Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Not So Black and White World

There has been much talk of race this past year
and while I am thrilled that legislated racism has been drastically reduced in the past 40 years, I am still a bit confused as to what is black and what is white. Is black the color of one's own skin or the color of his/ her grandparent's skin? What makes one black and another white or Asian?
I could almost forget that President Obama was black if I wasn't constantly reminded. Forgetting doesn't mean I don't know, it simply means it doesn't matter... or does it? If it does matter, why? If our great country is coming to terms with racism and everyone is on equal ground then why are we constantly reminded of what race someone is or isn't? Or is it only when a particular point of view is being advocated that color becomes important? I'm really curious.
All the children pictured here are beautiful. (Please forgive me for borrowing...). Can you tell which are black and which are white? Or are you a little colorblind like me?


  1. Hi, Martha. I think you make a good point.

    One thing that popped into my mind is the fact that Obama is called 'black' because his Dad is black, but not called 'white' when his mum is white.

    It just seems that this kind of labelling is then based solely on appearance, rather then on the true history of a person. It's too simplistic and dividing.

  2. I agree with you 100%. Why is it such an issue?

  3. Okay, lets all be gray. I like gray. Gray is pretty benign and doesn't show dirt to much. :D

  4. You don't know me but I came here from Smiles and Trials and I cannot AGREE with you more.. Actually Obama is BIRACIAL... It bothers me that he all of a sudden forgets who his mothers side of the family was.. He should be the first BIRACIAL prez....

    Your so right. If color should not matter then why do they need to mention it a million times. It shouldn't matter!
    Well written!
    Please email me and I will share my private blog with ya!

  5. I feel the same way. I had a pushy clerk at Kohls that wanted to sell me a plate with Obama and I said no, but she kept pushing and saying how wonderful he is and how he's our first black president. I told no he's our first biracial president and I don't agree with most of his views. I will pray for him as he leads our country but that dosen't mean I have to like him. I do agree with you though there is way too much focus on the race issue.

  6. It is funny that you should post this since I had a similar discussion with someone about this. Also, tonight at the Awana spaghetti dinner, I sat with a biracial family. The mother is white, the father is biracial black and white. They have two children. The little boy looks more like an Italian. The little girl has very curly blond hair...similar in texture as African American and very blue eyes with tan skin. I found them to be beautiful and fascinating. So...are they black or white?

    I think America makes race into an issue by overworking it.

    And if I did not know that was Darius's son, I would never know he is "black."

  7. Maybe it will take another 100 years so that race is not even mentioned. Let's hope not.

  8. It seems I had the same conversation with my brother. He seems to forget his white mother and brother and sisters, He seems to forget that his own son is more white than even he. I love my brother, but I wish he would remember his full heritage. Thank you for your comments. I never thought of my brother as anything than my brother. Race and color mean nothing to me, I wish it meant the same to others.

  9. The world would be boring if we all looked alike.

  10. Oh Martha, it is so refreshing to read from someone who isn't just absoulutely captivated by Mr Pres. I, too, think that his stance on abortion is nauseating. His socialistic policies would drive us all to poverty. I do not see a black man when I look at him, I see a very handsome, charismatic charmer, whose smile does not reach his eyes. Race does not matter to me in the least, and I don't know why it is okay for people to keep pointing it out, relentlessly.....if I were Mr. Pres, I would feel a bit bad if that were my most worthy attribute for the presidency, going by the comments of the media of late.

    We are all made in the image of God....He is brilliant to keep things so interesting.

  11. Everyone needs something to identify themselves with to make them feel more like an "individual." By identifying yourself with your German heritage or wealthy bloodline or by the color of your skin you are more apt to stand out from a crowd of millions, who at the end of the day are just trying to do their best to identify themselves with or within something; work, family, love, religion.
    These people never forget their entire world, they just choose to identify themselves with what’s most important to them. Sometimes it’s skin color, sometimes religion, sometimes it’s just the color of your hair.
    I am one person of millions, but when I say I am a sister to 2 wonderful parents, a sister to 3 siblings, blue eyes and short brown hair, half mutt/half German heritage, with a “black” uncle, with a large family who love each other despite their differences, who loves art, who likes to read, who got a degree in real estate…etc…there’s so much more to me than that, but by identifying myself by those parts alone I am further becoming an “individual” able to stand out in a crowd.
    Thank goodness for all of our differences, the world would be quite boring if we were all the same.

  12. Annie, I don't understand what wanting to be an individual has to do with racism or whether these children should be identifed as black or white.

  13. Hi Martha

    I thought this was an excellent post.

    I am Canadian, and the other evening, my husband and I were watching a recap of the inaugeration. My husband said.."why does all the talk centre around Mr. Obama being black?" My hubby said, and I agree that we just look at him as another human being. His colour didnt enter into it, and to listen to all the pundits go on and on about, was bemusing.

    I truly hope that change comes to all nations of the world, but I dont think Mr. Obama is the saviour to us all. There is only one of those...and he isnt the president of the United States.

    Again...great post


  14. I had this thought recently, "If racism is now "dead" why does everyone keep pointing out the fact that it's so amazing that we have a black president?"

  15. Unfortunately racism is not dead. It is alive and well. It has taken on a new face: "Politically correctness"

  16. Martha, years ago when our children were small we had a black babysitter. Someone ask my son if his babysitter was black, and I love the answer of a 4 year old...
    "No she's not black, she's Gloria."

    Colorblind is a God thing~