Saturday, October 17, 2009

How Shocking, Our First Lady's Heritage Traces Back to Slavery...

Last week The New York Times published an article entitled, "In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery" by Rachel L. Swarns and Jodi Kantor. The article shined light on Michelle Obama's roots, dating back to the institution of slavery. Michelle’s genealogy exposes the true patchwork heritage of America.

While the article was riveting and acknowledged the strong ties America--black America--has to slavery, our first reaction to this article was, "no duh!" Do we actually think that either our society is so far removed from slavery that black heritage in America no longer traces back that far? Or is it shocking that our first lady’s heritage can be traced back to such an oppressive institution? We are all educated individuals who took 7th grade history--blacks in America are proof of the injustices of the triangle trade and the displacement of Africans. Granted, Michelle is a testament of how far America has come from the days that relied so heavily on slavery for economic growth. But calculate the years, struggles and continued struggles of blacks dating back to the 17th c.—our society is more connected to slavery than our first lady’s heritage has to suggest. Racial tensions, inadequate social and economic equality, and a legacy as second-rate, lives today in black America. Not very pc but let’s get real, the chains of slavery have taken on a new form. Write articles, discuss, discover, reveal these chains.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Obama Hatred

First off, we want to apologize for taking such a long vacation. College is always too hectic, but hopefully now that we are finally establishing our schedules, we will fit blogging in as well.

Recently, there was an article in NY Magazine about groups in America organizing against Obama. Now, we have to simply recognize that this is to be expected, of course there are American citizens who are unhappy with Obama's policies, just like there were American citizens who disliked Bush's policies. That said, the examples given in this article are just stunning.

As New Yorkers, we realize that we are in a sort of political bubble. Not everyone in New York City thinks alike, but rarely do we come across individuals who would liken Obama to Hitler. The hatred and outright outrageous beliefs of these individuals must be read for yourself. Most shocking are the statistics, proving that these individuals are not the only ones who are still circulating conspiracy theories about Obama being born in another country, a muslim, and a socialist. Apparently, "33 percent of New Jersey Republics believed that Obama was not a citizen and 14 percent thought he was the Antichrist" (Weiss). It is unfathomable, that people are so blinded by their hatred for Obama to go to such extremes.

I couldn't get past thinking that this hatred is deeper than just opposition to Obama's policies. The fact that people have shown up at rallies with Obama "photoshopped as a half-naked African native in a hut with a grass skirt and a bone in his nose" (Weiss). These actions seem to be more than disapproval. Such comparisons are much like minstrel shows, or the many epithets that have luckily become very politically incorrect. Later in the article, a man claims Obama didn't write his autobiography, but then goes on to mention race, which clearly has nothing to do with who wrote Dreams From My Father or whether Obama was born in the United States.

Do you think individuals with these viewpoints are fueled by racism? What will this hatred lead to?