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

January 31, 2009
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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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BlackSheep07 said...
Apr. 24, 2011 at 7:41 pm
I think you are very right. I talked to many people who supported Obama when he was running, and a majority of them said they did not know his stance on any of the campain issues, but were voting for him simply because he was "Change" or that he represented a step forward for African-American rights. For me, seeing Obama win was a great failure of this country to me. Not because of my personal views on him, but because I think he won simply due to the fact he was African-American. Honestly, I do... (more »)
rockstardream said...
Apr. 24, 2011 at 3:41 pm
This article is very well written- have you considered jorunalism?! I am complete and undisputed agerement with this- I'm tired of seeing all the campaisgn and ads and shirts that say "Obama is my homie', because no- Obama is not your homie, he doesn't even know who you are. Because in my polictical views I do not agree with Democratic points nor the new-age popular polictically correct mess, I am not a fan of Obama. I don't particularly care for McCain, but...Anyways, great job and thank... (more »)
Paranormal4Ever said...
Apr. 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm
this writing is so true.
Aderes18 said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 7:47 pm
I agree with some of the points in this article but not all of them. The reason why it was so remarkable that we have an African-American president was because for most of our nation's history, they have been oppressed. Obama's presidency shows that African-Americans have risen up. 
x803xKiller replied...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 3:02 pm
So you say they werent as good because they hadnt had a black president? true equality wouldnt care left or right if hes black, white, pink, yellow, or green with orange polka dots!
Aderes18 replied...
Apr. 18, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Not that they weren't as good!!! Where did you get that!!I used the word oppressed. No offence, but do you know what the word oppress means?

My point was this,

For most of our nation's history, African-Americans have been oppressed.

The election of a Black president shows that African-Americans have risen from oppression and prejudice.

That's all!!

True equality wouldn't care about race but unfortnately we havent't quite gotten there.But the election of a B... (more »)

LeahBerrot replied...
Jul. 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm
yes i know what the word means -_- my point is black people werent the only ones who were opresses, so its not fair that people say its so impressive for them or whatever when they wouldnt say it for any other coler but black.
Aderes18 replied...
Jul. 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Black people are certainly not the only people who were ever oppressed. Rwanda, Cambodia, Jews in the Holocaust...etc                                   But in this country, nobody was oppressed like African-Americans. African-Americans were the only slaves. 

Not true! People would say it was remarkable if a woman became president, or a member of any other race other than being Caucasian or a diffe... (more »)

Aderes18 replied...
Jul. 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

True. Black People were certainly not the only oppressed people in the world. Jews in the Holocaust, Bosnia, Kosovo...etc

But Africans-Americans were the most oppressed people in people. They were the only ones who were slaves.

I don't exactly think it's about the color of your skin. People would say it would be impressive if a woman became president or a Jew became president. They talk about it because no one's ever done it before. Because in fact, beore Obama, we've never... (more »)

Breece6 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 8, 2011 at 2:05 pm
I am part native American and would like to inform you that Black people were definitely NOT the only slaves.  The native American population was 95 percent wiped out and the rest were taken into slavery.  Black people were the next step after there weren't enough Native Americans to go around.
Aderes47 replied...
Nov. 12, 2011 at 3:37 pm
That is very true. That always comes to mind during Thanksgiving. We talked about this during Columbus Day in history class. Actually, someone in my history class is part Native American. Cool! I'm 1/32 Native American from my grandma on my mother's side.
RedheadAtHeart This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 2, 2011 at 6:02 pm
You are quite right. I am not an Obama supporter, and during the '08 election when I voiced my dislike, I was hit over and over with "You must be a racist!" It was futile to explain that no, it was because I disagreed with his politics. Thank you for exposing us to a new viewpoint.
ilovedayna replied...
May 13, 2011 at 9:22 pm
same here.
thesilentgirljackie replied...
Jun. 29, 2011 at 9:00 am
mplo replied...
Feb. 22, 2016 at 10:43 am
Me, too. When I watched the Obama-McCain debate on Foreign Policy, and Obama took the exact same positions as McCain regarding U. S. Foreign policy, I knew right away where his Presidential campaign, and, ultimately his presidency, were going. Same thing was true when Obama voted for the FISA Bill, which empowered the U. S. government to expand its ability to impose on people's privacy, and when he promised to "finish the job" that the U. S. started in Afghanistan, which he did.
HeidiBo said...
Mar. 20, 2011 at 11:27 am
Though I agree we should focus on his ability to lead and not his race, it is quite naive to say that America is a land of equal opportunity.  Millions of teens across the country still recieve a segregated education similar to that before the civil rights movement. 
beach said...
Mar. 11, 2011 at 3:55 pm
This is my point of view, but i have been too scared to right about it, cudos to you for doing so! Very well written!!!
Mightierthanasword said...
Feb. 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm
I completely agree! You have voiced the idea of biased racism extremely well. Also, people view racism as anything that opposes someone of another race, but true racism is when someone purposely targets another because of their race.
loulou16 said...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 4:48 pm
this is amazing! i never thought of it that way before.
Writer4Life_21 replied...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm
This was very well said. I am african american myself, and I hate it when my family says We have the first black president! I don't like when people say that they will not go to the school dance becuase only white people go to that dance. Racism still exists against both races and it is really annoying!!!!!!!
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