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Black in America: It's not just about the color of your skin
December 9th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Black in America: It's not just about the color of your skin

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 Sunday, December 15.

By Moni Basu, CNN

(CNN) – What is black? Race. Culture. Consciousness. History. Heritage.

A shade darker than brown? The opposite of white?

Who is black? In America, being black has meant having African ancestry.

But not everyone fits neatly into a prototypical model of "blackness."

Scholar Yaba Blay explores the nuances of racial identity and the influences of skin color in a project called (1)ne Drop, named after a rule in the United States that once mandated that any person with "one drop of Negro blood" was black. Based on assumptions of white purity, it reflects a history of slavery and Jim Crow segregation.

In its colloquial definition, the rule meant that a person with a black relative from five generations ago was also considered black.

Your take on black in America

One drop was codified in the 1920 Census and became pervasive as courts ruled on it as a principle of law. It was not deemed unconstitutional until 1967.

Blay, a dark-skinned daughter of Ghanian immigrants, had always been able to clearly communicate her racial identity. But she was intrigued by those whose identity was not always apparent. Her project focuses on a diverse group of people – many of whom are mixed race - who claim blackness as their identity.

That identity is expanding in America every day. Blay's intent was to spark dialogue and see the idea of being black through a whole new lens.

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

"What's interesting is that for so long, the need to define blackness has originated from people who were not themselves black, and their need to define it stemmed from their need to control it," says Blay.

Blackness, she says, isn't so easily defined by words. What is blackness for one person may not necessarily be that for another.

"And that's fine," Blay says. "Personally, my blackness is reflective of my ancestry, my culture and my inheritance."

"Black," in reference to people and identity, she says, is worthy of capitalization. Otherwise, black is just another color in the box of crayons. (CNN, like other news organizations, does not capitalize black or white.)

For young Americans, what's black is gray

CNN interviewed some of the people who participated in Blay's project to find out how they view themselves. What follows are their insights into race and identity.

Kathleen Cross: Black as a descriptor of color makes her identity hard to accept.

Black and white

California author Kathleen Cross, 50, remembers taking a public bus ride with her father when she was 8. Her father was noticeably uncomfortable that black kids in the back were acting rowdy. He muttered under his breath: "Making us look bad."

She understood her father was ashamed of those black kids, that he fancied himself not one of them.

"My father was escaping blackness," she says. "He didn’t like for me to have dark-skinned friends. He never said it. But I know."

She asked him once if she had ancestors from Africa. He got quiet. Then, he said: "Maybe, Northern Africa."

"He wasn't proud of being black," she says.

Cross' black father and her white mother never married. Fair-skinned, blue-eyed Cross was raised in a diverse community.

Later, she found herself in situations where she felt shunned by black people. Even light-skinned black people thought she was white.

"Those who relate to the term 'black' as a descriptor of color are unlikely to accept me as black," she says. "If they relate to the term 'black' as a descriptor of culture, history and ancestry, they have no difficulty seeing me as black."

At one time in her life, she wished she were darker - she might have even swallowed a pill to give her instant pigment if there were such a thing. She even wrote about being "trapped in the body of a white woman." She didn't want to "represent the oppressor."

She no longer thinks that way.

She doesn't like to check the multiracial box. "It erases everything," she says.

She doesn't like biracial, either. Or mixed. It's not her identity.

"There's only one race," she says, "and that's the human race."

"I am a descendant of a stolen African and Irish and English immigrants. That makes me black - and white - in America.

Biany Perez: Too Latina to be black, too black to be Latina?

Blackness and culture?

Biany Perez, 31, loves Michael Jackson but she doesn't know the Jackson Five. She didn't know that "Good Times" was a television show about a black family struggling to survive in south Chicago. Nor was she able to pick up certain colloquialisms in the English spoken by the black kids in the Bronx, where she grew up the daughter of Dominican parents.

Some people questioned Perez's blackness because she didn't fit into their definition of black.

She spoke only Spanish at home. She watched Telemundo and listened to Puerto Rican boy band Menudo.

She wasn't black enough because she was Latina and not Latina enough because she was black.

"The way I look shakes the image of Latina," says Perez, a program manager at a nonprofit in Philadelphia. "As I started getting older, I felt more comfortable in my skin."

Now, she calls herself Afro-Domincan.

"I think black is a broader definition I also embrace," she says. "Black is more than just saying that I am an African in America. It's political.

"It's about me connecting myself to my ancestors."

For Perez, black is about empowerment.

Kristina Robinson calls herself black over Creole.

Colorism

Creole identity is a complicated thing in Louisiana, says Kristina Robinson, 29, of New Orleans.

It's an ethnicity, a cultural designation for people descended from colonial settlers in Louisiana, mainly of French and Latin lineage.  

The term Creole was claimed by the French and Spanish settlers in colonial times but it also referred to Africans and people who were a mixture of races. Those mixed-race descendants became a unique racial group and sometimes even included Native American heritage.

But in popular representation, Robinson says Creole has come to be defined as skin color.

She doesn't want to deny the rich Creole history but she doesn't identify as such if it means moving away from her blackness.

Black people think that her embrace of Creole means a rejection of being black.

"I never wanted to distance myself from my black ancestors," says the creative writing graduate student at Dillard University.

"They are the ones who claim me."

In her light skin, Robinson understands the insidious ways of colorism, a system in which light skin is valued more than dark skin.

"Colorism is a major problem within the Creole community and the black community," she says. "It's underdiscussed. It's perplexing and vexing how to work out this idea. I can see how the one drop rule is why we have so much colorism in our society.

"One drop is a lie," she says. "Black plus white doesn't equal black or it doesn't equal white. It equals black plus white."

She calls herself black. But other people think she is from India or the Middle East, especially in her academic work environment, where she does not have black colleagues.

"The assumption is I am not black," she says.

Ultimately, she believes environment plays a big role in identity.

Few people, she says, think that of her sister. One reason may be that her sister has more of a button nose. But another reason is that she works in a field with more black people, whereas Robinson finds herself in academic settings where she is the sole black woman.

Robinson acknowledges her lighter skin gives her privilege in a color-conscious society.

"But in those situations where you have to identify yourself and you choose to identify yourself as white - there's a big denial going on there.

"I do think it's troublesome when someone who is of mixed race chooses to deny that part of them that was oppressed," she says.

James Bartlett: White privilege means the freedom not to have to address race.

Race equals identity, or not?

Race is a social construct; identity is personal.

That's how James Bartlett, 31, views it.

"I'm black, I'm biracial," he says of his black father and Irish mother, who met and married in Louisville, Kentucky, just a few years after a 1967 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that made anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional.

He was raised in an all-black neighborhood; his mother was the only white person on the block.

"I interchanged between saying I am biracial and I am black," he says. "The culture I live in is black. I felt black because black people considered me black. That was because of the one drop rule."

But later, when he went to Ghana, the locals thought he was from Lebanon. Kids called him "Oburoni," the word for a white man.

Bartlett felt as though he were being told he was not who he really was even before he could interact with them, as though they were taking away his black identity.

"It put me on the complete opposite side of the coin," Bartlett says. "The first reaction was to put me in a box."

In America, people thought of him as a lot of things but not usually straight-up white.

"It's difficult for me to separate race and identity," says Bartlett, the newly named executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Diasporan African Arts in Brooklyn.

He is black, he says, because he didn't grow up with white privilege. What is that? The freedom, he replies, to not have to address race.

"I definitely didn't grow up with that," he says.

Being white in America is also knowing that people who look like you are always representing your interests in institutions of power.

"That is the essence of white privilege," he says. "Regardless of changing (demographic) percentages and numbers, racial representation is going to remain out of balance for quite some time."

In some ways, Bartlett says, he has been more attuned to race as a light-skinned black man than he would have been had he been darker.

Bartlett feels white people in America are threatened by the tide of color across the nation and that it will give rise to an us against them" mentality.

"I think blackness will change, too," he says. "The biggest change in the near future will be the end of blackness as a diametric opposite to whiteness."

Charles Cloud: He could have passed for a lot of things. He chose black.

Here and abroad

Charles Benjamin Cloud, 63, remembers a time when he was angry at all white people. That was in the time of the white water fountain and the black water fountain.

"They had their side of town; we had ours," he says of his childhood in New Bern, North Carolina.

As the son of a Cherokee man and a part-Cherokee, part-black woman, Cloud could have passed for something other than black.

"If I had decided to tell everyone I was Puerto Rican or Mexican, people probably wouldn't have known a difference," he says.

But he didn't.

"I never wanted to identify as white," he says.

"Blackness is a state of mind more so than a physical experience. But back then, physical appearance was much more of a black identity than it is now."

Cloud joined the Air Force and traveled the world. His light, ruddy complexion threw people off. The Turks thought he was Turkish; the Iranians thought he was from Iran. He even passed for Greek.

But back home, he chose not just to be American. He was black.

Sembene McFarland gets strange questions because of her skin condition.

Losing color

What happens when you lose your color as is Sembene McFarland, a 35-year-old emergency room nurse in Newark, New Jersey?

She has a condition known as vitiligo and is losing the pigmentation of her skin. The disorder affects people of all races but is most prominent in those with darker complexions.

McFarland describes herself as "garden-variety black" but once her vitiligo became noticeable, she found herself the target of outlandish comments.

When McFarland was working at a cash register job at a Barnes and Noble, a customer told her, "If you got rid of the rest of the color, you would be a really pretty Asian girl."

"Thank you very much," McFarland told the woman. "Have a nice day."

Now, she can't relay the story without laughing out loud.

Others have wondered: Were you white first or black first?

"That blew my mind," she says.

Her skin condition shows how people think of being black so literally, she says.

"When I think black, I don't think a particular shade," she says.

McFarland was 16 when she first learned she had vitiligo. It was tough. At that young age, no one wants to stand out.

Later she laughed. In high school in Mississippi, her classmates always joked she wanted to be white. She spoke like a white person. Some people said she sat like a white person - all proper.

Now here she was, turning white.

In the end, McFarland says, it's not about black or white. It's all the shades of gray that make people uncomfortable.

Brandon Stanford: My complexion is not black but I am black.

Unique but certain

Brandon Stanford's parents met in school in New Jersey. His mom's Irish family rejected her for dating a black man.

They've been married 37 years.

In that time, a lot has changed about being a child of an interracial marriage. For one, the man who occupies the White House is the son of a Kenyan man and a white American woman. Many Americans think being mixed is "cool."

Stanford, 29, has his own take.

"I wouldn't say that being mixed race is either cool or not cool," he says.

"I'd say it's a reality that one can choose to embrace by seeing the beauty of a world where the possibilities of transcending the limitations of race and racism exists if one is able to recognize the oneness of humanity. Is this not what our democracy is supposed to represent?"

Stanford, a graduate student in African-American studies at Philadelphia's Temple University, has had his identity questioned by both whites and blacks. That makes being mixed race difficult for some.

Some times white people speak about black people in front of Stanford, assuming he is white. He lets them go on for a while and then says: "By the way, I am one of them."

"I have a unique position in the world based upon what my complexion is," Stanford says. "I always have an opportunity to unsettle people's minds."

But Stanford has never wavered on his identity.

"My complexion is not black, yet I am black," he says.

Stanford doesn't deny his Irish ancestry. The Irish, he points out, were thought of as inferior by the English. They, too, faced discrimination in the United States. Black people were often called the "dark Irish," he says.

But the Irish in America distanced themselves from the anti-slavery movement in the interest of joining the white mainstream, Stanford says. That's where his connection to the Irish stops.

"I identify myself as African-American because of the history of the culture," he says.

Kaneesha Parsard: Blackness stems from a moment in history.

The past in the present

Black unequivocally.

That's how Kaneesha Parsard, 23, grew up. She was the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States from Jamaica in the 1980s.

She didn't understand what her father's ancestry - her grandfather was Indian - had to do with her.

"I took the one drop rule pretty seriously," says Parsard, a graduate student in African-American studies at Yale University.

Parsard's father was born in British-ruled Jamaica. He was raised with Indian people but identified as black because, she says, of how exclusionary Indian communities can be in Jamaica.

She began to think about her own identity when roti and chicken curry appeared at the Thanksgiving table.

"What I have come to realize is that ... people's history is intertwined, that being mixed race is not at odds with being black," she says.

"When we think about blackness, it's usually along a black-white context," she says. "But there are many histories, interesting histories of resistance."

For Parsard, blackness stems from a moment in time in 1492, with the discovery of a new land and a history of brutality that followed.

Appearance is a primary factor for many Americans in determining race and identity. For Parsard and others in Yaba Blay's project, it's not.

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Filed under: Black in America • Documentaries • History • How we look
soundoff (1,791 Responses)
  1. Nina

    As a Dillard alum, just FYI, there is no creative writing graduate program at Dillard University. It's not even offered as a major, only a minor.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Just Me

    I walk through life open to experiences and open to people regardless of the color of their skin. I make my decisions on who that particular person is by the way the act and the way the treat me. I understand that race relations in this country are move positively or negatively one encounter at a time or at least I want to believe that. I realize that stereotypes and media focus will always provide views of people to people in ways that drive those stereotypes. I understand that but I don't let it affect how I would treat any person posting here or anyone I met until I've actually had a chance to meet them. We can talk and post and blog about race in America as if it needs to be discussed but the reality is that it doesn't. If you care about race it will always be an issue and if you don't care about race it won't be an issue. if you can walk into a room and not immediately think you know someone you've never met simply by the color of your skin then you have the right perspective. If you can allow your opinions of race to be only be moved and assigned to individuals then you have the right perspective on race. It is a much simplier task than we make it out to be. Judge me by the man you met not by the man you think you see.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Amen Amen Amen. You took the words out of my mouth. If we all think like this. The world will be a better place. Stay Blessed!

      December 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. light

    I just wonder were all the extremely dark skinned black people are in the pictures ... I am saddened lol that always happens to us.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jason

    Another stupid story from CNN. Why do they always have people who are bi-racial that identify with being black. I'm pretty sure there are many bi-racial americans that identify as white. Halle Berry's mother who is white raised her daughter as black, because that's what she looks like. Halle Berry will raise her daughter as black even though she doesn't look black and she is more genetically white than black. Why? Because she buys into that stupid one-drop rule denying her white heritage.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. anita

    White America, this program isn't about you, but about us for us. This program is for our children because they need to understand the past in order to embrace their future. Society wants to redefine them. Multicultural – biracial. No thank you. We are able to define ourselves. You have a front row seat to the change, but you are just a spectator. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t hate you or dislike you. We aren't even thinking of you. This is about self-healing. Finally, we don't need someone to tell us how we should feel about ourselves.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • WalksLikeADuck

      "White America, this program isn't about you, but about us for us."

      So, blacks are not really interested in actual UNITY.

      I could say the same thing and state, "Black America, the 4th of July holiday is not for you, but about us for us."

      Blacks only want "unity" when they need the white influence.

      December 10, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • K

        Actually, blacks weren't free during the original independence day. So if we really wanted to be anal...no. The 4th of July isn't for us.

        December 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • joseph

      yeah you to need to get over it. if you need blood i will offer i just don't know if you will do the same to me.and you even know who i am

      December 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Anon

    Where is the White in America article? Oh....that would be racist. Is this not racist?

    December 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • B

      it is racist, and it realy stinks.

      December 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anita1st

    I think the first line sums it up nicely, it is about: RACE, CULTURE, CONSCIOUSNESS, HISTORY, HERITAGE. From Adam Clayton Powell to Sidney Poitier it has been this way for centuries and it is a good thing.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Courtney

    Ah, the first idiotic of the day. I simply have to laugh at your lack of intelligence of any kind. Tell you what, this nation, the United States of America, is my homeland and I very seriously doubt, no I know, that 99% of the people around me do not dislike me. You embarrass yourself.

    December 10, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lance

    Obviously, Black is not just about skin color but mostly culture, history and yes race. If it were only about color everyone would be black in hue.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. sam

    from what i see alot of u just dont get the story .( BET) is run by viacom its not black owned . and no i just cant get ova it . cus its part of my history and who i am . now u get ova it.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      well how ever you see is wrong because if you want to be equal than be equal for all races not just black. see it now. and quit calling your people african american you either american or african not both if you were born here you are american why cant you see that!!!!!!!

      December 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Darryl

    This topic gets so old. I get it .... if you were born in Africa and you immigrated here maybe you can call yourself African American. But, if your father, or his father wasn't the 1st generation here from Africa, how can you even want to discribe yourself as African America unless it is for gov't handouts or to take advantage of the system?

    My father grew up in a part of PA that was 30% Italian and they were thought of as trash. His mother never let the kids learn to speak Italian or tell anyone that they were Itilian. He doesn't go around now and say, "I'm Italian American".

    Yes, it's been a long road to where we are now, but someone some where will always have a reason to want to classify you in life. That needs to be their problem, not yours.

    I am mostly German, Italian and English. I am a conservative. My daughter is dating a very nice young man whose mother is black and whose father is white.

    My daughter and the young man both asked my permission to date. Did I say yes because of peer pressure ... no. Did I say yes because he is half black, no. I said yes because he has great old school manners, has a career that he is working hard towards in the Navy, he knows that I am a very protective father and he has taken responsibility for the safey of my daughter whenever they are out together. He walks to the door to pick her up and walks her to the door when he brings her home.

    Whomy daughters boyfriend is on the inside as a person is the only thing that is important to me and to him.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Dannowp

      That is the way it should be, good family values.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • pamelawhitelow

      Darryl you said "how can we even want to describe ourselves as African America unless it is for gov't handouts or to take advantage of the system"? So you believe that all who claim to be African American's only do so to receive government assistance. But yet you say that your daughter is dating a African American man. Whether you like it or not when and if they have children the will be considers as African American, and no doubt claim that heritage as well, will the only be describing themselves as African Americans just to receive Government assistance. You are a narrow minded, prejudice, bigot and hypocrite, taking out both sides of you mouth. stating the unfounded relationship of your supposed daughter as if to give credence to your racist statement. There are just as many white people along with every other race of people here in America who receive government assistant, not just just African American's.

      December 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • B

      no reason for anyone to be just blending in just be you man. if thats the way you see it then you are a racist. and yes there are alot of white people who are hurting in america not just blacks.

      December 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  12. jj

    This is the post-racial society, Give it a rest.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • mcr162

      There is no such thing as a post racial society. Also, no one is asking for a apology. As far as the relationship between black and white, the status quo will always be the same "We agree to disagree". We will never be on the same page, so why waste the time.

      December 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Darryl

        Wow, thank you for your insightful, singled minded thought that that you speak for everyone that has any ancestor that came from the African continent. You must be very proud that they all elected you to speak for them.

        The status quo is NEVER the status quo forever. Provide me with one example of a status quo that has stood the test of time and maybe I'll agree that some status quos are forever.

        There are people that like status quos, but the good news is that time and life span typically solves those issues.

        December 10, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Will M

    All due to fools such as yourself. You ARE a racist and I myself am white. It doesn't require one to be black to call it as they see it.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Billy Barue

    This guy is probably black pretending to be white just to antagonize and race bait.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Will M

    Backwards fool. Grow up and get a life. Haven't you heard? Your kind is quickly becoming a minority even among whites ;o). Get over it.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  16. Blah blah

    Is this the only subject Soledad can report on? I am black, African American what ever and I am tired of her and the same subject can't she find something else important to write about. Homeless children in America or where ever...
    Racism still exists and it always will..it is not we are the world and it will never be... I work for a 99.9% white company and 99.0% of the people have never shared a meal with someone from another race and never have had another race of people in their home probably never will. Does it bother me no.. I find it interesting. Please understand I do not agree to racism nor do I agree to the violence that can come with racism I just don't think it will ever end. People live in their bubble and enjoy being in the bubble so therefore those that don't open themselves to change will never change. Again not saying its right, its just the way it is. Soledad you've made enough money off of your articles, TV specials, videos etc.. You are single handily making Black in America be about the color of my skin....

    December 10, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      Um...did you notice, Soledad did not write this piece. Clearly this is not the only subject she reports on, although she is certainly uniquely qualified to do so, given her ethnic make-up. Did you miss her during the election cycle when she called many political figueres out on their miss-statements?

      December 10, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anita

      You sound very immature. This story is our story, and some people need the healing, which hearing it will bring. If you don't, fine. Just don't be stupid and say it does not need to be heard. Everyone is always trying to silence us. This story wasn't written for the white guy in your office. This was written for us.

      December 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • B

        im sorry but we are not white guy in a office we are people just like you do your people get that yet

        December 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  17. D

    The comments on this discussion are actually scary. I'm a 45 year old black woman and believe me I'm not out looking for the racism. It just seems to occur daily with others in the workplace who obviously don't like you because your black or avoiding where youv'e been coming out of the restroom. As stated, racism exists and articles and shows are necessary to bring the dialog. We can't help it if white America wants to sweep it under the rug. Also, if racism was over what occurred during the election this year when the minority vote was tried to be suppressed. I could go on and on about the different places all over the country that this happened. But yet, a blind eye is to be turned to it all. Seems like a lot of you are siding with Mr. Romney and his 47% remarks.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Dannowp

      STOP! Romney's remarks were not racist. He made an observation that 47% of people will not vote for him because they are on Government assistance and he wants to get people off Government assistance and working. That was clearly an observation. If Americans believe 44 million on food stamps is good and another 150,000 people stopped looking for work last month is good, then you are part of the 47%. Just a fact, not racism. Romney wanted programs to pull people out of poverty and making a contribution, i hope every American wants that. Obama just keeps adding to the welfare roles.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
    • B

      racism is not just against black people racism happens to all of us in one way or another you just need to open your eyes. no race gets left out sorry

      December 10, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Blue Moon Mom

    I am assuming that you are just trying to be provocative and so I probably should ignore your comment but it is so stupid and dumb that I can't help myself. This country is "ours" who is that? This country belongs to the citizens and they are not all white by any means and this country is getting more diverse by the very minute. If you want don't like it, you should go back to where you came from because unless you are a Native America your family is just another immigrant family that came here....so maybe you better start googling travelocity for that ticket.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
  19. 1stPrime

    What does behavior have to do with color? Shades of person color does not define a person's behavior. Person's behavior is defined by one's moral compass. I see your monicker for your name reflects a derogatory term; interesting choice, but your choice.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  20. ph

    To some, being black means you can receive less, accept less from yourself, and see unfairness...and attribute these shortcomings as legitimate barriers that are beyond your control; that You can attribute the pitfalls of life and happenstance to racism or you somehow have a built in excuse.

    Most people are tired of hearing it.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  21. Randall

    I'm putty!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  22. Tim

    And what's up with the term "African-American"? I mean really. Why do peple that are a 4th generation of African descent call themselves that? Were they born here? If they were than they should simply be AMERICAN!! I am of 4th generation German descent so do I call myself "German-American"?? NO!! I am American. If your born here, you are American! Get over it and quite trying to "classify" your race!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Novice

      Tim...historically, it was the U.S. Govt creating measures to classify race.

      Jus sayin...

      December 10, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
      • Tim

        Novice,

        I don't care where the term came from. That's not my point. The point is that if your American and you want to be American, then call yourself an American!! Just sayin...........And if you don't want to be called American then move back to your native land. Oh wait, this is your native land because you were born here. Well, I guess you'll just have to settle with being called American.

        December 10, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
      • Novice

        Yes, Tim...I see what you are saying and I have a feeling you are letting this article and others speak for many Black Americans. Most I know (By far) state that they are Americans. Some call themselves American of African descent. That's their choice...and that is that. Don't get your blood pressure up over it. Relax man...life is too short. Have a Vodka (Chopin preferred) martini...on me.

        December 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1stPrime

      True, do you realize that most Afro-American's are unable to trace their lineage, but most other races in America can trace their lineage. This means that Afro-American's are probably the only race in America that fits the term American the closes with the exception of the original natives...the American indian.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Someone somewhere

        I wonder about this sometimes. A good friend of mine got married to a woman from South Africa. Is she African American now? White as can be, but i would assume that she could check that box that seems to be on everthing now. "yes, why i am African American"

        December 10, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • mnewt6

        Most African American are unable to trace their linage because of the slave trade, mothers, fathers, son and daughters getting sold to different families in different states, names changing, getting raped by their slave master having their babies. C'mon now I know you are smarter than what your post suggest.

        December 10, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1stPrime

      Have you actually met an African? If you met one and talked to one, you will see a distinction. So your comment is in error!!!!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • shootmyownfood

      There are no white Americans, either, nit wit. All REAL Americans are indigenous, and they probably all wish you would leave also.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • camila

      There are not white americans, They are english emigrants. Only 100% americans are native americans

      December 10, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • thomas smith

      let me explain to you tim, when you say you are american it is understood by everyone in the world you are white because america projects it self as a a country by, for and about whiteness. you dont believe me?
      look at any ad, or picture or move about america and the only face you will see is a white face.
      it is whites that have set the rules, told us we are black, and now complain that we call ourselves BLACK!!!

      December 10, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • B

        what in the world are you saying. realy white america when i look around all i see is black faces everywhere. i even see a black face on the president of the united states.

        December 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  23. 1stPrime

    Hey...people!!!

    Get this. I've met a 'Black" person, everyone I've seen on this site so far do not have 'black' the color in them at all; try shade of "Brown." I see myself as a “Brown” skinned person. In America ‘Black’ is a strictly a 'racist' term that millions of people have unfortunately embraced as a typical unfitting description of the Afro-American. We need to stop doing this period. The Afro-American is typically a shade of 'Brown" in America, and not 'Black."

    Black is a beautiful color by the way, I’ve seen people like this when I was in Italy. They come from Africa directly. They were tall beautiful people. I compared my color to them and realized that I was not ‘Black’ at all, but rather ‘Brown’ in color. So those of us in America need to get this correct and change our designation nationally to reflect our skin tone, which is a shade of “Brown.”

    Get this, the same thing can be said of the designation of describing ‘White’ people. I’ve only met a few people who are actually ‘white.’ Most ‘whites’ are more a shade of ‘light beige’ or ‘off pink.’

    December 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Dannowp

      Man, I don't want to be called "off pink". How about "light salmon" ??

      December 10, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
      • TheMismatch

        @Dannowp- They have a name for that color. It's called pink!

        +1 for RvB.

        December 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • SightSeer

      WOW!! Super sharp observational skills! You must be a painter or a writer! Genius too?

      December 10, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
      • 1stPrime

        It’s called 'belittling." I've always found people describing people’s colors to be ludicrous in the first place, especially, since one can travel to any part of the world and find different shades of people everywhere.
        I recall an experience from my youth when a young Caucasian girl tried to describe my skin color, she was confused, because she had went to school the day before and was taught the shades of color found in a box of Crayons. She realized that I was not ‘black’ at all. We talked about the subject of color and she promptly realized that I was a shade of ‘brown.’

        Until tainted, the innocent children actually know their colors.

        December 10, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  24. George

    I think that there is a lot of confusion in the U.S. about what race, ethnicity and nationality are in general. I am a Black man from Latin America and in my experience in the "States", many people could not understand that Black people are not only American or African. For example, in my case, I am Black and my ethnicity is Latin and Caribbean, but my nationality in Panamanian. This means that a was born in a Spanish speaking country and it is my first language, not English; and I do not relate to some of the stereotypes in the U.S. Some people even told me that I was not Black because I did not fit into their definition of Black. People need to learn and understand that people who "look" black, or asian, indian or white or their mixture can be and are in different parts of the world. This means that there are people born in African who look Asian, or born in Europe who look Indian, or born in Asia who look Black. If you notice, I use the word "look" a lot because, people judge others according to how they look in the U.S. and if they do not "look or act" like the stereotype, it tends to make people uncomfortable and confused. Race has to do with your most predominant charateristics if they are visible: caucasian, asian, black, etc. Ethnicity has do to with your cultural background: language, customs, traditions of the environment where you live or grew up. Nationality has to do with the country you were born in: If you are Black and born in Italy, you are Italian. If you are White and born in Nigeria, you are Nigerian. If you are Asian and born in Puerto Rico, you are Puerto Rican.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:28 am | Report abuse |
  25. take a stand

    this is the typical ignorant rhetoric that fuels racism today....this country is full immigrants which makes this country great. Educate yourself "whitemaster' you were NOT here first in the US

    December 10, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  26. Gary in Irvine

    Come on CNN, give it a rest! The only time we need to worry about what race someone is is if we are meeting them somewhere – like an airport – and we don't know what they look like. Then it's OK to say you're a white guy in a black shirt or a black guy in a white shirt, or whatever. Articles like this just promote racism.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  27. ObservantHistorian

    "Racism will continue to grow until blacks work for what they demand now for nothing and until they STOP getting preferential treatment in EVERYTHING!" This is a typical example of the openly racist (and stupid) comments on this forum spewed by people who in the same breath say, "Hey, racism is all in your mind!" The cognitive dissonance in the conservative mind is deafening: the party of conservatism is always the party of racism and ignorance – that's been a historical fact in this country since it's founding. They've always been on the wrong side of history in this nation, whether it was opposing the Revolution (conservatives = Tories), opposing the end of the slave trade and slavery itself, opposing civil rights for freed slaves and their ancestors until.....oh, yeah, they still do; opposing the vote for women, opposing the ending of child labor, opposing opposition to Hitler (preferring to oppose Roosevelt as a traitor to his class); opposing all attempts to clean up the environment; etc., etc., etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. Conservatives are the millstone around the neck of humanity – always have been, always will be.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  28. Knucklehead

    What can't be stopped is the inevitable mixing of life.....and the beauty that results, even though there are some that want to spread their ugly all over it.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  29. Tim

    Why can't CNN just leave it alone. They are people, we are all people. Why do we have to classify everybody??!! Its articles like this that promote racisim because it brings up the issue!! LEAVE IT ALONE CNN!!!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Agreed. Is anyone else just tired of this culture of division? replace the word black in this article with white, and suddenly it's racist journalism.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
      • Olivia

        I am black and I agree with what you said. If the roles were reversed people would insinuate racism. People should just leave this topic of "black" and "white" alone....We are all human, shouldn't that be enough?

        December 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
  30. tkindsm

    Quit looking for what divides us and start looking for what unites us. There isn't a single white slave owner alive today. Also i think it very racist to say that all whites did . There are a ton of white Americans who arrived well after slavery and had nothing to do with it. There are tons of whites whose ancestors fought and died to end slavery. But of course you don't here anyone praising them. Until we are all just "Americans" and treated the same by the government there will be no end to it.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      right on!! Just let it go, I agree!!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
    • 1stPrime

      This is my sentiment as well...Its time for a movement to press for a nation of 'one' people with 'one' language with 'one' purpose........have we forgotten "...united we stand...divide we fall!"

      December 10, 2012 at 11:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Gene Arnold

      You've said it best! Way to go!

      December 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Novice

    I am of black/white heritage, and my wife is of Laos/Vietnam heritage. We often look at our beautiful children and laugh because they do not look Black, White, or Asian. Nevertheless, we will work hard to ensure they are comfortable with who they are...and embrace all four pieces of their background.

    Have a good day everyone.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • kevin14618

      I wouldlove to see pictures of your kids. They must be beautiful. I'm Irish and my wife is indonesian. The mix looks great on our kids! Mixed race kids are soooo cool!

      December 13, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
  32. MixedMan

    In a post further down I stated whites should apologize and make right what has been done to black folks in this country and was bombarded with the typical, why should I have to apologize. Specifically MaryL asked me shold I expect every white person I see to apologize. Well MaryL let me tell you my story and how one apology can change a persons view.

    I represent the good, the bad and forgiveness when it come to race in this country. My father is black and my mother is white. My mother was forced by her parents to stop seeing my father and give me up for adoption. All thru my life I held contempt for white people as a whole unless i got to know you personally because of what happened to me. In 2004 I had an opprotunity to meet the lady that gave birth to me and her family. After a few hours of getting to know each each her father my biological grandfather took me aside with tears in his eyes an apologized for what the wrong he did. That act right there stopped me from almost hating white people to try to help race relation as much as I could.

    So MaryL to answer your question one sincere apology from the mouth that counts is sometimes all it takes.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Dudus57

      Although that might be your story, my family didn't have their hand in it so why should mine apologize?

      December 10, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Dudus57

      Is your assumption that at some point every white family was racist? Is this the stand point you look at the world, because that would be the definition of racism in your actions, assuming things of another based on the color of their skin.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Dannowp

      OK, if you are a black person and I (white guy)came up to you in an airport and put my hand out to shake yours, then I started to apologize for all the wrong doings of white people in history towards black people, would you honesltly feel better about all white people. The truth. Honeslty, I hate the black panthers for their racist stance, but I know they only represent a very small population of black people. I cherish all good people, and despise the ones that only have ignorance in their hearts.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      I won't apologize for something i haven't done.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Ancestors died to stop slavery

      I'm American Indian and white. My Native ancestors were treated far worse (shot on site, forced to live on reservations, and not considered human), your family were at least considered human. My white ancestors never owned a slave and died for your freedom fighting for the north, so please tell me why I owe you an apology? It's over, move on, and take responsibility for your own future, live in peace, and stop complaining.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • ObservantHistorian

      Your existence is a waste of resources.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • 1stPrime

      When did slavery occur in America, and where are the people who owned slaves in America? They have passed ‘on.’ How do you propose they apologize?
      People who do wrong, evil and so on should apologize for their behaviors. People who are innocent should not be punished for the crimes committed by their parents or previous generations. What we today can do is seek to keep it from ever happening again through being properly educated and so on.

      People should not punish the offspring for what their forefathers (and mothers) did. The offspring should diligently seek to make amends by ensuring slavery and any form of it is obliterated in our society. We are still a long ways from this.

      December 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • WalksLikeADuck

      Apologize to black people?

      WHY? When will black thugs roaming the streets at night of EVERY large city in America apologize to their own for creating such a negative opinion of their own people?

      People are different colors for a reason.

      December 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • SO ...whats up?

      Who will apologize for The Black Panthers?

      December 10, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Longfisch

    To me they just look like people, hopefully someday our media will allow them to identify themselves at just people instead of needing to classify everyone. Celebrate communality instead of promoting Divide and Conquer.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • SO ...whats up?

      Hopefully, the people themselves can stop looking at themselves as whatever color, act right and take care of their own business rather than using the crutch of race at the drop of a hat.

      This country will fail under minority rule.

      Mark My Words.

      December 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Doris M

    This program has generated a lot of comments so there must be something that still needs to be discussed among people. Good work Soledad.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • WalksLikeADuck

      It is on YOU as a people to fix your image and Soledad (who doesnt recognize her IRISH ancestry) didn't write this piece.

      PAY ATTENTION -the white race cannot fix everything for you.

      December 10, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
      • malsings07

        I agree about the image thing, but I think Soledad does identify with her black side not unless you think she should wear a sign. We don't expect the white race to fix anything because "It's a black thing and YOU wouldn't understand."

        December 10, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  35. liz

    Maybe the grandparents are just concerned about his future because their daughter has had two children without being married to the fathers of either one. Maybe they want what's best for the child which is a stable home with a mother and a father who aren't sleeping around and bringing kids into the world without a plan for taking care of them.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  36. Kraken Blade

    CNN , is all about invented racism . Obama played the race card to isolate the minority vote in strategic voter precincts so his campaign can use segragative politics and Alinsky stratagies to use the victim paradigm to secure sure fire votes . And it worked . Congratulations Obama . The campaign is over , so why is CNN still playing the race card after the election ? Doesnt CNN know Obama won already ? If you dont have a racord to run on , make your opponant someone to run from , and Obama made Romney a cold blooded wealthy bastage racist , that wil harm Blacks and Hispanics . This stratagy worked . Now , America isnt the racist nation the media makes it out to be . American's are American , period . We may disagree , but that is freedom . Disagree with respect , work together in harmony for a better future .

    December 10, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  37. Lynda

    Per Geneticists -
    (1) there is only one race of humans on the planet. We're ALL it.
    (2) every human is 99.9% genetically IDENTICAL to every other human on the planet.

    We're having all these problems over 0.1%??? We humans need to grow up.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Dudus57

      I agree with your point but lets not forget that inside the .01% the color of skin is defined. If something so drastic as our outward appearance is defined in .01%, what else is?

      Not to say the "else" is good or bad, but it's hard to not notice the color of skin, regardless of it being ill-received or not.

      So true, these is only one race of humans, but these are divided further on the tree into our common and uncommon attributes of humans.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  38. That's_Life

    I was born in Delta Mississippi in 1958, experienced racism "in the raw." I moved North when I was about 12. In junior high school, my two best friends were white girls. So I thought the past is behind me now. I got to high school and they refused to acknowledge my presence, let alone speak to me. Through all this, I can truly say I did not experience the worse form of racism there is in this Great Country of OURS, until I entered the WORKFORCE, where to this day, it is alive and thriving.

    I am 54 years old now and has never held a position where I have not experienced or witnessed racism; even with my current employer. I said all that to say, how can we forget and move forward, when only the tactics has changed. Gov. Mitt Romney called it "self-deportation" in the year 2012. Control a person's means of survival, and you control that person. You can make hereos of them, you can make criminals; either way, we all know the truth, whether it be shameful, prideful, or whatever. Just look around your place of work tomorrow morning, you can't lie to your own heart.

    God help us all; your creations!

    Judge me however you will.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  39. robert

    If a white entertainment channel or WET it would be considered racist and Al Sharpton and jessie jackson would protest against it. There are more blacks in gettos and projects because they would rather take a hand out than get a job thanks to President Obama when I go to the dallas va hospital I was told by a black patient advocate If I were black id be able to get my foot surgery faster and during the slavery period in america the black community convieniently forgets to tell you that their ancestors sold their brothers sisters and cousins for pots pans and rifles If a white entertainment channel or WET it would be considered racist and Al Sharpton and jessie jackson would protest against it. There are more blacks in gettos and projects because they would rather take a hand out than get a job thanks to President Obama when I go to the dallas va hospital I was told by a black patient advocate If I were black id be able to get my foot surgery faster and during the slavery period in america the black community convieniently forgets to tell you that their ancestors sold their brothers sisters and cousins for pots pans and rifles

    December 10, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  40. John Maddox

    First let's begin by understanding that the term "black and African American" are historically made-up terms designed to identify, control and count. I hardly ever see any "dark skinned" "African Americans in your pictures and I haven't read or heard a discussion about the historical black on black Racism linked to color (see particularly Virginia & Louisiana). Listen, one's color is still important in America, it just so happens that the lighter skinned (so-called blacks & the political structure) logically feel a need to redefine it to further refine the HAVES and the HAVE NOTS within the "group". What I want to know is why does Soledad Obrien feel a need to continue and attempt to control this kind of discussion over and over? It's as though she has annointed herself as the god who redefines what "black and African American" mean.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  41. Willie12345

    What's it mean to a Methodist ? Enough of the black issues. Times have changed, time to move on or be STUCK in your past.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  42. Abed Khan

    Stop this nonsense! Nobody absolutely cares. Asked a billion of African in Africa if they care….they will tell you all the care for is decent jobs for everyone.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Peggy

      Exactly!

      December 10, 2012 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  43. GodsCanvas

    I love the story of Sembene. I believe that we are all works in process a canvas for God's work in our lives. Sembene's change just happens to be outwardly visible. I think her beauty and transition are amazing outward examples of what God tries to do in each of us, start us at one place and take us to a new place. The process of God changing someone sometimes isn't easy or can be confusing but if we trust his work in us we can realize the greater purpose. I hope she know that God loves her and have a purpose and a plan that is good and hope that everyone reading this piece gets that same knowledge.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  44. WVLady63

    Being black in America means you get preferential treatment to the inth degree because of what people 400 years ago did to people who have been dead for 400 years. Racism will continue to grow until blacks work for what they demand now for nothing and until they STOP getting preferential treatment in EVERYTHING!

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

      Te expression is "to the Nth degree", meaning an exponent on some base number, usually taken to be 10. For example, a white person owns 100 slaves, therefore the future benefit that white has relative to the black person is, "to the second degree" since, in this case 10^2 = 100. Understand now?

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

        Go somewhere else and point out spelling errors or fat-fingered typing. This is a pointless article but your comment takes it to a whole new low.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
      • John

        Frank, ok what about the white person who's ancestors owned no slaves? (like mine, who were in the U.S. in the early 1800's but were poor) I don't have the stats but I would suspect very few whites today had ancestors who were slave owners, particularly with the influx of European white immigration at the turn of the 20th century. I do think African-Americans talking about slavery and oppression should stop it and just work hard, get educated, get the best job they can, and then they'll be fine. Just like I did with an economically disadvantaged upbringing.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Pamela

      You are obviously very ignorant, to say the least. Do you know how LONG 400 years is? Africans were FORCED over here and treated worse than animals. Even some of YOUR people probably were slaves. African-Americans NEVER received one red cent for over 400 years. The nerve of you to say what you said. Every human being has Black African Blood running through their veins. The original people are Black Africans. White people are NOT natural people! Don't believe me? Just do actual research and you will see what I said to you is true! But of course as ignorant as you are you will NOT do that now will you?

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

        Pam ignorance seams to rum rampant on these sites. 1) if your people weren't brought here then chances are that you would be a slave today.2) Slaves weren't treated like animals, that's just what you saw in "Roots". Mind you this is what sells at the box office. My family owned slaves and when the war was over they stayed on the farm, they wanted to. My Dad knew the daughter of a woman who was a slave on that farm you couldn't run her off with a stick she loved that place. All of you need to remember that there has always been good and bad people you just won't see the good people because your focused on the bad, and that is what's going to keep your people in the gettos,the prisons, the gutter. It's your responsibility to move forward and sadly to say you have planted your feet in the concrete of shame with your hand out. Good luck with that.

        December 10, 2012 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • sam

      what treatment r u talking of tell in details plz

      December 10, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  45. Al

    Americans need to learn something from the Hispanics, there is no racism when it comes to color. There are too many stupid Americans who judge people by the color of their skin which rarely happens in Latin American countries. In the Dominican Republic you can find every color of skin. Everyone is equal.
    The media makes people more racist as they continue to publicize articles of racism. There will always be extremist and like I say "stupid people" who will react negatively to even the most innocent of situations. Americans have the same problem every country has with regards to racism and most crime, the root cause being education. Those less educated a more likely to do stupid America needs to drop the race discussions and focus on the people, on all Americans.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan

      Just nationalism it appears. We don't generalize people because of color, just because of the boundary on a map they live within.

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

      I'm going to disagree with you. There's is plenty of racism between hispanics. We don't like to hear about it but is out there. My parents have been married for 43 years, my mother is white my dad is black, but his mother is white too. When my mother started dating my father who is also mixed race. She lost friends, and had neighbors screaming at her "you are damaging the race" . And this didn't happen in the US but on a latino country. Me and my brothers are lighter than my dad, but we are still darker than my mom and our features are more black. I heard plenty of comments growing up from strangers saying to my mother how is it that she can be our mom. Later on I moved to the US, and founded more than one latino making derogatory comments towards blacks. Even once I had somebody tell me how brave it is for me to mention how brave it is for me to admit that my grandfather is black, like that is something to be ashamed of. Believe me Al, racism is among us. Which is a big shame.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  46. Steve

    I am mixed of an Italian mother and a mixed father (Irish and South African Zulu) I look mostly white but with mottled skin. Racism still exists and this article is really good.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Victoria

      Yes this is a very good article. This is something that a lot of people that has white skin do not want to discuss. The truth is what it is. I'm from New Orleans and trust me I know. It irritates the skin off my back when a person ASSUME that I am NOT African-American. Even other African-Americans think I'm either Asian or Latino. It's an insult to me. Because my skin isn't considered dark, people assume I'm something I'm not. I personally don't like it at all.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
  47. Rick

    Every one of the people in the photos look to me like they could easily be your best friend. As long as people are happy doing what they like to do and we all get along, what more can you ask?

    December 10, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • dhondi

      maybe for cnn to stop publishing pointless articles?

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

      Wouldn't that be the perfect ideal? The main point of the article was not meant to show any differences on the account of being human and being equal, it was meant to show the vast differences of a culture of people, who happen to identify with a black culture.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  48. mike hunt

    All this artical does is outline how racist black people are.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Victoria

      You can't be serious. This article is NOT showing how racist 'Black' people are. It is showing how racist people with white skin are.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  49. Matt Sewell

    This kind of material should stop existing. And this is by no means meant to be racist. This type of material only pushes and keeps racism alive.

    At the same time, if there was a "White History Month" or "White in America", it would be the opposite of this article with caucasians getting attacked with comments crying racism. Caucasians migrated to this country too, so why the special attention. Again, not meant to be a racist comment here...

    December 10, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      You speak the truth. The fact that people keep pretending it's a big thing...makes it a big thing. Only in the mind though. People now say "real racism is subtle", but if it's really racist...how is it subtle? People hate people, some with good reasons and others for no so good reasons. We just have to understand that incidents will happen, but we should start looking at both sides and stop making it one sided.

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

      Every month is white history month, when you are always represented in the in the history books, you don't realize the underrepresentation of other races. Blacks wouldn't have to have there own month if they were included throughout the year.

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

      kids r beat in the head with white history from k-12

      December 10, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Safflower

      I think it's great to read a discussion about a different culture of people, and how they identify with the black culture. Why not embrace such articles, especially considering this is America, a culturally diverse society. Just as we have a culture of Italians, Greeks, Latinos, and Koreans (to name a few), why not also embrace these people and embrace their culture?
      No one thinks you're racist, you have your own point of view...do you not?

      When you mentioned a "White History Month" the reason why blacks have a month is to remember their people and ancestry because it is normally not discussed in the mainstream, if they don't remember their past struggles how can they be proud of where they came from? I feel like Caucasian people have their own traditions and culture already so while the purpose of a "White in America" would possibly be interesting, it embraced every day, and that's also great!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  50. STEELWOLVES

    I really don't care.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  51. AsiaticArab

    Did you know in Arab countries they call White and Black people Pigs and Apes? Now that is racist.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      Yes but no one cares about what Arabs think, that is why they have their own hostility issues

      December 10, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Ralph

        I thought it was Black Power? Oh well, same thing I guess

        December 10, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
      • AsiaticArab

        Eww, no. White Power, Black Power, Brown Power, Yellow Power. No more Red Power because the colonizers killed most of them.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Troy

        ok

        December 11, 2012 at 5:23 am | Report abuse |
  52. Mary L

    This will always be an issue .. and highlighted, no matter how the report is 'worded' .. black people will always be victims ... a back guy kills a white guy .. it's not news worthy .. a white guy kills a black guy, its headline news for months. Obviously racially motivated. The police beat a white guy (or Asian .. etc) no one hears about it .. a black guy gets beat .. headline news, because of course it is racially motivated ... it isn't racial that there is a Miss Black America Pageant ? .. but can you imagine the headlines if we had a Miss White America Pageant ? How about the fact that there are approximately 30 magazines such as Ebony, Black Enterprise, Black Men, African American Golfer's Digest that actually state, for African Americans .. lets not forget the BET Network ... really, this is endless ..

    December 10, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Krishna

      Exactly my words. As a fairly new immigrant (little under 5 years) in USA – I have felt the same. I hope to be wrong, but deep inside I know this is the fact.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      It is silly nonsense isn't it? For a group that claims to not be equal they do a great job of ostracizing themselves.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  53. AsiaticArab

    CNN: What does it mean to be wack?

    December 10, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
    • AsiaticArab

      It means to be CNN. This article is horrific and pointless.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  54. MixedMan

    You know the best parrt about being mixed in america? I can sit back and tell both groups how stupid and childish they are acting.

    Yes, black folks get over it. Its only going to keep getting worse if you continue at the rate your going.

    White folks accpet what you've done. Stop dismissing the damage you've caused. Apologize and MAKE IT RIGHT.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      The problem is White people are NOT sorry at all, nor should they be. Once you claim that you are sorry it will ALWAYS be thrown in your face. So no, they will never be sorry

      December 10, 2012 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
      • MixedMan

        Why shouldn't they be?

        December 10, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Troy

        Because White people will always fight for a segregated society and their way of life, and for good reason. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Mygrandpaisblack

        Yeah no kidding! Why shouldn't they be? It's white peoples fault that I don't have a job. Not the fact that I have a 3rd grade education. It's white peoples fault I get tickets, not because I insult the cop when he walks up to my window. It's white people's fault blah blah blah.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Mary L

        Just exactly how long, and how many generations need to apologize .. ? Would it make a difference if every single white person you meet apologizes ? .. It will not change the history of our ancestors.

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

      You say that white people aren't sorry for what we've done. I haven't done anything to anybody!!! That's where people get angry. My ancestors didn't own slaves, but because I'm white it's assumed that I and my family mistreated people of a different race. If you want to live in the past, that's your choice, but don't project generations worth of anger toward a whole "white" race. It's ignorant.

      Notice you don't see the Jewish people labeling whites as the ones who killed their people only 70 years ago. They don't even blame the present-day Germans, because they know that this generation should not be punished for the sins of their grandfathers. If they can move on from a history only 70 years removed, then by golly others need to move on from 150 years ago.

      I want what MLK Jr. wanted: to live in a country where people "will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." That goes both ways folks.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
      • MixedMan

        This is my second favorite line after "get over it". "I didnt/My family didn't own slaves" but you are the benifactor of slavery. Most of "american made" wealth is directly from the slave trade. That loan you got for your house, car or small business....slave trader money. That fourtune 500 company you work for slave owners. Wealth in this country hasnt changed hands in the last 100 or so years in just doing business under a new name or premise.

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

        "because they know that this generation should not be punished for the sins of their grandfathers."

        Riiigghhhttt....because if say that the holocaust didnt happen over there it's not like you can be punished or go to prison or anything of that nature. Everything is forgotten and is moving forward.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
      • ATLWmn

        What's your point, MixedMan? If a black man works at that same Fortune 500 company of which you speak, he's enjoying the fruits of that wealth as well. What happened a century and a half ago shouldn't still be the topic of conversation in the 21st century. If you go to Europe, their race relations are so much better than the US' and guess what? They had slavery too.

        I'm sorry that a small percentage of white people in the 1600-1800s owned and traded slaves in America, long before my European ancestors even crossed the pond. I'm sorry that because my skin is a lighter complexion, many people think I'm racist. And I'm also sorry that my native ancestors were led to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears. Yeah, we all have a past. But it's more important to focus on the future and pick yourselves up, regardless of whether you're poor white or rich black, or anything in between. It's time for people to take the chips off their respective shoulders and just be a part of the human race.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
      • ATLWmn

        Yes, MixedMan, the Holocaust did happen and they remember it. I've been to a Holocaust memorial service and the point is, they don't harbor hate in their hearts. They remember, yes. They do not forget, but every Jew I have met has decided that looking forward is more productive than looking back and holding on to that pain. My point stands.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Uhh don't speak for me. You're saying because I have white skin I'm to blame ? Not only was I not alive, but my family has no history in America before 1920.

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

        Thank you Chris. I'm tired of being blamed for something I had no part of. Even if I had family in the States at that time (which I didn't), they wouldn't have been rich enough to own slaves. It was a small proportion of the population that had them and participated in the trade. The top 1%, if you will.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  55. Dave

    How long will CNN continue the race-baiting "Black in America" garbage?

    CNN is a reason why we can't get past race – they keep bringing it up. Let's all be people rather than people of different races.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • CARL

      I'm afraid race hating is far too popular for that, and It will only get worse. If God wanted us to all get along he would have made us the same color

      December 10, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
      • dozapolis

        Technically, if you are a strong creationist believer, then humans were once all the same color.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
      • Chris

        Right CARL because that explains the countless times people of the same race are in conflict. You're ignorant.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Abed Khan

      What’s this obsession with CNN “black in America”??

      December 10, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  56. fiftyfive55

    With a two term black president,race IS a relic of the past,whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Ralph

      Not as long as those two races have to live with each other it isn't

      December 10, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
  57. Charles

    in all seriousness, if I feel sorry for blacks does that make me racist?

    December 10, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
    • CARL

      I don't feel sorry for them and that makes me a racist. So what if it does?

      December 10, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  58. Keita

    This was an awesome read. It really opened my mind more to what people go thru of mixed race. Thanks!

    December 10, 2012 at 9:33 am | Report abuse |
  59. Sue

    Welcome to the CNN we delete comments machine. We want to keep everyone happy, but do a lousy job of it

    December 10, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  60. Pete

    That nurse with vitiligo is beautiful.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Not if you are wearing your glasses

      December 10, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Novice

      Pete...that was the first thing I said to myself.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  61. randygardnerjr

    So are you saying that most black people will try to harm you? If that is true, do you really need me to tell you how ignorant you are and how you are a disgrace to humanity? Do I need to point out that you just compared black people to dogs? I assume from the nature of your statement that you are not black. With that, do you feel that you are superior to black people? If that is true, do you really need me to tell you how ignorant you are and how you are a disgrace to humanity?

    December 10, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • randygardnerjr

      It does not seem to be showing, but this was in response to something profusely ignorant that 2011judgement said.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Pamela

      You are on point. I agree with you 100%.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  62. SlackMeyer

    It's where black "comedians" can say: "I get free. I save my wife and I kill all the white people in the movie," Foxx said to thunderous applause. "How great is that?” and Soledad will never say a word against it. But, if a WHITE person had said the same thing about how great it was to kill blacks in a movie, Soledad would be calling for his head on a platter.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • randygardnerjr

      Hmmm, I wonder if there is a difference between that being said by a black man in reference to a movie and slaves being brought over from Africa and their families being torn apart never to see each other again. I wonder if a baby being torn from their mother and sold off for profit of "massa" is better or worse that a comedian's hypothetical. Oh well.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • SlackMeyer

      Hmmm... I wonder how many white people today were part of the slave trade? I wonder how many white people today own slaves? I wonder how many white people today should be hung for something that happened over one hundred years ago.

      I wonder home many white people died to free people from slavery? I wonder what the color of the president was that introduced the Emancipation Proclamation?

      I also wonder how many blacks in America today use the long ago past to line their pockets?

      And don't give me that Santayana quote about "those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it" garbage. "And those who wallow in the past are condemned never to escape it".

      December 10, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  63. Bob

    What it means to be White:

    It means you don't have to be burdened with being Black.

    Quite a relief

    December 10, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  64. Tracie Washington

    I've always selected my race as being black but I just didn't fit in. I was always questioned as to you must be mixed and what are you mixed with. I didn't have many friends growing up because I could relate to any one group. Depending on how I wore my hair I called called a lot of races black sometimes being the last. I am a product of a inter racial relationship my Mother black and my Father white and others, because of my father not being in my life I don't know much about his hertiage. So I am a bit confused. Even as a grown woman in the work place its hard for people to relate to me because they don't know what box to put me in. Mind you I do live in the South and the thought of being mixed is still a bit taboo, Shocking really but true. When I tell people I am a black woman no one believes me. I am of human race the color of one's skin is no importance. I never wanted to be put in a box and I never wanted to put someone else there either. Sometimes being a drop of black still doesn't make you enough of anything.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      People don't believe that you're Black? You must really look White then. If that is the case, then you ARE White. See that, I just solved your issues for you. That will be ten bucks

      December 10, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill lee

      Lmfao..... George Zimmerman is bi- racial too......... hahaha... but he's still s racist.....lol

      December 10, 2012 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandi B.

      Thank you for sharing your story. People like Bill make me sick. I am a white woman with 2 biracial baby cousins who will also have to struggle with labels. Do these people (Bill) not remember what is was like as a teenager to try to figure out who you are, who you want to be and how you fit into the rest of the world? It's hard enough to grow up without having to struggle with people asking, "what are you?" Is it really that difficult to put yourself in someone else's shoes? Am I the only other person who understands that this article is about color and not racism?

      December 10, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  65. 2011judgment

    Everything I posted was the truth and no amount of "report abuse" will change that.
    You ignore the truth at your own peril.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  66. Stan

    Freedom of speech doesn't apply to a private business, it's to keep your government from censoring and or jailing you for reporting against them.

    CNN has an agenda, you working against their agenda is counter productive to their cause. So, they deleted you. Liberal media is liberal. I bet though if half of these liberals came to Foxnews forums they'd get open rights to say what they feel.

    Lets get back to the top at hand. Thanks for this great story Solidad. It's nice to see you going out of your comfort range to cover a topic you've only covered 50 times before.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  67. Stan

    Word for word, this. ^

    December 10, 2012 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  68. 2011judgment

    They block mine also

    December 10, 2012 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  69. EnoughZnough

    "Black in America: It's not just about the color of your skin", but how you can make a life's commitment getting under everybody else’s..

    December 10, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Caroline

      A race utterly lost unto itself. Not African, not United States, total self pity, total hateful of it's other members. I can think of other cultures that would be fine for me, but American blacks is part of the biggest self-screwing I have ever seen. Absolutely nowhere!

      December 10, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  70. Amy

    I think it's funny to hear all the people cry and say how stupid this article is, or how it's racist. It's sad because those are the people who sweep this issue under the rug and DON't Want to talk about it. It's the, "if we don't talk about race then it'll go away". The reality is you/we HAVE to discuss it, and become self-aware to remedy the discrimination issue which still exists.

    Especially since there are an increase in multi-racial births in America, and bi-racial kids are being sick of being put in an old outdated category system based on slavery. You are human first, BUT you need to arm yourself with knowledge about race to make sure you don't fall into the status quo and don't realize it.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • someone

      Problem is- the coin is seriously one sided, which is why nobody likes to bring up race. The excuse of "slavery" is continually used when in fact blacks owned black slaves too- but that part is never mentioned, only whites. The ONLY people responsible for that mess were the people living at that time, NOT people living today. I have many black friends that are superb people and very intelligent. They do not use any excuse, rather they wish it would go away. There is also the fact that blacks can call each other the n word and it's not racist really bothers me. If white people want to show white pride it's considered racist, if blacks do it then it's showing pride in their heritage. Lastly, get rid of the African-American bit. It's old and worn out. We are all Americans, period. Do people in Europe call themselves American-Europeans? No.

      Take the color away and we are all the same.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
    • oscardgrouch

      White people really don't need to be part of the discussion. For what? It's about how people of color identify themselves. No need for white input.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
      • Stan

        Actually, the article is about mixed race people too. Kind of gives everyone the right to discuss this topic. cool typical chip on your shoulder though.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  71. Eileen

    CNN needs to get rid of Soladad, she is really horrible. Also, get rid of Wolf, Fredricka, Brooke Balwin, Anderson, and Don Lemon.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Believer2013

      You should change the channel.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  72. 2011judgment

    CNN and their liberal followers hate the truth.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  73. MixedMan

    Alot of you ask why does CNN report on race. Well just read most of the comments hear and you'll know why. Most of them are laughable but the one I have a problem with is "it happen so long ago. get over it". Well it's been over 10 years since the twin towers were hit....get over it!! It's been 70 something years since pearl harbor was attacked....get over it. Why do we have a holocaust measum here in america when it didnt happen here.....get over it.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mygrandpaisblack

      Hey mixed man, speaking of WWII did you know most Asian Americans were rounded up and jailed here in the US? Probably not, they don't hold parades crying about what the white man did to them. That was in recent history. the Jews? The jews lost 6 million people, and yet are some of the most educated people in America.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
      • MixedMan

        grandpa – what do those two groups have in common? They were both handsomely paid for the transgression brought upon them by thier assailants in one form or another. Blacks not so much. Maybe if they had been given the things that were promised to them at the time you wouldnt have to read these types of articles. Maybe if places like Tulsa's Greenwood district weren't burnt to the ground along with many other places you wouldn't be screaming the non-sense you are.

        December 10, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
      • someone

        Wasn't aware that 'Jewish' was a race?

        December 10, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
      • Mygrandpaisblack

        "They were both handsomely paid for the transgression brought upon them by thier assailants in one form or another"

        And there we have it. They were paid because they went through it. You have never seen slavery, ever. I've never enslaved anyone, ever. You are owed nothing.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
      • MixedMan

        grandpa – the thing is im not asking for anything. Im doing pretty good for myself. Probably more well off then you are. Oh and Im from the hood. The point being is that in some sort of fashion every group that american whites have done wrong they have compensated except for blacks. Be it with cash, land or education. Each of those groups were given an opprotunity to succeed as to where blacks weren't. Had the former slave been given thier 40 acres and a mule like promised or the oklahoma terriotory like promised then maybe you wouldnt have to worry about walfare queens and thugs.

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

        yes i know of the camps. black lost more then 6 mill. when was the last time a cop shot a white kid and got away with it . when did u ever seen a cop go to jail for kicking a white female that 9 months prenant . it all happend with in the last year.

        December 10, 2012 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
    • oscardgrouch

      It's funny how some white people like to tell black people to "get over it" but say that to the Jews. All hell would break loose.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
      • someone

        Then blacks should be holding blacks accountable for slavery as well. Fair is fair. Too bad the point of talking about being Jewish has nothing to do with racism.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  74. DebbieW

    It means to feel like you are entiled and you are better than any white person. It means to be someone who breeds hate and gets special priveleges just because you are black.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  75. Heidi

    The issue is that we would have very little crime if they were no blacks in America.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army Officer

      And you base this on........what?

      December 10, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Retired Army Officer

      "A few"?

      How many millions is that?

      December 10, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Roxy

      What an idiotic statement..... Clearly you are one of those women who grasp their purse whenever you walk by a group of blacks and try not to make eye contact. Perhaps you should review...better yet go back to your own country of heritage (considering your ancestors arent from here) and im sure the crime rate is the same for your own people. Get a grip miss thang.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
      • Stan

        Lets hope she grasps her purse. We could break out statistics, but even those are considered racist because it doesn't favor the high and mighty black man.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • colorless

      You're probably right... except for all the cases of extortion, big bank swindling, pedophilia, dui's... I can keep going on, but it's a crime for you to not know this.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  76. Sally Rideout

    James gotta real perty mouth!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  77. baronsengir7

    I can't wait for the day people can see beyond skin tone.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
  78. ben

    Why worry about black or white? Why do we say "African-American"? I think that's insulting. We're all Americans, there's no qualifier necessary

    December 10, 2012 at 8:30 am | Report abuse |
  79. Historyishistory

    These comments i've read speak for themselves....racism is alive and well along with ignorance.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
    • LostinSLC

      Sadly you are right, but it is also key to note that racism is on all sides of the fence with all races. One day maybe we can just see ourselves as human beings.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Shut Up!!!!!!!!!!

      December 10, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Jake

        DITTO Please just shut up about race. Everyone is sick todeath of it. It is what it is so just stop it already!

        December 10, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • oscardgrouch

      So true!!

      December 10, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  80. Chris

    Seriously? The only reason this is a "problem" is because the media keeps whipping it up into a frenzy.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |
  81. Brandi B.

    I am a white woman who went to school with 70% black students. We lived 20 minutes away from a town that had it's last cross burning within the last 20 years (absurd!) I have a black friend who says she's a white girl in a black body and a white friend who states she should have been born black. I view all people as equal, but have difficulty figuring out how to celebrate a separate black culture (i.e. black history month, Ms. Black USA, etc.) without losing the ability to be color blind when it comes to race. I thank you for starting this conversation as it is still difficult for people of different skin colors to talk about this issue without fear of offending or fear of being offended.
    Will you please start a conversation about how white people can talk to black people with an open mind about our cultural similarities and differences without feeling like we have to walk on eggshells? Until we can have open discussions without that fear of accidentally offending someone, we will never be truly colorblind-but I want to be!

    December 10, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The thing is...we can already have that, we just need to not give in. If people just say "I don't care if you're offended...I'm attempting to have an open and honest discussion" there wouldn't be a problem. Sadly people feel they have this "right" to not be offended...which is nonsense.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:33 am | Report abuse |
    • 2011judgment

      You have been indoctrinated by evil.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  82. DB

    Sorry that your holding on to that. If you need someone to say sorry, then I'm sorry. But, don't let that kind of thing shape how you feel about people.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  83. sheri

    terrible, just terrible the whole conversation, comments are just not right, and some very distasteful, leaves a sad feeling. Lord help and have mercy!

    December 10, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
    • 2011judgment

      There are so many that have been indoctrinated by their little world and kniw not the truth about America's society.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:27 am | Report abuse |
  84. NC_Right

    Blah blah blah...wa wa wa. You can be president now. Stop whining and get over yourselves.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Worktolive

      I don't know about anyone else, but I, for one, am so tired of hearing about "black this and black that". I want an article called "what it's like to be white in America". Or how about a "white Miss America" pageant? Or "white television network"? All races need to get over themselves-rich or poor- and be proud of who you are and treat people as you would like them to treat you! And I blame the media for most of the racism in America.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
      • NC_Right

        AMEN

        December 10, 2012 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
      • oscardgrouch

        You already have it. You created it. There wouldn't be a need for Telemundo or TVOne or the other networks that cater to other ethnicities if there was fair representation in the "mainstream" media. Mainstream in the US means white. Everyday life is about "white" society. If it was equal, there wouldn't be a need for other ethnicities to "carve" out their own x,y,z...

        December 10, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Just listen

      Your response underscores your intelligence (or lack thereof) and level tolerance, fear and envy.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:47 am | Report abuse |
      • NC_Right

        Why would i envy anyone who needs to make excuses for not being successful?

        December 10, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  85. JV

    "Being black" is a disguise for an inferiority complex, and a useless learned behavior. You don’t see real Africans acting that way.. Unless you were born and raised in a different county, we all share the same culture. So if you educate yourself, speak coherent English, and respect your surroundings, watch how the color of your skin fades away for most reasonable people. Sag your pants, listen to 0 music with instruments, first reaction is violence, no one but your friends can understand what you say, then you are a low down dirty.. Well…You know.. And will always be hated.. Again, a learned behavior That’s goes for any other race that acts the same to include whites.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      Since whites created the "white-black" construct, does that also mean they have the same complex?

      December 10, 2012 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
      • JV

        Sure.. why not?

        December 10, 2012 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  86. Mike

    Enough of this already, You talk about discrimination daily, this is a form of that. Why not do a story of 'being a white middle class in american'. As they are paying for everyone and get nothing in return

    December 10, 2012 at 8:13 am | Report abuse |
    • Worktolive

      Absolutely right!

      December 10, 2012 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Believer2013

      Wow...you really think that...what a world we live int!

      December 10, 2012 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  87. Dr Giggles

    Every other race should be outraged. Enough. Black people are waaaaaaay over represented. They're 13% of the population. Give someone else a turn. How about we learn about all the asian scholars who score outrgaeous numbers on scholastic exams. How about the poor white kid who works his way up the ladder and becomes the CEO. How about the latino kid who comes here with their family, overcomes the language barrier and excels. How about the man from Pakistan who escapes harsh conditions and makes a great life for him/herself in America. The world is more than black. This is just getting ridiculous. Silly really.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      The last time I checked, the name of this page is " IN AMERICA" and it's not exclusive to Blacks. You guys just refuse to look at articles directed at all the other ethnicities, including European. Don't blame CNN for your ignorance and blindness.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
      • Jake

        It seems that CNN is stuck on pointing out ALL things about the black race. ALL things – other races are just sick of it but if we point that our we are called racists. Enough of this already. There is only one race and that is the HUMAN RACE – you are one or you are not.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  88. Mar

    And yet studies of DNA say the human race was born out of East Africa. Science proves racist liberals wrong.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  89. talleytone

    Enough already..where is this topic coming from? This is headline news?

    December 10, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  90. Serge Crespy

    "Identifying a Race, Identifies a Racist" ..... There is only One Race, "THE HUMAN RACE!" (Overly-Simplistic?; or, the bottom-line in "A Fundamental Truth").

    December 10, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  91. sandra

    This is as dumb as it gets!!!! Thanks CNN!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 8:07 am | Report abuse |
  92. 2011judgment

    Eventually there will be war between the Blacks and Whites in America. The Liberal Educational System , the Entertainment Industry and even some in Government have been indoctrinating and brainwashing Blacks continually over the past 50, or so years , teaching them that all of their problems is because of Whites.
    Blacks committ far more "hate" crimes against Whites than vice versa, though it is not reported as such.
    This war could erupt at anytime. All is needed is something to set it off.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      This is obviously what you look forward to, otherwise you wouldn't even have mentioned such an absurd thing.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
      • 2011judgment

        If America is to have a future and to stop it's decline, something has to be done about the extreme wickedness in it's society. Yes, America needs to cleanse itself of those who are destroying the nation. Smoething that should have been done long ago.

        December 10, 2012 at 8:23 am | Report abuse |
      • 3rdEyeOpened

        The leaders of this country brought the wickedness upon themselves and the rest of us. Yet you refuse to attack the root and instead focus on the results.

        December 10, 2012 at 8:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      You may be correct about a war between the race black and white but the way they are mixing it up we won't know which side to fight with. I have traced my race back hundreds of years and I am white. However if I point that out and show pride in my clear race, color of skin, I am called a racist.

      December 10, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  93. O'Dumbama

    You don't have to justify your race. Be proud of who you are.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan

      You don't like Obama? He's black, which means you don't like blacks which means you're a racist!

      December 10, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
      • Jake

        You are wrong. He is as much white as he is black. Thought you knew that.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  94. Skeptimist

    The following is an observation made by a visitor from Andromeda:
    "Charcoal is black. Chalk is white. Applying those terms to human beings is an obvious lie. But it persists because most earthlings are ignoramuses who do not think beyond a narrow set of labels provided by others to control their behavior. This is typical of the delusions that lie at the heart of their suffering."

    December 10, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      It's called a superiority complex, and it was invented by the European colonials.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Mark Jones

      when a people can come together and agree that wearing your pants half pulled down is silly, then progress can be made.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  95. thomasismental

    Is it just me or does anyone else want to see Brandon and James do it?!

    December 10, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
  96. Brenda

    Blacks are so racist, that they are racist against each other. The darker skin blacks are jealous of the light skin blacks and the light skin blacks think they are better than the dark skin blacks.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • 3rdEyeOpened

      Just like white brunettes think blondes are air-heads and red hair and freckles are freaky. I see the exact same discrimination between whites. Dumb post.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse |
      • 2011judgment

        You have a reprobate mind.

        December 10, 2012 at 8:29 am | Report abuse |
      • Heaveninc

        I agree, in all honesty there is racism/colorism/prejudice within every race, culture, group, organization.. Jews, Chinese, Indians, Christians,Whites,Blacks, it is also call Bullying.

        December 10, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Sue

      Black is black and white is white God created us all. Everyone one needs to get over the racist and live for today, where we are all the same.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:10 am | Report abuse |
  97. colohick

    To quote Steve Martin from the move "The Jerk"...."It was never easy for me...I was born a poor black child"....

    December 10, 2012 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
    • colohick

      sorry "movie"

      December 10, 2012 at 8:02 am | Report abuse |
  98. JIF

    I thought that my completely honest post would not be published, and it was not.
    Everybody should stop profiting from racism.
    Everybody.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  99. Barfo

    Yes, Black folks' ancestors were sold into slavery – by other Black folks. The sellers, buyers and slaves are dead and gone. Dark skinned people from all over the world come to The United States and live successful lives. As a white person I'll NEVER understand the Black experience in America, but it's time to move on. For white folks, hopefully when the older generations die off things will change for the better. For the Black folks, you're not going to get respect until you earn respect.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  100. Mimimama

    Until all people identify themselves as American first, without regard to race, we will never nor will those people so identifying themselves as other than American, reach our potential. Self imposition of walls that separate diminish everyone.

    December 10, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Moki13

      I second that...well said, Mimimama. We are Americans first. Your race, religion, ancestry, culture is great. Let's stop making it political.

      December 10, 2012 at 8:14 am | Report abuse |
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