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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:27 AM

Barack Obama and Treyvon Martin

I'll preface this by saying I'm a caucasian woman, and that affects my veiws on this.

I was listening to an NPR story interview this morning with a writer who, as a black mother, spoke about "the Talk" that black parents have with their sons when they reach pre-adolescence. She and her sons talked about this and the Treyvon Martin murder.

I recalled being pulled over by police - for no reason - when I was a passenger in the very expensive car of a black male friend. I saw his demeanor turn into an uncharacteristic "yes sir, yes sir," and "You have a nice day, sir." I was stunned. I had heard about "Driving while Black" but certainly hadn't experienced it. I was angry, and I wished that he had questioned the officer more directly about why he had been stopped. My friend sighed, and told me that's how his dad taught him to deal with this situation. His dad had given him "the Talk" when he was 12, when his family came back from being stationed in military service in Thailand.

I realize that much of my frustration with Obama, and his perceived kowtowing to whatever powers that be must have to do with "the Talk" that he must have recieved when he reached adolescence.

He must have experienced being looked at as the "Thug in the hoodie" anywhere in the dominant culture where he's worked. He has to walk that line between "Yes, sir, have a nice day, sir" and "You people will NEVER believe that I am anything but a threat to you, so deal with me."

Treyvon's murder jolted me into the realization that Obama has to work 20 times as hard as any white president to mitigate the perception that he's a threat - a thankless, perhaps futile job that I will never fully appreciate as a white woman.

Obama is in the whitest gated community in the world - the White House. He's "driving while black" in the wealthiest neighborhood in the world - the Executive Branch of the United States.

I'm not going to be pissed off at him anymore (or at least as pissed off) for dealing with crackers of this country with kid gloves.




76 replies, 8485 views

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Arrow 76 replies Author Time Post
Reply Barack Obama and Treyvon Martin (Original post)
ehrnst Mar 2012 OP
Surya Gayatri Mar 2012 #1
madaboutharry Mar 2012 #2
nevergiveup Mar 2012 #3
ehrnst Mar 2012 #4
Surya Gayatri Mar 2012 #17
A wise Man Mar 2012 #33
Surya Gayatri Mar 2012 #5
jwirr Mar 2012 #49
Surya Gayatri Mar 2012 #59
rhett o rick Mar 2012 #6
frazzled Mar 2012 #9
uponit7771 Mar 2012 #12
TBF Mar 2012 #20
leveymg Mar 2012 #7
Surya Gayatri Mar 2012 #21
leveymg Mar 2012 #40
Mr Dixon Mar 2012 #62
leveymg Mar 2012 #65
boxman15 Mar 2012 #74
leveymg Mar 2012 #75
lunatica Mar 2012 #8
LynneSin Mar 2012 #10
FourScore Mar 2012 #35
LynneSin Mar 2012 #39
marshall gaines Mar 2012 #66
KeepItReal Mar 2012 #72
FourScore Mar 2012 #76
Mr Dixon Mar 2012 #64
uponit7771 Mar 2012 #11
DURHAM D Mar 2012 #13
handy hannah Mar 2012 #18
ecstatic Mar 2012 #23
handy hannah Mar 2012 #24
leveymg Mar 2012 #43
DFW Mar 2012 #45
FourScore Mar 2012 #28
Surya Gayatri Mar 2012 #31
ehrnst Mar 2012 #15
FourScore Mar 2012 #22
HockeyMom Mar 2012 #14
DFW Mar 2012 #44
marshall gaines Mar 2012 #67
lonestarnot Mar 2012 #16
handy hannah Mar 2012 #19
DURHAM D Mar 2012 #26
handy hannah Mar 2012 #27
DURHAM D Mar 2012 #30
yardwork Mar 2012 #34
DURHAM D Mar 2012 #37
yardwork Mar 2012 #41
TahitiNut Mar 2012 #54
FourScore Mar 2012 #68
lonestarnot Mar 2012 #32
ehrnst Mar 2012 #46
janet118 Mar 2012 #25
Skinner Mar 2012 #29
ecstatic Mar 2012 #42
Frustratedlady Mar 2012 #47
ehrnst Mar 2012 #48
FourScore Mar 2012 #51
Blue_Roses Mar 2012 #53
TahitiNut Mar 2012 #55
daligirl519 Mar 2012 #56
goclark Mar 2012 #57
vaberella Mar 2012 #61
NYC Liberal Mar 2012 #73
Tatiana Mar 2012 #36
ehrnst Mar 2012 #52
Enrique Mar 2012 #38
ehrnst Mar 2012 #50
Mr Dixon Mar 2012 #58
vaberella Mar 2012 #60
ehrnst Mar 2012 #70
vaberella Mar 2012 #71
Swede Mar 2012 #63
FourScore Mar 2012 #69

Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:46 AM

1. + 1,000,000 !

"Treyvon's murder jolted me into the realization that Obama has to work 20 times as hard as any white president to mitigate the perception that he's a threat - a thankless, perhaps futile job that I will never fully appreciate as a white woman.
Obama is in the whitest gated community in the world - the White House. He's "driving while black" in the wealthiest neighborhood in the world - the Executive Branch of the United States."

Wish I could've said this half as well, ehrnst.
I tried voicing this same paradox in a thread some weeks ago, and the Obama haters really had a field day, in a word:
"If he didn't know the risks of being a black president, he shouldn't have sought the job..."
Un-frigging-believable!

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:49 AM

2. As far as your comment about President Obama, I don't see it that way.

I think much of what we see in President Obama is his striving for a reasonable and intellectually honest debate with his adversaries. I don't see it having anything to do with what his mother may or may not have said to him when he was 12 years old.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:54 AM

3. I think it is a bit of both.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:55 AM

4. There have been times when I wanted him to play hardball - and not bend over backwards for Boehner.

I've often felt that he was not willing to do the twisting of balls that is a neccessary part of being a president dealing with a hostile congress.

He always seemed to go to the negotiating table with what he thought Boehner would want. I wanted him to START with single payer, medicare for all, and negotiate back from there.

A white president could do that without being considered a threat to the very existence of the nation, but not a black president - and that's what I didn't really take into consideration.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:35 AM

17. Again, ehrnst, I couldn't agree more...

"A white president could do that without being considered a threat to the very existence of the nation, but not a black president - and that's what I didn't really take into consideration."

After only a few months of his administration, I began to feel many of the same frustrations you speak of.

But then, I started really trying to imagine what it must be like being him--not being the President, but being the most highly visible black man in the world.

I tried to do that by calling on my own experiences as a foreigner, as an outsider, as someone "other".

As a white woman, I've never been dehumanized by overt racism. On the other hand, I have known subtle ostracization due to a "foreign" accent and "differentness".

I didn't often have the wisdom, courage and equanimity to overcome such prejudice. Pres. Obama does.
SG

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:00 AM

33. Ooooh, Nooooo you have it all wrong

 

The President knew exactly what he was doing by cowarding to Boener and the rethugs. How else can you expose them for what they are. Obama knew exactly what they were going to do when he went to their forums....he knew how they would act when they came to the White House to complain.....he knew they would be just as they are ( ignorant, biggot, racist, hateful assholes ). Yes the President was very smart and courageous to take on the crazies that way. The biggest fear that they have now is if President Obama gets elected for a second term.... he just may go down as the greatest President of all time.....maybe they will jump out windows like they did in the 20's. Now that would be very good for the country.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 08:57 AM

5. It's less a question of some imagined "TALK" that

he may've had with his white mother, than the reality of his everyday personal and professional life:

"He must have experienced being looked at as the "Thug in the hoodie" anywhere in the dominant culture where he's worked. He has to walk that line between "Yes, sir, have a nice day, sir" and "You people will NEVER believe that I am anything but a threat to you, so deal with me."

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:35 AM

49. Don't underestimate white mothers - my sister had this talk with her 3 black daughters. Because it

is not just boys who are in danger. She of course talked to them about different issues but the message was the same - you need to be safe.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #49)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:07 AM

59. Certainly not underestimating the

amazing woman who was Stanley Ann Dunham! (or any other mother who has to bring up black or bi-racial teenaged children in a racially charged society).

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:01 AM

6. You cant have a reasonable and intellectually honest debate

with the devil. I dont agree with you.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:16 AM

9. I think it's some of both

I think he's had a general intellectual predilection for seeing hard ideological rigidity as counterproductive, for thinking that accomplishing a half step forward is better than no steps at all, and for believing honest debate is a moral and practical necessity.

But I also think he tries to be the "good"—make that "perfected"— black male: that he perhaps feels a personal responsibility to show Americans that black males are neither threatening nor in any way "less than." Perhaps this has led to the other. Perhaps they are intertwined. I do think his impeccable ethics, hard work, and conciliatory manner probably grew out of this need for acceptance (and perhaps also out of the female-oriented society in which he was brought up and in his current family).

In the end, I think both he and his wife desperately want to show America that African American men, women, and children are very much like everyone else: so that another Trayvon Martin is not killed merely for the color of his skin. If he accomplishes nothing else during his presidency, this would be a huge legacy for America by itself.



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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:19 AM

12. I DO see him not wanting to perpetuate the "angry black man" perception in his

...actions.

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Response to madaboutharry (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:44 AM

20. I would imagine it is in the back of his mind -

even though he has been very successful and probably hasn't experienced the level of racism some have (middle class, private school, Harvard etc...). We are all products of our upbringing and even if you strive to get away from it that kind of stuff lurks deep. I'm always aware that my family was blue collar no matter how much money I have now, and always aware of my female status (which as of late has been blasted to the forefront with the GOP's concerted attack on women).

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:02 AM

7. I prefer this man's approach to Barack's. It was more genuine, honest, and dignified.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:45 AM

21. This man could never have been elected

to his city council (especially in his hometown of Omaha, Nebraska), much less the Presidency.

He was a militant and activist; Obama is a politician and conciliator.

Different strokes for different folks. Apples to oranges

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #21)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:08 AM

40. Absolutely, not even in Harlem, then. That points something out about the US political process

and why half a century later we are still very much a Gated plantation society with Sunset Laws.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:14 AM

62. IMO

I love Brother Malcolm, speak the truth and shame the devil, however he would have never been the POTUS there is no way the truth can trump propaganda. The mere fact that he was a Muslim, would have scared this country into riots, the mere mention of Muslim scares people in 2012. Religion IMO is way too important in this world, so says “the Black Atheist”.

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Response to Mr Dixon (Reply #62)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:40 AM

65. The "liberal" New York media (when it was still really NY based and liberal) demonized the Muslims

and Brother Malcolm. We had to wait 20 years for a fair reconsideration of that side of the struggle. It was still considered semi-scandalous in the very progressive suburban High School I went to to have 11th Graders read "The Autobiography" in the early 1970s along with King's "Letters from Birmingham Jail", (the latter, about which there was no problem). When Dennis Banks, co-founder of the militant American Indian Movement (AIM) was invited to talk to us, that also seemed to evoke less discomfort than our reading a book by Malcolm X. Come to think of it, that was an usual school, even at the time.

Islam still seemed so alien as did the idea of Black nationalism. It even scared the Left, at the time.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #7)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 12:22 AM

74. I've been doing a lot of studying on the Civil Rights Movement lately

I wasn't around to witness it first hand, but I have a huge interest in the movement.

But one thing that struck me about the differences in Malcolm X's approach (and the later approaches of Stokley Carmichael's SNCC, the Black Panthers, the Black Power Movement, etc.) and the direct integration approach advocated by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the SCLC, etc. is that they really mirror, in my opinion, the relationship between the activist left (like OWS) and President Obama and his supporters.

King, like Obama, was a pragmatic reformer. He'd much rather take small steps in the right direction than going for it all in one try and potentially failing miserably. King's approach gave the black community victories that would've been impossible to achieve had someone like Malcolm X been leading the movement. It is unlikely JFK would've advocated for and LBJ would've passed the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act without King's pragmatic, nonviolent approach. In the long run, although it was frustrating at times, King was the most successful when it came to political change.

This isn't to say Malcolm X was completely wrong or misguided in his black liberation approach (which he later backed away from slightly). Quite the opposite. After all, why should the African-American community integrate into a white society that regarded (and in many respects still regarded) them as less than human? Why conform to the white ideal? Malcolm's ideas later led to the separation of SNCC from King's SCLC (with whom they were very frustrated), which in turn led to the black power movement. Without that, black culture may have been lost or at least altered more significantly. So in the long run, Malcolm was more successful in achieving cultural change and preserving black ideals.

OWS reminds me of the black power movement and SNCC in certain respects. Both led by young, populist idealists, OWS has sort of broke off from President Obama, the pragmatic, at-times frustrating, reformer, much in the same way SNCC broke from King. While the take-it-or-leave-it approach of both would make political change hard to achieve, the groups both held their former "leaders" accountable and dramatically changed the national conversation. OWS got the conversation away from debt and back to jobs, the Black Power movement got the conversation away from being too much about politics to about culture and personal change.

Like SNCC and the Black Power Movement were successful in keeping black culture alive, I think OWS will succeed in keeping liberal and traditional American ideals alive. While Obama and King worked on the national level to achieve change, OWS and the Black Power movement worked at the grassroots level to keep ideals alive and hold their leaders accountable.

One last parallel in my rant, toward the end of Malcolm X's life, after his conversion and rebuke of the Nation of Islam, he began to drift toward King's vision. Likewise, toward the end of King's life, he began to drift to the ideals of SNCC and the other young black activists influenced by Malcolm's ideas.

It looks like Obama has been drifting back to the ideals OWS is talking about. It could just be for the election, of course, but slowly but surely he's drifting back to the left. I think the closer he gets to the end of the presidency (5 years from now), the more he will continue to drift to the left.

The idealists need the pragmatists for change, and the pragmatists need the idealists for change is what I'm saying I guess.

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Response to boxman15 (Reply #74)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 08:34 AM

75. Agree. Without those pushing for radical change, there is no reason to accomodate reform.

Each has its proper role within any movement. I think the differences between MLK and Malcolm were more about tactics than an overall vision of justice, that both held strongly.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:11 AM

8. Well every parent gives their kids 'the talk' at some point

I'm white and I gave my boys 'the talk' about how to behave with people of authority. I knew that driving or walking or doing nothing while being teens has it's risks, and there are deadly ones too. More than once they were made to lie on their stomachs while spreading their arms and legs by a particular cop who had a thing against the teens in our neighborhood. The boys did what I told them to do which was to obey the cop.

Then there's the talk about girls having to behave in certain ways in order to avoid certain treatments. Boys of any color don't get that feeling either.

I think President Obama would be just as calm and thoughtful and conservative/liberal if he were white. He's just not an angry black man.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:18 AM

10. A coworker dealt with DWB on the way home from the airport

He and his wife were coming back from a vacation in Las Vegas. The kids were with her parents so they had 5 days and thought a 2nd honeymoon would be nice.

Their plane came back late from Las Vegas into Baltimore. As they were driving back thru Maryland up to Delaware, somewhere north of Baltimore they were pulled over. He wasn't speeding and the car was relatively new and in good condition. But they were pulled over and the cops then proceeded to search their car and their luggage and bags filled with gifts for the kids.

The cops never gave them a reason for being pulled over but after they hit the DE border they knew why - the couple was a young african-american couple and they happened to be caught late night DWB.

Just disgusting when I heard what happened to them.

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:03 AM

35. By law, a person has to give consent for their car to be searched unless they have a warrant.

Most people don't know this, and the police frame the question in a way that it sounds commanding -- but they still ask. Something along the lines of: "Can you open this trunk for me so I can have a look around?" It's more commanding, as if they just expect you to do it. Most people do because (A) they may not know the police have no right to rummage through their car without a warrant; and (B) they don't want to be hauled in for some sort of "suspicion", or back up called. It's tricky. I always thought I would get on my cell phone right away with an attorney I know. That way an attorney could experience it blow by blow with me over the phone.

I'm sorry that happened to your friends. That's horrible.

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Response to FourScore (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:07 AM

39. This was about 10 years ago and the MD state police were investigated

about racial profiling.

I told my friend there was people he could talk to about filing a complaint but he and his wife just wanted to forget all about it. Wasn't a happy way to end their trip.

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Response to FourScore (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:46 AM

66. THOUSAND TIMES

 

Please. This behavior by police has been going on for decades. Some whites voice the claim that black males show a propensity for violence, you know drugs, rap music, so they get what they deserve ect: Well, ever ask yourself why such violence in some aspects of black culture? DWB or just being black has been reason enough for the police to kill, lynch and outright murder for decades in the country. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to add two and two.

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Response to FourScore (Reply #35)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:23 PM

72. When it happens to you in the dead of the night

And you're all alone on a stretch of interstate with a lawman and his K-9 asking to do a search of your car...

You give consent.

I know my rights and I know the dog ain't sniffing out anything other than the moutntain dew in my BMW.

I gave my consent.

The lawman led his dog around every inch of my M3, even jerking the chain as if to provoke a response. There was nothing for the dog to alert on.

The lawman let me go with a warning about following too close to a semi (a lie)


What would you do?

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Response to KeepItReal (Reply #72)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 09:47 AM

76. Unfortunately, that is the reality. You nailed it. n/t

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Response to LynneSin (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:20 AM

64. SMH

It Happens

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:18 AM

11. lol

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:28 AM

13. What's funny?

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #13)


Response to handy hannah (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:48 AM

23. Enjoy your stay

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #23)


Response to handy hannah (Reply #24)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:18 AM

43. If you believe there was no trauma in Kenya under the British, you need to go back to school

Before Independence in 1965, it was little different from South Africa or Rhodesia. Obama's grandfather was swept up in the mass repression and torture of the MauMau rebellion.

Here's a place to start your education. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1373650/Mau-Mau-rebellion-Torture-rebels-including-Obamas-grandfather.html When you finish, then come back with comments.



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Response to ecstatic (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:24 AM

45. You would think a right wing troll would know by now

Use "Barry" on this board and you might as well have an avatar showing your rear end with an arrow sign saying "kick me here."

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Response to handy hannah (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:53 AM

28. Yeah, you're right!

The problem is with all the black people. It's THEM, right? If they'd just integrate better, we wouldn't have a problem.



Geez. UNF***ING BELIEVABLE!!!!!!!!



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Response to handy hannah (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:59 AM

31. Wow, does he have zebra stripes? Are his

"bi-racial" origins engraved on his forehead?

He's as "black" (color-wise) or more so, than many in the "black community".

If a young Barack had been walking around in a hoody on the southside of Chicago (instead of in relatively race-tolerant Honolulu) his fate could easily have been the same as Trayvon Martin's.

By the by, interesting reference to "liberal white guilt". Is that the only kind there is?

edit: typo

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:32 AM

15. What's funny? (nt)

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:48 AM

22. What's funny? n/t

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:30 AM

14. My white husband was stopped in a "well to do" neighborhood

That experience made him understand, as he later said, what black men experience all the time. He was dressed in jeans and a tshirt, and driving my 10 year old car. I had dropped off my daughter in the same car a few hours earlier at her friend's house. I passed by a parked squad car a few streets away. Nothing. When my husband passed that same squad car, they pulled him over. They said for a broken light. "They targeted me", he said. No, he was not polite with them. No "Yes Sir", etc., because he was mad. There was nothing wrong with the light. Why didn't they stop ME for the light? It was the same car, but since I was a mother with my daughter, I probably wasn't "suspicious".

They made him get out of the car to search it. They searched him. It was only when he mentioned the name of the family he was going to see that they stopped. Ironically, my daughter's friend's Dad was a high ranking officier in the local police department and they apparently knew him. The cops immediately gave him back all his ID back, got in their car, and left.

When my husband mentioned this to a black coworker, he said to him, "Now you know what happens to me all the time".



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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:20 AM

44. That kind of incident is not limited to the USA

About 25 years ago, a rich Swiss woman I knew had been visiting the Soviet Union. She had some
serious jewelry with her, and had not declared it to Soviet customs when entering the country, not
thinking she needed to, being personal items. When she was at Sheryemyetyevo airport returning
to Switzerland, Soviet customs stopped her and demanded that she show the papers proving that
she had entered the country with the jewelry or purchased them with a legitimate export license
from the Soviet Union. She had no such papers, but did know a Soviet official in Geneva. She insisted
they contact him, as he had seen her with lots of her jewelry on. She stood her ground, insisting they
contact some Anatoly Samuylenko in Geneva. Someone finally did, and they suddenly were extremely
polite and apologetic, making sure she made her plane. Papers? What papers?

When she got back to Geneva, she made some inquiries about her friend Anatoly, who turned out
to be some high muckamuck in the KGB (he had apparently neglected to mention that to her). The
airport customs officers had acquired a sudden desire not to spend the rest of the careers counting
yak droppings at the Soviet-Mongolian border.

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Response to DFW (Reply #44)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:55 AM

67. obsfucation

 

this post has nothing to do with THE race hatred as shown in America because of it's despicable history in treating minorities as less than human.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:33 AM

16. K & R!

Crackers.

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:41 AM

19. It's acceptable to use "crackers"

 

but not the N-word?

Interesting...

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Response to handy hannah (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:52 AM

26. Are you at the library again? nt

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #26)


Response to handy hannah (Reply #27)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:59 AM

30. I will say goodbye now.

its been swell

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #30)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:01 AM

34. I was just on a jury voting to hide that post. Hope the other five agreed.

Another day, another visit from Library Girl.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #34)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:04 AM

37. She has now been PPRed.

It took 25 minutes. I don't believe that is even close to a record.

I still don't know what is funny about the OP. Do you have any idea?

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #37)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:10 AM

41. I'm sure freepers would find it hilarious. They live in opposite world.

Five jurors unanimously voted to hide the post above.

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #37)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:54 AM

54. I miss the tombstones.

"Posting privileges revoked" is sooooo sterile and unsatisfying.


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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #54)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:09 PM

68. The tombstones were a nice a touch. n/t

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Response to handy hannah (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:59 AM

32. Mr. President is one of the greatest Presidents, possibly 2nd or 3rd in line despite rich crackers.

So whatever. Alert.

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Response to handy hannah (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:31 AM

46. Yes.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:52 AM

25. I was always puzzled by people who pressed Obama to "get angry" . . .

Maybe they really don't know which way the wind blows for black men. There is a case of a black Pace College football player from Massachusetts who was shot to death. His parents live nearby me and they are devastated. The police make up stories to cover their actions and no one is held accountable. This is frightening.

White parents shouldn't wait until it starts happening to their children. The police need to be reined it NOW!!!

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:54 AM

29. While I appreciate you are giving the President the benefit of the doubt, this post bothers me.

For one thing, I don't see President Obama as "kowtowing to whatever powers that be" the way some here on DU have portrayed him the last three years. I see him as a politician who understands the need for compromise in order to get things done. And frankly, I think he has already lined up a record of accomplishment that beats any President since LBJ.

Now, I think it is true that many of the people who oppose him are racists, and the intensity of the hate toward him is due in part to his race. But that does not mean that the President of the United States has been treating his opponents as if he had been pulled over by a racist white police officer, staring at his feet mumbling "yes sir" and all that. The comparison feels emasculating and deeply disrespectful to our President.

There is a difference between keeping your cool and being deferential to authority. President Obama has an extraordinary ability to keep his cool and keep a level head even when everyone else seems to have gone completely insane. This is a very admirable quality, and it makes him a better and more successful president.

Context: I'm a white man, so that may or may not have some bearing on how I read your post. I guess I would be curious to hear how some African-American DUers feel about this.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:16 AM

42. I agree 100% nt

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:34 AM

47. I agree with both the original post and your post...

I believe there was cautionary teaching by his mother and grandmother to not be confrontational and to take the high road.

On the other hand, I think Obama has the ability to plan ahead...far ahead. How many times have we seen Obama appear to be agreeing with the Republicans, but then walk away with his wide grin when the end result was what he wanted in the first place? I think he must be good at chess...he plays to win.

If he gets the House back, look out! He will become the best in history.

Go `Bama

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:34 AM

48. That's why I wrote "perceived Kowtowing." (nt)

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:37 AM

51. You have articulated this very well, Skinner.

I am not African American, but I appreciate what you and the OP have to say. I think reading them in tandem is a good thing. In no way do I think the OP was trying to "emasculate" Obama, but the way you have stated it does bring that nagging "what's wrong with this OP?" (blinking in the back of my head somewhere) to light.

I love DU.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:39 AM

53. I agree

and well said.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:04 AM

55. I see it exactly the same way.

(As another WASP male) I see him gaining a LOT of his support from one of the most emotionally healthy families its been my pleasure to see in public life. While he is also a large part of the reason for that health, it clearly gives him a kind of foundational resilience that's rare. In this context, I see his "family" as more than just Michelle, her mom, and the girls ... but includes his brother-in-law and close friends, as well as is own grandparents and mother. I don't want to sound like some "family values" nutcase, but there's something to be said about his "6:30 pm priorities." (I wish that I'd been 'qualified' to be married to someone like Michelle. She's extraordinary. Wife, mother, partner, individual ... a role model for a totally balanced human being. They make an awesome team in The Game of Life.)

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:04 AM

56. I agree with you 100%. . .

I think his demeanor has done nothing but highlight how insane and out ouf control his adversaries are. Getting angry just takes him down to their level.

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:04 AM

57. I completely agree with you Skinner and I am African American

..."There is a difference between keeping your cool and being deferential to authority. President Obama has an extraordinary ability to keep his cool and keep a level head even when everyone else seems to have gone completely insane. This is a very admirable quality, and it makes him a better and more successful president."

I will put some of my thoughts in " Black English ".....


I am so proud that President Obama knows how to handle ALL people or ALL Races with respect and dignity. In my view, he is a Drum Major for Justice.


~ He is Brilliant but knows how to "keep the common touch."
My grandma would say ~ " He was raised up right!"

He understands how to address evil people without being " mean spirited"

Sometimes Ms.goclark would like to take a frying pan and break the TV when they say mean things about him. I want to protect him.

My friends will tell you.....
b] "Goclark don't like anybody messing with Her Obama."

However, I want to believe, with all my heart, that America will be A Better Place when the Rethugs, that pretend that they are the only people that God Loves, wake up the day after the Election and realize that My Sweet Grandmother was right!

Anytime that I would say something Mean Spirited, she would remind me ~

"God Don't Like Ugly" so you be a Good Girl"






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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:13 AM

61. Finally a post with a clue aside from the LOL one which I had to agree with. n/t

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Response to Skinner (Reply #29)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:31 PM

73. Absolutely right.

There is a difference between keeping your cool and being deferential to authority. President Obama has an extraordinary ability to keep his cool and keep a level head even when everyone else seems to have gone completely insane. This is a very admirable quality, and it makes him a better and more successful president.


Sometimees maybe they look alike. But PBO's record proves what you say.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:03 AM

36. Great post. However, I don't think anyone had "The Talk" with Barack.

Last edited Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:49 AM - Edit history (2)

He didn't expect or anticipate the GOP's vitriol. He was honestly surprised by it. That indicates to me no one ever had "the talk" with him at all. As indicated by other posters here, Barack was raised by white people (for the most part) around white people. This led him to expect the same type of treatment afforded to the people he grew up with. When people talk about the "black experience" they are describing something more than one's skin color. They are describing a cultural and social experience as it relates to work, school, leisure, and commerce. Barack Obama has clearly experienced some of the issues associated with being a "black" male in American society, but I wouldn't say he's really had the "black experience."

I'm not saying that's a bad thing either. I'm just saying that I believe that's why he capitulated so often and appeared to be so baffled by the treatment he received from the Republican racists. He'd never been treated that way in his life before and didn't know how to respond appropriately (and also received some very poor advice from his advisors, IMO). I don't see other minority politicians treating racists with kid gloves. I think Obama is catching on, though. He has a bit of his swag back and he has directly opposed GOP leadership on a few issues (whereas he always sought to find common ground before).

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Response to Tatiana (Reply #36)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:38 AM

52. I also stated that these experiences, along with the symbolic "talk" have influenced him.(nt)

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:07 AM

38. if that were true, than we should have not elected him, because he's black

we should have said, we need a president who can stand up to anyone at any time, and black people cannot do this, because of their race. Therefore we should not ever elect a black president, whether it's Obama or anyone else.

I don't think this is true.

And by the way, the crackers aren't the problem. There aren't any crackers on Wall Street.

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Response to Enrique (Reply #38)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:36 AM

50. I don't see why that means we should not vote for him.

You may as well say that about a woman. There always needs to be a first - and that first will have these issues.

I'm acknowledging them, and am supportive of Obama.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:06 AM

58. IMO

I have to agree as a black man, trying not to become a casualty of the White privilege we do have to walk a line. Remember that Black professor that got arrested outside his own house when Obama took office? There is an invisible line that Black men, scratch that, that minority men, scratch that, that minorities dare not cross. It matters not whether you’re innocent, you’re perceived as guilty until proven otherwise. Will that ever change? I’m thinking along the lines of 2050. Being cautious doesn’t make me scared or a punk, it makes me aware of my situation, there is nothing I can do to make some people not fear me, but this condition is not new to me or my generation. IMO race is not the leading factor; economic status is that real problem. Since the days of roman there have been peasants and noblemen. Noblemen feared the peasants would harm then and take their riches so they paid guards to protect them and their riches. Nothing has changed to this day, the rich fear the poor so that created the police and security guards to protect them from the poor and less fortunate.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:11 AM

60. In all honesty I don't think Obama ever got the "talk." I know Black parents do this.

But do White mothers with Black children? I don't know.

Further more the working extra hard is a gimme, but that has nothing to do with the Talk it has to do with living in a society that is made up predominantly of Whites and whom of which, some don't even realize are either racist or buy into stereotypes or perpetuate them through no fault of their own. In essence the institutionalized racism that is festering in all aspects of our lives that Blacks are directly aware of and Whites may have heard about but can never understand.

I find your over all statement reaching.

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Response to vaberella (Reply #60)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 01:44 PM

70. I know white parents that give the talk to their brown adopted sons.

My son goes to a Spanish immersion elementary school, and there are many parents that have adopted from Guatemala.

You bet they have this talk.

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Response to ehrnst (Reply #70)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:09 PM

71. As I stated I don't know if White parents do.

The talk also includes and normally deals with staying away from dating or entering romantic relationships with White women or at times White men (if they're girls). The talk is not just how to comport ones self in such a society but how to avoid problematic situations and if they are boys...White women are like seen as a poison of sorts by Black parents to their Black male children. "The talk" includes a whole host of things. This is why I wonder is 'the talk' really done. I know of one White family in Georgia that did do that...in the case of the Marcus Dixon case for instance. Since they did go on Oprah, was asked about that and they said for sure they did. They just didn't reinforce it regularly. 'The talk' is like set of Ten Commandments on how to survive in the US.

Secondly, the question still needs to be begged. Did Obama's mom have the talk with her son? His grandmother, as he himself admitted said highly racialized things against Black people. So it's unlikely he got 'the talk' from her and that's his grandmother--the woman who raised. His mother didn't buy into convention, at the time, in regards to her husbands' so I doubtt he sat her son down for this talk. So this is why I have a problem to suggest Obama got this talk and to imply that this in some way affected him.

Third, it pisses me the hell off that--- as the poster suggests this in some way neutered Obama. But then they're interpretation of Obama's actions as President show him as feckless. It's as disgusting a statement as when Cornel West and Tavis Smiley suggest that it's because Obama is half White that he can't relate to poor Blacks. I again sincerely doubt he ever got the talk in the first place...then what makes the President as less of the President that he is, as this poster suggests, if not for 'the talk.'

'The talk' which is a preservation tactic used by Black parents to protect their child from the harms of White society. Which I plan on having with my son or daughter if or when I have one.

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Response to ehrnst (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 11:19 AM

63. Chris Rock - How not to get your ass kicked by the police!

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Response to Swede (Reply #63)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 12:15 PM

69. That was great. I love Chris Rock!

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