Another thousand words

First. I want to commend the post by James relating a picture of Barack Obama and a young black brother. To me, my family and all of those I work with, a picture of a POSSIBLE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CARING FOR THE WELL BEING OF A YOUNG BLACK MAN IS ONE OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF MY LIFE. The idea that a relationship between politico and the perpetually oppressed can begin a transformation in this country deserves more acknowledgment and respect than I feel was given.

I started a new post because I do not feel that what I want to say should be relegated to a comment section, nor do I feel that it would do this site or the political discourse contained within any justice to add a simple comment.

FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS.

Most importantly I think that to reduce the possibility contained in the picture to a political viewpoint is fickle. However mad you are at the results of the primary, please, for the future's sake do not go so far as to pretend what is happening does not matter. The idea that a President of the United States would actually care for the well being of young black men is astonishing.

The comments were so politically fractured. Clinton v Obama. Let's examine the issue of race, the candidates and this picture a little closer.

Anyone familiar with the "Superpredator" Legislation?

Please note that the superpredator legislation, and in part some welfare reform was shaped and helped through the system by the Clintons, Hilary being a major factor of. This legislation, if you are unfamiliar with it, is the some of the most racist, fearmongering drivel put forth since Jim Crow. Oops. Not as not racist as we thought........

http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/item.shtml?x=85999

http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2007/10/5664_sen_clintons_ac.html

http://juvienation.wordpress.com/2008/04/11/clinton-unveils-anti-crime-agenda/

The list goes on.

There are also a number of books available on the subject. I prefer "The Condemnation of Little B" By Elaine Brown, a former Black Panther.

As a white son of a white mother who married a black man and had a biracial child and the subsequent white brother of a black man I want to also extend my distaste for the comments concerning how Obama was raised. I'm sorry, maybe I am out of touch, but I didn't realize that having white people raise you makes life easier for a black person. Wait, I guess by the same logic, would a white person raised by black people would have it harder???????????

My sarcasm is masking my anger. Do not pretend that having white parents makes a person any less black, or vice versa or to any other degree. It is a ridiculous notion to think that Obama had it easy growing up. Institutional racism doesn't give a fuck if your parents are white. Just as much as Institutional Sexism doesn't give a fuck if your husband was the President.

Maybe I am overreacting, but at least hear me.

I have been reading BlueNC for some time, and while race is not a frequent discussion point, I hope that we, you, us attempt to make some strides and see beyond ourselves concerning this issue. At this point we need to recognize what we see and what we don't. I hope we recognize more of what we never knew was there.

We may "know" Clinton, but I don't like what I "know". The opportunity for something better is the only thing that keeps me going at times.

This country has a lot of young men in it's prisons. Maybe that will change.

Thanks.

Comments

Thank you, Alex.

Your ideas about this issue have transformed my ideas about this issue, not in a big single step when your mother, my ex-wife, married a black man. But in many little steps, following you to Antioch, then to NYU in Social Work, then to Kaplan, then to your current job.

It's easy for white people to nod and to pretend to know what racism is like, what it costs, what it means in your soul, but you know and I know that most of us don't know. You're closer than most. And I'm very glad to have you join me here.

James the father

PS Front-paged, partly out of pure nepotism, mostly out of pure appreciation

Spelling. Grammar.

Forgive. Please.

See you tomorrow!

Everyone is really looking forward to your visit. Gonna be hot.

Awesome. Thanks.

Hi Alex-
Your dad has told me about you. We're about the same age, and we're both social workers. I'll be at the house on Monday if you'll be around for the party.

As the white father of a bi-racial daughter, I really want to appreciate what you've posted.

Hillary Clinton cares too

I understand your excitement and hope. However, I think Hillary Clinton cares about the well-being of young black men too. Certainly she cannot share the same affinity with them as can Obama, just as Obama cannot not share the same affinity with poor older white women, for example, as does Clinton, but that doens't mean that he doesn't care about their well-being. I think your comments are unfair to Clinton.

This is wonderful, Alex. Thanks.

You've been given a gift that many of us who have two white parents don't share. We take for granted the way the world is, and it takes walking into someone else's world to see their reality.

Thanks for what you've posted. Having a black man as president will have ramifications far beyond what many people believe. Of this I'm sure.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

All I can say is thank you.

There are a lot of words and feelings swirling but the work day is beginning and my thoughts are not falling into any logical sentences I could write.

I will just say that in my lily white life I have run into several walls of racism at full speed.

The first was in elementary school when I invited a friend home from school and failed to tell my mother that my friend was black. My mother expressed great surprise and great pride that I didn't think it mattered enough to tell her. Odd, very odd, that this experience was jarring to my young senses ... but it was.

The last was very recently while visiting my grandmother who is 97. She made a comment that I had to respond to and correct. Nonrmally I wouldn't have -- she's 97. But my 18 year old daughter was sitting at the table with us. The response was for her.

There were many others, and each time my soul was shaken, jarred and bruised. And, as I said, I'm a white woman. I will never know what those race-walls -- run into at full speed -- feel like to a woman or man whose skin is any shade of brown.

Just, Thank you.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Fairness

Again, my point for the whole post is to address the picture that was originally posted. More specifically to understand and challenge the notion that when a picture such as that one gets posted people gravitated to the contest between the democratic candidates. That picture is not about whether you prefer Obama or Clinton. In fact it's not really about you or me.

It's about possibility.

I apologize if by addressing and commenting on Clinton policy making offended anyone. I do not, however, feel that doing so is unfair.

I don't follow you

I don't understand your point in this post, especially the second sentance. How did posting this picture cause (or not cause) people to gravitate to this contest? It seems to me that most people gravitated to this contest long ago: over 35 million voted in the Dem primary.

My spouse is in the process of redesigning

the look of our county website. The old one is still up. It has the ghosted images of FDR, JFK, and Bill Clinton looking over the words on the site. It's ok. We're all tired of it.

The new design is one we're really excited about. Pictures of all of our candidates will be featured at the top of the page. This morning, we looked at it, and I exclaimed: "Look! The two candidates in the middle have brown skin!" Barack Obama, and Betty Mangum. We high fived each other, and I headed off to work.

I am happy about this - even though, as Leslie has said, I am a lily-white woman who hasn't confronted the wall of racism in the way a person with brown skin ever has. I'm excited for us. For our country. For our children.

For the possible.

Thanks, Alex.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi
Pointing at Naked Emperors

Why do people have to qualify

to be accepted or to discuss color issues.

I treat people based on their heart. Not their skin.

Who cares what color skin I am, but in order for my comments to have any kind of validity, I must first qualify what color I am. I must sympathize with the struggle or am not worthy of commenting on the subject.

How bout I hate seeing people using color as the first qualifier toward another person?

Why is it so astonishing to many that a President cares for the young black man? Why is it that only a black presidential candidate is capable of caring for the young black man? How can the president correct the bigotry, hatred and mistrust that is found in the races?

This country is founded on the premise that people are created equally. For 22 years, I worked for the US government and had the president as my commander in chief. I had a bunch of em. They all required me to treat my fellow man equally. They encouraged me to work with my fellow man. They provided an atmosphere of equality. I had democrat and republican presidents dictating, encouraging, training etc equality. I have seen equality. I have worked for and had no regard that my boss was a woman, man, black or white. For the most part, my bosses wore Khaki, equality.

The presidents for the last 26 years HAVE been providing and proving to me that the young black man is a concern.

It is NOT the president that keeps the young black man down. Look somewhere else. Look to your heart. If your heart is not keeping the young black man down, awesome.

Hearts are keeping the young black man down. This is not a blue or red thing, but a hatred thing. The president cannot fix hearts. Bigotry is found everywhere.

So how do you fix bigotry? Not sure, but the way its been tried apparently is not working. I do not have a problem with the young black man. My dad taught me not qualify a person. He told me to look at his heart. So I do. Hearts show the person.

Hearts

No one is asking for you to validate yourself or your comments. Unfortunately I feel that whenever we talk about race or racial politics, which are very real, sometimes people feel the need to avoid the discussion.

If we are going to move forward we should at least be honest with ourselves in acknowledging how race, culture and gender impact our viewpoints and or histories. This country has been avoiding the conversation for some time now. Maybe people are too insecure to talk freely about it.

That insecurity often leads people to feel attacked or to lash out. Or to pretend race doesn't matter.

Or, to pretend that institutional racism doesn't exist.

But most importantly the last comment got one thing right, it is not working. The antiquated and ineffectual way has been to pretend race doesn't exist and we have avoided the uncomfortable discussion for far too long.

Sure it's not the president that keeps people down, but they have the ability to sway opinion and policy.

To acknowledge the issues and be proud of difference is to have a point of comparison and a means to move forwards. It is illogical and naive to assume that emotion and heart alone is enough to get us there. That hasn't worked and is not working now.