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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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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?
 
shakesbeer said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 6:22 am

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. 

 

where do i start i can not believe my eyes, o you even know why there are black coalitions? because sean bell got shoot 51 times last year by the NYPD coming out a bac... (more »)

 
shakesbeer said...
Jun. 20, 2010 at 6:12 am

Barack Obama is now America’s first black president. You may say “Hooray!” but I say “So what?” 

 

what im black maybe you do not understand allow me to explain. no black person expects racism to end in fact the election showed how racist some people are, there were countless racist attacks on obama. like FOX news local anchor calling michelle obama a "baby mama", highly offensive. anyways your just confused because you base your article o... (more »)

 
Miara said...
May 29, 2010 at 2:06 pm
I agree.  I also think it's ironic that people call me racist because I don't like Obama, while they hate my race.
 
silverbookslayer said...
May 13, 2010 at 9:17 pm
why do we care that you are mixed, your complexion, or how you are perceived?? (I'm sorry for this sounding so hostile I don't mean it to be i'm just trying to understand the purpose of that statement.  Thank you.)
 
dsp6594 said...
May 7, 2010 at 6:15 pm

OMG! I love you right now for saying this!! I am mixed and I have light brown skin (however I'm usually just viewed as "black") and I don't like how everyone is making such a big deal about Obama being black. I understand that he's the first black president of America and all and that was exciting for about an hour on the night the votes were counted, but now it's old. I personally didn't know much about either candidate, so I couldn't pass my judgements.

One thing that you mentioned i... (more »)

 
Chewie said...
May 3, 2010 at 4:11 pm

I agree with you. Obama shouldn't be noted for being a black president, but for what he does in office.

Sadly, it seems in the south that many bash him simply for being black. I watched the inaguration in school. Most of the kids made up lies, such as him being a terrorist. I want to just out of my chair and rip their heads off.

 
lunar_moon said...
Apr. 28, 2010 at 12:23 pm

This is a powerfully writen peice of work, but a do slightly agree with lesliej94. Your point on the journalists was a little exagerated.

Although, I do not agree that Obama has been a great President so far.

 
lesliej94 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm
Woah now..let's calm down, I personally think President Obama is a great president black OR white. You might want to calm down on the journalist stab.
 
toxic.monkey said...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm
very convincing, and well written! nice job!
 
kysh15 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 11:23 pm
I agree completly!!!
 
Jose4Jesus replied...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 7:04 am
OH WORD. This is was the most racist election in history!! Whenever I'm like Obama is stupid and horribly immoral, all anyone can say in defense of him is "O.M.G. You're racist." What thee??? thanx for wording it. 5 stars!! I'm putting this in my favorites..
 
dsp6594 replied...
May 7, 2010 at 6:22 pm
lol I don't think you're racist (and I am black). It's ok to think that someone is stupid or immoral because a lot of people are; however, I'm not agreeing with you that Obama is one of these people. This isn't because I like Obama, but instead because I don't know enough about him to have an opinion (I'm not really into politics).
 
Jose4Jesus replied...
May 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm
lol thanx. :) I'm pretty into politics (probably more than I should be) and I think I can say that I know enough to despise his politics. Sorry, I shouldn't have attacked him though. I just really hate this beliefs and lack of moral standards which I will obviously link to him.
 
Soft_spoken said...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 9:46 am
I agree no one thinks that bill is weird is un constitutional im black and people follow Obama like he is a God he is BLACK AND WHITE not just black
the bill even say everyone has to get insurance or there will be penalties
Americans cannot put all there trust in the Government or they will have total control
 
amaranth178 replied...
Apr. 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm
I agree with the fact that, yes, he is 'black' and 'white', and if  acknowledged in terms of race, he should be considered as such. This is not a bad thing at all--I myself am proud of being mixed (hence my stance, huh?). I also agree with the idea that he, as President, should be judged on his political actions as opposed to his ethnic affiliation, but one must also acknowledge the fact that many African Americans feel a sort of pride because they never anticipated the presence of a 'black... (more »)
 
StarlightStormcloud replied...
Aug. 27, 2010 at 1:58 pm
amaranth: Clearly the joy and pride at the notion of the first black president are understandable and people who have these feelings shouldn't be held at fault.  The article is acknowledging that they are also symbols of the fact that there is still a long way to go before "colorblindness" is truly realized.     
 
. said...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 7:15 am
ooh I like the last sentence...
 
annexgrey This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 6:02 am
I really like your perspective on Obama being elected president - you have a good point, one that I often use myself.
The way you presented your arguement was also flawless and the whole artible flowed like a powerful river like that our ancestors generations ago would have relied on.
 
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