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.
Race is a scam created by scam artist to make money! Racism is a scam created by scam artist to make
money! Race and Racism are dead issues because of many reasons. There is one major reason that i
will submit to our society in a book, Each human can contribute their idea to our society. I have read each
idea submitted to CNN and i say thank you for this knowledge. Some anthropologist many years ago
created these two scams and many people are getting rich off of these scams! Carl Banks Jr.
Exactly right, thank you! A Scam artist many centuries ago determined if they could divide the people among themselves, their true power and influence would never be threatened, because the only real threat to the king's and rulers of that time were a united people. And here we're in America today, about 10% of whites and 10% of blacks, go about being stupid enough to let their centuries old plan work in great detail, and they seem to have a great influence on our media, who are dumb enough to run article's like this one. You want to know black in America or white in america, here I will tell you, they're the same, about a tenth of a percentage point in DNA divides us all as human beings, so basically we're all the same.
Easy to figure out. Go to any city. Pick any one in the USA. Drive around with the windows down. When you get to an area where you hear gun shots and comments like, "You aintch no baby daddy" then you have arrived.
If a Green Card holder (GCH) becomes a harborer of any State they will be deported.. What do we do if your born in American & become a harborer of the welfare system????
You get paid for not working & you get paid even more if you have more kids. Shamefully yours.
Many mulato's or high-yellow-are they considered black or white ???????????????????
Mulatto are black they have a european dna or asian dna mixed with Shemite or Hamite Blacks DNA.
Yeah and tiger woods is full Thai or Halley Berry is blond hair Blue Eye European DNA of Blacks of Shemites or Hamites Blacks the Lemba Tribe in south africa are shemites Hebrew Isrealites of Levi
Hey I'm Mulatto, Dutch-Indonesian, and I have a Anglo name, do I fit that profile?
Pick a color? Any color, great. Now close your eyes an tell me what color you see.... Black. Wow I just won the lottery. Color should be left out of any topic or discussion. Quit playing the race card to get free housing, free food, and what's this?? The more children we have the more $$ we earn from taxpayer $$.
You are dumber than a bag of bricks. Please learn how government services actually work.
I did learn that if you are a foreigner and you become a harborer of the state you could get deported so it is if our best interest to become self reliant. What do we do with Americans that are just too lazy to work??
Blacks born in america are not african hamites kombiYAH is Shemite not Hamite black americans who are desendents of slaves via Transatlantic slave routes are shemites Hebrew Isrealite YAHOODEE as the black Hamite Arabs call them
Simply amazing how a persons skin color can create so much hatred.
Human signing off
When one asked for an opinion, that's what one gets. Having scanned the first 3 samples here's my POV: I don't care what they say!... About me: live in mid MI, work and paid enough, undergrad and self paid for ed., while paid well enough others can't tell by my house or vehicles owned but I have 'personal' wealth; I am quite conservative; I distrust basically all advocacy/altruistic groups (unions included). I'm lastly black and have never played the race card. I don't blame whites or other groups for concern about race, statistically I'm at greater risk to violence from blacks (2nd amendment). Just being real. I'm an individual who resists getting in groups without fiduciary duties.
I think the segment offers a different perspective on black people and culture contrary to popular belief. The racist comments i've read are just disgusting and shows why such a news segment aparently is needed. Some people are just ignorant and refuse to see people for who they are instead of what they look like. I'm a black and creek native american
And here all this time I thought equality was about ignoring the differences of skin color, not dwelling on them.
I am so tired of this.We as black people never got what was owed to us for 400 years of slaverly.Until we get that.It will never be right.This USA gave money to Jews,Germany,ect.Someone else did thoes things to them.Well when it comes to black people we have never got what is owed to us.We did not ask to be over here your white men came and stole us to treat us like dogs.Broke families apart.I really cant stand when whit people have the nerve to keep hating on us.Our black men are Kings.
Then why are you not asking recompense from the British, Dutch and Portuguese? After all, they are the ones who began and perpetuated the slave trade.
You are so wrong. Your own people in Africa sold you to anyone who would buy you. The Spanish, English and other countries. Why don't you contact some of the other countries and ask them to pay you? Why don't you contact Africa and ask them why they sold you as they are the ones responsible. If you don't like America go back to Africa and see how good you would have it. Blacks in America have been paid back many times over, but people are tired of the racist comments and are not going to take it anymore.
Sorry, Phyllis, but there was slavery in the United States for only 89 years (1776 to 1865).
AbraHAM the Hebrew HAM means Black,very Dark Skin.DNA is very STRONG IN Black American Hebrew Isrealites,look at every MIXED RACE BLACKS famous too sports figures News Men and News ladies who are mixed the Dominated DNA is Always Black Hebrew Isrealite Shemite and African Hamite Blacks
Your knowledge of hermeneutics and exegesis is beyond questionable and your knowledge of biology and history are non-existent. The Hebrew of the Bible is a dead language and not spoken today. Your translation is so off the mark I don't even know where to begin to point out the errors. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is no stronger in blacks that it is in any other life form on earth.
Yeah remember that when your non black family have kids with a Shemite or hamite black race remember they come out black
The problem is you are either not black enough or your too black. Beauty,intelligence, wealth is all defined by being white. Now that could be that it was only 40 years ago blacks were given an opportunity to be apart of the human race. People have know idea what they are saying in these comments. U try being a person where whites want u to be ghetto but criticize u for being so and blacks want u to be successful but the moment your successful your an Uncle Tom. These issues are complicated and know one gets it but everyone has a comment.
Gratuity is based on service. I tip well if I'm treated well, if not than guess what?
Wow u obviously live somewhere that u feel this is correct however people don't do those things because of their race they do them because they just do. I am a black man and i don't do any of the things you've mentioned. Must be because I'm black as well.
Wow! Where are your stats again? And if there is any disadvantages in this country, how the hell do you think they came to existence? Slavery, Jim Crow laws.. shall I go on? I think people like you are absolutely disgusting. You want to talk about how far this country has come along, talk about how black people are pulling the race card, and then you get on your computer and make baseless, RACIST claims. You are the exact reason our country is in shambles.
Check this book out Being Black Not Much has changed
Haha so true
Good points. Something to think about.
They also like to talk during movies and complain a lot.
Who cares? Why are we constantly point out race? When are we going to start just looking at each other as human beings? Why is it that we have to highlight who identifies themselves (or who is identified) as black?
You clearly did not read the article. Read the last paragraph. You are the exact reason racism still exists. You refuse to even listen to where black people are coming from and then jump on the computer anonomously to take crap. I bet you wouldn't say this to a black person's face.
I am a 45 year old white woman and cannot believe the ignorance on these comments! ALL BLOOD is red what the hell is wrong with people? I never lived or have ancestry that lived who thougth different, I've never worked with anyone who has thought different, I don't have neighbors who check race before we help each other... is there an America I am not aware of? Much of my professional experience has come from BLACK supervisors who did not see my color or care... please stop this madness!!
Oh you would be so surprised what people think in their own private thoughts. Don't be so naive.
Jackyl...so true, so true.
This is what happens when an entire race in America is constantly pandered to. Very few white families in America today have ancestors who ever owned slaves, and even fewer blacks have ever been denied the right or opportunity to excel. It's not modern white America's obligation to to hold dark skinned people by the hand and walk them through being adults in 2012. Wake up and grow up, or you'll deserve the backseat you've fought so hard for by decrying your own personal struggles in a world of peril where none of us average people have it easy!
I live in the Northeast and I enjoy being black in America. In fact, let me rephrase that, I enjoy being a real African American in America. (My parents are African and me and my siblings were born here.) The reason I sat real "African American" is because I actually know what my roots are, I know my history and my people in West Africa. Knowing my roots gives me a more sense of self and I know what I am capable of. Many of these watered down "African Americans" don't even want to be associated with Africa or their African roots! But that is ok, it is something that they will learn eventually, hopefully. White people respect me, my parents are highly respected and are role models in our city and I have never, ever experienced racial bigotry. I love being African American in America. I am literally given opportunities from White Americans that really have a genuine interest in me and my goals in life. I am very blessed and I pray that my fellow brothers and sisters will have the same opportunity that me, and every successful, ambitious African American has!! God Bless :)
That is because you are embracing the American dream and not spitting on it. White Americans are tired of being called racists and bigots, and then being told that they are the cause of all the black communities problems. Sorry I'm not causing you to drop out of school, take drugs, and commit crimes.
Who is Black in America? Who cares! It's time we followed Dr. King's example of judging a person by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. Apparently, Soledad O'Brien wasn't paying attention to that message, and she's willfully choosing to play the 'Race Card' even though this is post-racial America. The MSM just has to keep the specter or racism alive and well, even if it means flipping over every rock, and looking behind every bush to find a trace of it.
You are truly a deplorable individual...
Who cares? How about black people? The fact that you are so dismissive is the exact reason racism still exists. You clearly did not read the article. Read the last paragraph. You refuse to even listen to where black people are coming from and then jump on the computer anonymously to talk about how they are constantly pulling the race card. I guarantee you've never had any compassion whatsoever towards the racial history of this country, which renders you completely worthless to even discuss the matter. I bet you wouldn't say this to a black person's face, which is the exact reason why right-wing morons PANDER to your type.
Here we go with the right-wing attacks again. You are engaging in the exact behavior you are accusing others of practicing.
girl: So saying that we should count the content of one's character ahead of looking at the color of their skin is 'Right Wing' and racist? Well, Dr. King was a conservative, Southern Republican...so you must count him as a racist too, huh? Based off of your shallow, PC criteria.
BTW, I'm a Liberal Democrat, and you are an Idiot!
There are those who feel it necessary to perpetuate this focus on race....instead of "African-American" shouldn't it be "American-African"? I am American first...everything else is secondary. The color of our exterior is not important, the content our hearts and our humanism is....
Do ,PEOPLE, in England say african english? Do ,PEOPLE, in France say african french? No! They just say, I'm French or British. Why can't, WE , be simply Americans?
You have to change the term every couple of decades to appease them. Pretty soon, we'll be back to "colored".
Because certain segments of our population hate America, and they have been raised to wrongly believe the country is stacked against them. Funny they also criticize Blacks like Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas as being too white. Evidently if your black, successful and not portraying yourself as a victim, you are a sell-out to the man,
let us not be judged by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character......
If Lil Wayne and Lil Jon represent the content of your character, you might be better off with people judging you by your skin color.
I absolutely abhor being black in America–I wish I'd been born in Sweden or Canada–I hate our history, the stereotypes associated with being black, everything–it's a burden here and I NEVER want to bring a child of color into this messed up/twisted society
Being black in America? That's like saying being yellow in Asia! Have you seen white people these days?!! Some are blacker than black people (and I'm just talking about the tanning)! EVERYTHING IS BLACK IN AMERICA! Yesterday I met a ginger who swears he's black.
This is what I mean. The hatred toward America.
Damn where was the handout??? I could have scheduled to be off on that day. Was there a future giveaway date you know about?
In order to be a white,you have to be 100% caucasian. Part black or Indian doesn't get it. You have to be 100%. Whites will continue to dwindle in number as the population continues to interbreed.
CNN with their "How do we get more traffic" tricks again... Black is skin color, just look at our president – he is half white, but has disowned his white side...
if black is "skin color", then there are very few people in America or on the planet whose skin color is literally black.
He hates America like 80% of the black population, his wife said she was never proud of America until he became president. She went to law school, got a great education, married a guy who loves her, had two great kids, and she still was disappointed in the country. Not sure what else she was looking for.
I've been all around the world baby. Where you at?
The truth is, everyone stereotypes and categorizes people. Some of us do it unconsciously, but we all do it. When you're trying to figure out what line to stand in, you analyze the people already there. When you go into a bad neighborhood, you look at the people walking on the street and immediately make a decision as to what kind of place it is based on the demographic and how they look and dress. When you go to an airport and see a guy with rags on his head or whatever, you make a judgement about him. Everyone uses race for something.
But Mr. D whatchuuuuu talking bout Willis?
JUST WONDERING..... IF O'BRIEN AND McGee are african names???
Charlize Theron is an AFRICAN AMERICAN, does that make her black? Why does skin color matter so much to CNN?
White people have a LEGACY of committing crimes, segregating people, mass murders, pushing religion... THAT IS THE BIGGER PROBLEM, NOT BLACKS.
I have a relative who lived in Africa 60,000 years ago. Does that make me black?
mDNA proves that we are all from AFRICA
Dude that's just rude. I can't tolerate soladad but that was wrong.
Go away where? South America ?
BLACKS live everywhere, not just America. So now what? They still have to get up in the morning, pay bills, pay taxes, raise a family just like the other races do. So why single them out? What does "CNN" really stand for?
#1. Cable's Negative Network
#2. Chaotic News Network
#3. Callout Nothing New
#4. Childish Naive News
Good one Patrick. Looking forward to your next deep comment.
Tune in tomorrow for "who is female in America?".
This is the most worthless thing I have seen out of CNN in a long long time.
You know what? I find that I can relate to other people a lot better when I don't think of them as a "race" or "color".
Instead of labeling people, I choose to relate to them as people. Maybe they come from another culture, maybe they have had experiences that are different then mine, maybe they have different interests than mine...And that's how I relate to them. I listen, I pay attention, and I reserve my opinion of them until I know them better.
You say you are black, you are African-American, you say you are white...Okay, great: Now tell me about yourself...
Antwon Chavis you are black, you are white, You are Beautiful :) wish u weren't that much older than me or lived on that side of the country.
Man cant we all get along, leave the race wars for the usa most dangerous prisons, California, have you notice Mexicans kick everybodys butt? We all love basketball,football, rap,baseball, we cant be racist
If there is a race war, I'm going with blacks or Mexicans, but whites will have all the technology. It's a toss up, but in close quarters I think blacks or Mexicans would have it.
Who cares???!!! Why do blacks get all the attention
Because they demand it.
If you can't tell what you are with that afro sitting on top of your head then I can't think of anything else that would clarify it for you.
The shame and disgrace has more to do with people that would like to use other people as slaves. They don't care what color you are. Its a socioeconomic problem. And patriarchy. Two scourges of the earth teamed up together. greed mostly.
My take is that affirmative action is dumbing down our professional societies. On no application should it ask for your race. I thought we were past all that
I agree that we seem to be going backwards to pick up all of the foreign people. like getting a new guy at work.
I agree race should not be asked on applications. Once I get to the interview it is obvious I am black and people like Justin and Jeff are not going to hire me based on my race. Unfortunately, there are still far too many people that think like them.
Most white people are not racist, but I think we get put on the defensive because we assume that black people look at us as racist, and many black people do look at white people as racist, it is a ridiculous cycle.
People can't change the color of their skin. Most people can sort of keep it healthy looking. Its not the color of their skin that's the problem. Its socioeconomic class, and patriarchy more likely. Patriarchy teaches that men are over women and children and even other men if they are different than themselves. Herein lies the problem. for both men and women. appears to cover all races. its a problem.
Well said for a high school freshman.
OMG CNN!!! What is with these stories. I know you have the most racist writters in the world... you aren't going to be happy till you start a race war.
So true. A couple weeks ago it was about how colorful the new Dems in Congress are vs. the new GOPs. Here I am thinking color didn't matter... silly me
Seems like they have full time people on their staff to keep it in the picture. I think most americans are past race issues. A few laggers.
AGREED! I soooo do not care what race you are. What I care about is how you treat me, and how you treat others.
End of story.
Absolute truth: the most BORING people to talk to are those who wear their race 'on their sleeve'.
You're black, you're white, you're yellow, you're red...That's great: now tell me about your-SELF!
Yes Siree and my moda and fada ain't brothas and sistas. Yee haa the south shall rise agin
I don't think of myself by those outdated categories ... and I don't think of others in these terms. A man is a man ... it is his values and his convictions and his actions that are the deciding factors. When I fill out demographic forms .. I now claim "American" .... and leave all the other choices blank.
Treat people with courtesy and respect, and (almost always) they'll treat you the same. I found that to be true in England (where I was brought up), in America, in Nigeria and in Malaysia. How you treat people is far more important than your skin colour.
Unfortunately, racism is alive and well. It will continue to be so until people stop defining themselves by their race. Stop focusing on the past and move forward.
you mean like just belong to the human race and get over skin color? sounds right. people can't change the color of their skin. If you want to complain about something, pick something people can do something about. I would get rid of patriarchy and work on truly solving the real issues of our society. lack of a real national health care policy, no jobs, lousy trade agreements, a prison industrial complex, military industrial complex, medical industrial complex. work toward education and health care for everyone and real jobs.
straighten out the economy and jobs and lose these globalist privatize everything people.
I guess you know nothing. Just leaving in a "bubble". come out please. you know Asians and Jews are the smartest people with significant difference in IQ with white and black. by your logic "all other races must leave US including you"
CNN is an extremely racist network.
It seems to me that to define someone as black, white, asian, or otherwise is a bit misleading. I am an American of Irish descent. That does not make me Irish. Just as have dark skin does not make one African American. I am curious as to why we refer to our President as the first African American in office. His mother was white so that would make him bi-racial or, even, white. In any event, race aside, we are all Americans, regardless of the color of our skin or how we appear to others. For those that believe that any race of peoples is a subspecies, look in the mirror. We are all created from the same stuff in the Universe and we are all the same under our skin. Your need to tear down others is simply a reflection of your own deficiencies. Instead of insulting others, we all need to look within to see what we can each do to be better human beings. Blaming a person's race or heritage for the problems in the world is rather lame and serves no purpose. Namaste.
The question should be "who is n American" not who is a black or white or Asian, Mexicn etc American!
MAke him white please stop most blacks in America are mixed with other races and blacks were just not dropped of in America but other countries do many Spanish counties have black people as well. I agree with the whole we are American thing but unfortunately a lot of whites don't want that not all whites but the majority. Blacks didn't make the one drop rule whirs did and we have been riding with it ever since. Dam near every black I know has other races in their gene pool but we are considered black. My president says when I walk down the street people don't say look at the dark white guy they say he's a black man. Get over it he's black and his family is black move on...,we have been black this long don't try to change the rules you created when it suits you.
Ask him why he allows himself to be referred to as the first African-American President. He could stop that terminology in its tracks if he chooses to act.
Race is determined by a person's bloodline. And the bloodline is determined by the father (the bloodline always follows the father because the father carries the seed – not the mother). If your father is black, then you're black – and it matters not what color your skin is. If your father is white, then you're white – and it matters not what color your skin is....
For example, if a black man marries a white woman, the children will usually turn out looking black but be light-skinned. Nonetheless, the children are still black because their father is black. However, if a white man marries a black woman, the children will also turn out looking black and be light-skinned. But even though they may look black, in reality, they are actually "white" because their father is white. But society will usually treat such children as black simply because they look black...
What are you talking about. Who says race is determined by the father? You?
Precisely. "Race" is whatever you choose to define it as...And, skin color has no inherent or necessary relationship to anything that truly matters when it comes to understanding another human being. That's why it's a bankrupt and irrelevant concept.
ES... Who says race is determined by the father? Answer: God. And trust me, he's in a position to know...
Nice recap of the "one-drop" rule and the basis of the race-ist viewpoint. Fortunately, we do not all think like you...
You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. I am white and I am married to a black woman. We have a son, and he does not look black. He looks white, but by his olive skin you can tell that he is mixed. But guess what? None of that matters, my son is a person, and it doesn't matter to me if he associates with being black or white.
MatthewF... Apparently, it is you who have no clue what you are talking about. Did not I say that if a white man marries a black woman that the children usually turn out looking black but are light-skinned? So what's the difference between "light-skinned" and "olive-skinned"? Answer: They are the same thing. So you are only confirming what I said. And unfortunately in such a case, have anything other than pure white skin, and society today will generally treat you as being a black person, as having some black in you. And getting upset about that fact is not going to change it...
Secondly, regardless how your son looks, he is still "white" by race, because his father is white. And nothing you say or do can change that fact...
I love black people!
Define Love? To be a benefit to yourselves and others. Equality sums it up.
So there you go.
Now lookie heeya
The ignorance being displayed in these comments is exactly why this article exists. Clearly by the comments left on this board alone proves that racism is alive and well and that stereotypes trump reality. I don't know where you all are from with comments that lack intelligence and just any type of sense at all, but you are proof that there is a long road to better race relations and how we feel and interact with each other. I wish you all the best and pray for more open minds in this world...Lord knows we need them.
I'm a 60yr. old Africian-American woman who embraces all who came before me from my 1. Scottish great-grand mother, 2. Native American Great grandmother, 3. my red haired, blue eyed mother and my dark skined blue eyed great-great grand mother who was a slave and all my mixed race cousins. How much pigment in your skin means nothing to me but what kind of person are means more. Your character, integerty and personality mean more then your color. My family didn't raise me to judge people by their color or religion but by their humanity and their soul s. the kind of person you are is more important then you color. I remember back in the 1960"s being told that I wasn"t black enough by a young Black Panther member , I was about 14 yrs. old and told him that if this was all he could do then he wasn't smart enough to do better. Can't help the fact that I have light skin, that's genetics & I have no controll of that. Some day folks will get beyond the color think because it makes them UGLY, REALLY UGLY. In fact it makes them look like wild animals not even human. It's a shame and a waste of human potential.
Sounds to me like you are an American Mutt!
All human races have less pigment in their palms and the soles of their feet. The contrast is greater in people with darker skin. Take a look at a heavily tanned white person; their palms and soles will also be noticeably lighter colored.
5 videos of complaining
You are the one considering it a curse and then blaming white people for feeling that way.
This is never the discussion around hispanic or asian communities. Why must you always separate yourselves by saying black is different? The playing field is even. We have a black president. Get over it and stop feeling sorry for yourself. We only still have racism because people want to insist they are "different"
It's called US history. Might wanna read up on it. Slave mentality. It went on for centuries and it'll take centuries to fix.
It's time to move on and let go of bitter resentments from the past. Unless you are over 150 years old you were not a slave. Hell my Irish ancestors were treated like dogs when they arrived in America, but I have moved on, I'm not looking to blame some other group because some of their ancestors did something wrong to my ancestors.
Please don't spread anymore untruths. Racism/Prejudice is alive and well among all cultures (aka races) and is usually passed down from parents or learned from others.
Genetics? 1. Black race doesn't have Neanderthal Genes 2. There is more genetic variation across black people than b/n white and black. 3. I know you don't want to accept but google saves you from being ignorant. 4. You are among those who contributed nothing to the world and high school drop out and stop commenting every where. this is for grown ups
You're asking that with a name like "Nate Higgers?"
Dummy they are called Forbes, Vanity Fair, Etc. God help you your dumb.
Nate doesn't even know "races". He thinks those women are Latina. Just stupid. Oh, and Latino is not a racw but an ethnicity. Read more baby...learn something. lol
Latino/a is not an ethnicity but a blanket term for very different cultural ethnicities (i.e. Puerto Rican, Mexican, Peruvian, Cuban, Dominican, etc.).
They are who they say they are! Oh, that's right, to be black must mean you have to be dark skin. Wow...I guess my very fair skin mother who is fairer then those two women must not be black! I'll have to tell her that after 76 years on earth she hadn't realized she's wasn't black? I imagine, you hop from board to board complaining about the black community.
Exactly, Latino is not a race. There are black, white and mixed Latinos but Latino isn't a race. Nate is an idiot and he clearly has a very limited view of the world. I wonder has he ever traveled outside of this country?
Do you think it would be OK if a "white" person started a magazine called Ivory? Would be OK for a "white" person to start a United White Writers Association? Probably not...
Because whites didn't go through slavery nor did they have to be GIVEN a right to vote less than a half century ago. Idiot.
Ever heard of Jews in a place called Egypt?
This article says America. That's the subject I'm staying on. Makes sense right? Egypt has nothing to do with this article.
You said white people didn't go through slavery. I was pointing out that you are wrong, that's all.
The 15th Amendment was passed in 1870 (FYI, this wasn't "50 years ago" as you said) and prohibited the denial of a (male) citizen the right to vote based on that citizen's "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" And just for purposes of comparison women were not "given" (as you said) the right to vote until the 19th Amendment in 1920
Jeff you used the wrong example (Jews in Egypt) to make your point about white people's enslavement. First of all contrary to popular views, most Egyptians below to the same race as most Jews-yes Caucasian. Moreover, most Jews in those days were not European and look more like their neighbors in the Middle East. I believe that if you research the roots of the work Slaves you should find that it is an extension of "Slavs" who were bought and sold by nordic people. Other example of white enslavements: Brits over Scots and Irish, Russians over Fins and others. Granted not on the scale of African slavery
Jews are not a race!! There are Jews of all skin tones. Always has been that way.
Think about this. Those in the majority rarely have a need to use "descriptive words" that would indicate they are accepted.
If you did you'd be stereotyped as a racist. But it is okay if it were a AfroAmerican magazine or "Black in America" story on CNN. Shameful @ best. AfroAmericans want to be treated equally but yet you cry when you are. Then turn around and want preferential treatment because, what??, your "black in America" Ha!
Nate and Jeff rode the short bus. lol
Ok... I didn't though.
Who are these people, reporters, etc that keep blabbing on forever about race. We don't go on and on and on and on about 'I'm a short person' or "I'm a tall person" or blonde or brunette of "I have blue eyes" / "I have brown eyes" ...there are a lot of physical attributes that we are all composed of.., can't we stop talking about race, like for good, for ever, please...
Who cares? Seriously. Is this kind of article even justified? I don't care who is black, white, or hispanic. Why should you?
It's funny when you're watching a movie and there's a black guy speaking with an English accent. You always just expect them to sound horrible, but they sound good with that accent. You don't see that a lot.
Really, racist! You are diseased. Clearly you don't get out of your bigot community much. Have u ever being to England? Sick
I've been to England and the blacks there are nicer and act better than American blacks.
Jeff do you travel much? It doesn't sound like it. What's your thoughts on a black guy with a French accent or one from a Caribbean island. How about one from Brazil, Honduras, Costa Rica? What about an Afro-Cubano or a Canadian. I hear you about the bad language and wish the movies and black community would stop glorifying such "inflection." For your part, I think you are calling it as you see it-am not convince you are a bigot-but I strongly suggest, if indeed you want to progress, to learn more about African people where ever. Start with Columbia's El Choco. Just type that in. Then look up the soccer teams of Honduras, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru as starters. That would make it clear also that being Latino is not a race
I travel all the time, particularly to Mexico. I would love to visit those other countries as well and possible make it to Rio for the next Olympics! What's your point?
Jeff, I lived in England and the English Whites acted more friendly and civilized than American Whites all 58M of them...please, you don't even have a statistical significant sample
People who are racist aren't very smart and generally lack any cultural experiences outside their own. Read unsophisticated and simple.
In your previous comments, you are racist toward white people so consider yourself dumb.
Saying one is "Black" makes one a racist. Saying one is "White" makes one a racist as well. It seems to me that racial inequities of childish coloring books meanderings are leaning to wanton racist labeling of one's skin color being the keys to habitual renderings of classifying one socially orientated genders for their minded inadequacies judgment .
I am an American. I am a citizen of American decent. I was born an American and try very hard to live unto and by the American civilities that are yet to be fully formed and rationed into righteously consecrated American civil unionizations bereft of ill will against any and all Americans.
Today's civil welfares within the American philosophies are awash with many socialistic civil nuances. Our individualized humanisms are of socialized declarations ever being lived out and challenged upon by our life's living in togetherness stylizations to ever be a malleable arrangement upon one's tenured living livelihoods.
In America all people born are American citizens no matter what racial labeling innuendoes befall one and are earnestly thrust upon one's growing mindset rallied around bitter indemnifications ever being malleably coursed thru one's life and livelihoods!
We who all were born in America are American citizens first and foremost regardless one's skin pigmentations!
Really Nate Higgers...? Again, the intelligence of a rock. I rest.
I see a bunch of people saying they don't consider themselves African-American, just black; but when a white person refers to them as black, they get offended.
(2011) Blacks make up 85% of violent crimes in the US.
Really, show me the statistics?
Not true. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, since the mid 1970s, most reports show violent crime arrests (best estimate for what you are saying) have running close to 50% "white" and close to 50% "black" (presumably Asians make up the rest). The 85% figure you use probably refers to studies finding that approximately 85% of violent crimes are "intra-racial" that is the victim and the perpetrator of the same race. So, if you are white, you don't have much to fear from crimes committed by black people.
Whites account for 92% of serial kills. Whites have started every World War. Whites account for most slave masters. Whites flooded the black neighborhoods with guns and drugs. Whites are still starting trouble in countries they have no business being in. Whites represent people like you. Your point?
You could run an article about blacks being doctors, lawyers, and sxientists and you would still have a white person pulling the welfare, black organization
card. Do you guys ever have an intelligent comment to make? Really, makes you all sound bitter and intimidated.
You guys? What's that supposed to mean? Racist.
My grandmother on my mothers' side was mulatto; my grandmother on my fathers side was half native-american. They both married men of african heritage. That makes me an american.
Discrimination lives in our own eyes. Dr. Suess's Sneetches show skin tone is not the only basis for discrimination. Asia, Europe, Africa, South America, Middle East, North America may have (at one time) been similar in skin tone, but you would still find oppression for one reason or another. Skin tone is the lazy way of categorizing people. The globalization of human relations will eventually make the skin tone version of discrimination goofy. Rest assured, humans will find another way to put others down.
I just want everyone to know that I am white, not European-American. I've only been to Europe once. I was born in the US so please stop referring to white people as European-Americans!
Is this the only type of reporting Soledad does anymore? She's become something of a one trick pony. Disappointing...
If you are born in this country or naturalized, you are an AMERICAN. Black, Latino, Anglo, Italian etc are simply ways people use to button hole individuals and do us all a disservice. YOu don't think others are French-African, Arab-Germans etc.?
I must agree with Debbie. I do not conisider myself Africa-American and I was rather upset when they came up with that label. One of the reason is because I have never been to African and no nothing of an African heritage. Second is that just because your sking color is dark or in the scale of being black it does not mean that you came from Africa. Not all black people in this country come from Africa. I consider my self to be black. If i can trace my roots back to African then and only then I consider myself as an African American.
I agree with you. I also hate the term African American because most Blacks in America are multiracial. We are also mixed with European DNA, so why claim half of your heritage and disown the other. My family does have roots from Africa, but Europe as well because of slavery. We are all different colors of the rainbow. So, why only say African Amercan, instead of Afro-Euro American or Euro-Afro American..which ever order suits you. or for those who also have Native American heritage...Afro-Euro-Native American or Euro-Afro Native Amercian...or Native-Afro-Euro American. :-)
I am so tired of race being an issue in this country. How about there just being one race....THE HUMAN RACE!!!
I frankly this both of you simply hate your selves. Do Irish or Italian Americans complain as such? African Americans have a specific meaning tinge with history of slavery. Coupled with socio-economic and religious reasons and who set the rules on acceptance, I can see how u would want to distance your self. The "European DNA" is a red herring. Do all the whites around the Mediterranean with African DNA claim they are not white. Must be tough going they life hating oneself
you hate the term African american? because you are multicultural and have "european DNA"? it is back-words thinkers like you that always strive to share your lack of knowledge. to be clear culture is nothing like race. culture can be learned, alter, and in some case forgotten. You also resent the term because you have not been to Africa lol, you cant trace your bloodline to Africa. but yet you are BLACK? my initial goal was to defend/explain why you shouldn't hate the term, for THAT reason. but to be honest you and those who think like you have no pride but instead a great deal of self hatred. I am very embarrassed you are wearing my black skin. *Dehya credit for that reply*
she forgets the getting of that Eiropean blood was not voluntary! Those African women were raped to mix the gene pool.
I have never been to Africa and know nothing about Africa, I am a black man. Plain and simple and why talk about race do you CNN doing a show who is white in America?
Cat22–I was born/raised in the deep south....segregated etc. However--
Honestly–I can't wait for the day when CNN, Soledad O'Brian and everyone else stops creating these articles/shows/etc. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the 'black' thing...the 'white' thing...the 'asian, hispanic and anything thing!!! I don't give a cr@p who you are, what color you are, where you went to school, how much money you make....I just care that you are a good person who is living up to your potential and making some sort of contribution to the human evolution!!! As long as these shows are created....the 'black' thing will always be an issue!! Kind of makes you wonder if the 'being black' thing is a continued way of making them feel 'special'...more 'powerful'...etc.
JUST GET OVER YOURSELF!!! MOVE ON...GET A LIFE!!!
BTW Cat–I wasn't telling you to get a life...mostly Soledad O'Brian...move on Soledad!!!
Please educate yourself on where the term "black" and "white" in terms of race comes from. If you knew you would not like it. Black people are not actually black...their skin is brown.
Most of the blacks I have met are nice to white people's faces but have deeply racist tendencies when pressed.
I believe that is fair, you can dislike me but treat me fairly.. It doesnt matter how someone feels about me, I can't change that...I don't like people who lie, I don't have them I just ask them any questions!!!
I don't ask them any questions!!
but that's ok....only white people are accountable for there programming...i'm just sorry that I'm a straight white man.....i mean, the audacity of my being....how could I?
so you do exist!
That's funny Oreo, I feel the same way about white people. So, if we start with how we are a like, maybe we could all just get along.
The term African-American is the equivalent to other ethnic groups claiming their ancestral heritage. There are many Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans who profess pride in their heritage. Many of them were born in the U.S.
Unfortunately, American black slaves were denied acess to knowledge and prevented from learning about their past by a racist, prejudiced and discriminatory system. Most Americn blacks don't know their African country of ancestry and therefore identify with the whole continent. There's nothing wrong with that. Especially in a country that denigrated a groups existence from the time they set foot on the continent.
I'd rather be called American and not distinguished by my race at any point.. I think it's blasphemous with everything you do, every application you fill out, you have to distinguish your self as African American or black or whatever.. that's what I"m waiting for when we still aren't using differences to say who we are
It is funny that CNN is airing this show because I live in Detroit and I just finished a play called "Why Am I black?". It talks about Light Skin/Dark Skin. It goes through the journey of a Dark Skinned Black woman (from birth to adulthood) and how she was treated for being black. Not just by society but by her own mother which is light skinned. Along the way she will meet up with people who will give her some widsom and history lessons about our culture. I feel if we would come together, and not fight each other because of our skin color, we can conquer the world.
I think this race question will eventually become obsolete. If not, it will just become more ridiculous. Americans with virtually any visible sub-Saharan African ancestry (the so-called "one drop of blood") have been socially categorized as simply African for centuries. This is crazy.
As of 2002, 30% of "whites" have some black ancestry and 18% of "blacks" have some white ancestry. These numbers are surely increasing with every passing year. This doesn't include all of the other races mixed in there. The U.S. is a melting pot, so I'm having a hard time understanding how a melting pot can force people to put themselves into such incomplete and misguiding racial boxes.
And nothing uspets me more than calling someone who is 50% white and 50% black, black. This makes no sense whatsoever. What we really need to talk about is why any percentage of black racial construction dominates all other races. And what's the answer? Racism.
As long as your parents say your black then that's what you are. All about upbringing and environment. At least that's the way it is in America.
I am black, I was born in Bronx, New York....I have NOTHING against Africans, however I am not African-American, I am Black.....
And I am tan in skin color. I have German family roots along with Russian and American Indian family traits. I am a humane being of individualistic character and one can call me to be an "American" and quit it with the social labeling of one's skin natures!
Hi Debbie. Care to elaborate? I understand that we as humans tend to use color to distinguish certain groups of humans from others, i.e. black, white, yellow, etc... But I've never seen anyone with true black, white or yellow skin. I'm of Puerto Rican descent and sometimes go by Hispanic or Latino. My skin color is brown, but that's not how I identify myself as. It's not really customary for people of my same ethnicity to go by the color of our skin to distinguish ourselves from other groups, either.
I guess my question is; why do you consider yourself "Black" over African American?
Well said Debbie... my black friends share your opinion just as I do. I am white, I am American. I an not an Irish-American.
I'm not black nor African American. I have skin of bronze and label myself as an American.
And I understand that. African American is a cultural term to me. If you are Afro-Latino or a yaadie for example, most of the latter are fiercely proud of being black, I understand if you want to be identify by that cultural lineage
AA is just someone of African decent. Debbie please educate yourself on where the term "black" and "white" in terms of race comes from. If you knew you would not like it. Black people are not actually black...their skin is brown.
Nah there are some who really are black black.
If you're going to make a comment toward white people or assume that the racist comments are coming from white people then you are also a racist.
I am a black indigenous African immigrant who just turn American citizen. Blacks in America who call themselves "African – Americans are making a great mistake.They see their fellow black immigrants from Africa as enemies. As if these African immigrants are responsible for their failures & frustrations.Like the late Bob Marley said, if they really know their history, they will really know where they come from.
They probably see you as an enemy because you are from a different tribe.
If some of us Blacks knew where we came from, we probably could appreciate it....You must understand our ancestors came from wherever(Africa, I guess) and everything we ever knew was washed away with slavery....I always wonder #1. Am I from African decent....#2. Did Africans if I am from that decent ever celbrate these holidays like they do here....I have co-workers who know they are Jewish decent, or Irish decent, or Indian decent, but most black people don't know that....They kept better tabs on horses and pigs than they did blacks.....
Because African immigrants tend to do pretty well for themselves. They don’t use the excuse of long past slavery for their failures. In short you make them look bad.
2ND. BARACK OBAMA IS NOT BLACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If he is black, then I am Desmond Tutu, because he has only one parent from Africa, born and raised there.
I have two parents who are indian, who are both born in Africa who gave birth to me, where I was born in England.
I therefore, am BLACKER THAN OBAMA
I got news for ya......The President IS BLACK, it's not how you were raised hommie, it's the color of your skin, and what color your parants were. Remeber, one drop of Black BLOOD, and your no longer white. That's the white man's rule!!
So you are saying those white men were right all along? Good to know.
So sorry that you are an ignorant person! smh
Active warrant searches as part of admission?
As a half-Caucazoid, my Kenyan father abandoned me, I only met the dude twice. My white, hippie mother allowed her white parents to raise me. All my friends and radical associates are white. I went to an overwhelmingly white university. My cabinet is white. My advisors are all white. My vice president is white. I live in the White House. Yet, Black America embraces me as if I were one of them, though I have never been part of the Black experience in this country.
I love this country !
If this is the real Barry Obama, you are correct....I think black people will always embrace someone of your status....We see how your people treat you and we understand because they treat us the same way too....The average black person knows you are not as black as we are....you didn't grow up like us....Living in the projects, or the hood with limited money...We kknw you were raised by white folks and you did not get your blackness until you got with Michelle....I hope this second time around you give qualified black people positons within your cabinent....
My mom doesn't go to the movies in the ghetto.
I remember Omekongo Dibinga from a news article when he was in school here in Boston! I'm glad to see how he's doing now, helping others.
There is only qne "race" the human one, anything else is family business.There are no such thing as "races" plural.
Tell that the emergency room doctor who has to make calls on your treatment BASED ON RACE. If you don’t know what I’m talking about please contact your nearest medical professional.
By using that logic you are saying that all redheads and albinos should be categorized into new "races". The Bible talks about "the human race" descending from two people and certainly recessive genes and who people mated with determined what each of us look like and what strengths and various health issues we each have. That has resulted in a species that is a mixed up conglomeration of features, talents, hair colors, freckle amounts, cleft chins, etc. It's a beautiful features spectrum that does not need to determine how we should think, act, react, what we should celebrate, our personal likes and dislikes, or who we should hang out with, or marry, or mate with.
Someone referencing the bible is in no position to argue logic. This isn’t a matter of opinion is science.
Or tell it to the people that go to the Chinese restaurant where all the Chinese people work because if they work there it must be good.
Tell it to the Affirmative Action participants.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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