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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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montana said...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 10:04 am:
u r right. Can you read my review and critigue it. Thx
 
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Dandelion said...
Dec. 26, 2009 at 8:38 am:
Exactly what I've always thought! When I see a person of a different race, it doesn't even register in my mind that this person is any different that I am, or that I should support them for this reason. Well said!
 
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case said...
Dec. 18, 2009 at 12:24 pm:
as a fact, i just got back from posting on the topic of "is obama full of junk" and i see what you mean, as any presedent just because he is a ethnic poster boy doesn't mean he can make a few mistakes once in a while. this shows weakness, mortality, and i think we chose a canidate who can handle these reponsibilities.
 
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Persona said...
Dec. 16, 2009 at 12:52 am:
Though I personally support Obama, I agree. I could not get over the fact that my Sign Language teacher would not shut up about my non-recognition of how important it was that a black man was elected, then chastising me as if supported McCain, when in face the opposite was true. One should support their politicians based on their policies, not their race, ethnicity, party, or religion.
 
Destinee This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Mar. 24, 2010 at 3:52 pm :
I agree completely. It often annoys me how people often voted for Obama because of his colour, instead of his policies.
 
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*JustDance* said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 11:39 pm:
I completely and totally agree. A lot of people just voted for him because he was black and they wanted an African-American president. I have no problem with having an African-American president, but the fact that they voted based on race and not his political views in my opinion is racist. People could be called sexist for not voting for Hilary Clinton, I think it's just stupid for people to see this as a sign that we're finally over racism as you pointed out.
People of all dif... (more »)
 
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Miss_Bliss said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 10:48 pm:
Though I've never really thought about it this way, I have to agree with you. Everyone (even me) is triumphant over having an African-American man as president at last, as, like you said, they (we) believe the US has overcome most racism and racist beliefs. But a) there are still acts of racism being committed every day (there were some pretty big ones reported right after the election), and b) America will only really be truly non-racist when we CAN, like you said, evaluate our new preside... (more »)
 
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desiree1 said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 10:23 pm:
I agree completely with this article. (plus it's admirably well written, good job!) however, i totally see why people would celebrate that Obama is black anyways, because they are celebrating the progress we are making towards a discrimination free future. i mean, consider all of the things that Americans have done to their fellow Americans of different races the past several centuries... although some may applaud obama for the wrong reasons (like with what you said of people saying he'... (more »)
 
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Abby:) This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 9:57 pm:
I agree to some degree. I mean, its true that we shouldn't think that since Obama is here, racism is gone. And we probably should focus more on what he is going to do for America's future. But this is a big step of progress towards a discrimination-free future. Emphasizing this step is not a form of racism, but the acknowledgement of it, and a celebration that we are really making advancements. Black people used to tell their children that "they can be anything, but President.&quo... (more »)
 
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alex9426 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 9:37 pm:
i absolutely agree. i consider myself a moderate republican and am not in favor of what obama has done so far. but if i criticize him, does that make me racist?? of course not. it's just as silly to say that you hate white people if you don't like bush. thanks for writing this.
 
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izz123 said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm:
Discrimination is "treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit:" while racism is "a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others."
I kind o... (more »)
 
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Tashie said...
Dec. 4, 2009 at 1:48 pm:
Very valid. The whole election was boistered on not being racist, on seeing past color, but every article in the newspaper proclaimed African American. If supporters of Obama can't see past his skin color, then how can they expect others too? It's like the Nobel Prize, part of me feels that he was awarded that due to skin color. I applaude what he stands for and the direction he wants to take America in, but my views are educated, researched and based on his prior actions, not the way ... (more »)
 
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E.L.W. said...
Nov. 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm:
Very good article -- and I love the point being made. We have all black colleges which many applaude, but if there was an all white college nowadays there would be an uproar. Racism goes both ways.
 
scribblesinthecity replied...
Mar. 10, 2010 at 7:14 pm :
but heres the thing: look at the average high-end college in america (like Harvard for example), how many African-american students do you see? not many, or at least much less that the number of white students. the percentage of African American college enrollment is still much much lower that that of white Americans (im pretty sure its about 12% for black people, 75 % for whites. but i cant say those are the exact numbers). So in a way, im sure many black kids look at colleges like Harvard and ... (more »)
 
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LUVSPIE!!! said...
Nov. 12, 2009 at 7:53 pm:
This article really made me think. Part of me agrees and the other doesn't. I'll be thinking about this writing for a while, but good job.
 
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firstsnowfalls This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm:
I can kind of hear what you are saying but I don't believe it is for the right reasons. If racism is so nonexistent in this country, then why has their never been a black president before now? Are African Americans less smart, less qualified? No. Are women inferior to men? No. But somehow, this is our first black president and no females yet to speak of. I agree that we should look at candidates for what they bring to the table, not their color. But this is still an amazing point in... (more »)
 
scribblesinthecity replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 8:50 pm :
all i can say in response to your comment is: ur absolutely correct! thank you for writing this
 
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simmokim said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 6:44 pm:
it raises the question... was Obama elected in spite of his color or because of it?
 
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EcoWriter3 said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 4:48 pm:
Beautifully written. I agree that we should not judge Obama by his race or skin color, but how well he performs his duty.
 
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GirlWithWings56This 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...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 4:20 pm:
Good article. First of all, I see your point. Second of all, I somewhat disagree with it. You say it shouldn't be a triumph and we shouldn't be so excited that we have the first black president, but we are. the fact is, the US is an extremely biased and racist country and it IS a triumph to have the first black president, because the US history is full of bigotry and prejudice and the fact that the American citizens have elected a black leader is astounding. And yes, just because he is... (more »)
 
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