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.

anonymous25 said...
on Mar. 8 2010 at 11:02 am
You article was a bit insulting. I'm going to need for you to look at Obamas election as president in different eyes. Yes African-Americans went too far with his election. But you have to see it in an African-American's eyes, we went from slavery, getting whipped and controlled to having an African-American in the white house. That is an accomplishment, not a victory. Your article was good but you need to look at it in different eyes. Obama is trying to fix Bush's mess. I believe he is trying to stop the fighting. You need to open your eyes, just because he isn't going around bombing other countries doesn't mean he hasn't been doing anything because he has; he's trying to stop the war in the peaceful way. Open your eyes and think about what you are writing from other's perspective.

on Mar. 7 2010 at 12:43 pm
Gradschoolgrl, Boulder, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground... Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. -Douglass

You raise some really insightful points, but then you confuse me with some generalizations that overstate the extent to which we live in a "land of equal opportunity." Just want you to consider this point you put out there: "In my experience, modern society is not discriminatory in its presentation of opportunity." Are you white? Might this be different for a person of color who has experienced racism and social discrimination? I encourage you to look at the racial demographics for a public university around where you live. What's the percentage of white students? I'll bet it FAR outweighs the number of students of color. While I agree that we shouldn't hail Obama as a "racial crusader in shining armor," we should take care not to paint an overly-optimistic picture of where we are in terms of racial equality.

on Mar. 5 2010 at 8:50 pm
scribblesinthecity BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
4 articles 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.' -- George Santayana

all i can say in response to your comment is: ur absolutely correct! thank you for writing this

on Mar. 5 2010 at 8:47 pm
scribblesinthecity BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
4 articles 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.' -- George Santayana

exactly! and i also agree completely with the comment you left above.

MountainGirl said...
on Mar. 5 2010 at 12:00 pm
MountainGirl, Boulder, Colorado
0 articles 0 photos 15 comments
Your article is really well written. What do you think about the supreme court nomination of Sotomayor? Do you think it makes a difference that we have a supreme court justice who is Latina instead of another white male?

on Mar. 2 2010 at 9:28 pm
spontaneous09 BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
1 article 0 photos 32 comments
I agree completely. And, just because you supported Obama or were completely behind McCain does not make you racist.

on Mar. 2 2010 at 9:26 pm
spontaneous09 BRONZE, Dallas, Texas
1 article 0 photos 32 comments
I see how you think on some things. Yeah, you should not assume that just because Obama was elected that there will be no racial inequality or that things wll be completely different.

But, an African-American being elected to the White House is a wonderful achievement for all minorities. To hear people say that you can achieve anything but never see anyone who's done it who looks like you can be discouraging to many. So, his election the White House signifies many things.

Curly_Sue said...
on Mar. 2 2010 at 9:10 pm
Curly_Sue, Sand Springs, Oklahoma
0 articles 0 photos 75 comments
OMG! u r sooo rite. btw i remeber people freakin' out about him runnin' 4 president. they thought he was gonna force America to be Muslim and all this other crap that wasn't true. it was SOOOOOO annoying. i heard it at school all the time. u could always tell when someone was goin' to say something like that because their sentence would start with "i'm not racist but......"

on Mar. 2 2010 at 1:41 pm
xenon333 PLATINUM, Billerica, Massachusetts
42 articles 0 photos 150 comments
exactly how i feel-good work :)

on Mar. 2 2010 at 2:54 am
xAllegria BRONZE, Singapore, Other
1 article 2 photos 112 comments

Favorite Quote:
Ça fait tellement du bien d’aimer les gens qu’on aime, que ça finit par faire mal. Je sais pas comment on survit a ça. Non franchement, je sais pas. LOL (laughing out loud) ®, Lola.

I see what your getting at and I kind of agree. The thing is the definition of 'discrimination' does not go as far for all people. Second, I also agree with rightbehindyou61: differences can be a good thing too. And third: I don't think Obama being black is the only reason for all the celebration of his election. He is an intelligent president and seeing it's his job to clean up Bush's mess, which has caused quite an impact, his actions will be followed closely.

on Feb. 27 2010 at 11:18 am
edwardcullen4always SILVER, Rock Hill, South Carolina
5 articles 6 photos 57 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you feed a man a fish you feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime."

Omaba is not black he is mixed....but good article

on Feb. 26 2010 at 12:14 am
scribblesinthecity BRONZE, Brooklyn, New York
4 articles 0 photos 31 comments

Favorite Quote:
'Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.' -- George Santayana

you make ai good point, but it seems to me that you have forgotten that our differences in culture are what make America; America. If we forget that, or consider celebrating it as racist-like you seem to, then we will certantly loose the essence of what makes each of us special, individual, unique americans. and as far as people celebrating out first black president- we celebrate not only him being African American and president, but that he is the first; and hopefully not the last. We are acknowledging past racial divides (not celebrating them), and celebrating just how far we have come from them. i feel like your implying that people should ignore what makes us different, and that if we don't we're racist. Not being racist isn't neccesarily being colorblind-it's just not letting peoples skin color affect our judgement of each other. Judging peoples race, and simply acknowledging it are too completely different things. But i believe as Americans-we all have the right to respect and be proud of our differences (in race, and anything else), and not to be ashamed of what makes us each unique.

on Feb. 9 2010 at 9:16 pm
I see your logic, however you make it sound as if we should ignore our differences. By that logic, if someone else likes country music, I should not even listen to that because that would be acknowledging that we are not the same. Our differences should be embraced, not shunned! If we ignore what makes us different from one another, our lives will quickly become monotonous.

on Feb. 8 2010 at 9:42 pm
Karma_Chameleon SILVER, English, Indiana
8 articles 0 photos 236 comments

Favorite Quote:
To be able to say "I love you" one must first be able to say "I" - Ayn Rand

A very nice and well-written article; I especially enjoy the refreshing change of hearing someone who has a good enough head on their shoulders to use logic and common sense in political discussions. A very nice article indeed!

on Feb. 8 2010 at 4:35 pm
catik111 SILVER, Des Moines, Iowa
7 articles 0 photos 13 comments

Favorite Quote:
"After all, we are nothing more or less than what we choose to reveal." Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey), House of Cards


on Feb. 8 2010 at 1:08 pm
SO GOOD. I agree. :)

on Dec. 26 2009 at 9:21 pm
SerenityMine BRONZE, Not Saying, California
2 articles 0 photos 156 comments
I totally agree! That's what I was thinking myself.

on Dec. 26 2009 at 7:54 pm
boston418 SILVER, Weymouth, Massachusetts
5 articles 0 photos 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." -Jim Eliot

THANK YOU for writing this! It's jsut as racist to vote for someone because they are black than to refuse to vote for them because they are black! Your point is not only a good one, but it is very well said.

on Dec. 26 2009 at 2:16 pm
AnneOnnimous BRONZE, Peterborough Ontario, Other
3 articles 0 photos 146 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."
— John Green

i disagree on one point- racism doesnt necessarily mean that you notice their race- you're not sexist if you notice someone's sex , its just a natural odservation. If you notice someone's race and do nothing about it and don't think any different about them because of it, they most certainly are not, as you said, racist!!

on Dec. 26 2009 at 10:04 am
montana PLATINUM, Parker, Colorado
41 articles 2 photos 93 comments

Favorite Quote:
cliche quotes I have are.....
I know, right? and..... Are you kidding me?

u r right. Can you read my review and critigue it. Thx