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Old 01-21-2009, 08:41 AM   #61
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we're on our way to finally understanding and accepting each other. Obama is a symbol of hope.
The question that always sits in my mind is to become a stronger society, should we eliminate or ignore our differences because they are or were once (perceived as) negative or somehow threatening or should we celebrate how our differences can constructively add value to the whole mix?

Part of what makes Obama so appealing when he speaks publicly is that his empathy is so genuine. In one person he embodies the "melting pot" and you also get a sense that his whole is much greater than the sum of the different parts of his background and experience.

For African Americans it's a monumental moment of recognition and acceptance and for white Americans it represents a monumental shift in their collective capacity to understand and accept others. Both are worthy of one helluva party!

So we hope Obama will bring understanding and acceptance through leveraging different perspectives into the policies of the White House and I also hope that won't be the basis of blaming him for necessary decisions that will be unpopular.
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:25 AM   #62
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my larger view keeps me from recognizing why today would be more meaningful to the black community.
It's not your "larger view," whatever that is. It's your white skin.

Really, you didn't listen to the many black Americans being interviewed? You didn't read about their reactions and experiences in your local newspaper? You haven't read books recounting the harrowing experience of being black in America?

I'm white, and I would never assume that because I don't experience racism, nor tolerate it in myself, family, and friends, that it's all over and that Obama's election has somehow healed and exonerated this country for 400 years of racism.

Why would you do such a thing?
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:37 AM   #63
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It always irks me when people say things like "white black or purple." You never (or at least i"ve never) heard black folks say this kind of thing. There are no purple people. It oversimplifies the very messy racial issues in this country. The ugliest racial issues in America are specifically between whites and blacks--the only similar parallel I can think of elsewhere is in South Africa--and it has everything to do the with history of these two grops in America. The kinds of quote "normal" racism I see in other places pale in comparison to the deep-rooted ugliness of black-white racism in the U.S. Purple ain't got nothing to do with it.
Haaa. I have to laugh that you caught me on this one. Absolutely. Guilty as charged.

Good morning, by the way. I woke up feeling a little tired and reluctant to come back in here to see what had transpired since I left. Not because of anyone one of you who responded but because it is a huge issue that can't be tackled in one night or with one conversation.

I think there is a balance between celebrating the differences in our race and culture but also realizing that at the end of the day race doesn't matter and the white person is buried next to the black person - both lives were equally as important. And I won't and can't deny anyone the right to celebrate this event and now that I'm rested I see where some of my arguments were pretty thick headed. But please also understand MY heart, nonetheless. The issue of race won't go away unless we let it.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:01 AM   #64
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It's not your "larger view," whatever that is. It's your white skin.

Really, you didn't listen to the many black Americans being interviewed? You didn't read about their reactions and experiences in your local newspaper? You haven't read books recounting the harrowing experience of being black in America?

I'm white, and I would never assume that because I don't experience racism, nor tolerate it in myself, family, and friends, that it's all over and that Obama's election has somehow healed and exonerated this country for 400 years of racism.

Why would you do such a thing?
I think you're missing my point, or I'm sure you'll think I'm missing yours. The larger view is that his being black won't help him fix our problems in this country. Some are choosing to only look at this event through a racial lense and I think it's wrong. In four years, and we're worse off or better off...how did his being black contribute to this? That is the larger picture I'm talking about. That larger picture is that his race doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things especially since it's not accurate to assume, to put it in your words that "Obama's election has somehow healed and exonerated this country for 400 years of racism."

I must say that everytime I respond to you in particular I have to fight being on the defensive. I'm not going to allow you to wag your self-righteous finger at me. I don't really give a flip what books you've read. Racism exists because we keep allowing it to. When will it stop?
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #65
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The larger view is that his being black won't help him fix our problems in this country. Some are choosing to only look at this event through a racial lense and I think it's wrong. In four years, and we're worse off or better off...how did his being black contribute to this?
Just when I think you're getting it, you come back with this...

No one is saying this!

Why is this so hard for you to understand that this is someone we elected AND he happens to be black which is a groundbreaking historical event in America. Just like the first woman will be someday...

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Racism exists because we keep allowing it to. When will it stop?
I think your ignoring the significance of yesterday is part of what keeps racism alive.
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:14 AM   #66
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Some are choosing to only look at this event through a racial lense and I think it's wrong.
Personally, I think however someone else votes is really their prerogative. We're not all going to agree on who to vote FOR, so why would we all agree on HOW we vote? I know someone who is white, priveleged, never really lived outside the bubble, an active member of a young Republican group, and she stated outright one day that she was voting for Barack Obama because she could not give up the chance to vote for the first African American president of the united states. It's all a matter of values. To someone like her, the race issue IS more important than issues like abortion, taxes, etc. That's her choice.

You admittedly aren't looking at anything through a racial lens and maybe other people think that is wrong. The thing is, perception is reality whether it should be or not. That's just the way it is.



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Racism exists because we keep allowing it to. When will it stop?
Quite a different tune....

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I truly believe racism in the mainstream to be dead and it's obvioius to me that we are all equal and have been treated equally for years, white, black, whatever.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:07 AM   #67
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The larger view is that his being black won't help him fix our problems in this country.
No shit. Who has said it will?


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Some are choosing to only look at this event through a racial lense and I think it's wrong.
You're looking at it this way, whether you'll admit it to yourself or not. And, how kind of you to tell joyous Americans that their joy is wrong.


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That larger picture is that his race doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things
I think others have answered this already.


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I must say that everytime I respond to you in particular I have to fight being on the defensive.
You should be. By your own admission, you like to stir shit under the guise of "asking tough questions." Then, when you get called out on your answers, you change your mind and wording. You've been doing that all through this thread.

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I'm not going to allow you to wag your self-righteous finger at me.
That's the pot calling the kettle...purple.


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Racism exists because we keep allowing it to. When will it stop?
I thought you said racism was dead in the mainstream? Racism will exist as long as white guys keep thinking that a black president doesn't matter, as long as white guys insist that racism is dead, as long as black men are killed by white cops, etc.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:17 AM   #68
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So we shouldn't celebrate Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Hattie McDaniel-and so on and so on? Their race was an issue, that's the point.

It's one day to celebrate that he is the first, what's wrong with that? Now we will judge him on the content of his character. Not that we didn't previously.
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Old 01-21-2009, 11:26 AM   #69
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So we shouldn't celebrate Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Hattie McDaniel-and so on and so on? Their race was an issue, that's the point.
Nope, those were no big deal.

The first man on the moon didn't mean shit either...
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Old 01-21-2009, 12:21 PM   #70
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"What I think I will plead to is a different perspective on some of the racial issues that we face in the sense that I come at it with the assumption that there is racial prejudice in our society, that we do continue to carry the historical legacy of Jim Crow and slavery. We've never fully addressed that. It manifests itself in much higher rates of poverty and violence and lack of educational achievement in minority communities. But I know in my heart that there is a core decency to the American people, and that decency can be tapped. I think America is at the point now where if a white person has the time to get to know who you are, that they are willing on average to look beyond race and judge you as an individual. That doesn't mean that they've stopped making snap judgments. It doesn't mean that before I was Barack Obama, and I was just Barack Obama, that if I got into an elevator, a woman might not clutch her purse a little tighter. Or if I'm walking down the street, that you might not hear some clicks of doors locking, right. I mean, there's still a host of stereotypes that I think a lot of people are operating under. But I think if they have time to get to know you, they will judge you as they would judge anybody else, and I think that's enormous progress. We've made progress. Yes, things are better. But better is not good enough. And we've still got a long way to go."


60 Minutes, Feb 07

He also said on 60 Minutes that he's always black when he's hailing a cab. That's one reason that race still matters.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:11 PM   #71
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U2isthebest, you know I you, but I'm really surprised by this statement. Should we just chalk it up to "I'm allowed to put down 'my people' but you can't?"
Well, it was hyperbole. It was a generalization of large group of people many of whom are racist. Clearly, yolland, is an exception. She's brilliant, and I've learned a lot of from her posts. I apologize if I've offended her. I would hope she knows I have nothing but respect for her. I'm sorry if my statement is offensive, and I definitely should have phrased it much differently. However, I stand by my assertion that people who have strong feelings of racism (or any sort of discriminatory feelings based on gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background etc.), lack intelligence. There is no way that any truly intelligent human being could believe that something like the color of one's skin makes them inferior to another person or group of people. I'm not even necessarily talking about people that lack education. There are people with Ph.D's that are horribly racist, and people who have an 8th grade education that aren't. Although, I think it's hard to dispute that lack of education generally makes it more likely for one to hold on to feelings of racism or discrimination. It's also not too presumptive to say that there are a lot of people, especially in the South, who were born into unfortunate socioeconomic circumstances and generations of racism and who haven't had the chance to experience a broader education and view of the world that would lead them to re-examine what they've been taught about race. Once one becomes an adult, though, I don't think there's any excuse to hold onto racist feelings. One may not be be able to get a world-class education and have the experiences that would allow them to be in situations that might lead to a questioning of the issues. However, introspection is free, questioning one's long-held beliefs, and ones' value system is free, and there is no excuse for any of us to not do that. As I've said, I've known far too many racists in my own family, (my paternal grandmother is strongly against racism, but her side of the family in Indiana is extremely racist. My maternal grandfather was very racist.) to sit idly by and try to be understanding. It makes me too angry, and anyone who makes racist statements around me regrets it quickly. That's the one time that I don't try and practice tolerance or respect. So to sum up, I am sorry about the content of the statement I've made, but not about the point I was trying to make (albeit, in a poor way)
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:52 PM   #72
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Because, America has had a long history of racism. To answer the question, of the original poster. Yes, things have gotten better over the past couple of decades. But, folks my parents ages do remember, for example, when black folks couldn't eat in the same dinners, as their white counter parts. The KKK was still terrorizing any person of color, sometimes even Catholics and Jews. As these groups where more opposed to the Klan. African Americans were being lynched from tree branches, even until the first half of the twentieth century. So, America and not just those of African heritage, are proud to move forward and to make this a better country for all of it's citizens. We feel that President Obama can help to heal this terrible past.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:14 PM   #73
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Judge Obama on Performance Alone - WSJ.com

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Yet there is fear, especially among black people, that criticism of him or any of his failures might be twisted into evidence that people of color cannot effectively lead. That amounts to wasting time and energy reacting to hateful stereotypes. It also leads to treating all criticism of Mr. Obama, whether legitimate, wrong-headed or even mean-spirited, as racist. This is patronizing. Worse, it carries an implicit presumption of inferiority. Every American president must be held to the highest standard. No president of any color should be given a free pass for screw-ups, lies or failure to keep a promise.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:33 PM   #74
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Of course we should judge Obama on performance alone...

But that being said, that article is full of shit in a lot of areas and Juan Williams has had a little bit of his own controversy in his lifetime regarding race.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:58 PM   #75
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I thought you said racism was dead in the mainstream? Racism will exist as long as white guys keep thinking that a black president doesn't matter, as long as white guys insist that racism is dead, as long as black men are killed by white cops, etc.
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