Obama to Black Youth: Nothing Wrong with “Acting White”

As the heads of African Americans in the audience shook in knowing agreement, Obama criticized a penchant within the black community for castigating those perceived as “acting white.”

From his remarks:

There’s no contradiction between knowing your culture — the traditional cultures out of which your families come, but also being part of the larger culture.

And I think that one of the things — this is true not just for Native Americans, but it’s also true for African Americans. Sometimes African Americans, in communities where I’ve worked, there’s been the notion of “acting white” — which sometimes is overstated, but there’s an element of truth to it, where, okay, if boys are reading too much, then, well, why are you doing that? Or why are you speaking so properly?

And the notion that there’s some authentic way of being black, that if you’re going to be black you have to act a certain way and wear a certain kind of clothes, that has to go. (Applause.) Because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African American men to be authentic.

Obama touches on something it’s hard for people – particularly white conservatives who care about the issue – to say: that the real problems of black Americans today stem not from a lack of government assistance or quotas, but from intractable problems within their own culture and community.

read more: http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2014/07/23/obama-black-youth-wrong-acting-white/

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Comment by Deanna M. Clark on July 27, 2014 at 12:14pm

In this instance, I totally agree with what President Obama said about "acting white." It may be true that he didn't directly answer the American Indian youth from Montana, yet he did address  that student's concern in a larger context, which is what all minorities face in our country: being treated differently because of the color of their skin.  I don't care how you cut it; it is still true, it still exists in America, and it still is a deep problem we must all face and join hands in resolving, for the sake of our country's survival -- even the survival of humanity, period, on this planet! It was my own black principal, over 30 years ago now, who made the same observation about the mindset of some of the black students at the school in which I, a white woman, taught for 21 years. At the time, many black students did not want to "look" like whites, such as taking an avid interest in reading books, being "scholarly', doing homework regularly, etc.  it was simply not "cool" for them to act in these ways; to do so was to be chided and ridiculed by their black peers.  This principal made it an issue of discussion at a staff meeting, and I still vividly remember his passion about it. I do not think we whites entirely understand what this is like for blacks or American Indians or Hispanics or others not white -- how to somehow "fit in "to the society at large while still feeling a part of something -- belonging somewhere in a closer proximity -- family, peers, etc.  I, myself, taught that the brain is powerful and can make its own choices about life, and that we all have such magnificence inside, capable of living fully, authentically and successfully, no matter the color of our skin.  To think less of ourselves is pure programming, and very dangerous,  indeed. But it exists everywhere -- this programming -- and it is up to us individually to counteract it and uproot it. I have studied this issue for years, and have deep compassion for the struggles on all sides regarding this issue, including what I, myself, often faced as a teacher. Frankly, if the Tea Party, or any party,  hopes to see conservatives regain control in the White House, this issue MUST be addressed and understood for what it is -- an identity problem, even a crisis. An identity issue about who we really are. Are we black? White? American? Or are we actually incredible souls learning how to enlarge our own by having this earthly experience? My experience at that richly multicultural school has taught me how to see the beauty of, and love, all these different races and cultures.  That community became my second home. Even though retired now, I still tutor there; I still care deeply what happens to these kids. Until we see what we're really dealing with -- no, until we FEEL it -- we have no right to judge and point fingers. Somehow, we must find the way to obey law ourselves and teach it to the next generation, uphold and honor the Constitution, and still love and honor each and every soul while we're doing it.  With love, not constant judging and pointing fingers as is  now being done on all sides, we will all survive, and thrive. Otherwise.....????

Comment by Diana Burkley on July 26, 2014 at 9:40am

The two have nothing to do with each other...the African-American rebellion against "white" culture, and this young man's request for the government to stop squelching Native American pride.  He simply heaped more of it on.

Comment by AtvRider48 on July 25, 2014 at 1:36pm

Melony DeFord should watch Bill O'Reilly sometime.  O'Reilly has been making the argument presented in the last paragraph above for a long while now.  That is not a new concept by a long shot.  Apparently acting black means not getting an education, fathering numerous children just for the sex, preying on white people and calling it a game, living on welfare, never working, answering all disputes with a 9 mil, shooting up neighborhoods on the weekend, living a drug induced stupor.  Essentially living lower than many animals.  

Comment by bob L on July 25, 2014 at 11:56am

Why not act American? They are not action like their culture.People in Africa don't wear their pants around their knees and Air Jordans.

Comment by George Miller on July 25, 2014 at 12:37am

It's rare, but "Obama" is right here. Alinsky confirmed it too- pout on a suit and tie to get accepted, then work on your agenda.

Showing up in ghetto clothes and jive talking won't get you a top job or acceptance in higher social circles, so why not have the best of both worlds?

Comment by Robert McGuire on July 24, 2014 at 8:50pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would probably agree. Around 5 years ago, he said he was impressed with Obama's candidacy, because he didn't have a "Negro dialect". Reid then added, "Unless he decided to have one".

Comment by Tim Burkett on July 24, 2014 at 8:33pm

WOW - just another instance of do as I say, not as I do.........

As a native American, I am upset that the President would link myself and my ancestors to the likes of the black youth that play the knock-out game. 

Comment by Devin Lenz on July 24, 2014 at 8:10pm

Another hand selected CreamPuff  audience again huh?

Comment by Terry Reyburn on July 24, 2014 at 7:47pm

If they'd pull their damn pants up and turn the music down - I'd be happy.

Comment by Don Cordell on July 24, 2014 at 7:23pm

It's not a racial problem, it's act socially correct, the only way society survives is when citizens respect the rights if others. The Black community brags about being anti social they love the show of poverty and lawlessness as proof their ancestors were slaves so they deserve to strike back. What a loss of life. When Black citizens are afraid to go out after dark in their own community, they deserve what they have given birth to, and raised with this Racial hate, they destroy their own lives. They can't be happy. 

LIGHTER SIDE

 

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ALERT ALERT

TOTAL BULLSHIT!: Trump Goes Off On Mueller Report, People Who ‘Take So-Called Notes'

After a 22-month investigation — with 2,800 subpoenas, 500 witnesses and 500 search warrants, which generated thousands of pages of information, all costing upwards of $30 million — the media boiled it all down to two words: “I’m fucked.”

The media, toeing the line for Hillary Clinton — who, after her shocking and humiliating loss decided that she needed someone or something to blame and pointed a crooked finger at Russia — decided that President Trump all but admitted his alleged crimes with those two words.

In his report revealed on Thursday, Robert Mueller described a scene in the Oval Office that allegedly took place right after he was appointed special counsel and charged with investigating allegations that Trump or his campaign minions colluded with Russia to alter the outcome of the 2020 election.

“Oh my God,” the president told then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to the report. “This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.” The interaction was recorded in notes taken by Session’s chief of staff, Jody Hunt.

Many media outlets did not include the context, which was plainly spoken by Trump at the same time. “Everyone tells me if you get one of these independent counsels it ruins your presidency,” Trump said. “It takes years and years and I won’t be able to do anything. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.”

Luckily for America, he has been able to work through it all, returning the economy to its past glory, achieving record lows in unemployment, and much more.

Now, Trump is taking aim at “people that take so-called ‘notes.’ “

“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue. Watch out for people that take so-called ‘notes, when the notes never existed until needed. Because I never….” Trump wrote Friday morning on Twitter.

Donald J. Trump    realDonaldTrump

Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue. Watch out for people that take so-called “notes,” when the notes never existed until needed. Because I never....

Trump got worked up after that, calling some tales told in the report “total bullshit.”

“[I]t was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the ‘Report’ about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened,” he wrote.

Donald J. Trump   realDonaldTrump

Late Thursday night, Trump also praised Wall Street Journal opinion writer Kimberley Strassel, saying she “should get the Pulitzer. She is a treasure (and I don’t know her) who correctly called the Russia Hoax right from the start! Others who were soooo wrong will get the Prize. Fake News!”

Donald J. Trump    realDonaldTrump

Kimberley Strassel should get the Pulitzer. She is a treasure (and I don’t know her) who correctly called the Russia Hoax right from the start! Others who were soooo wrong will get the Prize. Fake News!

Kimberley Strassel    @KimStrassel

Jump to "where the Mueller team lists its 'prosecution and declination' decisions . . . try not to picture Mueller 'pit bull' prosecutor Andrew Weissmann collapsed under mountains of federal statutes after his two-year hunt to find one that applied."

In a tweet on Thursday, Strassel perfectly summed up the contents of the Mueller report.

“1) What is in the Mueller report: –endless, unrevealing details of inconsequential interaction between trump folks and Russians. –remarkable details about the many and varied statutes the SC [special counsel] nonetheless debated using to tie someone up for something on the Russia front,” she wrote.

Kimberley Strassel    @KimStrassel

1) What is in the Mueller report:
--endless, unrevealing details of inconsequential interaction between trump folks and Russians.
--remarkable details about the many and varied statutes the SC nonetheless debated using to tie someone up for something on the Russia front

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