Obama: Through the eyes of a 'white guy'

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posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 12:29 PM
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Chill out. It’s not what you think.

I made this post as an answer to all of those people that say, “Why vote for obama?” My reasons are many, and they are political and personal. They are my reasons, and my thoughts of how one should choose a candidate. Nothing more.

Allow me to start by telling you that I am, only recently, an Obama supporter. I used to allow myself to be drawn in by the political gossip you see on MSM, and allowed it to formulate my opinion for me. I do not consider myself ‘anything’ on the political spectrum, though, since human beings DEMAND that you deal in labels, I’d label myself a recovering conservative who leans more towards his own ideals anymore, than what other people say he should.

What changed my mind? Well, among many things, the first and possibly most influential occurrence happened right here in my store. I run a sports memorabilia store, and in the store, we have lots of TV’s for the customers to watch while they shop. I had it on Fox News as they were airing the live broadcast of Hillary Clintons resignation.

I took notice that there were 4 children watching the TV. 2 black. 2 white. Age is hard to judge for me, but if I had to guess, I’d say 9 or 10 years old. They were standing there talking about the election, as If they had been following it for the entire time.

What was so shocking about this?

To answer that entirely – I have to paint a picture for you.

The parents of the white children seemed to do very well for themselves. I know its not fair to stereotype, but it’s the only way I can paint this picture of how the situation influenced me. I made my assumptions about the white parents based on their outward appearance.

The parents of the black children, seemed not so well off, again, based off of their outward appearance. So it was amazing for me, when I seen that not only are white/black coming together, and agreeing on certain aspects of the election, but they’re also coming together despite financial label differences as well. When the littlest white girl had made the comment (loudly, across the store) to her mother, something along the lines of “mommy, OBAMA WON, OBAMA WON”

Both sets of parents took notice, and came over to watch the resignation of Clinton. They seemed to marvel, and rejoice. You could feel them celebrating as if some invisible warm blanket wrapped up the entire store, making everything soft, warm, and fuzzy. You HAD to have been there.

Never before, had I seen people, who I would GUESS, had never taken an interest in politics before, become so involved in the outcome. It was awe-inspiring for me.

So that got me to thinking

“What do these people find so marvelous about a racist man” I called him racist, because much of what I had read/heard/seen on TV, was to that effect. “He’s racist because of his church” “He’s racist because of his speech” “he’s racist because he caters to black people” Etc.

So, I realized that I was probably letting MSM influence my decision a little too much, and decided it was best to go look into some things myself. I was skeptical, but that was ALL about to change…

Google
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.
.
The more and more I read about the man, the more I realized how much the ‘right wing’ media was distorting about him (don’t get me wrong, ‘left wing’ media distorts republicans just as much) but I was, almost immediately, able to disprove a lot of things I had heard from “rush Limbaugh” and “fox news”
Mainly, they took things out of context, “clipped” certain segments to make it seem a little more saucy. Etc.

My favorite part, though, came when I actually LISTENED to obama’s A more perfect union speech.
Up until I watched it on you tube (for the first time) I was allowing others to influence my opinion on what was contained in this speech.
Basically – I let their spin on his speech, tell me that this was going to be more black panther’esque rhetoric, the types of which I had heard, time and time again, all over youtube.

Again – how wrong I was!

My favorite parts of this speech:


As such, Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems - two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.


Although he gives what he believes are reasons for why Wright is the way that he is, he never condones Wrights actions. He says this isn’t the garbage that is needed. You aren’t helping solve the problem, Jeremiah, you are helping the problem stay. I hadn’t heard that from RUSH
if you find that suprising


And….


In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.


I really like this one. It puts the frustrations of ‘black people’ into perspective for ‘white people’ in a manner of which they can relate. It makes everyone realize that its not ‘black problems’ and ‘white problems’ its Everyone’s problem. Our problem isn’t with each other. Our problem isn’t that “white PEOPLE” hold down black people, or that “black PEOPLE” ruin it for white people

(continued in next post)




posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 12:29 PM
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Our problem is that big business, and corrupt politicians set in there eleventy-billion dollar homes, laughing as us battle amongst ourselves, when we should be fighting together, against THEM!

It isn’t about race, its about economic structure. HOW MUCH $$$$ do you make?

You see – black ‘people’ and white ‘people’ both share this in common:
We are both angry at the same evil. We are also both tricked into believing that ‘evil’ stands for the other color, so we despise the other color, for something they never did, which takes heat off of those responsible, and puts it right back at us.

Black v.s. White

Instead of

Peasant vs. Tyrant

Obama has something going for him that no other politician running for president can boast:
He doesn’t have the experience.

He HAS NOT been corrupted by its politics. (to quote one of the greatest films EVER: Gladiator)

He INSPIRES people. He gives people hope. You can argue about hope. “Hope” doesn’t have to have a goal. HOPE can be inspirational in and of its self. “hope” for what? Hope for anything you want. Hope that says you wont be suffering forever


Hope that says you won’t feel humiliated forever
--- how would you feel is you were 35, working a dead end job at McDonalds, and told you'll never be anything because you dont have the time, money, and/or effort to earn a college degree. Meanwhile your kids go to school in hand-me-down clothes and get made fun of.


Hope that says we WILL overcome any obstacles placed in our way, once we all unify and fight together

Obama is the reason I watched black and white, poor and wealthy, come together in my store and rejoice. Obama is the reason that I feel much better about myself as a human being, and not so angry at the world anymore.

Obama supporters sometimes catch criticism because they like obama because he’s black. They say “that’s no reason to like someone!!!!!”

Why? Why isn’t it?
They have every bit of a right to like him for his skin color, as you have a right to be offended by it.
Why is this even an issue for those in opposition?

It just goes to show you who’s really concerned about skin color.

In the world of politics, you have to elect a representative who has a very thick hide for them to fight for you. I changed my mind for Obama because I truly believes he’s more concerned about ME, than about a Muslim family in Iraq, who despise the American presence in the first place.
I mean no offense to Muslims, but this is the times we live in. My government seems to care more about spending money on Iraq so THEY can have a better life, than they are concerned about ME having a better life.

Obama wants a credit card bill of rights. I agree
Obama wants universal health care. I don’t think UHC is the answer to our problems, but I certainly think its 100 times better than what we have now.

Some people discredit obama on the stance that he’s willing to TALK to foreign anti-American dictators (iran for example)

Well. Why not. If we destroy Iran, we only create more propaganda against America. It makes us look like
The big bad bully, and there are always going to be people who raise up and think they are morally right in ‘fighting the big bad bully’ which creates more turmoil for Americans.

You CANNOT change a persons belief structure with a gun. If someone held a gun to your head, and said that you had a choice to kill your wife, or be killed yourself, guess which option you’ll take?

Radical or not – forcing a Muslim into American Christianity isn’t going to do any good. They’d rather die. That’s where radical Islam comes from, in modern days, IMO. Im not condoning modern Islam, im stating a point that you can’t fix it with a gun.

If you want to fix it, guess what you have to do? You have to roll up your sleeves, and deal in diplomacy. What makes radical Islam so bold? They have very strong leaders, mostly hiding in the shadows. Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan. Its not a bunch of ‘rebel’ soldiers on tatooee (or wherever) that is fighting America here. We are not fighting a evil dictator. We are fighting people whose twisted view of the Islam faith says they have to kill Americans.

If you choke off their support, through means of diplomacy in surround nations, in peace time talks of unity, then you take away their ability to be heroic. They have no cause to fight for, because its better for their superiors to be on Americas side, than against them. (this is not a “America is greatest speech”) in fact its probably not making much sense to you.

My point is that diplomacy works. There is no leader of any country, except ours, that WANTS to fight America, or any other powerful nation. War = death. War = destruction. But there are also nations who frown upon war, and it is those nations we should embrace. Get them on your side, and you have a better ‘stance’ in the world. The greater your stance, the harder it is for someone to stand against you.

Im pretty much done rambling now. But I just felt compelled to point out, that you can mock a man for his religion. You can mock a man for his skin color, his family, his shortcomings as a human being. But you cannot mock a man for his results. Barrack Obama has produced more results on a personal note than any other candidate. He inspires and gives hope. Will Obama succeed in his ventures? Time will tell. God willing, he will.
Will Obama give us everything he talks about? No. It’s a sick fact of politics that republicans and democrats will vote against each other, despite how beneficial it is to the American middle class.

But this choice is certainly better, than voting for another 4 years of the same, anger-filled garbage, that we’ve put up with for the last 8 years. Im tired of high gas prices. Im tired of being at war. Im tired of all the complaints and moaning and groaning.
McCain has changed his stance too much over the past 2 years, for me to have confidence in him. He realized that he would need the backing of the very people he used to condemn (republicans) and so now he’s kissing their ass in hopes they’ll back him.

Will Obama be able to change any of it? Maybe. Im willing to give him a shot, because honestly, in the end….there is only one way to find out.


[edit on 25-6-2008 by Andrew E. Wiggin]



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 12:53 PM
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What an inspiring story! Thank you for sharing that.

I just never gave Obama much thought until I came back to ATS after an absence (for life reasons) and started reading all the rumors about him here. I'm a curious person and I also have a hunger for the truth and so I started doing research on the rumors and in doing so, I was reading through reams of material written by him and about him (and Michelle) and through that reading, I felt like I got to know him and what he stood for. And I LIKED it!

I have never been a member of a political party in my 50 years and was a confirmed Ron Paul advocate until I did my own research about Obama. I don't agree with him 100% certainly. I don't agree with ANYONE 100%. Not even my husband, with whom I celebrated 16 years of marriage yesterday.
But I agree with the basics, I like his perspective, he seems honest and honorable and has integrity. These earn BIG points for me.

I know exactly what you mean that ONE valid reason for liking Obama is because he's black. It's not "white guilt" (WTF is that, anyway?), it's the fact that the man is looking at things from a different perspective. And I think we need that. It would be the same if I supported a woman. A new perspective.

But this is America. If we want to vote for someone because we like his or her name, hair color, gender, race, or positions on the issues, we each get one vote to do with as we please. There are no restrictions on reasons. And if someone wants to vote for him because he's black or vote for McCain because he's not, then that's their prerogative.

I, too, am very willing to give Obama a chance. WHATEVER he does, it's going to be better than if we have another 4 years with McBush.

[edit on 25-6-2008 by Benevolent Heretic]



posted on Jun, 25 2008 @ 11:28 PM
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reply to post by Andrew E. Wiggin
 


I'm glad you're a "recovering" conservative!


Seriously, Obama represents the best of the liberal tradition (If you are interested read Paul Krugman's "The Conscience of a Liberal"). He's not some pie-eyed idealist with no experience of the real world, as many conservatives say. He's a down-to-earth realist with hope (there's that word again). The combination is unbeatable.

I'm also white, but like you I really like the fact that he's African American. I've taught in an historically black college and you have no idea how much inspiration and optimism and new sense of purpose Obama has given the students, not to mention the faculty. I honestly never thought I'd see this in my lifetime. I've been called a racist on ATS because I see his color as a plus, because I see in him the possibility of bringing together people of all races and ethnicities in new ways. I like white people too--I've voted for white men all my life--but now it's somebody else's turn and it's about time.

I have been interested in Obama for over four years, from the time he spoke at the 2004 Democratic convention. But while I have always liked him, I wasn't completely sold on him. I thought Hillary Clinton had a lot to offer, and I still do (and yes, I like the fact that she's a woman). Then I started listening to his ideas, checking out his U.S. Senate website, reading and listening to many of his speeches, watching the way he responded to different challenges and obstacles along the way, reading his books. When I voted in the primaries it was an agonizing choice. But I'm 100% sure now that he's the best candidate.

When and if Obama gets elected he will make mistakes. All presidents do and he is, after all, human. I just hope we, the voters, don't expect impossible things from him because of our high hopes. Presidents are not omnipotent; there are things they can't do and can't control, there are limits to their power. But he certainly can inspire us--as Roosevelt did, as Truman did, and as Kennedy did--to help reclaim the "American dream."



posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 01:01 PM
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Well said, starred and flagged


I agree with a lot of your posts, I'm also a standard white American male and I've come to agree that Obama is the best choice for the next President.

When I first heard about Obama I was interested from the start, back in early 2007 when I was still advocating Ron Paul on the basis of civil liberty protection (and because the rest of the internet was, I won't lie!). Doing independent research on Barack - not just listening to what the news played over and over - has led me to see him as a truly caring man who really wants to help this country. That's what I believe is a good Presidential candidate.

Race is really not that much of a factor to me, perhaps given the fact that I'm young and have never grown up seeing the world through color. But I still feel Obama is the progress candidate who represents how far our nation has come.



posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 03:29 PM
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This is a post fit for our online community,,, Thoughtful + a good balance fact and opinion.

Not one shred of hate, fear or anger?


I think Americans are tired of being divided with negative notions doing the dividing.

Notice the rabid terror mongers have not posted here yet? I think the optimism is like garlic to a vampire.



posted on Jun, 27 2008 @ 02:15 AM
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So, I realized that I was probably letting MSM influence my decision a little too much, and decided it was best to go look into some things myself. I was skeptical, but that was ALL about to change…


This is the most poignant section to me, because I've been there, we all have. Sometimes, we think we know, but we don't. Sometimes we think we understand, when all we're doing is repeating what other people told us.

It sounds like you had a moment of cognitive dissonance, where what you saw with your own two eyes contradicted what you thought to be true. Instead of taking the easy route (ie, "What's wrong with them?), you looked within (ie, "What am I missing?"). And then, you sought out the information and educated yourself.

That's what denying ignorance is all about. Great post!





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