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Still Not Colorblind This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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I often heard about the presidential election on the news. You probably did too, if you expose yourself at all to the sickly sun of the American media. Journalists, reporters, and every other member of the information army practically wet themselves with exultation at the election of the United States’ first African-American president. And so have American citizens. There are still “Obama ’08” signs in yards, on cars, bridges, babies, and anything else that can be decorated with that godly O – his supporters still have that smug smirk glued like a bumper sticker across their faces.

Reading this, you might come to the conclusion that I am a rabid racist and torch-waving conservative, but hear me out! I am not a racist – in fact, I am almost certainly more colorblind than you, Obamanite. Barack Obama is now America’s first black president. You may say “Hooray!” but I say “So what?” You might tout his victory as a sign that racism is dead, and equal opportunity is, if not here, then well on its way. I disagree.

Racism is discrimination. Discrimination is not simply the act of deriding or oppressing a particular race. I believe it is any emphasis of racial differences. If a caucasian sees himself as “white” and identifies with others of his skin tone to form a coalition promoting his race, this is racist. By this logic, pro-black coalitions are racist too. And those who vaunt Obama’s presidency as a victory for African-American people are included.

In my experience, modern society is not discriminatory in its presentation of opportunity. There are black CEOs; there are white hobos; there are ­members of every race in every position. It’s the beauty of America! And yet still some insist on highlighting Obama’s victory as something strange and wonderful. Not only is it an insult to the American spirit to be fascinated by a black president, it’s an insult to those who have fought for this spirit.

The proper response to Obama’s election should have been: “We have a new president. Will he do a good job?” It is foolish to think that just because Obama is black, he will do a good job. Those who share my opinion see Obama not as racial crusader in shining armor, but as a politician whose ­actions must be analyzed logically. In short, the fact that America still ­perceives races as “different” is shameful. In a land of equal opportunity, the best will win – and the best has been chosen.

Celebrating Obama’s victory in a racial context is simply celebrating past racial divides. The election was not a victory for African-Americans, but a victory for all Americans.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 199 comments. Post your own!

PurpleFeather said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 2:08 pm:
there was alot i agreed w?in this article, and a lot i didn't. yes, its true that we must judge PRESIDENT Obama for his political actions, not just his race. yes, there is still discrimination in the us. yes, race shouldn't matter.
BUT, the truth is, race still does matter. it does. and just because ppl consider President Obama's victory to be a victory for blacks, doesn't make them all racists. it IS a big deal for African-Amercians. there are people in my family who ... (more »)
 
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beanzalib said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm:
I agree. It's nice to finally have a black president (when i was in like second grade and i first saw a bord w/ all the presidents i wondered why they all look the same) but, if he was an awful presentent, it would be awful. A black president is a good thing, but he has to be good at the job two. I don't know for sure yet but i think he is.
 
firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 12, 2009 at 6:31 pm :
:) haha i hear ya about the presidents all looking the same. why is it that theyre all white, old, males?
 
lauren2323 replied...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 12:29 am :
They're all old white males because you A) have to be at least 35 to be president B) have to be credible as a politician for people to even consider electing you C) Have to have been born in the U.S. and D) Old rich white politicians generally tend to fit the bill for presidential requirements. Not saying Obama should have been elected. I don't care what color he is as long as he does his job.
 
firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 5:35 pm :
Ahem. Then why are no females acceptable?
 
lauren2323 replied...
Dec. 5, 2009 at 11:50 am :
Because the stodgy old men get there first =P
 
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This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 10:57 am:
This is so true. How many people voted for Obama just because he's black? Why do we even care that he's the first black president? It shouldn't matter! We should be focussing on his actions, not on his skin color. Isn't that what we've been taught since second grade?
 
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ClearlyDamnDecent said...
Sept. 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm:
Great Article with well made points.Have to disagree with you though. I am not aware what your race is but let me assure that to not champion Obama;s success as a memento of the progress made would be amiss. For those of us in the younger generation a black president isn't really a big deal but for those alive 40 years ago t is so important to demonstate the progress from not allowing a man to handle a bank account we can allow someone to assume control of the Nucelur codes, thats a huge st... (more »)
 
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tweedle dee said...
Aug. 15, 2009 at 2:54 pm:
i very much agree with you. people have told me that whoever doesnt like obama is racist and doesnt like having a black president. he wont make a better or worse president depending on his skin coloring, all that matters are his actions. great article!
 
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Rockerray101 said...
Jul. 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm:
I hate racism. My dad is African-American and we have got lots of horrrible looks and have been treated badly. Whats is the big deal with skin color? We are all equal!
 
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Sunshineyday said...
Jun. 27, 2009 at 3:56 am:
I was an Obama supporter, and I was a little mad that people were making such big "first black president" hype because it did strike me as racially divisive, although, his election DID tear down an unfortunately long-standing racial barrier. Bieng the first black president is impressive, but we should judge him by his PERFORMANCE as our leader, this is coming from a kid who was an adamant supporter, who dragged her whole family to the polls.
 
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:) said...
Jun. 25, 2009 at 7:23 pm:
Wow. This is a great article. I had the same belief but for some reason never associated it with your topic. This article was like a mental bridge for me. Thank you.
 
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blondie101 said...
Jun. 13, 2009 at 9:22 pm:
i TOTALLY agree! thanks so much for writing this, because it is sooo true. i think its cool that we have a black president, but we dont choose leader by race or religion. and i believe this is what happened during the elections.
anyway, i agree with you completely. thanks again for writing this! it was AMAZING!:D keep up the great work and keep sharing! cant wait to read more!!!:D
 
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Spencer N. said...
May 16, 2009 at 1:27 pm:
if people refer to Obama as the first african american president, then that is a littel raicest. i mean why do we see color still as a line,its still a wall socially.
 
This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 10:59 am :
Exactly. Why can't we just refer to him as "the president"?
 
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Theresa This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 2, 2009 at 11:57 pm:
I completely agree. I was talking with a kid in my history class, and somehow we got on the topic of Obama. We both agree that the "first African American president" craze of the last few months doesn't signal the end of racism. It simply highlights a new era of it.

This was a well-written piece.
 
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PolartheBard said...
Mar. 18, 2009 at 11:19 pm:
I agree with you. A big issue that came up during the elections was that a lot of people, primarily blacks, said that mr. Obama's election is a fulfillment of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream. But,as a friend of mine said, it isn't. The reason is thus, by pointing out the color of Mr. Obama's skin, the fact that many voted for him simply because of it, completely erases any progress of what Mr. King hoped to achieve. His true dream was of a world when color would not matter, of a time ... (more »)
 
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Chains_of_Ink said...
Feb. 13, 2009 at 8:40 pm:
Thanks for this piece, Aaron-I have the same opinion. I think that over emphasizing Obama's ethnicity is being just as racist as someone who wouldn't elect him because of his skin color. If we keep him on this pedestal throughout his four years in office, we won't be able to evaluate his actions as a normal president.
 
shakespeare418 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 7:54 pm :
THANK YOU for writing this! It's jsut as racist to vote for someone because they are black than to refuse to vote for them because they are black! Your point is not only a good one, but it is very well said.
 
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