I’m still not entirely sure about supporting Obama, but I liked him better than Hillary so I guess that this is pretty dandy news.
Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois claimed the Democratic presidential nomination Tuesday night, NBC News projected based on its tally of convention delegates. By doing so, he shattered a barrier more than two centuries old to become the first black candidate ever nominated by a major political party for the nation’s highest office.
And now, for a moment, I’d like to potentially open up a can of worms and talk about race. Having had a conversation with a black student in my College Composition class earlier this evening who is passionate about racism, I’d like to think that this won’t actually be judged as racist.
Alright, yes. It’s absolutely splendid that blacks are finally able to achieve the presidential nomination but… I think that it shouldn’t matter. If we really have progressed beyond racism in this country, why are we still counting every black achievement for the single reason that they are black?
I get the strangest feelings when I see a caption on a photo that says “First African American to (insert achievement here)”. Now, I’m not saying that in the past blacks didn’t have a lot more to overcome than protestant Anglo-Saxons, but today, why are we still congratulating their achievements not because they achieved it, but because they are black?
Yesterday, I saw a photo of a young black boy standing on the wing of his air plane. The caption read “Youngest Person to Fly Solo Around the World”. That’s a whole lot different than “First African American to Fly Solo Around the World”. We can justify saying “First African American to …” back in the days during and before the Civil Rights movement when racism ran rampant and they definitely did have to work harder, but today, why don’t we just celebrate the person’s accomplishments as an individual?
It’s arguable that Atheists are more disadvantaged than blacks are today. Can you imagine how weird it would be to see captions on photos like “First Openly Atheist Person to …”?
If it weren’t for the minority of people in this country who actually are racist, I’d like to think that race would’ve become a non-issue by now. I don’t really care about the race of the individuals who I interact with. As a biracial person (by the way, Obama is biracial too), I don’t think that any race really fits me so I have to see myself as an individual. I will celebrate the accomplishments of my black friends, not because they’re black, but because they are my friends. Same goes for my Hispanic, Asian, or whatever-they-are friends.