President Barack Obama may have opened a can of worms when he waded into the deep waters of racism and racial stereotypes when he recently claimed there was an “element of truth” to the notion that black people should be “acting white” in regards to their speech patterns, clothing preferences, and other behaviors.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, when most people think of real racism in America then one of their first thoughts is likely to be the Ku Klux Klan. In a strange twist, the KKK leadership wants to partner with African Americans in order to organize support for patrolling the Mexican border in order to prevent more illegal immigrants from entering.
The topic of black children acting white came up during a town hall event called My Brother’s Keeper. A Native American man asked President Obama about what the federal government may do to “revitalize their language and culture.” The president responded:
“The Bible says without vision a people will perish. And what happens when you start losing your language and you start losing your culture and you don’t have a sense of connections to ancestors and those memories that date back generations is you start feeling adrift. And if you’re living in a society that devalues that, then you start maybe devaluing yourself and internalizing some of those doubts.”
Obama brought up the old example of the American melting pot, where different cultures come together and make one unified culture. At this point, Obama decided to switch tracks and relate this discussion to the African American community:
“[T]his 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. Because there are a whole bunch of different ways for African American men to be authentic.”
The reactions to this speech have been varied. Conservative media outlets claim that “parents of those children listening cringed” and said “that if a white person were to say it they’d be deemed a racist.” Writing for the Washington Post, Jonathan Capehart wrote that “acting white” and “not black enough” are “noxious putdowns meant to foment a sense of betrayal.” When Capehart spoke at the National Collegiate Preparatory Public Charter High School last month, he “told them to be unabashedly black” and “implored them to be bold, black, beautiful and, most important, American.”
What do you think about what President Back Obama said about black people acting white?