Streams

The Color of Change

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

How have people's ideas about race changed the political landscape for the upcoming general election? NYT magazine contributing writer Matt Bai, Ronald Walters professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and John McWhorter, a senior fellow with the Manhattan Institute, talk about the shift.

Guests:

Matt Bai, John McWhorter and Ronald Walters

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Comments [108]

Q. Daawud Grey

Obama, indeed, signifies the end of both "black" politics and Civil Rights. Actually, the work of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X and Imam W. Deen Mohammed buried the Civil Rights and the "Black Consciousness" movements. The strength of these leaders and the great African-American leaders of the past (i.e. Martin Delaney, Marcus Garvey, Paul Robeson, Dr. DuBois) was, is and always will be HUMAN DIGNITY. Remember Dr.King's "I Have A Dream" speech: "...will be judged, not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Obama signals the rescue of the so-called "black man" from a skin-colored being to a full HUMAN Being. Wasn't this the goal of African-American Freedom Struggle (Nat Turner, Denmark Vessey, Gabriel Prosser, etc.)? HUMAN DIGNITY!!!
And the problem w/ the leadership since Dr. King, especially in politics, is a matter of PERCEPTION and COLOR-CONSCIOUSNESS. This is what draws the youth to Obama - both Caucasians and African-Americans. His political philosophy doesn't operate from color consciousness nor from "hurt black sensitivities."
Obama offers the society a recommitment to, and the revival of HUMAN EXCELLENCE, which was so lacking in our previous leaders, i.e. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Julian Bond etc. And this is his great appeal.

Aug. 13 2008 09:09 AM
Steve from Clifton NJ

What was said about Rice, Powell, Thomas is correct.....but.....if some non-urban right-of-center "what's the matter with Kansas" type white voters reach some sort of cautious acceptance of Obama (and many will) and helps to elect him president, it will be due, in part, by the achievements of the three mentioned above, particularly Powel and Rice.
Sadly, Obama's candidacy may, in fact, falter because of race. The example of his failed election may end up making the best case for affitrmative action. I hope not. Don't buy the "he's not experienced enough" line. Republicans were obviously not concerned about experience when they nominated George Bush over McCaine in 2000.

Aug. 12 2008 05:49 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

done

Aug. 12 2008 01:26 PM
AWM from UWS

#105,

Only if you ignore ours...

Aug. 12 2008 01:22 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

please ignore the typos..

Aug. 12 2008 01:18 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

*sry for the slow response, i did not "turn" the page.

HJS, absolutely no offense taken, I am a native New Yorker #1 (for all that;s worth..lol) and #2 you are correct, Half of theses people were on the local radio stations making a "donkey' out themselves!!!

AWN, that number would be toooo large to fit on a spreadsheet!! lol

Aug. 12 2008 01:17 PM
hjs from 11211

awm
I wonder how many people HOPED the Russians were marching towards Atlanta
(no offense, the truth)

Aug. 12 2008 01:14 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

@ #91 - I did the same and I am so glad.

I currently hold a library card for NY public libraries and 2 counties in GA. I hope people teach there children how to read for FUN but if not I hope curiosity is prompting kids are still venturing out on their own in search of facts.

Aug. 12 2008 01:04 PM
AWM from UWS

I wonder how many people thought the Russians were marching towards Atlanta when they saw/heard the initial reports of the conflict last week?

Is there a poll for that?

Aug. 12 2008 01:02 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

agreed!

Aug. 12 2008 12:56 PM
hjs from 11211

the truth
my whole life is a dream!

i need action!!

Aug. 12 2008 12:52 PM
AWM from UWS

Check out #70, kid.

Aug. 12 2008 12:50 PM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Yo Jeff, we covered that a few dozen posts ago! lol

hjs, agreed but there is always hope, maybe there will be a change in the history books, maybe there will be a change to the curriculim and kids will learn African history, all of it and not just slavery...dare to dream! It's possible

Aug. 12 2008 12:49 PM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

Listen kids, just because Egypt is a part of the continent that has been labelled "Africa" doesn't mean the human beings that live on the continent are all of the same background, tribe, religion, ethnicity, etc. This is not meant to disparage any person who lives in sub-saharan Africa. There were plenty of advanced city-states in that part of the continent throughout its history.

Aug. 12 2008 12:42 PM
AWM from UWS

#92,

OK

Aug. 12 2008 12:22 PM
AWM from UWS

hjs,

Hmmm... a "stay-cation?" that involves walking AND reading. This country needs more of that.

Aug. 12 2008 12:22 PM
hjs from 11211

AWM
npr had a story last week. with gas prices up libraries are cool right now. free and walkable (in some places)

Aug. 12 2008 12:16 PM
Tina from Manhattan

AWN

Both. Because the history leads to the why and how of current behavior. As I was saying, it's not 'this' and 'that'. They are linked.

Aug. 12 2008 12:16 PM
AWM from UWS

hjs,

Dare to dream. Many parents need to buy a book for themselves first. I remember deciding to go to the library on my own. Do kids do that anymore? If they did they wouldn't be able to go to the one I liked... closed.

Aug. 12 2008 12:10 PM
hjs from 11211

AWM
well, i'm sure u know, any parent can buy a book for their kids. or better stop by the library...

Aug. 12 2008 12:04 PM
hjs from 11211

the truth
don't mind being over my head, but they aren't rearranging any museums or history books so i'm OK.
and still want more history

Aug. 12 2008 12:02 PM
hjs from 11211

Tina
thanks

Aug. 12 2008 11:59 AM
AWM from UWS

#80,

Absolutely. A more constructive question and, given the bureaucracy and inadequacy of the overwhelmed educational system, a tough one to answer.

Aug. 12 2008 11:58 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

hjs, I think you are in above your head..lol OK to back off now.

Aug. 12 2008 11:57 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

lol

Aug. 12 2008 11:57 AM
AWM from UWS

#79,

Yes, I'm naive...

So, rather than studying and having an awareness & knowledge of actual American history and applying it to the current state of American society I should decide why & how millions of people in this country behave, think and interact according to what I see on the streets of... New York?

Aug. 12 2008 11:54 AM
Tina from Manhattan

hjs

still looking for some explanation about your comment on #21 I think..."the way some blacks treat their kids on the subway".

Ever read Spinning Into Butter, by Rebecca Gilman? It's a play.

Aug. 12 2008 11:53 AM
Tina from Manhattan

AWN it's all the personal slights and individual experiences that add up to the whole. There isn't 'this thing' and then 'that thing'. They are both the same. The LA riots in '92 for example. It wasn't about 1 man, Rodney King. It was a tinder box of several slights and oppression that was ignited by that incident.

Aug. 12 2008 11:49 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

and back on point, Yes, the people's ideas about race have changed the political landscape, but that just means the candidates have to work that much harder to keep the focus on the relevant issues.

Aug. 12 2008 11:49 AM
hjs from 11211

AWM/Ayanna
a better question is, if i may, why isn't more african history taught.

Aug. 12 2008 11:48 AM
Tina from Manhattan

AWN

#61

I disagree, That's EXACTLY how you determine race relations in America, by examining the individual relationships of people daily. You're a bit naive on that one.

Aug. 12 2008 11:46 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Excellent points Ayanna!

I hate always being on the defensive end of the smaller issue of melanin/race when there are people living below the poverty level and starving to death, right here in this Country.

Aug. 12 2008 11:45 AM
Ayanna from Brooklyn, NY

hjs (#64)

Please go and look in an atlas. The Sahara does not separate Egypt from Africa. Egypt is in Africa. The Sahara is in Africa. The distinction is wholly artificial and an obvious attempt to put the predominantly Semitic African countries culturally "above" the Black African countries.

As far as racism goes, I am not interested in "curing" the many peculiar anecdotes about personal slights. I know how to handle myself when I perceive personal racism at work. I am much more concerned about systemic and institutional inequalities based on race and class, which are still a MAJOR issue in this country. Obviously changing personal attitutes is part of this, but we must not lose sight of the bigger picture.

All objective quality of life indicators (statistics, not anecdotes) show that Blacks and Latinos are much worse off than whites in America. How do we address it? That is the central question about race.

Aug. 12 2008 11:40 AM
AWM from UWS

hjs,

I didn't win anything, it is how it is.
I wish more people knew about real Africans too.

I'm not trying to "claim" Egypt, it is in Africa, isn't it?

Frankly, I don't know why non-blacks keep trying to separate Egypt from Africa. What's the point?

Aug. 12 2008 11:40 AM
Michael from Manhattan

"Maoists"? What are you talking about? or is that some subtle anti chinese snide remark?
again as a native american the "washingtonists" haven't done us much good. AT least the "Maoists" look more familiar. In fact they usually treat me quite well.

Aug. 12 2008 11:33 AM
hjs from 11211

awn
ur right north africa is seperate from sub-Saharan africa

awn don't get why blacks what to claim egypt anyway.

i done, thanks, u win. but i wish we could learn more about real africans

Aug. 12 2008 11:33 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Albertine, that will NOT be an easy task for the maoists!

Aug. 12 2008 11:31 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

*high five* AWM, you are ALL over it!

Aug. 12 2008 11:28 AM
Albertine from NYC

wow this thread is really revealing. Reality is 'racism' is a human behavior all over the world. Looking at it as black white, or any other kind of combo we have here is so so so small minded. While we are here debating and dividing ourselves into more little groups, slavery and human trafficking is growing all over the developing world in the economy that we all support with our consumer dollars.

There are great things we've learned in this country about it, that have never been learned in other countries. In fact, there is very little impulse anywhere else in the world to even address it or try to change it.

Will be real interesting to see how much this debate changes when the Maoists start exerting their power over this country. They don't give a damn about equality of races, but superiority of one, and they sure aren't going to be trying to use their money to fix things here.

Aug. 12 2008 11:27 AM
AWM from UWS

You cannot invoke the "we're all gonna die anyway" argument. There is no rebuttal to that one.

If your geographic and cultural arguments were valid then Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya aren't African countries either.

Africa is home to many different cultures and ethnicities, the effort to distinguish between black Africa and others is misguided. They are all Africans.

Aug. 12 2008 11:24 AM
Michael from Manhattan

haha of COURSE I know that! its ironic as I am mostly Native American (as are 90% of the mexicans in this city) and we the original people are called "ethnic" by a group that makes up just 13% of the world's population!

Aug. 12 2008 11:22 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

#61 - that person certainly didn't mean that HE thought he was "less than", I bet you he meant they, or there perception that he was "less than". Again it is about people not knowing their origins. Every Black American should have a geneaology test.

Aug. 12 2008 11:21 AM
hjs from 11211

Michael
ethnic means not white. don't ask me why

Aug. 12 2008 11:18 AM
Michael from Manhattan

I also constantly hear the williansburg /park slope / manhattan crowd tell me that Queens (my fav bourough) is too "ethnic". What does THAT mean?

Aug. 12 2008 11:14 AM
Sharon from Lima, Peru

Apologizes for not being clear.

Being taught that it is a completely different society from "Africa" is what affected me as well as my classmates in middle school.

It is located in Africa but it felt so much like it was not apart of black civilization. Because it is such a glorified civilization it just felt a little convenient that it was that "Different" from the African history taught.

Aug. 12 2008 11:13 AM
hjs from 11211

AWM
none of this is important. we will die one day and the world will still have problems

egypt has always had a separate culture also.
the sahara also separates egypt from africa

Aug. 12 2008 11:13 AM
AWM from UWS

61#

The problem there is his personal, individual insecurities which trancends race or a poor interpretation of what he was talking about on your part.

O & Tina,

The media dictates what the "issues" are. At the very least they decide, in the interest of earnings & profit, what type of narrative sells and will dominate fo that reason. You can't figure out the dynamics of race relations in this country by interactions with people on the train, co-workers or CNN. You have to examine history and apply it to the present, the truth is what it is.

Aug. 12 2008 11:12 AM
Michael from Manhattan

I care about Obama being half white and half black. Its perceptions and symbols, that make a difference to the society that we will become. Race is the coming issue as the USA changes. It doesn't matter what money you make an hour or weather you have health insurance or not. I went to Columbia and I have no health insurance and no job. (but I am always asked in job interviews, or by white women about my "exotic " looks, I wonder why..?). At least you have a job "O".

Aug. 12 2008 11:09 AM
Tina from Manhattan

I agree with you O. It is a little idealistic but it's true. Someone suggested on this board that part of the reversed-racist issue has to do with culture. I had a Black co-worker in a very open and candid conversation (I got accused of being racist by a customer in a restaurant) tell me that I have no idea what it's like to wake up everyday and look in the mirror and know you're black and that you're less than. I said, could part of the problem be that you get up everyday and tell yourself you're less than?

Aug. 12 2008 11:04 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Same reason they won't teach our children that their lineage leads back to Royalty.

Aug. 12 2008 11:03 AM
AWM from UWS

#55,

I don't see the word "majority" in my response to you.

What is behind the desire to separate Egypt from Africa? It isn't based on geographic fact but a need to emphasize a cultural distinction.

Why is is so important to you that this point is made?

Aug. 12 2008 10:58 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

HJS, so it's half white when we are talking about the white half and BLACK when we are talking about the BLACK half?? G I love this!! LOL

Aug. 12 2008 10:56 AM
O from Forest Hills

It is an issue as much as we make it one.

If everyone does their part and treats everyone the same then there would be big change.

We attract these problems to us, we can attract the solutions!

Even MLK Jr. believed in the law of attraction and it's ability to overcome these problems, look at what he accomplished.

Whatever you think is true, is true, you create your universe as you go along.

Aug. 12 2008 10:56 AM
hjs from 11211

the truth
that's half white to u

Aug. 12 2008 10:54 AM
hjs from 11211

awm
russia is part of europe but in history classes it's segregated as eastern, at best on the fringe.
egypt has had a greater impact on western civilization than say the kingdom of kaarta so it should be taught as part of western civilization.
and there was never a majority of blacks in egypt it's always been a semitic country from my understanding

Aug. 12 2008 10:52 AM
Tina from Manhattan

O #50

It's historic is why. Of course it's an issue because it's an issue in America, clearly.

Aug. 12 2008 10:51 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

O #51 - it is a big deal b/c people keep calling him BLACK, try calling him WHITE and see what happens. Stop trying to distract from what you know is true!! Jeez.

Aug. 12 2008 10:50 AM
O from Forest Hills

#50, more like the economy. I have a BA and other professional certifications, we are all getting it where the sun don't shine with the bad economy.

Aug. 12 2008 10:48 AM
O from Forest Hills

Forget the racism, prejudice issue, why is this such a big deal about Obama being part black and part white?

Who cares!! I care about his policies and what he will do for the economy and for me.

The media is bored and needs a crisis to get viewers and ratings. We are interested in the crisis, not the horse races. We are interested in the Outcome, not the Outlines.

Aug. 12 2008 10:47 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

$16 dollars an hour has to do with your "personal achievements or the lack of" not racism.

Aug. 12 2008 10:45 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Did that caller just say "nominated a black man for president"...that sums this mindset of this country up. Forget about his 100% white mother and 100% white grandparents. In the good ole USA "one drop" is still the standard.

Aug. 12 2008 10:43 AM
AWM from UWS

#38,

If you read what I wrote correctly you would see that I found white people behaving as victims or racism ironic & an exaggeration

Aug. 12 2008 10:43 AM
Tina from Manhattan

Good point comment 29, however I have heard Pakistani, Indian, Mexican people say THE worst things about Black people as have I heard Eastern Europeans say awful things too.

Aug. 12 2008 10:42 AM
O from Forest Hills

#25, Michael,

How am I from the ruling class? I make $16/hour and I don't have health insurance. This is the first time I made more than $10/hour at a job.

I can't stand being told by someone that is black that because I am white I don't date black men and I am a racist. Excuse me, but I dated at least 2 black men in my life, I happen to be with a white Jewish man whom is my current boyfriend because he is funny and witty and I love him, it has nothing to do with race.

Aug. 12 2008 10:42 AM
hjs from 11211

chris o

maybe true but maybe just another symptom of 'american' apathy on most subjects

Aug. 12 2008 10:40 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Chris #29 - again this was reactionary, have you seen how the east indians who have taken over certain sections of brooklyn treat Black Americans? I have.

Aug. 12 2008 10:40 AM
AWM from UWS

#34,

???

India and China have had a completely different history yet both are Asian countries.

Egypt is on the continent of Africa.

Throughout history there have been black people in Egypt.

Aug. 12 2008 10:40 AM
Tina from Manhattan

O~
I know the experience you are speaking of, dealt with it a lot as a waiter and I just give the attitude back or ignore it. I think this is all a little off-topic, and we all know how that goes with the moderator, but I will say that I think that words are important here. I think it can be safe to say 'racism' on the part of white people and 'prejudice' on the part of black people.

and hjs...what do you mean about the way some blacks treat their kids on the subway? I am not saying I don't agree, but want to know what you mean is all.

Aug. 12 2008 10:39 AM
Albertine from NYC

Is it really skin color alone that accounts for the huge numbers of black people still languishing in the inner cities and suffering disproportionately inequality?

Could it be something more like culture, that in order to make it in America we have to sign up for the dominant White Culture, attitudes, way of life, willingness to work in the corporate world, study in schools to get jobs, etc. It looks like those black people who did do those things, made it into that acculturation process, are fitting into the system.

There has always been a glass ceiling for people, white men included, who weren't from the right "tribe" that dominated the business (i.e. Irish-American, Italian-American, Jewish-American, WASP, Ivy League, etc)

Aug. 12 2008 10:39 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Is Senator Obama white enough for you guys? see how stupid that sounds?

Aug. 12 2008 10:39 AM
Robbie from New York

Nobody is a "racist." Oh, wait everybody is a "racist." How convenient.

When people refer to racism and are not talking about institutionalized racism with its current and historic underpinnings they are either naive or uninformed about what "racism" truly is ( vs. prejudice, bigotry, etc) or are just plain lying.

Aug. 12 2008 10:38 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

AWM #24 - said white people are "victims" of racism..no, what you are hearing is what Black people have always thought of white people, it is that it is now coming out of their mouths and not just a thought.

Aug. 12 2008 10:38 AM
chris o from new york city

On the bright side, while the US has severe racial issues, in many ways ethnic tensions and inequality seems to be worse in most other nations.

Aug. 12 2008 10:37 AM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

Why must a "black" agenda be differentiated from an "American" agenda? Equal opportunities, equal justice, equal rigts for everyone benefits everyone. Senator Obama can emphasize that point.

Aug. 12 2008 10:35 AM
hjs from 11211

Richard
maybe you should work just that much harder, u'll be just fine.

Aug. 12 2008 10:34 AM
hjs from 11211

egypt has a different history from africa.
also egypt has always had closer links with the middle east than "black africa"

Aug. 12 2008 10:32 AM
Chicago Listener

Furthermore, the end of black politics (as it has been practiced) is being brought about by the increasing diversity of the country.

In Chicago, the old-line black politicians were ill-equipped to work with or advocate for the booming Mexican population. There is an element of racism in how they deal with Hispanics.

There is tremendous potential to be tapped by the politician who can talk about class, who can get people pulling together. The old black politics, as it was practiced in Chicago, was about holding onto one's constituency, one's power base. And in large measure that meant keeping them poor and dependent.

Aug. 12 2008 10:32 AM
eligit from astoria

^^

just wanted to add:

obama may still well lose the election PURELY because of race.

all it takes is 5% of people to NOT report to pollsters that they, in fact, would not be able to bring themselves to vote for a black man for president of the united states....done.

how many people are too embarrassed about their racism to not tell pollsters about it? quite a few i would guess.

it is going to be a tense election day no matter WHAT the polls say right before hand.

Aug. 12 2008 10:32 AM
Steve from NY, NY

There is a broadening of the agenda of black politicians, and some will win at the senate or governor or even presidential level. But we are not post-racial until skin color is as irrelevant as hair color or eye color. Given de-facto hyper-residential segregation most predominantly black districts will be represented by blacks, and white districts by whites. Indeed, that there are such districts makes the point that skin color not the same as hair or eye color. It is not even close to being the same as Irish or Italian or Jewish. In predominantly White neighborhoods, such white ethnicities

Also, any black politician running for a majority white post (senate, governor, president) has to bend over backwards in the other direction, to not be seen as "angry", nor to be addressing issues of poverty, public education, incarceration, employment, crime, wealth and income and other inequities related to race.

Folks like Rice, Powell and Thomas who are considered post-racial are not ELECTED to anything. They are not representative of anything except phony Republican affirmative action.

sadly Bai's article seems to have worked hard to ignore black FEMALE politicians, both historically and currently.

Aug. 12 2008 10:30 AM
Richard from Texas

I feel that as a white male, I am the minority in this country today. I also feel that I am discriminated against by the supposed "Equal Opportunity Employment" Act. I have seen many want ads listing "minorities preferred".

Aug. 12 2008 10:29 AM
Chris


I'm half Indian and could easily be taken for an Arab, Pakistani, etc.

Immediately after 9/11 a lot black people approached me on the street with a certain degree of hostility -far more overtly than anything I'd received from whites. It was as though certain black people saw this as an Us vs. Them moment -where they became a part of the American Us club.

I remember thinking then that, no matter how much identity politics had outlived its usefulness, race in America was still a monster. If this xenophobic patriotism could be thrown on like a switch for blacks, when only weeks before 9/11 the story in the air was "driving while black.' discussions about race in America, where race always equals black, aren't relevant to modern America.

Aug. 12 2008 10:29 AM
eligit from astoria

He just NAILED it.

thanks to your guest.

if obama starts focusing on the shawn bell incident and related issues....he will simply lose the election. it is as simple as that.

obama is more in touch with working class white sensibility than he is given credit for and he has finessed this whole angle pretty well.

Aug. 12 2008 10:29 AM
hjs from 11211

by the way the jesse jackson path was never every successful, blacks don't have leaders and BO is not a black leader, just a leader who is black (or biracial or post racial.)

Aug. 12 2008 10:28 AM
BORED

O its not cool too play the "race card" LOL

Aug. 12 2008 10:27 AM
Michael from Manhattan

Exactly "O" it is exactly because you are from the ruling class that has been part of the historical and present institutions of racism that it is "perceived" racism. When I worked for a MAJOR Media company I happened to be in the lounge where I heard a white editor call a black astronaut a "monkey"
I have never heard that kind of hateful speech on the part of blacks. I am a black person that looks "white" and that is why that white man who made money off or black athletes felt comfortable to say that. But as "white" looking as I am I have never heard black people do the same thing.

Aug. 12 2008 10:27 AM
AWM from UWS

I've noticed a disturbing trend that now runs parallel to and mingles with another new more disturbing trend.

The former is the perception that now that there are a number black people with economic wealth or political power referring to slavery, segregation or the current difficulties of many black people and acknowledging how they are related to each other is somehow "being a victim"

The latter is the racial progress in this country has moved so rapidly in the past 40 years that white people are now often "victims" of racism.

Don't talk about history and reality just, create and exaggerate an imagined reality?

Remarkable...

Aug. 12 2008 10:26 AM
BORED

@ yes I am they spoke about those topics last thursday and monday.

Aug. 12 2008 10:26 AM
Sharon from Lima, Peru

Racism is subtle.

If the Museum of Natural History in New York City, a museum I love, can still have the "Eyptian section" separate from the "African section" than we still have a problem.

It is called psychology...more powerful than anything material.

Aug. 12 2008 10:25 AM
hjs from 11211

o
while some at work might not like me because i'm white, how do u know the woman on the subway wasn't a low class b'tch who happens to be black. maybe she's rude to everyone.

have you seen the way some blacks treat their kids on the subway?

Aug. 12 2008 10:25 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

Why cant we ask critial questions to Black canidates? Why is it wrong when we request his stance on issues that are important to the Black community? Other communities do it, request a canadiates stance on issues but race is not the most important issue to them as it is to Blacks so it is not brought.

Aug. 12 2008 10:21 AM
Chicago Listener

"is he black enough?" is exactly the question that keeps black people living in oppressive conditions. [[i'm looking at you sharpe james!]]

here in chicago, we have aldermen who are plenty "black enough," whoopin' it up for the tv cameras and raising the specter of the white boogey man, and their constituents are living in the most crime-ridden, vermin infested neighborhoods in the city.

what people want are smart, professional EFFECTIVE politicians.

Aug. 12 2008 10:21 AM
BORED

@ O it is to early for this crap. Unlike you i dont make a distinction when it comes to racism. Read my comment again.

Aug. 12 2008 10:21 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Use your own words "O" also, it sound like you want sympathy b/c a couple rude people mistreated you. One told you it was b/c you were white, so what. The other just didn't like you as a person sounds like, might have been having a bad day, get over it.

Aug. 12 2008 10:21 AM
Ralph

Can a male Democratic black politician be credible if he is married to a white woman? I always wondered if Barack would be married to a black woman if he was not interested in political office.

There are black GOPers who are married to white women.

Aug. 12 2008 10:19 AM
O from Forest Hills

I love how because I am white it is "perceived" racism but if I was black than it is just racism.

Mhhmm, very interesting designation. My point is made.

Aug. 12 2008 10:19 AM
BORED

right on hjs

Aug. 12 2008 10:17 AM
BORED

Is the racism that we are talking about personal racism, such as the mean woman on the train or is it institutional racism. I ask because I don't want to hear personal anecdotes about percieved racism.

Aug. 12 2008 10:16 AM
hjs from 11211

race is the issue they talk about when they don't want to talk about class

Aug. 12 2008 10:15 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Rudesness is rudeness, Black is Black, white is white. There is no "reverse racism" or "race card".

Aug. 12 2008 10:15 AM
Michael from Manhattan

Message to "O" Although you may have felt that you have experienced what is most likely reaction or defensive racism, (or more likely just rudeness). Our society has not reached the level of equality where "reverse racism " in any way approaches the insidiousness of "white vs other" racism. Often times claims of "reverse racism" are used by the right to silence those voices that speak the truth of the current inequalities while at the same time hoping to suppress the coming changes in demographics and power in the USA. Rudeness is rudeness. But the history of racisim , genocide and discrimination/segregation is recent and it's leagcy is still evident.

Aug. 12 2008 10:12 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Traditional racism...hmmmm interesting

Aug. 12 2008 10:11 AM
Steve Mark from NYC

NY Magazine has turned the "racia conversation" to near hysteria. "Coupla White Dudes Talkin' Race" sounds like a new play. Probably a comedy.

Aug. 12 2008 10:10 AM
hjs from 11211

maybe there is a shift in some parts of the country but not in most of the old confederate states.

Aug. 12 2008 10:10 AM
O from Forest Hills

When I say reverse racisim I mean racism against whites. I have been discriminated against for being white by blacks. I have been treated nastily at work where I was the minority and they even admitted to it that I was mistreated because I was white.

I was unfortunate to encounter a low-class woman whom inflicted her nastiness this morning on me on the subway.

When I think of "racism" I think of the traditional of white against black racism. I am making the point that many white are discriminated against for being white.

Aug. 12 2008 10:09 AM
BORED

As a black new yorker i find it sad that other blacks would feel that they made based on Sen. Obama success. If that is what we think of as progress then we are in bad shape.

Aug. 12 2008 10:05 AM
BORED

What the hell is reverse racism. isn't racism just racism. Reverse racism sounds like something patrick j Buchanan came up with.

Aug. 12 2008 10:03 AM
O from Forest Hills

I have also experienced a lot of reverse discrimination towards me for being white. It goes both ways. All races need to have some class and not take out nasty attitudes on people. It is not right if it is black to white or white to black.

It's time to grow up and knock it off!!

Aug. 12 2008 09:58 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

There is a distinct shift in attitudes of black people in NYC.

More enthusiasm and a sense "We've finally made some progress" or "about time".

Aug. 12 2008 09:49 AM

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