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.
This is a remarkable self-opening of a very public person. It makes me admire her all the more–and I already did, a lot, especially after she confronted Repubns during the election and didn't let them slide as so many MSM folks did. She's brave AND smart–can't beat it.
I agree Diana, She is courageous..
The only thing more vulgar than the collective narcissism of these two sanctimonious dolts is their blind devotion to white supremacy and the One drop rule. A concept that has destroyed race relations in the US and turned race relations into complexion wars.
as truthful as your comment is believe me you will NEVER be hired at the pre-eminent home of FAKE race relations on TV...HGTV...talk about a race delusion...you won't believe it!!!
The interesting thing is that CNN does not have any dark skinned Blacks on screen, only light ones. Perhaps CNN has its own paper bag test.
For the win!
Enlightening. Thank you CNN, Soledad, Perry, and Philly Youth Poetry Movement!
Is there a lens filter on the ethnic hair on CNN? Why is Soledad's hair always blurred on top? Why are others "blurred' on this program? I hope I'm wrong.
So people didn't remind her that she was "black" growing up, but they "stuck out." To whom? What anti-white drivel this is!
This show was really great, especially so because it was done from the viewpoint of young, brown skinned Americans. I'm African American. I grew up in the south where not only whites, but most blacks viewed dark skin as ugly and mediocre. I was ashamed to be even a caramel shade of black and married a white man, had a biracial child, but notice that eventhough a part of me would rather be white, I refuse to allow my son to identify as white. It's not that I think black is ugly, but I certainly believe life is just easier if you're white.
It's important for white people to understand that life is easier in any culture when you're part of the majority. The converse is also true. This changes with us, now. Thanks for your comment.
It was great to you because you have internalized self hatred about being a darker skinned Black and Yaba Blay is VALIDATING that by upholding the One drop which was created BY white supremacists. Sorry to be harsh but that's the truth. You are forcing your child to deny part of his heritage because of your psychosis and no, you cannot blame white people for your self hatred. We are all responsible for our own actions. The white people who created the laws like the one drop , sure they are to blame for arcial sickness but Yaba Blay is AS sick as they are. Perhaps sicker as she should clearly know better. Get that woman off off CNN and out of academia please! My god!
I am not black. I believe black is beautiful. I believe white is beautiful; Asian is beautiful. Intermixtures are beautiful. In real life, I do not see people preferring one "race." The younger generation is so much more open; they are not concerned about labels. This is the reason why this special is outdated; please do a piece on all the ways the young generation do not care about such labels...
Why don't we all see ourselves as humans.
this statement has always puzzled me because how on earth does calling yourself "black," negate your humanity? you can't be BOTH Black AND human...i've never understood that statement...
I don't think I have ever seen a show as ludicrous as this one – if Ms B'Brien is so concerned about her blackness then why on earth would she marry a white man and have her children's ancestry further diluted? It is a puzzle which makes me think that this fevered devotion to choosing a race for yourself is for convenience. I would suggest that you are a person and that you stop being totally consumed with yourself and your skin. Humanity has many problems and this one just does not qualify as important.
Agreed. The only thing more vulgar than the collective narcissism of these two sanctimonious corporate shills is their blind devotion to white supremacy and the One drop rule. A concept that has destroyed race relations in the US.
I'm Black in America too Soledad. I love your stories and your courage. I hope these posts you read today don't discourage you from presenting the truth. For every word of hate, there are 10 hearts of love and appreciation. Do your job girl. When you tell your story, you tell our story. Our story is part of the history of America–part of the history of this world. It can't be ignored.
I dont understand what you mean by... courage. Its not the same intensity as the 1960's
White supremacy created the one drop thus Soledad is propping up perhaps the most hateful, backwards racial legacy in US history. Know your enemy.
She has no fears of walking to her car or to her home. Courage has nothing to do with it. She is backed by time, meaning she has been doing special reports on different aspects of this demographic since 2008 .
Soledad is courageous??? She grows up rich and she and ALL of her siblings go to Harvard by taking the place of African-Americans and then apply for jobs as African-Americans though they have never lived in a segregated South, North, or anywhere. Ms. O'Brien comes from a privileged family which has used race to further themselves while marrying Australian and Irish white men. I know of no one less courageous than she and her family when it comes to race.
Many of you should listen to what Don Wise is saying. The truth is that how you perceive yourself is one thing, but the way others perceive you is another thing altogether. And if you're the unpopular color in a color conscious society then you need to get your head out of your behind and deal.
You mean TIM Wise, the all white male who has NEVER dealt with racism or colorism? Yeah, multi racial and white identifying multi-racial people should listen to whatever he says just like slaves and let white supremacy and dark skinned self hating Black liberals like Yaba Blay run their lives ... pitiful. You must be Black?
A very real but outlandish topic. Everyone has African blood because that is where mankind began. These are cultural constructs
I'm Black in America too Soledad. I love your stories and your courage. I hope these posts you read today don't discourage you from presenting the truth. For every word of hate, there are 10 hearts of love and appreciation. Do your job girl. Tell your story. Tell our story.
I dont understand what you mean by... courage. Its not the same intensity as the 1960's.
I don't get this show. If you have mixed parents, you're mulatto, neither white or black – with respect for both your parents why would you call yourself white or black and just disregard one of your parents? For me, this show is offensive anyway because I see people not color.
That is what turned me off about obama. He claims he is black and that dis-respects the 1/2 that is White. He was raised by Whites, certainly supported almost totally by whites, and yet he claims he is black? Why because it benefited him politically. Obama is a race pandering joke and a lousy president.
I hear you on that.
Run with what works, right. I have a friend who has a Black/Cherokee mother and a White father. He runs with all three when it works for him. His right. We all use what we feel we earned just by birth.
These are women from an older generation who want to make sure the kids today who grew up with much more flexibility and seeing multi-racial people as what THEY want to be will simply goose step into line and accept the One drop rule. The USA Post slavery had many prominent whites who were out about having Black ancestry but gradually white southern states became threatened and WHITE supremacists created the one drop rule. You had people all white looking and almost all white in ancestry who had no choice but to be Black. Yaba the idiot calls that "passing"? No it is not, THEY WERE WHITE. Now this white supremacy is upheld by Blacks like Yaba and black identifying multi-racial people like Soledad who are jealous of new generations having the multi-racial freedom they never had. Yaba Blay clearly HATES being Black. why else would she, who knows NOTHING about being multi-racial or light skinned, become so virulently fixated on those who are. Yaba Blay wants to vent her racial sickness she should not be given CNN as a platform. Soledad just sounds like an airhead and this whole project is a joke.
You got it spot on! Yabba needs to get out of Academia and Soledad is a joke herself, pretty much Uncle Tom in her racist subscriptions to Massas policies!
When I was in college in the States, I met numerous Whites who had an obscure "black" relative a couple of hundred years back and even though they were WHITE, they had been brain-washed into a FAKE state of "blackness" that just made them laughable...typically they were filled with rage against whites and forced themselves to be around blacks who only held them in contempt also...screwed up American race-gaming to the max.
I think it's foolish to deny you don't see race or ethnicity imagine what forensics would be without it. Originally in anthropology a racial classification was assigned so that people were not confused with others. And to determine who did what. For instance western psychology differs from original African (Alkebukan) psychology in that the former is the study of behavior and the latter is the study of the soul. Differences and similarities must be respected. In fact what drives racism is an ignorance of this fact. Humankind, both mentally and physically is influenced by the environment that nurtured it. The phenotype or how one looks cannot be denied. It is what gas given Black Folk the must problems so it's that with what we should start with. Tiger Woods' mother is Thai and his father was Black. But a few years back Fuzzy Zeller said: ”I guess were gonna have fried chicken and collard greens at the banquet now.” Sis he say that cuz he perceived hun to be Thai? Think about it.
Is there anyway to watch this online live?
Love how some of the white readers are determining Soledad's race, just like the good ole days!
I love how you assume that they are white readers.
Ah but Soledad gladly accepts the white supremacist construct of race and asks to be vetted. She has nothing else to talk about apparently. Blacks hold onto white supremacist one drop MORE today than whites do and it is their OWN fault-no one elses.
Her mother, Afro-Cuban and her father is Irish. AMAZING WHAT YOU CAN LEARN ON THE INTERNET!
I am white, I grew up believing blacks were less then whites in many areas.It took along time to get over what I was told about them.I know now it is not the color of skin that matters in Life .It is my believe in Christ .
Stephen- I am black and it took me a long time to realize that all whites weren't violent racist "Deliverance type" neanderthals and it's all good.....
Won't it be nice if we now got past the religious thing?
Just as the one drop rule was created, which was not always part of the slave culture; it was to increase slaves in numbers after there became a large population of Mulattoes and Whites wanted to keep blood lines from mixing, so do the so-called Black America leaders. Its also politics, the more in numbers, the more you can get a seat in a district or an office. Also they fear that if the one drop rule is recognized by the mass as racist and ignorant the Black History books will also be cut in half as many of the earlier generations that contributed to history wont be included in Black history.Many identified themselves as Mulattoes, that's a fact which you can research. So its beneficial to keep the old slave masters rule of 1 drop blood. It doesn't apply to Arabs and Latinos and if you speak Spanish,Portuguese and are multi generation Mulatto/Creole. That's how dumb that archaic rule is! The part of the slave culture is still embraced! How stupid and damaging!!! White Superiority being embraced by Blacks unconsciously! Soledad your not Black chica!
She can be as Black as she wants to be but truly...WE KNOW ALREADY WHAT SHE IS. This is OLD as the hills. How about a NEW view on race? Pro-hypodescent/one drop loving Soledad and Yaba are saying NOTHING NEW. An ultra white elite like Tim Wise telling multi racial, bi racial and multi racial whites how to live their lives-actually demanding it is another sick loser. He, Yaba, Soledad and Henry Louis Gates the latter of whom runs around outting people who are dead for having the 'dreaded Black Blood", are worthless and de-evolutionary. The fact that young kids who have flexible ideas about race may see this is VILE and inexcusable on CNN's part.
you are being waaaaaaaaaaay to kind, but nothing is going to stop these duplicitous frauds in their race-baiting, especially Soledad who claims to be an Afro-Hispanic (aka black Cuban) with an Australian father, but none of that comes into her bedroom...only the white man is good enough for her...she should shut up and go back to the country club to giggle...
It would it be fair to call Dr. Yaba Blay a "Black Eugenicist". Her 1nedrop or whatever she calls it seems to be one of the biggest steps back I've seen in race academia in quite some time and is frankly gross to witness. Yaba and Soledad appear to hold the white supremacist belief that "black blood" makes people too inferior for any other identification. Few "white" liberals dare to question anything a "black" says about "race" as long as they don't feel personally threatened by it and what Soledad is doing is making sure that One drop obsessed white and Black liberals get to continue the one drop sickness of white supremacy. Many whites with black ancestry and many mixed race people do not want to be Black and are not Black culturally. Soledad is where she is today because she looks more white than Black yet she has no problem profiting from this same sick caste system while yelling about "how Black" she is. What I found most telling is that on Yaba's atrociously amateur one drop glorifyingwebsite she has a mixed race Latino, Native American and Ethiopian who are being allowed to claim dualities within her 'scholarly' construct of race but the women mixed with European ancestry HATE their white ancestry or can't deal with it. This creep is very clear that she used to racially vet and melanin police as a pass time and nothing has changed for this sad and ugly woman. Now she's been able to get a PHD for it and infect young minds. So yes, she is upholding white supremacy. Why is she any different than David Duke?
Man that is beautifully written and sooo true! All readers should read this post!
Thank you! If you really want the TRUE story on multi-racial America then look up the writer and historian A.D. Powell who is an advocate for multi-racial whites, creoles and others who are brave enough to fight against the white supremacist sickness of the one drop. She's far better educated on race, culture and the legal history of the US color line than these two tired clowns for certain.
Her and obama are one and the same. Obama does the same thing.
Why do you feel comfortable regorgitating the old imperialistic definition of caste? Just as you are taking these two people to task for exploiting old definitions and benefiting from it, why do you feel comfortable refering to a construct that was CREATED and defined by Western, Christian imperialists bent on stealing the resources from the nation, where they supposedly found "caste.?" I can tell you WITH CERTAINITY caste has nothing to do with race; if "racial" distinctions were found in caste, it was found in the fevered feebled mind of the imperialists.
Shame on you for re-stating imperialist drivel!
But right on, with everything else. There is no such thing as race; it is a cultural construct of the Western, Christian mind in the modern period.
I actually said that the MEDIA has caste system of race and color which is largely who the one drop has been able to proliferate-that and academia as well as the law itself. The fact that the media has made the majority of female Black stars nearly all white looking is a caste system similar to what India has with Tv presenters, major stars and singers the lightest and darker Black female public figures playing the darker thief and swarthy horde rolls. I watch Soledad come up from the Bay Area; she is where she is today for being white looking and yet she denies her whiteness and screams about being Black all the time.
We all came from Adam and Eve, you may not believe it, but it's true. The kingdom of heaven will be represented by all races, tribes, etnicities whatever. Enough said...
The kingdom of heaven will not be represented by evil people who enslave and persecute others and leave their prey to think that their race is not good enough!
I can't believe this is still a topic. Being black is by birth, not choice. In order to be white, one must have a white mother and father. To be Asian one must have an Asian mother and father. Therefore to be black you must have a black mother and father. Why is this so difficult to grasp people? Why is no one trying to redefine white, Asian,etc and why don't non-black races reject biracial people with no backlash? There is nothing wrong with being mixed and those that are should just embrace it. Biracial people like Soledad are not treated the same (and quite frankly are not the same) as people like Wesley Snipes. The Jim Crow one drop days are done folks. I'm cool with biracial people, but you aren't black.
In America, you are as 'black' as you are treated by 'others' (both non-black and black). So again....people need to stop being so authoritative in their approach to an issue which they really know very little about.....you probably know very little about how the average 'bi-racial' person ....particularly one who is part black....is treated by most people in America(black, white, latino, Asian, native America or what not).
You should probably have a few RESPECTFUL discussions with a few people who are part Black and who have lived most of their lives in the USA and see what they say about how 'black' they have been treated by other people (mainly by whites and other non-whites)......and then you'll see that the stupdid notion (and I agree that it is stupid) of the one-drop rule is not yet really dead in America.
Perhaps but not every person with Black ancestry is Black. The USa, largely because of poorly educated jokes like these to woman, is the only country where a "Black person" with all or nearly all European DNA must claim Black. You'll note that Latinos, Native Americans and even Middle Eastern people who look Black and who have Black ancestry can culturally claim both or even "non Black" in the eyes of many Blacks but due to, in this era, Black self hatred and an unwillingness to let go of white supremacy, European people with Black ancestry are denied their right to whiteness. Appalling and wrong and these sick woman are upholding it. And no, I do not feel sorry for Black people.
I could care less about some BS Jim Crow, white supremacist standard that has taken away the very fabric of common sense from peoples minds. Race is not determined by societal perceptions...it is determined by BIRTH. With that being said im not denying in any way the struggles that many biracial people had to endure (or still do) under the cloak of white supremacy (especially those whose phenotype is more black). But biracial people are biracial. Many of them do not identify as being black and have the right to do so. The rest of the world understands this, so i urge you to catch a clue. Im not saying this out of hate. You cannot have a white parent, Asian parent etc and be just as black as a black person with two black parents, Sorry but you cant. Remember blue and yellow makes green, not blue.
Wrong. Live in thier shoes before you brand them as you wish.
Oh, here we go....Are you black? Are you white? Are you Creole? Are you mixed? Good, Lord...where does it END?With all the problems in this nation needing attention, CNN has chosen to dance around with the race issue!! "Who's Black in America?".....honestly, who the FREAK cares?? How old is THIS story?? How important is how a person racially identifies him/herself when you're looking at unemployment, crime, low quality education, foreclosures, post-Katrina, post-Sandy, and the list goes on and on?! I'm embarrassed for Soledad O'Brien, that, as a news journalist, she has allowed herself to be reduced to basically blowing smoke using the race card. THINK about it: regardless of how ANYONE identifies him/herself, how is that going to affect ANY of the issues going on right now in America? I would think Soledad O'Brien would want to address the SERIOUS topics that affect ALL Americans, and stop dancing with the race card as an attempt to take our minds OFF of them!!!
Soledad Obrien is using this BLACK IN AMERICA agenda for career advancement purposes, she isn't even fully Black herself and is married to a WHITE corporate banker, Mrs, O'Brien feel free to interview me and I will tell you about AMERICA'S BI-RACIAL EXPERIENCE because sweetheart no matter how hard you try to fake the funk, your not BLACK!
Most people see obama as black.
I see obama as a race baitor no different than al sharpton.
THANK YOU!!! FINALLY!!! Somebody other than myself sees thru this latinas' agenda- keep the focus on blacks so that others can fly under the radar. I would be interested in the dynamics of how whites in America function. What is "real" white life like behind the white picket fences. There aren't too many IF ANY in depth hit pieces on whites because the whites who run CNN or other big networks don't like to see themselves under a microscope thus there is "Black in America 5 or 6" -or whatever number it's up to- and yet there isn't even a 'White in America 1'....I wonder if Obrien has ever broached this with her CNN daddies?....
Hi, my name is Brutus – who is white in Canada? I am. Wow I wonder if I can be just like Soledad O'Brien and exploit something about me (I mean my looks or skin color, not my ability to work hard to achieve something) that I can try to make a living out of. Go back to something you are good at Soledad. Sitting on a couch with a cup of coffee and discussing banalities.
. But, I thought this was going to go more in depth into intra-racism – blacks who discriminate against other blacks based on skin color. There are many African American (AA) men who DO NOT date or marry dark skinned AA women regardless if they are also dark – skinned, for example. If there was a statistic on the number of dark vs. light-skinned blacks in higher education and/or high profile jobs, that would have been more compelling. White racism is old and continuos news. Lets look at how AAs treat one another when whites are not an issue.
Gee, I wonder why that is. Could it be, that after being told repeatedly by White society that Black is bad (including, literally, the word "black"), it, in some cases, worked? That wouldn't seem to be a situation where White people are not a factor.
wow, I didn't realize how much I wrote. Sorry! =/
Good points Chelsea!
What if we just stopped obsessing about race because it is so obviously ridiculous? Imagine if someone wrote an agonizing article because they were a child of a blond man and brunette woman and their hair was sandy? Everyone would laugh. As soon as we make individual decisions to pay little attention to skin color, those who still do will eventually become a minority and will eventually die out. Articles like this get page views but drag us back in the wrong direction.
We'd have to end affirmative action and minority contract set asides if we didn't obsess on race.
The racist comments here show the subject remains alive; so a few contracts are set aside for QUALIFIED minorities, BIG DEAL. I benefited from being female, southern, and from a lower middle income family when I applied to the university of my choice. I do not begrudge those who are of African American ancestry a bit of "preference".
As a ytoung delivery room nurse at Kings County Hospital in Flatbush Brooklynk in the 1960's, I never undestood why our instyructions were to enter race into the deliery room log book. We were instructed to enter Black if either parent was black. In other words, the child was labeled according to the darker parent. In this day, of so many interracial parents I ask why is it relevant to enter anything about race when a child is born. Don't we perpetuate racism by LABELING each newborn accdording to color of skin from the day of birth? Culture & nationality still matter but race (skin color) should be irrelevant.
Soledad O'Brien is black?
People speak up about a personal topic and then along comes all the commenters to try and minimize their voice. If is a topic you don't care about, then why take the time to listen or comment? Your agreement is not really part of the formula. This is their experience and it is what it is.
"Black in America" is by far the dumbest news worthy article/report I have ever come across. What's next? Asians in America?? Why highlight just one race? Why not highlight the achievements of all races? Makes racism clear as water here.
I agree with you and I think most do.
Good question Rocha- ask Obrien. Oh sure she'll give you the milly mouth BS about diversity and such but it's all about sensationalism thus "BLACK IN AMERICA- NUMBER 10 OR 15 OR 20"....notice she hasn't done A SINGLE "White in America" series..."GEE" I wonder why?????? How would her white husband react to such a hit piece on whites....
When black men and white men fight tyranny, we don't care much about the color of our skins when our lives depend on each other to kill another tyrant, destroy another ship, or put our comrads intestines back into his gut. We only care that we are these colors: Red, White, and Blue. My dear sister, I will do the same for you. Please don't check the box anymore.
Reblogged this on The World Outside of Yourself.
Do we really want to portray mixed blacks as victims in the black community? Look at high ranking government officials and TV personalities, they are all light skinned or mixed.
It's sad because I think dark skinned blacks are the ones who are discriminated in that community.
Thats very true. I think they are trying to redefine Blackness. In a lot of professionals jobs you will see a lot of Mulatto people and the Whites say yeah we have met our diversity requirements . However, a real Black person is left in the dark and youwill see that more during the years.
I'd like a program that delves into the similarities and differences among cats, dogs, cheetahs, dolphins, ...name it. We must recognize that we are ONE human race and must work and thrive together or perish.
Men, women, white, black, brown, yellow, mixed, we are all the same. That should be the starting point.
I must apologize....I clicked on the 'report abuse' option to your previous post, when I really meant to click 'reply,
I agree with your argument that affirmative action should first and foremost address economic disparities. So the scholarship should go to the child of the poor family (black, white, or who ever they may be)......not nescessarily to the black family fisrtly. However, we stll need to address issues of gross inequality among various ethnic groups in terms of economics/employment, education, legal justice, environmental justice and so on.
I think that skin color, hair type, accent, name, etc all influence the way that people are treated and shows like Soledad's may help to make people more aware of that fact. Many people....of all ethnicities....are not even aware of when they are being discrimanatory in terms of ethinicity/appearance....they just learned it by socialization. Hopefully, with greater awareness will come a more conscious effort on all our parts to reject prejudice.
Um, if we all came from Africa, then aren't we all African in origin?
We are all Afro-Something. Lmao. People are so obsessed with race. It's sad to let how you look define you so much.
This whole conversation is tired. Just go out into the world, be a good person, do good things, work hard and play smart, and you'd be surprised how far in life that gets you. OR...you can hang your hat on race race race all damn day. Pathetic.
I would be ever so much interested in programs that delve into the "race" of breeds of dogs, cats, elephants, tigers!!!!
Each of us, black, ebony, charcoal, dust, brown, leather, white, snow white, crystal white, vanilla, blush,,,present as much diversity as breeds of domestic animals. Let's talk about what is truly important here! How we relate to one another and how we view ourselves. 'Nuf said?
We adopted a mixed breed dog from a kill shelter, and found out that there is a Doggie DNA website where I can order a kit to swab her and find out all the breeds bred into her. She's cute and gentle, that's all I need to know!
The people you meet and interact with everyday really have decided that for you. Because my father was jewish and my mother christian. My father died when I was young, so i was not even raised jewish. I really didn't think I was jewish either andI really didn't care much, but others around me didn't mind sticking it out to me that in "our western culture" if one of your parents are jewish (and on top of that have a jewish name), you ARE jewish. I grew up with this, being confused and conflicted, until a friend of mine took me with her to a reform Jewish community, where they accepted me for who I was, and never even asked me to convert or anything like that. I felt part of their community from the start. From that moment on, I considered myself more jewish than anything. This is what really others decided for me, and not what I wanted...
Thanks for your post. So many people here are making comments with such authority; as if they really know what they are talking about....when in reality, they haven't a clue because they have not experienced a high degree of negative social 'labelling'.....and so can't even begin to empathize with people who have and so dismiss their experiences as unimportant.
I think that your experience parallels those that Soledad is trying to bring to light.
Imagine my surprise, being raised Catholic, to find out when I moved to the South that I was not considered a Christian by Baptists. Blew my mind.
For me it's just another worthless and meaningless story. People like Soledad are trying to figure things out but are stuck in their own theories, proving nothing. There is only one race: the HUMAN race.
True! Well said!
What makes you black to society and how the world views you is skin color, period! Despite what confused, delusional, use to be, individuals like Tiger Woods who describes himself as "cablinasian" think, most people view him as a black man. Even people who want to be accepted as multi racial, if your skin color has a brown tone you probably will be seen as a black person to the casual ,uncaring eye. I'm a dark, brown skin, black man culturally, spiritually and figuratively who answers to the ethnic question as "African-American". I'm born and raised in America with ancestry from Africa and Jamaica. I hope to someday visit and explore the continent of Africa and connect with the tribe of my origin, but for now I choose to reside with my family and friends in America, despite its racial dysfunctionality. The collective psyche of humanity will always judge, label and categorize you, because it is easier to manipulate you when they know who or what you are. The world will never accept you on your word or actions, no matter how much you demand it. That is why there is so much hatred, war and disharmony in our global communities. Only what you can control in your life can you set the terms of acceptance and love yourself no matter what ethnic group you belong to, because the only opinion that truly matters is between you and God.
Obrien is a fraud and hustler. She along with CNN continue to peddle these biased slanted BIA series. As a Black American I ask Obrien and CNN- when do I get to see a series on "White in America"? Why won't CNN turn a spotlight on white people? Why not examine Obrien's own marriage with a white male and all of "that"? Why do certain white people whine about Affirmative Action but yet are silent about centuries of white privilege? Seems to me that CNN doesn't like its own reflection in the mirror and thus redirects focus to Black Americans who are the most examined group of people in this country. I certainly would tune in to see how white folk tick behind the scene...
So true!! They after all are the source of the racism and how it affects the society in which we live. The cause and effect of White racism has caused this country not to evolve. Whites superiority- not hiring qualified minorities effect poverty, theft, low income neighborhood, constant bad media coverage; this caues more fear and hate towards minorities.Its a vicious cycle. There should be a show on the vicious cycle of racism by Whites globally. There are other minorities that hate Blacks too, not just Whites, trust me. I am White Creole( mixed) and I hear what some Whites, Asians, Hispanics spout.
I look Hispanic, and have been treated as such by both non-Hispanics and Hispanics. But I'm not Hispanic. I grew up in a "white" family but me and my dad are brown, my mother and my three brothers are white.
People like myself, multiracial (approximately 7/8ths white 1/8th Asian, but look dark-skinned Asian mix) looking within their own family, find this all sad. If different color kids can come out of the same womb (and one of my kids is lily white and one is dark, one in the middle, all the same father who is ruddy white), then we ALL are equal.
Yes. rh.....we are all equal....BUT we are not all treated equally.....based on how we appear, or sound or or names, etc....that is the point....
You really need to get over the "hispanic"-looking nonsense...do you mean "hispanic" like Cameron Diaz, Ricky Martin, Frankie Muniz or "hispanic" like Rosario Dawson, George Lopez or Rosy Perez...let me guess what stereo-type you believe in...
"Hispanic" as in HISPANIC....REAL white people can detect ya'll....
I think Soledad is beautiful and the question of her race or ethnicity never entered my mind until CNN brought it up. It should not be newsworthy, consuming valuable air time that should be devoted to real problems around the world. The public would be best served by continuing to regard, hire, promote, etc without regard to anyone's heritage.
Meanwhile aren't there genocides and repression occuring in Africa right now? Is there no economic opportunity that would pique the interest in the US? What is China doing about it – quietly providing the means for the people to improve their lives while executing a long-term perspective by building a foundation for its own economic benefit from the African raw materials? Aren't topics like that a better use of reporters' time and expense and more valuable for a NEWS network to be REPORTING than who is black in America? Really.
I am fully black and I can tell you that racism still exist. not everybody is racist.Blacks are racist towards whites too, ive seen it and i dont support it. however, imagine walking into a grocery store and having a little asian lady follow you throughout the store. Or step on a elevator with older white people and watch them clutch harder onto their purses. or watch everyone in your department get promoted or even considered for an interview but you are not, even though I am qualified. Racism is subtle and black people are tired of it. I respect Aryan nation because they are not fake about their hatred for me so I know to stay away from them. But other people, you dont know if they have racism in them until you have an encounter with them and it can get depressing.
I want to thnkx for the time you have contributed in writing this post. I am hoping the same top-grade blog post from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine model of it.
Why make such a big deal on racial mix ? most people are a mixture of various races as eventually end up a combo which is fine. The more people we have, the more they mix and the less the future generations will focus on race but perhaps on important issues such a education and saving the planet.
Sorry, but I sort of find this to be a little offensive. I mean, what does it mean to be/who is white in America?, Asian?, Persian?, Italian?, Native Am?, etc? I feel that this is the kind of language/rhetoric that perpetuates racism & stereotypes. Why should this or any one group be singled out? Soledad says, "they aren't defined by five stories". OK, but right now Soledad, you are the only one defining yourself.
Furthermore, who the hell cares what you are other than being an American. That's the message that we should be reinforcing. Instead of what makes us different, what bonds us together.
When white asian spanish mixed with BLACK SHEMITES OR BLACK HAMITES the babies come out BLACK with white asian spanish features
So true, well stated!
Too all beautiful mixed shemites and hamites mulatto keep your heads up,you are a priceless gift
The interesting thing is that CNN does not have any dark skinned Blacks on screen, only light ones. Perhaps CNN has its own paper bag test.
O'Brien is person with a white phenotype who is a product of hyper-descent who bred hyper-descent – that is not representative of the black plight, IMO.
Define "white" phenotype. Thank goodness it is just your pseudo like opinion.
The collection of physical characteristics indicative of Nordic and Western European lineage. There's no psuedo opinon here. It's already been defined by the racial system.
more like 3rdEyeBlind.
Soledad O'Brien's declaration of identifying black is only celebratory in the Anglo-Saxon mind.
"Racial System?" You mean a biased system created by colonials in order to embrace their superiority complexes on those who look different than themselves? Yep you are a pseudo and definitely uneducated. This is all I needed to know.
You have spouted such ignorance and arrogance! . I also have a MBA and I read and research alot in Biology and genetics. If you don't know what phenotype is go look in a dictionary and educate yourself please! Blacks (not the stupid 1 drop rule which i can tell you embrace) have a phenotype,Whites, etc.; thats how you tell the difference among people.! I do stand corrected on the racial system as it was not stated eloquently, regardless, you got the point and understood!
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Ruth Gordon, Humphrey Bogart, Carol Channing, George Herriman, Mary Ellen Pleasant, J. Edgar Hoover – all are White Americans (with White/Caucasian phenotypes) with minute sub-Saharan African blood quantum.
O'Brien, you's white now!
i don't think anyone cares what color you are. All they care about is money. It's a socioeconomic issue, not race. They treat us just as bad if not worse when we don't have money either. Black people just attribute it to race.
How would you know why Blacks think that? Have you ever being black? Have you lived in a black skin? We're your forefathers lynched for glancing at white women? Were your forefathers enslaved? Have you ever being forced to seat at the back of the bus because of your skin color? Did you lived under apartheid somewhere below the equator? I can keep on..... The moral is don't judge others.
The Race Category system would be more accurate if people were categorized by dominant blood quantum and physical traits.
It's not accurate on purpose, in it's current state, because it lends itself to white hegemony – case in point, with Soledad O'Brien.
It's a felonious construct of a system.
Enough Already! I'm so tired of hearing about race issues. It over people!
Inherently, we should all be proud of the accomplishments of our culture, ancestry and ethnicity. but at the end of the day, what have we done on a personal level to better ourselves?
Shiz, it is called genetic adaptation. commonly referred to as genetic evolution. "whites" did not start out as black people. all of our ancestors were darker skinned people. simple as that. not black or white. when men were scattered about the earth during the time of the tower of Babel and Nimrod they no doubt traveled to various parts of the earth. they remained isolated for extended periods of time. weather changes may have had a role in certain areas of the earth being landlocked for long periods of time. humans began to adapt to their environment. no one can fully explain adaptation just like no one can fully explain gravity, but it happens. it is a thing of nature. due to these adaptations people's skin colors changed. when men were scattered they no doubt took along close family members and procreated with them. that is why you have such dominant ethnic groups who look similar within their own respective groups, (chinese, native americans, africans, swedes, etc.). when humans developed ways to travel and leave their respective lands they procreated with other ethnics groups. thus you have the varieties we have today.
Shiz, my apologies, the post was meant for Carl. Sorry
And then other races evolved because they had to adapt to inclement surroundings while blacks are a fossil of evolution. Every other race has multiple advanced societies but every single black area is mired in crime, poor education, AIDs, rape.....S africa, somalia, haiti, uganda, jamaica.....detroit, chicago, compton....genetic
No I don't know you, and after reading your posts, I don't really care to get to know you.
I'm talking about YOUR ignorant statements all over this forum about how white men hate/fear black men because their women want to sleep with them. That has no validity and doesn't pertain to this article whatsoever. You're just feeding into the farcical racial stereotypes and extending the tide of racism. If I were trying to get you on-board with my argument, do you think it would work if i said "all black women want a man with a job. therefore black women want white men"... no that is ridiculous!
P.S. – i don't care how you look. You've done a wonderful job painting a picture of your ignorance for all to read.
So what are you saying? That all White people started out Black but somehow over time turned out to be White? How is that even possible? That is some neat trick.
Well, that's exactly how it happened. It was only once people migrated to Europe and Asia when they started taking on different characteristics. The Asian population has "squinty" eyes because when the crossed the Himilayas (and other mountains on the centuries of migration) their eyes needed protection from the wind and sun. Europeans (especially those further north) have more body hair than Africans. Why? Because they moved into colder climates and needed to stay warm. Plus there wasn't as much of a need to have the dark pigment to protect them from the sun on the equator as they ventured away. It's called evolution.
Honestly? Ignorant statements like that make you lose all credibility, not to mention it paints a bad picture of your people.
You wonder why so many have poor mental-images of what a black man is? It's people like you who make such ignorant comments and drop the n-word in every other sentence. Nobody is ever going to take you seriously. YOU ARE DOING IT TO YOURSELF!
Can you imagine the backlash Soledad would take if she said she identified herself as being White instead of Black? Black people would crucify her as being a self hating traitor. She would never recover. She would be ruined. But by taking the safe route and saying instead that she is black no one ever bats an eye. How predictible. Would it really be so terrible if she were to say that she sees herself as being White? And why shouldn't she? She looks more White than anything else. She owes her good looks and pretty hair to being White. But she would never, ever say such a thing. Black people would surely turn on her
She can be and is all of the above, black, white, other. What's the issue?
There is a HUGE issue here. She said she identified herself as being primarily Black, not just every race that she currently is. If she said that she identified herself as being primarily White, she would be crucified as a sell out traitor
"Black" may sound as if it is determined directly by the shade of one's skin, but in the last analysis, it is determined instead by culture.
Has anyone argued that?
To me, being "Black" is as a color of one's mindset, dark and in dankness of one's bereavement being a subjugate catalyst betraying the very natures of righteous humanism. We either believe one to be of racial equalities or one becomes emotionally disparaged in quorums of unrighteousness racist regards.
We are all in equal measures the beneficiaries of a dichotomized living arrangement. We are as an arbitrary aloneness and yet do find pleasantry being with others of like mindedness no matter the colors of another's skin. Although I am not as a true whiteness nor are there any of true blackness when the societal color cards are duly played out. Being 'Black" makes one lean toward racism of sorts much like being white declares one the be a racial commodity.
I am a humane being created by the powers that be of Godliness potentials. We all should be humane beings and rid ourselves from the color-labeled portents of continuing racial feudalisms' demised empathic and rudeness engendered uncivil behaviorisms.
It is not Africa itself that White people dislike. It is just another land mass on this Earth. The people however, are entirely a different matter
I think the term "African" American should only apply to first generation African-Americans. After that you should just be American.
that'd work for me. now just get the rest of the country to buy into the idea.
As a Brit I find the US use of this term interesting as it provides problems when describing the ethnicity of non-American black people I.e. when the extremely English Lewis Hamilton is referred to as African American when he is neither. In the UK 'Black' is the usual term although Lewis H or your President would both be 'mixed race'. I take mock offence when President Obama is described by any term that denies his white heritage!! Discussion and openness like this are the way forward. Isn't the variety of us humans fascinating!
Don't care what shade a person is on the outside, it's the inside of a lot of people I meet that makes me prefer children and dogs. Most of the people who come to me want or need something from me anyway, so it's no great loss if I mostly keep to myself...the less rats you feed, less fleas that bite you.
The issue of race is deeper than all of this. Have you ever heard of genetic annihilation? African genes are dominant genes. If everyone mixed races, there would be NO Caucasian race. Everyone would be a mixture of yellow to brown skin tones. So, race in America is mainly an issue of survival for whites. It's all psychological; condition the dominant gene pool to feel inferior to ensure survival of the true 'recessive' gene pool. The word 'America' if you break it apart is – I AM RACE.
On the other hand, from my own aesthetic viewpoint, lighter skin and light eyes are remarkable beautiful. Everyone gets to choose their perceptions of beauty. Soledad looks just like a light skinned black woman to me!
Oh Lord, we have ourselves a Glen Beck on the board. What other words would you like to jumble up and play word-find with.
And you live in a white created world and speak a white language and wear white clothes and drive white automobiles and use a white system of economics.
Deal with that.
Not really blackie, some white females, angry at their daddies for not spoiling them enough do go run to the ghetto to live in poverty and pop out black kids, it's true. It's a revenge thing against their families, a self destructive revenge thing, but they are a pretty small minority. We are doing just fine in the dating area.
The world or 'system' we live in was not created by whites. It was created by the Devil who has created and backed every world power that has been in existence since the early days of man. He simply chose to use what society terms as "whites" to do his bidding for him. He has used people of other ethnicities in the past as well under different forms of systems as well. Idi Amin of Uganda, Pinochet, Pol Pot of Cambodia, Adolf Hitler of Germany, Mussolini of Italy.The end result has been the same. This current system "seems" to be working in the eyes of many people today. But even the Devil knows it will not hold up and his days are numbered.
There are two problems as I see it: people who see other people by race (color), and people who classify themselves by race. We have got to stop defining others, or defining ourselves by race. When we do, we end up picking a side and then fighting for our "side". It's devisive and continues the problem. I look at every
one as an individual and go from there.
The Lord unites (humanity), the Devil divides (race). Division is a tool of the Devil he has used successfully as long as humans have been in existence. Hence you have the so-called "races", political parties, and religions. As long as he can keep us separated, he has successfully achieved his purpose and the discussions, chaos, division and rhetoric will continue. So when we claim this "race" or that "race", the Devil is the winner. He has successfully blocked the truth about our Creator from us. As simple as that. Whose side are you on?
I understand where you are coming from. I have experienced it too. But your faith has be stronger than any one human on the face of this planet. Knowing the truth will set you free from these kind of thoughts. Not to say they will disappear entirely but knowing how to cope with them and having faith that our Creator will straighten things out in HIS due time, not ours!
I'd say the fear is on your black race, you seem to be awfully scared of us white folk, terrified even. Your races insistence on talking about nothing more than race to keep yourselves in that special privilege status reeks of fear. Without special privileges, almost no black would make it in college, and a good amount of your race would have absolutely no incoming money. The fear of losing affirmative action, white tax payer money for welfare and a number of many things is what drives your black fear of whites.
I don't see anything scary about your race at all. You blacks like to think of yourselves as "Scary" and want to be I'm sure. :D
And yet you just described yourself. Hateful, fearful. Why else are you hear angrily trying to defend your race? I also see another thing with you, intense insecurity.
when the government gives blacks affirmative action , it tells me loud and clear they are not and will never be my equal.
I look Irish. I have fair skin, and light eyes, but I'm also black and was raised as "a black kid".
I've lost jobs because of this; I've heard the n-word from more white people than I can possibly remember, many of whom were educators, students, and my employers and co-workers. I have never had a job where my race was not a problem, and the level of discrimination in my area is so extreme that it's actually part of why I'm now legally disabled. I've been turned away from school, church, places of business like Sharis restaurants where the manager literally told me "we don't serve your kind here". I may not have dark skin, I may not live in an urban area, there really aren't many of those here in Idaho, but I've more than earned my stripes, certainly more than you have, lady. Articles like this are offensive. You have no idea what real discrimination is until YOU'VE lost most of your life to it, as for me I've lost 22 years of mine, and counting.
Black is black.
Well, if you weren't such a racist, black loudmouth picking fights all the time maybe those white people would have treated you better. You are like a lot of your black race, you start the trouble and then whine about supposed racism when you receive trouble back at ya.
get out of bed and get a job.
I've spent 18 years in the South. I've had my fair share of run-ins with racist people. The n-word bothers me and I'm not black. To say you've heard the n-word used more by white people is absurd at best. Turn on the TV or the radio and listen for 20 minutes. Count the number of times black people call each other by that name. It's an awful, terrible word! Why do so many insist on proliferating its use by incorporating it into every song and using it as a staple in their day-to-day vocabulary? Until black-America (and the diminishing minority of ignorant whites) gets over their obsession with the word it isn't going anywhere.
All this white anger toward a victim of racism, very telling.
I am interested in my European history and my race. Blacks? Nah. I honestly don't care about blacks or their history, they seem to always be praising themselves yet most of them live in ghettos or close to it and are inept in society.
I like knights, castles and swords. :D
Believe me, the not caring is all me. There isn't even one thing I find remotely interesting about your race, not one.
If you have no interest in black culture, black history, or black issues, then why are you here on this page? If you hate black people so much and think we are so beneath you, then why do you even bother to engage us? Are you just trying to pick fights?
the best is when black women call themselves queens....the blacks in Africa sold the criminals and the slow off as slaves, not their Kings and Queens.
yeah, the queen thing is an inferiority complex.
you raise an interesting point. Many of the people sold into slavery were sold by their African brethren. In order to keep the Portuguese, Spanish, and other Europeans from conquering their land they would sell off criminals, prisoners of war, and as you mentioned "slow" or handicapped people. Of course, this doesn't account for the entirety of the trade, but people often forget that such things occurred.
Unfortunately. Some people don't know what the racial problem is and where it came from so as to inform us and help us get along better as the human family that we are. God created us this way so that we can learn how to unify and overcome hatred. Isn't that in the Bible?
Why does this segment exist? I thought everyone wanted equality yet there continue to be things like this that exist making sure we continue to create a separation. You certainly wont have a "who is white in america" segment.
I am an American – that is enough.
Meanwhile, being White in America is not knowing or caring what it is to be Black
white in america would be horrible to them. to them we have no culture, and are racists. im surprised whites arent hunted down in the streets and imprisoned or shot on site.
Lots of whites are attacked, raped and killed in the streets. Racial crime is completely one sided and it's blacks doing all of the crime, and they are egged on my CNN and other left wing networks to do it.
wow, John. C'mon buddy. To say racism and hate is one sided is ridiculous. It's present on all sides of the picture - even against people on the same side.
She may be priveleged and from Long Island but she is not white only light. When her black mother and white father got married it was against the law to do so in over 30 states which is why they moved to Long Island New York, where it was legal, to do so.
A lot of blacks on the internet claim they have PHDs, yet a large portion of their race doesn't even have a GED and in person, they are fools and obviously lack a lot of intellect.
But dey be havin PHDS on da NETS!
And then the few blacks who do have PHDS in real life have a PHD in nothing useful, it's always a PHD about some study of their own skin and race. They are an utter joke.
John you are incredible. It's amazing how well you've summed up millions of people you've never met based on on watching Cops and the handful of personal experiences you have. Most people wouldn't be able to put it all together like you have as they might fear their limited experience might be taken at ignorance, so credit to you for not letting that limit you.
America needs more people who can make quick decisions based on sterotypes and who don't waste their time learning about other cultures.
Bless you sir.
A queen is put on a pedestal and revered. That is the self-respect all women should have for themselves.
Are you a white person?
What is Afro-cuban? Simple, a black person who is from Cuba. That's like asking what is an African American. Same thing different place, some have a little white (european) blood here, and they have a little white (spanish, still European) blood there there. Now... I live in south FL and some blacks from the Caribbean don't look at color as closely as we do here because it's more of a melting pot in their country, different races get along w/ very little problems. But when they come to the US & hear in the news or experience for themselves racial barriers they are shocked and dismayed that it even happened. Back home they may not be in a position where they have to even consider such situations, but here they do. Same for whites here, they're not in a position to encounter a barrier based on their race. Things like this shouldn't happen but because they still do, race is still an issue. And sadly because this issue isn't discussed, in the mainstream anyway, many are unprepared to encounter a reality that exists in this country. No one wants to prepare to go out and have an accident but instead we are cautious in situations where one can occur. It just so happens that minorities are in that situation as long as racism is prevalent in this country.
I'm an American. That's how I identify.
Wish those on the left who claim they want a colorblind society would stop focusing on race in matters of public policy. It's counter-productive for those groups and only focuses on what separates us all instead of what brings us together.
Read 'The Isis Papers' by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing...
First of all, she looks like Fredrika Whitfiled a lightskinned woman. Secondly, Latinos are white and descendant from European Spanish. Soledad's mother is a very dark skinned Afro Cuban woman with an afro hairdo who obviously decendant from the African slaves of Cuba. There are millions of "black" people who are not black in coloring but identify themselves that way like O'Brien does. She is black and white and grew up speaking French so perhaps people should read her comments first. Lena Horne, Adam Clayton Powell, for example.
She is very insecure with her own race. I think she is depressed because she is black. Blacks like this obrian have to self praise themselves from a racial way because they are so lacking and so inferior in so many things.
When your entire existence and career is to repeat that you are black, you most likely have a very large inferiority complex.
her true given name is Maria O'Brien.
she is from the north shore of long island- one of the most exclusive and affluent areas in the world (highest taxes in the nation).
she is a privileged, white-skinned long islander.
and yet, here she – day after day... fighting the good fight. stirring up the the issues, digging deep. brave enough to discuss her own mixed racial heritage for celebrity status and a 6 figure salary. she's such a hero!
and please, spare us the wikipedia cited retorts. it's been edited with bias.
In a blog filled with bigots its too bad that the most offensive and bigoted is the author.
I think Soledad does way too many "Black" specials. I'm a Soledad fan, she does a great job (and is very easy on the eyes), but enough is enough already!!
I'll try this one more time..There is only one race.......superior race.........Human!!! sometimes I think the "pets" are superior, but............. and I'm white on the outside,only.......
Exactly! There is only one race: the Human race. We're all either African-based or Asian-based. If you believe the Biblical account, we originated in Asia. If you believe many scientists, we originated in Asia or Africa.... it depends upon the latest discovery of "The world's first human" fossil. And, by the way, Being African-American doesn't mean you have (or your forefathers had) black skin.
Understandably, many posters express frustration with hearing these topics (by the way, CNN has also done Latino in America and Asian in America). Sometimes it does seem like we focus more on our differences than what makes us similar. Having said that, stories like the one today on CNN about the Penn State sorority picture depicting stereotypes about Hispanics suggest that maybe we should learn about the experiences of other groups of people so we are reminded that we are all nothinig more than human beings.
What is this BS? "Who is Black in America"??? My god, how about stop obsessing over skin color?
From a shallow, strictly male perspective, here's a few reasons that black and white go really well together...and this includes Soledad O'Brien:
Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, Brooklyn Sudano, Downtown Julie Brown, Gloria Reuben, Jennifer Beals, Jennifer Freeman, Kimberley Locke, Leila Arcieri, Lisa Bonet, Mariah Carey, Norah Jones, Rashida Jones, Rosario Dawson, Sade, Salli Richardson, Samantha Mumba, Thandie Newton, Vanity, Vanessa Williams, Victoria Rowell...to name a few.
you've rattled off a list of entertainers. court jesters. celebrities.
this is what's important to most americans.
I did say "shallow".
They are all lovely but Vanessa Williams is not the child of a bi-racial couple. Although they are very light skinned, both of her parents are Black.
Any racial blend is beautiful.
Correction – Norah Jones is half Indian (South Asian).
Her father is Ravi Shankar and her mother is Sue Jones. The two never married.
CNN lost conservatives to Fox News and liberals to MSNBC. They seem to be going after the people of color demographic by playing the race card, particularly this reporter. I find all this emphasis on race and ethnicity counter-productive and frankly boring.
Which would explain why you bothered to comment at all and why the boards here are so incredibly busy
Clearly you do not have to deal with race issues.
I do not see what is offensive about this article. She responded to a question that she encounters daily. It's no one elses place to define what race she is. She identifies as Black and Latina, why is that an issue?
What is it for a person to identify themselves as being White, other than to completely look White? The Jim Crow philosophy will always live on, for better or for worse. If a mixed race person looks anything other than completely White, they will ALWAYS identify themselves as being that other race, whatever race it may be. If you mix water and oil together, it is no longer water. That is EXACTLY the way people of mixed White and Black race see themselves, and always will.
so black people = oil?
That is a methophor
Exactly. And again, where is all this anger about "labels" when it comes to the justice system? When a person is called black in prison and talks about being black then even if that person is mixed, NO ONE is upset (really, people start talking about black on black crime).
Kinda, but not really. Race in humans is no different than species variation in animals and plants. It's just the name given to the way we classify people - just like we classify different types of pine trees or finches.
We could classify by height or weight, but that is not as easily identified as something as simple as skin color. Is it right, I'm not sure, but it's not going to change any time soon.
the definition of race is "Each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics." Pigment of skin is a distinct physical characteristic, is it not?
And i have yet to see anyone argue that man originated in Africa. I don't know why you keep using that as an argument. The closest talking point I've seen is that the term "African American" is not accurate and should be abandoned. To your point of "we're all from Africa" then why not just refer to everyone as "African" -Asian, -European, -American, etc.
When it works in their favor than their white & when they need to be Black they switch...
In some cases, you are right. Just like when some blacks make it to the top, they do not want to deal with blacks until they fall from grace and want help,then they want to be black again.
Way to advocate bigotry CNN.
YOu comment is often made by people who can not handle the truth within themselves. Truth hurts.
You sound like quite a bigot.
They should have an actual black person do these sorts of things, not a latino/white person.
If she is black, then I am purple. CNN puts this out every single year. Let it go already.
To me as a black man I find this sort of article pretty offensive. I don't see much difference between Soledad and any other bigot. All she sees is color and we should be moving past that, not stirring it up more. Plus, if she wants to be honest, she isn't black at all, she looks like a white woman to me, not a proud sister.
Whoever you are black, white or whatever, the problem is that there are far too many people like you in this country. Afraid to face the reality of race because you may not like what you see on so many levels. Until we take an honest look at our past, and make an honest attempt to face, recognize and understand its effects on our (America’s) collective culture(s) we are doomed to live in society that continues to limit the potential of all its citizens.
Ok, so she's a mixed-race, like most of us. If she can claim she's black, does that mean that we all can claim whatever tiny part of us is a bit different and say we're that race? My great grandfather was from Trinidad, yet no one in my family ever claimed to be black. We're proud of our heritage, but we're still considered 'white'. What percentage of a different race do you have to be to consider yourself THAT race? Why are all black people considered "African American". It may be a surprise to some, but there are black people all over the world, not just Africa! It's been MANY generations since they came from Africa, shouldn't they just be "Americans" by now? I dated a girl who's mother was from South Africa. She happened to be white, but was more "African American" than 99% of those I know. When she applied for college she was turned down because of "false claims of racial status". How much BS is that?
Except she isn't "stirring up" anything. She's only shining a light on what is already happening to people who are mixed with black but don't look phenotypically black. I'm just as mixed as O'Brien is, but because I am darker-skinned, I rarely (if ever) have to deal with people questioning my legitimacy as a black person. I am automatically accepted as black.
This is purely out of curiosity. What percentage of a race do you have to be in order to claim that race? If you're 95% white, and 5% black, are you considered black? If you are 20% Asian, 40% White, 40% black, which do you claim? Why?
There's no such thing as a 'pure bred' person anymore. We're all mixed in some form or fashion, but we adamantly cling to a race. Confusing...
As a white man...I loved this article!
You being a white man i can understand that. You guys are trained to have white guilt.
CNN Presents it's 6 part series...
"Black in America"
"Who Is Black in America?”
"What Is Black in America?”
"Where Is Black in America?”
"When Is Black in America?”
"Why Is Black in America?”
This is some highly offensive and very racist stuff CNN is promoting here. They should fire this woman who only see's things in terms of race.
I was very disturbed by the teacher who is checking her students at the door with a paper bag to see how dark their skin is, and if its darker than the bag they must sit in the back of the class. What the H#?? is she thinking?!? My daughter is eight and is attending a public school where a majority of the students are black or 'of color' yet she has no clue why anyone would see them as different. When she describes someone she doesn't use their skin color as a characteristic. All this teacher is doing is reprogramming her students for yet another generation who will never see each other without regard to skin color. And looking at her own age I think its safe to say that she NEVER experienced the racism that she is so bent on imprinting on these young children. No, my daughter is not 'of color'. And yes, I AM old enough to remember 'Whites Only' signs (Texas, while living in Houston) yet my parents brought me up to not see color, white or otherwise, and that is how I am raising my daughter. BTW, while in rural Alaska I experienced racism by not being allowed to use the hospital facilities due to the fact I was not native. A small example that pales in comparison to other people.
Please, if your child does not know racism don't teach it to them! We have a chance here to progress to a better society. Let it happen and stop imprinting your personal negative memories onto future generations
Millions of more lives have been lost in the name of RELIGION [A MAN MADE THING] than in the name of RACE [GOD MADE THING]
LET US PROMOTE FREEDOM FROM RELIGION RATHER THAN OF IT!
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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