Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

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


More by this author
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.





Join the Discussion


This article has 199 comments. Post your own!

Anoma21 said...
Mar. 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm:
While I'm not sure what your political views are as you never expressed them in the article, i will start by saying that i am a liberal/democrat and would've voted for Obama if I was of age. That being said, i agree with many of your points. It insults my political intelligence to parade Obamas victory as a racial victory when there is so much more importance to it than that. I didn't see nearly as many people expressing their joy about, say, the bans of stem-cell research being l... (more »)
 
dsp6594 replied...
May 7, 2010 at 6:29 pm :
I SO agree with you! Race has NOTHING to do with it. The person elected as president should be the person who is best for the job regardless of his (or her) race, religion, gender, or oany other personal traits. (I don't think traits is a good word to use, but you know what I mean!) (:
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
anonymous25 said...
Mar. 8, 2010 at 11:02 am:
You article was a bit insulting. I'm going to need for you to look at Obamas election as president in different eyes. Yes African-Americans went too far with his election. But you have to see it in an African-American's eyes, we went from slavery, getting whipped and controlled to having an African-American in the white house. That is an accomplishment, not a victory. Your article was good but you need to look at it in different eyes. Obama is trying to fix Bush's mess. I believe ... (more »)
 
Shinystarly replied...
Apr. 6, 2010 at 1:53 pm :

I'm left to wonder what you mean by "we" at the beginning of your comment. Surely, you don't mean that you, yourself, were whipped and are over 300 years old. If so, please go ahead with your comment, but if that is not the case, claiming that "we" were whipped and beaten, is taking credit for a hardship you had nothing to do with.

I believe the article is very open-minded, and it is you who has shut yourself off. You have assumed that just because the writer brings up the fact that Ob... (more »)

 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Gradschoolgrl said...
Mar. 7, 2010 at 12:43 pm:
You raise some really insightful points, but then you confuse me with some generalizations that overstate the extent to which we live in a "land of equal opportunity." Just want you to consider this point you put out there: "In my experience, modern society is not discriminatory in its presentation of opportunity." Are you white? Might this be different for a person of color who has experienced racism and social discrimination? I encourage you to look at the racial demographi... (more »)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
MountainGirl said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 12:00 pm:
Your article is really well written. What do you think about the supreme court nomination of Sotomayor? Do you think it makes a difference that we have a supreme court justice who is Latina instead of another white male?
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
spontaneous09 said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 9:26 pm:
I see how you think on some things. Yeah, you should not assume that just because Obama was elected that there will be no racial inequality or that things wll be completely different.
But, an African-American being elected to the White House is a wonderful achievement for all minorities. To hear people say that you can achieve anything but never see anyone who's done it who looks like you can be discouraging to many. So, his election the White House signifies many things.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Aileen_P said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm:
OMG! u r sooo rite. btw i remeber people freakin' out about him runnin' 4 president. they thought he was gonna force America to be Muslim and all this other crap that wasn't true. it was SOOOOOO annoying. i heard it at school all the time. u could always tell when someone was goin' to say something like that because their sentence would start with "i'm not racist but......"
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
XenonG said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm:
exactly how i feel-good work :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
xAllegria said...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 2:54 am:
I see what your getting at and I kind of agree. The thing is the definition of 'discrimination' does not go as far for all people. Second, I also agree with rightbehindyou61: differences can be a good thing too. And third: I don't think Obama being black is the only reason for all the celebration of his election. He is an intelligent president and seeing it's his job to clean up Bush's mess, which has caused quite an impact, his actions will be followed closely.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
edwardcullen4always said...
Feb. 27, 2010 at 11:18 am:
Omaba is not black he is mixed....but good article
 
shakesbeer replied...
Jun. 28, 2010 at 4:40 pm :
you are aware you made a fool of yourself hes not black he mixed you sound like you belong in an Asylum he has a race and last time i checked he was  the 1st BLACK preident
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
scribblesinthecity said...
Feb. 26, 2010 at 12:14 am:
you make ai good point, but it seems to me that you have forgotten that our differences in culture are what make America; America. If we forget that, or consider celebrating it as racist-like you seem to, then we will certantly loose the essence of what makes each of us special, individual, unique americans. and as far as people celebrating out first black president- we celebrate not only him being African American and president, but that he is the first; and hopefully not the last. We are ackno... (more »)
 
spontaneous09 replied...
Mar. 2, 2010 at 9:28 pm :
I agree completely. And, just because you supported Obama or were completely behind McCain does not make you racist.
 
scribblesinthecity replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 8:47 pm :
exactly! and i also agree completely with the comment you left above.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
rightbehindyou61 said...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 9:16 pm:
I see your logic, however you make it sound as if we should ignore our differences. By that logic, if someone else likes country music, I should not even listen to that because that would be acknowledging that we are not the same. Our differences should be embraced, not shunned! If we ignore what makes us different from one another, our lives will quickly become monotonous.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
crawfordkid This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 9:42 pm:
A very nice and well-written article; I especially enjoy the refreshing change of hearing someone who has a good enough head on their shoulders to use logic and common sense in political discussions. A very nice article indeed!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
krazyc1901This 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. said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 4:35 pm:
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
SharpestSatire said...
Feb. 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm:
SO GOOD. I agree. :)
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Ellie_Michelle said...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm:
I totally agree! That's what I was thinking myself.
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
AnneOnnimous said...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 2:16 pm:
i disagree on one point- racism doesnt necessarily mean that you notice their race- you're not sexist if you notice someone's sex , its just a natural odservation. If you notice someone's race and do nothing about it and don't think any different about them because of it, they most certainly are not, as you said, racist!!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback