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June 6th, 2008
06:49 PM ET

Barack Obama – something deeper going on

Jill Dougherty  BIO
U.S. Affairs Editor

After a three-week visit to the United States, a United Nations expert on racism says the candidacy of Barack Obama indicates that “something is going on in the deeper layers of U.S. society.”

Doudou Diène, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, tells CNN he believes that that “every American…has been internally confronted with the issue of racism and has been working it out.” He calls that a “very deeply internal process” that may not have been widely perceived but is now being felt with the candidacy of Barack Obama.

“In a society which has a very strong historical legacy of racism,” Diène says, “the fact that an African-American has reached that level of candidature and success mean something – and I have to assess this in my report – something profound has been going on in the U.S. society, in the mindset.“

Diène has been in the U.S. since May 18, at the invitation of the U.S. government, reviewing the state of racial discrimination. He previously has visited 25 nations, reporting on the same issue. In Washington, D.C. he briefed reporters on his initial conclusions and will issue a full report to the United Nations later this year.

While refusing to give his personal views of Obama, Diène said that political leaders in many parts of the world are watching the presidential race unfolding in the United States very closely. “There is an extreme, intense interest in this process going on, both on the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton candidatures.”

Obama’s success, he tells CNN, “is pushing leaders to reassess their own policies and programs regarding the role and the place of minorities in society, particularly in Europe, where multi-culturalism is one of the key challenges now. One of the key sources of racism in Europe is a refusal to accept diversity and multiculturalism.”

After meeting with government officials, non-governmental organization and community groups in New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Omaha, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans and San Juan, P.R., Diène says the U.S., “in contrast to other countries, is facing racism openly, not denying it.”

He also says the U.S., after a painful history of racism, has devised a good legal basis to combat racism. Where it has not succeeded, he says, is in failing to make headway in confronting the link between racism and poverty.

The U.S., he says, is going through a “slow process of re-segregation” with most U.S. cities now ethnically divided into white, black and Latino neighborhoods. Other problems, he says, included a weakening of the public education system, a “school-to-prison pipeline,” and the “gentrification” of inner cities.

A “fundamental source of hope,” he says, is that young people are “profoundly rejecting racism…and that means a seed has been planted.”

soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. AE Chuh

    Why does CNN and the rest of the media keep referring to Barack Obama as an African American or "Black" Presidential Candidate? Senator Obama is as white as he is black and grew up among a predominantly Asian populace in Hawaii. This is a man who understands the hopes and fears of people from each of these cultures and sees the commonality in us rather than our differences.

    Enough already. Stop feeding those who cling to the ideas which keep people apart. Please use your leadership in mass media to start pointing out the fact that Senator Obama is a MAN. An American man who has a dream of a future for people of all backgrounds.

    With your help to send this message, you can help make our world a better place for all mankind.

    June 9, 2008 at 6:37 am |
  2. Jose Benitez

    My comment is as "moderated " as it can be. You leftist-fascists will only let through what is convenient to your agenda.

    June 9, 2008 at 3:21 am |
  3. Jose Benitez

    I am sickenned by all this Obama-messiah bull. This is a Saul Alinsky disciple, and a good Communist elitist, at that. My family and I will never vote for Dumbo. His ears are too big, and he is too ugly.
    Worst of all, his elitist, arrogant manner is what is most offensive of his. In his book he reveals himself as a racist, with a deep inferiority complex.
    I guess if I had to look at myself in the mirror, and see what he sees, I'd feel the same way.

    June 9, 2008 at 3:16 am |
  4. Ken

    I watched your report on Obama and I'm still trying to figure out how he chose the black world? Look at him he was born that way regardless of where he was educated or decides to work he will always be looked at as a black man.

    So bases on your report if he did not choose the "African American" world you would not call him the first black democratic presidential nominee? So I guess the white gentleman that graduated from Morehouse is now black because of his choice of schools?

    I bet he can get a cab!!!

    Ridiculous he can no more choose his perceived race then I can.

    June 9, 2008 at 3:08 am |
  5. Alex

    I am simply amazed by some of the arguments used to support to choice of Barrack Obama as the Democratic Candidate. Certainly it's wonderful that people in our nation are showing signs of FINALLY becoming "color blind." The atrosicities committed to the members of the Black community over the years are unforgivable and inexcusable. But the issue of Gender Bias is clearly alive and well. Perhaps tackling both these issues at the same time were far too difficult to overcome and the powers to be decided it would far less lethal to have the Women wait for another chance, than to try and convince the African American Community that their choice was not racially motivated. Besides "power" means far more to a group's ego, than is the color of the man's skin who represents them. Progress on one hand and same old story on the other. Now I know where the saying of "can't win 'em all", came from.

    June 9, 2008 at 12:05 am |
  6. Marie, Deltona FL

    I find it difficult to understand, that as people who claim to be leaders of the world, we cannot rise above our selves and our past. I have yet to hear, read or find any real issues with Barack Obama. Other than some old whitemen and young ones too. Making themselves and their father a promise that a black man would neither be president. Then black folks are still shock that he has made it this far. They are now moving from shock to fear for his life. I urge you all, to look beyond the content of your individual skin and biases. Stop doing because you all told, but because you are willing to learn.
    Good Day.

    June 8, 2008 at 11:02 pm |
  7. David

    I was pro Hillary –Now McCain all the way 🙂

    June 8, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  8. Mary Bare

    Sherry, Sounds as if you, like you said about McCain, have gone thru five years of torture and confinement and has left you mentally defieceint , girl you need to "wake up and smell the coffee". I'm an older white female and it doesn't take a so-called political ex-pert to figure out what Barack HUSSEIN O'Bama is all about. I think he is a black racist Muslim hiding behind Christianity until he can get into power, then his true colors [pardon the pun] will start coming out and Lord have mercy on us all !!!!! The man scares me , I'm not a fan of Hillary either and once said if she ever ran for office I'd vote for the devil before I' ever vote for her , little did I know how soon that comment would be tested, needless to say I would more then happy to vote for her over him. So since I have no other choice it will have to be McCain.

    June 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm |
  9. p coombe

    In your profile of Obama, you forgot to mention he sat in Trinity
    Church for over 20 years. This has been your reporting throughout
    the campaign. For the first time in my adult life I will vote Republican
    and also watch Fox news.

    June 8, 2008 at 9:05 pm |
  10. Edward NY

    I don't think JFK was not the first Irish president he was the first Catholic president. Catholics have there own problems with the bigots.

    JC wrote Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice and Clarence Thomas had all made to the top of the fields they choose. He is correct but they been called to 'white' by some of Obama supporters so they must not count as true African-Americans

    Ginger: There have been many black candidates on local, state and national elections. Several have tried to run for the presidency from both parties before. If your not voting for them it not others fault.

    So we know that most of African-Americans are voting for Obama because he is African. They want him to fix all their problems at the local level when they should have been doing that themselves. They are just bigoted as their counter parts.

    The USA has worked hard to advance all ethic groups and this debate done nothing.

    June 8, 2008 at 7:56 pm |
  11. Daron

    Racism is a minor issue in America now. What we are dealing with now is selfishness. Reverend Wright was selfish. He had a hard life which made him bitter and antagonistic. But, he is not a racist. He is just stupid and unfortunately, unfiltered. But, he didn’t say “ I hope they come bomb America, I think they deserve it.” What he said is that according to biblical principles “You reap what you sow” and that the America government had interfered in the affairs of other sovereign nations and had suffered because of it. And he was quoting a white senator. He never said that Americans deserved it. We, the people, of America certainly don’t deserve it.
    The people who keep calling him racist are also selfish. That statement is so arrogant. Even if he did mean that America deserved it, he is an American. America is made up of huge Black, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, etc., populations in addition to White. If that is indeed what he meant he was talking about all of us, himself included. Some people think they have a lock on being genuine American, now that is racist.
    Reverend Wright was solider in addition to being a citizen. He earned the right to express his criticisms of those who sent him to war. But, what, when, and how he said it was Guinness Book of World Records stupid. That crap has now place on the pulpit.

    June 8, 2008 at 7:41 pm |
  12. Barb, Des Plaines

    I'm optimistic to see Americans even talking about and dealing with race issues. It's always a hot button issue, and many people seemed content for a long time to just never mention it. Many of the previous comments show some real reflection (of course a few are just coasting on the same ol' spew.) The past 17 mo. have been eye opening.

    Here's what I'm thinking: does anyone else out there think it's just creepy to be talking about humans in terms of their "pedigrees." I mean are we sacred beings or just a bunch of race dogs. Who cares where your parents came from? Who cares about skin color?

    As far as Barack's "content of character," I've read his books and followed his campaign, and I'm most impressed with his character. This guy's intellectual integrity is incredible. His logic is downright elegant. He's way deeper than Rev. Wright. It's wrong to think about a person who functions on Barack's level as some kind of sponge soaking up every word Wright says. I mean, c'mon.

    June 8, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  13. Omar

    I see Barack Obama as I see civilizations being evolved. I firmly believe that Unites States' Presidency is in the hands of people who have the will to diminish the existing tensions between racial divsions in the future.

    We as a nation, must accelerate boyond those lines and send peaceful signals around the globe.

    The Next Strategy.

    God prosper America.

    Omar

    June 8, 2008 at 2:00 pm |
  14. penny

    Turning the page on racism will mean not voting for McCain. If he is elected we will not only have 4 more years of GW Bush, but also the country will ride THE "TITANIC". That means our economy will sink. We will go back in time. There will be no "CHANGE" because you can't teach an old dog new tricks. McCain is definitely too OLD. He is ready for the ARCHIVES in the library like the History of the TITANIIC. Furthermore, the guy is a vietnam veteran. Most of those guys have social issues with society.

    June 8, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  15. jt

    Yes. You are right.

    Something deeper going on.

    If the blacks voted something like 97% for Obama. This can not be because of his proposal.

    How do you explain this?

    June 8, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  16. linchristi

    I am truly disappointed that Hillary lost. Not only because she was experienced but also because she truly had brought change. She has worked across the party lines than Obama. He has voted down the party line 100% of the time. How can he really bring change when his campaign is a lie.

    THough MAC is not the most youngest candidate, with his experience, his proven record to go against his party and reach across the partisan line, he will do more for us than Obama.

    Those who keep saying he is 3rd Bush term will be slapped into reality. If anything history will show that Obama again is lying.

    I just hope it is soon, many democrats are believing the koolaide..

    June 8, 2008 at 11:43 am |
  17. Lesley

    Barack Obama, you are a man of honour. To bring that to the political world is a remarkable feat.

    Thank-you for your expressions of kindness and forgiveness.
    I wish you all the best in this upcoming challenging campaign against people who need to learn from your example.

    The world needs more people like you in it. It is a better place because of you and will continue to get better because of your incredible work with people and your shining example of integrity.

    June 8, 2008 at 10:55 am |
  18. J.V.hodgson

    Obama will succeed if and only if he can convince American voters that he can sucessfully conduct America's international relationships better than Mccain.
    This may seem unusual in American politics of late where domestic issues are often what creates a winner.
    The domestic race issue, and rekigious bias has moved to the sidelines, but the international aspect of both these is affecting America economically and reputation wise internationally.
    These are the driving forces behind obama's success.
    Regrds,
    Hodgson.

    June 8, 2008 at 8:49 am |
  19. Armstrong

    He who wins the Presidency has already been determined
    by God himself, Mr Obama for all the talk about change, needs
    to realize who really is in charge, he really needs to think about
    who is going to be his VP, with all the talk about John Edwards
    and trying to put him on the ticket, Mr Obama knows that
    he needs Clinton, we all have a skelton or two in our closet
    as does Mr Obama, but if he says that he is about the business
    of change, to get the GOPS out of the house please put Clinton
    on your ticket with her you are unstopable/without her
    you are just another african american nominee LOOK
    WHAT HAPPEN TO JESSIE JACKSON RAN TWICE
    END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS

    June 8, 2008 at 7:47 am |
  20. trasa

    Here, here! Thank you Ginger. I thought Monicruz was being ignorant in her comment and needed some enligtenment. According to her, if blacks are being racist because we went for an African American candidate, then that means your racist because whites have been going for a white candidate for President which is all ludacris because blacks have been voting white for as long as I can remember.

    I just want to say, I'm a black women who initially was going to vote Hillary. Like the rest of the majority, I felt she was the one and she was going to have this nomination in the bag. I knew one day she was going to run and had been waiting. I was like Barack who? But then he hit a cord with me and I changed my mind, didn't mean I disliked Hillary, I just was inspired and wanted a change. Now you may not like him for whatever reason and that's fine, but don't ever call majority of black people being racist because we've been there for America when America wasn't there for us, but we as a people keep moving forward. I know some people are still hostile towards whites and whites are hostile towards blacks. I have no illusions about it, but get some brains before talking about something you have no clue over and shut the hell up! Oh I hate to break it to you, but Barack is getting all types of votes, true the percentage may be greater or smaller in some areas, but the point is, still getting them. You forget that his core supporters are just as hight as Hillary's so stop deluding yourself.

    June 8, 2008 at 6:54 am |
  21. wendy

    a person who is born of mixed race (black and white) in my eyes is neither black nor white. Reason the love they have for both parents is equal. Why are these kind of person called blacks. The society forces them to disown one of the parents identity. I feel its also a kind of discrimination in its own way. In reality the society has refused to accept that they are an identity of their own. Obama being one of this kind of person will unify the human kind not only in America but all over the world because he's neither black nor white but both.

    June 8, 2008 at 6:22 am |
  22. stanley( fl.)

    GOD GOD that all i see on here. that why we all in this upset . because people talk like this .and i think it is bad . dont know if there is a god. why do we jude all the time. if there is a god why he is keeping up here.? we are all carzy. the churches are taking are money and giveing it to poeple like Jermiah wrightand rev.michael Pfleger. im not and have not for a long long time.new home new carsans so on . make me sick of all of that bull .

    June 8, 2008 at 1:49 am |
  23. Brandon

    You people our a real Joke Obama's hole campain is about race and hate. Hello 20 year' s memeber of a racist chruch. Lets face facts Cnn and media have been unfairly trashing the Clinton's name for months. Its the same old game with Obama , no job skills and no leadership skills. Obama is not ready to lead the White House. We dont care all about the drama with Obama, were voting for a proven leader even if it means John McCain. All this crap about intentions of voting for Obama and putting people down because they talk about the truth and Rev. Wright incident., tells about your character its crap. Go back to your rock's now the show is over folks. Cnn news and the haters won't be back till the fall.

    June 8, 2008 at 12:19 am |
  24. MCCAIN THREW MEN OF GOD UNDER THE BUS AND TO THE CURB!

    I watched my proud black men hang their heads down as whites shouted in their faces for no other reason tham for amusements. I watch daily as my mother sat in the back seat of a car of the woman she cleaned house for while the dog sat in the front seat, while I stood in the door crying as a child of three or four I first saw this as strange and it has stuck with me all these years. I have lost loved ones to prison because they challenged an bitter white. THe thing of it mine is mild conpared to most my elders you ain't even ready to know their, most can not speak of it, they hold it in shame! Tears flood my eyes as I think about these memories I' m only 45 years. When Obama told you all it took trained ears to hear and understand Rev. Wright he told you the truth, you all thought you were hearing hatred, but in truth you were hearing his PAIN! Those of us in the black community was shocked that whites did not understand this, we felt whites were attacking us ALL of us when they attacked Wright, because we knew the underlying message and reasoning and to say Obama should have left that church and pastor, we took that to mean he had to leave us, because no matter where he goes among blacks he will meet a Rev. Wright our existance is full of them with the same PAINS. Obama had to wait for him to do something really stupid before blacks would understand him denouncing him, he had to otherwise he would be denouncing us as a people, Rev Wright's pains was our pain, it is a part of us. Does this mean we hate whites? Absolutly NOT! Just have our pains acknowledged and dealt with. This game of pretense is the worst insult to us, that is like a knife in the wounds.

    June 7, 2008 at 11:58 pm |
  25. Nims

    In this election, all the Blacks who never ever registered to vote, came out of hiding in droves to register,and to vote for a man with dark skin. Isn't this racism?
    It is amazing, how among all the Democratic candidates for president with much more years in the federal government lose to an unknown candidate with paper thin resume. It did not matter what kind of people he associated with. The candidate is picked for the highest position in the US government. All that mattered was his oration and color of his skin.
    "From the frying pan into the oven."

    June 7, 2008 at 11:52 pm |
  26. Carlos - Utah

    As a registered Independent, Hispanic by birth and a U.S. Citizen for the last 30 years, I am more than ready to vote for a Black American that has inspired me and millions of other Americans!
    I am tired of the same old politics that McCain offers, I am tired of traveling abroad and being blamed for the stupidity of our government over the war, I am tired of paying $4.00/Gallon of fuel and for this economy.
    I have a son that has been in the Navy for the last four years, including seeing active duty in Iraq. Even tough I love him, I don't think that he has the experience to be the next President of the U.S. Without any disrespect, can someone please explain how been a POW and laying on a bed for five years gives you the experience to be the Commander-in-Chief ?

    June 7, 2008 at 11:42 pm |
  27. John Watson

    I live in Barbados a zone of peace in the Caribbean. I am convinced that the present discussion comparing the era of Robert Kennedy's assinnation with Obama's nominations era is a recipe of encouraging the assination of Obama and the discussion should STOP right now . There is so much more that can be discussed about this election.

    You may the reason for hurting Obama

    June 7, 2008 at 11:16 pm |
  28. shiloh stowell

    When the day comes when an individual, no matter what his color, can stand in a room of people who are of a different color, and not feel out of place, or isolated, then the world will have conquered racism.

    June 7, 2008 at 11:12 pm |
  29. Richard Medina

    I have not been putting up signs on my property. Now that the primaries are over I decided to put up a sign in front of my home. I put out a sign for Charlie Brown running for Congress of the district including El Dorado County, California. He being a Democrat I thought of putting out some of his sighns and also Barack Obama signs. I will be putting out the signs this week. Charlie Browns sign went up yesterday and today it was slashed to shreds. This is very common in this county as it has voted 75% Republican in the past. In the many years I have lived here I have been subjected to acts of Racism on many occasions. I will usually bite the bullet and keep my mouth shut. That is not going to happen this time.
    A Mexican American Veteran from California

    June 7, 2008 at 11:05 pm |
  30. Kent Fitzsimmons,Illinois

    In Hillary's speech Saturday she said that in 40 years we have had 7 Republican Presidents and 3 Democrat Presidents. I guess I never thought about it. What's the deal? Do we want to fix this mess by the Republican's or what? Obama 08

    June 7, 2008 at 10:52 pm |
  31. Alex

    I wouldn't mind seeing John Edwards as V. P. John McCain needs to grab the young crowd if he wants a chance of winning. What are the rules of an austrian-american governor as V. P.? The young crowd also liked Ron Paul. He could also pull alot of democrats, but that would be an odd old duo. I'm voting democrat unless McCain chooses a not-so-republican republican.

    June 7, 2008 at 10:34 pm |
  32. Mason

    This is still a very racist country. Think about it. The black person running for president, with the history of racism this country has, is the one that has to prove he's not racist. This screams how racist this country still is. Also the media keeps on talking about how Obama has a problem with the white voters, but never talked about Clinton having a problem with black voters. The standards were different for him than with any other candidate. Why?

    June 7, 2008 at 10:26 pm |
  33. otis

    Why is no one mentioning anyone Black as Obama's running mate? The answer is obvious. While everyone is worried about white working class voters, Black voters are again being taken for granted.

    We have come a long way with a long way to go.

    June 7, 2008 at 10:24 pm |
  34. Chas

    Why don't u guys print my comment? If Obama has a white mother and a black father why does everyone refer to him as black? Why not refer to him as being white, after all he is just as white as he is black? Because it would not be a true statement. He is not just black or just white he is both. To refer to him as a "black man" seems racist to me.

    June 7, 2008 at 9:20 pm |
  35. Kent Fitzsimmons,Illinois

    I get a kick out of the people who hug their Bible and religiously go to church but refuse to accept anyone of color as an equal. If this is any of you readers out there shame on you....................I don't believe Jesus cared about the color of a person's skin............

    June 7, 2008 at 6:52 pm |
  36. samatha

    I think the slogan "All men are treated equal" will be a big test for the Democratic party. Minorities have all ways been loyal voters for the Democratic nominee, now Obama have to beg "white blue collar voters to support him. Not because of his policies, but because of his race. Now we will see what a person of color see about this country.

    June 7, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  37. Linq

    I tried to watch the CNN News at 5PM. I am so turned off by the "Hillary Bashing " , that I am done. Rasial bashing is not acceptable and neither is gender bashing. I am turned off and tuned out.

    June 7, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  38. mesmerize

    Why is people making such a big deal about blacks voting for Senator Obama? I have never heard people complain about blacks or any other race for that matter vote for a president before. Why now?

    June 7, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  39. mesmerize

    The reason it took so long for the Rev. Wright story to come out is because all of the naysayers couldn't find anything that outrageous about Obama. Why dont they find something with Obama speaking like Rev. Wright. Until they do people need to drop that story because frankly Obama supporters don't wont to hear it. We've heard it and we still voted for him.

    June 7, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  40. TY

    Democrats must realize that the only reason Obama won vs Hilliary is that there can only be one winner.....we must look at what took place here...two defining moments in history ....a woman and the other....a man of color....that was a difficult task when dealing with two candidates who are both worthy of being president of these united states of america.... if either were soley running among candidates in separates campaigns ....both would win with ease....but the timing was not on their sides and they both ended up running against each other .....so lets just take this opportunity for Obama to win back the white house and take this country in a direction that will afford all americans .....independents, democrats , and republicans....a better life.....Democrats hear me.....i think a woman needs the opportunity because 46 times men have had their chance so why not a woman.....and we also need to no that color does not lead but the ability to lead is what it takes to run this country and i am so glad that a man of color with now have the opportunity to prove such......YES WE CAN ....America become a better nation by showing our diversity!

    June 7, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  41. Crystal

    Ginger,

    You are so right. I am an African-American living in a time where I could anything I put my mind to. But it just upsets me to know so many try to down play Barack Obama accomplishments. Hey as of right now I would take a new born baby over George W. Bush. You have people like Ann bringing up the Rev. Wright issue to play factor as who Barack really is. Our nation is in serious trouble and all this people could think about is what his pastor has said and done. On June 3, 2008 I called my grandmother who lives in Mississippi to get her taken what had just taken place, she cried over the phone. She said all her never in a million years she would have thought she would witness something as historic as what took place. All I am asking is for people who view him as a liar, racist (lol), and every other factor that has taken place for you to dislike him, please look at the bigger picture. He is a man who wants to take our country in the right direction. Even though I don't support John McCain, never would here down play this mans ability to do what he set out to do. You guys may say that African-Americans are racist because they call most people on their faults, but never would you here them down play a white mans accomplishments, but they don't agree with him.

    Just something most of you need to really think about.

    June 7, 2008 at 2:11 pm |
  42. Tina

    I have to say that I have mixed feelings. On one hand I appreciate Bill Clinton for the good he did for our economy, while he was in the whitehouse. What bothered me about the Clinton's, is their selfishness, the whitewater scandals, questions if someone was killed because of the scandals; the fact that he did absolutely nothing – when a war broke out in Africa. For Hillary, I've never viewed her as a "woman's" activist – until she decided to run for president. I've never heard any views for women's rights. The fact that Hillary supported a most racist Barry Goldwater – who wanted to create an Indian Reservation in Alaska & move all the Native American's to Alaska & take what we have left in the rest of the United States! The Clinton's minimized Martin Luther King's contribution to civil rights! Yet, we all say Bill was a great president?! And, yes – he did many good things in spite of the rest. As I chose Obama, these things still stay in the back of my mind regarding the Clinton's. I have mixed feelings, because I think, if all this can be put aside, what a dynamic team, Obama, Michelle, Bill & Hillary would make! Yet, I consider the poisoneous baggage the Clinton's carry & don't think the two can walk together.

    June 7, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  43. Marie

    For those of you, who don't want to acknowledge that Sen. Obama's win is a historic event in the United States, perhaps you don't understand why it’s historic. As an African American woman, I never thought I would live to see the day that a black American would ever win a major primary election for president of our great country. Many of my friends and family thought a Black candidate would be assassinated just like JFK. Blacks like women have fought for their place in society. However Blacks have been hung, beaten, sold and separated from our families, and our women have been raped all in the name of slavery. Blacks remember segregation and the horrors many blacks and the brave white men and women who helped the civil rights movement endured as we fought for civil rights. JFK and Martin Luther King were assassinated because they fought for equal rights. As a result, a Black president was not something Black America could envision. While most of the international world has enjoyed women and minority presidential leaders, it was really just a dream in America.

    I for one see this as a historic moment in our history because it is an indication that perhaps Americans are finally willing to embrace and accept an African American or a woman for president. It also means that America is doing a good job teaching their children to be color blind and to judge a person's character. For the first time in my life I have an opportunity to seriously consider voting for an African American for President. I truly understand what Michelle Obama meant when she said this is the first time she's been proud of her country. I am proud of America for finally beginning to mature into a country that is moving toward being color blind. This is a historic moment and a defining moment in our country. Something wonderful is happening and I'm proud to be a part of it. However remember this election is not about Sen. Obama, Sen. Clinton or Sen. McCain. This race is about what's best for the American people and our country. I encourage everyone to vote for the person that you honestly believe will deal with the overwhelming issues facing this country. For me that person is Sen. Obama.

    June 7, 2008 at 12:26 pm |
  44. Phillip Wynn

    I think this discussion in itself proves what the UN guy said, that, unlike other countries, we at least are facing up to racism (I'd like to hear from those from many European countries, for instance, where either ignoring it or denial is the more usual response). The fact that the discussion is messy, complex, and at times emotional is a product of racism's ongoing legacy, but also, again, shows that we're trying to come to grips with it.

    June 7, 2008 at 12:01 pm |
  45. Larry

    Oh my! Charlize Theron became a naturalized american in 2007 and now she's being referred to as a South African-American actress.

    June 7, 2008 at 11:59 am |
  46. esbee c.

    And that includes CNN.

    Obama can start by suggesting that CNN send Jeffery Toobin and Wolf Blitzer to Wilderness Camp.

    Over the course of these Primaries I have come to the opinion that Obama is an extraordinary "watcher" and while that is a wonderful quality to have as a President---people who are "watchers" make extraordinary journalist.

    No wonder Blitzer, Toobin and King like Obama so much-–he is a pundit-just like them.

    Our country deserves more than a watcher and pundit in office.

    June 7, 2008 at 11:43 am |
  47. Sheron-OH

    United States has always and will continue the concept that if one has 1/1000000000 part black that person is black; therefore, the concept of one of the bloggers that 5% of the population voted for him must also be undertaken that 5% voted for a woman but this United States News is playing the card of the 1st women manuveruing that status; and playing down the milestone reached as that 1st BLACK person with that 5% of the votes.

    June 7, 2008 at 11:23 am |
  48. esbee c.

    If we are talking about Obama--nothing deeper is going on. He is all talk.

    I will follow Senator Clinton to the Obama camp today, then O is going to have to earn and appreciate Hillary supporters.

    I am pretty sure that O would rather eat nails than ingratiate himself to Hillary voters. I just do not think he has got it in him to do it--without making some kind of backhanded sarcastic remark.

    I started the primaries out in the Obama camp-even though I voted for Bill Clinton twice. Hillary's expertise and determination won me over.

    If Obama mistreats or degrades-or allows anyone to "try" to hang her out to dry over the next few months-he can kiss her 18 million votes good-bye.

    June 7, 2008 at 11:17 am |
  49. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We live in a multi-cultural society and the bar is being raised higher. Racism has become intolerable and people don't want to be classified as racist based on the color of their skin. When intelligect and education is put to good use, then the bar is raised and there is place and time for ignorance.

    June 7, 2008 at 11:14 am |
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