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Changing Everything? Obama Sparks Conversations on Race

Stephen Colbert doesn't see race — people tell him he's white and he believes them because he watches Antique Roadshow — but he does talk about it, which is half the battle. But some black people perceive strategic colorblindness, or avoiding talking about race, as evidence of prejudice.

Thankfully Obama has become an icebreaker into the murky waters of race relations. And white and black people are noticing an ease in what psychologists call "interracial anxiety." A black medical student from Birmingham, AL, said “Before Obama, there was always this thing — ‘He’s a black doctor,' but now I’m going to be a physician who also happens to be black."

Considering there's long been a link between interracial anxiety and previous exposure to race, it's not surprising that a black soon-to-be president is easing conversation. However, as recently as last Summer there was still a divide between how blacks and whites perceive race relations — whites perceive them as better. In a study, nearly 60 percent of blacks said race relations were bad while only 34 percent of whites said the same.

In addition, there's a concern that Obama transcends race, like Oprah, and that many people see him as "not that black." So while his star quality may ease everyday relations for him and his family, it could do nothing for the everyday lives of other black Americans.

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StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
Huh, that is weird. Mine usually get flagged when I put in that word. Why are we speaking of Rush. I think Rush is in a different category all together. I don't listen to him except a rare occasion when I am trying to find sean hannity or inga barks or ray appleton and he happens to be on. I may listen for 2 or 3 minutes and then turn it off. He gives a bad name to Republicans. He has some good points on SOME things but it is overshadow by his skewed views on so many others. But the EIB network would never let him go, because he is the EIB network. But any normal news station or syndication will pull anyone who even makes a reference... so fair game. As for the web site I got those quotes from it will take me a little while, my cache auto deletes at midnight... no history. I'll get back to you.
Michelann Michelann 7 years
Those quotes are pretty wild. Steph makes a point, I do have to wonder whether Limbuagh would say his race relations were good or not.
stephley stephley 7 years
Mine took about four hours to show up.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
That's odd. Hain used to other n-word in a quote and it got posted.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
That's odd. Hain used to other n-word in a quote and it got posted.
stephley stephley 7 years
(Used complete song title in first attempt to post, which got it flagged.)
stephley stephley 7 years
Limbaugh's not smarter Dave, and you demonstrate the flaw in the "if only one person walks away tense" argument from earlier. If you aren't aware that these comments are racist, you're part of the still-existing problem: “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.” “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed.” “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?” “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.” “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.” “They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?” “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back.” (to an African American female caller). Limbaugh has called Obama a ‘‘halfrican American’’ called him an ‘‘affirmative action candidate’’, even repeatedly played ‘‘Barack the Magic N-word’’
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
I always thought that Imus comment was more sexist and that that was what people should have been upset about. I mean he referred to a bunch of college girls as prostitutes with bad hair yet I only heard cries of racism. I thought it was more sexist. :shrug:Hain, to what liberal websites are you referring to? If you pluck a quote out of a book and try to make it stand on its own, you are taking it out of context.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
I always thought that Imus comment was more sexist and that that was what people should have been upset about. I mean he referred to a bunch of college girls as prostitutes with bad hair yet I only heard cries of racism. I thought it was more sexist. :shrug: Hain, to what liberal websites are you referring to? If you pluck a quote out of a book and try to make it stand on its own, you are taking it out of context.
stephley stephley 7 years
No Dave, Limbaugh is not smarter and apparently, you're so immune to offensive language in reference to race these didn't register with you: “I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.” “You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray. We miss you, James. Godspeed. “ “Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?” “Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.” “The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.” “Take that bone out of your nose and call me back” (to an African American female caller). Limbaugh has called Obama a ‘halfrican American’ and an ‘affirmative action candidate.’ Limbaugh repeatedly played ‘Barack the Magic Negro’. Sheesh...
UnDave35 UnDave35 7 years
Rush doesn't use offensive language in reference to race. He is smarter than Imus in that regard. "Nappy-haired hoes" - Don Imus Just begging for NAACP smackdown.
stephley stephley 7 years
"If a Caucasian makes 1 reference to race, the naacp etc are on them and demand their removal IE. Don Imus" And yet Rush Limbaugh still rants daily on the air.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
Nope quotes are fair game... Only 1 quote of those was taken out of context according to liberal websites. The rest are exactly what he was thinking... And until equal treatment is sought regarding this argument, I will continue to quote. If a Caucasian makes 1 reference to race, the naacp etc are on them and demand their removal IE. Don Imus. Enough Said
HeatherStJoeMI HeatherStJoeMI 7 years
As a white woman, I feel race relations in this nation could be better. I say that due to things I see and have seen. I'm only 38, but I live in an area where the relationships are getting better but need a lot of help !!!!
em1282 em1282 7 years
:oy: Also, just because I'm brown, I don't walk around thinking about what other people think of my color--but I do think that in certain situations, especially when I was younger, I couldn't really help it. I don't regret the experiences, good and bad, I've had related to my race, and I wouldn't change my life for anything. One last thing--you can take quotes out of context and not read the entire book all you want. Doesn't prove your point (if you have one, that is).
Frank-y-Ava Frank-y-Ava 7 years
Well Obama does love himself some Malcolm X, he uses his "bamboozled" a lot. But I think it's just because Malcolm X was a phenomenal speaker.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
Also, I don't think many people on this site voted for him because he is black. From what I've read, Liberals and Conservatives alike on these sites are still excited that we are witnessing history and not all of these people voted for him. Being excited about the historic nature of his presidency has nothing to do with voting based only on skin color.
kastarte2 kastarte2 7 years
Hain, might I suggest you read the entire book before you base your opinion on quotes that have been taken out of context? Also, unless you are a mind reader, you cannot know what he might have meant when he said that line from Malcolm X "spoke to him."
liliblu liliblu 7 years
"Still - from a person who HAS experience racism in places where I was quite shocked to experience it AND from people I would never expect it from - I do understand why I would answer very differently from my white acquaintances who genuinely don't see a problem with their comments." Exactly Geebers.
geebers geebers 7 years
Coming in late but I wanted to say that I don't think the study is about only white or only black misperceptions about race relations - just wanted to make a point that it could be either or. I do agree the study is inconclusive depending on who was asked and what their answers were based on. Still - from a person who HAS experience racism in places where I was quite shocked to experience it AND from people I would never expect it from - I do understand why I would answer very differently from my white acquaintances who genuinely don't see a problem with their comments.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
"It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names."
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
"I reject a politics that is based solely on racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or victimhood generally." (p. 11) So for all those that voted Obama simply because he would be the fist black president, Obama rejects you! So then why all the hoopla about how historic it is? I am having trouble understanding.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
I am not going to act for a second like I know what it means to be not white. Being White i don't know that. But I can tell you that my daughter attends a school where in her class there are only 4 Caucasians And I hope and pray my daughter never writes things like this. I also work with very few white people. Do i walk around wondering what all the Hispanics are thinking about me? No!!! I walk around like we are all people, regardless of color. Lame lame lame and superlame.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
Malcolm X's autobiography "spoke" to Obama. One line in particular "stayed with me," he says. "He spoke of a wish he'd once had, the wish that the white blood that ran through him, there by an act of violence, might somehow be expunged" Ok so what I heard is this. It was malcolm x who said it, but seems Obama believed it as well.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 7 years
He says the reason black people keep to themselves is that it's "easier than spending all your time mad or trying to guess whatever it was that white folks were thinking about you."
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