Message to Obama reporters: Stop talking about black peopleJun 23rd, 2008 | By admin | Category: Barak Obama
Obama is an individual who is both black and white. I mean, why is this so difficult to get? Americans are infected with a type of dichotomous, either/or frame of reference. This makes it really hard to have discussions about anything … much less race, one of the more complex issues in this country. I personally believe this is a type of collective pathology. I attribute it, in part, to a win/lose mentality. It is hyper-rationalism gone bad.
Anyway, if we can all try to be mindful of that — and the fact that our own sense of identity gets in the way of discussion, then maybe it would open up the dialogue. I think, underlying alot of comments I read on this blog, there is a theory out there that whites do not have a self awareness of being white, while blacks, in part due to being in a minority, in part due to history, have an intense self awareness of being black in this country, whether they want to or not. I think this is true. I do not “self identify” as white really. It is like a non-issue in my mind when I think about myself. It only comes up in reaction to not being white – so in a comparative sense. If I then make comments or assumptions about another culture/race/group with a lack of self awareness of my own brainwashing, then this comes across as arrogance or naivete — or at least it is likely to get some eye-rolling responses.
So, on the one hand, I can see why someone finds white people’s requests for “come on, be nice, they are trying,” a bit, well, trying. On the other hand, I can say that the defensiveness on some fronts in the face of well intentioned attempts at communication is also trying.
This is a general comment. It does not, however, get to the very real damage that MSM and self anointed journalists can do. When there is no give or take and no ability to react on an individual basis — even anonymously- then the end result is the article stands as an authority on the topic and merely reinforces perceptions based on faulty assumptions.
But really, there is a certain honesty everyone has to bring to the debate as an individual. And this is very, very hard to do no matter your color, gender, education or even personality. Once anyone truly approaches a topic from an individual point of view, as opposed to a collective/group/culture point of view, then everything gets more human and less conceptual (imo).