General Question

GAMBIT's avatar

Is it safe to say that America would like to leave the issue of race behind us?

Asked by GAMBIT (3958points) November 5th, 2008

Congratulations Mr. President.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

EmpressPixie's avatar

We’d like to. We haven’t yet, but we’ve made a lot of progress. And we will.

Edit to add: And this election shows that we’re willing to and we want to.

dalepetrie's avatar

I consider the election of Obama to be like having surgery to re-attach a limb. You make it through the surgery and the re-attachment is successful, you’ve made a hell of a lot of progress. But there will still be some therapy before you’re truly whole.

tinyfaery's avatar

No. The fact that it’s such a huge deal that Obama was elected displays how much race still matters. Like astrochuck said in another thread: not until the idea of having a black president is commonplace will race perhaps be a non-issue.

laureth's avatar

I don’t think that’s a safe assumption. Did you see how fast and furious that the chain mails went around on the Internet (saying things like “Obama is a scary black man” and “He’ll make the nation dangerous for the whites”) and how often he was boo’ed at McCain rallies? Just because he won the Presidency doesn’t mean that a good percentage of people don’t think that we’re in for at least four years of “reverse” racial prejudice.

I’ve also heard that White Supremacist organizations are looking forward to an uptick in their membership. They certainly don’t want to leave the issue of race behind us – they’ll be milking it for all it’s worth.

GAMBIT's avatar

All very good answers. Thank you

marinelife's avatar

I thought that they put it very well on CNN this morning. Race was a factor in the election; it was just not a barrier to election.

Also, I will not feel that we have put it behind us until we have openly talked and dealt with rqace in a national dialogue.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Oh Marina… did you see the exit poll where they asked people if race was a factor? They were talking about it on CNN. The people who said yes voted in the same spread as the people who said no.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I really don’t think that we’re at that point yet, GAMBIT. Electing Obama to the presidency was a very large step in the right direction but we arent where we need to be yet on race issues in America.

I was talking with coworkers last night after the election and I told them, here we are in 2008, in the 21st century, and we still can’t nail down and resolve prejudice and hate and racial issues in the best country in the world. It is both sad and irritating in my opinion.

Still, I’m not going to lose faith at this point and I’m very optimistic about a better country and better government with Obama at the helm.

GAMBIT's avatar

Great answer Bluefreedom – Thank you

willbrawn's avatar

America will be racist as long as we are America.

fireside's avatar

Did anyone see this quote from Robert F. Kennedy?

Things are ‘moving so fast in race relations a Negro could be president in 40 Years’ ‘There is no question about it’ the attorney general said ’ In the next 40 years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has’....Kennedy said that prejudice exists and probably will continue to….’ But we have tried to make progress and we are making progress. We are not going to accept the status quo.

May 27, 1968

Bluefreedom's avatar

Very prophetic words from Robert Kennedy. It’s too bad he couldn’t have lived long enough to actually see an African-American become president. I think he would have been very proud.

Bri_L's avatar

I think there are still some generations left form the “old days” as is proven by responses like “I ain’t vot’n for that n*ggr”.

It is a heck of a start.

dalepetrie's avatar

Hey, funny thing is, in Virginia, one canvasser for Obama was met by an older woman at the door. When asked who she was voting for, she called to her husband who was watching TV in the other room, “who we votin’ for?” Her husband called back, “we’re votin’ for the nigger.” She told the canvaser, “we’re votin’ for the nigger.” And this was not an isolated occurence.

At least most racism now is just stupidity and not hostility, I guess is the point I’ll make. As people who still use racial epithets begin to live and work alongside non whites, and as non whites become neighbors, co-workers, attend the same churches, go to the same schools, it won’t be as easy for people to throw around hurtful words so nonchallantly. And those who will never get it will die off as new voters are cut from a cloth that doesn’t even SEE race. We’re making progress, we’ve made a lot of progress, but we’re over the hump, I think that’s what this proves.

Bluefreedom's avatar

@dale. As to the first part of your answer, the canvaser should have laid into both the husband and wife for their disrespectful and rude title of an African-American, in my opinion. It probably wasnt the time and place for it but that’s how I feel about it. I think the ‘N’ word is one of the most vile words in some people’s vocabularies.

As to the second part of your answer, insightful, intelligent, and excellent, in my opinion.

dalepetrie's avatar

Bluefreedom, I fell the same way about the word, but yeah, if I’m trying to get people to vote for Obama, and they say they’re planning to, and I detect that perhaps their support might be a bit “soft” given their parlance, I doubt I’d have started an argument.

EmpressPixie's avatar

Dale, BlueFreedom: The canvassers should not have engaged. It’s all about context. You probably wouldn’t be angry at someone who said that word in 1832, so don’t get angry at these people. Seriously. Lexicographers just go to try and find these communities and hang out because they still use a lot of the original English from when they settled the communities a gazillion years ago, many of them still have British accents to an extent. They are not using the word as you and I know it.

Appalachia is a funny place, but a lot of what makes it unique is dying out before we can document it. You can be happy because people who use that word without malice will have their language lost to obscurity or sad because we are also losing such valuable historical fountains of knowledge. But either way, the strange little communities of Appalachia are, well, funny.

EmpressPixie's avatar

To further my statement: If they were using the word they way you and I know it, they wouldn’t have been voting for him.

dalepetrie's avatar

I get that.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Yeah, what dale said.

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