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January 15th, 2012
12:13 PM ET

Don Lemon: It only takes one drop

Editor's note: Don Lemon anchors CNN Newsroom during weekend prime-time and serves as a correspondent across CNN's U.S. programming. He is the author of the memoir "Transparent."

This piece is part of a three-part series tied to the (1)ne Drop Project.

By Don Lemon, CNN

(CNN) - For years, the woman on the left in the photograph below could not be friendly to her own husband in public. She would pretend she didn’t know him or tell people he was her driver. She didn’t want him to be beaten in public as he had many times before.

She learned that particular survival technique from the woman in the photograph on the right, her mother and my grandmother, who had to use it from the 1930s until my grandfather died in the 1960s. Both women were often mistaken for white. And for whatever privileges my aunt and grandmother might have received for their light skin, their husbands paid for it by beatings or threats from white men. One handed-down family story that sticks with me is how my uncle was lucky to have survived a savage throttling in the 1950s after exiting a ferry crossing the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to Port Allen. Apparently, he and my aunt had let down their guard. They never did it again.

Heck, as a child, I wasn’t even sure about my grandmother or my aunt. “Is Aunt-ee Lacy white?” I’d ask. “Lacy’s black,” an adult would say. Of course the reply was followed by a big laugh and a phrase I’d never forget: “It only takes one drop.” Meaning it only takes one drop of “Negro” blood to make you black.

I heard that phrase all the time as a child growing up in the South. And it wasn’t until I moved away from Louisiana as an adult that I recall anyone asking what it meant. As I wrote in my book, "Transparent", “Black America used to be, and perhaps still is, a pigmentocracy, which means that the social hierarchy is based largely on colorism.” I wrote about growing up in Louisiana, a state ruled by pigmentocracy and is at the pinnacle of color consciousness. It was borne out of slavery.

Black slaves impregnated by white slave masters bore children whose skin was so light and hair so straight that they could "pass" for white. Long story short, many of them did "pass," and so did their offspring. The ones who chose to stay on the plantation created the light skin to dark skin hierarchy that helped shape black culture. The ones who ran north toward freedom, opportunity and life as a white person, never looked back.

The alternative was to stay with the people you loved and depending on the time in history, either work on a plantation, in the field, as a maid, a driver or be relegated to some menial job with very little opportunity to advance beyond that.

If you did pass, back then, you didn’t dare tell anyone. If your cover was blown, you faced death. Imagine having to concoct a made-up history of either being an orphan or a product of an estranged family, or the only child of two parents who had already died. Even if your family were alive back home in the South, they may as well be dead because you didn’t dare contact them, except to send home an anonymous envelope with no return address containing a money order or note that read, "I’m OK. I’m alive. I love you."

To this day, the true identities of most of the people who passed are still a well-kept secret. But sooner or later, it turns up in their offspring’s DNA. Occasionally, it’s a dark-skinned child from two light-skinned, fair-haired parents. Sometimes two straight-haired parents produce a mysteriously curly-headed baby. When it does happen, the joke is often that there must be a "dark" person somewhere in the family tree. The reality is that there probably is a "dark" person in that tree, a black one who "passed" and quite possibly avoided a worse fate with a southern tree.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Don Lemon.

soundoff (1,654 Responses)
  1. Wilson Phillips

    Many journalists, entertainers,and civil right leaders should hope racism never goes away.Chris Rock,Al Sharpton,Jesse Jackson,Ruben Navarrette,etc. would all be Subway sandwich artists if racism died.What else would these people talk about ?

    January 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      What an incredibley stupid thing to say. I would not, no matter what color I was, let anyone know I was that stupid. Did you read that before you posted?

      January 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Wilson Phillips

        Well I was dropped on my head when I was an infant,I've been known to guzzle gasoline with anti freeze as a chaser.I also run head first into brick buildings.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        There you go again, Do you always call those who present an opinion or a statement you disagree with ' stupid'? You remind me of my spoiled and easily irritated 7 year old niece.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • muse

      I guess the same shallow crap that Whites talk about. That and complain about paying taxes. Subway artists, huh? At least they aren't where they are by exploiting and oppressing disadvantaged minorities.

      January 16, 2012 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • J Rod

      Speaking of "sitting around and talking about races" Wilson, I have a joke for you, "What's white, is estimated at 5.9 million and can be found in evey state of the union....? Give up? ....white Hate Groups circa 1918... hahaha hilarious right? I wonder what they sit around and talk about all day? The moral of this lesson son, just remember whenever you point one finger at others, there are 3 pointing right back at you.

      January 16, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • ﺶCHEﺶ

      Here we go again!
      The usual racist talking points flyers distributed by racist GOP party. Hey, racist Wilson Phillips try something new.
      FYI: These racist talking points are too old and past its prime. Dittohead, at least be original and some racist programmed robot.
      Also, this is what you racists lacks intellectually. At least Black folks are very original.

      January 16, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ed

    Do we ever tire of this? It has become such a bore.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeeTruth

      SeeTruth
      Thank you for this story. It needs to be told. I am sorry for the heartless responses, yet they reveal the depth of the problem. Why respond to this article at all? For those who have spouted hatred, what is the point?
      The people whom this article refers to have suffered. Sadly, they continue to suffer because of people like the haters who have responded to this article. In truth, we suffer because of this foolishness. The ignorance, the injustice, and the lack of humanity is appalling!! But God is watching. He does care. Here's to those who are stumbling in the darkness, may the LOVE of GOD help you come to the Light.
      PEACE~

      "Hatred paralyzes life;
      Love releases it.
      Hatred confuses life;
      Love harmonizes it.
      Hatred darkens life;
      Love illuminates it."

      Dr. Martin Luther King

      “My humanity is bound up in yours,

      January 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • the law

        you are a very nice person... I see it came from the heart..... are you single??

        January 15, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Peggy

        See Truth,

        Nicely said, very nicely said

        January 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      Ed.
      It may not pretain to you, but I assure you if you were living this in some way you would not find it boring. You think the Jews have forgotten or gotten bored with say, the Holocast? Or should we just forget about it when we don't want to hear about it?

      January 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. WAW

    I got some real good chocolate pie that some of you folks will really like.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peggy

      WAW,

      Good!

      January 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Tessa2U

    I am here to say that not all Caucasian American's are as ignorant and bigoted as this board would make it seem. There are some of us that appreciate this story and value the diversity within this great nation. :-)

    January 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Caucasian American? You emigrated here fromn the Caucasus?

      January 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        No Ed. It's a reflection of how"race sensitive" "white" (since you make believe you don't understand the root word in caucasian) can be. Theses terms are meant to catogorize and separate HUMANS (look it up) and give us a means to separate ourselves from one another. If this is your feeble attempt at humor it is confirmation of the opposite. No more free education pal. Read a book or better yet get to know someone outside your "racial" circle. Jeez!

        January 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • c s

      The 1934 movie "Imitation of Life" shows this very thing, it was remade in 1959. I remember seeing it as a kid on TV. I did not understand everything in the movie but i still remember it today. Maybe one it will no longer matter.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peggy

      Tessa2U,

      We know that. A good majority of people of all races are decent. The others are just loud.

      January 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dav-it

    East Asians and Whites ARE a much better people as a whole than Hispanics and Blacks are. Just the indisputable facts, people! This does not mean there are many blacks, hispanics that are INDIVIDUALLY better than the average white or, oriental-- Facts prove group differences ! and some groups ARE better than others!

    January 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Henry

      Cite your sources. Seems like a stupid remark to me!

      January 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        Here you go, these are the facts.................www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats

        January 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • sybaris

      I'm white and believe me, there is nothing scarier than an ignorant white man.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats

        January 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
      • JayB12

        As a Hispanic, he cracks me up. I'm always up for a good laugh from an ignorant person.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        There is something scarier than an ignorant White Man. It's an ignorant White Man named Bush.

        January 16, 2012 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • redplanet

      What cosmos do you live in? Can you find your way back? Did you know the slaves of long ago southern plantation time were often more educated than the white trash with cash they had to serve? Learn your facts. I come from that white trash with cash who wrote wills giving away people as property to their children. No, there is no evidence one group is better than another. There is evidence racism and poverty are not good things. I wonder which one created you.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        Sir/Mamm,.... I amjust one who just wants to honestly see the facts and quit hiding the inconvienent or distasteful ones.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Peggy

        redplanet,

        You have courage, conviction and wisdom.

        January 15, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        Are you serious? You really need to find a grip on reality. The plantation slaves were not even remotely well educated. In fact, their masters did their absolute best to prevent ANY education that did not directly relate to their jobs. You very much need to read up on history.

        January 16, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dav-it

      http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/crimestats
      There are enormous mounds of facts here that show how crimes are not spread out evenly across the human race here in the U.S. Blacks and Hispanics comit way , way more crimes than all other groups.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        .....are you really that stupid or do you have a hidden agenda here? No amount of "crime statistics" can prove the viability of any "race". Under your formula white men are prone to be genocidal. None of us who have a reasonable amount of decernment can stop laughing at this oft repeated premise. Dav-it although you may think you sound knowledgable the majority of us our drowning out that statement with a hearty Har-Har.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • JayB12

        I'm a Hispanic and I wouldn't shot you........... Wait a minute, maybe and just maybe I would. I would want to dispute your facts.

        January 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gmj

        And most serial killers are white men. And more men committ violent crimes than women... So your point would be what?

        January 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      Three hundred years in this country and the founding race (for lack of a better word) on the planet and we still have to put up with persons who just don't get it. It is my most feverent hope that you do not have children. It may be too late for you and anyone that will have you , but the kids may be able to reach beyond this ignorance couched in seeming intelligence. If you hear something like this in your daily conversations and believe it .....well....Jeez!

      January 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        I am sorry that you seem to be one of the many brainwashed, checked the facts on racial group differences regarding crime in the U.S.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        Dav....who sounding brainwashed now?

        January 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        skpfrmcd, It is sad to see that when someone presents a statement and then backs it up with facts that some people choose to belittle, insult, and deride instead of presenting a counterargument structured in logic and backed with other facts. There is nothing under the sun that should be off the table of public debate and reaction like yours could be seen as one of a person having no valid way to refute the statement.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      What a bitter ignorant little racist you are. Crime statistics do not prove anything. Poverty creates crime. For centuries white people have made every effort and law to make sure that people of color remain in poverty. It is only in the last 30 years that in much of the country people have not lived in fear of being lynched for no reason and kept from being able to get house loans, jobs or higher education. Urban poor areas are still saddled with underfunded and dangerous schools and do not have access to computers, books or examples of successful living. Race is not the common denominator, poverty and lack of resources is.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        Dav your recent post here need no refuting as they so blantently against all societal and ACCEPTED scientific fact the burden remains with you, as weak as your arguments are and the shakey use of statistics (I'll help you here, your facts are based on one countries crime number's) it remains a fact thaty whites equal 2% of the WORLD population and that FACT reveals your need to believe the wholly ignorant (look it up), racist (just calling it what it is, so don't take it personal, unless it is) dogma (see Mein Kamph) posted here.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        I have loads of evidence to refute your assumption.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        'Poverty creates crime'... do you have any evidence that prooves your assumption?

        January 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        Btw, I only cited one nations crime statistics. Well, then, look worldwide as I have. Crime rates are quite low in any nation where most of the people are not black or hispanic.
        Look at South Korea, North Korea( talk about poverty, but what crime– almost none exists!), China ( see above comment on N. Korea!), Sweden,Ukrane, Israel just as a few examples. The amazing thing is in almost all non-black, non-hispanic nations crime is low.
        Now, compare their crime rates with, say Uganda, Nigeria, Jamaica, Bolivia, El Salador......where the population is majority black or hispanic.Blame it on poverty if you want, but there is a LOT more crime going on in non-white, non-oriental nations
        Also, look within other borders , say Germany, The U.K., Canada, and see what groups within these borders are committing way more crimes than other groups. Blacks worldwide,,,, yes, worldwide commit the most crimes.
        These facts are not well known because most people don't want to discuss it. They don't want to come to a conclusion that there is something terribly wrong with this group, or that one race or ethnic group can vary SO much from others Yet, we should never ignore or discount something of such significance anf importance. How can we solve problems if we avoid inconvenient truths?

        January 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        You call him bitter and ignorant and then make a statement like "poverty creates crime"? I am not defending the other guy, but you need to do better than that. Criminal thinking is what creates crime. Putting your needs over someone else's creates crime, but the lack of money doesn't.

        January 16, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
    • GreySpy

      Did you include the dictators of North Korea in your assessment? Seems like racism is alive and well with you!

      January 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayB12

      Who's yo daddy?

      January 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        ....Aint you?

        January 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Terry Brookman

    Blacks don't want to get over it, how else do they survive in this country. They play the race card every chance they get and white people fall for it. As long as everything is free for them they will stay where they are and that is where they belong. They take out billions of dollars and put nothing in, they will not even clean up their own neighborhoods. Their children run the streets playing thug and the parents turn a blind eye. White flight to the suburbs did not happen just because white people did not like blacks, it started with the crime, rape, robbery and murder. Who wants to live with that?

    January 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      i live in louisiana, a lady lost to change her race on her birth cert, because she was 1/8 black.
      i am 1/2 french 1/4 german. 3/4 irish ,,,,, lets change race laws

      January 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Chris K

        I am a person of multi ethnic background, including that "drop of black". I have been and always will be against that concept-if you have a drop of black you are black! Old Jim Crow laws and the persistent hypocritical biased policies that asks us to ignore all that we are in favor of one portion of our background need to disappear . Should I ignore my English, German, Irish and Native American blood? NO. When asked the "what are you?" question, I roll my eyes and respond, human and American, nothing else really matters to me and mine. Time to get past this people, who we are is based on the content of our character!

        January 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Ed

        That's some fuzzy math, Mike.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dave

        Mike........That makes you 1 & 1/2 people. A typo or are you that dumb?

        January 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Henry

      What a pathetic bunch of ... you know the word! Black Shmack! We are all humans, and should drop the nonsense!

      January 15, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      Under cover Klan here. You guys have been spreading this garbage for centuries. Look at whites under the same conditions. This midget mind is probably p.o.ed that his son is a backwards hat wearin', baggy pants MnM wanna be and he has the hots for his black or hispanic GF. You sound like exactly what you are. So recognizable I don't need to call it.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      Sounds like you have never actually met a black person.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • gail

      You are a fool. You and the rest of these racists need to stop saying that all blacks want something for free. Alot of whites moved to the burbs years ago, and yes some of them moved to get away from the blacks. But guess what ,they started moving back into the cities, because they could not afford to stay in the burbs. And as far as crimes, I think you better think again. Blacks donot commit the most crimes as you say.

      January 15, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Showdown

    There needs to be a story on why nobody wants black women.I'm being serious.I'm latino so I'm not being racist.Black men don't like them, latino men really don't even think about them, and white men run from them.That's gotta be hard.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dav-it

      Thank for an HONEST generalization that people really need to discuss.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        You are the LEAST able to comment on what needs to be discussed, hence your misuse of generalization. Please keep posting you and Ed are consistanly proving my point.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • the law

      you got to be messed up in the head. man.. Most Black woman I know, are appsolutely gorgeous beautiful and magnificent.... man you are nuts.....

      January 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lun Peterson

      Black Women are Beautiful! They come in hues from milk white to coal black and can't be control by her man or spouse and is independent and will not take BS from anyone."They don't get mad; they get even!

      January 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      Take a trip out of the Barrio. Most white guys would give a left knutt for just a conversation with Halle Barry or Beyonce and you know the Jaylo story. How can you be that ignorant? My Mom was Black like all the women in my family and my Dad not only wanted her but put a ring on it. You have Two parents (I hope). Blanket description and opinions are what lead to these ignorance diguised as fact postings,. As a person of hispanic heritage you should be ashamed of yourself.
      PS /..and what esteem issues have got you thinking like this anyway. Is this what you tell your sons? ..again Jeez!

      January 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peggy

      Showdown,

      My friends are Latino. They do not speak like you. They are educated.

      January 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      This is a prime example of the pot calling the kettle black. LOL LOL. I am not going to repeat many of the comments I hear regularly about hispanic men. However, I have men of all races asking me out.

      What I have experience while dating some white guys is they were fed stereo types about black people.

      Remember, what you think and say about others others likely think the same of you.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JBH

    Here is the last word on the "one-drop" rule, courtesy of Cecil Adams's "The Straight Dope":

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2598/was-ludwig-van-beethoven-of-african-ancestry

    Everyone has a little bit of Africa in them. Get over it.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Henry

      I am proud of my tiny unidentified bit of African genes!

      January 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dav-it

      There is no prove or anything in this article to substantiate your crazy claim that we are all black. Thought so. You are really living in a ' deny the differences' dream!!

      January 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        cut yourself! are you bleeding red? Welcome to the human RACE, just don't stay too long. Bye.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      It takes 6 or 7 generations and you're clean of past mixes. Queen Elizabeth is the first Royal in centuries to have no French blood in her. It is that way for everyone. I don't even like fried chicken.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. james

    Ive seen some damn goodlooking mixed people. The combo can make for a nice swirl.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wrighteous

    I've never understood why it is said, "Blacks need to get over slavery," but the Jews never have to get over the Holocaust. Thje Jews can claim million of dollars are owed to them from Swiss banks, that Liz Taylor had a painting that belonged to a Jew, that America and others owe something to the Jews for surviving the Holocaust and what was done to them by Hitler.

    Everyone seems to think Black people have contributed nothing to society and therefore deserve nothing. When that Jewish freak molested and killed a child in New York, no one condemned the entire Jewish culture. Yet, the entire Black race is quickly defined and condemned by the misdeeds of those Blacks who commit crimes and are truly a disgrace to their culture.

    Don Lemon's point is, if you are fair skinned, then sometimes you are given a fair chance. It's his fact of life that he is sharing. He speaks about that which he knows and has experienced.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vince

      That is the way it is in many cultures...the darker the skin the lower you are in society., Dont blame white people for that. Look at India.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • bambianne

        Yeah; look at India and their obsession with color. And if you think the British colonizing them didn't have anything to do with their state of affairs concerning color, then you don't know much about history.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • SeeTruth

        Thank you for this story. It needs to be told. I am sorry for the heartless responses, yet they reveal the depth of the problem. Why respond to this article at all? For those who have spouted hatred, what is the point?
        The people whom this article refers to have suffered. Sadly, they continue to suffer because of people like the haters who have responded to this article. In truth, we suffer because of this foolishness. The ignorance, the injustice, and the lack of humanity is appalling!! But God is watching. He does care. Here's to those who are stumbling in the darkness, may the LOVE of GOD help you come to the Light.
        PEACE~

        "Hatred paralyzes life;
        Love releases it.
        Hatred confuses life;
        Love harmonizes it.
        Hatred darkens life;
        Love illuminates it."

        Dr. Martin Luther King

        “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together, and without forgiveness, there's no future.” Desmond Tutu

        January 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        You sir are a dolt who clearly does not understand the caste system has NOTHING to do with race. A possible cure is a conversation with someone living under that system. This is why you guys get it wrong in other racial areas as you confuse culture with genetics.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • willowwand66

      Writeous – Jews are not expected to "get over" the Holocaust because there are still people alive who were imprisoned in the concentration camps and still bear the number etched into their arms to identify them. Are there any who survived slavery from the 1700s and 1800s still alive today? We should not forget salvery or the Holocaust but do not begrudge those who are still alive the pain they suffered to survive it.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • E

        There are plenty of people alive who had brothers, cousins or parents who were beaten nearly to death, hung from trees, shot, saw burning crosses on their lawns, were denied jobs and loans based solely on their skin color. An plenty who remember living in fear and eating at separate restaurants or at the back of the bus. And these people also saw the white men who caused the deaths and torture of their loved ones walking free, living long happy lives after destroying those of others without any need for secrecy because the police were right there helping them commit the crime.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jon

    Ever notice that black authors and journalists almost always write about race and color?...they seem to have no other interests in life. Maybe that's why so many blacks have never left the 60's

    January 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vince

      True. An example would be Soledad O'brien who is CNN's special race corsepondant. She deals in most issues of race.. I think she is working on "Black In America pt. 122" the quest for peace.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      Ever notice how insanity has run amok among caucasians?

      January 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dick Henry

        Only some of us, but you are so right! It is nuts!

        January 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      Damn!!!!!!!!! and you have read all black authors from all countries and time periods (Try Alexander Dumas). You lack of education is showing.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Vince

    I don't envy these peope who are consumed by race...they come at it in s many anges on CNN.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      If you look at some of the comments to this article you might see why CNN is doing it.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      If you Dav-it and Ed can get two more pea brains on board you can start a Klavern.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dav-it

        The more you comment, the more apparent the gaping hole in your intelect. Quit already with your very closed mind, jeez!

        January 16, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DENISE

    This article was very interesting and informative. I appreciate that Don Lemon put his personal life to the forefront and his grandmotther was very pretty. I've always been fascinated with what black people had to do to survive back them. Some got criticized for passing as white, but if that's the only way out of a hard, miserable life, so be it. If I lived back then and could pass for white, I'd probably do it too. Some slaves were raped by their masters, but others willingly had affairs with them to get more preferential treatment. I try not to look back on those times and get angry, but we do need to learn about it to keep from making the same mistakes.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Rich

    I very much remember the one drop theory being used often as a child in the south. One that I experenced was from a young lady I worked with in the delta of Mississippi; "Boy there was some switchen in yo mama's kitchen". Don thanks for this article as it relates so much to the equality movement of today. I love your work, keep it up. What you do is so very important.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. boogie woogie boy

    Um, I was formed by my father who sits on high

    January 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  16. gorgonizer

    social rank linked to skin color is a phenomon found around the world. what is of interest is that for some reason it is usually that the darker the skin the lower the rank. (i think it may have to do with higher rank being manifested by the ability to avoid exposure to the sun) this can be seen even in populations made up all of the same racial ancestry. so being onself "of color" doesn't necessarly make one immune to this sort of discriminatory thinking. I wonder if any readers know of societies (other than the tanning booth subculture) where the opposite is the case.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  17. OneDayIWillShowYou

    In all seriousness, I have no problem with black people.At the end of the day I imagine you aim for the same things I do.My issue is how it's now really acceptable to say derogatory things about white people and everyone's supposed to be great with it.Sure, it's awesome to hear black people make fun of whites who live in trailers, or how backward a guy from rural Georgia is.But it's a sin if I point out how some city is going downhill because of urban gang members.My point is that this process needs to be a two way street.You can't expect respect if you're not giving any.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susie

      Urban gang members come in Black, White, Latino, Asian and any other race you can name, so which ones are you talking about?

      January 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marci

      What does this have to do with this article?

      January 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      I totally understand your point, but I think you do not realize how many years of disrespect and discrimination that all minority races have experienced at the hands of Europeans. I think people do it because they simply can. Years ago if any other person in the country spoke out about a white person then it was a crime that would result in their death more than likely. I think it may be liberating to some people. I am definitely NOT SAYING IT'S OK, just to maybe look at it from another point of view. I do agree though that if a white comedian goes overboard, as Kramer did years ago, black America didn't find that funny at all, so it is a double standard that's not ok. I think we should all just stop the racial, or ethnic jokes because they are disrespectful.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      It is not ok for anyone to trash another race. Sadly, to be honest with you, from where I've been sitting everyone points the finger at each other. If there are a group of non-whites, they will trash white people. It is everybody.

      For the record, I'm embarassed by the comments some are making on this board about white people. It is not ok.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Ben James

    Everyone on this board today and every person on the the planet traces their DNA back to 18,000 folks in Africa at the dawn of human kind... We are also part Neanderthal. To disavow our common heritage is just plain stupid. One planet, one people.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      I'm at least 3/4 Martian.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
      • bob

        mudblood.

        I am pure 100% martian. Not a drop of human, thank God. You people only see color. I see a bunch of animals, each with only one reproductive organ.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • JulieMS

      We did not start in Africa it was near Tigris/Euphrates Rivers located in the current Mesopotamian region of Iraq.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • kmcg

        That's where CIVILIZATION as we define it began... and AFTER we moved there from Africa.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        This is getting tiresom. Where do you think they came from? (see common Mother) it is almost criminal to be that woefully ignorant (means lacking knowledge, not stupid which is the inability to LEARN) in the 21st century. Please Ms. ...EDUCATE YOURSELF!

        January 15, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rhonda

      Actually, the Neanderthals mixed with humans after they migrated out of Africa. All modern ethnic groups, other than Africans, carry traces of Neanderthal DNA in their genomes.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • skpfrmdc

        That is correct only for Northern Europeans. If you're going to state a fact stae the COMPLETE fact.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rhonda

        I got my information from a National Geographic articl online:
        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/05/100506-science-neanderthals-humans-mated-interbred-dna-gene/

        January 15, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  19. My vent

    The hatred displayed on this board is truly disgraceful. I'm sure most of you spewing hateful comments are doing so because you feel safe doing this under the guise of a user name, with no way for others to truly hold you accountable for your disgraceful and crude thoughts and opinions. I feel no need to defend myself as black person, I know who I am, and who my people are. In all truth, black people should absolutely hate and despise white people, it is honestly a effort for me as I grow older to not hate whites, to not feel disgusted by their ignorance, their internalized prejudice, and their overall arrogance. When my people were beaten, raped, and given no opportunity to succeed, when we're turned away from jobs that we are qualified for because of how we look, when we are treated as second class citizens, when teachers assume our ignorance. I was raised in an upper middle class family in the affluent suburbs of Massachusetts. Both of my parents have Doctorates, I graduated from college at 19, I work at a fortune 500 company. But too many whites, feel the accomplishments of myself and my parents are in spite of being black, I think it's because of it. I think the fact that my mother was not allowed to be valedictorian because she was black made her work that much harder. I have many white friends, more than black, who I love and cherish, but living in Boston, one of the most hateful, racist area's in the country (it's true, go to South Boston) I know that white people will never understand what we go through. But I will never, ever use racism as an excuse to not succeed, to not do my best, to be everything I should be. You white folks spew your hate, tell us we're worthless, tell us we're nothing, tell us we are everything you think we are and we will rise. I will rise. You're pathetic and I hope no one ever judges you as harshly as my people have been. I hope you never feel that pain. Because you may not be that strong. It might destroy you. We can take it. It's in our blood, it's in our souls, we know how to overcome. I am proud of who I am, who we are and I will not let you define me.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • OneDayIWillShowYou

      Dude, nobody is going to read all that.You basically just wasted 5 minutes of your life.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • My vent

        Not really, it's a vent, I was truly disgusted. Better to let it out than let me go on with my day feeling hatred, wasn't for anyone else, it was for me - now this...this might be a waste of my time. Happy Sunday to you.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tessa2U

        I did.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
      • conventgirl

        Just because you have a literary deficency, doesn't mean we all do. You need to read it, you might learn something!

        January 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • bambianne

        Seems like you just read it and how is someone expressing how they feel wasting any time of their life? Just because you don't care because you don't relate to it doesn't mean others can't and don't.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben James

      The Faux News Nazis are always around.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben James

      OneDayIWillShowYou: dude, if that is true what's that say about U.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      "I will rise. You're pathetic and I hope no one ever judges you as harshly as my people have been"

      You're accusing white people of being racists? DUH?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • My vent

        You're right – I should qualify that I don't feel all white people are racist, I made a generalization in my comments and that was wrong, so I amend that piece of my statement. As I said, I have white friends, and my lover is white.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Larry

        The truth can be bitter init?

        January 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackie

      Thank you.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • conventgirl

      Bravo, well said and well written.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • the law

      "living in Boston, one of the most hateful, racist area's in the country",,, give me a break, it must be you, by reading your comment you still have many issues to work out... you are so 80's

      January 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • My vent

        You're right, I was born in the late 80's so yep I am. Now if you're talking Cambridge, Brookline, South end, Arlington...etc of course not.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susie

      I read every word and agreed with them. Good going.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • GreySpy

      My vent, you need to resolve your sadness. There are bigoted people in the world, but not everyone is. Perhaps you need to move out of Boston.... there are so many other places in this world with different communities. Unfortunately, some people learn to hate. I don't think there is anything one person can do about it – I know from my experiences with hateful people. Focus on your life and bring into your life the people who will listen.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  20. OneDayIWillShowYou

    There are many atrocities in life.Freddy Kruegar's mother was raped by 1,000 maniacs.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      Sorry about your Brother.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  21. enemy of ignorance

    This country's history of racism will always be relevant

    "until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permenantly discredited and abandoned." Haile Selassie 1968

    January 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  22. mike

    The sad part in all of this is that ever since Obama became president, whites are showing their true colors now as being a bunch of racists. It has gotten alot worse now for minorities and America looks like it is going backwards while the whole world goes forward and laughs at us.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • OneDayIWillShowYou

      I know.Because it's only white people.Blacks are just perfect in every way.Try taking your limited brain out of your a s s hole for a minute.I absolutely can't stand people like you.You should be required to wear a helmet.At all times!!!

      January 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • Polymath

        Here we have another redneck with no idea of the difference between a sentence and a fragment, nor that spaces are placed between sentences. I am white, was born in the south, and have been a teacher for over 35 years. I have taught in the south and the west, in impoverished and affluent schools, with students from at least 60 nations. In regards to race, the most significant observations I have are these. The most high achieving and hard working students I have had were Asian, particularly Vietnamese. The most respectful, in general, were Hispanic. Of the dozen or so most offensive, rude, vile, disobedient, and psychotic, all were white.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet

      "The sad part in all of this is that ever since Obama became president, whites are showing their true colors now as being a bunch of racists."

      Let me get this straight. The majority of Americans voted to make Obama president of the United States .... and that makes us racial? Well now his poll numbers are much lower and he will have a tough time getting re-elected ... does that mean we weren't racial when we elected him but became that way afterward?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • gail

        I don't think that you were born stupid. You must have learned how to be stupid. It's not about the white people that voted for the President. Its about the ones that didn't. And the most of them are stupid and or racist.

        January 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raksha

      Blacks can be just as racist as whites and for either group racism can be an excuse for certain behavior. I'll tell you a funny story. When I was about 18 years old a friend took me to a friend of his place, the friend happened to be a Black man. It was a beautiful new place with a glass wall overlooking a beautiful garden. My friend was off talking to someone else and I was talking to the guy who lived there. He went on and on about how rough he had it as a Black man. I couldn't believe it !! he didn't get any sympathy from me. II finally invited him to visit me at my apartment. I lived in a 60 year old building with a bathroom, a kitchen and a Murphy bed in the living/bed room. I felt that he was just so used to giving people that routine, that he never stopped to think how stupid he sounded.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • white

      For the same reasons people of African heritage in America do not want to be stereotyped, or lumped into groups that describe all people of color do this or that, I do not want to be as well. I am caucasion of eastern european heritage. I am not a racist and I take offense to being lumped in a group under the assumption you make that all white people are racist. I'm sorry if your experiences have led you to believe that all "white" people are racist, the only way i can remedy that is to respond to your comment and let you know, that this caucasion is not a racist and does not place any value whatsoever into a persons worth based on the color of their skin. In matters of race, i am truly color blind. Best wishes to you in your journey on this planet. Good luck!

      January 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • multi-racial rainbow

        Thanks for speaking p. I hope some of the people on this board will get a clue and stop villanizing the white race for individual or small group actions.

        January 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Cookie

    I DARE ANY OF THE NAYSAYERS OUT THERE TO TAKE A DNA TEST!!!!!!!! SOME OF YOU WOULD DEFINITELY BE SUPRISED OR SHOULD I SAY, SHOCKED BY YOUR TRUTH!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Personally

      Actually the family tree or DNA trace can be seen on any of the mugshot websites. Simply type a last name only in the search box and there you have it! Try Jones, Johnson, Williams, Smith.......and on and on. They can have a family reunion right in prison.....hmmmmmm...not a bad idea while they are in there anyway.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cookie

        AGAIN, I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE A DNA TEST

        January 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dakota2000

      Well, a large number of "whites" in this country have black blood. Same is even true of pure "englishmen."
      It is not that uncommon. In a couple of generations, everyone in the country will have a black ancestors.

      At that point we should roll back to the "one drop" rule and there will be no more whites, only people of color.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Cookie

        A friend of mine is white. His grandmother, a black woman.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Timothy

    For all of you that are to intellectually challenged to understand what Mr. Lemon is writing about, rent the movie "SKIN" released in 2008. It is based on real events about a white south african couple who have a biological black child, the the struggles, and upheavals that follow them all of their lives. Then maybe some of you racist rednecks will understand.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      Wow. Those of you who are TOO intellectually challenged to use proper grammar shouldn't be lecturing the rest of us.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • E

      It is an amazing movie and an amazing story. And for those who think this is the distant past, she is still alive and still not reconciled with her brothers from everything that happened.

      January 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  25. 99.9Percenter

    Never quite understood that "one drop" rule? I broke the mold in my white family and my kids are 1/4 Asian., Neither looks Asian by way of features but do identify as they got older with that culture rather than the "white' side.

    It is a mulatto or hapa world anyway, get over it

    January 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Personally

      If the world is mulatto or hapa as you put it and folks should get over it, then why is it that your kids are not identifying themselves as "mulatto". Instead you yourself suggested that they prefer the Asian side of their family than white, which should be an insult to you. There is nothing wrong with a world of black and whites until someone like you comes along and think that there is something wrong with a color or race and in your arrogance think that by YOU mixing your blood into another, that it will somehow change the world or create a whole new better race of people?!?!?!? It only creates a whole new race of "problematic" people ONLY – so you get over it. I find it disturbing that people feel that they can love another race by leaving their own and choosing not to continue their own race. It is impossible to love yourself and yet not want to re-create yourself except through another's race of people. You are made better by character, not color.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Veezy

    It only takes one drop... unless you run for president. Then everybody gets mad when your don't announce every drop

    January 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Strange1

      Except with Harding who went to extremes to conceal that "drop" in his family – and his heirs also have sought to obfuscate.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • gretchen

      Actually, I am sick of the "drop" announcements- BO's "white" mother was a disgrace to this nation if the views she held were any indication. From what I have been able to find out about her, I could hardly have disagreed with her more about most things in life. As far as I am concerned both of his parents were intelligent but spiritually and morally messed up people for much of their lives, if not all. There are many Americans who don't have "one drop" who can't stand BO because of his arrogance and views, not because he has some "drops." I am one of those people- I have voted for "minority" candidates long before BO came on the scene, and I would have liked to vote for more than I have so far. I wanted Condi Rice very much as president. I feel bad about what happened with Herman Cain, as I liked him, and I very much like Allen West and Alan Keyes. I actually believe people should have whatever views they wish, regardless of whether they have "drops" or not! Now, isn't that just amazing?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tessa2U

        @gretchen....what part of her life disgusts you? That she dedicated years of her life to help poor people in Indonesia learn how to get clean water, take care of their environment, and build a better world? Or was it that she appreciated and embraced diversity and culture of the arts in textiles, music, dance, and art? Or was it because she put herself through many years of higher education and put that education to work for those less privileged than her? Could it be that she did all of this while educating a son that became President of the United States...an individual that is obviously very intelligent. OR could it be that she just didn't "think like you" and therefore, you cannot possibly accept her?

        January 15, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Veezy

        I'm open to understanding that all people don't have the same views -I just had a really heated argument over Kanye West of all people with my Aunt.
        I can understand how you may perceive Obama as elitist I suppose. If you aren't a black Kenyan, I can definitely understand how you would disagree with Barack Obama, Sr. and the maumau revolution.

        I can't by any account see anything agreeable about Herman Cain though. Seriously? Herman Cain? The only thing I thought as interesting about Herman Cain was his provocative call to change the way American's are taxed. That man is clearly not fit to represent the nation. He publicly and jovially admitted to ignorance with regard to world politics while applying to be one of our key diplomats -FAIL. The United States is not a business. That said, I've NEVER heard of Godfather Pizza.

        January 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Gerardo

    I hope their not using our tax money on this, its completely piontless

    January 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • pam

      then don't bother reading it, just because you don't have an interest doesn't mean others don't.....get lost

      January 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  28. imissthesun

    I always enjoy the musical chair game of home buying. The suburbs are majority white.The obvious reason so many white people moved way out in the middle of nowhere is because they wanted to get away from blacks.Every so often a black family tries to move into one of these neighborhoods.When this happens, the for sale signs immediately go up and white people look for another place to live with no blacks in it.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Personally

      Unfortunately the whites that moved THOUGHT that it was because blacks wanted to be around whites, when it was not that at all. Most black people PREFER to live around their own people by preference, not prejudice. Black moved to be in "better" (for lack of a better word) neighborhood. Better in meaning that the neighborhoods seemed safer, patrolled more often and maintained. Whites were able to buy flowers for their gardens, while blacks scraped to keep food on the table and kept a garden just to eat. So the migration of blacks into white neighborhoods was for "convenience" purposes simply because they could finally afford it. Nowadays, the tide has seemed to turn. More whites are moving "into" black neighborhoods – and again- for convenience because they cant afford to live in the more "white" ones. When it all comes down to it....the running will have to stop and everyone will have to turn and face each other and hopefully it will be with a "flower" from a garden from the white neighbor's flower garden and one from the black one. God bless.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  29. r

    Imagine having that "one drop" that's talked about in the this article yet refusing to acknowledge you are of more than one race.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Jeff

    Blacks will never get over slavery.

    January 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • yougotalltheanswersinyourbible

      Nope. Not as long as a**wipes like you think it is something that should be forgotten and never happened and continue to persist in your quiet bigotry. I know it is hard for you to see in yourself, but just because you don't round up mobs and hang them doesn't mean you are egalitarian. You reveal your latent racism by your comment.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • pam

        perfect....love it !

        January 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • SIdarifoil

        I;m not sure he's saying that. In any case, it is true that blacks need to get past the past. Not ignore it, not forget it, not drop their guard to continuing racism...just get PAST it and look to the future. Clearly the socioeconomic problems of blacks in this country tract their origin to racism and slavery. But just as clearly racism can be and is being successfully fought. Blacks and sympathetic whites (and other races) should continue this fight. It will take many more generations, and that's why focussing on SOLUTIONS for the future will be more productive than focussing on placing BLAME for the past.

        Sid

        January 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • gretchen

        Of course, anyone that points out the following could well be flayed and cast into the bottomless pit, since it may sound very politically unapproved for the many who seem unaware of these things– but there is black-on-black violence and slavery in the world as we speak, and there was white-on-white slavery, such as indentured servants, the millions of Russian serfs, and various warring people groups over the centuries. Human trafficking today includes all skin tones, both as "masters" and victims. Whenever I read about the slavery history of the US and the ongoing problems still asscoiated with it here, I wonder if anyone out there even knows that it was far from being the only slavery problem in the history of the wolrd. Problems in Africa to this very minute still include the slaughter and enslavement of blacks by blacks. How anyone can possibly credit any whites anywhere with this centures-old problem would be a very interesting little study! It has been going on for centuries before Europeans ever did one thing with slaver ships and Africa. And as far as I can see, there is no end in sight to the horrific things which happen basically any given year in Afrcia between blacks and other blacks. So, would someone like to please tell me again that "whites" are th only imperfect people in the world? The only ones who have ever been cruel, or done bad things to their fellow man? Sorry, that is one great big lie, if you still believe that. You can call me whatever you wish- I am correct. Go get some history books which tell the facts all the way back to the beginning of recorded history. Slavery in all its forms and between all skin tones has existed for a very long time.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • darese

      Well it is similar to how Jews will never get over the Holocaust

      January 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • sidairfoil

        Nor should they. But look how well Jews have done SINCE the Holocaust. And that's because they looked to the FUTURE and focussed on improving their situations. You don't here many Jews railing against Germans anymore. And why should they? What good would it do? Those responsible for the Holocaust are dead, and it's better for Jews to, for example, maintain friendly relations with Germany rather than, for example, looking for reparations. Don't FORGET the past, just GET PAST the past.

        Sid

        January 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Plug1

      And we don't suppose to....We will always REMEMBER !!!!!!!!

      January 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • skpfrmdc

      Dam Right! Watch your back.

      January 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  31. electroguy

    30,000 black children die from malnutrition at the hands of their parents in the U.S. each year. Oh yeah. Why didnt the author bring that up?

    January 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • vintage274

      Any child dying from malnutrition in this country (and I sincerely object to your so-called factual numbers) does not do so at the hands of their parents, but at the hands of a society that just doesn't give a damn about children not having enough to eat.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • bannister

        Vintage274 – I question those numbers too. But you are wrong in saying that "society" is responsible for starving children. It is the responsibility of PARENTS to make sure their children eat. The widespread of EBT cards proves that society DOES give a damn about children having enough to eat.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • JayB12

        Why should it fall upon us to feed your children? GET A JOB as I had to to feed my family. It's time for people like you to stop blaming society for your problems but I guess that would be too hard for you to do cuss that would take some work.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer

      Living proof that 72.47 % of all statistics are JUST MADE UP. Total ignorant nonsense.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • pooh2

      Why should the author bring it up? The article has nothing to do with nutrition.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • VELMA

        THANKS FOR CLEARING THAT UP POOH2. THEY MISSED THE POINT. I AM SO HAPPY THE REPORTER SHARED THIS WITH US.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImpishLisa

      Easier to keep animosity fires burning between races.
      If they want to stop racism, why the HECK do they keep saying this stuff over and over to stir it up?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • harrisjb

        Yes, better to ignore it and pretend it never happened.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  32. GonzoG

    Hopefully, Mr. Lemon, we are evolving beyond this now.

    We're not 100% there yet, but with perseverance, it will not be much longer

    January 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • FACTS

      Why dey git off the back o da bus?????

      January 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Butt Buddy

        I wants my Obama money.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  33. m

    They looked white because some former slaveholder fathered mixed race children. No surprise here. Light skinned Africans have always been held in higher regard and thought to be superior to dark skinned Africans. Do you think that perception is correct?

    January 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • IM SO OVER THIS RACE TOPIC

      True, there is, within the afro-american community with the light skinned against dark skinned. If your dark skinned don't expect to go far and if your light skinned your future is bright. It's stupid and needs to stop because as you can see here Mr, Lemon has pointed it out that it just takes a drop. if the unted states consiution states the 3/4 rule then its true. if your black your black no matter what color black you are. However as a people we all need to stop this race madness. Its old and getting lame. Come on now, the president is white and african so whats the problem. Next well have a asian, mexican, italian, jewish, whatever president. People move with the times, soon there won't be a pure race anymore. So get use to it!

      January 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeswecan

      Just because the slaveholder may have had mulatto children by his female slave does not mean he held you to any higher standard. As a matter of fact, mullattos were treated like step-children and the full blooded blacks knew that the mixed mullatto could not be trusted.

      The slave master would NEVER acknowledge his child by a slave and the mixed kid could NOT eat at the same table as his/her white brothers and sisters. With that said, do you think that mullattos are stilll special? They are neither here or there...they really don't have a place.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • GG

      Just because the slaveholder may have had mulatto children by his female slave does not mean he held you to any higher standard. As a matter of fact, mullattos were treated like step-children and the full blooded blacks knew that the mixed mullatto could not be trusted.

      The slave master would NEVER acknowledge his child by a slave and the mixed kid could NOT eat at the same table as his/her white brothers and sisters. With that said, do you think that mullattos are stilll special? They are neither here or there...they really don't have a place.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  34. MandoZink

    One only needs to look at the reactions to this story to see that the problem of racism is still deeply imbedded in many segments of our society. It is a cultural inheritance, learned before you are aware of it. For some, it bolsters their own problems with insecurity, for others it's a convenient outlet when life gets frustrating. What a particularly unconstructive waste of your time on this earth this psychological impairment is for you.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • FACTS

      Fact is blacks IQ's are way lower then every other race. That is why they are not allowed to intermarry.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • vintage274

        You have no facts. There is no difference in IQ among the races of human kind as color and racial differences are a very small factor in human DNA and have NOTHING to do with intelligence. Anyone with a basic understanding of genetics knows that. Your intelligence and schooling, however, is questionable as your grammar is atrocious. Verbs must match subjects in the English language. A plural subject requires a matching verb.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • MandoZink

        Correlations factors with IQ are health, literacy, prosperity and level of democratization. Quality of life is the key, not race. As your comment demonstrates, IQ will vary within any population.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Greg Moore

        Race has nothing to do with it. Socioeconomic status has more to do with the outcomes of IQ testing than all else. Yes IQ is genetically predetermined but race has nothing to do with it. It's the education level that one has access to that significantly impacts the results.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dakota2000

        And by analogy, it is a fact that Southern states have lower average IQs than Northern states. So, I would agree with your conclusion if you agree with me that Southerners like yourself should not be allowed to intermarry with intelligent people.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • bannister

        Vintage – you are wrong on this. Blacks do indeed have lower IQ scores than whites and Asians, regardless of income level, national origin, etc.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • MandoZink

        To be clear, I was not referring to black's IQs in my response. I meant the apparent IQ level behind your comment.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nissan

        LOL! I'm black and a member of Mensa! For those who are unaware, that means I scored in the top 2% on IQ exams. So explain how blacks have lower IQs, and explain how I got into Mensa. Oh wait...let me guess....Mensa probably had an affirmative action quota and lowered the scores for black applicants, right? LOL!

        January 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • Plug1

        Black created mathematic,and so on whites created RACISM.....FACTS!!!

        January 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • MandoZink

        To NISSAN. The most intellectual, sophisticated, eloquent teacher I had in high school was a black man who's classes were outstanding! We were all white boys. I learned a lot from him. He never delved into any stories that even remotely touched on race. His excellence was the best example of an education in diversity. By the way, I too, was asked to be tested by MENSA. I just wasn't interested, but I appreciated the invitation as the compliment it was.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
      • pooh2

        Apparently, there was a reputed study. If I remember well, according to the study 25% of blacks have higher IQ than average whites. I think, this is a good start for blacks, especially since the whole IQ game was developed by whites. The type of IQ that relates to music, sports and many other activities, in which blacks are outstanding, is not measured by usual IQ tests. The issue is rather sensitive, since any such finding can be exploited by racists.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polymath

      You are so right MandoZink. It is shocking. CNN is based in the south and I would venture that many of these racist comments are composed by southerners. How ironic that so many claiming to be rightous Christians behave in a manner so opposite of Jesus. I am white and originally from the south. There is no way I could ever again live in that cespool of bigotry and hatred.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • IM SO OVER THIS RACE TOPIC

        I agree,. when will this conversation about race stop? Were all the same on the inside just a different color on the outside. When judgement day comes god will not be looking at the color of your skin, but the content of your character. Please people race should be a non-factor these days I mean come on already.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • holly

        I agree- I hate the south. From Cape Cod originally. I'm afraid my kids will grow up with the latent racism all around us and I can't wait to get out of here!

        January 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  35. bendelep

    Slavery was (and IS) terrible, across the board, and racism isn't right. I think racism is mostly harmful to those good individuals who are moral and ethical, and who are still being judged and held back by ignorant people.

    But, before we start judging the "white" man of 100 years ago, everyone (including African Americans) needs to recognize that the Africans were enslaving their fellow Africans for hundreds, if not thousands of years, before selling off these people to MANY foreign lands, not just north America, for a nice profit. Wikipedia: "African Slave Trade", AND GET EDUCATED.

    Second, slavery and indentured servitude still continues today....

    Third, African Americans and Latinos label themselves as more or less desirable and worthy based on how light their skin, how straight their hair, and how caucasian their features, so the prejudice, colorist, rascism.... whatever you want to call it, is also coming from within themselves, and that needs to change, first. Why would you believe in someone who doesn't believe in themselves?

    Fourth, whether, white, black, hispanic, or other, YOU are responsible for your own actions, so stop blaming the opposite race, or your parents, or the government for your misfortunes! No one owes you anything! Get out and work harder, and stop your whining!

    January 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kevin H

      I remember as a kid we had one black family in my neighborhood – this was in the early 1970's. The husband was a minister, the wife worked and was a housewife – they had several children. I knew the children well. We didn't play together. In fact I think the immediate neighbors played with the children but that was it – and once the kids got a certain age that stopped too. I can remember people talking about how areas "went black". If an area "went black" even in the 1970's and clear into the '80's up North where I came from this was very bad. I didn't know why – but it was bad. In the 1990's I moved to a suburb of Dallas. I saw a portion of the bylaws that dealt with "restrictive covenants". Even though federal law prohibited it – and still to this day – there is informal honoring of restrictive covenants. Blacks and whites know where the lines are drawn. By and large black people do not move into "white" areas and whites do not move into black areas. The differences are most pronounced among the "best educated" and "wealthiest", less so among the blue collar workers who, ironically, often "live and let live". In East Texas there are still many restaurants where blacks many not enter. Officially they can walk in – but all eyes train upon them – and some brazen people will still say, "you're not welcome here." Everyone knows what is meant. Racism folks is alive and well in America.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • HurtfulTruth

        THANK YOU for your HONESTY!!

        January 15, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImpishLisa

      Amen

      January 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayB12

      And I'd add that where would the blacks be if they weren't here. They'd be in Africa and hungry as hell or dead. Be grateful that you live here and quit blaming this country. The opportunity is here.

      January 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Vicky

      Couldn't have said it better!!!! and just so everyone knows I work in the Bronx, NY with mostly Blacks and Hispanics, and I get along with everyone for the most part..But I am still treated as an "outsider' for being white..so racism can come in all forms..slavery was a terrible atrocity but you cant use it as an excuse in 2012 to not move forward...every neighborhood in NYC that used to be "a nice neighborhood" as soon as blacks took over, it became the highest crime ridden neighborhood..why is that? why does every teenage girl in the Bronx have a baby? It is time to stop blaming others and look at yourselves..we all have the same opportunities in life to get an education, and a good job and build a good solid family...Follow good role models like Bill Cosby and Oprah who made something out of their lives...it's time to stop the whining..

      January 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
  36. TomZibo

    Every race has had to overcome adversity at some point in history.My question is, why does it take black people so long to catch up ? Asians,latinos,italians,the irish,arabs,etc. have all overcome their past and lead productive lives.I'm not saying all black people are unproductive, but they just always seem to be the weakest link.Like in a family where ther's 7 siblings and there's that 1 child who the mom refers to as " a little different."

    January 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nissan

      So long to catch-up? I'm black. I'm a former Naval Aviator with a master's degree in computer science and a member of Mensa. My father practiced surgery for 52 years...his brother has been practicing over 40 years. My grandfather graduated from medical school in 1917. So long to catch-up? Catch-up to whom?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dakota2000

        Thank you!

        January 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tired of Whining

        Tired of the Poor Me syndrome that SOME blacks display! Notice I did not say ALL blacks! Yes, we had slavery and it was a terrible thing. Nobody is going to forget it. And isn't time for us to move on?? There are more important things to discuss, like how so many children and women have been going missing and later found dead! Why can't CNN discuss such problems as mentioned, instead of constantly pouring over the past of slavery? That was then and this is NOW! Lets work on todays problems that have run rampant in the U.S.
        And before anyone says what's stated in this article IS a problem, maybe so, however I feel that Childrens best interests are far more important.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • bendelep

        Well, you obviously have it figured out, but why do you think so many other blacks in America don't??

        January 16, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
  37. shan

    My grandmother was very fair with straight hair. She was told to "pass" but declined. Sometimes I think she should have. Her life would have been so much easier. I miss that lady. The best of the best!

    January 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • THEBEAUTIFULONE

      WE HAVE SO MUCH IN COMMON. MY GRANDMOTHER'S FEATURED WERE THE SAME AND I MISS HER DAILY...SHE WAS A STRONG WOMAN.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  38. CornellU

    Boy, black people sure do love crack rock.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prima

      "Corny U", white people make up the majority of welfare of recipients, meth heads, and serial killers. Talk about your own kid, before downing another race.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • vahellbilly

        That is because of straight head-count numbers of each race. Do the math differently, per-capita of race and percentage of that specific race populace and you'll find a far different outcome in those categories you mention.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomZibo

      That's not true PRIMA.There are more whites on welfare, but there's way more white people in this country than blacks.You have to look at per capita.For such a small percentage of blacks in the US, the welfare stats for them are staggering.Also how don't Crips or Bloods qualify as serial killers ? It's like a free pass.Because they wear Nike shoes and don't listen to Marilyn Manson? Black people kill daily.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • vahellbilly

        Spot on!

        January 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • AllmylifeinPDX

      So do all those trashy white people in Hollywood.....quit being racist...

      January 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  39. CornellU

    Real estate 101 : blacks move in, whites move out.If blacks move into your neighborhood, your home value will drop faster than a roller coaster at your local amusement park.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rod C. Venger

      (101)(a) – If that black family bought the home, there's still a chance they will care for the yard. They do own it, afterall. If they rented, the rest of the neighborhood is finished. Ever seen a black man mow a yard? Me neither, unless he's a gardener. Rentals turn a lush green lawn into a patch of dead stubble within months unless there's rain, then it turns into a 2 foot high jungle of weeds and grass gone to seed. Add dogs and they kill everything they trample, wearing paths into the dirt. Dead cars and refrigerators make handy lawn ornaments. It should be illegal to rent homes in neighborhoods where more than 50% of the homes have well manicured yards. Rentals are the nail in the coffin of any neighborhood.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • ImpishLisa

        w

        January 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • ImpishLisa

        white folks are just as bad as renters. I live in a racially diverse area and the white renters are nastier and dirtier than the blacks, so check that info. For the record I myself am white.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red

      They destroy the neighborhoods they live in then migrate to where the white people live and force the whites out with crime and destroy that neighborhood. White people are sued if they object to this, thus their only advise to other white's is to MOVE.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
      • vahellbilly

        Perfect and historical example of this... Harlem. Anglo types, Irish, Jewish, Italian etc. bailed due to the flood of the "great migration".

        January 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Polymath

        "Advise" is a verb. It is hilarious to see these rednecks who do not know the difference between advise and advice. One of the problems created by the internet was to give voice to "white trash".

        January 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
      • vahellbilly

        @Poly.... "White-Trash" invented and perfected the language you speak...

        January 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • Red

        Polymath, you forgot to capitalize the "I" in the word "internet". That just shows how much you know about the Internet and how you use a misspelling as an opportunity to sling out your "white trash" remarks. You could not possibly know my education or where I live. If you want to see how blacks spell, then you can look at Facebook "Flint Police Operations" and I think you will be truly embarrassed by their unintelligible cryptic language.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Polymath

        Red, A number of dictionaries indicate that internet can begin with upper or lower case.

        January 15, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose

      Your comments really are not helping any.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • vintage274

      You obviously aren't a realtor. The race of homeowners in a neighborhood has nothing to do with a home's value. How the people in the neighborhood KEEP their homes is what affects value. Renters bring down neighborhoods because they do not tend to take as much pride in outside maintenance. Long term vacancies tend to bring down value because again, homes are often not kept up. What changes entire neighborhoods is not race, but the socio-economic levels of the people living in the neigborhood. When people with less resources for home maintenance move into areas (usually because older homes have not been updated to keep up with the market and command lower prices) in large numbers, the already deficient homes become even more so. That is not dependent on color. It's dependent on economics.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  40. CornellU

    Black people are really skilled at making babies and complaining.At going to work and taking care of those kids, not so much.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      Tell that to Octomom and the Duggars.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • TomPaine32

      Cornell U is a fine university but you are a bigoted fool. I hate to say things like that, but you really have no idea what you are talking about.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polymath

      Cornell? For someone who does not seem to know that one must skip a space before beginning a new sentence, I find that most unlikely.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Red

    They make false 911 calls to our police claiming white women are being raped by black men somewhere so they can carry out a robbery somewhere else. This is in the north folks, not the south. They bring everything on themselves. White's don't hate them, they try not to even think about them. But we are constantly being harrassed with black issues and crimes. Somebody make them leave us alone.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polymath

      "to even think" is a split infinitive. Learn some grammar, redneck.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • vahellbilly

        Poly... You need to learn U.S. history... The term "Redneck" defines WVa coal-miners who struck against and had pitched gun battles with owner/operator coal mining thugs during the 1930's.

        If you are going to use derogatory remarks, at least use the correct one(s).

        January 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • Polymath

        vahellbilly, the denotation of the term redneck is in reference to illiterate white field workers whose necks are burned by their stooped torsos exposing their necks to prolonged sunlight. The common connotation of the word is an illiterate, uncouth, uncultured southern Caucasian. I assure you that my study of history is quite extensive and that your etymology of redneck is incorrect. The vile drivel by rednecks in this thread is appalling.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • Red

        Polymath, I'm not from the south and I never worked on a farm. I do not have a red neck. My name "Red" is short for Red Riding Hood which has been my Internet ID for many years. I'm not a linguist and don't profess to be. I do make spelling and grammar errors. But that does not make me a redneck or white trash, nor does it make me illiterate. You just don't like what I have to say but you can not argue logically.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Polymath

        Sorry Red, but it is your arguments which contain no logic. They contain nothing but the vile venom of racism. I point out all your grammatical errors intentionally (by the way-cannot is a compound word) to logically demonstrate the error of your outlandish statements regarding superiority of whites and inferiority of blacks. You are defeating your own reasoning with your deficient language skills.

        January 15, 2012 at 7:09 pm | Report abuse |
  42. CornellU

    Of course white men are superior.They make far more money and absolutely decimate black people in the classroom.For every smart " brotha ", there's 25 dumb ones who wear team jerseys so big, they qualify as a dress.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dakota2000

      Why don't we elevate this level of discourse a bit. We need to have reasoned discourse.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polymath

      "...there's 25 dumb ones..." Again, how can it be that someone with any affiliation with Cornell does not know that "there's" is a contraction for "there is" which is singular, and that "25" and "ones" (with an s) are both plural. Guess which "one" in this thread actually appears to be DUMB?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Lexagon

    Mitochondrial Eve + "One-Drop Rule" = We're *all* black.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Red

      The Black Eve is a lie. The scientist only went back 200,000 years and used faulty computer programs. I bet you think the earth is flat too – because they said so.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
      • vintage274

        "The scientist???" Mitochondrial Eve is THE accepted theory of genetic science that is not based on any one computer program but on research conducted by many different programs over many years on millions of humans all over the world. Your knowledge of genetic science is obviously very deficient. Human DNA can actually be divided into 7 large distinct groups ALL of which trace back to an African genetic root.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • Personally

        Excuse us Red – we forgot, you were THERE.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • Red

        vintage, It's not as widely accepted as you think. The scientist/archeologist who study bones disagree with the Black Eve theory, however many believe our origins may be from the African continent. From what I read, they only used DNA data from American Blacks, not African Blacks. They only traced it back 200,000 years and when they put data in the computer in a different order, they got different results. I'm not a scientist, but the information from the bone archeologist was enough to place doubt in my mind. Once upon a time it was widely accepted that the earth was flat although everyone could see that the moon was round, the obvious was in front of their eyes. When you look at black people with the consistent big lips, big nose and brown eyes is it telling you that you derived from that race? Black people do not get lighter by living in northern climates, so how do you suggest that whites became so light skinned? It's obvious to me that they are a different species and their species may in fact be older but that does not mean we derived from them. The bone archeologist say we have different origins. The same thing that created them may have created us. There may be other reasons they want people to believe that theory.

        January 15, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Joeymom

    I was surprised the first time I realized there still is a hierarchy among black and other minority communities based on skin color. Here we've been fighting for color-blind equality in society, and they don't even respect the concept in many (not all) of their own communities.

    Folks, melatonin doesn't affect anything other than skin color. Brain, body, ability- not affected.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      that is simply untrue. races are not mentally equal any more than they are physically equal. the problem is the stigma that is attached to any scientist who dares to study or claim otherwise.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Polymath

      Melatonin makes you sleep. Melanin is a pigment

      January 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lisa

        but melatonin is the hormone that makes melanin.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Polymath

        Sorry Lisa, but the endocrinology is far more complex than that. There is nothing close to a direct correlation and many other complex factors are involved in the metabolization.

        January 15, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • kmcg

      Tom: That is very incorrect. Genetically the average white person is more alike to the average black person than the average black person is to another black person. Race has nothing to do with intelligence. Nothing to do with genetics. We are all humans.

      However what DOES affect intelligence and how people grow and develop is the community they are in. Because we have decided to define people based on color, pigmentation, whatever the past few hundred years, we have created SOCIAL communities that are unfortunately often in situations of cycles of poverty. Once in poverty it is VERY hard to leave, not impossible, but VERY hard. The living conditions children grow up in create changes in their physical and mental capacities, and sometimes negative changes are passed to offspring. (It's called epigenetics, look it up.)

      If we want to give all American a chance, we have to start by creating equality: supporting communities, creating positive environments for growing up and learning, offering better health for everyone, creating affordable child care for parents who are working multiple jobs at strange hours, etc.

      Yes, there are many people who live up to the stereotypes and could do much to better themselves. But I might throw in the towel too if I saw no future for myself in the larger society. We have to create an environment where the opportunity to reach the American Dream is reachable for every child.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      This is not just black communities. It is Asian cultures as well. You will find through a study of history, even white people had their hang-ups about light and dark skin. Light skin was suppose to denote wealth; not a field worker. Whereas tan skin denoted someone who worked under the sun.

      Humans always find a way to oppress each other one way or another unfortunately.

      January 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
  45. toppwinery

    Of course blacks are superior to whites...they have the biggest diks!!!

    January 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • electroguy

      Lets leave their fathers out of this..

      January 15, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  46. AT

    Yes, bigotry was much more accepted in the past. That is mostly over. Today, racial bigots are a minority of people. In this day and age, the sooner you stop making a big deal of your skin color and identifying with norms based solely on your skin color, the sooner you will stopped being looked at for your skin color.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe, San Diego

      It is easy for us White people to say that BUT look at tv/movies how many Blacks are in them or other people of colour?
      So when we White people see an all Black cast we simple think I can't relate/watch that movie it will portray us incorrectly.
      Black people made this country too but they are never receiving the respect because though we Whites say we aren't looking at skin colour it is obvious we are when we don't include them in our social affairs, home life...

      January 15, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Jim31

    ahh, the good old days. Back then we did not have many problems as we have right now. Everyone knew their place and there was less crime. Nowadays the prison system is filled with blacks. Blacks still have the lowest IQ among all the races.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Yeehaw! Listenin' to some Lynyrd Skynyrd there, buddy? Ridiculous comment!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Todd in DC

        What's wrong with Skynard?

        January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • MandoZink

      Lets see. The Nazi's prisons were filled with Jews, repressive countries' prisons are filled with intellectuals,... and so on. The targets of racism, the repressed and the downtrodden always seem to get more prison time.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • vahellbilly

        Incorrect... The Nazi's put EVERYONE they considered a threat into camps, to include, but not just exclusive to: clerics, politicians, anarchists, businessmen, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, Catholics, Gypsies, Slavs and yes, INTELLECTUALS. Do your homework boyo!

        January 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • MandoZink

        Sorry, I was being brief. I apologize for leaving out the rest of those incarcerated under repressive regimes. The point certainly is that targets of bigotry and intolerance in a society will represent a higher percentage of those imprisoned there.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      Don't be shy. Please quote your research sources.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jim31

        The Bell Curve by Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
      • Melody

        @Jim

        Ahem..."Nearly all the research that Murray and Herrnstein relied on for their central claims about race and IQ was funded by the Pioneer Fund, described by the London Sunday Telegraph (3/12/89) as a "neo-Nazi organization closely integrated with the far right in American politics."

        Source: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1271

        January 15, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melody

      Ironically, if YOU had a higher IQ, you'd grasp that the reasons why African-African males make up a higher percentage of the prison population are complex and are influenced by the very prejudice that you, the cerebrally- challenged Jim, display.

      Now do society a favor and get an education instead of an edumacation....if you can handle it.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Jim31

        lol, another liberal making excuses for the blacks. I am sure the blacks in prison are all innocent. The white man made him sell crack, the white man made him rob a bank. It is all the white man's fault.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • Melody

        @Jim:

        I said nothing of the sort – nice straw man arguments. How about looking up the meaning of "influenced.

        Like I said, go get an education....you confirm your ignorance every time you post.

        P.S. I'm an independent.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      I could have picked any number of other recording artists, but since you asked....what's wrong with Skynyrd.....

      "I hope Neil Young will remember a Southern man don't need him around anyhow"...in response to Neil's "Southern Man" song denouncing southern redneck treatments of African Americans

      "In Birmingham they love the governor"... meaning George Wallace....a known racist

      Not to mention all the rebel flags adorning their albums and such.

      If it weren't for the lyrics, some of their TUNES might have been OK.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Luvuall

    So now how do I know if I'm white or black? Should I care? Maybe I can learn that we all have red blood and we all have feelings that can be hurt so I'll remember to be more respectful to all people (even to those who may not return that respect if I can't avoid them).

    January 15, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joeymom

      I'm not sure why you would care, other than maybe medical history. Educating ourselves about cultures and human heritage shouldn't be relegated by skin color or strict genealogy any more.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • toppwinery

      take a fast look at ur meatwhistle buddy! If it is two inches long u r white. If it is 7 or more inches long u r black. In between don't count...u are nothing!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Guy Couch

    So "colorism" isn't racism, because it's practiced by black/sorta black/ kinda black/mostly white people? Sorry. It's still racism.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Jande'

    I am african and when I moved to the U.S., I noticed that the worst offenders of the light skin/dark skin delineation were black people. You better not describe a black american who considers themselves as "mocha" "caramel", etc etc. as dark skinned. It is a bad bad thing and they will freak out and take it as an insult. I have never met a group of black people who have such self-hatred of their "color" as some african americans. Many black americans continue to perpetuate these stereotypes with slavery underpinnings in their own communities. Even in the demeaning world of hip hop videos, dark skinned "video girls" are hardly featured. The change needs to start in the black community.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sannate

      Thank you for a real "black perspective" on racism in America. Most blacks here are too wrapped up in self pity to properly assess the situation.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raynell

      Let me guess, You live in the south right?

      January 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        uh, i live in the north and that happens here too.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hal

      I once asked a Nigerian what he thought of the American blacks. He said "We don't have an awful lot to do with them." I said "How would the American blacks get along if they went to Africa?" He just started laughing.

      I read that some American blacks do relocate to Africa, usually Ghana, for the political stability. They don't expect a parade, but they do think they might get a handshake or nod of welcome, as "Nice to see you back." In fact, their neighbors shun them as being rich Americans slumming. Their expectations were based entirely on their skin color, which is the definition of racism. When they actually encountered a non-racist environment, it turned out they were just rich Americans slumming.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Butt Buddy

        I see a real opportunity here.... maybe Obama could include this in his next 'stimulus'.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImpishLisa

      thank you,
      Funny, but blacks in a country like the UK seem to say the same things as they do here in America. So how are we White Americans at fault? Ohh. Right. Easy to use info like Christians, to suit what you want accomplished. Check.
      Let me say this one last time. My family did our genealogy. We never owned slaves. We're old bloodline Americans. We had relatives who were indentured servants in the family tree. They were enslaved for the trip to America and time after. They worked their way free. I don't condone what happened by a FEW RICH WHITE Plantation owning FOLKS. Stop blaming ME and mine for that stuff.
      Thanks.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  51. James West

    Oh well, time for me to go now.Thank God I make enough money so that I can afford my home in the suburbs.I never have to deal with any of this outside of a CNN board.Most of you people live empty lives with no earning power and limited prospects.This is your chance to vent.I get it.I'm going to go fire up a steak, make some homeade guacamole, and watch Aaron Rodgers dismantle the NY Giants.Enjoy wasting your day validating your ineptness.Basically.......I WIN !!!! THE END!!

    January 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get a grip

      That you need to say "I WIN" and brag abour your supposed status on a message board tells me all I need to know about your inadequacy issues (not that they weren't already apparent). Your assumptions about other posters also provide a glaring clue.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • toppwinery

      plenty of white women are in search of the perfect huge penis black man to split them wide open at their crotch like a ripe melon!!!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephen

      I thought the Giants won?

      January 15, 2012 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  52. toppgunnery

    I think black men have larger penises!

    January 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • toppgunnery

      that in itself makes them superior to white men!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • mike

        ok, good for you...

        January 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • bendelep

      Only when they're flaccid, which doesn't make much difference...

      January 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Obfusc8r

    I've dealt with the public for a very long time, and I can tell you that I've had to deliver bad news to a lot of people – all races. There seems to be a mythology among some people of minority background that bad things don't happen to white people. Bad things only happen to minorities, and they happen because they are minorities.

    And let's be honest here. You don't get to pick your ancestors. You don't get to say "I'm descended from a woman who was raped by a white slave owner" and not say "I'm descended from a white slave owning rapist." You own them both, whether you want to be or not.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  54. James West

    The overall theme of the comments on this board are hysterical.Basically, all white people are evil and all black people are peaceful angels who never cause any trouble and are incapable of racism.Are black people ever wrong ? Ever ? Is it always someone elses fault ?

    January 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eshany

      I don't recall any comments such as those.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abudum

      What an asinine comment. The prisons are full of black people who are wrong. This is a particular subject being discussed and in the history of this subject white people were wrong JW. Those whites who took part in what Lemon is writing about were low down, good for nothing bigots. They implemented the horrors or racism, which even caused discrimination within the black community that still exists today.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • pensimmon

        Well, there may be more black than white people in prisons- but maybe that's because the justice system is grossly unfair, and lets white people off with a fine, community service or other fluffy punishment.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • MandoZink

      I kinda do see a hysterical reaction, now that YOU mention it. Look inward dude.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • colonelingus

      All I know James is that if I had known all this was going to happen, I would have picked the damn cotton myself!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Melody

    Unfortunately, there are also other countries that are pigmentocracies – Brazil comes to mind where the people of European descent tend to be the ones who make up the privileged "upper class" whereas most of the residents of the favelas are either black or of mixed race.

    Not only is this morally wrong, unlike a meritocracy, it creates a system where mediocrity may be favored over talent just because one has the more accepted skintone which isn't beneficial to any country. Naturally, it also breeds resentment and tension which is also detrimental to society as a whole. In short, racism is a scourge.

    On a side note, Don Lemon and TJ Holmes are absolutely gorgeous, not because they are lighter-skinned African American men but because they just are. Personable, professional and a delight to watch,

    January 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Eshany

    White people's belief of their supremacy is what caused the colorism between light and dark skinned african americans. Social psychologists have conducted experiments demonstrating that people's judgements are mostly likely to view lighter skinned individuals as more intelligent, trustworthy, and attractive than those that are dark. Lighter skinned people were able to have a more successful life than the darker skins would. So it's basically the "white is right" or the "lighter the better" crap that our society is upon. It's a shame that it still affects us to this day! Even the african american youth !!! Not only does it affect african americans, it happens in africa, brazil, india, any person with melanin in their skin ... we can't deny the fact that the ancestors of current white people were some racist colorist biggots that tainted the views of colored people about themselves all over the world.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butt Buddy

      Let's put this into perspective – during the same time Beethoven and Mozart were writing and creating their great works, the bongo brothers were just figuring out how to stretch goat skins over hollow gourds to make drums – definitely a qualitative difference in intellectual achievement.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  57. James West

    I wonder if any of the staff at CNN will do a report on Robert Mugabe ordering his soldiers to torture white farmers in Zimbabwe.I wonder if anyone at CNN will report how his soldiers pour boiling hot water down white farmers throats as a method of their torture, and rape the farmers wives and daughters ( some as young as 6 years old.)

    January 15, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Who are the usurpers in that scenario? Unlike in the USA, white settlers in Africa did not become dominant. If white settlers had not flocked to the Americas in droves perhaps the natives would still have an upper hand.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abudum

      What goes around comes around JW. Payback is really an eye opening experience. At least Mugabe gave them a chance to leave. When the shoe was on the other foot the white people killed and enslaved the rest and created another race of lighter skinned blacks with rape pedophilia just like they did in America and around the rest of the world. So stop the complaining JW. What's a hundred or so white farmer families who were given the chance to leave opposed to a whole country of Africans who were treated worst than a pack of stray dogs.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • JonQ

        Seriously? You can't really draw shades of grey around slavery and barbaric acts. You are literally arguing over whose worse? For crying out loud. Why not just condemn the people. Guess what color of your skin doesn't impact your quality of person. This minority generation and the next down the line are now responsible for their own future. Just as the non-minority has always been. What you'll find out is that it also sucks. Albeit still better than what minorities had before.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Rod C. Venger

        Ask the millions of Africans who now depend on food aid from the US and Europe to stave off starvation. Those white farmers kept the land productive and fed much of Africa. The land has been given away to subsistence farmers while the continent starves.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Butt Buddy

        Given a multi-cultural society, Whites and Asians always rise to the top, while the B lac ks circle the bowl.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • ImpishLisa

        Cause of the African woes was being captured by their fellow blacks in tribal wars and SOLD for MONEY by their enemies to people looking for cheap labor.
        In modern analogy it is akin to blaming the addicts for the addictions instead of the dealers who make it all possible, huh?

        January 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Garrado

      If the story is about Apartheid South Africa I am sure they would. However this one is about America.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • JonQ

      Actually I think they did. Because that's where I read about it.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • MandoZink

      Mugabe's atrocities have been reported on many times before on this newsite. His offensive actions against humanity include much more than just one kind of bigotry. This article is highlighting the subtle, but continuing inheritance of the social disease of racism. The Mugabe dictator problem is abhorrent, but not related to the story at hand.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Zimbabwe is an epic fail as are most African nations. We should stop giving them handouts.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Nick

    I feel kinda sorry for racist people....they think other races are different from them, but they are no different.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sannate

      You mean those other races are all racist too?

      January 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Luvuall

        Bingo. And if it's not race, then it's looks, or income, or something. Like all social animals we use various attributes to find our place in the heirarchy.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      first comment on this story that actually makes some sense! I feel sorry for them too, Nick!

      January 15, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Seveen

    i love you don lemon – i can count on you to tell it like it is

    January 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • tony

      He is black and gay and has aids talking about being triple unlucky!!!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tony's a disgrace

        No, what's pathetic is being born a slanderous, bigoted jerk. Exhibit A: Tony

        January 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • dalis

      Don Lemon does not have AIDS. Knock that off.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Callie

    I now remember why I stopped reading comments on news articles and blogs. The new racism is to deny being a racist then point out the President is black. These are the same people who call people n word and then claim to having black friends. This article is about Don Lemon's truth and I respect that.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sannate

      At what point were we supposed to forget that Obama is black, and why is it "racist" to remember it? I have no black friends and my political leanings don't require me to.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
      • Callie

        Good for you. I never said to forget that the President is black. I was merely referring to the point that racist people suggest that the country is not racist due to the fact that WE elected a black President. Thank you.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MandoZink

      Don't worry Callie. We did get your point. Look at what it brings out in people. Obviously the problem still exists.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butt Buddy

      What a fraud – shows how low you JBs have sunk. Obama's mamma was WH IT E, as much as it pains us to recognize that fact. I agree with Al Sharpton in that regard....

      January 15, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  61. Greg Moore

    I always find it interesting when white people get offended about articles like this (Yes, I'm white), someone called this the "white guilt campaign". How is writing about history and events that took place in his life and many others, being bitter?.Really?. Seeing that today is Martin Luther Kings birthday and tomorrow is MLK day whats the issue?. Discussing the "one drop rule" which in reality affected a lot of people and continued to affect people along side the "light skin to dark skin hierarchy that helped shape black culture" which is very true. My friend who is black has a cousin who "passed" and married a white man and had "white" children but they haven't seen her since, every so often they get message but that's it. It's been YEARS and now the kids are grown adults with kids themselves. This is big part of AMERICAN history, whats wrong with talking about American history?. These are American stories and I don't see an issue talking about stories of American people.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beverly

      Thank you, Mr. Moore, for reminding us that what is being presented is a part of AMERICAN history. We must take what we learn about our past and use it to become better citizens and neighbors.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Jethro

    While I was a graduate student at the University of Michigan a few years ago, a colleague of mine had whiter skin than I did and was on a scholarship for black students as his great grandfather or grand uncle was black. We went and got pizza togeether one day and he was rude to the cashier so she was rude back to him. As we left he asked me if I thought she made snarky comments because he was black. I told him "No you idiot, you were a jerk." Also had a fellow student who was on a hispanic scholarship. Her father was an MD and her mother was a PhD/MD. Definite 1% club. Yet, she said that she could identify with all the poor latinas in America struggling to get by as she too is hispanic. Please. So, they got their PhDs and I had to drop out because they didn't give any special aid to white males. I wanted to write about the disparity of racial phenotype among races and how it influences response. Go Blue.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      Anecdote =/= Data.

      I'm sorry your experience has made you bitter. But it seems it has also made you only look at another single-digit percentage - those who game the system like that. The rest who use those scholarships really do need them.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  63. ProudBrotha

    The foolishness of many of these comments confirms while racism still exists in America. Don Lemon was simply telling a personal family story and yet many of you chose to inject all kinds of hateful rhetoric and commentary. Shame on you fools!

    January 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • THEBEAUTIFULONE

      I AGREE PROUD BROTHA!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Maryland Guy

        There are as many Black racists as White. Don't kid yourselves. :-)

        January 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Butt Buddy

        I wants my Obama money, yo.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Lyn

    “Black America used to be, and perhaps still is, a pigmentocracy, which means that the social hierarchy is based largely on colorism.”

    Now, ain't that a mouthful?

    January 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • bendelep

      Um, no, just a typical well written sentence

      January 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • twang

      When you mix them with whites they move millions of years up the evalutionary ladder

      January 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
  65. H. Lee

    Race relations and laws in the U.S. have such a wierd and tortured history that I think they're worth talking about, so we can understand where we came from. Telling black people to avoid bringing up the past of slavery and brutal discrimination is the same as telling a Native American "Yeah, we whites took your country and wiped out 95% of your people, but hey, this is today. Quit whining and count your blessings!"

    It may make us whites feel better to pretend the past never happened, but it's not reasonable to expect the ones we stomped on to buy into it. True, I myself have never owned a slave or shot a Native American, and I can't make up for what my ancestors did. I'm not responsible for any choices but the ones I've made in this life. But I can acknowledge and respect historical truth when I read it.

    Black people have every right to reflect on slavery and Jim Crow, the lynchings and the cruelty, and also on the poisonous patterns they introduced into black American culture itself. That's what Mr. Lemon was doing in this article. He was saying that white racism not only forced light-skinned people with African heritage to "act different" in front of whites, which is hardly surprising, but also led black people themselves to value light skin over dark skin.

    That's a sad and ugly trait I can observe even today among some black people. I'm white, so I can't really understand it. I understand that it might have paid off, in the past, for an African-American to "look white" in front of white people. But why would they want to be light-skinned among black people? Since, as Mr. Lemon pointed out, a lot of the racial mixing in the past was a result of white-on-black rape, why would a black person take any pride in more closely resembling their mother's or grandmother's rapist? There's a piece I'm missing here, and probably only a black person could explain it, if he wished to.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • G

      H. Lee, it is good to read about someone who THINKS and is curious, not one who simply spouts the party line. You ask, "why would a black person take any pride in more closely resembling their mother's or grandmother's rapist?" The answer is because with light skin came status, property, priveledge and opportunity. Light skinned Blacks were and still are treated better than their darker skinned counterparts, both by Blacks and Whites. This a sad and pathetic fact. During slavery, many times the masters would provide education (even though it was technically illegal) and training for their offspring. They did not have to toil in the fields. They travelled, sometimes to foreign lands with their father's family. And many times, not only where they granted their freedom, they were deeded property. Post-slavery, they were the ones chosen to be educated by the newly formed Black colleges and universities, as the offspring of White slave masters. There is much evidence that White slave owners and White men post-slavery deeded property to the Black mothers of their children and the children as well, even when he never acknowledged them in life. It happened in my own family and many families that I know of who are Black, and a few White families too. In summary, being the offspring of the "alpha" male came with it priveledge, and one way to identify with that priveledge as a Black person is to demonstrate it not only with skin color, but hair texture and facial features as well. This was a survival mechanism, be it right or wrong. BTW, while we have a mix of people in my family (some can pass for White while some have African features, all us descended from a White man who left property to his Black son). Identifying with success is a human trait, Blacks did not aspire to be field slaves, they aspired for a better life and thus the survival technique was to remove yourself as far away from the field as possible, if you could. BTW, I am the lone light skinned person in my IMMEDIATE family, first generation college graduate, multiply degreed in IT, yet my dream is to live a quiet live on my own farm. Go figure. I hope I have answered your question.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
      • eddale

        Well said G. My thoughts exactly.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • H. Lee

        Thank you, G. Certainly that makes sense.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • J

      I can't answer your question, but I wanted to say that it was not always "rape". There were in fact mutual loving relationships which the law prohibited and therefore could never be legitimized. There were also the "kept" women who may not have loved their white provider but saw a means by which her children could have advantages over the slave children. Some of those children were sent abroad and received college educations. Rape did happen, I'm sure, but that was not the only way mulatto children were produced.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
      • H. Lee

        What you say is true, J. Of course there were truly affectionate relationships between the races. But when one person has not only physical, legal, and financial power over another, but also has literally the power of life and death - well, it's hard to imagine there were a lot of relationships that were *truly*consentual.

        January 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Keith

    You DO realise that he is SELLING that book–and not giving it away for free. 'nuff sed.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  67. mm

    The Jews have a saying "never forget". I don't hear anyone complaining when the Jews get together once a year to recount their past history. They tell their children and grandchildren because they don't want them to forget. If we forget your past, it is likely to happen again. Also, I don't hear anyone complaining about all the Holocaust museums that are built so all people can learn about that part of the Jewish history.

    So, why are White folks so quick to tell Black folks to get over their history and not talk about? Black folks have to tell their story because it's not written in history books – at least not the correct/real version. Maybe White folks need to start telling their story about their great grandparents who owned slaves and what they were told about slavery from their parents. There are always two sides to a story and each must tell theirs as accurately as possible. Then we may not be as bitter with each other as most are today.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      It is a sticky dilemma for sure. You do have to remember the past so it won't happen again, but then by the same token how can you move on if you're stuck in the past?

      January 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • J. Cortes

        Excellent Point!

        January 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Florha

      "They " do not want us to celebrate us because it is also painful for some of them. The guilt complex. They do not want a reminder in their face.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • mike

        I don’t feel any guilt whatsoever over what old white guys did 100 years or more ago. Im not related to them and I wasn’t alive back then so no guilt.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Goodguy1

      There was no slavery out West or in the North, in fact a whole of white soldiers died so that slaves could be free. Keep beating a dead horse.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
      • G

        Are you kidding? No slavery in the West or the North? Then where did the bones of slaves come from, you know, the ones that were found in Manhatten? The ones which showed that the flesh had been worked off of the bones? http://www.google.com/#sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&source=hp&q=slavery+in+manhattan&pbx=1&oq=slavery+in+man&aq=3v&aqi=g3g-v1&aql=&gs_sm=c&gs_upl=449l5091l0l8139l18l12l3l2l2l0l366l2326l2.4.5.1l17l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=b25b4e8e47e56dfc&biw=1286&bih=594

        How about slavery in California?
        http://www.1849.org/ggg/slavery.html

        January 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

        Yeah are you aware that in the West, "Native Americans" and Chinese were kept as slaves (if not just treated as badly as any "southern black" slaves)? And BY white people, of course.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • BlackHeywood

      So, why are White folks so quick to tell Black folks to get over their history and not talk about?

      Because White people do not want to be reminded of what their ancestors and the government they elected into office did to other human beings. They don't want to be reminded or discuss those atrocities because then you must do something about it. The last thing White America wants to do is accept accountability and responsibility for what was to to American Black citizens. It's easier not to discuss what happen , tell Black people to "Get over it". I agree the sooner we as a nation have an open and honest discussion about race the sooner we all can move on. Unfortunately many people are to busy running away from the discussion and attempting to shut others up that IMO that needed dialogue will never happen.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Because incorrect history is being recounted in those "remember the past" episodes. Slavery did not ever start with the black people in the US. Slavery has existed since the B.C time period back in Ancient Egypt possibly even prehistoric times as well. But first known slave records were in the Code of Hammurabi of 1760BC. Then black slavery is edited even more to not even make it said or known easily that black people in Africa WERE slaver traders and owners as well. The recounting of slavery makes it out that slavery ONLY happened in the US during the Civil War times, and that no other race ever except white people traded and owned slaves. So if people are going to remember the past, they need to remember it correctly, but they will not. Slavery exists even more, well after the abolition time period, so frankly if I hear anyone make it out to be that slavery ONLY existed in the US with black people during the Civil War time period then I am prepared to scream ignorance and that is why I am tired of the whole memory of slavery only existing in the US when it is factually and intellectually wrong to no end.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Argh, correction, slavery still exists today, not even more.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

        I don't think anyone is postulating that slavery existed only DURING Civil War times....because in fact, the Civil War marked the end of slavery in this country...as it had been going on for upwards of 400 years.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

        Yeah, to be honest (corporate) slavery does still exist....it's just that you get paid for it now.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • kilejo

      I never cease to be amazed by the anger of some white people when the subject of race relations between blacks and whites in this country. No one is personally accusing them of being liable for the actions of others. Likewise it is always amazing to me how quickly some enlightened white people want to rail against a biracial person for choosing to identify as black while totally ignoring the fact that in the past and in the present white people were the arbiters of race and privilege. Plenty of people in the past would have wanted to have the privileges afforded to whites but could not access them because even though they may have had a majority of white blood white people did not accept them as white. Is there any wonder that some people chose to identify as black and not abandon their family ties or shun their relatives? The black community for the most part unconditionally accepts mixed race people as "one of us". It even affords them privileged status is they are fair because of our history. The white community is well known to not accept mixed race people, view those individuals as "one of them" and usually afford them marginalized status. Why get so angry about it? Talk about past racial inequalities does not make a black racist any more than being a white christian makes a white person a member of the KKK.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      the jews also aren't overcrowding our prisons in record numbers and disproportionately the recipients of government assistance. besides the fact that the genocide the jews were subjected to is far worse (in my opinion) than the slavery the blacks were subjected to.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Butt Buddy

        17% of the population commits 70% of the violent crime...

        January 15, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  68. BRodriguez

    Such a great insight. Things have changed, but color and race affects much of what occurs in the world. Lots of bigotry still out there.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Casual Observer

    Majority of time, bi-racial women usually fall for dark black men by default. Guess they forget that white part of their family. That leaves poor bi-racial men to the only other alternative. I bet you all usually notice this phenomenon a lot like me.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

      Obama seemed to forget he's 50% white when he filled out his census a couple of years ago, too.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
      • Stacy

        Actually, you just made that up! Since Census personal info is not available for 72 years, you wouldn't know JACK about what Obama or anyone else put in their form!!

        January 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • G. Zeus Kreiszchte

        Wrong. It was reported on national news that Obama chose "black" as his race.

        w w w.msnbc.msn.c o m/id/36157764/ns/politics-white_house/t/its-official-obama-black/#.TxMzmfnpfLs

        January 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Actually, I think your observation is limited. What parts of the US have you noted this? Also, why do you care? It is up each of us to like who we like and everyone's taste seems to be different. Think this through a bit more and reach out to widen your horizon and your sphere of observation.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Calvin

    Dom Lemon is a bigot.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yourlogiceludesme

      How exactly? Please tell the world how he is a bigot. Otherwise I'd like to know why did you pull that out of your a**?

      January 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  71. G. Zeus Kreiszchte

    I have 1/16 Cherokee blood and the rest is all some brand of Cauca-sian. I COULD, by the "one drop rule" claim to be Cherokee, but I don't because people would just laugh and say, "Yeah right, whi-tey!" On the other hand, the "one drop rule" still seems to apply to African Americans differently because that's the way it was always done in the past. African Americans want to move on and yet at the same "Never let 'em forget (the past)." Seems to me you can't have both if we are meant to move forward.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • G

      No, you might not be laughed at. The Cherokee nation does not have a minimum blood requirement. If you are a descendant of an original membership enrollee, you may be eligible. Recently, the dwidling number of Native Americans has been reversed now that many "Whites" have joined up. And now the Blacks who had been full tribal and voting members the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma all of a suddent are being kicked out. The same with the Seminole Nation. Black seminoles are RECENTLY being denied Seminole citizen despite proven DNA links. Blacks in both nations have lost property and a share in any profits afforded members of the nation.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  72. Catherine

    Why are so many people so ugly about this? It's a personal account of his own family history. He's a Black man and can't write about his own history because you're tired of hearing about race? This is about real lives, in a real society that had real racial discrimination. Its not always a pretty rosy picture but it's truthful and honest and interesting. I have a very hard time understanding how people can be so rude.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • THEBEAUTIFULONE

      EXACTLY CATHERINE. I ENJOYED IT. ITS FUNNY BECAUSE ONE OF MY CHILDREN ASK THAT QUESTION OFTEN "MOM ARE YOU WHITE" ? OR "I WILL USE THE WHITE CRAYON TO DRAW YOU"? I SAY NO, IM NOT WHITE....I HAVE A MIXTURE OF ALOT OF RACES (SMILE)

      January 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  73. mm

    I knew a 'white' girl who was engaged to a white guy who later found out that the girls grandmother was Black. He broke off the engagement because he said he feared that one of his kids might turn out black. Mind you, this 'white' girl had straight blond hear with blue eyes and not a trace of Black on the outside. So, I know what Don is talking about 'passing'.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • james

      And I know black people who absolutely despise white people.Congrats, we both know racist people.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Nick

        You missed the point...

        January 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • MandoZink

        You pretty much missed the point on that one. Anybody would despise the type racism that "mm" was describing. Much like punching someone for no reason, and then when they turn to defend their self, you say "See, they are as mean as I am". I am a white guy who grew up around a lot of racist logic such as yours. The target of your racism despises your bigotry? Absolutely, no doubt!

        January 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  74. theagenda

    Wow.When does this story end? When does the white guilt campaign reach its ceiling?I just wanna know so I can mark it on my calendar.I'm so tired of people saying " racism still exists today." Of course it does.But don't make it seem like only white people are guilty of it.Racism exists in the black community as well.You're just as complicit.If you're going to point fingers...make sure your hands are clean.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eshany

      Other races learned to be racist from the biggest racist group in the history of the earth.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Ah, you mean the human race.

        January 15, 2012 at 7:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BlackHeywood

      Wow.When does this story end? When does the white guilt campaign reach its ceiling?I just wanna know so I can mark it on my calendar.I'm so tired of people saying " racism still exists today." Of course it does.But don't make it seem like only white people are guilty of it]

      Racism was legal in America from the early 1600's thru 1965 in one form or another against Black people on this soil. It's been 46 yrs since American Black citizens were afforded the same basic Civil Rights that White Americans were afforded at birth. You're tired of hearing about it, HA, we Black folks are tired of having to live with racism.

      .Racism exists in the black community as well.You're just as complicit.If you're going to point fingers...make sure your hands are clean.

      You're confusing prejudice and racism. A Black person doesn't have the power to be racist against you. We do not have the power to effect your daily life. A Black person can be prejudice against others which is different

      January 15, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        "You're confusing prejudice and racism. A Black person doesn't have the power to be racist against you. We do not have the power to effect your daily life. A Black person can be prejudice against others which is different"

        *falling over laughing* What a bunch of garbage. Black people cannot be racist, only prejudice? What a BS statement. Fine then, white people cannot be racist only prejudice. To actually dare think that black people cannot be racist helps keep racism alive.

        January 15, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • HomeSweetHome

      theagenda, They ask that question when they go for a walk and get mean words shouted their way for no reason, but they are African American. They ask that question when people in their own country stand and shout "We want our country back" and most of these people have not been in this country longer then the African American or have not given as much in blood or sweat and gotten so little back. They ask that question when people use them to get what they want, then discard them like trash and think nothing of it. They ask that question when people they thought were friends walk pass them when "their" friends will see them and they do not want to be seen talking to an African American. They ask that question when out of the blue they receive a pink slip with no explanation (employment at will) and in the same breath are told this is not a problem "you people" are all on welfare anyway. African American ask that question everyday.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Tom

        blood and sweat don't count when they are a byproduct of rapes, robberies and murders. now blood and sweat as a result of working, educating yourself and earning your own paycheck instead of collecting one from the government? now that's commendable! if you want equal rights and a level playing field, then you need to be able to compete on equal footing.

        January 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Bill W

    We are all one race – human. And the sooner we see us all as one, instead of judging people by skin color or DNA, the better we all will be.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx educator

      I agree. No need to classify people by race anymore since we are all considered equal, human and free. Keeping track of race categories only confines, lineates and stereotypes us. I am completely in favor of doing away with racial categories and box checking on standardized testing, US census forms, medical records, etc. WHO'S WITH ME???! ;)

      January 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  76. R. Hopkins

    Well, the one drop rule is still alive and well in America if you aren't celebrity status. If Halle Berry worked as a secretary for $28k a year, she's black. However, she's a (former) A-List actor and Academy Award Winner, so she's "half-white". Obama coming up was referred to as a "black kid", but all of a sudden he's "biracial" when he becomes the Chief Executive.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx educator

      no...he was all along. It's just that nobody bothered him to get into his family background until he was trying to be the face of the world's hegemon lol on the campaign trail, assumptions don't fly

      January 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Obama was always bi-racial. No idea what you are talking about. It was basically those pushing him onto the US to be President they were saying "first black President" To me Obama is and always will be bi-racial and not a thing wrong with that. To say he is a black man basically ignores his mother and that side of the family.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
      • CC

        a-men, exactly true!!

        January 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eshany

        Most mixed people have the dilemna of 'choosing a side'. He was raised around his white family members so he couldn't completely ignore that side of the family. Maybe because his father has african bloodlines he considers himself black. The world may never know... And apparently the one drop rule still applies because most people consider him black.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Eshany–

        Nah, I think the left made him black to then say " look look first black President and he is a Democrat." Obama's father ditched him, left him, his white mother raised him, he was also raised a bit by an Indonesian man as well, again not black. So, obviously with the 2008 elections the left and media put forth a "black man" to be the President and try and make history, ignoring the fact he is bi-racial an was really raised by his white mother and her side of the family. Didn't matter to them. Obama is not black, he is bi-racial, which is perfectly fine.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  77. Larry

    Boy o boy , Americans and their Obsession with color. Isn't it boring and old?

    January 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx educator

      so we're told. we're all told to "get past someone's race". yet certain people of color constantly cry out for or lament about getting/not getting this or that "as a ____ man" or a "___ woman". Funny how the most vocal about race are those who spend so much time telling others that "it doesn't matter what I am and not to take into account what I am" and yet that's the first thing they cry when something doesn't go their way or when "their group isn't doing so hot in this category or that category". Either we're past the race-card or we aren't.....but we're getting mixed messages from the race-centered extremists on all sides. And some groups are claiming both ways lol

      January 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sannate

      How delightfully liberal and condescending of you!

      January 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  78. Brad Sillasen

    Great piece as usual Don!

    I've always noted that the "one-drop" rule is applied unbashedly at all levels of society, business and politics, when it is in fact so telling of deep racial prejudice, and this "one-drop" rule is apparently accepted by blacks and other races alike. As obvious a case as any is that of our current president, Barak Obama, whose mother is presumed to be pure white so that he is of course half and half and his phenotypical expression is just that. Yet, he is considered in virtually all references, even his own, as black! This to me is overtly racist in origin although it has become such the norm that not even blacks complain, at least not in popular media.

    So, what are we to do, as we are of a history which first classifies people by color? I say we commence a new history starting now and move towards a color-blind world, where racial reference is deprecated in favor of references based on merit, social niche, profession, education, whatever is appropriate for the context. Of course that won't be easy as old habits die hard. Color, be it of hair, skin, or eyes is a convenient descriptor, and we are by our primal nature xenophobic. But we can do better and for the sake of human kind, I really hope we do. If at some point in the future we are entirely successful, the marker just may be an obliteration of racial distinction entirely as we all melt together into one, a human race!

    January 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx educator

      Blacks are the biggest proponents of the "one drop rule" and yet it's biggest critics. Which is it?! When it's Halle Berry, Obama, Oprah, etc, the sheer fact that they have "at least one drop in them" gets them claimed for the "black side". (Funny how Halle Berry's daughter is 75% white and 25% black but she, and black America in general, insist on calling her black.) Why?? I don't get it. Is it because they want to claim the successes of those with black blood to uplift the black race as a whole? Is it because they "look black" and should be classfied as black? Why don't they allow those same successes to be claimed for the white side? Isn't that politically incorrect and unpopular today? I just don't get it. After all, shouldn't bi/tri/quadri-racial people be able to claim for themselves the category(ies) they belong in?

      January 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
      • Curious

        Why can't we all get along with Halle Berry!!!! Yea baby!

        January 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  79. DRTSAT

    I have to disagree with "it only takes one drop. Just because one has another race in their blood does not automatically make them one of that race. Does a drop of asian blood make one asian? Does a drop of hispanic blood make one hispanic? Does a drop drop of caucasian blood make one caucasian. NO! It makes you bi-racial or multiracial. Many people say President Obama is black but he's not. He's bi-racial. People should be proud of their heritage regardless of where they came from. multi-racial and bi-racial people have double, triple or more reasons to be proud. Once we get past this in America and realize that all citizens are Americans that have a great cultural history the racism crap will stop.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  80. gmj

    The reason people are still looking at the past is because its still relavant today. Racism is still alive and well in America. If not where you live, then take a trip down South (where Im from) and see. I am white and Ive hear lots of comments from otherwise intelligent, kind, Christina people who though it OK to make such comments in front of someone else that was white.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx educator

      That happens to me all the time too. And, based on what my ex-boyfriend (who was black) told me time and again, it happens amongst black people too. Every....single...race is racist; some more than others. Let's stop denying this or pigeonholing white people as the only racists simply because it is popular in politically correct terms.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  81. Josh

    One thing I admired so much about Martin Luther King was that he was genuine about civil rights. Bonafide equality for everyone. And he knew that came about by showing us just how much alike we all are. The whole point was to prove that our differences were irrelevant (borderline silly) and should be cast aside. Which is why I find the concept of 'civil rights' today so tragically ironic. If ever there was an ideology that *thrived* on highlighting our differences and clinging to things that should have been let go long before – it's the civil rights of today.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Butt Buddy

      Yep, MLK was so committed to that philosophy that he developed a well-known 'weakness for White women'. Funny how that works.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  82. Imitation of Live

    Thanks for the article Don and sharing your family history. Some think not talking about race with make it go away. I hope that some day all the branches of family trees can be embraced , regardless of the their color.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  83. Lajava

    I like the reminder to people who think that diversity is a problem, this article and articles like make you start a discussion how you feel about other races and if you have problem with it you might need to check yourself.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Diversity means beliefs, ideals, not so much being diverse in color.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  84. The Offended Blogger

    I thought we weren't supposed to "see color" and accept all people as humans so why does CNN have to point out EVERY DAY that we are all racially different? Hypocrites.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobby

      totally agree

      January 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • tx educator

      like like like

      January 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      CNN = liberal or left sided news sites. Left is more prone to forcing whites to be guilty as they (the left) supposedly champion the minorities, which is also a ruse since they don't champion for them really. So basically it is peddling white guilt.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  85. J.

    It is interesting this Author feels the need to criticize both the offenders and the victims. More interesting perhaps,is that he is acting as an advocate for racism by perpetuating the same fundamental thought that "one drop" of African ancestory is a polluting factor.This one drop must be a stain and a ruiner for if it were not then 100 years later an individual with "African American" ancestry despite marrying others of other races would surely "Change"into the race that is in the majority of his or her racial composition. This thought of whether an individual "knows it" or if the world around them "Notices it" , it being the supposive offensive or tainted portion of their genealogy, regardless they still ARE...is a racism someone such as the author should be preaching and dedicating 100 pages plus to dismiss. In short, I hope you make alot of money and have the ability to travel to exotic places and discover that we humans are more than where our ancestors geographic location has blessed us with cosmetically.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  86. Mark

    I think most black people aren't discriminated against in modern society, but they use the race card as a power play. It definitely works on the psyche of most white people and I believe that is why it's so broadly accepted for whites outside the South to make fun of, degrade, and demoralize white Southerners. It's just their way of feeling like they are above the 'racial fray", relegating the sins of white supremacy to a completely different area.

    People seem to regard racism as the most egregious stain of our society, but I really think child molestation, rape, and incest are far worse. It's a shame that people can be charged for a hate crime and get more severe punishment than life long child predators. If liberals were truly compelled to change our society to protect the weakest of its members, they (ie ACLU) would promote passing Jessica's law in liberal states that favor protecting the privacy of child molesters. Now that's a REAL shame...

    January 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • maya

      Spoken like a true ignorant white person.
      Racism is alive today! I live it. My parents live it. My siblings live it. My friends live it.
      You are just oblivious to it because it never happened to you. Please speak on something you have some knowledge about.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Sannate

        Spoken like a true self-pitying (and racist) black person.

        January 15, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calistudent

      Mark...you don't have a clue.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Mark your life must be so great....I'm sure you don't notice anything going on around you....

      January 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      Eh, in truth everyone will be discriminated against something. Modern times, due to Obama being in the White House well black people are still screaming discrimination louder, even though they are not the only people in this world.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • bendelep

      Mark has a point. I live in a very liberal city (Boulder). There is a black guy in our community who keeps getting 2nd, 3rd, 4th.... SO many chances. He's a criminal, but people almost want to help him more BECAUSE he's black, and he totally takes advantage of it. He's using it to use and con people, and he thinks the world owes it to him. He won't just get a real job and support his family. It's always this pathetic sob story, and getting free everything.... his house, his cars, school lunches for his kids, free sports for his kids, health club membership. I wish he'd get arrested and hauled off to jail already, where he belongs.

      January 16, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  87. Steve

    Welcome to another episode of CNN Comments, also known as, Extremely Uninformed and Ignorant Opinions. The thought that some of you are breeding is the scariest concept I can think of.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Susan Reedy

      Amen!

      January 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • ColoradoNative40

      Agreed

      January 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • sharky

      "Extremely Uninformed and Ignorant Opinions."

      Ok what comments?

      January 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        I really shouldn't have to point them out to you.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Yes, you should, or else yours is just as ignorant as those you complain about. *shrugs*

        January 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Steve

        Some of yours for example.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        LOL And what have I said that is ignorant? You've posted nothing except to attack other people and offered not a shred of anything of substance at the same time. So now you attack me because I challenge your rather shallow position of people here. So do tell, Steve, what have I said that is so ignorant?

        January 15, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • multi-racial rainbow

      I am pretty shocked but it is better to be enlightened. There are some truly scary people on here.

      January 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  88. Richard

    It is so tragically sad that this country is still dealing with this issue. I thought we got rid of our prejudice problem after the civil rights movement of the 60s and 70s. I see all these morons riding around with their confederate flags and I have to wonder what happened. Aside from the overt racism that such symbols of hatred epitomize, one has to wonder why in the world does a person identify themselves by a war that has been over for nearly 150 YEARS! It is just embarrasingly STUPID.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  89. ColoradoNative40

    Wow I'm not sure what jona and fatigued got out of that story but I did not read into it any whining. Just a historical footnote. Someone can't write a note regarding history if they are black without other people looking for a "dredging up slavery" aspect? What if this had been a personal note by someone with Irish ancestry about the hardships their immigrant ancestors had to face after the potato famine? Pretty sure jona and fatigued any bitterness is from your end. I found this account interesting; makes me wonder about the truth of the rumor of an ancestor on my father's side being someone who was actually "black".

    January 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  90. Patricia S. Dumas

    great article..you never get over your past. Being Jewish, I was always told by my non-Jewish inlaws to "get over" the history of the Holocaust. It's over and done with. Nothing is "over and done with". Without history, you are nothing.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elmeaux

      I disagree. Without history, we are required to create our OWN lives, and not continue to ride on the shoulders (or beneath the boot heels) of people who are not US, and whose actions are not OURS.

      I'm not saying forget our pasts; I am saying that we have to stop living lives that are not our own.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marquise

      Nice reply. We can all learn for others experiences. Many whites and some blacks want to bury America's ugly history like it never happened but you can't. It has made us who and what we were are. We can continue to grow and evolve or live in denial and repeat the mistakes of the past. Black history is American history, bitter sweet.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  91. Calistudent

    Great article, thank you Don Lemon.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  92. GrouchyKat

    While the article makes some excellent points, the timing makes it feel like this is a ploy on CNN's part to start throwing the race card around in the 11 months prior to the election.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calistudent

      Actually, the timing stems from the fact that the professor who is being interviewed, Yaba Blay, is publishing a book on this topic. Look it up.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • linda

      You sound absolutely crazy this is the truth it is nothing to do with a race card it is the truth if anything you are the one stuck on race card playing

      January 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ColoradoNative40

      I think the only one who is connecting this to the election is you. The author didn't. Perhaps CNN posted it today because tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Or are you one of those people who thinks it shouldn't be a holiday? Or just is glad to have the Monday off and not care why?

      January 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg Moore

      Our perhaps because tomorrow is MLK day?.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Dragon Lady

      Gee, and here I was thinking the timing was related to MLK Jr Day being tomorrow. Your answer is much more obvious. Nobody ever talks about race and racism at any time other than leading up to Presidential elections in an effort to make Republican candidates look bad. Of course, they would only look bad if they were being racist. Hmmm. I might have to think about that. I hope you can read my sarcasm in my note. You need a reality check.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  93. LearnYourHistory

    There is something wrong with people who get angry at a person telling a true story about his family and the culture he grew up in.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • chipolte

      There's something wrong with people who constantly feel the need to tell it every day of the week.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • linda

        no one is doing that give us all a link and proof that this is done by him daily you bigot!

        January 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Marquise

        There is not a day that goes by that we do not share our life stories with others. We talk about our spouses and children but only whites can do that. If blacks talk about their families they are playing the race card because many of them are descendants of the slave master. America was found by slavery and that is a fact.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthcanbegood

      Why are people getting so angry and turning the truth on what happen in the South into racist remark. Thanks Don a job well done.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
      • Luvuall

        Yeah he sounded like he was just telling it like it was. Not complaining, not whining, just telling his story. The people on here getting angry would just be angry about some other story if Don hadn't written his.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  94. Ahway

    I often tease my mother that we may have a balck ancestor. My mother and her family have been here since the 1600's. No one of exceptional wealth, she has some Cherokee blood through my great grandmother. I think it is a quite possible for anyone who has ancestors from early in our history. Having said that, I take exception to the interview. I think whenever anyone embrace the one drop rule, they are embracing the narrow stereotypes of Jim Crow. I am a mix of European, American Indian and possibly African American. I would say that make me multiracial, not black. Not because I want to embrace all my heritages. I will not let Jim Crow's "taint" define who I am. Nor should anyone. This law was used in South Africa until recently to prohibit marriages between "whites" and anyone with a percentage of African ancestry. I think it is taking a step backward to embrace the ignorance of others. It is actually embracing the racism of the past.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • linda

      good unfortunately for you that is not how a lot in America feel

      January 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  95. chipolte

    Same topics from a predictable news source.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Logic

      If it is predictable, then why are you here reading it? If you know that CNN is like that why are you even here? Stop trolling.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • sparky

      Same comments from people who don't know how to spell, for example, "Chipotle".

      January 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  96. bobby

    what is the point of this article? black people like this need to get over themselves. you only make race an issue when you want it to be an issue.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truth

      Racism is still an issue in this country. We should not bury our past and completely ignore it as if it never happened. Do not act so ignorant.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rusty

      Yeah. You're right. The last thing I need to listen to is someone telling me about *their* people's systematic oppression and brutality under the hands of *our* people. I mean, every day was "beating this" and "lynching that". Do they know how tired our ancestors were at the end of the day oppressing black people? Does anyone feel any sympathy for them? No. Do we write stories about how hard it was for them? No – they sucked it up. Seriously, everyone's family has been enslaved, beaten, and lynched by a mob because of their skin color at some point in time – black people should just get over it, right Bobby?

      January 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Curious

      The point is Beyonce and Halle Berry are hot because of their white blood and Oprah, well, enough said...

      January 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Would you, at the same time, think Beyonce and Berry (yes attractive women) were hot if they did not dress in such a way, and were not famous? Probably not.

        January 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |
  97. Pedro

    Don, you're so right, so accurate, and you say it so clearly. It was a failure of imagination on the part of our white forefathers who imported black slaves: If people are in geographical proximity, they'll mate. Why did the white people not realize that eventually we'd all become part of one another? It's simple arithmetic. No laws or prohibitions or prejudices or preferences or denials will change that. Whether anyone likes it or not, it will just happen, and it will blur and then solve the whole race "problem." Good.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peggy

      Pedro,

      And so the universe will unfold as it should. You are correct.

      January 15, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  98. Thisisdumb09

    Another race article on CNN, this is great... NOT.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  99. jona

    what ever. Blacks have killed more blacks since emancipation than during the slave years. Stop looking back and fix today's miserable mess. The comment about the Southern Tree was simply stupid. So sick of CNN's daily race articles.

    January 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Calistudent

      What an incredibly factually inaccurate statement. Next.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        Prove the statement is inaccurate.

        January 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • carl

      If you're sick of articles about race, the simple answer is to not read them. Bury your head in the sand and ignore the problem.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Todd in DC

      Actually, the majority of black murders is black on black violence. But guess what, the majority of white murders is white on white violence. THis is a result of different races congregating in different neighborhoods.

      You cannot draw any reasonable conclusions from this sort of violence within a specific race.

      January 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  100. fatigued

    Will they ever get over the past? Obviously, having voted in a black man as president hasn't reduced their bitterness one iota

    January 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paulierock

      nor has it reduced yours ..what a shame .. Peace and Love Peace and Love ...

      January 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
      • Gloria

        What "bitterness"?..He's simply relating a very interesting, factual part of his family's history. He doesn't sound bitter to me..Actually, the article has a bit of bemusement to it, as in isn't it interesting and sadly amusing how things were back then. I think you should "get over" the fact that you just can't stand hearing anything about this country's racial history.

        January 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • UseYourSense

      That comment is the most ignorant I've ever read. Well if that's true, then everyone should stop looking at history books. We should not care about what happened in the past that led to where we are today. Its kind of hard to get over the past if it inflicts so much emotions.

      January 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • linda

      no we won't as you dont yours ala the TEA Party...now we know where that originated and what that was about right!

      January 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        And what is wrong with the Tea Party?

        January 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marquise

      The only one that sounds bitter is you. You read an article recanting the ignorance of the racist practices of this country and you are upset at the reporter and not the acts. Telling!

      January 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • HomeSweetHome

      First, understand President Obama was not elected in by African Americans alone. Second, it is not African American's that need to get over the pass, it is white America that need to get over the pass and come to the 21th Century. You will soon become the minority in this country, as you already are in the world. It is time you start thinking about how you want to be treated. Not all the time do the saying "what go's around comes around". Just remember it is up to you.

      January 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • sharky

        What "pass" are you even talking about, or do you mean PAST with a T? Well considering the fact ever since Obama was running for the Presidential election, and then won, all the left has even said and done is call every single person that disagrees with Obama on anything as racist. So who really needs to get over what. Next not to mention the amazing peddling of Obama as a black man, when he is actually not. He is in fact biracial, given his mother was white and he was raised by her and that side of the family since his father pretty much ditched him. What a guy. Next the fact African Americans even need to call themselves African Americans given the majority of them are not African, were not born there, nor have parents from there, so they are in fact simply Americans and they are black. White people do not go around calling themselves European Americans. African Americans forget that white people are also African, add on there are hundreds of tribes in Africa, so to say one is African American is saying all the tribes of Africa are the same, which they are definitely not.

        Ah so basically you want punishment and retribution for the past, while I am sure completely ignoring precisely everything in the past. That is what your comment is about, you want white people to be guilty and to pay for everything that happened. Oh swell good for you so much for getting over the past. LOL.

        One reminder having looked at African countries and how they are now, compared to say Western or white countries, which have prospered? Keep that in mind. So while you say white people will be in the minority and actually hispanics/latinos will be the majority soon enough look at their countries now as well. How well they have prospered.

        Congrats mate, for living in the past still.

        January 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • VELMA

      WHO ARE THEY ?????????

      January 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
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