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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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benji said...
Aug. 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm
I think it is difficult to say whether the celebration of Obama's election was race driven in a negative or positive way.  I am a biracial (half African American, half white) woman and though I did not participate in the election of the current president, I did find Obama's win slightly uplifting but hear me out on my reasons for this. As a woman, I am constantly met with glass ceilings and glass walls that keep me from progressing in this world whether it is in the career field, educa... (more »)
 
beautifuldisaster18 said...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I agree with you 100%.

 

(And this article was very well written.)

 
Wicked-princess said...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 3:02 pm
 I agree! I mean I didnt like obama before I even knew he was black! Who cares about skin! I mean its pigment.
 
whispersofthenight said...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 11:34 am
I agree with you. Actually, around here, it's more like people think Obama will do a worse job, not better. I wish we could just ignore the racial issue. Great job on your article.
 
conversegirl23 said...
Jul. 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm
My thoughts exactly. Very well written article.
 
Esther V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm
this was such a well-written article. it seems like something that came right out of my history book but even better. i don't necessarily agree with everyone opinion in it but i always appreciate it when someone can articulate their point nicely. good job!
 
live-love-laugh said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm
I agree! thanks so much for putting it into words! More than that, it's a really well-written article. I also feel like the NAACP is often more racist than most of America will ever be. Great job! keep writing :-)
 
Imaginedangerous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 10:33 am
My feelings exactly. I don't think we can consider racism eliminated until we stop putting 'check race/ethnicity' bubbles on standardized tests, stop promoting people for the sake of 'diversity', and dissolve the NAACP (because there won't be a need for them if there's no more rascism).
 
Imaginedangerous This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 10:40 am
Wait, I'd better clarify that, just in case I accidentally offend anyone. Sorry. I do not mean that the NAACP should be dissolved. I mean that when it is, we'll know that racism is no longer an issue.
 
pixie5 said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 10:59 pm
I disagree. Just because President Obama is another ethnicity, doesn't mean that's the only reason people like him. At 1st people saw his election as a step foward in history from struggling so much in a society to causing a positive change. But a president should be voted for by the type of person they are, not their race or gender for that matter. And yes, it was a victory for all Americans.
 
Stargirl212 said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Seriously? People celebrated the election of President Barack Obama bacause it was a huge step towards eliminating racism; because yes, it still does exist. For centuries, many people have believed both women and people of different races are not smart enough somehow to hold any real position of power. Yes, there are black CEO's, yes, there are white hobos, but the only presidents of our country have been (generally) white men. Having a black president means that more than half of our country... (more »)

 
LoEssie replied...
Aug. 3, 2010 at 4:55 pm
I completely agree with you!
 
Goodness said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 7:52 pm
first, Obama is actually half caucasian and half African-American. this is an okay article; there's too many big words. Are you trying to prove you are smart?
 
KK2013 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm
Bahahaha, that was a really funny comment. just saying.
 
live-love-laugh replied...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm
While I do agree with you on the fact that Obama is actually biracial, I resent the rest of your comment. :-( Perhaps the writer is smart, and those words come naturally to her. Maybe you could learn those words, and improve both your vocabulary and your writing.
 
beautifulworld replied...
Jul. 12, 2010 at 5:57 pm
wow, just what words did you not understand?? I really  was surprized with your comment, where were there any "big words"???
 
LOLSMILEYFACE replied...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 6:52 pm
Seriously. I agree with the beginning of the comment. There are big words that I know the definitions of but the younger people that read this article might not. For their sake, we should at least do a little dictionary or something. 
 
Goodness replied...
Jul. 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm
Okay, how many times to you write? I write a lot every day. Now tell me, how could I improve my writing and vocabulary? I know all of these words. And how many classic books have you read? How many books have you read? Exactly my point. Besides, it's only an okay article. It's a semi-interesting topic, but everyone's already talked about it a lot. It's sort of becoming a cliche now.  
 
Smileyky108 said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 10:19 am
I really like this! I loved your last sentence. But, I really do think that it's unbelievable that 50 years ago, black people were beaten up for wanting to vote. So I think having a black PRESIDENT is something we should celebrate. & Racism does still exist, we aren't completely past that, for example, if someone in my class says "I don't like Obama" another will say "Are you racist???!!!" It's pathetic. But, I DO really like your point of view, and this article. & I really think that we... (more »)
 
Maja_Orlowska said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 10:18 am
why? can't the author have her own opinion?
 
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