I don't like discussing race - it should never be an issue...we cannot control how we look or how we are born.
It's an issue, however, and pretending like it doesn't exist only feeds the ugliness of racism. I agree it's very uncomfortable and some debates have led to the clearing out of many a venue...kind of like religion. You have to,however, clearly define the problem before you can solve it. My perception of that accident by birth argument is that although we can't control it; we shouldn't be ashamed of who we are and more importantly we shouldn't allow others to makes us feel less than who we are. It's not exceptionalism we should aspire to but inclusion given that we all belong to the human family. There is only one race, it's all these ethnic groups and differences within the race that lend to the conflict.
It would be interesting to poll readers on how accurate Mr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's assessment of how whites view people of color like President Obama. Many of us who work in mostly white settings are told that we aren't like other black people or we've changed their narrow view about black people in general. It's difficult being the exception given anything you do that has an ethnic ring to it becomes a red flag for your Caucasian associates. It could be your ruin, e.g., Tiger Woods/O.J. Simpson or satisfy a covert need to validate whatever issue they have about your ethnic group. There are also the many who will not make an exception even with the likes of President Obama. The disrespect and scrutiny he's had to endure more than any other President are unfortunate aspects of the latter and I fear will get worse as we enter the second year of his Presidency.January 10, 2010 5:27 PM
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