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

Judicial Watch->  Emails Show Dossier-Connected Obama State Dept Officials Set ‘Face-To-Face’ Meeting On ‘Russian Matter’ Shortly Before 2016 Election

Judicial Watch and the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday released 84 pages of documents showing Obama’s State Department was central to pushing the ‘Trump-Russia’ hoax shortly before the 2016 election.

The email exchange between then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer, a very close associate to Christopher Steele, show them discussing a ‘face-to-face’ meeting in New York on a ‘Russian matter’ in September of 2016.

Via Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch and The Daily Caller News Foundation today released 84 pages of documents, including a September 2016 email exchange between then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and Special Coordinator for Libya Jonathan Winer, a close associate of dossier author Christopher Steele, discussing a “face-to-face” meeting on a “Russian matter.”

(In June 2016 Nuland permitted a meeting between Steele and the FBI’s legal attaché in Rome. Nuland told CBS News that the State Department knew about the Steele dossier by July 2016.)

According to an op-ed Winer wrote for The Washington Post in 2018, also in September 2016, “Steele and I met in Washington and discussed the information now known as the “dossier… I prepared a two-page summary and shared it with Nuland, who indicated that, like me, she felt that the secretary of state needed to be made aware of this material.”

A September 17, 2016, email exchange between Nuland and Winer – that was classified in the interest of national defense or foreign policy – discusses the political situation in Libya, but also brings up a “Russian matter:”

From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: September 17, 2016 at 12:40:00 PM EDT
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Re: Libya Update

Would like to discuss this and a Russian matter.

From: Nuland, Victoria J
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:31 PM
To: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: Re. Libya Update

In ny face to face?

From: Winer, Jonathan
Sent: September 17, 2016 at 1:56:05 PM EDT
To: Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Re: Libya Update

Yes that was [sic] be good.

From: Nuland, Victoria J
Sent: Saturday, September 17, 2016 1:58 PM
To: Winer, Jonathan
Subject: Re. Libya Update

Good. I’ll reach out when im there Sunday. [Redacted]

If Victoria Nuland’s name sounds familiar it’s because she has been on Judicial Watch’s radar for a long time and in many of TGP’s previous reports.

In December 2018, Judicial Watch released documents revealing that Victoria Nuland was involved in the Obama State Department’s urgent gathering of classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office.

In a related lawsuit, Judicial Watch is suing the State Department communications between Ambassador Nuland and employees of Fusion GPS, as well as top ranking Department of Justice, FBI, and State Department officials.

“The Obama State Department was central to the effort to target President Trump with the Russia smear,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These new emails further show that senior Obama State Department advanced the Russiagate hoax just before the 2016 presidential election.”

Tom Fitton   @TomFitton
 

BREAKING: Obama State Department was central to the effort to target President @RealDonaldTrump with the Russia smear. New emails show how senior Obama State Department advanced the Russiagate hoax just before the 2016 presidential election.

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