Saturday, March 22, 2008

Obama Suggests Typical White People Are Racist

Yesterday, March 21st, on 610WIP, a Philadelphia radio station, Barack Obama suggested that his grandmother, a woman who he has said many times is known for spouting racial discriminating comments was a "typical white person."

In the radio interview Barack Obama responded to a question about a portion of an earlier speech where he stated his grandmother uttered racial stereotypes that were so hurtful they made him "cringe":

"...the point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, well there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that won't go away and can sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that's just the nature of race in our society."
In his comments, it can be seen that though he clarifies that his grandmother does not have any hatred for blacks, this "typical white person" has "been bred" to stereotype black people and say racially hurtful comments. The implication therefore is that Barack Obama sees that it is typical of white people to stereotype black people and make such racially motivated comments that offend others.

Now Mark Silva, from The Swamp, offers an explanation which seems to repeat the Obama campaigns response:
"The truth is, virtually every white person and every black person knows precisely what Obama meant. After generations of racial segregation either de jure (Southern) or de facto (Northern), the inbred, impulsive reactions of people who either mistrust, fear or resent members of another race are no secret in America. Even those of the youngest generation, in whom Obama sees hope for progress, can probably recall a parent or grandparent who has given voice to precisely what Obama meant: “Typical.’’
Now this explanation, though true, does not in any way explain Obama's comments. It merely acknowledges that there are racist people in America, Silva does not explain how that racism is typical of a certain race. He does grasp at the Obama campaigns suggestion that perhaps Obama was talking about the difference in generational views, that old people are more prone to being racist, but no where in the interview does Barack Obama suggest age or the generational gap played of any importance, let alone mention them. Obama does not say typical old person, he says typical white person. So age clearly had nothing to do with it, and yes, Mark Silva, racism may exist, but why is racism typical of white people? Or at least explain why is it only typical of white people?

Barack Obama on Larry King attempted personally to diffuse the racial tensions produced by his comments, but he too does not explain why he said, "typical white person" he instead responds as if he had only said his grandmother was a "typical person" completely ignoring the most controversial portion of his words:
"Well, what I meant really was that some of the fears of street crime and some of the stereotypes that go along with that, you know, were responses that I think many people feel. She's not extraordinary in that regard. She's somebody who I love as much as anybody. I mean, she has literally helped to raise me.

“But those are fears that are embedded in our culture and embedded in our society, and, you know, even within our own families, even within a family like mine that is diverse, you know, there are those gaps in understanding or the stereotypes that are fed by the news media and fed by what we see around us and, you know, in our popular culture.

“And so the point I made is that good people, people who are not in any way racist, are still subject to some of these images and stereotypes and that it's very hard to escape from them,’’
Obama's expanation does not answer why he said his grandmother was a typical white person in stereotyping and saying hurtful comments based on race. He steps back from his initial comments from the radio interview and claims that all people are now typical of making stereotypes and such comments; however this is a significant change from what he had initially said.

On 610WIP Barack Obama did not make some deep insight about how all people are typical in making racially insensitive stereotypes. He did not say its typical of old people to be racist. Barack Obama said it's typical of white people to make stereotypes based on race and to say racial discriminating comments. For Barack Obama to say this, he makes a stereotype of white people that is offensive and if the positions were reversed, and Barack Obama was white, and he spoke of a typical black person, Barack Obama's campaign would have effectively ended March 21st 2008.

Note: Philadelphia newspapers are picking up on this story, it is yet to be seen if this story will affect Barack Obama's numbers in the upcoming state's primary.

Video on the subject can be found here.


Anonymous said...

Not so much up here, but in the Southern States, particularly, there are still many that do not like blacks. There still are some in other States who feel the same. I am sure he picks this up, although it is ridiculous .

Anonymous said...

I just read about the white supremists rallying in Calgary. It was for White Pride Day. It does occur up here, to0

Loki said...

Well MSNBC doing it again,,,I see Bill Oreilly,, “Oh I mean Keith Oberman who acting like Bill Oreilly”
OutRage, just out rage,,, about OBama Passport,,, He more up set about it than Michelle Obama..
Get a grip,, Everyone know you have this love feast with Obama,, but know as Always Billo ops I meant Keith.
Speaking out of term again,, It no just Obama Passport,, it Hilary McCain. Barack .
But Of course in your eyes , it only going to be about Obama try to make the public,,, give only him
Sympathy ,,, You’ve always wrong lately,, Your not wrong about bill OReilly maybe you should just stick with him..

LOOK at the blunder you did with your special comments on Hilary and Ferarro… how she was out of line for her comments
But when Obama Racist pastor does something or its a different story,,a man he knew for 20 year,, not only did he lie on your
Station,,, saying he never Heard those remarks or ever hearing him saying those remarks,,, then he came out a week later say yes he was in church when he said some remarks,,,and then he will not denounce Jeremiah Wright ,,, Yet he He did say last year, Imus should get fired for those remark against the woman basket ball team,,, but Jeremiah Wrights comment are alot worst,,, And still yet Billo Oberman, Now he is saying,,, talking about his grand mother, she a Typical white woman,,,, all the racism coming from Obama camp.
Obama want to unite everyone ,,, it will happen but not by Obama,,, the Obama camp been on CNN and Msnbc & Fox saying if the Super Delegate give Hilary the delegates, The obama Voters are going to vote for McCain,, Well that a big to blog out there,,, Most of us are learning from the Obama camp,,, If Obama wins the Primary,,, Hilary voter will vote for McCain, ,,,What goes around comes around,,, there many blogs on this,,,Why don’t MSNBC Just call them selfs MSNBC Barack Obama head Quarters.who who will be the main Anchor,, Billo Oberman. The Worst Person in The World,

Loki said...

Barack Obama is a liar,,,

To all
Obama speech ,,,, Not sure if you caught Not only did Obama,,, Refuses to denounce him,, but even More,, He say in his own words,,,
Barack Obama was in church when Jeremiah Wright,, was spewing Anti-American, Racist ism ,,,, Those were his own words,,, barack was there
After going on keith Oberman ,Show obama said he would denounce that if he heard that language he would leave and not tolerate it , and denounce it
After he went on MSNBC,, he went on FOX CNN ABC< all the news station saying he was never there,,, in his church when he said these things,,
But Now today during his speech,,He states flat out Say’s HE was there,,, Last week Barack Obama Lied,, went on all the news stations, and Lied,,
But your not reporting that,,,, You can rest assure,,, cnn ,,, Fox , ABC,,, Msnbc,, are getting more on this ,,, they will be reporting on this, and we will see
If you chose to report, Obama Lying on tv,,, If this was Hilary clinton lying and caught lying on all the new station,,, you can be sure,, you would talk about it every hour
people will be on your station debating this,,,, people analysing , if it is hilary clinton but it was not her it was Barack Obama, ,, it bad enought He lied, about being in church
With Jeremiah Write, when he said these anti american ,,,,,and still refuse to denounce him…all the news agency want to do is speak on how good his speech was,
Not that he lied,,, Last week on all the news agency ,, He was never there today in how own speech He say I was there,,,,should play all Obama videos from last week
stating he was not there,,, or heard any of the anti-american Jeremiah Write, said in his churc then play his speech today saying he was there and he did hear him in church and refuse to denounce Jeremiah Write,,,

Gigi said...

Yeah yeah, we all know, you aren't a racist, you don't see colour, blah blah blah.

Feel free to consider yourself 'atypical' then.


Anonymous said...

I see colour. I don't judge people by their colour, that's not only racist but stupid. Race does not determine a person's character, to judge them by it is stupid.

rob c a/k/a remingtonchrist said...

you are obviously afraid of me challenging you intellectually in any way on youtube. so i'll post my last word here....i suspect you will read it someway even if you cowardly delete it.

i do know people like you. i can't put it any more bluntly. before you start pointing fingers about racism, you need to walk a mile in someone's shoes who has tasted racism. i have and so have alot of others with darker skin.

you might fool americans because you've made yourself into a conservative blow-hard fan. you are sucking up to the wrong crowd. do you really like being grouped with the whacko right in America? even some on the right in America like Governor Mike Huckabee think the speech was oustanding and profound...he even said that on fox news.

you can't fool canadians. you have an agenda and its transparent to us who know where you are REALLY coming from-and it has nothing to do with obama's supposed "racism"

with vlogs like this, you are making stephen harper a very happy man. who needs party infighting with grits like you.

you are a progressive blogger? yeh, right. that's a load of crap.

good luck. i'm confident if you continue espouse opinions like this...the liberal party of canada i know that has stood up for diversity and understands the real racism in society - that party will boot you out. but like i will come around. its been my experience in life with people i've met just like you, that eventually your exposure to us helps you understand what racism is.

Anonymous said...

Rob: Excuse me? I responded to your every comment, giving my argument while you kept on avoiding my criticisms, and not responding except by ranting. The last comment I posed to you was to ask you to quit ranting and at least talk on topic. First for you to suggest that I haven't responded to you is a joke. Second for you suggest I'm a coward and that I'd delete your comment is ludacris. I have never deleted anyones comment unless they proceded to call me names after subsequent warnings.

Now you do not know, please don't pretend like you do. You may know my position on something, but you repeatedly suggest you know me and thus have offered judgments on me.

In reading your comment either there is a gross miscommunication and misinterpretation on your part or you are unstable. I am in no way a conservative, if you look at my blog on the front page is a vlog against a conservative bill. Also you say I'm helping with liberal infighting by commenting on Obama. I don't know if you realize this but the Liberal Party is not the Democratic Party, and the Democratic Party is if anything closer to the Conservatives in ideology.

Further for you to suggest the Liberal Party would boot me out for my opinion on this matter is unintelligible and senseless.

I would also like to add, I have never "exposed" to you or the "us" you refer to. You are not Barack Obama. You as you've described aren't white or black. I never commented on anything but Obama stereotyping white people, and I have no idea how that even remotely affects you.

If you continue these baseless accusations on me, and do not respond to my comments but instead choose to rant I will not respond. If you call me cowardly or suggest me of wrong doing, unless you have proof you will be deleted.

MattB said...

There's lots of racism everywhere - that is the point he was trying to make. He's the only candidate who is willing to talk about the deep underlying issues that divide people all over the world - not just in America.

In return he is ridiculed.

It is time for people to join the dialog and talk about the real issues, not just the sound bites.

The Mound of Sound said...

Scott, don't put too fine a point on a random comment. Have you ever spent any significant amount of time in the US? I mean living there, a few years at least. I have and I do think there's a "typical white" person reaction to blacks in many parts of the country. It was worse, much worse in the 60's and 70's, then race relations seemed to be mending until the arrival of the Bush crowd which really opened old wounds.
Sometimes I think we Canadians are too enlightened for our own good when that keeps us from grasping the different realities in different places.

Anonymous said...

To all: Look some may think I'm a die hard Hillary supporter or at minimum have a bias, but Hillary is worthless compared to the importance of this racial regression induced by Obama supporters defending Obama on his "typical white person comment." Stereotyping is wrong. I don't get how I am being accused of exaggeration and being Conservative. Obama is a great candidate, has a lot of good characteristics, but this comment he made was wrong.

mattb: The irony runneth over. I didn't include any soundbytes, and I presented my argument. In your comment however you don't provide any argument, you just say racism happens and people have to talk about it. That is not an argument. That is not a position. It has no substance whatsoever and literally is just Obama campaign "soundbytes."

Mound of Sound: I know Americans, I have family who Americans and friends in University who are Americans. I do realize racism is prevalent. However a clear majority of the white people I've met in and from America have not been racist in the slightest. I grant maybe 1 in five that I've met have at the very least made me think they were racist.

Now this could be because all the Americans I know come from Washington, Montana, and Hawaii. And I know for a fact racism is stronger in other states, but this whole "factual" defense of Obama is erroneous at the very start.

I've argued on CNN ireport's site, that even if one was to grant the impossibility of knowing that indeed 51% of white people are racist, it is still wrong to suggest that its typical for white people to be racist. Suggesting it is "typical" of a race to demean another is wrong, it still is a stereotype.

I am not discussing anyone in particular, but I find it very interesting how the blind passion people feel towards a politician can make them alter their principles.

People say thats reality, thats the reality in the States, people are racist. Well how is it that most Americans say racism is wrong? How is it that there are laws passed democratically banning racism in every form? How is that hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives in fighting for the abolition of slavery? How is it that it is taught in every school in America that racism is wrong? How is it that a black man can be beating a white woman in the nomination to be in all likelihood the next President of the USA?

Racism does exist in the US, but by suggesting racism happens alot and thus giving it more credit then its due, Obama Supporters are trying to defend Obama by subverting their principles of what is wrong.

Anonymous said...

you have very professional and accurate views, however if you want to cover this election correctly you have to exploit Hillary's falts as well. For example, the whole scandal in Vegas was ridiculous. Obama was ready to speak and Clinton tries to steal his listeners. That's not politics it's cheap strategy, and I think your argument would've been stronger if you had compared the two.

Anonymous said...

Bottom line is if you are white you are racist. Only white people can be and are racist.

Anonymous said...

I get your point scott about its rather stereotypical of obama to say that it is "typical" of white people to make racist comments against blacks. But truth be told there is an innate bitterness that white people have against blacks, which is the fact that we were once owned by your ancestors and gained freedom them. Since whites now have to live shoulder to shoulder with blacks there will always be the feeling that whites are superior because blacks were once owned. Now i am assuming that you are white and you say most of the people you know are white and not racist, I can tell you right now if your white friends are racist they are not going to reveal it to you mainly just to save face. Also if you think that racism doesn't occur alot your very naive. Lets take a look at social studies curriculum in school. Why is it the only time students learn about Black people who have made accomplished its during black history month. In additon to that kids only learn of they same few people during that time. Malcolm x , Martin Luther king, George Washington Carver (whose accomplisments was dumbed down to just peanut butter), Thurgood Marshall, Maya Angelou, Rosa Parks and a few others. What about people like Dr Charles Drew who started the idea of blood banks and refridgeration of plasma, or Garret Morgan who invented the traffic light. All im gonna say is if you were black you would really feel the hate.