Forum Thread

President Obama Surprises Everyone With Deeply Personal Speech on Racism

Reply to ThreadDisplaying 4 Posts
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    President Obama surprised the nation today when he walked into the White House briefing room to deliver some of his most detailed and personal opinions regarding the George Zimmerman trial and the greater issue of race relations in the United States. While he spoke briefly on the George Zimmerman case, he spent far more time detailing how black men in this country have to deal with constantly being looked at as criminals. The President spoke in deeply personal terms about being a black man that grew used to people being scared of him because of the color of his skin and listed off a host of instances where black men are looked at with caution just because the color of their skin.

    I can't think of many instances since his 2008 "More Perfect Union" speech where the President spoke so openly about race relations in our country. I feel that many people will look at his speech today as divisive, but I ask you why? What is so divisive about speaking on personal terms about the issue of racism and the unjust system that we have created as a society? Why is it divisive for our first black President to speak on the issue of our criminal justice system locking up a disproportionate amount of colored citizens? If he can't start this conversation, then I ask who can?
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    I missed President Obama's "conversation" but saw highlights of it later, and of course all the media take on it. What made it genuine was that he spoke freely with no teleprompter and without a script for 17 minutes...from the heart. Yes he is absolutely the right person to lead discussions about race in America precisely because it is a divisive issue...and because from his personal experiences, he is uniquely qualified. So much of our everyday life and politics is tainted by race, and it's time we had a serious dialogue on it. The stereotyping, as Obama indicated by his personal examples, is real. And it hurts.

    I do understand the reluctance of so many people to talk about race. For many of them, their worldviews are defined by their unconscious mind...a product of the upbringing in a society, culture and home life where racial stereotyping was ingrained into them. It's hard to change that...in many cases it's generational. The young people of America, however, are indeed more open minded and tolerant, especially those that are exposed to other races, ethnicities, religions, and cultures at schools or in jobs.

    Those kids that are home schooled to protect and shield them from the "other" will struggle in later life.

    I should make one other point, however, about the timing of Obama's speech. In reading the media (if it's true) there is a lot of racial pent up anger and frustration ready to boil over in cities across America, much of it years in the making, but the Zimmerman verdict perhaps the final episode that could cause it to cascade into violence. President Obama was speaking on behalf of the African-American populace, and his words resonated with many African-Americans that someone is indeed hearing and talking about their frustrations. If his speech quelled any thoughts of protests becoming ugly this weekend then it served its purpose...for now at least.

    Nevertheless, we must have that dialogue, and look past and ignore the Sean Hannity's of this world who can't seem to get past his own race baiting.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    I should add this article from ThinkProgress:

    Four Charts That Prove Obama’s Right About Being Black In America

    The charts speak for themselves. Study them and then lets start that dialogue here at least.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
    Are you sure you want to delete this post?
        
    Schmidt,
    Thanks for posting this. It's good info.
    I haven't watched the president's speech yet. I assumed I will be able to find it on youtube.
    I look forward to seeing it. It's a tough topic to discuss because the effects are so harsh and
    real for those effected by the problems. But all the more reason it needs to be covered here and
    across this country. Unfortunately, that stirs up a lot of hate and where there's hate there's violence.
    Reposted with a link to the speech

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d87h9nAajqM&list=TL34BHRXKa_dQ