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Obamas and Race Relations in America

Updated on December 21, 2014

Goodmorning America/ Yahoo News reported: Obamas on Race: “We've Been Treated Like the Help”

In a People magazine interview the First Lady revealed her husband while wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner was asked by someone to get coffee. The First Lady, while on a highly publicized trip to Target was asked by a shopper to help her remove something from a shelf.

President Obama stated that he has been mistaken for the valet. The president was quoted as saying: “There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys."

The First Lady remarked about the incidents as "the regular course of life" for African-Americans and a "challenge" for the country to overcome.

President Obama remarked: "If you look at after what happened with Michael Brown, if you looked at what happened after Trayvon, if you looked at the decision after Eric Garner, I'm being pretty explicit about my concern, and being pretty explicit about the fact that this is a systemic problem, that black folks and Latinos and others are not just making this up.I describe it in very personal terms."

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If you do not understand the plight of people of color or have never been the recipient of slanted justice, you may not be able to comprehend the effect color has on one's life. Negative stereotypes and people who do not encounter or see individuality within minorities and people of color can be devastating. People who can not comprehend people who do not speak in the dialect of lower income communities and have reached goals (absent of handouts) only to be regarded like “the rest of them.” People that ignorantly assume you have baby daddies or are on welfare although nothing of your presentation is consistent with those who do. Students in college that believe while they should date promising financially stable men you should go any man that has a job because that's good enough for “you people.” When you fail to fit the stereotype you are ostracized for your intellect (class level) from the majority and minority groups because you don't fit the stereotypical norm.

The treatment of the Obama's is not an isolated situation and is a reality of minorities. It plays out everyday in the need for people to communicate with you in ghetto colloquialisms although you have communicated using proper English and displayed educational achievement and intelligence. If that is not the case then you feel as if someone is studying you because your not like the rest of them, you smile/laugh, have a good sense of humor, are easy going, well traveled, and/or exposed to culture. Wow.......I can't believe it.

The lack of ability to be seen as an individual judged by your individual actions is a reality.

Tense situations with law enforcement when receiving a ticket. Traffic courts and payment centers full of minorities ticketed for infractions. Coincidence I think not.

Friends who have brothers and pray they aren't murdered. Guns being drawn on young men for no reason whatsoever, routine traffic stop or being stopped for fitting a “description.”

Police officers that harass minorities looking for an opportunity to arrest or shoot them and we are not speaking of criminals in society. These men are law abiding, no arrest record, and educated professional having vehicles illegally searched for no reason. Color first, everything else last.

Police precincts filled with officers in blue that inflict pain on communities filled with people unfamiliar or willing to stand up regarding violation of their rights.

Being educated and/or experienced but making less money than your less educated and/or experienced counterpart while being overworked.

What are your thoughts? Is this a reality for you? Are you shocked that this is the situation? Do you struggle to understand what or how minorities feel?

One thing that is unconscionable is for people to discount the reality of others dismissing a reality that does in deed exist. I hope that is not your response to this article.


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    • Credence2 profile image


      3 years ago from Florida (Space Coast)

      nice work

      Will share a brief account of some of what you are saying.I lived in Montana during the Early1980's and was the only black person in the area while employed by the Government at the time. The Anglo people there were a hard working and, the kinds of friends you wanted to 'watch your back' in a strange, harsh environment subject to extremes in winter.

      More than one person asked me why Michael Jackson wore that silly sequined glove on his hand. I told them that I was not MJ's personal valet and I knew no more about this then they did. I was almost embarrassed when people came to ask me if I saw the latest installment of Bill Cosby and the Huxtables. (Personally never watched it, to contrived and ' wholesome'.Always needed a little red, red vino on tap in my TV viewing to keep my interest. If the situation were reversed, I would never have. eXpected anyone of the folks I lived and worked with there to explain to me why the 'new wave' band DEVO wore those ridiculous outfits. It would have never occurred to me that they knew anymore than I did.

      I tend to think there are still chasms of misunderstanding between us. While this an extreme case that you would be challenged to find again, I think t hat they believe that each of us are detached but fully functioning parts of the total organism. That organism being a creation of their imagination and perception. This explains why so many don't understand the fundamental problem associated with racial profiling. They are individuals while our behavior can best be determined and even predicted from a standard template of their creation.


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