Editor's Note: In today’s United States, is being black determined by the color of your skin, by your family, by what society says, or something else? Soledad O’Brien reports “Who Is Black in America?” on CNN at 8 p.m. ET/PT this Sunday, December 15.
By Jamescia Thomas, Special to CNN
(CNN) - CNN invited iReporters to share their thoughts on being Black in America in 2012. Some said they had to work twice as hard to remain competitive. Others said a strong racial identity was vital and societal views on being black were too narrow to fit the entire race. Here are five perspectives from African-Americans on how they view the definition of black in 2012. What would you add?
Comfort in being a minority
Antwon Chavis grew up without much of a cultural identity, outside of the acknowledgement of his race. The 27-year-old medical student from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was one of the few black kids in his school. He remembers being called on often to make photos seem more diverse or to voice his opinion so that the minority perspective was heard.
He identified more with his white peers and remembers being rejected by his black peers. For a while, he realized he didn’t fit in with any race and thrived only after he acknowledged that was OK.
Chavis opted to go to historically black Meharry Medical College. He said he chose to go there because he found himself becoming too comfortable as the minority and needed to explore “black culture,” which he often avoided.
“If I could choose to sit at a table of black strangers, a table of white strangers, or a table of both black and white strangers, I would pick the white table all day, everyday,” Chavis said. “I was the duck that forgot it was a duck until it separated from the swans and saw its reflection.”
Now in his final year of medical school, Chavis said although he never grew up facing any hardships, being a black man in America is tough. He said he feels as though he is constantly fighting against the societal box for a black man.
“Being black in 2012 means different things to different people,” he said. “And to me, it means being who I am. And for once, who I am is just right.”
Desire Grover said having a racial identity is not that important to her but finds that she cannot escape the practice of others trying to categorize her. She said that the classifiers of race and gender fuel what society imposes to measure the worth of a human being.
The journalist from Chester, Pennsylvania, said the world cannot let her be just a human being because there is a hypothetical “race” that needs to be won.
“Our society has programmed us to compete with one another," she said. "And in the process of all this competition we size each other up. I think we use the race box as a way to cancel people out of access to certain resources and we are told we must do this because life's value is measured on how much power you have over resources and others.”
Grover identifies with the underdog, no matter what race, and welcomes the struggle that she faces as a black woman. Being the underdog is something that she says allows her never to take anything good for granted.
“As the underdog in society, when you do accomplish something of value, I believe you are able to experience a level of satisfaction and accomplishment that is lost on someone who is born into a family with networks leading to their profession or financial security," she said.
She hopes that one day, race will become extinct because the classifications limit human potential.
“We fear getting rid of these identifiers because it would mean acknowledging that we truly are all the same.”
The same as 40 years ago?
North Carolina A&T graduate Andrew Bullock considers himself successful. He has a great job, a loving family and drives a luxury car. But some people who are not black are surprised by his achievements, he said.
"Being a black man in America today means I have more opportunity to succeed than ever before while virtually facing the same opposition that has been present for decades,” Bullock said. “Even with the freedoms afforded us, we still face monstrous oppositions. There are still those who would like to see us remain subservient.”
His mother grew up during the Jim Crow era and told him about the blatant racism she faced. Today, he believes, racism exists in covert fashion and it's just as dangerous for black people.
“Racism is an idea which cannot die in a matter of a couple of decades." he said. "It has not gone away, but rather changed forms. It shows itself in the poor funding and care to schools in black neighborhoods, the disproportion of lead roles for blacks in blockbuster movies and cartoons, the unwillingness of state governments to address the high mortality rate of young black men due to violent crimes.”
Bullock said he expects the future for black people will continue to improve.
“I hope that we have such a high number of us shattering the negative stereotypes by becoming successful that we cause new positive stereotypes about our race to be created,” he said.
From Negro to colored to African-American
Being black means a legacy of triumph and brutality, said author and teacher Robyn McGee.
“Having a strong racial identity means loving your culture and heritage," she said. "It certainly does not mean hating other races. We should not let the media or any other outside forces define us.”
McGee grew up in Long Beach, California, where she still lives, and was one of the few black students in her schools. She remembers being called Simba and other racial slurs.
She found a community of black students when she went onto San Jose State University.
"It was so wonderful to feel like I belonged," she said. "In fact, my family says I was somewhat militant during that time. I was studying black history in college, so I guess I was both angry and proud.”
She said the black experience was unique because they were brought to America as slaves. Oppression, she said, made black people resilient, forgiving and strong.
“We have been called colored, Negro, black, Afro-American, African-American and the n-word,” she said. “But no matter what term appears on a government form, we are still here in the great U.S.A shaping the history, culture and future of the place we call our home.”
No more excuses
Diversity consultant and motivational speaker Omekongo Dibinga, 36, grew up with a Congolese name and whole lot of ignorance. White people disrespected him, he felt, because he was black; blacks disrespected him for his African roots.
“I really tried to grow up and just be like everybody else. I just wanted to fit in," he said. "At every juncture though, I just kept being reminded of how different I was."
Later, he attended a prestigious school in Boston, one where he forged his strong black identity.
"I basically decided that if everyone is going to keep disrespecting me because of my black and African culture, I am going to embrace it 100%," he said.
Now in Washington, Dibinga helps inform and empower people on the issues of race and diversity.
“I didn't create racism and intolerance, but I can help end them," he said.
He said black people must develop a "no excuse" mentality.
“We can rise above any challenge put in front of us from poverty to racism," he said. “We even helped elect the first black president. What do we have to complain about? There is a lot of good going on for black people now."
How does it feel to be black in America in 2012? Share your views and personal experiences in the comments area below or post your own video on CNN iReport.
“Who Is Black in America?”
II just want to know one thing, why does everything have to be base on race with white folks? Why can't we just be Americans? They are making Soledad do this article because she was recently outed as a woman of mixed race heritage. So damn what! Americans are just that, AMERICANS!!! Only racist hearts give a damn what color your skin is.
How can you say why does everything have to be based on race with white folks and only racist hearts give a damn what color you skin is? Sounds like you are one of the racist hearts. You just generalized all white people and assumed a white people care about race.
How many "black owned" networks are asking questions about being white in America? How many black radio stations stop someone from coming on because they are white? How many black churches stop whites from participating in their Sunday services? How many black owned restaurants treat whites like they have a plague when they bring their families there to eat? Get real!! It isn't the blacks that have problems with whites. It is that many, not all, whites have a problem with us being black and proud!! Do you really think this story was written because Soledad wanted to talk about being part black. No, this story is because the "white owned" media enjoys people making their racial disparities known via anonymity. Remember, we just had to deal with the Tea Party and the many racist things that were a part of their agenda. Did you see anyone, any place making racial signs about Mitt Romney? No, because that is not how black people are. We are a race that excepts anyone and appreciates being unique and special. We don't mind opening up about who we are. We don't have to hide behind hate to try an make ourselves better than any other race.
Statistically speaking, being black is nothing to be proud of. There are racist in every race. The sooner you realize that the sooner YOU can stop blaming white people for your problems.
Umm...What!...Too Funny... To all " Real Americans" that live somewhere between New York and LA...Good Luck, and God Bless!...And hopefully the media will focus on the real issues the American people are facing and stop making-up new issues for you to worry about.
You folks do realize that, as propagandists for the ruling class, the mainstream media's job, in part, is to divide the workers, no? They focus on race in order to keep us from coming together as a class.
If you have to tell people you’re black… you’re not.
Read through these comments and you will understand why there is a race problem in America.
If you learn anything meaningful from the CNN comment section, you have worse problems than perceived racism.
Please move Solo and Candy C. to some cable channel show in northern Montana that airs 2-3 in the morning. Then they can spout their personal opinions to their loyal viewers. Anytime either one of them come on CNN I turn to Fox... Is this the only special assignment the editor at CNN gives her??????
FOX!!! This says a lot about you.....
I am still looking for White in America!! Why has it not been a CNN show about this topic?
Amen, most people who identify themselves as "white" would be shocked to learn the inclusiveness of "Caucasian" or "Aryan". After all of those centuries of wars, invasions, occupations, etc., in Europe, what pretense of "purity" can remain? More US citizens should travel through Europe to see how mixed their ancestry can be.
"“If I could choose to sit at a table of black strangers, a table of white strangers, or a table of both black and white strangers, I would pick the white table all day, everyday,” Chavis said. “I was the duck that forgot it was a duck until it separated from the swans and saw its reflection.”
Now in his final year of medical school, Chavis said although he never grew up facing any hardships, being a black man in America is tough. He said he feels as though he is constantly fighting against the societal box for a black man."
I have to wonder if it were being exposed to "black culture" that led him to the conclusion that being black in America is tough? I wonder if you would have asked him before his "exposure to black culture" would his response have been different?
Disappointed and 55...It seems this type of story and show perpetuates the problem as much as anything else. It's like picking a scab
Ugh, this drivel again CNN? How many times do you have to rehash this "Black in America" crap. In case any of you readers are surprised, CNN is at the forefront of headlining racial issues. I come here often to look at the CNN-SI page, but always notice they have some racial story (always blacks being victimized by others) somewhere on their front page. They will even re-hash stories from decades ago. CNN to me has very little journalistic integrity left. They obviously are pushing an agenda.
@american, when all else fails, COMPLAIN about their grammer!!
I think you mean "grammar".
Yeah..racism does not exist. 'Black' people make up less than 15 percent of US population but a series asking who can identify with being labled black or raised in American black subculture....all this creates pages of angry posts. Please question your true feelings on 'race'. People are not honest.
If it's a raper guy, then it's prolly a black. If it works and is non-violent it's prolly not.
Spoken like a typical bigot! White noise, wit a Old White man's mentallity
@ Ronnie From New Orleans
How do you know he is white? There are more than two races you racist.
Seriously. You see someone make a funny racist comment and immediately assume they are white, which is in and of itself racist.
Writing that sentence must have taken the mental equivalent of a Herculean-effort on your part.
My head just exploded from all the bad grammar in that sentence.
Cordova Tennessee is pre-dominantly black & they are all living quite well in $200,000 homes.
Exceptions don’t make the rules. That’s why stereotypes are a generalization. But keep grasping at that straw.
I pretty much get along with everybody I meet,regardless.When the people I meet start with the racial stuff instead of just enjoying the moment,Iwalk away.Either act like a regular person or go away,leave the race sruff for the politicians and the media,they seem to be the only ones who care about that stuff anyway,most folks I know and am friends with are only concerned with their own little circle of life and getting a job anyway.
When we can look beyond color and race and call each other just "Americans," we will be on our way to solving our biggest problems!
It'll happen when folks drop the hyphens in their names and just be American.
If you really think about it, it wasn't too long ago that black people in America didn't get a choice in what they were called by the majority. The hyphen is the result of black people re-establishing that they were human and equal in a time where they were considered less.
True, we are moving further away from that now, and I don't think that "White America" should be continuously taken to task for a period in time that their ancestors were responsible for (it's like hating present-day Spaniards for the Spanish Inquisition); but just looking at some of these comments proves that America needs to be reminded from time to time that we are not above that pesky "race" issue. I'd love to forget all about it too...until co-worker tells me that "I'm a credit to my race". If America stops making off-hand comments like that, then we can all move on. Trust me, I'm ready.
“...until co-worker tells me that "I'm a credit to my race”
That isn’t racism, its observation and statically accurate. (if it’s true) Seems you should be taking issue with your fellow blacks for creating such a negative image of your race.
O'Brien...This stinks! How many Black shows are you going to do? What about Native American, German American, redneck? The only thing I have heard is a rehash of the same comments from befor.
I actually think this came back up because our president is black....Did you see how white people acted, re-acted, and racial batied thru-out these last 4 to 5 years??? Some us the stuff will really bad.....
It wasn’t just whites, and we’ve had a black president for 4 years. This is just a PR stunt.
My dog, who I love and adore is a very large snow dog. Her father was a pure Alaskan malamute. Her mother was a Lab/Shepard mix. I suppose that if there was some new laws instated that wouldn't some way favor and benefit Labs here in America, I would start telling everyone that she too was a Lab. After all, it would appear that in the the PC arena of modern America 1/4 of your genetic heritage is sufficient enough to claim while ignoring the bigger picture.
You have very well traced your dog's roots to wherever. .... do u know where u come from
Shut up, Soledad...O'BRIEN! The only reason you have a job is because you were a hottie and you didn't make waves when you got booted from the morning show for ever more hotter Kiran Chetry, who always shows her legs (something you should learn. Had you done that, you'd still be hosting the morning show.). Don't even call yourself black, O'BRIEN. You don't know diddly about that topic.
LOL. I agree with most of your comments, but she IS hosting the morning show.
CNN every other day
Who are blacks in america?
Who are latinos in america?
I mean come on....this is too much...this country has all the races....never seen a article says whites and their issues in America
Because whites don't have issues in America. Unless you are referring to Eminem and Honey Boo Boo...
Whites don't have issues in America....You get great jobs, great pay, great raises, great interest rates on loans, and great living conditions.....Your kids go to great schools, get great lunches, and have great activities....What are your issues???
I’ve read a number of your posts and you’re better than this Debbie. There are more white people on Welfare than black.
Latinos are white people. I have seen her mother in person and she looks very African so that would mkae her black and white as she explained.
Why are Americans so obsessed with race? It seeps in to everything you do and distorts your view. Because American culture is broadcast around the world in every form of popular media, the rest of the world gets a front row seat to how divide Americans really are. We witnessed your Presidential election and were dumbfounded by the level of ignorance that exists in your country. Your President is a Harvard educated lawyer, but many of you look at him as though he is the guy with his pants hanging down saying “Yo, Yo Yo!”. How confused can you be?
What you leave out of your statement,conveniently of course,is the fact that it was white folks who elected Obama twice as president.Check out racial percentages in this country and you'll find he had to get the white vote to win,so your arguement really isnt valid.A black president ,two terms in a row,is proof that racism is a bygone relic only to be used by fortune hunters.
Actually 55, the majority of those that voted for Obama are considered "minorities". Blacks, Latinos, single mothers and Senior Citizens were Obama's biggest supporters. He was not elected by getting the white vote, he was elected because those "minorities" are quickly becoming the majority.
@european guy-you are wrong simply by logistics.At the moment,the president has to have the majority white vote to be in the white house.Percentages of minorities also include underage ,non voters.Simple percentages will point this out to you.You also will discover,if you ever move to America that it's minorities that are the most vocal about race while the white majority is more vocal about things like jobs and made in America issues.
Fiftyfive55, I am the youngest person and the only person of color in my office. I have been with this company for 6 years; with that being said my coworkers tell me I do not sound black every chance they get. When I ask, what does “sounding” black sound like I get blanks faces.
The first time Obama was elected no one in my offices spoke to me for days. The second election I had one co-worker say to me “see what I done” and we have not spoken since. Another coworker told me I was pretty because I do not have “African” features. We have had to take diversity classes because my managers have heard theses exchanges; my co-workers blame me because I should have tougher skin. Not one of my co workers realize this is just rude and has nothing to with me having tough skin.
I do not try to pull the race since my family looks like the United Nations but please do not try to tell me it does not occur since I live it every day.
Everone of every race has experienced what ou have at one time or another but if you focus on that you will get lost in it.Remember that people are individuals and should be treated as individuals and an individual does not speak for an entire race.
Many Europeans like to think themselves better than Americans and wonder why we have so many race issues here. It's because we have more diversity in this country than you guys have and we deal with people of different ethnicities, races, and religions than you all are forced to. If people fled to your country the way they flee here seeking freedom and peace, you would be no different than us and have all of the same race issues that we do. Kind of hard to understand it when you walk outside and everyone looks and acts the same.
Actually Jeff, most of Europe is the same as America. Rural areas have very little multi-culturalism while urban areas are very diverse. Same as America. We’re (and I mean for the most part “we”, as there are crazy xenophobic Europeans) just not obsessed with pointing out everyone’s racial differences.
The French are especially guilty of this, but imagine if Americans started emigrating to France, forming their own communities, and then ran to the courts to legislate making English the official language or screaming that the French National Anthem is racist. You Europeans don't have these problems over there.
Most of Europe is not the same at all. The city I live in in California is considered one of the most diverse in the US. Within a few miles of my present location, there are probably people from 25 different countries and just as many different languages being spoken right now. In fact, this city has the largest population of Russians outside of Russia and a little bit to the west has the largest population of Chinese outside China. Just the people sitting around me in my office right now are from 6 different ethnicities. I don't know any place in Europe like that.
Jeff, you just described every major city in Europe.
2013 upon on... really? This is still a topic? Sigh...
Why is we have black families that have been in America for hundreds of years but we still refer to them as African Americans.
My ancestors were English.
I'm not an English American. Ya'll would laugh at me if I have myself a label like that.
...well, we're all laughing at you.
Get with the program. You ARE Americans.
You wanna' be "African" move to Africa and apply for citizenship in an African country. But oh wait, you don't wanna' do that, huh?
Thank US for bring you here or you could be worse off.
Absolutely right !!! Hyphens are a racist sign.period.You are either American or you are not,hyphens just make it clear as to who doesnt consider themselves totally American.
Because white people are more discriminated against today than any other race.
And you, dear idiot, need to go back and finish shcool, beginning with kindergarten. Dont' stop until you are able to read and write. Thank us for bring us here? LMAO!
Do you even know how to communicate with people or do you just like calling people names and insulting them as if you were ten years old ?
I'm African American. No I'm not black. White in fact. I happened to be born in South Africa due to my parents having multi-year business assignment abroad.
It was very helpful to be an African American when I applied for scholarships, applied to college, took the mcat and later applied to med school. Talk about getting a leg up!
Hahaha! Yep-a white South African who becomes an American citizen is technically an African-American.
Love this! This is why I feel like I'm not "African-American" even though the world would consider me to be so because of my brown skin. I like to consider myself multiracial because I have so many ethnicities in my blood. My family has been in the United States over 100 years. Forget being "Black" or "African-America" I'm just American.
Can I have my 45 or so seconds back please? Do you really sit around and ponder this nonsense? You are what you are. You have no control over it. It's nothing to be proud of or ashamed of. Worry about things you can control.
Whether you're black, white, other races, male, female, gay, straight, religious or non, thin or – yes, even...fat (talk about negative image), we should ALL be treated as ppl of value!
The sad reality is...this will never happen
As a white man (European-American), I give black America an A . I admire the blacks and appreciate their inventions and contributions to society.
Also, I voted for Obama.
Rap, the NBA, violence, crime...what other contributions am I missing?
@reef: SOCIAL REVOLUTION, one our best contributions to America. How do you think you have a Black President?!?!
Reef, you must be very ill educated. You want to talk about crime? The crime that blacks are purported to commit is minute when compared to the white collar crime that is committed in the country everyday. Our current economic situation is very evident on that!
You're just ignorant
You mean a white President. He is 50/50 so why does black win the argument?
Is Tiger Woods black when he is 50% Malaysian and 25% white?
There should be a What is white in America and a what is Hispanic in America. America tends to focus on just blacks instead of everyone as a whole. I for one like this article a lot. These perspectives are the same as mine and I am a young black male growing up in a suburb.
There sure are a lot of white people worried about, upset about being Black in America. If the conversation isn't about you, then you really don't have to respond. The article isn't about how white people feel about Black people. You don't understand the topic because it doesn't pertain to you. Save yourself the stress and move along to another topic.
MoniM: United we stand, divided we fall. This article and conversation is for everyone to read, think about and discuss. Stop dividing our citizenship by race. We are all Americans. If you wish to be "different", you will be treated that way. The FUBU mentality is anti-American.
WHY? WHY? WHY? Why is it that you continue to perpetuate the race divide we continue to have in this country? Many white Americans don't think about racial issues/tensions/problems until it is shoved in their face by repeated specials bringing attention to the problem. I have NO racial issues, as I have many friends that are considered minorities. I grew up with minority friends. Went on vacations with minority friends. I have other "white" friends that feel the same as I do, and only think about racial problems when some minority American seems to be able to NOT let it go.
PLEASE!!! Let it go! Or do it in a different way. I love CNN news for the professionalism and the quality that the very skilled news journalists and anchors present the news. But it seems that Soledad for one, and some of the other minority anchors, can't let the whole race issue go. They are so successful. There are so many super-successful minorities in all areas of today's society. From TV shows, news programs, law, medical fields, and lets not forget...ATHLETICS and MUSIC!! I am in awe at times of the skill levels of many athletes and musical artists. But it just never seems to be enough.
I do not like how many minority groups are treated. It hurts me to see "white" people mistreating or thinking they are better than other races, but it goes both ways. If it wasn't force-fed to us every day on TV and in other information mediums, I honestly think things would get better. If you give notoriety to a ignorant white who mistreats minorities, that gives them more power. But if the same action is not on the 6 oclock and 11 oclock news, or not on the front page of the morning newspaper, then the ignorant white's actions are only known to the people involved and they don't feel the
power" of attention given to them by others viewing it.
Just saying. I love you all and hope that we all can manage to realize that we are all the same. We are all HUMANS!! Tigers don't go around thinking "I'm better then the cheetah." A Laborador doesn't think "I'm better than that stupid Chow". We are all humans, some just have better tans than others.
Good luck to everyone on 12-21-2012...its only a few days away now, and I am ready to become a fully concious being, and I welcome our space neighbors and relatives. We are not alone so we need to love each other so we aren't seen as the ignorant humans on that planet by other off-world civilizations.
See you in the next world!!
The day we are not referred to as the Minority with emphasis on ATHLETICS and MUSICIANS, is probably the day everyone will be able to let it go.
And yet out of everything said, all you took away from it was the reference to black athletes and musicians....completely blew past the medical professionals, famous inventors of the 19th and 20th centuries, actors/actresses, business execs, etc...just that someone mentioned black, athlete, and musician in the same sentence. Color of skin isn't the problem, it's the close mindedness of the individual for not seeing past the color of someone's skin or eyes or hair...
I'm a firm believer that once the generations of the 1950's and back are gone, the world will be a better place. Racism is a choice people make, and it runs across ALL ethnicities...I've heard a black person racially slur a Chinese person, I've heard a Korean person slur a Vietnamese person, a white person slur a Latino....the list goes on and on. And why do people keep referring to someone on a racial level?? There is only one "race" and it's human....multiple ethnicities, but only one race.
All was good until you started ranting about space visitiors.
Don't forget about giant monster truck spinning rims and loud tinnitus inducing annoying bass throbbing stereos in said cars.
I like these stories about successful black Americans. They help to counterract what I see every day in Toledo, Ohio. I need to be reminded frequently that what I witness with my own eyes is not indiciative of people's natural abilities, but merely their deliberate and comical dedication to poor taste, bad choices, stereotypical behaviors and general obnoxious ignorance. I mean, I REALLY need to be reminded. Because it's so easy to forget, living here....
Agreed. You go outside and misty see black people calling each other the n-word and having their pants below their knees. It's good to be reminded they're not all like that.
When asked what race I am, I normally answer "human". You might call me "white".
Uhmm..you live in a crappy ex-industrial Midwestern town. The 'black' people there are a product of their hateful , stupid environment. Toledo is just a gross, racist, hateful place anyway. Ohio sucks. Racism there is so stupid and ridiculous that it is comical. There are plenty of places with middle-class black people..ironically..most of the places are in major cities in the South.. and East Coast.
It wasn't "stupid" and "racist" when blacks came up here from the South looking for good jobs in the '40s...and found them. That doesn't seem very stupid and racist. I think it's racist now because they stopped looking for jobs a long time ago. But you're right; Toledo is home to some of the most ignorant people in the entire country, black and white. (Funny, it wasn't like that here before the Civil Rights Movement and the War on Poverty.) Anyway, I try to avoid them as much as possible, but they just keep procreating.
Blacks should be more like Bill Cosby and less like Lil Wayne. Learn to speak and write well. Stop purposefully using bad grammar and cursing every other word.
Stop watching music videos.
To the IGNORANT people who keep stating that The President is HALF white, in America, with ONE DROP of Black Blood, you are no longer considered WHITE. Black Man, white women make a Black Baby!!! get it?!?! That's the white man's rules......
I am no Bill Cosby, and I am no Lil Wayne....I can read, write, spell, add, subtract multiply, and divide....I can't say that much for some of you.....
Articles about black and hispanic are getting absurb! An article about whites in America would make more sense in 2012 but no not even that or Asian or Chinese, etc makes any sense = WHY because this is Ameirca and we are all Americans.
Asian or Chinese? Chinese are Asians. Please, look through the articles on this site and count the numbers of those about white people, with white characters and then think about your comment. You're so far up your own ass that you miss logic at every turn. White people are everywhere and represented everywhere. To deny that and think that minorities are getting all of the mentions is to be completely self-absorbedin your white privilege.
There are many stories on CNN regarding white in America everyday. We we're required to take courses throughout grade school and college regarding White America and for one month a year we would learn about slavery. Why not discuss the accomplishments of being Black in America?
Pretty sure I remember learning about George Washington Carver, Benjamin Banneker, Henry Blair, Sarah E. Goode, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, the Black Panther Party, etc, year round in school growing up, not just February, and I grew up down south....again, close-mindedness.
I went to school in the 60's & 70's....I have NEVER learned about slavery in school....We had white teachers, principals and administration and they would not touch that subject....I learned about slavery from my great-grandmother who was white, I am black, and she gave us a heads up of how things would be as we got older....When I became an adult, I learned a little more from the movie Roots, and just general living....
@Bob, what, you can't stand defferant perspectives?!?! That's what makes America so great.
Asians are Asians? Yea?
I'm black and I'm proud!
I am half black. But all American. America would be a better place if everybody put their fellow man in consideration no matter which racial group they belong to...
With Society focusing so much on the Black Race- says a lot no other race is focused so much on BUT the black race, our different types of skin colors, other races mixing with us, our achievements, our children, our president, and our past ancestors. THAT SAYS ALOT THERE MUST BE SOMETIME THAT GOD CREATED US FOR THAT EVERYONE FOCUSES SO MUCH ON OUR RACE. PROUD TO BE AFRICAN AMERICAN, BLACK, COLORED, AND WHAT EVER ELSE SOCIETY WANTS TO NAME US I KNOW WHO GOD CREATED ME TO BE!
That's really good, comical.
Blacks have taken a back seat to smokers. Smokers are told to go without smoking while working accept while on lunch or break. When they do smoke they must go off company property often to the street.. It's rediculas how smokers are being treated these days and it's out of control.
Then stop smoking. I know that seems waaaaaaay to simple but trust me, it'll work.
What is ridiculous is your command of spelling and grammar.
What's wrong with him choosing to sit at the table with white people? Why does he or anyone else feel the need to change? Where does this guilt stem from?
I was wondering that myself. Are they saying that it would be better if he sat at the all black table instead because he would be with more of his kind? It seems like he has always had a good life and has been treated as an equal and now he is saying that he feels the need to reconnect with his black roots by being discriminated against or something. I just don't get it, I guess.
I'm in an inter-racial relationship and I am currently living with my boyfriend's parents who are white, and they have fully welcomed me, without asking anything of me for months and I'm quite happy and comfortable there. However, I have to keep hearing my father preach to me how I need to look at myself in the mirror and realize that I'm not white and I'll never belong, I'm an outsider.
As someone commented, blacks from generation to generation has been instilling the race complex. I have NEVER ever felt uncomfortable in my own skin until I get pointed out by blacks especially my own parents, why are your friends NOT black, why do you listen to rock music, why do you talk like a white person. The color of my skin should not determine who I can be friends with, date, what music I listen to, my religion, etc. etc. I AM trying to break the inferiority race complex, by seeing people as people first. Racism still exists YES, but racism knows no race. It can exists in many forms. The black community to me fails to realize racism doesn't just come from whites like they teach their kids. It can come anywhere even within their own community which is often ignored and is more open and rampant. I hope that more people can realize, they can just be themselves instead of being tied down, by expectations and stereotypes due to race. And to see people first, not the color of their skin. Be color blind and let that person's personality determine who they are.
You need to stop fooling yourself and take your fathers advice.
You need to gargle with buckshot.
I'm white and to me the black white issue is for the most part gone. When it comes to interracial marrages I feel they are wrong when it comes to having children. The poor children are often unable to identify with either race. I feel it's a matter of time before interracial offspring will be normal and more accepted.
So you feel, as a white man, that there is no black/white issue. However, you feel that they are wrong to have children together? Nice work on the inconsistency.
Why did your dad name you Amy if he didn't want this to happen?
Is Soledad O’Brien African-American?
Soledad O'Brian is a racially confused reporter trying to make a name off of being black. She came out as black a couple of years ago and tried to leverage it. The whole argument is goofy because black folks are the only ones concerned with being black. I'm not concerned with it, but I don't obsess over race. Try living your life as best you can, learn as much as you can, treat everyone you meet with dignity and respect and life will be OK. Might not be piece, but for sure will be better.
Amen to that
Many people are so quick to tell Black people that above all your American before you are black, but lets face reality. I am Black first. You see lets stop sugar coating the truth. We as Black people have been a inferior complex, a complex that makes us hate not only ourselves but other black people due to historical psychological mindsets forced upon us during slavery. Just as easy as it is to pass down money through generations one can pass a way of thinking. This dates back to the Willie lynch letter (a speech given in Virginia to slave owners on how to control their slaves) and I quote,
" I HAVE A FULL PROOF METHOD FOR CONTROLLING YOUR BLACK SLAVES. I guarantee every one of you that, if installed correctly, IT WILL CONTROL THE SLAVES FOR AT LEAST 300 HUNDREDS YEARS....n. The Black slaves after
receiving this indoctrination shall carry on and will become self refueling and self generating for hundreds of years, maybe thousands. Don't forget you must pitch the old black Male vs. the young black Male, and the young black Male against the old black male. You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves. You must use the female vs. the male. And the male vs. the female."
This is what has been passed on to the Black community and because our education system does not teach black people our own history in its curriculum most of our community lacks the knowledge to break these mental chains that were forced upon us. We can not fully call ourselves American until this country admits to the truth and teaches us that we actually took a major role in the building of the foundation of this country. For example, who is credited with the invention of the light bulb? Thomas Edison, but was it not Lewis Latimer who gave him the idea to put the filament in the bulb when he could not get it to work and who should be credited as he invented the first electric street lamp. This is just one example. So please stop telling Black people to get over slavery when the effects are still carried on in the community more than most can see.
Im black. My father was called black though he was half white. And now my kids are black even knowing their Father is indigenous Mexican. There's an old law stating one black person in you lineage makes you black. Its still in use
You're "black first" because you WANT to be BLACK first and foremost.
You would have never survived in Africa with the present situation we've seen unravelling the past decade.
So if you're "black first" I must be "white first" and not viewed as an American...?
You make a choice to let this LEARNED behavior continue into your life...you have a CHOICE and the FREEDOM to make said choice now. Slavery ended 200 years ago...let it go.
You want some cheese with that whine?
I would like to know how many of the people saying this report doesn't matter have ever gotten asked this question? What are you? I for one can't stand the question. It gets asked of me repeatedly by all races. Personally I'd like to beleive that it doesn't matter but inevitably it gets asked so... it is what it is. My race should not matter for anything other than... um egg donation maybe, or some other scientific reason lol. I certainly have no cause to bring it up of my own free will (this post excluded)
I identify as black. I am black. My parents are black. However, most people in my family parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles etc (on both sides) are very light, blond hair and green eyes run rampant too. I don't feel comfortable with identifying as white since I don't know a single one of the white relatives I have. We are from south Lousiana and there is a huge poplulation of light skin blacks there and to me it's just normal. However leave that area and the questions come up what are you? The bad part of this is it is mostly black people that take issue with me saying I am black. Usually they come up with Latina... lol I am 1/32nd Mexican.
I am glad that I live in a military town where there are so many types of racial backgrounds. I have a Samoan friend that married a black woman, a German/Black classmate that married a Mexican American, Vietnamese/White friend with a black man. Samoan/Black male that married a Mexican American woman.
I just want everyone to be them and that's it. Race doesn't matter unless you make it matter. And for those that talk about racial handouts... where are these things because I have never seen them in my 38 years of life. I have never even gotten financial aid o_o
I'm white, but I get asked the same thing all the time. Sometimes people just want to know where you're from. So what?
In a song from the 60's, the Mothers of Invention declared, "I'M NOT BLACK, BUT THERE ARE A WHOLE LOT OF TIMES I WISH I COULD SAY I'M NOT WHITE!!!" As a white person, I have been appalled at how Blacks are treated differently. Since I was an underdog myself, I can relate to how others feel, whether they are Black, Asian, Indian, or any other person of different race. I believe that we ALL BELONG TO THE HUMAN RACE, and we should treat each other as from the Family of THE HUMAN RACE! Not only that, WE ARE ALL GOD'S CHILDREN and THAT makes us ALL CHILDREN of a KING!!
Most black people don't know where they are from??? The slave master kept better tabs on horses than he did on black people....They can trace a horse back to 1865, but they can't trace black people back that far.....So I can't say if I am Jewish, Irish, Indian, or Italian.....I really don't know.....
From USA lol. I am surely not implying other groups don't get asked this same question. I am saying that I get asked the question and the answer has no bearing on who I am or the relationship with the "asker". And for that same reason I don't ask it.
As others have pointed out, I guess you could make a series called being _____ in America and you'd get debate on those too.
#2 is a great point. I have thought the same thing.
We are all Americans. You are black, I am white. I am Irish/German/Slovic/etc. I don't ask to be singled out for my heritage. America is a melting pot. Yes, African-Americans may not have come willing years ago BUT, they are here. Maybe I'd rather be living in Europe. Then I should move there. If you want to consider yourself an African, live in Africa. If you want to consider yourself an American, live here.
I understand the philosophizing about whether or not someone who is 1/8 of a race is or is not of that race. And that's a fine intellectual exercise to have a conversation about. But on the street, what matters is what you look like. And Obama looks black. Which means he IS black. No doubt about it.
Although the issue of what makes a person black is an interesting one, a bigger issue I feel CNN should be addressing is why people in the world today has come to think and believe that the color or a person's skin in any way determines or makes them better or worse than some other person who has a different skin color? In truth, there is no difference between humans based on skin color. For we are all human, and we all need to sleep and eat, if you cut us we will all bleed, we can all die and be killed just as easily, the black women can get pregnant and have babies just like the white women can have babies, and we all have the exact same capacity for learning and for intellectual growth despite the color or our skin. So there is no difference between humans based on skin color. If anyone assumes or thinks there is a difference, then it is a lie and a fallacy you are believing, a lie that's been concocted by Lucifer, and the whole world has fallen for it…
Well said.........the fact that Obama is half white is an inconvenient thruth!
The white part of him makes him a good speaker and well liked. The black part of him is what makes him accrue debt we can't pay.
Hey CNN..... How about doing a story on the new minority.......whites in America! BTW, I thought Soledad was Cuban or from somewhere in the Caribbean.
Oh no. That would be racist to do a story on whites. lol
Yes whites are a minority...its very apparent....get out of here with that nonsense. You probaly believe in taking america back!
Whites are NOT a minority. There are at least 4 white people for every one black person in this country. There are more whites than the combined total of ALL minorities (black, Latino, Asian, etc.). Whites are more than 50% of the population. As a category, white people have higher incomes and lower unemployment rates, and are over-represented in positions of power, in comparsion to blacks and Hispanics. There is no definition of minority that would include whites in this country.
What you are saying can't possibly be true.....no way!!!!!! Total nonsense.
I'd have to disagree somewhat with that Jo Ann – where I live in North Carolina, there are more Black people than White people. Yes, I'm married to a loving, black man; and yes, I've been called a 'half-breed' for hanging around Black people, so in a sense I choose it. But you go anywhere in this community, and mostly its maybe 1 white person to every 3 or 4 Black people.
white folks aren't the minority in the US............not yet anyway. better buy a few more guns.
What problem is being addressed by asking, "Who is black in America?" I don't understand the point of even asking the question.
Most of us don't understand wither.
My family came here three and four generations ago from the Ukraine, Latvia, and LIthuania, two of my three kids are half Asian, and my wife's sister's kids are half black and half white, and I do not care or concentrate on any of this. Instead, I have tried, as a father and a uncle, to raise these kids to judge and be judged on their actions, their values, their reputation, and how they conduct themselves. If CNN had done Who is White in America, or Who is Hispanic in America, or Who is Asian in America, there would have been a tremendous outcry. I believe she does this reporting out of a sense of insecurity about her own mixed heritage, and it is time that we as a people realize that the US is, and always has been, the great experiment. We have failed many times, but no other country in history has tried to have such a diverse mix of people and succeed at the same time. I teach Chinese martial arts, including tai chi, and one of the primary lessons of tai chi is to stay in the present, neither concerned about a past that cannot be changed nor a future that has yet to be written. I implore Soledad to report rather on how to bring the classes more together, as that is a much greater concern and divisive issue in today's society than race. God does not care about the color of one's skin, as to Him all souls are the same color.
I was raised in the south and I lived with a step dad and mother who loved people of all colors, My step dad was a Marine vet and most of his buddies were black, My mother was janitor at our school and her best friend was the only black teacher in a 99% white school. We were poor as heck but my parents never allowed me to think better of myself because I was born black. My parents always said if your blind how are you to know someone's color unless you ask, and why ask when you should only judge them by there character. I grew up with that belief and It stuck like glue, I am married to a black man from the north, we have children that are different shades and none of them call them selves black. I find it funny when someone tells me that my husband is the whitest black man they know, or darn I didn't know black people could be so smart and civil. I just want to scream sometimes, the ignorance of people here in the south is very loud. We choose to live in North Alabama and It is a great fit for us , great schools and a huge mix of races. Our children begged to get out of a Majority black school because of the lack of education and all the crazy things that went on, We left florida for the same reason but it was a all white school where they were bullied for being black. We finally found Madison City and it has kids from all races and religions and it is safe and easy for my children to be who they are. None of my disrepect any race or themselves. One of them calls himself "me " just fine mixed race best of both world kinda thing and he only dates whites, the older son is darker , has more defined black features and says he is multicultural and proud, He dates a very dark skin black woman who is so wonderful smart and happy and well rounded. My husband and I never allowed our selves to say to our children that they are one more than the other. We never allowed them to think better of one than the other, we always tried to base everything on charater without disrespecting any one. It was hard to bring them up with out bias because all the movies they see with black on black crime, white always being the good guy and black always being the bad. I was furious when the black man we admired the most only got his first Oscar was for being a drug dealing , bad cop , after he had played so many good black roles. Why we as a society stop with the racial divide and come together as a nation of brothers and sisters of America without putting a color into it.
Ment to say born white.
I think the question of whether a person is considered "black" or not has multiple answers, depending on the perspective you're looking for. For example, what does the bible say being black or Ethiopian is? That answer is determined by your bloodline and it matters what your skin color is. If your father is black (and it is the father or man that carries the seed of the bloodline, not the woman), then you are black, no matter what your skin color is...
So what happens if a black man marries a white woman and has a son and a daughter, and then later that son and daughter both marries someone who is white? What would be the result of their offspring? Answer: In the case of the daughter, if she marries a man who is white, the bloodline of the child would be determined by the white man she married. Thus, their offspring would be white. If the son married a woman who is white, their offspring would still be black (just as the son's father is black) because the bloodline is carried by the male species, not the female species. The bloodline always follows the path of the male, it does not follow the path of the female. So that is the truth of what makes a person black, and that is how the bible deals with it…
But despite how the bible deals with it, a second perspective is that many in our society today will consider a person to be black if they have even a single drop of black blood in them, and they don't care how you look. A third perspective is that many people in out society today will label you as black entirely because of how you look and nothing else. For example, if a white man marries a black woman and they have children, their children will usually look black but be light-skinned. Technically and according to bloodline, those children are white, but yet they look black. And society will treat them as black. And the people they encounter may not know their bloodline, but they will still be treated as black solely because of how you look.
So the issue of being black can have multiple answers depending on your perspective. Nonetheless, there is still only one truth. And that truth is, we all came out of Adam. We are the children of Adam and Eve. And what race was Adam?…
If you looked at the images of Adam and Eve from the bible and Jesus they are all white.
Brian that was awesome
It is the epitome of ignorance for a person to say that Adam and Eve and Jesus were "white". Even the most intellectually challenged person on the planet should know that Jesus was a Jew, and that the "white" man didn't even exist until "after" the great flood of Noah...
Because the name Adam means Ruddy, or to show blood in the face.
I find it funny that CNN would run a story about being black in America. When for Weeks they called George Zimmerman white.
So i guess you are what CNN says you are up until real reporters are faced with overwhelming facts to the contrary.
For all those complaining why CNN covers these types of stories check out the comments about Soledad O’Brien...
who's black? ever hear of the "one drop rule"?
If u see a light-brown or tannish skin in public do u say "oh, she/he must be white' ....... no, most ppl just label/assume black
This is why Obama is called a black president............ nobody can see the white half even if he is mixed
My husband and I have four children, husband black and me I am 75% irish and 25% black because my real mother is irish and my biolocial father is a man on mixed race black/white. How do you think I turned out: funny thing is I look white as snow, but all of my children look black in one sense but if you truly look at there features they take on many irish facial features. All four are differnt shades of color. LoL but my husband is very dark and I am very white but I am really a black woman by birth, when I was born I was dark skinned, My own mother didn't believe the doctor or nurses when they brought me too her room, she said I was a black babie, my poor dad laughted so hard he chooked he said. my dad even started to wonder if mom cheated after I started get light and no one can tell I black in me . I think it is funny as hell because my kids tells there friends that there mom is mixed and no one believes them. Thank goodness my mother in law was very race educated and saw it in me quick , so I could date her son. she didn't want him with a white girl. Now many years later I find it hard to explain ,but all in all i am just simple old me. good bad and or indifferent . Life would be boring if we all were the same.
"She didn't want him with a white girl." Good thing she was "race educated". Man..your husband could have ruined his entire life by being married to a white girl, of all things. Thank God she was able to see the true black in you. smdh
For all those complaining about why CNN runs stories like this check out Frank Raimondi's comments on Soledad O’Brien.
I have never thought about people of color one way or the other. Too bad the MEDIA keeps the race issue alive. Truth be known reverse RACISM is rampant and stories like this so aptly point that out. Will Wolf Blitzer do a follow up on being white?
Another day, another story on CNN about race. This network is absolutely obsessed with this subject.
How many times will CNN subject us to the same programming? Mix it up a little bit – how about Caucasian in America? President Obama's mother was Caucasian, somehow the media doesn't recognize that fact. We aren't white people – we are Caucasian. Some call us Anglo Saxons or European Americans. There is plenty of subject matter with the diversity in our culture. Why doesn't CNN cover ALL races on their programming?
I am sick of the whole racist topic. CNN has sunk to yet another journalistic low.
Until people stop using the color of their skin as the reason for all of life's disappointments, they will never be free.
The fact that we are talking about skin color, means that it is still an issue of race. Oh, believe there is racism in this world. The important message to our children, is that character of a person is more important than the color of ones skin. We should pay attention what our children hear from us and remember we teach our children by example more than any than we realize.
Joe. I understand your point. So, there should be programming that discusses ALL RACES, not just a specific one. There reason this current discussion is taking place is because CNN chooses to make it one and does so in a very one sided prejudice manner. Again, I agree with you that equality and coexistence is important in all humanity.
Man, I can't wait to see your guys whine about BLACK HISTORY Month!!!!....LoL
Why are we still talking about race? This seems to be all Ms. Obrian ever talks about
You are so right. Teach our children well and be careful of what we say to them. I myself am black but without the dark features so I am often ostracised by both sides of the fences. If ever given the choice when asked what I am I always say "I'M A HUMAN BEING".
Please let's try and stop making this a problem and treat others the way you want to be treated. This world would indeed be a far better place!!!!
II am still amazed at the lack of tolerance and understanding about race in this country. Being black is not a badge of honor nor should it be viewed as a handicap. As a person born and bred in America (NYC), with roots deeply imbedded in slavery, I applaud the dialogue, since it is now time to recognize that people of color, no matter their origins are just people. Each of us with our own story, aspirations and desires, yet this issue never seems to go away no matter the achievements we make as a people.
As a black man, over the age of fifty, who has worked in the same industry for more than thirty-five years, who has obtained a college education, live in my own home and has never committed a crime. I am still looked at as lazy, uneducated and even worse, solely based on the color of my skin.
One note I must make, is that while I truly believe that this dialogue is important, it is time for the same media that feels compelled to bring this out, to also change its ways of dealing in minority communities. Far too many times does the news media showcases the absolute worst in minority neighborhoods, or even black personalities. Most of the media is hell bent on showing the negatives, while looking for what I will call as the worst representatives of our race.
Those of us that represent black people, have a rich and vibrant culture that is deeply engrained into the very fabric of America and the world. We are the innovators and creators of most of what is American, from the clothes worn to the music we listen to. We are the fore runners, and we will continue to lead as long as there are those that will embrace of difference.
CNN, I normally am a great fan of yours, but this is divisive, childish and dangerous.
Mr's Obrien has built a career on bigotry and does CNN and America a grave injustice.
Merit is the ONLY criteria acceptable, so I suggest your organization stop catering to special interest groups.
Isn't it funny, as soon as Black people discover our Hebrew roots, folks want to suddenly classify us as White? Well, let the trick be play, and fools be fooled. But I've always loved my Blackness, no matter how light the skin. And, i've always held to this view...the lighter the skin reveals the greater the rape of our fore-parents...that was true rape...then we begin to participate in our own rape, that rape begin to greatly happen after all of the Black men was put in prisons. Black women didn't have a man, so she went with any other race she could get. And where that was not the best of choices, it was better than going with herself. Where knowledge of history fail, ignorance prevails. This, creating the Mulatto, is the method used to divide and conquer. The White blood deposited into us made us still Black. I see no reason to change that fact now.
I get so tired of people continually ragging on their race! I am personally offended by anyone who doesn't consider themselves Human first and American second! the End! There really are more pressing conversations we need to have as Humans and our future! This planet is changing and doesn't care about us at all! It won't wait on us and will shake os off like water off a dogs back before we even acknowledge what's happening!
Would Soledad have had the same doors open for her if she was black as coal and 300lbs?
Just a thought.
Only a double door or garage door.
My birth certificate issued by the state of Kansas in 1938 has listed by father as white (German, Irish, Dutch and Scot), and my mother as Italian. What does that make me?
It makes you American. Can't believe CNN is running this stuff. Shades of the 60's. Have been down this path already, so folks take notes so you remember the results this time. PS – Its Pearl Harbor Day! An American Day to Remember!
I really hope CNN's Executive Producers are reading these posts so they can see how out of touch and off base they are with this type of programming!
I find this Offense we should show stories about how we are all the same. I hate this story we are people and color should not be an issue.
I've been watching CNN since it was started, and generally I've noticed that the reporting is fairly unbiased, for the most part. However, these segments on race are getting just a little tired. I've only seen two: Who's latino in America? and Who's black in America? Last I checked, there are numerous races in this country. If it is CNN's intent to drive a racial wedge between us, well job well done. Concentrating on these two races only doesn't sould like equality to me. Why not do a segment called Who's Native American in America? Or, this is good, Who's American in America?
i think Soledad is an excellent reporter. I never think Soledad is an excellent black reporter.
Please Soledad, you're black. We get it.
I like the fact that cnn is talking about a race gender that needs to be explained correctly.who has black in them or just being black needs a daily show.when you move about this country you will expirence some things told to you that makes you go by a camera and take a picture of the person to prove this person said this,many blacks in the south still have a disreguard for blacks from the north,my speech botherd many blacks in the south,i was told many times why do you talk like that,or your trying to act white,i love my african roots i plan to travel to west africa.ghana,nigeria,ivory coast,and more,many blacks who say this no nothing of there african past,so does this mean going to prison going on welfare,stealing,lying,cheating and drinking beer all day sitting around idle everyday is acting black.someone explain please
I'am a 58 year old african american male and I have seen this issue in my life time. The younger the better for these kids to understand their worth and not their skin color. Take us back to the doll test of the 50"s, these kids are exposed to these ideas at a very young age and need to be educated about who and what they are today.
You are so right. Teach our children well and be careful of what we say to them. I myself am black but without the dark features so I am often ostracised by both sides of the fences. If ever given the choice when asked what I am I always say "I'M A HUMAN BEING".
Please let's try and stop making this a problem and treat others the way you want to be treated. This world would indeed be a far better place!!!!
Is Soledad O’Brien black?
Programs such as this which focus on one race or another are the epitome of RACISM. Where is the "Asian in America" program? Where is the "Eskimo in American" program? Where is the "Latino in America" program? Where is the "Caucasian in America" program? By selecting to give time, attention and promotion to any one specific race of people is no different from racial profiling. It is simply wrong, prejudice and has to stop to truly move our society beyond racism. Soledad's hypersensitive reporting and personal commentary strongly hurts her journalistic credibility.
Really CNN? It's Pearl Harbor day and the top, front and center story on CNN.com is trotting out your resident race pimpette to explain to people what color they are?
I agree Mark, today is my sisters Bday and I lost an uncle during that war and the last thing I want to see is Soledad once again doing a black issue expose....where's the respect.
Exactly, CNN droped the ball on Peral Harbor Day, but then again why should they be fake and act like they are
I like Soledad as a journalist but think CNN is once again making a big mistake having her anchor this segment. Would you have a Muslim anchor a, "Who is Jewish in America?" or a man anchor a "Who is woman in America? I am biracial (black and Irish) and am personally and professionally offended by CNN's insistence of using Soledad for these segments. She is soooooo not even close to black – culturally or racially. Stop it CNN
Soledad has had special after special about 'Black' and I've got to say. If you are 1/3 another race, 1/3 white, 1/3 black ... than what are you really? The President is called the first "Black President". What kind of deception is this? Really, he's 1/2 white and 1/2 black. People need to be HONEST about the facts of who they are. If you are only part 'Black' than what else are you? If I am only 1/4 white than really, what am I? I am a MIX of different races and therefore let's start there Americans!
Other than the Al Sharptons and Soledad Brian's of the world who make a living prattling on about skin color, who can possibly care.
Really??? This topic seems a bit outdated. Soledad needs to come up with something a bit more current. Stop making race an issue on everything. There are now a lot bigger problems facing this country than race.
PLEASE!!! That's the reason we can't get past RACE, because people like you don't think we should discuss it. In order to heal and move on discussion is the key component. Stop hiding from AMERICA'S nasty, mean, harsh past!
Hi Tazlin. I understand your point, but over-discussing issues, problems or troubles is like picking a scab off of a wound. At some point we have to stop picking at it and let it heal. Continually rehashing is counterproductive. During our world's history, many people, countries and entire civilizations have made tremendously horrible mistakes, yet we have to move beyond our errors together... forgive and coexist peacefully together. All the best to you.
Why does race even matter any more. Just treat people as people. It really shouldn't matter if they are black, white, green or purple. With so much mixing of races/religions/nationalities, the separations are starting to diminish to a point where no one is really white or black or Spanish or English. What keeps racial divide in existence is the media. If reports like this one would cease, and the reporting of crimes of black on white (or vice versa) would stop, the racial divide would naturally fade away. People are people, just treat them as you want to be treated – it really is that simple.
Why are so many in the media, and in society at large, obsessed with the 'black' population. 13% of the population identify themselves as black. Black people are the largest minority, only because Hispanic and Latino's are denied racial categorization for some reason. Yet sociologically we expend exponentially more resources and time on black issues than anyone else. So long as we are obsessed with blacks there will be racism. You can't help but have racism when you make race the issue and excuse for everything.
I love Soledad O'Brien dearly. She is an extraordinary journalist who is incisive, fair and can handle a multi-person interview better than any of the recent presidential debate moderators. I am old enough to realize that life throws curveballs and sometimes very strange curveballs so I am no longer surprised when someone I admire says something exceptionally dumb, like Soledad O'Brien saying she is black. I agree with Jesse Jackson, she is not black, at least not in this universe. One of the people I admire the most said the stupidest thing I have heard in years, and that even counts all the ridiculous comments in the past presidential election. The only thing I wish I knew is why Soledad is so desperate to deny her white heritage. All races should be proud of their unique background. Why is she so ashamed of it that she has to say she is black? Very strange, but that is life. She wants to be black, let her be black. Let's move on. She is still a great journalist .
Pennrandy I agree...she sits conviently in the middle of the road.
Typical CNN Garbage. Keeping America from ever being post-racial, and always being divided.
I agree completely. Anything to refocus our attention somewhere else. Why is race ever mentioned anymore. It is kinds getting old. Or run a story called "Being white in America". That would be racist though...
Is this true? Obama is half white half black and he is ashamed of his white inheritage that is why he calls himself black.
Black and white are colors, not races. Fact of the matter is most of us in America are mutts, no matter what you call yourselves. Racism is alive and well here because those that are crying about it, use it as a weapon of opportunity. Case in point is the very picture in this article. They girl wearing the shirt stating Team Black. If that shirt said Team White we would have a riot on our hands, and rightfully so, just like it shouldn't say Team Black. How about Team Human or Team American or Team anything that doesn't define you as anything but racist? Obama is NOT black(again a color, not a race), he is of mixed races just like I am. Soledad is NOT black either. If a dog was part pit bull and part poodle, would that make him a pit bull? As a Native Indian I find this whole thing offensive. If you really want to stop Racism, quit whining about it and start finding ways we are alike rather then different.
Well said! Amen!
I'm 1/2 Mescalero Apache and 1/2 Spanish I call myself American, Iv'e been overseas many times and when people ask I tell them I'm American...that's all American and proud of it.
This is the thing that is killing me, they are asking who is black in America to people that are mixed between races. Those are mixed breed period, black and white. Who black is someone just from African background only. This seems fairy obvious to figure out. duh
Stop being freeloaders looking for a handout because of your skin. Go compete like the rest of us.
In today's 21st century Black People have either equal or more opportunities to be successful than any other race in America unless they stop crying foul about racism and slavery. Those days are part of a continuous evolution of human civilization. Barack Obama is proof of present civilization.
You're not far off the mark actually. I work in high education and there are entire programs set up for low-income kids to go to college even if they don't make the same admission requirements for everyone else. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of the students are black.
Why is Soledad obsessed with being black? She already did the "Being Black in America" thing which had 3 viewers. I think she is clearly raist because she never does Asian in America, Native American in America or White in America.....
Absolutely agree!! So tired of it!!
I am a person of Mediterranean descent., olive complected, brown hair, brown eyes. I was born in the U.S., as were my parents and theirs. I am often queried, as apparently was Ms. O'brien about what I am. My answer is that I am an American, a woman, a mother, a sister and when i was working, a co worker. Until people can let go of the hyphen-American identification, Martin Luther King's wish for all children will not be obtained for anyone.
Come on people we live in 2012 almost 2013...just because someone talks about a race other that WHITE doesn't mean they are pulling the race card at all. They are trying to educate those close minded people who call themselves Americans. I'm Filipino,Mexican and African American...and I look Mexican. Just because someone doesn't look what they say doesn't mean they're not, and by the way if race wasn't that important why do we always have to mark what race we are for almost anything that is for the government or school?? O that's right they want to know the statistics of each race and who identifies themselves as what. But it's us bringing up race....ok.
No, you have to mark it because of the Equal Opportunity Act, so a company is not sued for having to many of one race.
Yes it does. Until Affermative Action is outlawed, and racists like Al Sharpton disappear, The level or racism in this country will increase, not decrease.
I work for a fortune 500 company that promotes unqualified black people because of affirmative action. It is not right that we have to work for someone because of their race.
Nah, you're Amercian. Leave it at that.
Oh yeah I forgot, we have to make race a big deal here. We all came from Africa in the long run anyway.
Racism will never die in this country. The media won't allow it. It's too good a story. Too good a headline. Just went we as a nation get to seeing us as united....as one...the media prints another headline reminding us of the difference.
Good content, I wish there was a different host. Solidad O' Brien straddles the fence on racial issues. Conveniently black or white.
I bet Soledad O'Brien straddles more than just the fence...
No comment on that one Angelico.
I'm going to say I'm black so I can get gov. handouts, tv channels and organizations catering to me simply because of skin color, and I will be able to use the race card when I dont get my way. What a life that would be!!! 'Murrica....
Ken when you white people think of government handout why do everyone think Blacks are the only one on welfare yes that who they show on tv but let's be real it is more whites on welfare than anyone but see they like to shop at the stores at night so their friends can't see them using their ebt cards. Come to Cincinnati Ohio in an area call Price Hill go to kroger on warsaw and I bet you will see more people that look like you buying soda chips and junk food on welfare and don't forget the forigns coming to the USA getting government help India people the all the people that own the phone store they get govenment loans when they come to the USA but you all are alway talking about Blacks please get over yourself. We pay taxes just like you all do and we might pay more we have more of our kids going to college and getting good education because it is alot of kids that have parents that work hard to keep our kids off the street but they don't show that on tv just the one getting in trouble and their are just as many white kids that get in trouble too but they get them help and don't put them in jail like they do our kids. And remember this It's a Black Man in the White House so we can become anything we what to and you can believe that are not.
Get educated the sickle cell anemia affects people world wide.
I really hope that part of what you would like to become is literate. Atrocious grammar and horrific spelling certainly don't help you make your case. It's pretty sad that we still talk about color at all. That fact that you decide to redirect Ken the moron's comments on other races and immigrants is pretty pathetic. People should worry more about the impact they have on their community by their actions, or inaction, rather than their appearance. Finally, I bet if someone were handing out 5 dollar bills on the street, you would be hard pressed to find a person who wouldn't be in that line to get one. Get real.
and It Ain't Easy Being Green, either.....
Ran out of stories to run...created this one. What's next? Soon we will run out of news completely I guess.
The 60's called. They said they want their issues back and to move on, finally.
I'm glad to see that CNN is furthering the racial divide. America has many different races, all of which should be celebrated equally. Thank you CNN!
We are all equal here in the great USA. Why even start bringing this up again...and again...and again.
Because this issue hasn't gone away yet, for all of the talk of America being "above" it. It's still news because people are still living it.
Are people saying this isn't an issue worth discussing because...what, you aren't black? Because you haven't had a group of people–or co-workers, who can determine how successful you may become in your career–make an assumption about your abilities based on something you can't control?
What if the story were about being Disabled in America? How disabled people have to go above and beyond to prove that they are just as mentally capable as their peers? It's still an issue swept under the table that people claim is "solved". Just throw a few disabled ramps at the building, and we're now being "sensitive" to their needs. End of the story, right? Not worth talking about now, right?
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at email@example.com.
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