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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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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. 
 
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.
 
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RedheadAtHeartThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. 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 :
Exactly!!!
 
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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. 
 
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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!!!
 
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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.
 
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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!!!!!!!
 
Writer4Life_21 replied...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm :
sorry i didnt mean to write this as a reply but as a new comment... sorry loulou 16
 
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htrae22 said...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm:

this is really good i agree

 

 
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CgWillis said...
Feb. 17, 2011 at 11:10 am:
Thanks so much for posting this!  I couldn't agree more with what you're saying here.  You expressed it perfectly and in a reasonable way that offends no one.  Good job!
 
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nnjax7 said...
Jan. 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm:
i completely agree with u, all the african american kids at my scool wear alot of obama merchendise like shirts and jackets, and theyre always saying how proud they are, but practically none of them know nothing about politics and don't even care of he's doing a good job, they just think he's automatically gonna make things better cuz hes the first black president, it annoys the **** out of me
 
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Lletya said...
Jan. 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm:
I hate how all the black kids in my school are always like "Obama won!  Woo hoo!  Take that you racists!"  They don't realize that they are kinda being racist too by rubbing it in and saying how great he is to be the first black president. I've been called racist because I've said. "I don't give a **** about it.  He won so what?  I think McCain shoulda won."  I do not care for politics but I think people are very racist by saying how great Obama is for being the fir... (more »)
 
Inkfan replied...
Feb. 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm :

Amen, Brother Lletya!  Keep preachin'! :)

 

 
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Jasperbobmel said...
Dec. 30, 2010 at 2:30 pm:
I think it would be nice if we were all colorblind, in a sense... or maybe just all the same.  I wonder if the effects would be more positive or negative.  Either way, your point is well spoken and i agree one hundered percent.  We shouldn't look upon any other race as different in America.  Just as our founding fathers were, "dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," i think we should live that way to.  Unfortunately, not enough people do i... (more »)
 
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annaxananas said...
Dec. 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm:
You made your point very well, and  I agree with you on many points. However, I believe that for many people, the reason they are celebrating a black man in the White House is not because they are under the impression he will be a better president because he is black, but because our nation has progressed to the point that we can elect this suitable president, despite the fact his race is different from many of ours. Let me rephrase, in the past our country would hav... (more »)
 
Hejlna replied...
Aug. 12, 2011 at 3:04 pm :
totally, i completely agree
 
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signed44 said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm:
I agree completely. You have a very eloquent way of wording things that gets your point across very efficiently. 
 
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ErisRose said...
Dec. 13, 2010 at 4:49 pm:
I totally agree with this. If our country was over racism we wouldn't have even noticed that he happened to be African American. It should have mattered whether or not he was doing a good job, not what color his skin is.
 
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