the 50s, 60s, 70s or 80s, they would never have gotten the majority of votes. Bigotry and prejudices were much too strong. And even in this election we have seen lots of people saying they don't vote for Obama because he is black (as well as being allegedly Muslim and having Hussein as middle name).
I don't see this campaign as a walk in the park. In the end he gained a clear victory. But he had to fight hard for it, and got a little help from the financial crisis, as more than 50% made the economic situation a priority and apparently saw him better suited.
Western societies including the US still are extremely hesitant electing any person that doesn't have the characteristic of being white, Christian and male. Obama's election is hence another important step in the direction of overcoming this way of thinking. And it's certainly a good thing that he was elected because people valued his qualifications, not his race. Racism won't vanish, it never will. Those who hated him on the third for being black, still hated him on the fourth, they hate him today and they will hate him tomorrow. Maybe a few will wake up, but most won't. Nevertheless, this time their voices weren't strong enough to prevent him from becoming President.
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Old 11-09-2008, 04:53 PM   #15
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Fair enough I guess I do see it now. A minority has finally breached the most coveted office in a country where only a few decades ago I would have had to sit at the back of the bus.
Or some of that minority were assassinated because they talked about equal chances, regardless of colour of skin.
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