Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Black Vote

I'm sharing a letter I wrote to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. This is the first time I've done anything like this, I'm just tired of it. :

I'm not much of a TV watcher. I watched more TV this weekend than I usually do, because many stations were showing programs in tribute of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I was flipping thru and stopped on a conversation where they were discussing the "Black Vote". They, network news anchors, mentioned that Obama had the black vote wrapped up in a certain state. Sigh... First of all I want to know who is this "Black" and why do they think he's so stupid that he would vote for a man for PRESIDENT solely on race??? We don't all think alike and we are not stupid. With all the evidence to the contrary, I am amazed that this belief is still so popular. I personally find that offensive. Much more so because I see this mentality is now affecting my children. A few months ago, my daughter was sitting in the cafeteria with her new friends and one of the girls said in conversation "you know black people are stupid" and then turning to my daughter added "...but not you,(insert my daughter's name)".
It's scary enough when I run into racism by the older generations. When I do, I personally I feel sorry for them. When I hear ignorance like this from kids, I feel sorry for all of us and the future of America.

15 comments:

Monica said...

I'm sorry to hear that kind of ignorance (and what else is it??) not only was directed toward your daughter, but was even thought of in the first place. Too often it's the ignorant that have the loudest voices, so I'm glad you spoke up and let YOUR voice be heard.

The generalizations seem to be across the board: If a Latino is running, then everyone assumes he/she will have the Latino vote; if a woman is running, then obviously (?!) other women will support her. None of these assumptions gives any of us credit for thinking for ourselves.

I'm glad you told them that you, for one, do!

jacki j. said...

Thanks Monica. I think we need to challenge the new anchors,radio personalities, MTV, BET and anyone else who think they have the power to define us. They don't define me.

Kathy W said...

Good for you to speak out. Sets a good example for us all. I agree with what Monica said, and don't forget religion. The same generalizations are happening with candidates and their faith. It scares me when I hear generalizations and racism from anyone, but especially young people. I call them on it every time to try and figure out where it is coming from and to make them aware of what they are saying/doing. We're supposed to be in a free country that celebrates individuality; why can't people (especially the media) remember that instead of sweeping us into any one particular group?

Scripture by Design said...

Oh my Goodness. I'm so saddened to read this! :(

Denise Bryant said...

Jackie...good for you for standing up and speaking what's on your mind. I feel the same way with the whole Hilary Clinton getting the the woman voters. Not this woman...I don't like her for many reasons and being a woman isn't going to sway my vote. It doesn't matter what the topic is there will always be some ignorant person that will take the opportunity to turn it into something it's not. Being President isn't about race, creed or religion..it's about representing the people of the USA and doing that to the best of his/her ability.

Jan Scholl said...

the mentality in my town is that MLK day is a black holiday! It has bothered me for so long (when my kids were still in school) but here the school is out for a "teacher in service day" and the kids who want to learn more about black history are left on their own to search it out. I moved to this town for the progressive education possibilites (I was the minority white family in a black neighborhood in Flint growing up) but honestly when we designate holidays just by color, what the heck are we doing to the future generations? Dr King was not a champion for just blacks, he wanted women, the elderly and all children of the world to have the same opportunities.

Personally, I am still holding out for a hero to emerge-because none of the choices are doing it for me. I know most of them will have to be an improvement on what we have now but the inexperience, the bickering and the hate being trashed thru politics is so wearing on me.

JenMarie said...

Jackie, well written!

buttons2 said...

Good for you Jacki. I, too, get tired of hearing that so and so has the "women's", "black's", "Latino's",Baseball player's", "soccor player's", etc. vote. I just wish I could believe half of what they are all saying....alas, I'll have to choose one.

Dawn said...

I have to say Jackie as a white women with more black in her then some...( I grew up in a am town.) I never ever saw color untill I was an adult. I to this day do not understand the diffence in people as far as color goes. I never did. I feel your daughters pain. I hope that everyone that reads your blog today, takes a hard close look at the things there kids learn in school. I always tell my kids, that they are white so what, it makes you no different than ANYONE.. I think we need to educate people on this. I am really sorry that you have to deal with this crap. I know God's heart hurts with yours and that you deserve to live free of racial remarks, well, I guess we all do. I don't think your stupid I think your a wonderful, women, artist & child of the most HIGH!!!

DebS. said...

Well, Jacki, I am sorry to say that there are so many ignorant ones out there and even sorrier(I hope I spelled that right! It doesn't "look" right)to say that some of the people expressing those views profess to be Christians. But perhaps they are truly not "Christ Followers"? And the media is just another story all together! But, I am so proud of you for writing an actual letter to the paper! I have thought about doing so on several occasions, but have never had the courage or follow through to do so. Proud of you!

Trish D said...

Wonderful letter. I get so annoyed with generalizations. When I hear stuff like like this, I can't help but think of Dr. King's Dream speech and his hope that his children would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. I don't care what shade your epidermis happens to be. Show me your heart.

marciad said...

People like this hurt us more when they direct their prejudice toward our children. I wish I could say something that could take the hurt away. We need to teach our children the lessons of the past so we don't revisit them the intolerance.

Staci M. said...

Good job with your letter! Plus, you must be having such a TOUGH time, what with wanting to vote for Hilary, just because of the "Female Vote", right?! :wink: UGH!
My jaw is just dropped at the lunchroom conversation. Yikes! Atlanta is a pretty diverse area, too, I'm surprised that ideas like that can fly or that anyone would say stupid things like that out loud in high school!

jacki j. said...

Staci ...as far as the lunch room conversation. It's not just Atlanta and it's not just my kids. Scenes like this have happened to my kids everywhere we've lived. The person speaking is not hateful, just ignorant. It only happens after they feel comfortable enough to say what's on their minds. The difference between the kids and adults is most adults know when to keep their mouths shut about what's on their minds, evidently the kids will say the first thing that pops into their heads.

and the Hilary thing...funny. I'll vote for her when she bakes cookies. Honestly, I don't know who I'm voting for yet... I'm still listening.

Melissa said...

This is so sad to read what happened to your daughter. The friend must have heard someone make that generalization, but to repeat it is another thing.

I know with my daughter who is 7, I have never made skin color a big deal. Because of this, she doesn't think anything about the way a person looks, whether she wants to be friends with them or not based on their skin color. She bases friendships on the actual person. I hope she stays this way throughout her life.

I really don't see myself voting for Hilary just because she's a woman. I'm still listening to everyone involved.