jump to navigation

President Obama Gets One Right July 21, 2014

Posted by geoff in News.
trackback

This is one of the very few things the President has said with which I can agree without reservation:

“The notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, … that has to go, because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African-American men to be authentic,” Obama said.

“There’s some cultures, frankly, who have done this better than others,” Obama said, pointing to Jewish Americans and Asian Americans who had retained a sense of their histories but also demonstrated academic accomplishments.

“I think this is something that we have to spend some time thinking about, making sure that, we understand there’s a way of knowing your history, knowing your culture, being proud of it, using it as a strength but not thinking that there is just one way of you then having to act,” Obama said.

I.e., the whole notion of “acting white” and “being authentically black” are just inventions by those who wanted to create an artificial distinction between the races.

But whenever we say things like this it cements us as racists. When Bill Cosby said it, he and his message were ridiculed. When Martin Luther King lived it, that fact was conveniently ignored.

Perhaps this time people can finally grasp that culture and race are distinguishable, and that one can hate or love a culture without hating or loving a race.

Comments»

1. Michael - July 22, 2014

culture and race are distinguishable, and that one can hate or love a culture without hating or loving a race.

Well said Geoff. Actually, if you make that distinction, race becomes trivial. The real discrimination is cultural, not racial. I think it was George Gilder who pointed out long ago that Jamaican-born blacks in America do better than the average American by most standards, and certainly better than American-born blacks. Why? Jamaicans are certainly black, but their culture is vastly different.

2. skinbad - July 22, 2014

I had to write a paper on a black poet for a college class. I found that this guy was always pushing back against being nominated/awarded for being a great minority or African American writer. He didn’t want to be typecast, or put in a box for being a certain kind of poet. He caught flack from his community for it. I gained a lot of respect for him.

3. Tushar - July 23, 2014

>>I think it was George Gilder who pointed out long ago that Jamaican-born blacks in America do better than the average American by most standards, and certainly better than American-born blacks.

I meet a lot of Africa born Africans in NY. They are all hardworking good people who marry and raise families.
And they hate AAs.

4. Mr Black - July 25, 2014

Knowing Obama, he likely meant it as an approving wink to deadbeat blacks. Hey, if there are many ways to be authentic, then Thug Life must be one of those ways. We’d like to read it as coming from the best motives, but this is Obama.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: