Tuesday, November 27, 2007

jesse jackson is not helping

i never commented on this before, but i want to address the "barack obama is 'acting white'" comment. sorry, but there is no room for such divisive rhetoric. the term "acting white" is incredibly offensive, because it perpetuates negative stereotypes about african-americans. see this post at pandagon.

As I mentioned in my first post on the topic, I was slammed by kids for “talking white” and “acting white” because I was doing well in junior high school. It was made worse by the fact that I didn’t have a southern accent even though I’m a native Southerner.

As I said then, the sad truth is that, in a public school that was at least 75% black, I was pulled over by one of the elderly black teachers one day and she told me that she was so proud of me — I was the first black student to make the honor roll in that school.

That was in the 70s; I cannot imagine what it is like now growing up, with the saturation of anti-intellectualism and materialism foisted upon and soaked up as “culture” by some in the black community. Whenever I write about this topic, I receive emails that can be divided into two types (most people, I suppose, are afraid to comment publicly): 1) the white liberals and some blacks who think I’m taking socioeconomic conditions and institutionalized racism too lightly as a factor; 2) blacks who have experienced the same kind of blowback from their peers for doing well in school, saying they were glad I said something about the topic.

I usually also receive a smattering of mail from people who argue that white kids have to deal with the same kind of underachievement “slacker” pressures; but they aren’t the same. White kids don’t have their peers telling them that they are acting like another race, one that has historically been charged with laziness or intellectual inferiority.
if jesse jackson wants to opine about obama with respect to race, instead of resorting to offensive schoolyard taunts, perhaps jesse jackson can praise obama for being a role model and for shattering ugly stereotypes. just a thought.

(this comment by one of andrew sullivan's readers is also useless and serves no reason other than to pollute the atmosphere with divisive stupidity. shame!)

a president doesn't just serve "the black" or "the white" or "the evangelical" or "the gay" communities. a president should, ideally, serve all communities without resorting to favoritism (something that the bush administration has failed at). obama is at least attempting to build bridges and to assemble people of different stripes under a big tent, and, so far, i haven't seen him play favorites. this, i believe, is a good thing.

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