Friday, October 02, 2009
Blog #21 - Has racism ended now that Obama is President?
The United Kingdom's Times Online collected headlines and snippets from major newspapers around the world and their reactions to Obama's election and inauguration. For instance, France's Le Monde proclaims that "Obama's victory ushers in a new American dream." Egypt's newspaper states that "World hopes for 'less arrogant' America."
See the snippets here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article5089550.ece#
Here are reports by the New York Times from all over the world:
To quote President-elect Obama on election night, he said, "Hello, Chicago. If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, tonight is your answer. It’s a long time coming, but because of what we did on this day, at this defining moment, change has come to America."
Very high expectations have come with Barack Obama to the White House. Some see his election as a sign that America reaching a new height in race relations. Others see Obama's election as the banishment of old time racism. Yet others acknowledge, like many of you have done in our class discussion this week, that racism has certainly not disappeared from the American political or cultural landscape.
The questions for you are:
1. Since we've agreed that racism hasn't disappeared in America, where do we see it rear its ugly head nowadays? Please give some specific examples.
2. What will be a future sign to you that racism has diminished even more than it has today?
(optional additional question) 3. Is it possible that there is a built-in or institutional racism that so subtlely perpetuates the economic gap between whites and other minorities that whites can't see it or won't acknowledge its existence? Or is that just a bunch of baloney?
Blog is due by class on Monday, October 5th - 150 words minimum.
If you want to dig deeper into two different viewpoints, check out:
1. Tim Wise at http://www.timwise.org/ . He bills himself as an anti-racist writer, speaker and educator and has been seen recently on CNN in the past few weeks b/c backers of President Obama have charged that some of the criticism leveled at him have been racist in nature.
2. The American Civil Rights Institute founded by Ward Connerly http://www.acri.org/- despite its name, the man behind this organization has been pushing for state referendums around the country that end preferential treatment based upon race. It's motto is "Race has no place in American life or law." They just got the Arizona state senate to pass a bill that would let AZ voters alter their state constitution by ending any special gender or race considerations in the 2010 election.
Check both out and you be the judge.