Welcome to Obamerica! (Participation. Deadline 23 Oct)

Listen Time Wise talking about his book Between Barack and a Hard Place. In your comment share 3 epiphanic moments ( moments of sudden realization; you may want to mark them by indicating exactly when those come in the video, e.g. 3:13-3:40,etc. ) and explain how those challenged your views.

PART 1 

PART 2

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26 thoughts on “Welcome to Obamerica! (Participation. Deadline 23 Oct)

  1. 3 epiphanic moments:
    1. “A colored person has to be truly exceptional to break the presidential ceiling.” The men in the video think that Obama is an exceptional person (I think otherwise but that’s unrelated) and any colored person who wants to be President feels like if they aren’t anywhere near Obama’s level then they have no chance. It’s sad that they think like that!

    2. “We need to come to the point where black and brown people don’t feel like they need to be as exceptional as Barack Obama to become president.” This relates to the above statement.

    3. “We need to have a truly equal opportunity society and the only way we will see that is if the matter of discrimination diminishes.” I believe that discrimination will never completely diminish because some people will never change and then they will teach their children and grandchildren the same thoughts.

    Another interesting fact was that one out of seven African Americans live off of welfare. Generally, white folks would think that more African Americans would be living on welfare but it’s actually white people that are. We are just as lazy..

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  2. PART 1
    1) 6:00-6:56
    “We have to have a truly equal opportunity in society when we begin to see this research on discrimination in housing, jobs, education”
    2) 3:15-3:40
    “There are a lot of colored people out there, every bit of it is intelligence, every bit is wise an capable as Barack Obama, but they all have different styles, and they may wear their hair differently, but it doesn’t mean that they are any less smart…..we shouldn’t be in a society where you have to bring it the way Obama brings it”
    PART 2
    3) 4:40-5:05
    “6/10 white folks in most years will acknowledge that they would hear one of the following stereotypes about black folks…black folks are perceived as less intelligent, more aggressive, and less hardworking”

    I think that all three of these realizations tie together to become one big question, why is it that people have such high expectations for black people, and why are they known as less intelligent and hardworking? All these stereotypes are what separate whites and blacks. All individuals are able to bring success to their lives, and it shouldn’t matter what color their skin in. Everyone needs to have equal opportunities and there shouldn’t be any discrimination.

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    1. Camille,

      Thank you for posting your Part 2 quote about how different African-Americans represent their individuality uniquely and are judged as unprofessional from society’s standards of Barack Obama. This helps me understand the arguments at hand MUCH more.

      Thank you and great job!

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  3. like Camille, I agree with how non-whites shouldn’t feel like they have to be the same or just like Obama to become president or even have any position in the government. They shouldn’t have to feel like they need to be just as special or intellectual as Obama. This is sad an shouldn’t be the case. They should feel like they have just as equal of opportunity as anyone else in America and with the right credentials they should be appointed a job in the government as easily as anyone else.

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  4. 1) 2:30 “Brown and Black people need to follow Barack Obama as he is the exception for breaking out of the black norm.” I feel like this sets the standard for colored people to aim for success like Obama for them to be accepted by white people.
    This stood out to me because that’s impossible for many colored and white people as well. What Obama accomplished by becoming the first African American president is remarkable for our colorblind generation, but I don’t believe that you need to become the president to be be accepted or noticed by white people.

    2) 5:3–6:30 “Even in the midst of horrible oppression, people of colored can accomplish great things, the question is that can the everyday individual with a different style from Obama can they become president?”
    This stood out to me because this question challenges everyone who isn’t receiving the typical Harvard education that later goes onto become president, but the everyday people that attend community college or are working their way up in life. How will their contribution to society be beneficial?

    3) 3:30-3:45 “Nine out of ten would say black children have the same opportunity in schools and very little segregation in 1963” This stood out to me because I was taken back by how this closely relates to how white people disregard discrimination towards black as not a problem in the 1960’s to today in 2014.

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  5. I agree with Camilies view on how we should not judge people on their color of their skin and how stereotypes help keep people segregated. Also, many people do compare black people with Obama and except African Americans to follow in his footsteps either in his style or career wise. Everyone should be able to have the same equal opportunity regardless of their skin color.

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  6. 1. “Even in the midst of horrible oppression, people of color can accomplish great things, the question is that can the everyday individual with a different style from Obama can they become president?”
    – I found this comment to be strong and true. Obama may have set the tone for minorities but i do believe anyone can do it in their own way. If someone can relate to you and your struggle then it is easier to be heard. As far as politicians go… good luck. Money talks louder than words and unless it doesn’t benefit them then im not sure it can be done.

    2. “We need to have a truly equal opportunity society and the only way we will see that is if the matter of discrimination diminishes.”
    – I believe in these words and semi agree with this statements but discrimination will never diminish as long as there is color in this world. Racism was built off of this country and it will never end. I believe it can be reduced over time and maybe we as a generation can evolve from discrimination.

    3. “we shouldn’t be in a society where you have to bring it the way Obama brings it”
    – This statement is my favorite out of the whole interview because following someone and mimicking their exact blueprint never works for anybody. I do however think you can follow certain procedures to get your foot in the door but what makes someone better is not committing the same mistakes and being unique. Unfortunately, society thinks to be successful you have to keep your head down and fall in line until it is your time to shine. If what media has shown us and the great rebels that have fought against formalities have taught us is that being successful is to take risks. If everyone followed Obama the outcome will not be the same as his success. You have to be your own person and that’s what society should instill in this country.

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    1. I agree not just black people can do great things but all races can. We all have special skills and placements that we excel but to the midst of it. All races are still discriminated by color and stereotypes and its wrong for that how what rumors say are perceived to be true and that’s not right at all and it could cause bigger controversy later on to where the people wont like it at all and so i agree with your statements.

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      1. I agree with Isaiah: we are all human beings. The color of our skin or stereotypes or anything else shouldn’t matter.

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  7. 1. “RACISM 1.0” (PART I )
    I found this description of discriminatory racism very effective in helping me construct a better image for the older forms of racism (“Racism 1.0”) compared to newer versions of racism (“Racism 2.0”). It was helpful when the author said, “Racism 1.0 was defeated, but not all racism could be defeated in one round.” This portion was found at the 1:42 marker. It was also an interesting surprise when he said that McCain used racist tactics related to “Racism 1.0” during his political campaigns in Pennsylvania.

    2. RACISM 2.0 – “ENLIGHTENED EXCEPTIONALISM” (PART I)
    I found the author’s quote very effective in describing the interconnection between “Racism 1.0,” “Racism 2.0,” and “Enlightened Exceptionalism.” His quote is as follows:

    “Some support Obama because they view him as many…transcending races, being different from the black or brown norm, and my fear there is that if the black and brown norm is still considered in a negative light, the fact that we can carve out certain exceptions for certain people of color that make us feel comfortable is not going to get us the whole way towards racial equity.”

    Despite the interconnection, however, I’m still confused about certain elements of the author’s claim. I can’t think of any examples in which I’ve witnessed Obama’s image becoming a stereotype in society’s mainstream. The most mockeries I’ve seen are his occasional drawls in speech and a few crude political cartoon caricatures. In other words, I understand the basis of the argument (blacks “have” to have the same educational background as Obama to be considered in politics, “same” financial history, and upbringing). However, I still find this untrue and I want to discuss it more in class to gain more insight. Time found: 2:20 marker.

    3. DENIAL THROUGHOUT THE AGES (PART 2)
    Denial about the problem has not radically changed:

    • 1960s – people still thought blacks had equal rights
    • 1963 – 2/3 whites said blacks were treated equally in employment, housing and education
    • 1962 – 9/10 whites said black children had equal educational opportunities as white children

    This surprised me because I didn’t know whites were so ignorant to racial inequalities during the 1960s. I thought the majority of them reinforced segregation, or were indifferent. I’m surprised that so many people had thought the structure of society was more equal than it was, and that that mindsets interconnect into the mindsets of today. The time marker was 2:45.

    *What do minorities feel about the “stereotyping” of Obama? Do they feel like he has become a stereotype, or is that a creation of “white guilt?”

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  8. In part one at about 3:18 the men begin talking about how looks play a role when it comes to being a president, not all looks but how a person carries themselves. Tim Wise explains that our intelligence has nothing to do with how we look at on the outside. We have different styles and personalities and that doesn’t mean we have to “look” smart in order to be intelligent.

    At 4:34 Tim Wise says, “The proof of racial equity is when people of color can be as mediocre as white folks and still get hired”. This quote made me realize that white people can say or be whomever they want. They do not have to groom themselves in order to fit in our society. Minorities have to do as well as white people and most times even better to somehow prove themselves. They have to prove themselves in order to show they do not fall under typical stereotypes.

    In part two at about 3:29, Tim says that 2/3 whites said that blacks were treated equally when it came employment and housing. And in 1962 about nine out of ten whites said that black children had equal opportunities. The 60’s were not that long ago and it would be hard to change attitudes in that short of time. And we have to ask black people about whether or not discrimination has lessened because they are the victims and they are the ones who truly know or feel it.

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    1. I agree with Tasha. White people have way more advantage than black people and it is not fair for those who work really hard to get to where they’re at now. It’s really sad to see the discrimination towards black people.

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    2. I agree with you Tasha that people of color have to work twice as hard to prove themselves in order to show they are qualified or that they do not fall under typical stereotypes, like you mentioned in your post. It is really sad that white folks can be whoever they want and minorities have be a certain type.

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  9. 1. 6:52 “If we’re going to have an equal opportunity society, we have to truly have an equal opportunity society. The evidence of us accomplishing that is depletion of discrimination in housing, jobs and criminal justice.”
    – I agree with this comment, we can’t just say discrimination is getting better in america. It goes way deeper then the acts of individuals in society, the things that need to be changed are in our systems.
    2. “we shouldn’t be in a society where you have to bring it the way Obama brings it” “we shouldn’t be in a society where you have to bring it the way Obama brings it” I like this quote Anthony found and its very true. Since Obama is our first black president, people of color shouldn’t hold back from running just because they don’t have Obama “swag”. There’re so many people of color that I’m sure have a better sense of leadership then our president. I beleive leadership is more important then looks, but presentation in todays society can be key in winning an election.
    3. Around 3:30 “What hasn’t changed is the denial about the problem, if you want want to know if a problem is still a problem then ask the people that were targeted.”
    – I really agree with this last comment, it makes sense to ask people who been the targeted in a unequal society. But it doesn’t hurt to ask the people that aren’t the target because theirs always two sides to a story.

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  10. At about 5:30 in Part one, “Even in the midst of horrible oppression, people of colored can accomplish great things, the question is that can the everyday individual with a different style from Obama can they become president?”
    This impressed me as it beaks out the fact that we still have the racism existed all over the world, despite whoever’s president of a country where black people were enslaved. At this point I’m not sure what is Obama’s “master status” now; a “black”? Or a president…

    At about 4:50, “A colored person has to be truly exceptional to break the presidential ceiling”
    I think it’s just the same for other issues that are coming according the syllabus (Please!). There are still many barriers block the way for women, homosexual people, transgender people, in some places, low-class people and people in poverty; even some countries (developing country, country in the “third world”), to achieve the same accomplishment& receive the same applause as “majorities in ideology” could with less hardship.

    Part 2, at 7-8 min, Tim Wise mentioned white people’s stereotypes on black people.
    For me, the intriguing thing is not that “only 1/7 blacks actually receive welfare in US”, is that people who hold these opinions (along with other like “blacks are less intelligent, more aggressive, etc.”), might have voted for Obama too. This reminds me of the “speech which made Obama president”. So what did Obama’s winning of election mean for some of the voters? Another proof of the achieving of “American Dream”?

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  11. 1) 2:30 “Brown and Black people need to follow Barack Obama as he is the outbreak of the black standards we come to today.” I feel that we have to be a certain standard like Barack Obama for white people to accept us for who we really are
    This stood out to me because its a high obtainable goal for white people and black people. Obama has stood out for African Americans for being the first black president and for our colorblind generation, But does it really come down to that we have to be a high status to please another dominant race?

    2) 5:3–6:30 “Even in the midst of horrible oppression, people of colored can accomplish great things, the question is that can the everyday individual with a different style from Obama can they become president?”
    This astonished me because Its saying that you don’t need to have an Ivy League education to be the president, But also the people working 9-5’s and going to small universities, Are they included too?

    3) 3:30-3:45 “Nine out of ten would say black children have the same opportunity in schools and very little segregation in 1963″ This shows that in my opinion like how white people don’t even realize that segregation back then was too common to see the other sides outlook on it, Yeah i understand back then isn’t like now but its not the concept its the idea of it that makes it so powerful.

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  12. I am not an Obama fan but that is not relevant for this. Anyways, I think anyone who wants to be president can be president, regardless of the color of their skin or race and as long as they have a good education. Many African-Americans were inspired when Obama became president so a person of a different race becoming president can be inspirational to many people.

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    1. I agree with Emily. Not a huge Obama fan because of certain choices he has made but that doesn’t have anything to do with the color of his skin. He obviously became President for a reason. He IS intelligent and has a great education.

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  13. In the first video around 2:54, when Tim Wise is talking about how only some colored people are accepted because they make people feel more comfortable is very sad. You should not be able to pick and choose which people you feel comfortable around. Everyone should be accepted no matter what color of skin you have or clothing you wear.

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  14. 1 0:45- 1:08 I like how the author points out that racism and things that go to discriminatory thoughts in everyday life still have an effect on the people that they are pointed too, I liked the example that he brought up about “that Pakistan is headed to a post sexist place.” I thought that it was a really good example that he brought up and I can see the point that he’s trying to make that racism still very real in the world whether we think it is or not.

    2. 4:12 I thought that it was interesting how he thinks that a person of color that there is no way that a he could be president considering that he graduated 5 from the bottom of a naval academy and all of the other examples that he had given, you have to be an exceptional person to be the president of the United States.

    3. 4:50 I found it interesting how he points out that people of different color such a white folk see black people and other minorities in a position of less intelligence aggressive and more prone to criminal activity, they think that all they want to do is live off of “welfare” very stereotypical of white people to say.

    I think that as a person of a different color of a person of a different ethnic and cultural background it is very easy to discriminate and look down upon other people because that was not how you were raised, but I think that it is important to keep and open mind and not be so quick to judge certain individuals based upon their beliefs.

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  15. i agree with Camille, that White people because they are not minorities in this world do have a much easier time finding work and supporting themselves because society hasn’t had a chance to look down on them, but everyone else if they are a different color than white has an extremely hard time finding work and supporting themselves and i think that it is wrong to classify and treat people that way based on the color of their skin.

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  16. 1) “Brown and Black people need to follow Barack Obama as he is the outbreak of the black standards we come to today.” 2:30
    This stood out to me because Obama has become a mold and people of color who wish to become successful should follow the steps of Obama. This to me is sad because when reading chapter 10 in Bonilla Silva’s book a white president can be many personalities but when it comes to a black president, there needs to be only one certain type.

    2) “There are a lot of colored people out there, every bit of it is intelligence, every bit is wise an capable as Barack Obama, but they all have different styles, and they may wear their hair differently, but it doesn’t mean that they are any less smart…..we shouldn’t be in a society where you have to bring it the way Obama brings it” 3:15

    3) Part 2
    The middle of part 2 at 3:00 really surprised me about how many white people were in denial in the 60’s. “Nine out of ten would say black children have the same opportunity in schools and very little segregation in 1963”

    Barack Obama is a black person who white seem to accept and but it should not mold the way other black people should try to become. The second quote really explains what I’m trying to say by we shouldn’t be in a society where you have to bring it the way Obama brings it.

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  17. 1) 6:00-6:56
    “We have to have a truly equal opportunity in society when we begin to see this research on discrimination in housing, jobs, education”

    2) 3:15-3:40
    “There are a lot of colored people out there, every bit of it is intelligence, every bit is wise an capable as Barack Obama, but they all have different styles, and they may wear their hair differently, but it doesn’t mean that they are any less smart…..we shouldn’t be in a society where you have to bring it the way Obama brings it”

    3) 4:40-5:05
    “6/10 white folks in most years will acknowledge that they would hear one of the following stereotypes about black folks…black folks are perceived as less intelligent, more aggressive, and less hardworking”

    These 3 examples were HUGE realizations for me and they really reflect the main issue and question people have…Why is there bigger expectations for minority groups, specially african americans while we have a general stereo type of them being lazy and not smart. The stereotypes I’ve seen against black people is what shows me how there are different stereotypes between blacks, white, hispanics, and other minority groups. However, after understanding how each ethnic group has their own struggles with stereotypes, I truly believe anyone can become successful and live a happy life regardless of what your skin color is.

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  18. 4:40-5:05
    “6/10 white folks in most years will acknowledge that they would hear one of the following stereotypes about black folks…black folks are perceived as less intelligent, more aggressive, and less hardworking”

    I find this as no news to me because we live in a society in which we have been thought that African American are nothing but trouble. This is clear stereotyping just because one African American you know is unintelligent doesn’t mean all African Americans are unintelligent. Whites are not superior in intelligence than African Americans!

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  19. 1. 2:30-2:53, I was never aware of the different reason why people voted for Obama, I never imagined that it would be so focused on his race, like people who admitted to only supporting Obama because “he is not like other black,” people. I found this to be very surprising and upsetting because people admitted to only voting for him because they see him as basically being white just not in the physical aspect.
    2. 5:53-6:40, This was an epiphanic moment for me because I was never fully aware of the vast difference between Obama’s qualifications and the past presidents, like how Tim stated that if Obama didn’t have such an excellent list of accomplishment and achievements, he would have had no chance. It was true that if another black man who is extremely intelligent but didn’t attend Harvard, he wouldn’t have any chance ever. I think its important to realize that standards for people of color are set so high compared to those of white politicians and people with power.
    3. 2:52-3:44, Tim elaborates on where white people stand with their opinions of the existence of racism now, and he stated that denial has not changed. I was surprised by this because although we have not moved past racism I didn’t think that we would be stuck on the same thing such as denial and whites not admitting that racism is till prevalent although we have a black president.

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  20. Fiona, I think the reason why the laziness stereotypes is held of people of color, is because society makes it a belief whether or not its true. And it isn’t true, the color of your skin has no effect on your laziness or whether you depend on welfare. Its the housing policies, the job opportunities, the schooling system, and communities that determine an individuals ability to depend on government help and “being lazy”.

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