Still Not Colorblind | Teen Ink

Still Not Colorblind MAG

January 31, 2009
By Aaron S. BRONZE, Zebulon, North Carolina
Aaron S. BRONZE, Zebulon, North Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

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.



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This article has 214 comments.


on Oct. 26 2013 at 9:11 pm
deafening-fan GOLD, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
10 articles 1 photo 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

Alright, so here's the dealio. I totally agree with this article. In a sense. I felt weird saying "horray for Obama and african Americans (im caucasian by the way)" I mean ok we have the president, so what? My grandmother called monority groups colored and we all had shocked expressions. Ok to her this was news. She didn't know that people don't say "colored" anymore. My parents and she were puzzling about how to put it and i said, "Well, they're Americans." And I summed it up. If you're a citizen, you're a citizen. And that's really that.

on Sep. 16 2013 at 3:19 pm
AnInkling SILVER, Castle Rock, Colorado
6 articles 0 photos 110 comments

Favorite Quote:
“This is your life. Is it everything you dreamed that it would be, when the world was younger and you had everything to lose?” Switchfoot
“Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?” Galatians 4:16

This is so true. Our nation will be much better when we learn not to jump from one extreme to another. We are all people, not matter our skin color, but racism is evident in our country from 97% of black colored people voted for a black colored president. 

on Aug. 4 2013 at 9:35 am
WaterWatcher SILVER, Houston, Texas
9 articles 0 photos 27 comments

Favorite Quote:
Good things don't just happen to those that wait but to those that do.

I know that it would seem stupid to just be proud of a man for the colour of is skin, but as a proud African-American I couldn't be happier. I know it seems like a backwards step to suport him for the colour of his skin, but I grew up earing stories about some of my closest family members being hosed down when they fought for rasial equality. Seeing my grandfather cry when they announced Obama won I could not have been so happy. My grandfather said it was for that night that he marched to D.C., that he suffered being hosed, having a police dog attack him savagely, and having my father, aunts, and uncles. So that those who were younger than him could make a bigger difference in the world. So you can say that celebrating a black president is just furthuring rasial boundaries. But until you hear the stories of what it was like to be seen as less than a human, to be seen as even less than an animal or object, to exprience looks of disdain and hatred based on your skin colour, you don't know anything about being colour blind. Not until you know what it's like for everyone. Other than that it was a nicely written piece. Keep up the good work.

tisha BRONZE said...
on Jun. 19 2013 at 12:30 am
tisha BRONZE, San Jose, California
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles.

I agree with you that Obama being black does not make him a great president. Color obviously does not define someone's strengths & capabilities. But for me, I feel blessed and proud to have been alive to watch an African American be inaugurated into presidency.  It is in more ways than one an awing victory. 50 years ago, most African Americans probably wouldn't have believed that a man of their race could have possibly been elected president. The discrimination and prejudice they faced was extremely suppressive. Obama's words ring true: "If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible…, tonight is your answer.”

on May. 16 2013 at 8:14 pm
Awesome article :) Keep writing :)

on Feb. 3 2013 at 2:06 pm
The_girl_at_her_desk SILVER, Delhi, Kentucky
6 articles 0 photos 13 comments
you know thats politics. i happen to live in India and i every time i see people being selected or not selected on the basis of thier caste. As someone who has never experienced the hardships of the "lower" caste, i do feel that's wrong. but if i change my perspective a bit, put myself in thier shoes, i really do understand it.

wi234 said...
on Dec. 22 2012 at 12:12 pm
wi234, Boston, Massachusetts
0 articles 0 photos 18 comments
While some good points are made in this essay i feel you are deeply misguided. blacks in this nation still face discrimination and are not treated equally to think oherwise would be ignoring the facts. 

on Sep. 11 2012 at 10:22 pm
Jon Hollis BRONZE, Atlanta, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 13 comments
What is wrong with you? It's wrong to celebrate an African American becoming president? After so many years of strife, in a country where, at one point, black people weren't even allowed to read, a black man holds the highest possible postion you can obtain, and rejoicing about that is wrong? I know you said you didn't like people voting for Obama just cause he's black, but how much did that matter? Obama won because he was a better politician than Mccain. Obama won by a large margin, you know.

on Sep. 11 2012 at 10:14 pm
Jon Hollis BRONZE, Atlanta, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 13 comments
your assumptions are idealistic. This would be completely true and color-blindness would be perfect if there was indeed equal opportunity. But, because of discrimination and inequality in history, we must, for the time being, acknowledge race and take steps toward undoing the inequality that has been woven into the fabric of our society and would otherwise continue even without active discrimination.

on Sep. 11 2012 at 10:11 pm
Jon Hollis BRONZE, Atlanta, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 13 comments
Finally, an intelligent person.

on Sep. 11 2012 at 10:10 pm
Jon Hollis BRONZE, Atlanta, Georgia
2 articles 0 photos 13 comments
I bet you would, wouldn't you? You know who else would? All the other backwards, 'revese racism' believers. It's appaling, almost, for some people to see others succeed and think of it as a disadvantage to themselves. Obama won because he was a better politician than McCain. Quit making up excuses.

on Jul. 13 2012 at 12:52 pm
Desmothenes Locke GOLD, Cresskill, New Jersey
13 articles 0 photos 21 comments
Finally... someone said it! Voting for Obama because he is black is just as bad as not voting for him because he is black.

on Jul. 2 2012 at 4:54 pm
SingingismylifeSYV BRONZE, Sarasota, Florida
1 article 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"do you like music?"
~"do you like breathing?"

Honestly, I feel this article could not have been better said! I have respect for Obama, but I think many voted him in for the WRONG reasons. I don't think color of skin should be this much of a shock to America! Hahah. Really great article though! 

on Jun. 4 2012 at 7:50 pm
Different people in the world receive the business loans from various creditors, because that's fast and easy.

on Apr. 10 2012 at 4:55 pm
AndSoItGoes01 SILVER, Reno, Nevada
9 articles 0 photos 147 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The winter I told you icicles are magic, you stole an enormous icicle from my neighbors shingle, and gave it to me as a gift, I kept it in my freezer for seven months. Love isn't always magic, sometimes it's melting." -Andrea Gibson

There is nothing to say except you are a brilliant writer and have a rare point of view that others (including myself) can only dream of..... I can say that i would be HONORED to read a book that you write any say !!!!!!!!!!!

on Feb. 26 2012 at 2:41 pm
Anny_Grace SILVER, Centennial, Colorado
9 articles 0 photos 22 comments
Wow! Amzingly wirtten love your voice in it. And I applud you for speaking out, I feel just the same way. Hopefully you can bring this to attention. Great work!

Dipsy said...
on Feb. 4 2012 at 8:37 pm
Dipsy, Cresco, Iowa
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary"

I never would have ever thought it in this way. I don't have any constructive criticism because that was truely amazing.

Veritasrmc said...
on Feb. 4 2012 at 7:58 pm
I'm African-American and I'm NOT an Obama supporter. In fact, I never have been. However, that doesn't mean I was extremely pleased when he was voted into office. Despite what you may think, his election WAS a great victory for African-Americans. Fifty years ago, such a concept was unheard of. African-Americans were one of the most oppressed races, and now an African-American is one of the most powerful men in the word. If that isn't victory or triumph, I don't know what is. That's NOT being racist, it's being realistic. And when there's a woman president, I'll cheer just as loudly for her. When there's a Native American president, I'll cheer just as loudly. When there's a Jewish president, I'll be just as pleased. Whatever the case, being colorblind is not the solution.

on Jan. 13 2012 at 10:38 pm
TeamTamani SILVER, Adams, Tennessee
9 articles 0 photos 17 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I don't need a cloak to become invisible."-Albus Dumbledore
"Fear of a name increases fear of a thing itself."-Albus Dumbledore
"By all means continue destroying my possessions. I daresay I have too many."-Albus Dumbledore

I never really saw it like this, I like your perspective of writing. Keep on keeping on!

on Jan. 13 2012 at 9:47 pm
RoseMonster GOLD, Plainville, Connecticut
12 articles 0 photos 7 comments
wow. You know, I never thought of it that way,and honestly, I think this helps answer a lot of difficult questions people may have about race. Reading this, I realize that race really doesn't exist at all, at least in the sense that it is some highly distinguishing quality. Instead of thinking "he's black" or "she's white", it should be "we're human". Thanks for a great piece and a real mind-opener!