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December 7th, 2012
05:00 AM ET

Soledad O'Brien: Who is black in America? I am

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 Yaba Blay and Soledad O'Brien, CNN

(CNN) - Yaba Blay, Ph.D. created the (1)ne Drop Project, a multiplatform endeavor that hopes to challenge perceptions of black identity. Blay, a consulting producer for "Who Is Black in America?" spoke to hundreds of those who may not immediately be recognized as "black" based on how they look, including CNN Anchor Soledad O'Brien.  In this edited excerpt from her forthcoming book, Blay spoke to O'Brien about what makes a person black, and why the conversation is important.

Yaba Blay: How do you identify? Racially and culturally?

Soledad O'Brien: I’m black. I’m Latina. My mom is Cuban. Afro-Cuban. My dad is white and Australian. And I think because of my job, often a question like "How do you identify?" is really not about the question. It’s always "What side are you on?" "What perspective do you bring?"

Blay: I remember when "Black in America" first came out, and a lot of people being like “Who is she and why is SHE doing this?”

O'Brien: I think it’s a valid question. I think every question is valid. I just don’t think there should be a rule like “Oooh that is the question that shall not be asked.” I’m happy to answer any question. And I think also there is sometimes a hostility in that question. Especially around "Black in America." You know, “Who are you that gets to tell our story?” And I understand that, too.

You know, white people really have a luxury in that they get a range of stories, that they’re not defined by five stories. So I think that the difference with "Black in America" was the filter did matter. That there are only going to be five stories and we want to know exactly who you are and what your credentials are to be telling our story. And I don’t think you can do documentaries and opt out of the conversation. You know, it’s not “Well you know that’s about them, not about me.”

I think what I love about the documentary process is that you bring yourself to the documentary. And hopefully that makes you ask good questions and hopefully that makes you reveal a little bit about yourself as well.

Blay: Have you had that experience of people asking you, “What are you?”

O'Brien: Oh my God yes! All the time. People tweet me that question. I used to take great offense – like immediately sort of get annoyed, partly because I don’t think that came from a very good place. I think I read it as sort of questioning my value and reasons for being wherever I was. But now I think it’s twofold: one, I think that because I’m a journalist, people are really just trying to understand - "You’re somebody I see on TV, but I don’t know you in person so who are you?" Then, two, I think that part of my job as a journalist is to educate people about stories in a way and some of these stories I’m part of that story.

I think I was part of "Black in America" even in the context of who is the filter of the story and so it became relevant, so I really stopped hating answering that question because I felt like my job is to elaborate and explain for people who I am. I think it’s relevant. I think because of the reporting that I do I sort of owe people that answer.

Blay: So why do you think the questions are coming? Why are there questions about why Soledad is doing "Black in America?"

O'Brien: Some of it is physical presentation. I think that some of it was that I’d been anchoring shows that weren’t dealing specifically with African-Americans so it was kind of like "What are your politics? What’s your perspective? Who are you?" I think sometimes it’s as straightforward as that.

At screenings for "Black in America" I’ve heard people say, “Well you know I never thought you were black until you did Katrina and then I thought you were black.” And I’d say, “That’s so fascinating. What was it that made you think I was black?” And then someone else would say, “Yeah, but she’s married to a white man.” And I’m like "OK, so does that make me less black and how in your mind does that math work? That there’s a certain number and if you get below that number because you get points for who you marry and you lose points for where you live and how you speak?"

But even just going back to the questions consistently, I thought it was just illuminating. I thought it was just so fascinating to really open up a conversation about race. Now we’re up to "Black in America 5" and we’re having that conversation.

Blay: So what makes a person black?

O'Brien: I certainly don’t think it’s skin color. And I certainly don’t think it’s how well you speak the language. And I’m not sure I can answer that question thoroughly because my consciousness about race was really implanted in me by my parents. I would say I’m black because my parents said I’m black. I’m black because my mother’s black. I’m black because I grew up in a family of all black people. I knew I was black because I grew up in an all-white neighborhood. And my parents, as part of their protective mechanisms that they were going to give to us made it very clear what we were.

My mother would say, “Do not let anybody tell you you’re not black. Do not let anybody tell you you’re not Latina.” And I remember thinking her comments were so weird, like "What is she talking about?" There weren’t people coming over to my house saying “You’re not black!” We stuck out!

But now I understand what she was going for. And I am very grateful for those conversations because I think it implants in your head sort of the perspective that my parents wanted us to have. We were raised that way in a place that was often not particularly hospitable and sometimes out and out hostile to people of color. I guess my parents taught me very early that how other people perceive me really was not my problem or my responsibility. It was much more based on how I perceived me.

soundoff (1,453 Responses)
  1. slow

    What a hateful bigot this woman is.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      How is she a bigot? Give details.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. NotYoDaddy

    Who is black in America?

    Apparently anyone that wants to be.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. pc

    Soledad is a terrible bigot.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      How is she a bigot? Give details.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Whatever

    Why...if someone is half black and half white they are automatically black. Seems to me they are half of each so it is what it is. The constant barage of racial talk is becoming tiresome. This country is divided racially and politically and no one seems to see that the division within the country is worse than anything anyone outside can do to us...because when something does happen to us, another tradgedy as bad or worse than 911, we are already divided within. Yes, we will come together for that short while, but go back as we did in 2001 to the same nonsense. It is amazing to me, God does not see color, neither should we. He made us the color we are, but he made us human beings and we all have our shortcomings and problems....let's get over it already and stop the madness.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      God also does not want us to judge because no one is perfect but people do it and will continue.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paul

    As long as someone defines themself by race, then discrimination will still exist.

    December 7, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat

      AMEN!

      December 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Then there will be something else do. Even within races, families, etc, there are discrimination. So you can move all the labels you want, people are going to do what they want to do.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. D Madore

    Stop this "Black in America" crap! Why does Soledad keep doing this and why does CNN condone it? Quite possibly one of the most racist instilling programs on TV. Since when do we need to measure how black people are? Being black, white or purple shouldn't mean anything, but, so called "journalists" like Soledad are only adding to the problem as opposed to fixing it. Shows like this shouldn't be allowed on TV, inciting racism.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Once again, the truth hurts.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • T. Johnson M.D.

      You don't understand and that is OK. You may be European American and limited in your understanding of being a person of color in American in 2012. Or you may be a person of color who grew up in a predominantly European American community (and very likely fairly young as well). If it seems Soledad or others like me are "obsessed" with addressing issues of color and race, it is because America required us to be so.

      December 7, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  7. rtrMicky

    Soledad could be purple and she would still be a beautiful woman!

    December 7, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
  8. Fiona

    This is beating a dead horse. O'Brian obsesses about her mixed heritage to the point of mental imbalance.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Perfect!
      How 'bout this: her true birth name is Maria O'Brien.
      What a dork!

      December 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Well, so is the world. At least she is willing to discuss hers.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • Buck

        she's willing to discuss it for celebrity status and a fat paycheck, you banana. what a saint.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scarface86

      I agree. I think it is similar to Ellen and her failed sitcom. I really do not care if Soledad is black or Ellen is gay. It's hard to be color blind when it is always thrown in our face.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Wynter

    Oprah should have done this piece... She came from the bottom to the top.. perfect representation I would say ..

    December 7, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sherry

    How convenient is it for Soledad to claim to be Black when she is pretty like a White woman? Face and Hair like a White woman? She bears none of physical characteristics of actually being Black but decides she is going to try to pass herself off as being Black. What nerve!! She wouldn't give away her pretty White appearance for anything in this world!!

    December 7, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Again, it all goes back to the same place and why some blacks/AA have self hate.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lana

      @ Sherry: Pretty like a White woman? What does that mean? I know pretty women of all races. Is pretty only assigned to one race in your mind?

      December 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      This post is the reason she made this article. Ignorance will never die in the "trash" can I guess.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Golden Girl

    I'm guessing that most of the people who care whether people are black or not (or 'black enough') are black people. There was a time when people of all races in America were focused on this but I think it is becoming less and less-thankfully.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      There is a difference is something become less and something just not being discussed. Just like there is a difference in "acceptance" and "tolerance". Tolereance does NOT mean I accept you but I will "put up" with you. Accpetance means you have all of my approval.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. brisso

    I think people go with a cause. Soledad's dad is an Aussie (I was stoked to hear that, cause I'm an Aussie) and Obama's mum is white and he was brought up by his white family...but they both choose to be black. I don't see either as black to be honest, yet I don't see anyone as a color for that matter. I think we're flogging a dead horse when it comes to this. We certainly never need to forget our history and respect the souls who lived through the seriously troubling racial times, but give it a few centuries and the whole planet will be a nice slightly tanned color, then maybe we can get on with serious stuff. Come on America...you have a black president...if you have a black president and you think blacks are still mistreated...you've got serious troubles. Australians were slaves too...yes, white slaves (convicts). If you were lucky enough to survive the 6 month voyage, chained in a cramped cell in the bowels of a leaky ship, you could look forward to wearing a ball and chain and being whipped for the rest of your life. Blacks do not have a monopoly on being mistreated, although in America they think the do. I've lived in the south for 23 years and have found that blacks are far more racist than whites...in my experience.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      Society won't allow them to choose white. They would be greatly ridiculed (especially in the south) for doing so.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reader

      I so agree with brisso. By 2050, we will have a majority "brown" population, and it won't matter who is what. I look forward to that, because race shouldn't matter. It's getting better every day, but you still see how Obama is being treated and you know race is behind so many of the obstacles he is enduring. One writer said Obama is white, but there is no way he would ever be seen as white in our current society. I know it is difficult for people who are biracial. They do have to struggle to belong, whether it's to white society or to their bi society–black, asian, hispanic, whatever. Why pretend that isn't true? I've seen it in action. Blacks are just as biased as many whites–even prejudiced against those who are very dark. It's been 150 years since the end of the Civil War, and we have much more progress to make in all cultures. We're all prejudiced, but we should fight it every day. We should all recognize that most humans originated in Africa and that our ancestors were once black. Let's get over it as a country, like brisso said!!!!

      December 7, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wow

      "Come on America...you have a black president...if you have a black president and you think blacks are still mistreated...you've got serious troubles."

      If you're an Australian who really thinks that America electing a black president means black people are no longer mistreated...you've got serious troubles.

      December 7, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • Monica

        This mindset is always curious. As if one black man getting elected changes thins for all races, and suddenly bigots will see the error of their ways and we're all going to get along. Even Obama is getting an inordinate level of threats due to his being black. All this has done is crystallize the hate. The real shame is that he's not talking about it too.

        December 7, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      brisso,

      Blacks do not think we have the patent for mistreatment. What you, and many fail to see, is that if America would have continued to enslave white people until slavery was abolished, then we would have had all of the ensuring segregration, etc. that allowed for the continued separation to grow and continue to keep blacks in a sub-culture. Imagine this, if slavery had stayed intergrated (for a lack of a better term), then Lincoln would have freed both whites and black slaves and the slaves would be worked back into society. But when it b/c a situation for only blacks, it created another situation, the one that still has a backlash to this day. I

      December 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. wow

    As long as people identify themselves by the color of their skin, there will be no HUMAN race. Stop the "black in america", this special month for this race, this special month for that race...when will this species grow up and accept we are all the same?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Neel

      Then they are going to lose so many protections [Legally] on the basis of race, ethnicity etc. Are you in that group [Mother Teresa, Gandhi etc. were in this group] that think: Let us hold hands, [Obama, Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong not-so-ill, Putin, Yahoo, Netanyahu etc. etc.] form a circle, say a prayer or sing a song, love each other and all the problems of the world will vanish?

      December 7, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Flipper

    She is a perfect example of what Martin Luther King wanted to see and seems embarassed to be so.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Brett

      Oh please, He wanted White women too

      December 7, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
  15. Tony

    Voting for the right candidate is clearly a requirement for being black in America...

    December 7, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  16. Eric

    As a person with a sociology degree, these types of discussions fascinate me and frustate me all at once. Reading these comments, I see many people are not able to have this type of discussion objectively b/c of their own emotion either way. While it is true, most societies and peoples have been slaves, indentured servants in some cases, the United States (and England) did a game changer when it was your skin color (race if you like) that determined your slave status. In the other instances, your slave status was based on social positioning, class or caste system, which included all shades of people. When skin color b/c the qualifier, it created a sub-culture in the US based your slave status on something that could not be changed whereas in other societies you could move out of slavery when you married up, purchased your freedom; etc. So sorry all, while the early Americans left us much to be proud of, they also left us a helluva mess that we have to deal with. I am sure they could not have seen what their actions (or inactions) would do and how they would last (assuming they even cared). In short, if slavery in the US had continued to be "equal opportunity" and included other peoples we consider white, etc., we would not have this issue today b/c it would not have allowed to spill over and create Jim Crow b/c who would you base it on? If it's socioeconomics, then if you improved your lot, then who would the gov or society hold you back?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Lala

      I think you need to study world history. Humans have been doing this stuff to each other since the beginning of time, long before the US or England. Humans can be cruel and will exploit others for their own benefit when given the chance.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
      • 3rdEyeOpened

        Sorry but Jim Crow is significant in this case. And Most other nations NEVER experienced Jim Crow like black americans. Remember, this is post slavery.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric

        I agree, but I only used the US and England here to speak to, for a lack of a better term, Race based slavery. Let me say it again for anyone else that missed my point, when slavery became based solely on skin color (or race) it changed the game b/c it then became about making one set of people infererior (in a lot of ppls opinions) instead of having a diverse set of people that were "infererior", if you will. So if whites, blacks and others remained slaves in the US and all were freed at the same time, how then exactly would Jim Crow work? (I mention JIm Crow b/c it was the legacy born out of US slave experience).

        December 7, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
      • Lala

        Do you know anything about slavery in any other countries in the Americas? O'Brian's mother was from Cuba, do you know the last country to abolish slavery was Brazil? The US and England were not the only countries to have slaves. This was going on all over the world since the beginning of time. Slavery still exists today.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric

        You know, I am beginning to question your reading comprehension. I know that slavery exists in other parts of the world. I am only speaking about the fallout here, in this country, my country, the U.S. I keep saying that and how it racial based slavery and it's backlash over the years to current U.S, society. Why to you keep trying to introduce some pan-slavery idea? I got it, ok.

        One more time, and i will type it slowly, I am speaking specifically to when the United States stopped enslaving whites and enslaved blacks only, that is when the U.S. and the aftermath is unique to other countries. Whew!

        December 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neel

      THE BLACK MAN IS NOT POOR BECAUSE HE IS BLACK,BUT RATHER, HE IS BLACK BECAUSE HE IS POOR!!

      Michael Jackson: THE MAN WHO USED TO BE BLACK.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • BritishAussie

      Hi Eric, hope you don't think I'm being pedantic but 'England' (you mean Great Britain) didn't ever have slaves. Its citizens were some of the worst offenders in this disgusting episode of history but slavery was never legal in Britain itself. There are many inspiring stories of black people who had been slaves returning to Britain with their 'masters' as free men back as far as the 18th century. By contrast, we had the concept of (white) servants well into the 20th century. Class is a bigger divider in Britain than colour.

      December 7, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric

        So who exactly did William Wilberforce work to abolish slavery for?

        December 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Eric

        BritishAussie, sorry I somehow didnt save my first msg Back. I did misspeak (or type as it were), I was actually referring to the British Empire where slavey was legal in many of its territories. And yes, although not legal in what we call England today, they definitely had a hand in facilitating the sales of slaves.

        But to my overall point, if the United States would have keep white slaves and never made it exclusive to blacks only at some point, this would be a non issue (the racial component). But there could still be a different ugly legacy, decents of slaves and slaveowners but it would be more class/financial based. Do you agree?

        December 7, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jeff

    Just be yourself, then you don't have to worry about being something else.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  18. elsa13

    I think this article is very very interesting. It made me think a lot about my own race and what I identify myself as. My mother is black and my father is white . I don't identify as just white and I don't identify as just black. I am both and very proud of it. Yes, i don't have many black friends. Yes, most of my friends think of me as being white. But I know that I will never be able to pick one, because I was raised by both a black family and a white family. Ignoring part of my ethnicity and culture would be like saying I favored one more, which I don’t. I am who I am today because of both sides of my family .
    So this article, as interesting as I think it is, confuses me. Why would you want to identify with only one part of who you are? you should be proud to be what you are and not have to feel as if you HAVE to pick one. I am and will always be the product of my black mother and my white father and I plan on always identifying myself as such.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Neel

      Do you think that in the USA Inter-racial marriage should be strongly recommended? Will this solve the racism problem in the USA?
      An Irish American gentleman whose family immigrated to USA from Ireland 58 years ago when he was 5 yrs old told me that "As this country becomes browner and browner and browner it is bound to get poorer and poorer and poorer". I told him that's a racist statement. He told me it is the gospel truth!!

      December 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Lord Toronaga

    Yaba Blay needs to find real work. I'd like to see some Black accomplishments that doesn't highlight civil rights or entertainment. How about something a bit more scientific oriented.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  20. Erin

    I'm annoyed, when people say "Well, race isn't real; it's JUST a social construction." Language is a social construction. Religion is a social construction. Social constructions can have a very real impact on how you're perceived, what opportunities you have, how you're treated.

    I had a great professor for a college course on race and ethnicity, who said that what everyone is saying is, "Don't judge me." It's not so much that we want you to not see race; it's a big factor in how people experience this world. It's that no one wants to be judged by whatever preconceived notions you may have about my worth, ability, and means due to stereotypes you hold about a given group. Give people a chance to show you their true selves before you judge them by the color of their skin, the shape of their eyes, the texture of their hair, the accent in their speech...

    December 7, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  21. JJ

    I am so tired of hearing about this. Do these type of subjects define her? How about a new topic like – how do we raise education standards on America not just what color are you?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Exactly!

      December 7, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  22. jez

    You know, this makes me sick. They got the whitest looking "black" woman to head this series. She would have "passed" back in the day. Couldn't CNN find a black woman who actually looks black – perhaps with "nappy" hair and black features, to relate what it is to be black?? Perhaps next time, hire the Kardashians for this role – their boyfriends could help them sort out what it is to be black. Ridiculous.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      You are missing the whole point of the article. Her features brought controversy and confusion to many who felt the need to have her ethnically defined. This is the reason behind her "Im black" and "I'm Latina", instead of "she looks half white and what else?

      December 7, 2012 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  23. Jimbo

    "I’m black. I’m Latina," is the quote from Soledad O' Brien. What happened to this diversity thing about including all, but NOT EXCLUDING ANY??? I think it is a bit of a slam on her white Australian father. One so-called race IS NOT ABOVE THE OTHER NO MATTER WHAT!

    December 7, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      How is this the case when many thought she wasn't either of the two?

      December 7, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      Good point. She didn't mention the fact that she is white as well. Like it's a bad thing to be now.....

      December 7, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Rufus D.

      I don't think she needs to add that she is "white" since most people probably assume she is with a last name "O'Brien". They want to know what the other half is. Before she explained who her mother is, you could have guessed black, latino, or even indian or middle-eastern. And let's face it, it's the other side that generates more interest, good or bad.

      December 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Robert D

    I don't think we necessarily have to die to be in hell...have you seen the world lately?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  25. WeatherbyMarkV

    Well, I guess in order to embrace my heritage, which I can trace back to about 500AD, I need to build a small flexible ship and go A-Viking. But to honor my gramps I'll take some scalps whilst pillaging. LMAO

    December 7, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  26. Dave

    Well at least she hasn't decided to be Gay......yet

    December 7, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • WeatherbyMarkV

      She probably will as soon as the sponsorship for her show starts falling off. It's all about money baby.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  27. fiftyfive55

    Hyphenated people are the most racist on the planet as they willingly self identify by race,so sad.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      how is that racist fiftyfive55? I think you need to learn what the word racist mean. If you care about a hyphen and what someone else prefer to call themselves, then issue lies with YOU, not them.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
      • 3rdEyeOpened

        Bingo!! There's nothing wrong with being proud of who you are and where you came from just as long as you have the up most respect for those different from yourself.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
      • fiftyfive55

        You are very wrong about what hyphens represent and why people use them.Hyphens are used to dec lare one's race publicly,which in case you dont know,is racist.Instead of just being American,hyphen people declare themselves to be a racial category,racist in it's purist form.Just declare yourself an American and if you cant let go of the countries you left behind then go back to those countries and take your hyphens with you.We don't care what hyphen you are,even though you for some odd reason think we should care.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
      • fiftyfive55

        Are you kidding me ? Hyphens are used to declare race and tell people you are different.Why anyone would consider using a hyphen in their name is bewidering.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
      • Jomm

        fifty55, you honestly think by moving a hyphen is going to make someone like you more and not judge you when they can just look at you and see you are different? Give me a break. Hec,k family members judges other family members who look and act different let alone groups.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard B. Gorence

      I am really sick of people of mixed races identifying themselves as Black only. I realize it's a good time to be a Black American in this country and I Love my Black Brothers and SIsters, but let's get over with this. You are just as much White as you are Black, and you are not African-American unless you personally immigrated from Africa. You are a Black American, please get over it. Like one of my role models in my life said "Can't We All Just Get Along?" This is what most people are looking for, to get along, to work together, economically, politically, etc. Stop the hyphenation. We can do it! Everyone is proud of where they came from, I don't have a problem with that. Many of the People that I admire are People of Color. The President, the Surgeons, the Authors, the Professional Sports, the list goes on, you are the best, yet we still so we've come along way, but there's more to do. There's more to do for everyone in this great country, and World that we live in. Peace and Love.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Jomm

        sorry but who are you to tell people what they are or not. That is not your place. I consider myself African American and I am proud to be called AA. If me calling myself AA bothers anyone, then the problem is that person, NOT me. The same with someone who calls themself black. If that person identify more with one side of themself, who are you or anyone else to question that person on it? As I said before, if these people get into trouble and the PRISON SYSTEM want to label them, NO ONE will complain about these people calling themselves black/AA.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Ted

    Being Black is being Anti-White. There is not much more that goes into the decision.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      We could say the same thing about whites being anti-black just because they're white.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
      • Ted

        Hey, I never thought of it that way, but you're right!! My point is, you can't be Black by looking White. Something O'Brian will never understand

        December 7, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  29. Todd

    The whole idea of 'one drop theory' was created to segregate the community by bigots. It has no scientific merit, it is simply a form of segregational control. As humans we need to get rid of this type of thinking, your liver is the same as mine regardless of where you were born or what ethnicity you have. All this will go away once we get rid of 'races' of which, scientifically speaking, there is no such thing, we are all the same species. When everyone is beige we will laugh at our ignorant ancestors.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
    • fiftyfive55

      Lots of money in racism,why would they ever let that slip away ? A two term black president and they still cry racism

      December 7, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Jomm

        Are you for real. And if you look at the votes, half the country voted for Obama, another half voted for Romney. If you think all of those people did not vote for Obama only because they did not like his policies, you are crazy. In city racial slurs were used in a business here after Obama won and the people are suing.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
      • WeatherbyMarkV

        And if Jomm thinks all those people voted FOR Obama because of his policies....he's just as crazy. That street goes both way my friend.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
      • fiftyfive55

        @Jomm-thx for making my point about money and racism going hand in hand.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
      • Jomm

        Your are right whether. And if you think eveyone voted for Romney because they thought he was qualified and not because they wanted this black looking guy out of the white house, you are wrong.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Wrong, we still can look at people and see differences. This is why I think it is stupid of people to get so caught up on what a person call themself. I still can see that you do not look like me.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
      • Lala

        How many people look like you in the world? Even if you trace your roots, how many people look like you in the country your ancestors came from? There is variation everywhere.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
      • Jomm

        there are many people who look lke me in this world and if I idenify with them, then I will call myself one of them.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObiWanVonHellsinki

      Some of the beige people may laugh, and some may question why then was there, at one time, nothing but black people in Africa, yellow people with Asian-shaped eyes in Asia, red people in America, tan people in the Middle-east, brown people in India, all with both jet-black hair AND jet-black eys, then suddenly, white people with other-than-black hair AND other-than-black-eyes appeared, and only in Europe. The various races of people have been mixing now for 5,000 years since global trade began, but before that, there was very little difference in appearance within each continent. Even today, closer to the coastlines there is more variety than there is further inland. These are the realities of the planet that you live on – there are differences.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Jomm

        So true.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • ObiWanVonHellsinki

      In dairy farm country, you can find a farmer who has all registered (pure-breed) black-holsteins, the 'cows' that most of us see on TV as a dairy cow, but the famer next to him may have all registered as pure-breed red-jersey cows. Why? They are all 'cows' (correct word is bovine), but the jersey is smaller, eats less, gives higher butterfat and protein per gallon, etc., and that farmer wants that type of cow. There are also 'cows' used for beef cattle, such as hereford and angus, one is black and one is red, and one rancher wants one type while the other rancher wants the other. why? and what makes dairy cows different than beef cows? There are physical traits different between the various breeds of cows, but they are all cows. Humanity chose the word race to differentiate the physical traits that exist between africans, asians, caucasians, etc. but chose the word breed to differentiaite the physical traits that exist between types of cows. It is just a word, but it is a word. Ms. Obrien is a person of mixed-race, which is why she cannot identify which one race she is. Lets call her the O'brien race, or the Cuty-Patuty race? Nope, no more than a mixed-breed cow, she is is a mixed-race human, and better to be a mixed-race human than the mixed-breed cow I'm going to eat for lunch. There is of course the word 'mulatto' which was used to identify a mixed-race person. So, maybe, if otherwise not identifiable, she'll have to settle for that, and, no, we are not all 'mixed-race', but we are human, we think, and if we are not all human, then what are we? people. some of us people are mixed-race people, some not, BFD.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  30. joep222

    No one is black.
    No one is white.
    No one is red.
    No one is yellow.

    There is only one race: the human race. There is only differing levels of melatonin.

    The theory of multiple "races" stems from believing in the lie of evolution. Evolution promotes different "races" so that one "race" can create this false belief system that they are farther "advanced" in the evolutionary cycle and are thus superior to other "races". This is the reason why Hitler believed his "race" was better than the Jewish "race" and committed such horrible genocide.

    The color of our blood is red. Hatred towards a person of a differing skin pigmentation is irrational and nonsense.

    Secondly, calling someone "African-American" does not make much sense, unless they were born in Africa and moved to America. Even referring to a lineage that comes from Africa does entirely make sense. If you were born in America, you are an American. If you were born in Africa, you are an African.

    My lineage comes through Canada, but I don't go around calling myself a "Canadian-American". If I did, people would look at me strangely.

    We have different ethnicities and different countries of origin, but there is only one race. No person is any better than any other person. We are all created in the image of God.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      Tell society to rid itself of that false construct called race that they created during Colonial days to group who they felt as "less superior" to themselves, and all will be fine.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Why do I get the feeling that no one on these threads is even listening to you?

      December 7, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • ObiWanVonHellsinki

      Some non-evolutionists, religious people, believe that God, or more than one God, or maybe more than one Genetic-Engineering-Student of God's, or the God-People from the Heavens (Space), made different races for different places, based on the fossil records. Different races, different places, at different times. Elohim, the results of the Sons of God that came down to Earth and mated with the Daughters of Man. Intersting twist on religion, from religion, within religion, with science to back it up. Interesting, very interesting, even the possibility that the last race created on Earth was the blue-eyed-blondes of Scandinavia, you know, the Europeans who were created to live in Europe after the ice went away so that somebody could actually live there. Maybe, Ya Think?, and if not, if you do not think, what a terrible waste of the powerful mind that God created for you so you would be different than a rock, a tree, a grain of wheat-grass, and all other animals that you are made of.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Lala

      I think race boils down to skull shape. It doesn't have anything to do with skin color. Each race is a variety of shades and subtle feature differences. Anyone who travels knows there is no such thing as one "white' or "black" race, humans come in such a variety. Some people are obsessed with being part of a group and it's their choice, but they are missing out on a whole lot of people who don't fit neatly into their view of the world.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
      • WeatherbyMarkV

        I think you're onto something. Maybe people like me who don't care what other people look like, don't really want or need to align with any particular group. I honestly prefer solitude or the company of immediate family. You'll never catch me in Vegas or at Mardi Gras. I just don't like crowds.

        Hmmmm. Food for thought

        December 7, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      "Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt"? The chemical you speak of is melanin NOT melatonin. And no one correct him on this??? Really!!!
      Why is it that those who are least informed and most ignorant feel the strongest about their views and perspectives???

      December 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • tbucch

      Somehow, you managed to bring religious/creationist claptrap into this. There is ZERO proof of any of the THOUSANDS of gods that humans have postulated over the millennia; there is a growing body of proof of evolution (btw, theory in science doesn't mean what you possibly think that it means). Evolution does not promote racism, that is the sentient human beings. None of the cats or dogs I have had have cared about color of skin (or fur).

      December 8, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  31. Wishing for the old days

    Who?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  32. Escobar

    "I love being black"... Do you also love being white? Probably not.

    I think it's funny when people with white features claim no caucasian blood.

    "We need to have a draft" – Dave Chapelle

    December 7, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  33. Who cares, we are all humans

    I am sick and tired about this issue, Whites invaded this country years ago, and nobody cares about how Native Americans are doing, it is all POLITICS.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      You are absolutely right. Such an atrocity, and hardly ever acknowledged. Even I forget about that until I come across a comment like yours.

      December 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Bob

    True That!!

    December 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  35. 3rdEyeOpened

    All I have to say is that many black americans were here during the Jim Crow laws which was just as horrifying to them as 200+ years of slavery. Yet many are focused on the "but we never owned slaves" argument, and for some strange reason elude or flat out forget about good old Jim crow. I'm sure blacks know that most if not all nations were victims of slavery at one point or another. But post slavery seems to always be swept under the rug in these discussions and it's where their trauma remains. But society just wants them to "get over it". I would think it is easier said than done.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  36. Al

    I think this is about Soledad.....this is not the first time she has showcased this topic....maybe she needs to let go of her issues of having an atypical first name, and and Irish last name....Soledad, when I see you, I really don't see/hear a black person....nor do you!!!!!!!!

    December 7, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  37. Lord Toronaga

    I'd like to see a show that spotlights what it is like being White in America. No offense to Soledad. Next, I'd like to bring up another point and that is Soledad mentions often that it is so wrong to stereo type people ie. The college girls dressed up like Mexicans or the Native American Indian costume and the fashion show; but CNN has commercials all the time that stereo type Whites....Jimmy Fallon and 50% more cash back stereotypes or even the Viking/Goth credit card commercial...Hillbilly Hot tub etc. Isn't that wrong also ?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      Soledad doesn't know what it means to be white because society had already decided she was black.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
      • WeatherbyMarkV

        So you presume to speak for society now? I didn't think she was black, or white....until she started loudly declaring her racial preference.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
      • 3rdEyeOpened

        "So you presume to speak for society now? I didn't think she was black, or white....until she started loudly declaring her racial preference."

        I don't presume anything and I'm no spokes person for society. But you are really misinformed if you disagree that we all are shaped and judged by society. BTW, you are just one. So you use your one testimony as justification? Interesting.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
      • Buck

        oh, give me a break. her true birth name is Maria O'Brien and she's from the north shore of long island- one of the most affluent and exclusive areas of the world. she's a privileged, white-skinned long islander.
        and please don't waste your time giving me a wikipedia cited retort- it's been edited with bias.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • WHO CARES

      The show you are talking about is called 98% of television.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Lord Toronaga

      98% of television does not highlight specifically White accomplishment. Plenty of shows specifically target White negativity and so called oppressive behavior. If there is any good White person coverage it's usually linked to GAYNESS.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  38. Mona

    It makes me cringe to see anything called One Drop, there is no such thing. O'Brian can view herself anyway she she wants, but she's mixed like many of us. O'Brian is a white person who is part black and probably part Native. What is wrong with that? This is America. That is the face of both North and South America. People have asked me my entire life "what are you" and I love telling them. I have a great look.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  39. Tim

    Here we go, blacks and whites crying and debating who is better. whaaaaa Im black in america, I have it so hard. whaaaa Im a white man and no one bows down to me anymore whaaaaa.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  40. Flipper

    Soledad, I think a lot less people give a carp about what race you are, than you think do. This really is the most self serving article I've read on this site.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark E.

      Not true still a problem within the black community and by black community i mean one black person to another. So if you are not black of course you would think that.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  41. Bill

    I'm so tired of hearing about this.....Soledad needs to invest in a good Freudian analyst to work through her issues. It's not easy being a lot of things in American...enough already.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
  42. Mark E.

    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.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • WeatherbyMarkV

      You bring some credible points to the table, but no one taught me "white" history. Magellan, DeSoto, Columbus...Latin descent. I freely admit that I cannot understand what it is to be black, just as you cannot understand what it is to be a mutt like me. People need to do their own research into their own history to see where they came from. This is important, but should not be self-defining. Like I said in a previous post. If I used my genetic line to define myself, I'd be pillaging and taking scalps.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      There comes a time when people need to start taking responsibilities for themselves, and stop blaming everyone else. There are no segregation laws or anything holding blacks back (other than victimization). As one human race, we have been given the ability to use logic and reason. By what you are saying, it comes across as the white man is the only one that can change this vicious cycle. By saying this, my logic would indicate that whites have more power, and thus are superoir since as a race whites can accomplish something that blacks cannot. I will never know what it is like to be black, but I cannot understand how breaking this cycle is someone elses responsibility. We are all equal.

      December 7, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Steve

    Nothing racist about pointing these things out you say? But it is only racist when White people point things out? You are all about the excuses, and you fool no one. Except yourself

    December 7, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      No steve, when whites speaks, it is the INTENTIONS of how they speak on it. That is the differences.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
      • thecolorjade

        So, Jomm..black people can't have ill intentions when bringing up race? Black, white, asian, purple, green...all people CAN be racist. But not all people ARE. By suggesting that whites are racist because of the way they speak about race is rude. You're making a sweeping generalization about white people...sounds a little bit like racism to me!

        December 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  44. GetReal

    Soledad is Spanish for "solitude" – it has nothing to do with her daddy.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      You missed the joke. Never mind

      December 7, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  45. Mike M.

    I have never really thought about whether Soledad was black, white, green, or purple – I just like the way she presents the news. Isn't that what it all about – how you do your job?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  46. Tough

    I am white. My wife is black. Our children are black and white. It's not rocket science.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  47. Peach

    Oh please.................

    December 7, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  48. Peach

    The only people that care about this are--blacks. What difference does it make? Can this country please stop with the color of people's skin. It doesn't matter........get over it. Blacks too. STOP everyone.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Well, blacks have to continue to deal with it. if you do not judge, that you Peach; however, everyone is not like you.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  49. gingpoor

    Try being black in somalia...

    December 7, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  50. Tom

    Why would she? So that she could look like a brown cow like your mother?

    December 7, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  51. Jomm

    Well Mike maybe she talks about blacks more because she identify more with blacks than she does with Latino. I am sure when she walks out the door, she is viewed as a black woman FIRST before Latino. Also give her time, she may talk about Latino one issues one day.

    December 7, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  52. Rick

    White hair is beautiful, no doubt about it. Besides that, Soledad doesn't have to straighten her hair. It is already naturally straight. Soledad, you go White girl!!

    December 7, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  53. TJG

    Your statement alone proves your a racist. Your genes are the progressive ones and to taint them with the blood of a white person is weaking your culture, what a bunch of crap. The only thing that taints a gene pool is the ignorance to believe that you are superior to anyone simply because of the color of your skin. It is people like you and Tyrone who continue to believe that race is the most important thing and yet you will preach equality in public. The sad fact is if everything in this country were based on what you have done and can do, and race was taken out of the picture. Where do you think the black race would be? The black "superior" race is constantly being helped and placed into position solely because of color and not because they are capable of doing the job at hand, because of laws like affirmative action. And that goes for females and other minorities aswell. And who cares if she married a white man because she loved him. Black men dont seem to have a problem marrying white women.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  54. Rick

    Oh look, my name is O'Brian. I have straight hair, a thin face with White facial features, and super fair skin. But guess what? I'm Black. Dream on sweetheart. You couldn't be Black even with shoe polish

    December 7, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Amen, Brother, Amen. Black, White – that's about appearance. African, Latino – that's race. If Soledad wants to call herself part African, go on. But not black. Not in a million years.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liv

      @Rick
      I get that some white people like to self-servingly perpetuate the idea that certain features – narrow, pointy noises, double eyelids, high cheekbones (and straight hair) are exclusively and predominantly "white facial features". Sorry, but those attributes are also common among Native Americans, Indians, Arabs, and Africans like Somalis, Ethiopians, and Tutsis in Rwanda for example. Also, some other African tribes which is why they also occur among African-Americans. That's exactly why Soledad could easily be mistake as many different ethnicities. To insist on claiming them as "white facial features" strikes me as just another sneaky ploy to position whites as superior and coveted. Not only is the notion wildly inaccurate, it's also too self-impressed by far. Self-absorbed too. Too many "selfs" is usually a good sign that one needs to get over themself.

      December 7, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
      • Liv

        Oops, I meant to say, "Also, some other WEST-African tribes which is why they also occur among African-Americans". CNN's lovely Isha Sesay who is of Sierra-Leonean descent is an example. And that's not to imply that wider, more rounded noses, single eyelids, less sculpted faces or curly hair are not attractive in their own right. Point being you need to broaden your perspective and try not to pigeonhole people so much.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Charlie

    I know for certain that being black is what you defined yourself. There is a lot of Afro-Hispanics that don't identify themselves with being black. A lot of Americans with an dark skin tone don't identify themselves as being black. My skin tone is very dark brown but yet my grandfarther was white and both of my fraternal grandparents are half native and half black. I'm a Black American, and it's not how you look or where you come from, it's what you identify yourself as.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  56. Mike

    Soledad, God love her, is obsessed with being Black in America.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Almost as obsessed as Northerners are about the North...Got to be proud of that rust belt and a yearly reduction in population!

      December 7, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  57. william

    Everybody its time for divine intervention because this planet is totally out of control. Period!!!!!

    December 7, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • stac123

      THIS IS THE BEST COMMENT EVER AND SOOO TRUUUUUUUU

      December 7, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  58. Thunder

    What are you tired for? You guys got like 8 mexican tv stations on basic television. How many black stations are on basic tv?

    December 7, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  59. TJG

    It continues to amaze me that people continue to beat their chest about race. If you are black, white, asian hispanic or any other race why does it matter to anyone but you? I do not care one way or the other about a persons race because in the end it is what that person stands for that determines whether I like them or not. I have black friends, hispanic friends, jewish friends and those who are mixed and I dont judge any of them for the color of their skin. The only thing that this "who is black in America" crap is doing is continuing to push race into the fore front and make it a dividing issue. Yes, slavery occured in America! Sorry but it wasnt just black slaves. Sorry but it orginated hundreds of year before in Europe and Asia. Sorry but the slave trade in America was started by African tribes who captured other tribes and sold them as slaves. It was an terrible time in Americas history but nobody alive today had anything to do with it, so to those who continue to feel guilt about it or those who make others feel guilty, grow up and move on. Like Morgan Freeman once said to a reporter the only way we will get rid of racism is to stop talking about it.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Again, people like you keep saying this will divid people. WHY? That only means a division was already there.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  60. jesse

    Soledad O'Brien is such a drama queen, her and Nancy Grace should get married and complete the trifecta of stupidity.

    So her Mom is from Cuba her Dad from Australia and somehow she identifies herself as black?

    I guess her parents are really proud.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      I think you missed the entire point of the article here. She's describing race as a social construct, rather than a genetic inheritance. And that part is true... race is really about culture, not physiology. The only physiological part is that your appearance is used by many to determine which stereotypes to apply to you, and your skin color is only one of the many parts of your physiology that people use to determine such things (others might be height or weight or overall build... even hair color and eye color play a part). But in the end, the stereotypes don't define who you are, they define who you're perceived to be. YOU define who you are, and those who choose to identify themselves as belonging to a specific race are doing so because they're taught to do so by every level of society around them. So some of these stereotypes become self-reinforcing, because they become a part of how the person identifies themselves as belonging to one race vs. another. Only when we push past that, and ditch the social construct of race in our own lives, can we even begin to put an end to racism. That's why I don't define racist as someone who believes one race is superior to another, but rather, I define it as someone who believes humanity should be divided up into races in the first place.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Well,when she walks out the door and she get black and see herself as black, then black is what she is. Like I said, if she were to get arrested and everyone wants to know what color Obrien was and she say black, I doubt you would have a problem with her calling herself black.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  61. C Jones

    No bonus points for being black, white, or other from me. It's simply the quality of the person. Don't understand why we have these discussions. People do not have, or should not try to have , the ability to define another person. Any statements to the contrary simply is a display of ignorance. Can we get to somethine else, PLEASE??

    December 7, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Carl

      No we can not. So shut up!!

      December 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  62. bluestevek

    i read this site & others to avoid getting only one view, what a waste of space

    December 7, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  63. polnick

    People are basically judged by their job skills and income rather than the color of their skin. The vast majority of white women would hop into bed with Obama if given the chance. Most white men would marry Oprah.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Herman

      "Most white men would marry Oprah" – You must love money more than I!

      December 7, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  64. Rosaura Torres

    My parents are Tainio Indians from the Island of Puerto Rico, our ancestor come from Africa also.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  65. sundownr

    II never thought of Solidad as simply being black but rather as a black, intelligent and beautiful woman.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  66. Jim

    Yes let's focus on the negative aspects of the black community because THAT hasnt been done before.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  67. DC2BTR

    This lady from our local news paper asked my husband and I if she could interview us for an article she was writing on inter-racial marriage in the south (she was a friend of a friend). I wrote her back and said...We are happily married, neither of our folks cared, "race" is a bunch of BS. Needless to say that was not the "sensationalized" take she was looking for! She never wrote me back...they interviewed a couple who had more drama going on lol. It probably would do more good to show stories like ours out there that it doesnt make a damn difference, but thats not what people want to see the people want... Drama, excitement! lol bull!

    December 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  68. Aj

    It's funny how all the racists come out and responds like who cares, blacks are complaining, let's sweep this topic under the rug. The article is for you to understand what black people are going through in this country not for you to judge them and belittle them. If you had issues you would address it so you could find a common ground. Always remember thank about being in another persons shoes.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • n222s

      My main problem with this piece, Aj, is that a member of the 1%, Soledad, speaks of being black. She should try being born into poverty in the deep South, going to a terrible school and being black. Kind of a different experience. Being white and being born into those conditions is no picnic either. I wasn't born into these conditions but have seen them firsthand. I KNOW people of color are being discriminated against. You better believe it happens. However, while we seek to give people things we never ever look to do something about factors that keep people of all colors poor. Giving them food stamps, phones, welfare or anything like that from the government allows Soledad to sleep at night and feel all warm and fuzzy about being "down with the struggle". When she lives a lower middle class lifestyle because she personally has given so much to charity is when I believe she cares. Till then, she cares...as long as it doesn't interfere with her lifestyle.

      Soledad, you can redistribute the wealth of others through the government all you want. It won't, however, make their parents better. Their schools better. It won't make them want to study to lift themselves out of poverty. It isn't that I don't want to feed them, house them or whatever. I'm just not deluded into thinking that calling myself black is somehow going to change the human condition of the poor, the stupid or the discriminated against. I'm calling you out Soledad. Why don't you take a million of your salary and create a few scholarships? Maybe you do some things. However, it doesn't really hurt your lifestyle doe it? And you certainly take that deduction. How about giving a million each year to some entrepreneur of color without asking for a dime in return? Nawww, Soledad needs that expensive item she purchased for herself. But she's black and therefore she's down with the people. Give me a break.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  69. forreal89

    stop with the dramatics and start doing something to help society instead of hinder.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  70. Andrew

    I thought it was supposed to be "not about the the color of their skin, but the content of their character...."

    December 7, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Rev Martin Luther King Jr was about equality something that has been tossed away

      December 7, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  71. The Real

    Here we go again! If you don't like the subject you need not read the article, or watch the show. You can avoid the topic all together, because no one forced you to read the article or comment on it. You chose the action. It's easy to get around subjects you have no interest in, or you believe not to be newsworthy. The control over what you read and see lies with you. Leave it for the people that wish to comment and read opinions of others, and use your time for what is important to and interests you. Those of us that are interested will carry on.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • forreal89

      yes but this is a mainstream news web site and articles like this are worthless.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
      • shirodx

        Says you,

        It's not worthless to me.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
      • Opinion Page

        But who would read this OPINION if it was posted where it belongs? It is an editor using his power to force the opinion into the mainstream. It is CNN that misplaced the article. And this surprises who?

        December 7, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      I AGREE. If you do not like it, do NOT watch. If this does NOT apply to you, DO NOT CARE ABOUT. If you do not care about race, you are one of few; HOWEVER, this GOES ON and this exist regardless if people like or not. GReat job Obrien, time to talk about it out loud instead of behind close doors.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  72. Morris

    First of all, I do not believe Soledad should be the one reporting on this 'topic' Why? She is not African American. She is a Cuban-Australian mulatto which disqualifies her from digging into the topic (Black in America) on a level that I personally feel would bring any substantiative answers to the question. I often become annoyed when people from the African Diaspora come to my country and then want to tell 'our' story. These people distort and misrepresent 'our' experience.

    Imagine if I were to move to Brazil and start yip-yapping about being Afro-Brazilian. What sense would that make? Answer:none! I have no credibility on their plight and/or experience. I acknowledge that she might have been born in the United States, but that does not put her in touch with the issues that my family has dealt with over the last 200 years in this country. In addition, her small percentage of African ancestry does not automatically qualify her to lead this story.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Large and in Charge

      You are talking about slavery, aren't you? Because it's not her skin color, or any of the mixing going on, or her self-identification, but that her heritage was never touched by American slavery. So, she can never be a member of the innermost sanctum–the af-ams who had slave ancestors.

      BTW, Pres. Obama ain't "black" either...not in the way you mean.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
      • Morris

        You pinned it right on the head! Colin Powell is not African American, neither is Obama, Patrick Deval. The list goes on and on. I am truly tired of people thinking that those individuals belong to my families struggle.

        My best friend Ross (Scottich ancestry) does not identify with the struggle of the Basque. I think you get my point spot on.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
      • fyre

        Yep, we know he's mixed. As a mixed race person, I wish at least one public figure would really own being mixed and be publicly proud of it. It's probable they don't because they might be accused of being embarrassed of one heritage or trying to be white. I agree with Morris – I have no family history of slavery and I do not identify with the plight of African Americans, although I certainly sympathize with it as a human being. At best, I share a common bond of being a minority and nonwhite, but it's not the same experience as having a great grandfather that was a slave or a grandmother who was lynched etc.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • shirodx

      Wow Morris, so what? She shouldn't say anything just because she "Isn't black enough".
      Please, she's contributing SOMETHING to the discussion and take it at that. Don't let that house slave, field slave mentality cloud your judgement.
      Sure her family's experiences is going to be very different from yours so if you feel that she can't get enough into it then why don't you contribute some fam history on the subject.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Taylor Williams

      More slaves were brought to South America and the Caribbean than North America. So by your reasoning Soledad has every right to discuss the topic. Go read a history book.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  73. Jason

    The citizens of this country will never become united as long as the media...and our political activist special interest groups..continue to push these stories about our differences. But then again, maybe that is what they want.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  74. oldguy

    Just so we're clear...we don't really have a definition of "black" but we have hundreds...maybe thousands of law, regulations and programs built around folks being "black"?

    December 7, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • ES

      Exactly. It is much more beneficial to have Soldead reported as "black" for divesity purposes than white or hispanic.
      If anything, she is hispanic. Cubans are very different from american blacks regarless of their skin color.
      It is the same thing as with blond Elizabeth Warren being a native american.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
      • shirodx

        Hmm interesting....

        December 7, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
      • Susan

        If she isn't really black, then how is she Hispanic? Her mother was part Cuban. It's a stretch to say that Soledad is Hispanic. She's biracial, black/white, but for some reason she won't own it.

        December 10, 2012 at 4:36 am | Report abuse |
  75. Adalberto Cervantes Rodriguez

    He is going to lose for sure, we do not want him, Latinos are voting against china imperium, indian frauds in 500 fortune companies for not paying even the current taxes as well as we have less protection against terrorism coming from Mexico with the economical and technical support of China

    December 7, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Mema

      Dude....what article are you responding too because it sure isn't this one????

      December 7, 2012 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  76. forreal89

    who cares what a waste of information and space. Please stop this marketing stunt just work hard stop committing the majority of crime and act like decent folks and you will get respect.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  77. Dawn

    Glad to see CNN is doing it's part to make sure to constantly draw the line between races. Wouldn't be nicer to, you know, drop it and let the line disappear.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • mikeyd74

      then the democrats would have their base to draw on...

      December 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  78. SmallzThaGod

    Americans are degenerates period! If you have parents of different colors if your parents are American your still belong to the same heritage and culture. Being of African American descent if I married an African, middle eastern or an European women that would be a different culture and heritage. If I marry a Becky from down the street that’s not a different heritage or culture. You would get to know each other like
    every other American would. In this country people want an excuse to hate and most of the time racism not prejudice is perpetuated by white Americans. Even though there really isn’t any difference between a white American and black American we belong to the same culture we might not like it. It may be unfortunate for some but it’s the same damn heritage and culture what don’t we do that not the same lol. Were kith and kin whether we like or not unless you come from somewhere else outside of America it’s the same if you’re a natural born American.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • sloppyj30

      You're right, except for everything you said. It's a nice thought; "We're all just one big rainbow coalition family," but to deny that subcultures exist is pretty silly. Some are based on race, others on economics, others on education, and some (most?) people probably have a toe in more than one, but they are real. To say that my experience as a 40-year old male (do I even have to state that I'm white?) from a stable, two-parent middle-class Mormon family is the same as that of, say, the black child of a struggling single mom in Detroit, a white hillbilly from rural Arkansas, or one of the Kennedy kids is almost cute in how naieve it is.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
      • ES

        The same different subcultures exist in the all-white Russia where I am from, mostly all-white UK and Ireland and all-white but dark India, But in those countries people don't indentify themselves by the color of the skin.
        They have enough other things to hate each other for. But many are still able to rise above it.
        Difference in background should be acceptable but shouldn't give someone a preference over another like int he US,

        December 7, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
      • SmallzThaGod

        True dat that’s obvious though you’re always gonna have subcultures within a culture. I can’t argue that point and wont, but I’m Black and come from a well to do family. And to compare me to a redneck from Kentucky living in a trailer would be a little obscure for me as well. But in America a redneck from Kentucky living in a trailer park could relate to a low income Black mother who lives in the ghetto in Detroit. The heritage and culture is still American even though the class within the culture may vary.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  79. n222s

    A well done piece. Before it aired, I never knew there were people of color in this country. I thought we were all white! In all seriousness, we spend WAY too much time trying to diversify when we should be searching for truth first and foremost. For example, if three AA physicians come to a hospital room and tells a patient surgery is needed immediately to save his/her lilfe should the patient say a)no...we need to consult with an hispanic/white/jewish/islamist/blah,blah,blah first for the sake of diversity OR b) get the frickin' surgery.

    America succeeds when we get PAST differences not when we embrace them. Great Soledad, you're black. Now, what do you bring to the table? I can assure you, based upon what I've seen of your skills, had you been an ugly hag of ANY color you wouldn't have the same job. Perhaps you should do a special called "Unattractive in America". It might open your pretty eyes a bit to see what ugly people go through in life.

    And the last people I want to see whine about lack of diversity are the 1% like you Soledad. You haven't really paid a price for discrimination. Why don't you ask an unattractive woman at your network whether opportunities have been denied to her. See how she answers. Then tell yourself...but she's white and I'm black. Poor Soledad has it worse!

    And try going to the Deep South and identifying with your blackness and talk of how tough it is with someone of color who has truly been discriminated against. And ask them if you Soledad really understand what it is like to be of color. It would be like me, with a large birthmark on my fanny, talking of the difficulties involving horrible, disfiguring skin conditions on the face. Being of color is not a disfiguring feature, of course. However, you being part of the 1% Soledad and being black is not exactly the same as being born into poverty in the Deep Sourth and being black.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  80. Dee

    I am white however, my husband is black. We do not identify with black or white, we are who we are period. One of these days I hope all of this race business just goes away. The past is what it is and nothing is going to change it. The latest census shows that the fastest growing segments of the population is hispanic and asian and the slowest are black and white. Therefore the new minority is going to be black/white. LOL, I love it.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Being this hung up over race makes about as much sense as being hung up on eye color.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • forreal89

      oh yes that is so neat. you must be bored.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • forreal89

      Now it is time to step up and start producing. Stop with the african american studies and obtain real degrees. Stop committing the majority of crime and yes the stats support this.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Sean in AZ

      The race conversation will disappear when a certain segment of the population (blacks) start pulling their weight, get off welfare, and stop committing most of the crime.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
      • shirodx

        Hmm Sean, do you think that there are any statistics on how many white's are not arrested\prosecuted for the crimes that they commit?

        I mean, I've heard that white (Could be black one's too) officers are more then likely to stop\arrest blacks then whites so hmmm do ya think this could be just the 'tip' o the old iceburg, huh, hmmm, maybe, just maybe?

        December 7, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  81. Amaury

    ITS SO AMAZING HOW CONFUSED IS AMERICA ABOUT RACE....and ithe future your gonna be even more confused, because the trend is that races are mixing and will continue to do so...Blacks with whites, whites with asians, asians with blacks, latinos with indian people....Soledad O'Brien....STOP LABELING PEOPLE...as a mixed person (white and black) i know im neither of the two, but im also proud of both...WHAT DEFINES YOU IS YOUR BACKGROUD, EDUCATION AND YOUR FAMILILY....Soledad O'Brien...If your confused about your race dont bring your confusions to others....MILK WITH COFFE ITS NOT COFFE...ITS BOTH.....So take you issues with your therapist.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      right on

      December 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Sorry but Milk with coffee is called JUST COFFEE.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  82. Mema

    I believe she stated her mother was Afro-Cuban. Cuba had a high slave population as did most of the caribbean...the ethnic groups on the island nation are white, mulatto, mestizo, and BLACK. Educate yourself a tad bit more before you publish such rubbish!!

    December 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  83. mike

    Silly discussion. "Black" is just a skin pigmentation. "African American" is a background. One can be white and African American.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Hal Atosis

      In theory yes, but unfortunately too many people have too much invested in the division, especially people like Sharpton and Jackson. If the divides went away so would their power and money.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • doug

      steve nash lol. so what would you call a black person in amercia that's is from europe

      December 7, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
      • ES

        European.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  84. DynamiteJ

    Soledad O'Brien is in the most vilified minority of all... The One Percent.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • mike

      Yeah, DynamiteJ, let's all feel so sorry for all the rich people.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • n222s

      Mike, I think DJ was either being ironic or facetious. Either way...poor Soledad! To quote a song "she will never know the joy of a welfare Christmas". The poor thing will have to make do with her millions and ask herself as she dines as 5 star restaurant "why do I have it sooooo tough? if only I was white".

      December 7, 2012 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  85. Rational Voice

    The people being obnoxiously loud on the bus with no regard whatsoever for their fellow passengers and commuters: that's who's black in America.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  86. John Mann

    The world will be better off in about 300 years when our descendants are part everything. Except for a few holdouts in their paranoia bunkers, everyone else will look alike and they'll have to find some other stupid reason to hate those they don't even know.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Vin

      People have been saying that for a few hundred years. Entire racial solidarity will not occur.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
      • John Mann

        Hundreds of years ago we couldn't travel the world en masse so easily as we do now. You know, airplanes and all.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
      • fyre

        Well in terms of chemistry and biology, everything will hit equilibrium eventually, and it happens faster without barriers in place (more migration, easier travel between countries, more social acceptance). It's a process that take hundreds to thousands of years, though. Existing racial populations, whites for example, are a mix of previous peoples that lived before them that are no longer around today.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • shane

      we already are. there hasent been a person of a singal race in america for several generations now. everyone has a at least a little of another race in them. Go have your dna checked if you dont believe.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      I don't really agree. More mixing of genetic material goes on than used to go on, but I think that people still have a preference to have children with those of their own race, generally. Treating each other equally is one thing. Dating, marrying, or mating with someone of a different race is still very unusual, and I don't see that changing.

      And I don't see that as good or bad. It simply is what it is. As long as adults are allowed to be with who they want to be with, I don't see the harm.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
      • fyre

        I disagree. Mixed race families WERE unusual and even illegal in quite a few states. Now they are becoming increasingly common. As a mixed race person I used to feel like I was an outcast because I didn't know of any other mixed race families. Now, any large city I go to, I see tons of mixed race couples pushing strollers, every pairing imaginable. Don't see it as much in smaller towns, where I think it's still frowned upon. But mixies are *definitely* on the rise in the US.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  87. anna

    I would like to know where the saying "African American" came from, how it got started.

    These people most probably have never been to Africa let alone be born there – if you have to find a name I would think the term Black American would be better,

    Although I dont know why you just dont call yourselves "American"

    December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Rational Voice

      It likely came off of the whole "Asian American" thing, except the huge difference is that most Asian Americans have actually been to Asia, know their ancestral culture well, and probably still have family ties to their countries of origin. Most black Americans probably couldn't even name more than 2 countries in Africa.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
      • Taylor Williams

        Wow......that it is a really ignorant statement....

        December 7, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • fyre

      Probably acknowledgement and respect for their great-great grandparents who were forcibly brought here from Africa. This is a *really* young country and slavery really wasn't that long ago. The last living child of former US slaves only died recently in 2010.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Mema

      Good question...I think this final term used to identify us can about during the 1980's. Guess it came full circle..the term "African" was used for us sporically during the 17th and 18th centuries...were we called "colored" in the 1880's, and was asked during the 1890 census to identify ourselves by choosing among four ethnic labels developed by our white leaders: black, mulatto (those with one black parent and one white), quadroon (offspring of a mulatto and a white...thus having 1/4 Black ancestry), and octoroon (person having 1/8 black ancestry, from a quadroon parent and a white parent). So, I guess someone (of African American descent, this time) decided to tap into the original origin of many of our ancestors (Africa) to pay respect to them, and decided on African-Americans.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  88. JustFred

    How many times per year does CNN hold these 'Black in America' "specials" and could somebody please explain to me what the absolute obsession with race (i.e., anything non-caucasian) CNN has? Sheesh!

    December 7, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • HowdyDoody

      The media keeps bringing it up, because for the most part racism IS DEAD in America. It's the media and political "leaders" that keep making everything about race.
      If they stop bringing it up and telling people to identify with a race or ideology, you'd see a lot of people wake up and realize that they've been supporting the wrong side. 99% of blacks voted for Obama, and a very very vast majority of them vote Dem even if a white guy is running because they've been told, black people vote democrat, even though the Democrat party agenadas are against black values. Democrat sponsored ideas and social programs hurt blacks more than anyone else. It pushes for dependence, not independence, it fosters and promotes gay marraige, and the black community is strongly anti-gay. It pushes for allowing abortions, and a disproportional number of blacks have abortions. Many many blacks are very religious yet the democrat party keeps pushing to remove religion (namely Christianity) from our lives.
      BTW Soledad O'Brien IS a racist. We wouldn't have this series if she wasn't.
      She's one of those people that equates success with somehow stepping on the necks of others, so she has to find a group of minorities to say are repressed even though they aren't.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
      • fyre

        Racism is dead?? That's a hoot. I wish. I'm assuming you're white, no? You want to know how white Americans REALLY feel about race, when they can say what they feel without consequences, check out the constant racist vitriol whites have been spewing nonstop online since Obama became president. Prior to that, most racist comments were kept to white supremacy boards, but the floodgates really opened with Obama. The people spewing it aren't even clan members – when you track them down they are average American high school students, lawyers, blue collar workers.

        Also you really do get treated differently based on your appearance by cops, teachers, employers etc. You might not realize this if you are white, but if you have any black friends and quietly hang around them for a day, compare the way they are treated relative to you. It's an eye opener.

        I agree that the times have changed in the US. Overt discrimination is illegal, but the subtle kinds are still there in full force.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  89. jimbo913

    Soledad just keeps getting hotter and hotter. I remember having a crush on her when she was on Beakman's World, or was it Bill Nye the Science Guy? In any case I remember her, and she has become more stunning over the years. Her brain helps a lot too.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • JustFred

      You sound incredibly creepy.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • jimbo913

      I sound that way because I am ;) Seriously, mentioning that she is attractive makes me creepy?

      December 7, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  90. Jomm

    True but you are put into the same catagory because you are European (white) and you can come to America and fit right in with whites. Europeans gets treated far better than blacks and other people of color born and raise here.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:18 am | Report abuse |
  91. Dennis

    No offence to Ms.O'Brien but if her father was white, why doesn't she identify as lets say mixed or white? How does her father feel about her leaving him out of the mix?

    December 7, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Because when she walks out of the door, that is what she is going to be viewed as black. Look at Obama, if you never knew his mother, what you call him? BlACK. Even within these families, race is an issue.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
      • ES

        On the looks alone I would've placed Obama as arab not black. Or may be potentially an ephiopian. Or cuban. And because I wouldn't be able to tell I would just stop thinking about it alltogether.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • ES

      She is really a mix. She could identify as black, hispanic or white. She only has to pick becuase of the obsession with the race in the US
      I wasn't raised in the US, so frankly I don't get it. But I see why it used to be important to protect blacks from discrimination. It is no lomger required, though.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
      • shirodx

        Have you visited the US lately?
        Have you read some of the comments here?
        Yeah, this discussion is still needed.

        If you're not a visible minority and haven't experienced discrimination or anything that Soledad speaks about can you say that this kinda discussion is no longer needed.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  92. Tyrone,Schenectady NY

    Angela why don't you assist in getting your black Chicago kids from killing each other. Somehow blacks don't feel their life is worth sh! Yeah just how whites programmed them. So since 1965 everything is all good in America per your comment. It aback women like you thy may have climbed out but damn sure is not trying to pull others up. You were born in ChIcago right? Impress me and tell me where you great great great grandmother is from? A white person could answer that question easily. Better yet what part of Africa is your family from. I am a Pettway we originated from Michael Pettway I'm N.C. Who walked my people to Alabama. In1932 we were able to get land that was sold due to the good old tax system America used to take land from freed slaves all over America. So land which equals wealth was taken along with dignity. Now to chase money many blacks looked at drugs and that has done nothing but destroyed our communities. Yet with your mindset this is all self made issues right? Why can't your schools get proper funding in ghettos????

    December 7, 2012 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • US Citizen

      So, it seems you blame white race in general for misfortunes in black communities. What about people that recently immigrated to United States? Are they responsible? What about all those white people who died during civil war fighting for freedom and injustice against black people – do you hold them responsible? What about the tribal wars and injustices against people of own race committed in Africa all those years ago? What about Liberia? It's not about the skin color, it's about an individual and their responsibility to self and their community.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
      • ES

        Exactly.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
      • Jomm

        They get blamed because it steamed from whites. War has always existed in EVERY country however, AMERICA was the WORST because it STRIPPED a man culture, made him 3/4 a human being, sold him from his family on the planation; took thier children, discriminated against the black man; did not the black man to get an education until many blacks had to hide to learn; work of nothing; and now expect the slave offspring not to have no issues. WRONG. Not going to happen.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  93. Douglas

    Soledad I was born in Cuba and my mother is Chinese Cuban and my father German but I now live in U.S.A. I love America the best country.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  94. Teriander

    CNN is on a mission to make sure we still judge each other by race. While the rest of the country is trying to evolve and just live together.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  95. Jomm

    Oh give it a rest. the people you mentioned dealt with race because of TREATMENT that they received and they have a right to express themselves. I did not have a problem with Rev Wright becasuse he was man from the 60's who dealt with racism, sat in the back of the bus, spit on for no reason all because HE WAS BLACK. What did blacks do to whites to make whites want to discriminate, put blacks into the most brutual form of slavery, and hate? NOTHING. Even when blacks were trying to go to school to just LEARN, whites were against it. HAve you ever heard of any blacks trying to keep whites from learning all because they were white? NO. That is the difference.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  96. james pfeiffer

    It is this sort of simplistic, bigoted mentality that is, in my opinion, a very real threat to intelligent discourse and a healthy democracy in our country. It is no wonder you identify yourself as "wastewater1"!!

    December 7, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
  97. The Real

    I see this topic still makes alot of people uncomfortable.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      EXACTLY.

      December 7, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  98. ORIGINALMAN

    The REALITY of European hegemony in Africa and the darker nations of the earth results in the racial realities that have NEVER been properly taught to both Black and White and the tragic realities that people of color experience @ this present time. The system of jurisprudence, education, prision industrial complex and so on is a devious and sad reality for Black Folks here. Dont get mad @ those Ministers and leaders that want to alert the masses about their plight

    December 7, 2012 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  99. ES

    We should stop identifying by race alltogether. "Black" in the US is not a race, it is a culture.
    I had no clue Soledad was considered black. Many arabs and indians are as dark as black people in the US, but they are considered white.
    Many times at work I work with people and I don't think about their race at all. I see their skin is darker, they could be of arab auncestry or wouth european ancestry or indian, who knows. Just years later I realize they are actually black. It still changes nothing for me.
    I don't treat someone of european ancestry differently from a person of african ancestry. As long as they act decently and responsibly. I look at the "content of the character", so to speak.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  100. expres12

    "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    I have that same dream too. How far we have strayed...

    December 7, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
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