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scnex in Harlem claims: "get it clear, not all people descend from slaves, there where more whites that where 'indentured servants' than there were blacks that where illegally as well as morally divided from there people, where as whites came to a land of there own choosing as slaves. for that is there mentality.... get it clear that africans where here before whites were....... jack"
Clear as mud... White people brought Africans here 'illegally' but the Africans were here first... Put the crack pipe down and type with two fingers...
Obama may not identify as "Black" in the same way that some (and perhaps many) African Americans do and therefore he might not be their perfect candidate. (As an aside, I'm a white American who has never had a President that I could identify as being like me, either.) That someone who is not white can secure the nomination of a major American political party and have a reasonable chance of winning the Presidency says that this is possible and nothing more. To some Americans, (and many non-Americans) that this is possible IS news, but I'm not personally surprized. So now everyone should know what I've thought for many years, that the barriers of race and gender are not as great as many people, especially Blacks and women, have thought.
When someone like Obama wins, it is a victory for everyone. White and black and Asian and Native American and latino and Middle Eastern. This is not about black or white.This is about us as a country. The second group of people I told on Tuesday were middle-aged African-American. They were excited, too. Hillary tried to divide us; her supporters begged for unity. Look, this IS unity. This is an incredible moment, and a great opportunity.
I mentioned, shortly after Obama had clinched the nomination Tuesday, to a girl running a corner store, that Obama won.She reacted as if she had just won the lottery.She was jumping up and down and smiling and laughing.She is not black.She is a first generation Chinese American.A couple of people mentioned it on this board, too, that even though they are not black, and not white, they are deeply moved by Obama's win. Not for the first time, I'm really happy for my country. This is a victory for all mixed-race and non-white and white Americans.
sheeeeela, yeah only a little condescending a) because you feel you have to tell us that and b) because you acknowledged that it might be condescending. We are used to the superior attitude however and nonetheless, we are still proud of the Senator!
Well Torres, the people, your people that told you this, do well to jump on the band wagon because, the brown folks are in the next car back from the Blacks as far as whites are concerned.. believe it!! Ask the Mexicans.
He may not be a "product" of american slavery...that is logic for the "intelligent" people, but I promise you, he pays his dues based on the melanin in his skin, same as the rest.
There are people that will never votefor Obama because he is mixed race andlooks black.
But there are some people, that told me this,just a few months ago, that are now takinga 2nd look.
Because they do not want to go to anotherwar in Iran and they are afraid that McCain,will do this.
And because they are hurting,car pooling to save on gas.
They are worried about money,about the war, about health insurance,about college money for their kids.
Obama is talking to them and they arelistening.
I think Obama's election will be a great leveler for black and white people in this country. We whites will have to get over a little of our presumptions of superiority.
My parents are Irish immigrants and I was a kid when JFK was elected. My whole family was reeling with pride even though he was far removed from our socio-economic situation. I wish the same thrill and pride for African Americans. I hope that's not condescending - I think his election will be great for all of us in the US. And the rest of the world. Not to put too much pressure on the guy.
*sp - Chaos
Tony, I agree with you in post 67.
zak, the "they" most Black American seniors 65/70 above is usually "the whites". Can go deeper but it would probably creat caos on the board. Use your imagination about who the older Black Americans feared back when, well and still now in their minds are fearful of.
to #'s 14 bored and 27 Steven - "product of american slavery" - decendents of US slaves have, for many years, been trying to get reparations for the injustice inflicted, B.O. would not be eligible since he is not a decendent of american slavery (and I wonder how he is going to react as president when that bill is introduced yet one more time) in the american psyche we are divided into decendents of slaves (lowest on the totem pole) caribbeans and other black immigrants. Most non-white Personalities run first from being labeled black, but blacks always forgive and flock to them. Note B.O. is carrying them in every state. Look at the difference in early versus later turn-out media statistics #27 - I'm appalled at your personal attack.
Obama's race is determined for practical reasons by how society reacts to him. How many empty taxis rode by him before he was on the cover of magazines? How the police treated him. While blacks have come out in overwhelming numbers for him(Thanks for the Jesse won SC comments, Bill), a vote in the affirmative isn't the same as a vote in the negative. People don't say "I won't vote for a bi-racial candidate" or the more subtle "America's not ready for a bi-racial candidate." Even if they did say that, it's only code for "I'm not voting for(to paraphrase a troglodyte elsewhere on the comments pages) "the negro."When Tiger Woods was young and naive and sticking to the bi-racial narrative to describe himself, Charles Barkley who was an early mentor told him "Tiger, you're black. Because Thai and white people don't get hate mail calling them n%#@*r." Seems to me that the ultimate test of a man's racial identity is the bigotry it inspires.
zaki wonder who the "They" was he was refering to?
Well said, Zak
Zak, it moved me to hear that just now, I hear that a lot from the over 65/70 Black American group.
HJS, I guess you have not been listening to everything Mr. Obama has said, he has most certainly referred to himself as bi-racial. We are not ignorant, we know why he refers to himself as a Black Man. Same reason Tiger Woods is so darned confused, along with several other prominent and non bi-racial Americans.
I think those who wish to deny the salience of race in American politics and life, (for example, "BORED") are absolutely blind or in denial. I am white and of reasonable financial means, but I see white supremacy played out in myriad ways daily. Those who wish to deny it are generally white and willfully blind to the privileges and blank checks provided them by sheer virtue of their race.
To wit: I was living in Chicago at the time Barack Obama was elected Senator. I was wearing an Obama button while sitting at an outdoor cafe having a cup of coffee. An African American man who must have been between 60 and 70 walked up and sat down with me. We chatted a bit and he said to me, "I like your button. I like Barack Obama...but you know they're going to kill him. They killed Martin, they killed Bobby, they killed Medgar...they killed everybody. Don't you think they won't kill him too." I was almost moved to tears...given this man's experience, nihilism was the only reasonable approach to maintain one's sanity. Tell this man that race doesn't matter anymore. I dare you.
I dare to hope Mr. Obama will approach the Middle East situation with an agenda for change. This will not happen with an open pocketbook for a failed surrogate such as Israel. The wrong headed foreign policy of the past requires a serious rethink.
what does BO call himself. i've never heard him say biracial, has he? i've heard him say african american. maybe we should follow HIS lead not the PC chorus
Lakers and Celtics in the Finals in the 80's...perfection.
Enjoy the game tonight, enjoy the series and enjoy Obama v. McCain. I'm sure, as a Ron Paul guy, the latter is gonna be a bad policy buffet for you.
Born and raised in Easton, PA.Denizen of Hell's Kitchen for thirty years.
We need to elect Mr. Obama as president and I agree with zuwena. Post # 43.
Obama's not even black -- he's half white/ half black. Much like most Americans, who are of mix race. If people would just stop discussing one's race or ethnicity, perhaps there would be no racism here in the United States of America.
Also, I find it that people tend to focus more if a black succeeds in anything, sports for example that is usually dominated by whites; if black person breaks a barrier in sports by winning that sport, people focus on the fact that he/she is black. But when an Asian American (Michael Chang, Michelle Kwan, etc.) wins or competes highly is a sport event, no one refers to them as being Asian-America.
It is my veiw that just as in Obama there are two bloods, black and white, so too in him there are two spirits, J.F.Kennedy and Martin Luther King.This merging will, in the long-run, bring together in an incredible way the races of this country.His nomination, and possibly his Presidency, is a plus to both races. It must not be veiwed as one-sided in veiw of my race(African). Neil.
While I think this feels empowering for a great many people, I agree with what I think Poster #8 was saying. We are not past it because while we congratulate ourselves for now being "over" racism, the truth is that when we are faced with someone unpleasant, the first place we go to is that person's gender, race, sexual preference etc., etc.
I think we still have notions of what an "acceptable" black person is. Or what an "acceptable" woman of any color is. Or on and on.
I actually said Celtics in 6 to make a point that sports brings out the least racist aspects of people...I'm a middle aged white guy from boston...I also said Celts in 6 to get a rise out of any lakers fans here...
I appreciate the invitation, which I will politely decline, but I didn't appreciate the "Celtics in 6" post (even though I agree with your prediction).
There is alot of parroting on these boards but to throw in a post that has nothing to do with the segment in order to trivialize the subject is unecessary, small-minded and petty. I think you know this.
If you're gonna do something childish you should expect a reaction. I think you were trying to elict one, no?
It's hard to search for someone’s comment history here so I'll help you out - NYer born & raised & proud of it. Independent and I favor Obama, if you haven't been able to figure out why I would favor him by now you will after he goes a couple of rounds with McCain.
I agree with posts #43 and #50!!
While this is a historic milestone, it points out the healing and progress that remains to be done. The fact that polls show 20-30% of Americans believe Obama is a muslim illustrates the gap between enlightened Americans and their more "traditional" brethren. This may open the way for political and professional opportunities for blacks in the US. But make no mistake, blacks will still be followed around by security in department stores when they go to buy a suit for their post Obama interview or campaign event. Blacks will still be stopped and frisked more often than whites. Blacks will receive the death penalty and be falsely convicted more often than whites. We should remember that even after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball, there was still a colored section in the bleachers for 20 years after that.
to poster number 43 brain always do this im glad you picked up on this,just listen when he does the black american and immigrant shows,listen how he lets the non grateful immigrants go on and on attacking black americans.immigrants need to get a reality check on who have made it possible to country and live freely BLACK AMERICANS
We are still too immature on race relations in this country.
It only means that the predominately white male voter would rather follow another male of any race rather than a female of any race.
AWM...originality on this message board?...c'mon everyone parrots something on this forum. Like i said yesterday and u objected too i didn't drink the Kooliaid...I actually drank the Ron Paul Koolaid...Lets all join hands and sing koombayah...I don't like any of the choices in the election and get a lil mocking (don't I)...I actually am extremely original but I guess it translates as sarcasm...sorry...This show is knee jerk, but I listen just about everyday...
let me persue yer commentsto see yer slant...or email them to me and I will read at my leisure...or lets me for coffee astor place tomorrow morning
It does not mean a thing! We still cannot call this man BI-RACIAL!
whites never have to william terd
Much has been written about how Obama had to tone down his 'blackness" to appeal to white voters. I think this misses the point.
Like any elected official, Obama had to appeal to his community's interests when he ran for local office. As a state senator from the south side of Chicago, his agenda had to appeal to the interests of the voters he would represent. Unsurprisingly, it would be a black agenda.
Running for statewide office, Obama could not confine his appeal to the black community alone. He had to offer the "greatest good for the greatest many" if he was to win election as senator from Illinois. It is no surprise he is doing the same seeking the presidency.
An election deals with the most basic transaction: what will you promise me in exchange for my vote? If a politician has nothing to offer you, why should you vote for him?
What a politician has to offer can be broad and varied. He may earn a vote simply be being from the same group as the voter, or he can earn that vote on charisma, values, agenda or even for bringing money back to the district or state. They all count.
The question going forward is which candidate can rack up more of these basic transactions to secure election--Obama or McCain?
Brian you need to stop trying to create a divide between Blacks, especially native and foreign born. I'm native, born in Harlem, college educated and I share conservative, radical and liberal views with lots of folks--white, Black, Caribbean, etc. I am annoyed that you don't expect individual Blacks to have the same diversity of opinions that whites do. When was the last time, or even the first time that you asked a white person whether they felt a certain way because they were native or foreign born,i.e., european.
With regard to Obama, his nomination will mean something to America and America's image in the world when, and only when he is elected. And, finally, please stop calling Obama an African American. Have you ever considered what an insult this is to his white mother and grandparents. What he is--a MAN who reflects the "melting pot" that America used to emphasize and stand for eventhough at the time the nation's leaders said those things they meant to include only the diversity of Europeans.
Hey Joe #25 & #31,
"Celtics in 6?"
You are really in love with your perspective and the opportunity to repeat it.
The problem is you don't seem to be able to say anything thoughtful or original.
Typical parrot... repetitive, no mental agility, small brain circumference.
all o-bama is a black man white people can digest,hes soft and is a non threat
That caller Jameel (sp?) is completely right. People of all races are deluding themselves thinking that this means there has been progress in the fight against white supremacist thinking. If anything, BO's presidency will be used to further degrade poor people of color who are pushed into the criminal justice system in disproportionate numbers and edged out of the formal economy. Now, Americans will just say, "Barack Obama is president! See? No racism, just lazy people of color who should blame themselves for their situation." I appreciate Jameel's point about BO at the helm of the capitalist nation that exploits the globe for its profit, and what *that* means for black people worldwide.
It amazes me that people say a man named "Barrack Hussein Obama" has run away from being black to make himself palatable to white america.
When I heard the speech from Philly I heard the voice of greatness. I don't care if this guy is pink or purple -- it was the way he approached the issue -- with intelligence and a broad view.
As far as racism in the USA is concerned I want it to GO AWAY! To disappear as a issue or condition in the US. I did not have slaves. I did not put anybody down. I'm tired of being harranged for something I didn't do.
If Obama can make it go away it will be great, but I'm voting for the man as a leader of us all.
ps I'm a white, male senior citizen.
just to clarify... the idea is understood, their and there, people are people, and this topic is of an justification for evil ways...
just to clarify... the idea is understood, their and there, people are people, and this topic is of a form of justification for the evil that people do...
Stevenhe is an elite because he went to private schools like the Punahou School. how do u know harlemlady is self hating?
Colin Powell and Condi Rice are people of color, have served at the highest levels of the government and are more qualified to be president than Obama. The politics of color from people of color separate how black leaders are viewed. I am white and could vote for Colin or Condi based on what responsibilities they've shouldered. Obama is obviously a good orator but what has he done to qualify to be president?
Brian,The majority of people of African descent in North America, the Caribbean, Central and South American whether they are English or Spanish speaking are the descendants of slaves.
For some reason only the bondage of African Americans is prominent in the public consciousness.
For the naysayers it seems to be another example of wallowing in victimhood -- unable to take "yes" for an answer.
No matter what progress is made (and I am not denying that much more needs to be made) there are some who will always frame things to fit their view.
In this case, a black man becomes the nominee of a major party and their response? He's a "white man's black man."
What struck me about Obama, was that he transcends this nonsense consistently (he has internalized this) and that's the ironic beauty. He PROVES that it's not always about race. It's about the country being color-blind when it finds someone who meets its criteria for various quality.
Some can't accept that. It undermines their worldview.
hey how we gonna pay for health care?...and what about giving 30 billion to Israel when people in NO are still homeless...just wondering...you ever take magic mushrooms...the come down sux
Obama’s race neutral approach is only natural because he is striving to be the President to all peoples. I am neither black and white but an immigrant. I expect him to address the issues of all groups of Americans not just African-Americans. I am an Obama supporter because I felt he addressed my issues – not every issue but at least some of it. I also connect with him as an immigrant who has family else where in the world just like Obama; having a living grandmother in Kenya. He is a second generation American and that is amazing.
Too many people expect Barack Obama to be a one-man social movement, along the lines of the Civil Rights Movement. He's just a politician. He seems to be inspiring a lot of people to get active, so I guess I'll say that he's just as good as the movement he helps along.
Totally agree with the caller, Obama is President for all American, not just Black American. As Asian American, 1st generation Anerican, I'm proud.
harlemlady,I'm sorry Obama didn't fall into your sad, stereotyping of black people. If Obama is now part of the "elite" it's because he's not a self-hater like you. Keep pretending America's racial attitudes haven't changed so you can rationalize your personal short comings.
To the callers who are saying Obama needs to speak up more about race - I think at least from the get-go, this would kill the campaign - in the same way that if Hillary started speaking fervently about sexism. Come on, people - haven't you noticed how milquetoast most Washington insiders are? First people like Obama and Clinton have to GET IN, then, once they are accepted by all Americans, and have their trust, then they can speak about whatever agenda they feel strongly about - but they cannot do so in a way that puts off others, either.
Celtics in 6
Isn't this all a fancier way of asking the old question "Is he black enough"?
If I had any doubts about that, they went away during the Kentucky and WV campaigns. He is black enough for people to look straight into a camera and say calmly that they would not vote for him for that reason.
get it clear, not all people descend from slaves, there where more whites that where 'indentured servants' than there were blacks that where illegally as well as morally divided from there people, where as whites came to a land of there own choosing as slaves. for that is there mentality....
get it clear that africans where here before whites were....... jack...
It is profoundly significant, but will not be as pervasive as some Americans, Black and White, hope for. Two anecdotes I heard recently describe it well for me. A Black male school teacher commented that he noticed a positive difference in the aspiration and desire of his young black male students once Obama clinched the Democratic nomimation. Also, a television commentator said something quite telling a few days ago. To paraphrase, 'racism has not been acceptable in our country for many years, but there will likely always be bigots in America.'
As for my personal perceptions and those of friends, we are still looking for the advantages that Geraldine Ferraro says that we inevitably enjoy. Attitudes like those of Ferraro still limit talented and hardworking Black Americans. The sad thing is that she refuses to acknowledge her bias (not necessarily racism). This is the same Geraldine Ferraro who came to a large Harlem political rally in 1984 and proclaimed 'I'm here to hear about great music and Martin Luther King.' It's true. I was there!!!
The symbolic issue is Important and I already discussed it with my two teens. We are ecstatic about Barack.
But it is not a substitute for other efforts that the Black community needs to undertake for itself.
Finally Barack's nomination is a milestone and great achievement for ALL Americans.
It's not only that he's the first nominee of color, it's the way he presents, conducts himself and his intelligence. We're finally moving beyond the concept of Jesse, Al, etc. as the "leaders of the black community"
Re: "structural issues?"
Why didn't Obama speak out about "structural issues?"
He's trying to run for president!
Would you rather have had him speak out about the Jena 6, Sean Bell, etc. and LOSE?
To quote Neil Armstrong, "one small step for man, one giant leap for man kind."
The first giant leap - need many, many more.This is a major acomplishment, not just for Black Americans, or Minority Americans, but all Americans.
43 years after the Voting Rights Act we have a Black Presidential Nominee. It took 66 years from the first powered flight to space.
As an Asian American, I've had a complicated attitude towards this country, even though I was born and raised here. I love and respect the principles this nation was founded upon and consider myself patriotic, imperfectly though those principles are made manifest. Despite the fact that the WWII internments were more than half a century ago, however, to a certain degree minorities are deemed "less American." Don't get me wrong - I hardly consider myself a firebrand activist; I am more amused than irritated by questions like "Where are you from?" and "Where did you learn to speak English so well?" And it's not just whites who have this attitude. I think it's telling that, at least among my parents' (immigrant) generation, it seemed to me growing up that the word "American" always referred to a white person. It wasn't until Barack Obama's at first aspirational, then inspirational successes this campaign season that I realized that blacks too are deemed by many as "less American." If Mr. Obama manages to break this last glass ceiling, I feel it won't just be blacks celebrating, but also many who belong to other minority groups, like myself. If he wins the Presidency, and I sincerely hope he does, my attitude towards this country will become that much less complicated.
Is Obama black? Or bi-racial? Either way - it proves that our society is very tolerant - which is good.
So glad you're covering this. I'm pretty happy about Obama getting the nomination, but we need to have more intelligent conversations about race in this country. Obama's victory is not insignificant, but it certainly doesn't end the huge systemic problem of racism.
For me, it is important. For my parents, it must be unbelievable. For my child, it is no big deal. And that's what is the best thing of all to me - my child does not see this as unusual. Sadly, I suspect she would have sensed something different about a woman presidential nominee. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton did not run the kind of campaign that stuck to what was important (instead, her campaign engaged in personal attacks and undercover race-baiting) and which might have allowed her to actually win.
@ Harlemlady can you explain what you mean by a "product of american slavery"
I am a 68-year-old black American. That means that I am an Amercan, first, and a black one, second. Obama's success, so far, at this time in my life, means that my country has shown that it finally recognizes what the attributes of the leader of this flawed but unprecedented country that we live in should be: Eloquence, class, statemanship and, above all, what he has himself said, the audacity to hope. That this princely man happens to be black just makes my heart sing.
Sorry but Obama first ran from being "black" and white america can be comfortable with a "black" man they don't have to apologize to he is not a product of american slavery. So he is not a big change in racism in america. He is of the elite, other side of america. But for our children, who do not read, do not think are led by the media it will make them think yes they can and that is a plus
yes caller BO is what some would call a 'nice black' or white acting.
Additionally I d like to say that what it really shows was that if left unecumbered by social constructs most people would definitely rise to the occasion.
The problem is that we as Americans can barely define our greatest creation. How could one man winning an election cure race relations. The fact that this is a topic shows the power of that old myth race. What will truly be historic is when someone finally tosses "race" in to the garbage bin with God and other man made crap.
It's said that because Obama or Clinton could be a viable candidate, it shows the change or death of racism and sexism. This philosophy only gives America cover for it's racist and sexist core, not past. It will only be truly free of that when someone can run AND bring their culture and gender with them.
I m not sure what it means exactly. I think the difference is more generational than ethnic/gender or race based. Obama could have been white and his results would have still been the same as long as he implemented the same strategy and message to get the nomination.
You re reading too much into this Black messiah-ness.
I think Barack Obama's success is an opportunity for us to, once and for all, heal some deep self esteem scars from the Jim Crow era.His slogan, Yes We Can is an apt mantra.
stop the african preface you do not call whites 'european americans', that is the basis for your rasisms...
I'm a 24 y/o black woman from the "inner city" and I think Obama's nomination is pivitol to improving the self worth of people of color. This is especially significant for black boys and men, who are in nothing short of a crisis in American schools and prisons.
not a thing. race is a white issue, which is a mentality. the most you would have by standards of this way of thinking is corrupted. white thinking is less than human....
The success of an individual while admirable and and does indicate progress, as long as average African-Americans are made nervous by police there is a large problem. The measurement for equality is not how far one black person can go, but rather how many receive equal treatment before the law.
Nothing, nothing at all.
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