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'My Long Trip Home'
December 3rd, 2011
12:06 PM ET

My family and the Tragic Black Man

Editor’s note: Mark Whitaker is managing editor of CNN Worldwide and the former editor of Newsweek. He is the author of “My Long Trip Home,” a family memoir.

By Mark Whitaker, CNN

(CNN) - The Tragic Black Man. From the novels of Richard Wright and the plays of August Wilson to the spin that is still placed on the rise and fall of many African-American males in today’s media, it’s a stereotype with all too familiar themes: the bitter encounters with racism, the battered personal pride, the syndrome of wounded fathers who abandon their families, boys who grow up without male role models.

In reporting on my family for a memoir that has just been published, I encountered all these strands in the tales of my father and grandfather, and it would have been easy enough to attribute them to the immutable curse of race. Yet in the end, I came away concluding that their fates, and mine, were ultimately shaped more by the different times we each lived in and by our own individual talents and flaws.

Born on a tenant farm in Texas in 1898, the 13th child of a former slave, Cleophaus Sylvester Whitaker confronted more than his share of blatant bigotry as a child and a young man as he made his way north in the Great Black Migration to work in Pittsburgh’s steel plants. Yet by sheer force of will, he managed to talk his way into machinist training and get a side job as a chauffeur for a white undertaker, who was so impressed that he offered to help Granddad become one of the city’s first black morticians.

Although he never fulfilled his dream of crossing over into the white business world (he claimed that he had the idea for the electric waffle iron before any white inventor) he could have continued to prosper within the confines of Pittsburgh’s black bourgeoisie. But it was his personal demons that caused him to lose his business and end up shining shoes in a whites-only country club - specifically, the philandering that drove my Grandmother Edith away and, with her, the feminine touch that he relied on to attract customers to his funeral home.

By the 1940s and ’50s, his son, Cleophaus Sylvester Whitaker Jr., was able to attend an integrated high school in Pittsburgh and gain acceptance to virtually all-white Swarthmore College. He suffered racial slights there - the local barber refused to cut his hair, and he got stopped by policemen when driving with white women - but none of that prevented him from becoming the first African-American to earn a doctorate in political science from Princeton University.

Brilliant and magnetic, he served as a dean at UCLA and the first director of Afro-American studies at Princeton, positions that would have set him up to scale even further heights with the advent of affirmative action. But Dad was fired from his post at Princeton and lost several others jobs because of his own demons - not only womanizing, but chronic alcoholism - and by the time he finally stopped drinking, the world had moved on and awarded its limited prizes to other talented black men.

Watch Mark Whitaker's Red Chair Interview

Growing up as a witness to my father’s self-destruction, I came to see that mere intelligence and charm aren’t enough to ensure success, let alone happiness. It also requires discipline and reliability. I like to think that those qualities, along with a reverence for learning and language that I inherited from both sides of my family, has had more to do with my professional and personal achievements than the pros and cons of being black. But I was also fortunate to come of age at a time when being African-American could help open doors for the well-trained and ambitious, to the point that today we can aspire to the top jobs in the land, from heads of news organizations to corporate CEOs to president of the United States.

Yet precisely because of those advances, I suspect that we are now entering an era when fewer and fewer people are going to make excuses for the Tragic Black Man, or even be moved by his plight. The overall statistics for black male unemployment and prison rates and parental neglect remain alarming, but the narrative of race and ethnicity in America is moving on again, to the rise of the Hispanic population and the search for identity and belonging of mixed Americans of all kinds.

For better or worse, we are on our own now, to make whatever we can of our lives, as perhaps the story of three generations of Whitaker men shows that we always were.

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Filed under: Black in America • Education • Gender • History • Race
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Allen

    Expose It! Expose It! Expose It! Yes. Do keep the dialogue on race relations going. Whether good or bad. No sense in sweeping crap under the carpet. So that MISGUIDED FOLK LIKE... Holly and Dennis, might open the eyes of their imaginary little dreamworld where racism only exists because we (black folk) dare to expose it. African-Am, Black, People of Color.... whatever we want to be called. It should not be a problem period!

    AS LONG AS....there are black men still being lynched, (howbeit in this modern era via an old fashioned truck-lynching instead of on trees). AND AS LONG AS....black and brown-skinned men are overwhelmingly pulled over by intolerant PD for bieng not quite the right shade of skin.
    AS LONG AS... black men are shot down like dogs in the streets of NY and LA, and questions asked later by rogue cops maintaining the "Good Old Boy" Club.
    AS LONG AS....men and women of color are referred to as "boy" and "gal", no matter how old or how much clout they may carry...AS LONG AS ...AS LONG AS...AS LONG AS.....AS LONG AS IT TAKES!

    Fact of the matter is, we are constantly reminded of the racism that exists in this country without our crying about it at all. Because simpletons like Dennis & Holly would like to pretend, ah, how bad could it be really? What a crock!

    December 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Knish

    My grandparents were held within a concentration camp (I'm Jewish, obviously). Despite the atrocities committed by the Germans, my grandparents taught me the values of compassion and self-respect. I have never once in my life attributed my own personal failures to what happened to my ancestors, nor do I hold a grudge against Germany for what happened. The most important thing about history is just that...it is in the past. Learn from the mistakes of history, but don't repeat them by holding onto hatred.

    December 21, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Seth

    Folks can we please move past the issue of skin color and whats keeping you down blah blah. Talk about absent men in your life? I have seen my father 2 times since i was about 9, 1 was at my brother's funeral. I have seen my grandfather 3 times in about 12 years. I'am white.

    Stop using race as something that is keeping you down. It is all but a known fact that minorities get catapulted to the front of the line when being considered for positions in larger corporations & municipalities due to their race over a majority candidate with same qualifying credentials, simply to diversify the staff.

    Stop affirmative action and all these leg-up programs, this is the 21st century. It's up to you and God to do well in the most part.

    December 6, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Shawn

      @Seth

      You know, I'm sick of whites (and now other non-blacks) being so mired in 'white guilt' that they think they have the authority to tell black people how they should feel about anti-black racism, something they (whites and other non-blacks) will NEVER have to endure. Not only that, but Whitaker, his father, and his grandfather are CLEARLY the opposite of your tired, guilt-fueled, pathetic, puerile, laughably stupid, racist perception of blacks (especially black men) using racism as an excuse. Whitaker made it clear that racism wasn't a deterrent in neither he nor his families' lives, yet that's all you chose to focus on, which reveals that you're harboring white guilt and a pathetically skewed perception of blacks in America. News Flash, idiot–Racism, especially racism against blacks, still exists and will likely NEVER go away–'People' like you are evidence of that.

      Therefore, I suggest you pick up a history book and learn about how your people have been conspiring for over 400 years to keep blacks 'in their place' before you come online crying about your still-superior position in a country that was founded and continues to thrive on serving your interests. In other words, you were better off not replying at all.

      December 6, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
      • DeeNYC

        I'm chinese so I don't have white guilt, never conspired for 400 years. So I can say with full confidence. I'm sick of blacks complaining about how tough it is for them. How the S.A.T. is culturally biased. How you can't get a break in silicon valley, this that and the other. Any black kid with a B average can get into Harvard so getting an education isn't a problem. Every large corporation has a minority affairs office so you get the jobs. Those offices are for blacks only btw, I worked for one of the largest companies in the world so I know all about it. SO Shut up, put your head down, work hard and save your money for your children's future instead of new shiny shoes you can't really afford.

        December 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Charles Ekaabor

    BTW,when you have some spare time from your Klan rallies, google the name Aliko Dangote, he is the richest Black man on earth, he is a Nigerian, 55 years of age. Last year he earned $18 Billion Dollars. This year he has earned $10 Billion Dollars. With your advanced Darwinian brain and White skin,What have you achieved with your life.

    December 5, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Charles Ekaabor

    @Truth, I have figured it out. It seems you have a deep sense of inferiority complex that makes you believe that you have to put others down to feel good. Continue to wallow in your self pity and ignorance and pray for the glory days of your race. Sorry Bro, the Nazi's lost the war, the good times are long gone. Very soon, even you will go begging hat in hand from an African.

    December 5, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. r

    If this was a story about Jews and Nazis" the COMMENTS would be more sympathetic and understanding...you guys are nothing but a bunch of racists.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. helicohunter

    Let me guess- you're an utter failure in life, so you need a scapegoat. Jew-bashing has fallen out of fashion, so now it's blacks. Blacks are not a cancer on this society- hatred and bigotry are. Quit pretending that your "mission" is for the good of the nation. You are simply looking for a way to feel important. Try thinking of others for a change and maybe a little light will enter your soul.

    December 5, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Lady

    WOW, you must have a lot of time on your hands; to spend that much time researching black folk. You must be fascinated by us 🙂 What about the plight of your folk? Your post lists sites about the crimes blacks commit, what about the crimes whites commit? There is not enough room on this page to list them all. To be quite honest, our whole society is lacking. I was initially outraged by your posts; now I am sad. You need peace and I pray that you receive it soon!

    December 4, 2011 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. GoldenBalls

    haha, so you are courageous now? why are you scared to call me a n***er. Go ahead write it

    December 4, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. GoldenBalls

    What a mug! If you are courageous enough stop hiding behind the key board! Grab your rifle and go hunt down the people you call animals and let the world know how courageous you are!

    December 4, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. GoldenBalls

    So much for your intelligence fool. What a foul specimen of humanity. You need to be culled!

    December 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. GoldenBalls

    What a delusional mug! IQ LESS THAN .005. Now jog on mate i cannot blame you.

    December 4, 2011 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Midwestmatt

    Honest to God, did you just post this drivel? Separate species? Please go away and take your stench with you.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Sssh, I'm trying to listen...

    Well, I'm NOT tired of hearing about it. I'll probably go out and purchase his book. No one forced you to read the article. He's telling his story to those who are interested and I am interested. I find it thought provoking, and I know that demons are color blind when choosing their victims. Just another reminder that we're all in this together. P.S. There's a whole bevy of articles on the internet to choose from.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ton

    Oh maybe this explains why everything here seems to be about race.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • peggy

      Truth-

      Your'e kidding right? Nobody could be that uninformed!

      December 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth????

      Have you checked the statistics associated with rape, burglary or murder? Research before making uninformed accusations. While on the computer GOOGLE basic stats vs. ignorant hatred-and then MAYBE you too will learn before its too late. IGNORANCE WILL DESTROY THE FUTURE

      December 4, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Ben

    Most recent Census Data:
    Median family income (black): $38,409
    Median family income (white): $62,545
    Median family wealth / net worth (white): $170k
    Median family wealth / net worth (non-white): $28k

    We can argue all we want about personal responsibility, role of historic racism, affirmative action, ongoing discrimination, etc. But the basic truth remains - RACE MATTERS in America. We do not live in a land of equality, not yet.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Maltese Falcon

    So, that's it.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Jambi

    America is a land of racists, it is the American way. It was inherited from the british. Whites hates blacks, blacks hate whites. lighter blacks hates darker blacks , and on and on... It might be a human think but it is alive and well in America. The British spread racism throughout its empire and now some of those issue are coming back to haunt them.
    Everyone knows that the republican doesn't give a rat @$$ about moral issues such as loving your neighbor, caring for the less fortunate, and etc

    December 4, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Jambi

    America is a land of racists, it is the American way. It was inherited from the british. Whites hates blacks, blacks hate whites. lighter blacks hates darker blacks , and on and on... It might be a human think but it is alive and well in America. The British spread racism throughout its empire and now some of those issue are coming back to haunt them

    December 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Ryan

    People need to start taking responsibility for their own actions. My best friend from high school, a Black American (I don't use African American since he is not from Africa) earned a BA in Theater Arts from a major university and then went north to get a Masters in Fine arts, left that school, and then went out to CA to Davis where he lived for about 6 months before leaving. Hasn't even completed that degree because 1) he can't afford it right now and he only has like a year or two left, 2) can't find a college he likes, 3) the colleges he has attended look down on him. However he can't even find a job now because he can't use his Theater arts degree. I told him that it was a useless degree but that was his passion. He is trying to make it yet he made the decision to get that degree. His brother has a sociology degree but prefers to go out and party, not pay his bills, and do poorly at his job. They both made those decisions.

    From where I am from Blacks still accuse Whites of holding them back yet they have the highest dropout rate in school, and high crime rate. The ones that do stay in school and want to make something of themselves have to move off to large cities with better economics and then they turn around and say "Look at what I did. I made it. I made something of my life despite everything." People need to learn to take responsibility for their own actions.

    And to "Truth," are you just saying that crap to get people riled up or are you truly the racist you sound like?

    December 4, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Savelove

      Nothing but a plain idiot....that I grant you are better at than any race

      December 4, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Insmalle

    cnn censored the stories about the black racist attacks in iowa and milwaukee this year – sickening

    December 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Jake

    Truth some of my posts have also been deleted but God man what are you smoking? It is no big deal! Shame on you and as you expect I am sure this one will be deleted or at least I hope so. Disgusting.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Sam

    Truth some of my posts have also been deleted but God man what are you smoking? It is no big deal! Shame on you and as you expect I am sure this one will be deleted or at least I hope so. Disgusting.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Jambi

    Ed - Would you suggest to a Jewish person regarding what Hitler did to them in the 1940's that , as you put it, "...I for one am sick of hearing about Jewish people. There was a time when I cared but it is long since gone. You beat it to death". I do agree that black folks , like everyone else, need to take a full responsibility for themselves. I know the truth there, especially when it has to do with people that you despised; however, America needs to come to term with it slavery past and admit that many of our social ills are a legacy of that period. I would recommend that you go back to Fox news and their you will not be ill from the debate there.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Move on

    You add nothing to the discussion.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Jerry

    I would love to read the memoir nonetheless. Even if it is another sad black story.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Jerry

    Interesting article. But I wonder when will the time come when we stop polarizing our failures and flaws and celebrate the endless list of successful blacks in American culture. How about the and article discussing Frederick Douglass being on the ticket for Vice President. Or, the first black men in congress that we never hear about. Young black children in poverty, victims of a poor education system already know what it's like being poor and black. They don't need more articles and Pulitzer prize winning columnist to tell them that. After hearing about the Founding Fathers all day from the Tea Party (many of whom dwarf their loyal devotees in cultural awareness and education), I would love to hear more stories of the many successes of blacks. And not during the shortest month of the year.

    December 4, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  28. splasher6

    Really.... waving the crutch in 2011 really? please the race card will die one day then what?

    December 4, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • GinBR

      Fool...did you even read the story???

      December 4, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Ero

    I am saying that slavery has definitely played a role in the problems of Black America. We must accept this fact, but as blacks we must not use it as an excuse not to do well. It must however make us compassionate as we look at blacks in trouble; in the inner cities etc.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ero

      Hey Truth, thanks for saying that. I bet ur not a racist.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      America is still the international melting pot. Soon there will be no "pure" races (not that there ever were anyway) but people need to get it thru their heads that your life is what you make of it. Lots of people have lousy families, or terrible events in their pasts, but in the end it is the strength of the individual to make something of him/herself that is whats going to determine their future. With todays economy, people who live off the systems or chose not to honor their families or work for whatever reason (I do not include the ill, mentally ill in this now so don't get excited) are going to find themselves in a bigger world of hurt than ever before. It doesn't matter what race you are or claim, each person is responsible to themselves first. If you don't want responsibilities, don't create what you cannot or will not take care of.

      December 5, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Ero

    As an African here in the US, I will say that as much as blacks must bear responsibility for failures, if white people left Africa alone we would be much farther. Black Africans here in the US (untainted by slavery) are more educated and wealthier than whites of Asians. Search YouTube for "Congo the brutal history", read "the confessions of an economic hitman" etc. Get the unbiased truth and you will know.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ero

      Please dont talk about "Aid", thats why I referred you to "Confessions of an economic hitman". What you are saying is that the bank is doing you a favor by giving you a credit card. Read, my friend, and learn.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ero

      You are showing your "intelligence" with racial insults. Good job, Einstein.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • White guy

      If your here then your not a african dummy

      December 4, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • myfree

      You really state your ignorance with your opening sentence. U. S. Citizens and businesses who some call White may have curtailed involvement in Africa over a period of time, however, European "White" people have never left Africa. The rest of the world needs Africa's resources daily.

      If you knew anything about how the world flows you might understand the significance of the natural resources that are harvested raw and shipped directly to another country to be refined.

      1 example...If the bauxite from Africa were to be shut off for some small amount of time (less than 2 years) there would be scarcity of computer chips worldwide. These are things you need to know about Africa before you just fly off at the mouth with ignorance.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Kevin

    To a degree I respect your claim. I will admit that in the 21 century living in the USA we make our own destiny.People now try and blame the conditions surrounding them for their failures rather than themselves. Yet we redeem ourselves in society by giving talented and well educated African -Americans.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Sherry

    I can only say this. I am a child of the 70's. My parents moved to the suburbs when I was 4 so I could be educated in an urban environment. Both of my parents are from the south born in the 50's and experienced racism. I was not taught about that until much later in life. I graduated from high school and went on to earn a master's degreee, marry a man with a master's degree, purchase a home and have 4 children who have enjoyed the benefits of private school and a social circle that includes many professional blacks and whites. My oldest is in college and thriving. This is NOT about race, it is about economics and taking advantage of the opportunities given to you. Sure I could have CHOSEN to live my life differently and bought into the "man keeping us black folk down" but I didnt. The first opportunity blacks squander is their education. Without that, there cannot be much success. Education buys opportunities. Opportunities that are taken advantage of brings success. Plain and simple. No one is responsible for my success or failure but me.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sherry

      I meant to say I was educated in a "suburban" environment

      December 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jerry

      Sherry,

      Great points. I am confused to whether you were responding to the article, or sharing your own experience? I also believe education plays a huge role in the opportunities we are able to take advantage of. The article hit on a great point. Mark Whitaker's father and grandfather's success was foiled by their own personal demons. That's a great statement on personal responsibility.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sherry

        I was sharing my own experience but also showing about the responsibility my husband and I took for our own lives and not limiting ourselves or using racism as an excuse for not succeeding.

        December 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Annie

      And yet, most blacks do not have the economic opportunities to move to places where they can receive a good education, due to racist policies of the past intended on keeping blacks from acquiring wealth.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sherry

        Annie – you can excel in an urban environment and get scholarships. I know...I have a friend who lives in Trenton, NJ whose daughter is exceptionally smart in a horrible school district. She entered a program called NJ Seeds because she was so smart which prepped her for attendance in an elite private school. She is now a junior at Exeter Prep. One of the most exclusive prep schools in the northeast. Her mother doesn't pay a dime, still lives in Trenton with her 5 other children and her daughter is receiving a top notch education. Why? Because she took advantage of an opportunity. Yes, it would be great if everyone could afford to get out of the bad school districts, but you can certainly make the best of your situation and do the best you can to lift yourself out of that situation. Lots of urban districts have programs for the economically disadvantaged.

        December 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sherry

        Annie – who is keeping blacks from acquiring wealth? There may have been policies like that in the past, but I don't see that now.

        December 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • rizzo

        I'm not sure exactly how your experience being educated in a suburban environment gives you the knowledge necessary to know what it's like being educated in an urban environment...

        December 4, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • anna

        I dont agree, it some can do it then you all can do it.
        Stop blaming racism for all your woes.
        Take the blame yourselves for your failures.

        December 5, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • held78

      Thank you Sherry. What a wonderful comment. I wish more those stories would be told and spread out. I'm sure your children are proud of their parents and will do well themselves.
      Tom

      December 4, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • opportunity is not knocking for everyone

        I went to a suburban school, yet still had to deal with racism and a teacher dressing up in a kkk outfit. He was reported, but I never saw him disciplined. I am a female, and was great at math, but another teacher made up trick questions that had nothing to do with math and gave his "pets" the answers in advance. I still went to college despite those and other set-backs, had a good job, property, etc., but in spite of that, still experience racism to this day from the idiots who can't see past the color of my skin.

        December 5, 2011 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
    • jay

      you was raised in the subs, try being raised in the urban area then your story will have more to it!

      December 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robyn

      Well sure Sherry, you and your parents good decision to live elsewhere. What about those who didn't move to the 'burbs?

      December 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sherry

        So what is the excuse for not succeeding because you went to school in an "urban" environment. I may have been raised in the burbs but I come from a large family and had plenty of cousins who were in the "hood" and were successful. AGAIN I will say, there is nothing to stop you from succeeding but you. Obstacles are not too big to overcome.

        December 5, 2011 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  33. indianinusa

    Alan, the biggest benefits of welfare are Whites. The entire university system is a welfare system for Whites. They shed tears about affirmative action and may give admission to a few black students, but when it comes to faculty positions and grants, it is all for Whites. And no, faculty position in Gender Studies and Women's Studies do not require brains. So don't try to make that argument.

    I am highly saddened to see what happened to Herman Cain on account of his black skin. Newt Gingrich and John Edwards got a free pass on account of their White skin. No wonder a black man was chained to a truck and dragged to his death.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • allthesame

      Sorry, what happened to Herman Cain is not because of the color of his skin but the content of his character.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • mytictac

      What happened to Mr Cain sounds more like that he was afflicted with the same demon that Mr Whitakers father and grandfather was...that being he is a womanizer. No matter what color your skin is..that just doesn't bode well in political circles. Dont take my word for it..ask the white dudes that lost their jobs due to their infidelity. To blame the color of his skin is just another cop-out in my book. Sorry.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jambi

      Herman's skin tone had nothing to do with what happened to that clown. He was just brainwashed by some rich white puppeteer . What most black folks see in ole Cain is just another uncle Anus

      December 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • DonBeal

      Newt may be getting a pass, but John Edwards is under indictment for things related to his amorous adventure.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sssh, I'm trying to listen...

      John Edwards' career IS OVER because of that scandal. He had to drop his campaign for President and in May was indicted on 6 felony charges directly connected to that affair, with his trial beginning in 2012!! I don't think he's even able to work. You call that a free pass?! I'd hate to see what you consider 'being held accountable'.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:17 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Latinnno

    Whatever. 100 years from now story will be the same.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
  35. PF

    These are the subjects of stories of America, of black Americans that need to be seen on the screen. Families that raised their kids, went to college, suffered hardships, overcame them or failed them and persevered to live the American dream their own way. What is wrong with Hollywood? We don't need comedy, gangsters and the gospel to tell the story. That is only one side of the story. Who is going to develop this art form, get this story right, and stop presenting images of black Americans as a social joke? I just think there is such a humanistic side and connection to seeing these images that make me look back on my own family and see their strengths especially because of the trials. We weren't just slaves and maids. We were community members and teachers and we didn't all speak with broken english. Frustrated that these pictures make me comfortable, but make others uncomfortable. This is our voice.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • ian

      What about you? Why don't YOU do it?

      December 4, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  36. indianinusa

    Alan, the biggest benefits of welfare are Whites. The entire university system is a welfare system for Whiteskinned people. They shed tears about affirmative action and may give admission to a few black students, but when it comes to faculty positions and grants, it is all for Whites. And no, faculty position in Gender Studies and Women's Studies do not require brains. So don't try to make that argument. White skinned people are wicked and use others to further themselves.

    I am highly saddened to see what happened to Herman Cain on account of his black skin. Newt Gingrich and John Edwards got a free pass on account of their White skin. No wonder a black man was chained to a truck and dragged to his death.

    December 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
  37. indianinusa

    A White man named Newt Gingrich is known for womanizing. A black man named Herman Cain is merely accused of womanizing. Both run for President. The White man gets a free pass from the liberal media because he has White skin. The black man is lynched, shamed and humiliated based on the allegations of White women, White lawyers and White journalists. All characters are carefully chosen to be White in order to appeal to the White population by stereotyping a black man as a predator who preys on innocent White women.

    During the previous election cycle, another White man, John Edwards, had an affair and fathered a child. Solely because he had Whiteskin, the media suppressed it. The media in the US is "liberal" (so called) and beholden to the Democratic Party, a party of White Nationalists. Its leaders are White Supremacists like Harry Reid who explained that they are willing to tolerate Obama solely because he is half-White and suppresses his n***er accent. Joe Biden, another White Supremacist, has insisted that all blacks are filthy and inarticulate. The White Nationalist Democrat Party was the party of Robert Byrd, a leader of the Ku Klux Klan which lynched blacks.

    The White Nationalist Democrat Party also uses blacks to talk about affirmative action but when the time comes to make college appointments or give out grants, the posts go to White women. These subjects are frivolous in nature and require no brains. They have been invented to create jobs for White "liberals" (so called), male and female.

    Union leaders are also Whites and they have laws in many states that force compulsory union membership. These laws are targeted at blacks and hispanics since White "liberals" (so called) view the blacks as their property.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JUGGERNAUT

      YOU CAN go on all day with your USELESS propaganda.

      WE BLACKS know that the R ACIST one are the conservative = Republicans/tea party.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • indianinusa

        A few blacks may say that in exchange for crumbs thrown at them (the house slaves) but Alveda King opposes the Democrats for a reason. Jimmy Carter believes in ethnically pure neighborhoods, Bill Clinton says that Obama is fit to only bring him coffee since he is a black, Paul Kanjoriski says that minorities are defective and I have already told you about Harry Reid, Joe Biden and Robert Byrd. No, it is the Democrat Party that is the White Supremacist hate group.

        December 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jambi

        All nonsense concocted by ignorant disingenuous republicans

        December 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ed

        I know JUGGERNAUT and he is not BLACK. Nice try!

        December 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Yeah, you got it right, it's all part of a "white" plot to keep the black man down, thats why we have afirmative action
      (passed by a white president, Nixon, in 1971) We are trying soooooooooooo hard to bring back Jim Crow so we
      can keep you from developing your full potential as a man. Look under your bed tonight, there might be a white boogy
      man under it.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • indianinusa

        Read my post, I did not blame all Whites, just the White Nationalist Democrat Party and I have provided evidence to back up my claims.

        December 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • Allen

        I don't think I could get past all the crap you left swept under there. However, I am doing well thank you. So don't lump me in with your "all blacks" simple-minded mentality. I work a job 19yrs, make over 50 K per, have a degree; even raised two boys, one in college and the other about to get a full-ride scholarship. Go figure. Shuk-shuk-shuk.

        December 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Allen

        To Alan: With all the trash being swept under the rug, yes; sometimes it can be hard to find. But not to worry. I am a black man who has worked for 19 yrs same job, making over 50K, have a degree, raised two sons one in college the other about to get a full-ride scholarship (on GPA), so no.... "I Ain't Afraid Of No Ghost".lol. Shuk-Shuk-Shuk. Who'd a thought? NOT.

        December 28, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rocca1

      hahahaha, you crack me up since everyone knows black people vote Democrat!! Just sayin.....

      December 4, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rocca1

        And I was replying to indianinuda, I don't know why it posted so much lower than it was supposed to

        December 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • futurelawyer2005

      Such ignorance. Since when did Gingrich or Cain ever win POTUS? Oops, you got your facts wrong. Because they didn't. They didn't...NOT because of the color of their skin, but the content of their characters. 66% of registered voters in this country voted for a black/white/mixed POTUS in 2008 because of the CONTENT of his CHARACTER...regardless of how they NOW feel. Additionally, no baby chooses their skin color or parents. Thus, it is HYPOCRISY to cry racism at every turn when a person of traditional minority skin color perceives a wrong and it is reverse racism to make those accusations against others of different skin colors, who ALSO didn't choose the color of their skin. How ironic that minorities of the past, in the struggle for equal rights, begged to be judged according to the content of their characters rather than the involuntary color of their skin, yet many minority people of today automatically do it others....judging other people by the color of their skin. Such hypocrisy.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ginamero

      Hate much? I think you are way off base. Once the media got a sniff of Edwards his MONEY and his race protected nothing. You are so blinded by hate you can't see the craziness of what you are saying.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Brais

    I am mixed, If blacks and whites were two separate species, then I would not be able to exist. Your post is a fail.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Charles Ekaabor

    @Truth, you can quote Darwin for as long as you like. While at it, google the Benin Empire located in what is present day Nigeria and read what the explorers said about ancient Benin. One of them described it as more organized than HOLLAND. This is in the 14th century. By the way, have you also read that the Chinese were also sold as slaves, said to be Barbaric and have small brains, well check them out today and this is just the beginning. Angola is presently propping up Portugal. Western nations are asking South Africa for help. Very soon maybe one of your descendants will crawl to Africa to beg for a job.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam

      Gosh what a revelation! Do you actually mean that in the past other nations had slaves? One would think that was reserved for the USA. Did they get over it? I think so.

      December 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nate

        "Slavery? Get over it!" That's a classic. Thank you for being Example A of how far we still have to go in race relations in the USA.

        December 4, 2011 at 9:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • truethought

      The differences between Black slavery here in the US and Chinese slavery is that there wasn't the systemic disruption of the family structure and culture that took place for over 200 years. Then, on top of that, imagine a system that limits your every move, requiring you to work twice as hard to get half as far as your counterparts to gain success of any kind for 100 years after you get "freedom". And, oh, by the way, there was no payment/reparation for all the labor provided that helped significantly shape the base of the great economic state that the U.S. became.

      All I would say is this.... Imagine that you have have a family of four (you, a wife and two kids, for argument's sake). Imagine that you all are kidnapped and forced to work at labor camps all around the country for 30 years with no mode of contact. Then, you are released after 30 years with no real way to seek justice, no way to sue anyone (the fed included) for your loss and no way for sure to know if your family is still alive. What would you do? How would you feel knowing that fighting too hard would also mean sure death?

      I feel that it's all too uncommon that people don't know understand how deeply systemic that Black slavery/Jim Crow was for black people in this country was for 345 years from 1620 – 1965. We simply see the last 50 years and say that slave descendents have rights NOW and should just be able to fully compete across the board. LBJ addressed this at the Howard University Commencement Address in 1965 in the following way:

      "You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

      Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates"

      To me, offering African-Americans of slave descent who can qualify a 1% interest home finance via the Federal Reserve would not only spur significant economic growth and be a kick-start to the economy (and create Afro-American jobs), it would begin to bring a significant closure to some of the deep wounds that are hundreds of years old that have never healed.... whether you realize they're there or not.

      December 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • truethought

        @truth...Except for the fact that whites were apparently too lazy to pick their own cotton back then.... or to take jobs picking crops now in light of the lack of jobs in other industries....

        The reality is that farm work is hard, sometimes back-breaking work that few people want to do and needs to be paid for appropriately.

        December 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ero

      If Slavery did nothing, how come Africans in the US are wealthier and more educated than Asians and Whites? I agree with you Charles.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Report abuse |
  40. allovernow

    Was going to comment, but on second thought, realized I cannot bring anything new to this 150 year old conversation. I wish others would do the same. Bygones!

    December 4, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Real Truth

      You're an idiot! Learn your history...there were still slaves in this country 100 years ago, laws remain in place to legally put to death any one you want if you make up enough evidence and throw out enough...LOL. There is no place on this globe in which slaves were treated so poorly and were sentenced to a lifetime of slavery, read you idiot read...not just what you want to but open your heart and mind to things your people did and are still doing!

      December 4, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • futurelawyer2005

        there were still slaves in this country as of this year......black African women enslaving other black African women as their maids, servants, nannies, etc. Oh wait......this is not a politically correct response

        December 4, 2011 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Holly

    You could not be more wrong on your statement that Whites Hate Blacks. I am white and no NOT hate blacks or any other race except maybe the illegals that float across our borders and take advantage of our services that should be for citizens of the USA. So Whites do Not hate Blacks. OK?

    December 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  42. GinaLove

    Not that it should matter one way or another (but people often wonder just the same), I am a 38-yr old, 'black' woman. And to everyone commenting on this article, I would like to go back and highlight two specific passages witihn it:

    "Growing up as a witness to my father’s self-destruction, I came to see that mere intelligence and charm aren’t enough to ensure success, let alone happiness. It also requires discipline and reliability. I like to think that those qualities, along with a reverence for learning and language that I inherited from both sides of my family, has had more to do with my professional and personal achievements than the pros and cons of being black. But I was also fortunate to come of age at a time when being African-American could help open doors for the well-trained and ambitious, to the point that today we can aspire to the top jobs in the land, from heads of news organizations to corporate CEOs to president of the United States."
    "For better or worse, we are on our own now, to make whatever we can of our lives, as perhaps the story of three generations of Whitaker men shows that we always were."
    --------------
    I really got lost in some of the comments on here about race issues in America that I had to go back and reread the article to see if I missed something; and basically the author best stated his position with reflecting on the three generations by summarizing that "their fates, and mine, were ultimately shaped more by the different times we each lived in and by our own individual talents and flaws."

    In my opinion, there is nothing in this story that blames the 'white' race for any plight the 'black' or any other race may be experiencing. Nor does it seem in anyway to imply that one race is more or less superior or inferior to another. Can we please just focus our thoughts on the content of the article? With so many other articles here on CNN.com regarding race relations in America (far too many, in fact), there is certainly a time for commenting in the fashion as many of you have done; but this article is not one of them.

    December 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • PRWIII

      Wow! Someone who can actually comprehend what they read. I’m starting to believe that too many people are so narrow-minded, they have no skills at critical thinking.

      December 22, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Hannah

    I do not understand why black men are now doing so poorly.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • TruthNot

      Hmmm...Based on your comment it shows who really has not evolved, especially mentally.

      December 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      We're not. That's just something people make up. One day you'll realize that...

      December 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • futurelawyer2005

      hip-hop culture, urban black culture clothing, tow-the-line-lest-you-be-called-a-sellout-with-your-proper-english mentality, devaluation of education yet high esteem of ballers and rappers, loss of faith in a higher power, constant pursuit of momentary physical and monetary satisfaction and refusal to get married and stay married. just a start. many black men strive for more than this, for how past black men and women have presented themselves and for higher goals for themselves and their children. But, in doing so, struggle against a perceived black body consisting of every other black man. Seems as if, no matter how hard a black man struggles, the struggles and their origins never end.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • Alex F.

        I agree with you except on the part about "loss of a belief in a higher power". High religious adherence leads to low socio-economic development, low technological development and very large families. You won't be led into science when you're told some god did everything.

        Look at the world's least religious people and their intellectual output. Western Europe, Eastern Asia and in America, the Northeast and the West; they create all sorts of things: Microsoft, Boeing, Facebook, Electolux, GE, Samsung, Honda, Toyota, Komatsu, HTC, Foxconn, etc. Now look at the world's most religious people and their intellectual output: South America, the majority of Africa, Oceania, and in America, the midwest and the south; they create nothing technological.

        December 4, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Reply to Alex

        Very interesting that with all your hondas, toyotas, apples, and microsofts, the west still has the highest consumption of antidepressants. Those countries that are the "least technologically advanced" are also often ranked happiest nation. Technology does not produce genuine joy which, in my mind is the real measure of success. All technology does is provide one with a false sense of security while the true value of the people rots away. Keep on keeping on! LOL!

        December 4, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Allen

        Now please tell me how that is any different from white's in the 50's to 60's era revolution & rebellion of rock music?? There were gangs & thug lifestyle, (supposedly) riot-inciting music, un-acceptable dance moves, the whole shabang!

        December 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • PRWIII

      It’s statements like yours that’s confusing....You lump Black men into one category as if all of us are exactly the same. Black unemployment is approximately 15.5 – 16%. You can deduct that 80 – 85% of us are working and doing quite well. Some of us own businesses. However, White people are more drawn to the drug-dealing, womanizing and alcoholic minority. You have to place America’s woes on someone.

      Instead of seeking why Black man are doing so poorly, concentrate on the source of your negative thinking.

      December 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  44. E

    Your ignorance of history is astounding.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  45. Charles Ekaabor

    @Truth and Mike. Portugal a few weeks ago just went to its former colony Angola to beg for funds. That is just the beginning, next, it will be France and England. Africa is rising quietly while you are here scratching your butt and smelling it.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • GinaLove

      @CharlesEkaabor, why do you continue to reply to comments from Truth? It's pointless. You should know it; he already knows it, and he is taking great pleasure in the tossing back and forth of these nonesense comments that have no merit. If you are as educated as you previously stated, then please stop giving a racist this satisfaction. Stay on point and ignore the ignorant.

      December 4, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Queen

    Maybe you should also google how Asian Americans and Jewish Americans get higher IQ scores than White Christians.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Queen

    Maybe you should google global revenue generated by hip hop music, jazz music, rock and roll music, and maybe you should google crystal meth heads in the rural south.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • terrance

      what is the most confusing day in harlem?...fathers day... the reason why i have posted that is because we black men must not abandon our children and and our women. 70% of black women are single mothers in the u.s. this really is a major issue. single parent households lead to poverty. we must wake up and stop being so god damn ignorant

      December 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Queen

    Thank you, Jerry Sandusky. I see you have a new hobby! Bashing Blacks. Nice.

    December 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Queen

    CNN seems to have a real fetish with approaching every story about African American with a CAPITAL B for black. You really drill drill drill that race thing. I am Black, but I know our lives have a lot of factors. Some of these problems came to men all over - alcoholism, womanizing - that is not unique to Blacks. Why are you calling these men tragic in your headline? To me, it seems THEY ACHIEVED A HELL OF A LOT - considering the obstacles they face. It seems like conservatives portray blacks as lazy, liberals portray blacks as tragic. We are neither!!

    December 4, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Reader

    Very small minded. You must be a Herman Cain fan.

    December 4, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Laura

    I am always curious how people comprehend stories differently, but this one takes the cake. White hate? Really????

    December 4, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Fiona

    Oh, please. I come from Irish roots. it wasn't long ago that "No Dogs or Irishmen" signs were a common sight in the US. I'm female. It wasn't long ago that women got the vote in the US. Just a generation ago, a man could force himself on his coworker (an underling, of course), fire her if rebuffed, and not face recrimination or legal action. Do you hear Irish- American females of a certain age b**chin' and moanin' over past inequities? Some things you just need to put behind you and get on with life. Women are still property in much of the world. Somehow, we forge ahead.

    December 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reader

      I don't think you saw "No Irish or Dog" signs in the 1960s. Let's not kid ourselves. Irish became "white" real quick.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      The time when there were no Irish sign was while black people were still slaves. Noone has been lynching the Irish in the last 50 years, or the last 150 years.

      December 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Irish

        I suggest you take a look at Irish history. The Irish have been suppressed by the UK for hundreds of years. Their religion, language (that's right the Irish were not originally English speakers hence the accent), culture, land, and country were taken from them and they did not regain them until the 20th century. Why do you think that Northern Ireland is such a sore spot for many Irish to this day?

        The time when there were "Irish need not apply" and "No Irish" signs were not in the time of American slavery, they were in the early 1900s when desperate and starving Irish were attempting to find work and relief in America because the conditions in Ireland were so deplorable due to their treatment at the hands of the English.

        Black America, like many other American cultures, has a long history of suffering. To say "Get over it" is insensitive, but to imply that one people's suffering is greater or more worthy of note than another's is also very insensitive. Perhaps, E, you should also take another look at history and note that a great many ethinicities, and cultures around the world have been wronged by others and are still being wronged by others. Perhaps, we should all take another read of this article and learn what we can from it, such as realizing that any failures that we may have in our own lives are a product or our own limitations. Sure, easier said than done, but nobody every said life was easy, we all have our demons to battle whether they be brought on by ourselves or by others.

        December 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Laura

    The author happens to be black and he shared his personal experience – duh! Forget about black and white. Can this article apply to all men? Yes! Get over your issues with color people; it is not that serious. Our country is about to be full of mutts – that's right MUTTS! We are a people mixed with all races. So the black and white issue – MOOT point! I personally would love to see an article about fathers taking care of the children they have. The author was fortunate to have memories of his father; positive or negative. How many children will be able to do that? Not many!

    December 4, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  54. emma peel

    Has anyone in this discussion read The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander or looked at the stats for incarceration in this country? We do need to go back to slavery to see inequities, just look at the justice system.

    December 4, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      emma if the black are doing the crime then they must serve the time. are we suppose to balance it out by putting as many other races in prison? The blacks like the easy way out. No hard work just sell drugs and break the law. So when we arrest one black we should also arrest one white even if they are working and not taking the easy way out? Surely you aren't serious.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen

      Emma you are right. I just saw a show on Current TV. Black males in NYC are picked up and jailed for the crime of smoking marijuana. If they want to find pot smokers, they should start arresting white smokers too. Actually, black males are assumed guilty by cops, meanwhile others (Lindsey Lohan, and all Ryan O'Neal's kids, etc) never go to jail for the drugs and car wrecks they cause.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • HZ

        "Truth", you've been smoking some powerful herbs. I know black people from black families that have never taken welfare but almost all the men were drafted to fight in Vietnam. I also know white people who cheat and steal. They call it white collar crime.

        December 4, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen

      MIKE - How about when we jail the black drug dealer, we jail the white drug customers as well? Blacks are only 12% of the population and the drug industry is lucrative not because blacks are selling to other blacks.

      December 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  55. superflatz

    WAHHHHHHH!!

    December 4, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  56. oh please

    why are white people NOT called eurpean americans if they are americans and white?

    PURPOSELY separating yourselves from other americans, is SEPARATING YOURSELVES from other americans.
    STOP with the whole "African" american BS when most of the blacks cannot even reliably trace their direct history to Africa itself because they DONT KNOW- how do you NOT KNOW that your ancestors were from Trinidad, or Jamaica or soe other black populated island??? But instead you chose to say African???? That is SOOOO far back in history that if you want to claim that, then claim that every single human on the planet is african, Cause youre going back tooooo far in history to try and claim ancestory to africa just cause one or more of your ancestors were slaves. And I took Black History- so I KNOW, Africans, in AFRICA had their OWN SAVES- dont go acting like its a white mans concept

    December 4, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • keith

      Oh please, I understand what you are saying, but I did not chose the term African American. It is true that most of us can not trace back to our ancestors to figure out if we are African, East Indian or what ever else. However, this country is driven by color. The official name changed from Black to African American. Black is not a race, its a color. So I can understand why the official name had to be changed. My confusion is, why did the government settle on African American? There was NO way that they were just going to change it to American because we had to be identified differently according to the government. I do know one thing, most African Americans/Blacks or whatever you want to call us are related to a lot of white families in this country, due to the master having his way with the female slaves.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • infidel taco

      You do realize, "oh please" that Jamaica and Trinidad were not populated originally by black people, but much like the black population in the US, were transferred over there by the slave trade? The original people of those islands were Caribbean Meso-Americans that had the same complexion as say the Maya or Aztec in central Mexico. African Americans are almost wholly from sub-Saharan Africa, thus African American is correct nomenclature. Learn some history facts first before you go on some crazy diatribe .

      December 4, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • HZ

        African American is not really correct since a lot of black americans also have native american and european in their blood. Black people in the US have more in common with white american than they do with black people in most of Africa because who you are is cultural. Likewise, I imagine that white people who grew up in Africa have more in common with black people who grew up there than they do with white US citizens.

        December 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Well said...

      December 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Golden

      Let's also be clear that blacks in many circles define ourselves as blacks and not African-American. As a black woman I never refer to myself or other blacks as African-American. I am American like everyone else and define myself as such. Blacks in this country have shaped much of American Culture and although whites may not realize it, we realize that our backgrounds and cultural make up is very diverse and not just from Africa.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Charles Ekaabor

    I am an African, specifically Nigerian, that has lived in Los Angeles for 30 years so I bring a unique perspective to these arguments. I am the last in a family of seven all college graduates. I myself have a doctorate degree in Law.First of all, I believe genuinely that all Americans irrespective of race are spoiled and need to grow up. White Americans are caught up in a time warp in which they see themselves as superior to others, not realizing that the era of American exceptionalism is over. Latino Americans, majority of whom are not educated or prepared for the future believe that American power will be theirs within a generation. Black Americans have not learned that to really progress in this society, they have to create an in bred support system where they can assist each other, mentor each other and provide a crutch for each other. Nobody will do it for you if you do not do it yourself. As for the concept of racism, there will always be people who do not like you because of the color of your skin,but in this country, you have the protection of the bill of rights. If someone discriminates against you sue them, but also do your work and try to be the best at what you do.

    December 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Also Nigerian

      Wow, in a strange way...I love this analysis!

      December 4, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • theEndIsFear

      Well said Charles; I just wish the politicians and leaders of this nation had the guts to say this – regardless of their race.

      Also, in response to many posters on this story: "Most African-American men are not whiners, complainers, and certainly don't believe that Affirmative Action is the solution to their problems. On the contrary, they are hard-working, optimistic, and committed with a deep-rooted belief in the American dream! However, they need to understand that the "rules of the game" often change and get their priorities in order. They also need to understand that evil comes in every color!!! So, while it's important to build a strong African-American (and general American) community and constantly fight the forces that strive to tear all of us apart – remember that the true key to success is being able to work with people striving to do good – no matter how they look or where they come from. Lastly, avoid the distractions that keep the masses (the 99%) trapped in the cycle of consumerism, overwork, debt, addiction, and other destructive behaviors.

      On the topic of slavery – although every race of man has been enslaved at some point in history, the “rules of the game” changed in the African slave trade. Men of all races benefited from it but Africans and people of African descent continue to bear the brunt of the stigma of slavery. Until, we can get beyond that via forgiveness while commanding respect (by our actions), blacks as a whole will continue to be marginalized.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • LucyPearl

      I am Caribbean American and fully agree with your assessment. African American have demons because they are tied to racism. They need to feel important or accepted causes the womanizing. The alcoholism is an attempt to ignore the pain of constant name calling and abuse. But had there been more of a support for these men their demons might not have bested them.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ann

        Yep not the person's fault but the white man's fault for bringing them into America. Yep folks ,all you white people, it is your fault and not the black womanizer's fault. It is your fault that there is so many young african men not working and uneducated. For the ones that have been successful – you get no credit for them but for the failures it is your fault so feel pity for them and you owe them something and we will never let you forget. Right?

        December 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bobbie

      Oh how we hate those foreigners. They come here with their dark skin and take over the good jobs. They are not asking for handouts like many but just work hard but only to make us look bad. I so hate those foreigners. Mishka you are pitiful.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Airborne

      Unless you are a native American, YOu are a foreigner as well. YOu just don't realize it don't you? I am not sure what is the point of your contribution? YOu are not even talking about the article! take the time to read the article and make your case if you can articulate it instead of showing all this hatred and bitterness. You need a lot of help and I hope your life will get better.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • jl taylor

      Mr. Nigereian, please feel free to leave my unacceptional country and return to the wonderful land of your birth.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ero

        Right after you return to Germany. Unless ur Native American, be quiet.

        December 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Airborne

      Thanks to you, there is no shortage of idiots and ignorants in this great country. I am pretty sure, you have no education..which is not an excuse for such childish and immature contribution. You need a PS3, toys and stay away from this discussion. YOu may come back in few years.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coltena

      You said a mouth full and I love it!

      December 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      White Americans are caught up in a time warp in which they see themselves as superior to others, not realizing that the era of American exceptionalism is over. Latino Americans, majority of whom are not educated or prepared for the future believe that American power will be theirs within a generation.
      ---------------
      Perhaps you should gaze upon your own image and question your own biases and stereotypes towards others. You question others about generalizing the Black Community, yet you yourself generalize and pontificate about "White Americans" and "Latino Americans" with negativity.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dallas Cowboy fan

        Well said.I am Mexican and successful in my own rights.Thru education an hard work.The stereotype of us taking power or taking back our land is completely absurd.I don't want to live in Mexico nor do I want the USA to become Mexico

        December 4, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shan

      You are so right, about AAs in America. I see it in the workplace – there is a lack of legitimate mentoring and networking. I saw something on TV the other day where an professor from India was telling a group of black entrepreneurs the very same thing: you will fail until you learn to work together.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Golden

      Well said.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dallas Cowboy fan

      Majority of Latinos are not educated and think that power will be ours. Mr. Educated name me a race who have their majority educated.Saying we will take over power of this country is the same as me saying that blacks are lazy and pot smoking good for nothing bums.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:54 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Jan

    Every day is white America. Just watch Fox News if you can stomach it.

    December 4, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael M.

      That's not White America, that's Republican America.

      Don't confuse the two.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Jan

    Content of Character. Dr. Martin Luther King said it best. He had his demons, fortunately they didn't derail all the good he accomplished.

    December 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Mike

    Why is it that the USA will not get over the fact that there was a period of time that enslaved people were here? They were captured by their own people and sold to ignorant people needing farm workers. That was over 200 years ago. Most all nations at one time had slavery, some still do, but this country acts as though it was yesterday. Black people should be thankful that their ancestors gave them this opportunity to be living in the USA and citizens in this great country. They don't have to float into shore or cross borders they are Americans with all rights as any citizen of the USA. If the black man wishes to be successful education is the key and all they have to do it reach for it. Hard work is a good thing and builds character-ask my family – we know. We have roofers, farm workers, ditch diggers and etc in the family nothing to be ashamed of. What is a shame is all the crying about the status of the black man. Get A Job accept a job- any job that pays money. Tired of the whinning.

    December 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne

      yours was a totally unacceptable post, He or she was posting their thoughts on the subject. My ancestors were brought into this nation under servatude meaning they were slaves until their bill was paid. They were from Scottland and when that ancestor passed away their children took over since the bill was not paid. And so it goes but I am thankful that they were brought here even as a slave because I am here in the USA and love my country. You need to check some of your facts. The Civil war ended in 1865 and the slaves were given their freedom. When did slavery begin? Did you not like history did you? Absolutely nothing racist in the post. Shame on you.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
      • E

        Indentured servitude was NOT the same thing as slavery. It lasted 7 years and many ran away and made their lives what they wanted because once they got a few miles away they could blend in and start over. Slaves were owned FOR THEIR ENTIRE LIVES.They had no choice whatsoever in whether to be a slave, whereas indentured servants CHOSE to enter into that contract. Saying that indentured servants were the same as slaves is just a way for white people to try to minimize the horrors of slavery by trying to pretend that servants had it just as bad. That is like saying you know what it was like in the holocaust because you wen to a summer camp that was a little uncomfortable.

        December 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Holly

        E I totally disagree with you on that one. However people like you refuse to accept the truth and that is o.k. with me. I owe you nothing as you do me. Servatude was the same as being a slave. And if you ran then caught – guess what happend. Most times the old hanging tree. If you were white it was not big news.

        December 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Ekaabor

      Wayne, pls engage in some constructive criticism. Look at what the post you are criticizing said. You got it complete wrong. Did Blacks become free because slavery ended or until the voting rights act was passed in the 1960's. Please do not expose others to your ignorance.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Frank

        Perhaps you can enlighten others and offer constructive criticism with accurate information.

        December 4, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        Frank and what in this string is not accurate? To whom are you responding?

        December 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Mike

        Charles the slaves were freeded by Lincoln a year or so before the war between the states ended. They could make their own way. They could own property and had all the rights that whites had. So the statement is correct.

        December 4, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Charles Ekaabor

        @Mike, did you not take Black History classes. Have you ever heard of "Black Codes" that condemned "freed " blacks to positions of servitude after the end of slavery. Have you not read about poll taxes and literacy tests specifically designed to disenfranchise blacks after the war.Do you know about the 40 acres and a mule promised the freed slaves after the Civil war. If Lincoln freed the Slaves, why did it take the Civil Rights act for Blacks all over the country to finally get the vote. Please take time out to read about Black history, because it is also American history.

        December 4, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sam

        Yes there were problems after the slaves were freed. Many already had a piece of property given to them by the plantation owner. Many fled to the North only to find out they were not welcome there. Some were to return to their prior home and work again for the man. There was lots of respect and love between the families black and white. In my family we did not own a plantation but were share croppers. My ancestors worked along beside the slaves. Very few plantations were around unlike what many like to think. Few who fought in the Civil War owned slaves. It is fact – there are also some good warm hearted stories to be found. It was not all a horrible time for slaves. The sadest thing is what is going on now. The blame game and division between the races. Will it ever change? I don't think so.

        December 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Ekaabor

      Thanks for your pot. Very refreshing.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Ekaabor

      Thanks for your post. Very refreshing.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wondering

      Victoria do you ever ask yourself where would I be IF my ancestors were not brought into this country against their will?
      Do you think that you most likely would not exist? Of course they did not sign up to be brought here. Go to Africa – I have and most anyone there would happily trade places with you. Yes is was a terrible time during slavery but that action still goes on in Africa and other nations. We are trying to get over it but some won't let us or don't want to just get over it and enjoy living in a multiple racial society accepting others thoughts on the subject. I saw no bigotry in MIke's post. What did you see?

      December 4, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Airborne

      Mike,

      I believe it would serve you to stay away from Fox news and learn more about your history from credible sources. I will just ask you a simple questions. Do you know that the Germans prisoners captured during WW2 were better treated than the black GIs serving under the US flag? And yes, if you believe that the world war two occurred 200 years ago, that is fine. But you cannot revisited history, you cannot change it.
      Now, I am African American, came to this country ten years ago, got my MBA and I am lucky to work for a top consulting firm in the DC area. My personal opinion is that African Americans have no excuses now. It starts at home, and it is all about having a reference. At business school, all the blacks were from Africa (not African American), same thing at work. When, you have not been to community college due to financial issues, you cannot drive a car with a $10,000 wheels, if you have not put money away for your kids education, you should not think about getting the latest Bimmers etc...

      December 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • LucyPearl

      Trust me you didn't have to say you are white. We knew based on your post. White immigrants don't understand the complexity nor the history of race in America and then they spew their lack of knowledge as if it's fact. Read a book and gain real black friends who will actually share their experiences with you. Then revisit this page.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ann

      Mike I enjoyed your post. Sorry for all the negative comments but that is how it goes on these blogs. Some people refuse to accept the fact that others may not see things as they do. Your comments were right on and I agree with most.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • txrbt

      You have the audacity to claim that the Civil Rights movement did more for black Americans than the Civil War?

      December 4, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Airborne

      Good point.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dott

      Victoria I really think that Wondering has a very good point but you obviously have your mind elsewhere and stuck there. Actually if your ancestors were not brought into America it is doubtful that you would even exist. Meaning your ancestors could have been killed by a neighboring tribe, starved todeath, died from lack of water and I could go on and on about the conditions in Africa years ago and today. Give the thinking people credit where credit is due. Sad that your ancestors were brought here against their will but be happy that you are here. Stop trying to demean others who have a different opinion.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Victoria

        Since you were educated by a system that taught that white was better, I'll forgive your ignorance this one time. I DARE you to go research the true history of blacks in Africa prior to when the white man got there. I DARE you to research your own race's history prior to my ancestors teaching them to do everything you take for granted now. Go look up Tim Wise. He's as white as you and he knows the truth about the Original Man. Be different. Stop going along with the white-washed history that is taught in schools and open up a few books. If you are capable of being perfectly honest with yourself and open to thinking outside of the box that the white supremacists put in place the minute white people learned to walk upright, you would see the truth. It's okay though. I teach my children the truth on a daily basis. They are more than prepared for living among you.

        December 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Holly

        And I would imagine that you teach your children that all their problems is all because of the White Race. Call the white people racist? I rest my case.

        December 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sam

        Victoria and I am 100 % certain that you teach your children to hate the white man and blame that race for all their problems. We are not talking about thousands of years ago we are writing here about the current situation in this nation. I am sick of all the woe is me because of the color of my skin. Blacks have a better chance of an education and getting placed into good jobs than many white people. Do not teach your children that they are better than others because that will point them in the wrong direction as is the problem today with some children. Teach them to love everyone regardless their status in life or their race. That is how you raise a good kid. That is how mine were raised.

        December 4, 2011 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • waasi

        You oblivious ranting is superficial at best. You try living in Iraq where your face/handprint/ownership isn't on everything. Whites only get along with Blacks for monetary reasons. If a Black man wants a business, who's money will he need to borrow/ White people's...by who's rules..white people's...go to the bathroom and use who's tissue...white people's. You are seriously delusional. And any IDIOT that believes Blacks cry wolf all the time, have not taken the time to study psychological conditioning. YOU and your racist people taught us this behavior, and as soon as someone Black goes against that (MLK. Farrakhan/Malcolm X) you kill them. Get off your crumbling soapbox. There is an educational gap that MUST be addressed. And many African Americans are helping to perpetrate that.

        December 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Elizabeth

    I find that some of the above comments are so racist. I am a white person and can not understand why there is any racism just because the color of one's skin. Black and White who are educated and are happy with themselves have no time for this crazy stuff that has been going on for years. It is time America wakes up and see that you are no better than any other person because of their race. Now we have brought down Herman Cain ot really makes me sick.

    December 4, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Elizabeth No I beg to differ, WE did not bring down Cain. He brought himself down by being a womanizer and cheating on his wife. It had absolutely nothing to do with the color of his skin. He probably would have made a great president but no one else is to blame for his failure. We try to be color blind in this society but are not allowed to do so. As soon as a failure happens it is never the person's fault who made the mistake but as you did blame others – by point to the color of his skin.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Don

        What you are doing there is character assassination just because somebody says Mr Cain did these things does not mean that he did they talk about proof but they don't show any, that to me means he was a threat to the democrats and just because there were people infront of the camera saying things isn't proof I mean I could say I flew around the world in 60 seconds that means nothing if I can't prove it

        December 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ero

        Why hasn't this "fair" media highlighted Gingrich's indiscretions like they did with Cain?

        December 4, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jenny

        The left wing media had to get rid of him. How else could they continue to spread the lie that all Rebulicans are racist?

        December 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • LucyPearl

      Elizabeth there are many people like you who truly do not judge based on skin color, but people of color do not come in contact with people like you all the time. Unfortunately, you would never know that because your white and you don't experience the harsh reality of systemic race hatred in this country and never will.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Maria

    Blacks don't like whites and whites don't like blacks PERIOD! they tolerate each other but agree and and accept ? NEVER!this white women marry them for money and fame remember OJ Simpson? and the list go on....money talks ,they marry white women to show off.

    December 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen

      Maria, you must be over 60. "Blacks don't like whites and whites don't like blacks???" Have you ever been to a concert and looked in the audience and seen people being brought together by music?

      December 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  63. stefan kosof

    Some nice points, but there is no excuse for the extreme selfishness and immaturity of Black adults. Asians, Arabs and many others have experienced plenty of problems in this country, but they don't give up parenting duties. The black community is very self-destructive and until they decide to look at their own failure's as the problem (not others), the cycle will continue.

    December 4, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      Valid points.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • dd

      Yea, white men NEVER

      December 4, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles Ekaabor

      @Stefan Kosof, who exactly are you referring to when you say the "black community". By generalizing, you are taking the first step in the direction of prejudice. I grew up with parents that were married for 40 years till my father passed. Majority of my close friends come from two family backgrounds. I am married with a son. So who exactly do you mean when you say the "black community". Pls elaborate.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Bobbie

        Charles when you write the black community that is what he is referring to. The Black Community – not necessarly a housing development but the black community as a whole. You know what he intended so why the slam? Always looking for a racist huh? Look and you will find them often the person questioning the comment "Black Community."

        December 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Frank

        "White Americans are caught up in a time warp in which they see themselves as superior to others, not realizing that the era of American exceptionalism is over. Latino Americans, majority of whom are not educated or prepared for the future believe that American power will be theirs within a generation."
        -------–
        Those are your words taken from your other post. Perhaps you should answer your own questions and ponder.

        December 4, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Airborne

      Are you talking about Bill Clinton? Newt Gingrich? Anthony Weiner?

      December 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Coltena

      Stefan please explain yourself. You are making generalizations about a culture that you perhaps know nothing about.

      December 4, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Dott

    If you won't work you can't be successful. Nuff Said!

    December 4, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Drew

    Lotta whites on here crying victimhood and reverse-racism. Wonder if it's the same people claiming blacks and other ethnicities should quit claiming victimhood and racism? Nahhhhh ...

    December 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael M.

      Victimhood may be stretching it, but reverse-racism happens (though it's just called 'racism').

      If the purpose of the last half-century or so of affirmative action was for equality, then it has failed. Equality is simply not being able to achieve the same level of success or having access to the same opportunities (which most AA people do, though not all), but also not giving into the desire to be hypocritical.

      Feminism worked the same way. Equal Rights for women were guaranteed, but a few took the movement to mean the subjugation of or derision of men. "Femi-natzis" by a common monicker, where they believe the world would simply be a better place without men; or that women are somehow better and find ways to express their beliefs.

      The same is true for AA's. BET is an old example, but a valid one. The counter-argument; "Every other channel is WET" immediately sets up the false dichotomy of White vs. Black when equality would dictate that channels are blind to race. Why does BET exist? Why does Black Entrepreneur Magazine exist? What about Essence magazine? I did the math once (granted, it was only for a single month) from a roommate's Glamor and Essence, and Essence had the lower ratio of women of the 'other' race. That IS racism; even if it's not violent or particularly inflammatory. It would be practically impossible for any other colleges to carry labels like the "Black Colleges" in the South, and standards are not positively modified for applicants of White (or Asian, actually) descent to Grad Schools – unlike the lower standards set for AA's.

      Is the anti-White sentiment so strong so as to be controversial? No. It does exist, though, and it makes most of the AA community look hypocritical – which is why a lot of white people feel victimized.

      Frankly, there's too much selfish pouting – FROM BOTH SIDES – to find the equality the Civil Rights movement wanted. That will just come in time as it's proven over and over again that intelligence and personality will trump skin color for anything. Until that's so drilled into our heads from personal examples and endless analysis, people will find ways to play the 'Race' card and evoke sympathy or hatred.

      That's the short end of it, at least to me.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen

      Amen Drew. You hit it on the nose.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Maria

    Sick and tired of hear complains about blacks ,they get rich and famous and they married white women l(ook at Kloe Kardashian) and many black women are marrying black dudes,so stop talking about racism! the rappers are millionaires and they get married to white girls ,so why the complaint? I go out and I see is just biracial babies...where they come from? you guess......I am sick and tired about this subject.The" POOR ME" excuse!

    December 4, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  67. zoundsman

    Small mind. You remind me of the person in the early 50's who would look at a neighbor with a magnifying glass
    criticizing their personal lives-especially who they love-you're a major azzhat.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Andrew

    BLACK IN AMERICA, HISPANIC IN AMERICA....how about WHITE IN AMERICA?? Or is that too racist?

    December 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drew

      How about white in America? We've done OK over the past 300 years.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
      • Victoria

        I'm a black woman and I'm in total agreement with you. I'm sick of the MSM's divisive fascination with us. Go focus on what is wrong with white America. Start with pedophilia and work your way down, CNN!

        December 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      Whites were never discriminated against in the U.S. Never lynched, never forced to sit on the back of the bus. Never dragged behind a truck for being white. Whites have always had the upper hand. What a silly thing to complain about, that you're not being featured because you haven't struggled due to the simple color of your skin. (I'm white, btw.)

      December 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ginger

        The failure of the Black race to suceed begins when the parents teach them that every thing bad that happens to them is the White Man's Fault. They learn from an early age that they can easily get away with things at school if they go home and complain to mama about that bad teacher. First question is "is she white." and on and on as the mama goes to the school with a complaint. This creates the block in that child's mind that they can't succeed in a, so called white man's world. There is someone to blame and it is not their fault. I hope things will change and we can all become color blind but doubtful. Did anyone quess that I am black.

        December 4, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • jake

        Crystal Horrible things happen to all of us regardless of skin color. But we as a society refuse to get over it. We just keep dredgeing it up over and over and each time it becomes bigger. Like a scabbed sore we remove that scab and refuse to let it heal. Sure bad things happened those many sad years ago but we need to look at the good things going on today. We can't improve life today by finding an excuse for our lack of success because of something that happened so long ago. Life is what You Make of it and if you don't do well that is your fault and no one else.

        December 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • John

        Crystal, you might just want to check your facts. Specifically how Irish immigrants were treated up until the election of JFK, how Italian, Slavic, and other Southern/Eastern European Immigrants were treated at the beginning of the 20th century. Might be an eye opener.

        December 4, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dott

        John no people like Crystal have this branded into their forehead and will not consider the fact that many white people have been treated badly. My ancestors came in as servants and were treated badly. I have never held that against the person or persons who brought them here. I refuse to dwell on the negatives about my arrival into America only think about what a wonderful country I have been born into. Yes whites have been hung, burned, rapped, tortured and etc. however I would like to forget about the bad stuff. Crystal why don' t you try it?

        December 4, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Queen

        Crystal, you are right, but these "white victims" of FOX NEWS will never admit it.

        December 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cynthia

        I respectfully disagree. Just because you do not recall discrimination against whites, does not mean it has not happened. During WW II my Aunts were teased mercilessly in school because they were of German descent. Irish Americans, particularly men, had a difficult time finding employment in the 19th century ("INNA" signs – Irish Need Not Apply). I clearly recall the discrimination against Italian Americans in the 70s in NY especially after the Godfather movies were released, a renewal tied to anti-catholic discrimination that has been present in our nation for some time. I don't have the time hear to go into the discrimination against Poles and Jews and other 'white' ethnicities in the United States. I believe that discrimination is a universal human trait – not necessarily aimed at a particular group.

        December 4, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jan

        Has anyone ever heard a white person say "I am not successful because of my great great grandfather's plight?". Sounds COMPLETELY ridiculous, does it not?

        December 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  69. CommonSense

    First European White Americans must build themselves a bridge to Europe where they came from and kiss the feet of the British to gain acceptance back into that gloomy cloudy cold pale country.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Cedax

    Perhaps one day CNN will progress to stories beyond the color of ones skin.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Chris

    Jesus Christ, these articles make black people seem to be as emotionally insecure as 14 year old girls.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Queen

      CNN portrays Blacks a lot more "pathetic" than we portray ourselves. It is sickening, actually. These men in this article achieved an ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF SUCCESS. Yet, it is portrayed as failure. Ridiculous.

      December 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Randy

    PS–I can't believe all these rude people on here....

    December 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  73. CM

    Again, why is CNN so "PRO" black? has anyone noticed that this news network is turning into the world's leader of "black" news?

    December 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      Check CNN people ,most of them are black ,is least that is what I see in the newscasters! all black .I don't know why the talk about racism they are rich look at the rappers ,music,shows....they still have the poor mentality of the cry baby ,poor me ,I am not racist but this mothers should teach the black kids about love themselves and accept that society will be rough on them I use to wrok with many blacks and they ususally say comments about the white race and how they hate the white man !

      December 4, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • CommonSense

      Why does it bother you that they are pro black? They are also pro gay, pro hispanic, pro asian and pro american. you just focus on the black part. If you dont like new to support minorities go to fox.

      December 4, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mishka

      Actually, no. You couldn't be MORE wrong.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Randy

    Nice article – a snippet from the recent end of the 300-year history of one American family that has a lesson for everyone, past and present, who in hindsight come to believe the path to their life's goal was derailed by events beyond their control.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  75. CommonSense

    Great article. I really needed this. I am a black male who has a great government job. I sometimes let the gender and racial attacks get me out of character. But at the end of the day as the article said we are on our own. There are no excuses. Things have never been so easy for a black man. No sense in crying now, just stay focused and keep moving forward and avoid all distraction that can cause you to fall or fail.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      One of the great secrets of Life is probably that most of us are on our own. There is no team behind us. No excuses, just us, as individuals.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Decamptownlady

    Every time on come to the CNN web site there are always front page stories about race or religion?. It's one thing to bring attention to these matters and be constructive but another to create tension. It's almost like they want to stir the pot. What is your agenda CNN?

    December 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mishka

      And you best believe, there IS an AGENDA. Just pay close attention and it will all come into focus.

      December 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Mishka

    I had the same feeling. I wasn't moved by this one bit. Actually, I consider it the ultimate betrayal. This person's dad obviously struggled with some SERIOUS self-hate issues. And Mr. Whitaker obviously has the same problem. We've actually gotten rid of our televisions (all but one) and have downgraded to basic channels just because we are SICK of seeing these AGENDA-ads showing these bi-racial people. Dare they interrupt our REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING and end the mind-control tactics?? It really IS ok–PEOPLE–to marry someone of YOUR OWN ethnicity! The last tv standing, and we're preparing to toss it out the window.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  78. carlito Swagger

    Whitaker is right. We no longer have excuses to not succeed. Obama and many other successful black men have paved the way and set the standard on how much we can achieve.

    December 4, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  79. Jack

    Today the Black community needs the kind of honest self examination the author had of the plight of his Grandfather and Father as they progressed through the most difficult period Black people experienced in our country, post slavery. It wasn't the racism they encountered that was their demise, but rather the human failings we all face regardless of the color of our skin. The Black community today is not oppressed and discriminated against by others so much as it is being destroyed from within.

    Bill Cosby tried to point it out, but he was persecuted by the larger Black Community for saying so.

    December 4, 2011 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  80. UhYeaOk

    I am tired of all the stories CNN has to post about everyone who has it harder than whites. It's a tough world to live in regardless of your skin color, most people have obstacles to over come. Half of the problems blacks have in this country are self inflicted.

    December 4, 2011 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • CM

      True!

      December 4, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derrick, Atlanta

      What about the other half of their problems?

      December 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Anthrofreak

    I hope you haven't reproduced.

    December 4, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  82. august washington

    What an ignorant comment

    December 4, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  83. Cornerman

    Tam, Tam, Tam..... the orange ones are from New Jersey! Please, lets stay on topic here! 😉

    December 4, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  84. lowell

    Also, to the white boy brainiac, my parents are both TEACHERS, so education is VALUED in my family.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Maria

      You are nasty! I wonder how are you n person ,I wonder who likes to be around you .it says a lot..nasty!

      December 4, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  85. lowell

    PLEASE stop trying to put me in a BOX. I am an INDIVIDUAL. I also haven't abadoned any children, it's the WOMEN that leave. I believed in mariage vows, better or worse.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Relictus

      Exactly. The women file for divorce, for which I blame Feminism. Too many boys grow up without fathers. The effect is a generation of men that had to learn manliness on their own and a generation of "me me me" women. Good luck with that, ladies.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Jack

    Blaming racism only goes so far. I think Martin Luther King would be appalled at how his legacy has been squandered by a generation of Blacks who have rejected education, a reliance on the welfare state, embracing a tribal criminal mentality (gangs) as an almost cultural ideal and externalizing blame without even a cursory examination of their collective responsibilities to society.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Funny, you seem to know more about black folk than black folk know about themselves. It's clearly evident that mental midgets like you watch too much Fox News. No one in my family has ever been on welfare, been part of a gang or uneducated. My dad was a US Marshal and my mother a nurse. Me, I'm the first in my family to graduate from college (Clemson University). My brother is retired Air Force, has an MBA and was branch manager at a credit Union before he retired. My sister, she's has a PhD in Pharmacy, both her daughters go to college, one at Washington Univ, the other at UNC Wilmington. Me, I work in Product Development for a family owned, privately held company in Memphis, TN. Frankly, you're just another know nothing dimwit with a"master of the universe" mentality. There is NOTHING special about you, really.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
      • Cornerman

        Gary, I understand your post but you shouldn't have to explain anything! There are a lot of people out there, of any color, that only dream of being successful. I wish you the very best.

        December 4, 2011 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
      • Bill

        Gary: How do you know that Jack is non-black? Just because he made a statement critical of black culture? Even if he is non-black, I think some conclusions are still obvious. Maybe his olny fault is not qualifying his generalization by saying "some in the black community".

        December 4, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
      • stimmons

        try collecting rent

        December 4, 2011 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  87. Derrick, Atlanta

    @ Tam/Dominique:
    I happen to be biracial (mom is black, dad is white) but also identify with being black. When I was younger, I was always hopelessly confused with the concept of race, it never made sense to me. My parents always told me that the human body is just a container which contains the actual person, and your body has nothing to do with who you are unless you allow it to. Over time, I've defined myself based on how others defined me, I believe it's called looking glass self. " You're not completely white, therefore you' must be black" – this was the dichotomy that I found. Nowadays, I tend to think my parents had it right all along. Hopefully I shed some light on that issue.

    Regards,

    December 4, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Lee in Ohio

      Thank you for sharing your point of view, Derrick. Your remarks are interesting and helpful. As a white man who was born and raised in the Jim Crow south, I find that my re-education is an ongoing process. When I am able to learn about experiences such as yours, my own evolution as a human being is nudged forward a little bit more. Best wishes.

      December 4, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  88. working in the black community

    This topic raises thousands of pages of words in many directions. Racism and the bigger CRUSH of the short end of fair job practices in this NOW but also every economy in the past is and has been devastating. Disconnectedness of black and white youth is the generational tide which if not understood and addressed heralds the biggest blow to our society. It is like opportunities must be presented as some form of entertainment before youth will engage and the reality is this just means OFFER REAL HOPE FOR ALL RACES IN ALL ROADS TO A SHARED FUTURE OF OPPORTUNITIES NOT STUFFING THE 1% POCKETS. In his family womanizing and drinking is as any color person in the world faces as threats in an unequal offering of chances to grow as individuals.

    December 4, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  89. Goodguy1

    Actually Soledad O'brien could do a story "White in America" and detail how President Obama was raised by white people in a loving caring home. It may be too much for African Americans to deal with. Latinos will be the power in this country in 10 more years.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • oldleftcoastdude

      A basic problem here is how people see themselves by race; i.e "African-American or "Irish-American"or "Mexican-American, etc. Political correctness has Balkanized the U.S. to a point that will be hard to undo, unless we become "Americans first, and the media has gone along with and promoted it. You are either American or no. If one wants to be something else first, then I suggest these folks leave and go back to their country of origin.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
      • rapscallion

        Brilliant. "Hyphenated Americanism" is ripping this country apart. The European immigrants of the 19th c. couldn't be American fast enough. Call one of them a "Hungarian-american", an "Italian American" etc and you will be quickly corrected... "I'm an American thank-you!"

        December 4, 2011 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      Well, one thing we do know, the home or hovel you were raised in didn't have a clue

      December 4, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
      • UhYeaOk

        Your the clueless one Gary, time for you to type up another paragraph on how great your black family is and how you are the first to graduate college. Get over yourself you whiney cry baby.

        December 4, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  90. Anonymous

    Good story, however, I don't like the last line "for better or worse, we are on our own now". Thinking like that is what is stopping this country from forever moving on from racism. There should be no "we" in terms of black people. All Americans should be thought of as "we." Regardless of skin color, we are all equal and are all on the same playing field in today's world. The term "we" when applied to one ethnicity is no longer accurate in terms of standing together.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • K2

      The Black Community needs to take ownership of the problems within their own community and within their daily lives and family that are destroying them.

      December 4, 2011 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • J

      I disagree that "...there should be no 'we' in terms of black people." African Americans (or however we choose to describe ourselves) are a culturally distinctive community that the larger society of Americans still sees as "not like us." We have to build a culture of achievement within the AA community and be prepared to "rep our set" as we press our individual and collective agendas in the larger society. We cannot escape the challenges and opportunities of that necessary representation. Racism won't disappear simply by us pretending that race no longer matters. Of course it still matters.

      December 4, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
      • Dennis Pence

        J _ it's this thought pattern that keeps racism alive. As most people, you (meaning the black community) don't want "equality", you want superiority. I'm not condemning you, but you appear to want to establish a "sub-culture" within the existing culture. With you, as with most of the people of color – it's the issue that keeps racism alive.

        December 4, 2011 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Holly

        Dennis myself and many would agree with you. They do not want to be equal. They want special treatment because of their race. They want you to forget the color of their skin until it suits their purpose. Only then notice that I am priviledged because of the color of my skin. That is hard for the other races to accept.

        December 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Dominique

    Thank you Tam. Neither boy in that picture is authentically black.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
    • K2

      Tam and Dominique What has the skin tone of the people in the picture have to do with anything related to the story? Does the degree of ones "Blackness" dictate the ability to succeed or rationally analyze ones history as the author did here?

      December 4, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
      • Dominique

        Honestly I didnt read the story because if I'm going to read a story about being black in America it should be written by an actual black person, not a biracial.

        December 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • E

        and Dominique wins the prize for most ignorant, narrow-minded, shallow and stupid comment of the day! congrats!

        December 4, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      You didn't read the story yet you judged them by the color of their skin and made assumptions about them. If I had to guess, this is exactly what many Blacks in America fought against. I'm not an authentic Black man even though I have an African Caribbean father. What do I know? I guess I can't eat at the "Authentic Black Man Club".

      December 4, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  92. Skegeeace

    What an interesting story! It's nice to hear a "black man story" that's a balance of acknowledging the effects an onslaught of unrelenting racism can have on an individual with the reality that at the end of the day our successes and failures are largely in our own hands. I applaud Mr. Whitaker.

    December 4, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |