Thursday, March 20, 2008

Typical?

As many of you have probably heard, there is much discussion as to whether or not Obama's use of "typical white person," to describe his grandmother, is racist or not. In my opinion, it is at least prejudiced and he has projected narrow-minded views of white people.

I grew up in a home with a prejudiced, dare I say racist, grandmother. I don't know what her problem was, but I know I was determined to not be like her.

I remember once, when I was little, that a house was for sale a couple of doors down from us. I kept hoping for someone my age to move into the house, so that I could make new friends. One day, out of the blue, my grandmother (my mom's mom) asked if I would be friends with any kids that moved into that house if a black family had bought it. I said yes and she went ballistic. She told me there would be no way she'd ever let "one of them" into our house.

(An equal opportunity shunner, she also wouldn't let me have friends of any kind over and threatened to kick me out when one of my friends gave me a kitten after my dog had to be put down...a dog I had from the age of two. I was 17. Umm..she also told my best friend at the time that she'd burn in hell--I left for L.A. the next day--good timing.)

I was angry. I knew that was wrong and that we'd never learned that in church. (I was a stickler for the "rules.")

Then there was my dad. I saw him once a week. However, when we went out, he would take me pretty much wherever I wanted to go (as long as a bus, our feet, or infrequently a car could take us). I asked to go to Philadelphia a lot. I always loved the historical sites, musuems, watching the people on the street (the panhandlers always intrigued me), and I especially loved all the noise: street musicians, sirens, horns, engines roaring.

I remember, clearly, staring at black people when they were on the bus or train with us. I didn't stare because I didn't like them, I stared because I'm an observer. I loved to look at their hair, eyes and flawless skin. I was a little kid, and sure, I noticed differences, but I was looking because I was interested in them, knowing them, and wanting to admire their differences. When my dad realized I was staring, he admonished the impolite behavior, but also told me that we are all the same on the inside; we just look different.

As a small child, not even into double digits, I felt bad, but it also taught me a lesson. Even though I wasn't looking/staring and judging, I realized, by my dad's reaction, that people do stare and judge. That's why from then until now, I look people in the eyes and smile or say hello as they pass by. If I get less than pleasant responses, that's on them. Everyone has their issues in life. I am not going to allow prejudice to be one of mine. I don't want to be like my grandmother. I don't "cross the street," that would never cross my mind.

My grandmother always criticized my dad. I understand why on some levels, but there are things about my dad that I've been blessed enough to have rub off on me: mainly, acceptance of others.

So, sorry Obama, my grandmother has been the only person in my life that would be considered an example of your definition of the "typical white person" you spoke of. Those beliefs and behaviors are not typical in my life, nor will it ever be so. To be that way is to deny myself the blessing of knowing people that God has put in my life. I prefer to not take my chances on missing out on goodness God might have for me.

And yes, I can honestly say, my best friend is black. We became friends in Sunday school when we were 12. Can you say the same, Obama? You seem to segregate yourself a bit. You do worship with all of God's children, right?

Don't make the mistake of lumping all white people into the same heap. It would be hypocritcal to do so.

Yes, there are people that fit your description. There are racist and prejudiced people of all races. But, don't use language and behavior you would criticize in others. You also need to not presume that being racist and prejudiced is typical of any race.

If elected, you will represent all of the citizens of the United States, right? Right? You are running to represent those that believe as you, those that dislike you, and those that you see as different than you.

Are you running for you or for the United States?


To hear the entire interview with WIP host, Angelo Cataldi, click HERE.

6 comments:

Wyatt Earp said...

"Typical white person?" What is that, exactly?

And this man wants to be President of the United States.

RT said...

Typical politician? ;)

fuzzys dad said...

I uder stand about having a racistfamliy member.My late father
was a big time racist.Thank God I
was able to see through the bull.

RT said...

While we cannot deny that there have been a lot of examples of racism in our nation's history (of all races), we cannot continue to live in the past. If we are to truly be a nation of people that live and work together, we've got to move on and move forward.

It just really bothers me that Obama used language that lumped a race of people together and tied them to a particular behavior. That is an example of not moving forward.

If he truly is the agent of change he professes to be, his actions and words must embody change, not stir up stereotypes.

I think the events of the past week and these comments should also lead him to drop the holier than thou persona he exudes.

USA_Admiral said...

Yes.

Typical politician.

He is tanking in the polls. He will need a miracle to keep the campaign afloat.

Things change very slowly.

RT said...

I'll be glad when this is all over--then we get to see how the country will do.