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. 8 2010 at 5:37 pm
gulljack SILVER, Richland, Michigan
9 articles 1 photo 19 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Narwals-the unicorn of the sea!"

I  totally understand where you are coming from. I really like this story 

Curly_Sue said...
on Oct. 8 2010 at 4:30 pm
Curly_Sue, Sand Springs, Oklahoma
0 articles 0 photos 76 comments
I see what you mean, but i have to add that if a hispanic person becomes president it would probably be a whole different story. There are too many hard feelings toward hispanics right now to be able to say that.

on Oct. 8 2010 at 2:10 pm
alayapoetgirl BRONZE, St. Louis, Missouri
4 articles 0 photos 92 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is hard; but it's harder if you're stupid. -John Wayne

I completely respect your point of view. However, I don't feel like you understand why the media was all over the idea of having an African American president. It wasn't about dividing races, it was about finally overcoming the hardships that African Americans have suffered in the past. Obama winning the election was a fine example, that African Americans can do anything they set their minds to. Isn't that a celebration in itself? If there's a Hispanic individual that becomes president in the future, I'm sure there will also be celebration. I don"t believe that celebrating Obama's victory in a racial context, celebrates the past racial divides. It simply shows people that all  are equal.

Essie SILVER said...
on Oct. 1 2010 at 9:11 am
Essie SILVER, Richmond, Illinois
5 articles 1 photo 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
When in doubt...make your character climb up a tree :)

You go, girl!

hrf1434 GOLD said...
on Sep. 30 2010 at 9:25 pm
hrf1434 GOLD, Collierville, Tennessee
10 articles 4 photos 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
Don't Judge a Girl by Her Cover

Amen sister

7Ariel7 BRONZE said...
on Sep. 16 2010 at 3:14 pm
7Ariel7 BRONZE, Plymouth, Massachusetts
3 articles 0 photos 36 comments

Favorite Quote:
All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

AWESOME!!! you did an excellent job of proving a very touchy point. i agree and you completely andf am jealous that i didnt write this!!! :)

on Sep. 16 2010 at 2:33 pm
Imaginedangerous PLATINUM, Riverton, Utah
31 articles 0 photos 404 comments

'You really can't be trusted to provide any sort of view of how Obama's election relates to racism because you are so clearly opposed to Obama in the first place.' -KidB1963

Does this mean that the opinions of someone who disagrees with you don't matter? That someone who is an ardent supporter of Obama is more capable of seeing things objectively?

Your reasoning is flawed. He is entitled to his opinion and you to yours, no matter what your political affiliation is.


on Sep. 13 2010 at 7:55 pm
spiritualrevelationrevealspainandrevolution PLATINUM, Eugene, Oregon
23 articles 0 photos 212 comments
ummmmm did you read the whole article, actually thought it was pretty fair

-Annie- BRONZE said...
on Sep. 8 2010 at 9:53 pm
-Annie- BRONZE, Greenville, Texas
3 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Don't tell God how big your storm is, tell your storm how big your God is."

I absolutely LOVED this! It is so true, and you wrote it amazingly well. =]

on Sep. 7 2010 at 7:33 pm
Lanna8o9 BRONZE, Medina, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

Favorite Quote:
We can do whatever we want to do whenever we want to do it
~Anonymous

I thought this article was great- well written and very intelligent. It makes me a bit sad to see the ignorance of Americans yet still expanding.

whatever... said...
on Sep. 1 2010 at 7:54 pm
It's not a big deal to me. I think most people that voted for him voted for him to prove that they weren't racist. However voting for him specifically because he has a different skin color is racism too. Only against the other kind. So...it's neither a victory or a defeat. There was no one we were fighting.

on Aug. 27 2010 at 1:58 pm
StarlightStormcloud, Pasadena, California
0 articles 3 photos 34 comments
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.     

on Aug. 25 2010 at 10:51 pm
artist22 SILVER, Cranford, New Jersey
6 articles 25 photos 46 comments

This article makes valid points in that the victory of Obama should be regarded as the victory of an American, regardless of his race. I agree that he should be judged as a typical president and the focus definately should not be on his skin color.

However, I believe that Obama's victory is also a sign of America's  continually growing steps towards racial and social equality, and his election is certainly a landmark not to be overlooked. It makes me a proud American to know that we may be seeing more diverse people in positions of power to represent the diverse American body. BUT, they should only be in these positions of power because of their abilities, NOT because they are solely racially or ethnically diversified!

 


on Aug. 25 2010 at 9:05 pm
KidB1963 BRONZE, Brockton, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"That old saying, how you always hurt the one you love, well, it works both ways."

And the rest of my comment got cut off.  But seriously, if you believe this, I have nothing to say to you.  I am completely dumbfounded that such a radical, pointless, and racist piece got into Teen Ink, and even moreso that people agree with it.

on Aug. 25 2010 at 9:03 pm
KidB1963 BRONZE, Brockton, Massachusetts
1 article 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"That old saying, how you always hurt the one you love, well, it works both ways."

I truly disagree with this on many levels.  First, you really can't be trusted to provide any sort of view of how Obama's election relates to racism because you are so clearly opposed to Obama in the first place.  People criticize the media for being slanted not because it's true but because it's easy.  The only blatant exception is Fox News - conservative.  I supported Obama and I don't have a 'smug smirk' on my face.  Many people who voted for Obama are very critical of his nowadays.  Such a sweeping statement is both ignorant of Obama and everyone who supported him - aka, most of America.  It's the equivalent of blocking your ears and saying 'na-na-na I can't hear you."

Lilliterra said...
on Aug. 25 2010 at 12:16 pm

I mostly agree with this article. I think there is only one race: the human race. I think that racism is highly uncommon in the United States, and that the only reason we still think it really exists is because the media publicizes any isolated incedents they can.

On the other hand I think there's nothing wrong with calling people "black" if they are, or "white" if they are. It's something obvious, that everyone can see, and it's part of your appearance. Are people embarrassed when they say that someone has red hair? It's more racism to be embarrased about what people are, than it is to just come out and say it.

I prefer the term "black" to "African American," because really, they're not African, they're American! Would someone call me, "European American"? No! I think it's much more discriminatory to talk about them like they belong somewhere else, than to observe the ONLY difference, which is in skin color.


benji said...
on 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, education, etc.  My skin color, because I am a darker mixed person, only adds to this conflict and stagnitacious situation. To me, seeing a mixed person who is not of the Majority in this country be chosen by the people to lead our country gave me hope that the cielings and walls that have kept me stationary may be getting thinner. It isn't that I was condoning racism against the majority or anything along those lines, but as a small personal victory for any minority group that our color and ethnicity may not matter as much any more and the playing field may be leveling off with the coming years.  So please don't take any celebrations of his presidency as condoning racism because chances are pretty good that isn't the case. (Plus, many people who I spoke to who voted for him did so because of what he stood for, not because they pity the underdog or that he is a minority.)

on Aug. 3 2010 at 6:19 pm
beautifuldisaster18, Arlington, Texas
0 articles 1 photo 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
Keep your feet on the ground, When your head's in the clouds.

I agree with you 100%.

 

(And this article was very well written.)


LoEssie BRONZE said...
on Aug. 3 2010 at 4:55 pm
LoEssie BRONZE, Freeport, New York
3 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
A room without books is like a body without a soul. I don't know who wrote that, it was just on an advertisement at my library. . . hahaha.

I completely agree with you!

on 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.