Friday, October 30, 2009

Acting White: Poll Results - Has Obama Win Helped Race?

Let's call this an OPEN COMMENT POST. I certainly have my opinion on the impact President Obama has had, but I want to know what you think, behind your votes. I especially want to hear from folks who said they did not care. Let them comments rip!!!

Don't forget to vote in the new poll in the side bar. Thx.

James C. Collier


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Douglas Ferguson said...

The poll results surprise me quite a bit.

Obama as an individual aside, its hard to understate the importance of a black man as president on society. So far, I would give him a B/B- for his actual performance in office. There is certainly not enough negatives to counteract the positive effect of the event. This is what the Nobel prize committee recognized.

So, I would be most interested in hearing from people who indicated there has been no impact on race relations from electing Obama.

Anonymous said...

I put I think it helped, because now people are talking about race where it was just some dirty secret before.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing is actually pretty idiotic, and this discussion is a perfect example of why: we're talking about race instead of issues and policies, which are the only things that determine success. Imagining Obama's race has anything whatsoever to do with his understanding of the mechanics of a free society, or ability to successfully lead a free society, is some pretty backward thinking.

I'd rather discuss his complete ineptness in the vital area of economics and monetary policy, or his continuation of Bush's foreign policy, or his enthusiasm for government spying and destruction of human rights--all evidenced by his actions, voting record, staff choices, etc. I don't know how you give him a B, unless your name is George W. Bush. I wouldn't even grade him. I'd expel him.

No, his so-called presidency hasn't helped race issues at all. It's made race the elephant in the living room, the issue morons are too preoccupied with to look squarely at matters of substance. It's interesting to note the attitude of people like Doug, who mark Obama's media-created election as a very significant "event," regardless of what the man's principles and practices are, and what's happening on his watch.

Marcus said...

I'm suprised by the results, every way I try to interpret it is unflattering.

Jeff said...

I am white and he has helped African Americans.

I thought the poll question was to vague to have much meaning or more so that it has too many meanings.

I did not vote for Obama because I disagree with him on too many issues. I don't dislike him. I am pleased that we have elected an African American but I think we elected the wrong one! lol

I believe his election has helped the African American community to feel more included in the running of America. I think it extends the hope that people have of being able to be successful in spite of ones race. I think it gives a role model for young African Americans and he clears a path for them to follow in.
I think he is another source of pride for the African American community.

That's my 2 cents.

John said...

Polls indicate that the immediate effect has been positive, particularly for blacks, who seem to have greater feelings of being included in the political process.

I think, in the long run, it could be negative. Too many blacks have a "blame whitey" attitude, and think Obama will fix all the racism in this country. When average conditions and disparities don't change, the attitude will likely be a return to pessimism, and more blaming whitey.

John said...

Hit post too early:

I've already begun seeing blacks who are disappointed that Obama has "sold out" and isn't doing anything about all the racism in this country.

In the meantime, whites will be more likely to question AA and other laws that favor blacks, leading to increased tension.

atldude said...

I agree you can't overstate how monumental the win was. Americans came together and voted their faith in a black man. They proved, I believe, that the color of a man's skin is not as important as his character and that anyone can achieve if they try really f'ing hard! That has to send a strong message to the black community: character is stronger than color.

Has it helped race relations? I should hope so. I should hope it proves that "we're not out to get you" as I've heard so often on the web/in hip-hop.

(ps. white dude, if you haven't guessed)

Anonymous said...

atldude:You're ignorant. Do you have any understanding of Obama beyond the idea that he's got a tan, an nice bedside manner, and some snappy speechwriters? Have you read history or studied the mechanics of the American system? Getting elected, with the unswerving support of the corporate media machine and powerful financial backers (Obama's campaign was, I understand, the most expensive in American history) is NOT a personal accomplishment. The vehicle arrived where it was intended to. Obama was and is a hood ornament.

I'd try to avoid personality worship, or race-based assessments of people and start cracking those books. There's much to be understood about the implications of *policies* rather than the shade of someone's skin, or how brilliantly they deliver lines that someone else wrote.

Smile said...

Aside from his job performance, which is most important, he's not had a neutral impact on race relations. IMO, he's had a negative impact, at home and abroad. Between black/white folks and others as well, such as the middle eastern.

Anonymous said...

I think he's definitely a positive role model. (And cynically, he's shown Blacks can be just as bad at leadership as Whites, so he's broken that barrier too :( )

Regardless of how various conservative groups portray him, I suspect their kids will grow up with that much less racism, that much more "yeah he's black, so what, whatever, get over it" and we'll all be better off.

Anonymous said...

On one hand, he seems to have ignited a conversation that we probably needed to have. I don't know if that will lead to anything constructive, but it's possible.

On the other hand, the rhetoric from his supporters has definitely fanned the flames of racial animosity. I really think that no matter what he does, there's going to be the perception that he's the "President of Blacks" or the "President of Non-Whites".

Question for you JCC if you're reading this:

A lot of people speculated that some blacks might riot if Obama lost in 2008. I thought that sounded fairly plausible, given recent history. How did you feel about it then, and what do you think looking ahead to 2012? Depending on what happens between now and then, I could even imagine whites rioting if he were to win again...

atldude said...

anon11:13 - call me ignorant if you wish. I followed Obama before he was even in the running for President. He has a pretty impressive past as a somewhat "common guy" breaking into politics.

You amuse me. You think that Obama is the first to rely on the "corporate media machine and powerful financial backers"? That is WHAT politics is all about these days. ps. this time a good chunk of Obama's "powerful financial backers" were American citizens - out of their own pockets.

You think policies ACTUALLY matter? The GOP takes stances against social matters (gay marriage, immigration) is that relevant to policy or is it playing on people's fears?

The truth (IMHO) is that politics is ALL lies. All candidates lie.
Politics changed as soon as TV came about. The prettiest candidate usually wins. And no one writes their own lies aka speeches. This is obvious, I'm surprised you don't know this already.

The fact that, this time, the pretty candidate that had lies that I liked was a black man. That mattered to ME. I want a change in the race relations AND I liked the man, so it's a win-win for me.