Let’s talk about race

Since the election it seems like race has been an even bigger discussion that it was during the race itself.  Obama rarely talks about race, unless the issue is pushed upon him.  Although he is a black hero, like Martin Luther King, in so many ways he is very different.  He isn’t fighting for justice for blacks.  He isn’t representing blacks.  He is representing all Americans.  He is an American leader.  That doesn’t mean blacks shouldn’t be justifiably proud and thrilled for him and themselves.  He has broken a new barrier – the highest barrier – showing there is nothing a black person cannot do.  We should all be proud.  I am.

Yesterday my sister, Q, and I were talking about this.  She said that a friend of hers said, as the votes were being counted Tuesday night, he didn’t think America was ready for a black president.  Guess he was wrong.  Then he said, now blacks are going to act all obnoxious and high and mighty because our next president is black.  As a black woman, Q thought, “no way.”  The next day she was wandering around town and she heard a white man putting down Obama and a gaggle of black girls started acting all obnoxious and high and mighty – swearing at the man, talking about how cool they were because “THEIR president” was black.  She was horrified.  Me too.  Their president?  No, OUR president.  You can’t claim him as your own because you’re black.  And dealing with white people’s stupidity over race by acting stupid?  Well, it isn’t helpful.

Still, I didn’t vote for Obama because he’s black.  I don’t care what race my president is.  Gender, for that matter.  I don’t see these things as a qualifications for president.  In fact, I became quite turned off McCain months back, when he chose his running mate because she was a woman.  It was so obvious – she wasn’t qualified, but she fit a profile he was looking for and thought those who wanted Clinton to win would find appealing.  I found it insulting.  Clinton supporters are smart people and know all women aren’t qualified to be president any more than all men (white, black or otherwise) are qualified.  Women, like all people, are not interchangeable.  I see high intelligence and the ability to communicate well as important for a president and Obama is amazing.  I also look for someone who shares my values.

But race is important.  I’m aware of it.  More than ever since becoming a bi-racial family.  I wonder what challenges my daughter will face?  I wonder if I’ll be able to help her through these things, as I haven’t dealt with these things directly?  I’m aware that I notice and judge people based on appearances and it bothers me.  Yet, it is what it is.  I guess it’s good that I notice it.  I challenge it in myself when I notice it.  I enjoy thinking and talking about stereotypes – they are strange, sometimes funny and bizarre, sometimes terrible.  And they are very real.

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8 Responses

  1. Cyber high-five!
    I’m seeing things the same way as you are.
    I’m checking myself 1st, then looking around me and seeing things I’ve never noticed before.
    Much to my horror – yet at the same time, I’m learning more than ever before.

  2. I guess my question is, why is it not okay to vote for him because he is Black? I think that was a major reason many did vote for him. And I respect that.

  3. you know, I think there are people who voted for Obama because he is black, but on the other side there are people who voted for McCain because he is white….but the people in the middle, maybe the 60% or so, voted for their candidate because of the issues.

    There will always be ‘low information voters’ on both sides luckily they are not the majority. Sadly there is hate on both sides.

    I’m a Obamamama from head to toe….and I’m white. Yesterday I wore my Obama t-shirt to the mall with my girls, I got high fives from perfect strangers – black and white! It was quite surreal! I think Obama has at least a message of unity, whereas his opponent…lets just say he didnt.

    I’m just glad I’ll be living in an Obama world as opposed to a McCain(and God forbid Palin) one.

  4. I don’t think it’s wrong to vote for someone because of their race / gender or whatever, but I don’t think it’s the best reason. I know many voted for Obama because he’s black and wanted to see him break a barrier. Some would have done the same for Clinton. I think how I feel the person will be as president is more important, but I can understand the desire to see someone break the barrier. I’m very excited to see it.

  5. I have to admit that I had to remove my Obama/Biden Bumper Stickers from my car today. People have been attacked locally by people (can I call them that?) who blame Obama supporters for supporting a black man and the “Anti-Christ”? I voted who I felt was most qualified for the job.

    I also had to leave a list I moderate today too. People, on both sides suddenly became so vicious regarding politics. We were such a close-knit group I am baffled that the hate is this close to the surface.

    I spent 8 years very much disliking a president and yet I never condemned those who supported him…… although I may have wondered about their sanity. I give people the benfit of the doubt that they are attempting to do the best they can at any given time.

    I am proud of my countrymen for supporting a candidate who is a black man but I am so disappointed in some of my other countrymen. We do not need Korea, Iraq, Iran, or Russia to destroy us. We are doing well destroying ourselves.

  6. Hear hear sister! 🙂

  7. Phoenix, I agree with you.
    We are are destroying ourselves.
    I haven’t had to take my stickers off my car yet. Hope I won’t have to. So sorry you had to.

    Unfortunately, I have family who are wealthy, evangelical & Republican in the deep South. This has cause a rift between us, as well as opened my eyes to some deeper issues.
    They’ve never met my biracial grandchildren, and am thinking at this point, it is for the best. 😦
    In any case, as a Military wife and Mom – I’m so proud of our country!!!

    Sorry, I get kinda passionate.

  8. Get passionate if that’s how you feel, Holly! I, too, have family and friends who feel differently than me, however, I am extremely lucky that these are wonderful people who never allow these differences to come between us. I guess relationships are more important than the issues. Although, I’m sure (like Phoenix said) they probably wonder about my sanity. Well, I’m used to that! I’m not looking for agreement; I’m looking for tolerance. I hope I can teach this to my daughter. I have actually come a long way on this, myself, since meeting The Hubs. I discovered that my fear of intolerance made me intolerant.

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