Obama made a valiant effort to promote peace today. In my personal opinion, there is still plenty of racism in America today. Everyone has to straddle the fence everyday it seems in an effort for political correctness when it comes to living one's life in a way as to not promote or lead to offending others by accidentally saying something that is not PC. It feels like walking on eggshells at times. Honestly, most of the time, I try not to give it a second thought.
I understand how some people want everyone to be politically correct all the time so you don't hurt someone else's feelings but you know what? People should be stronger than that and have the common sense to know when someone is a racist and when someone is not.
I'm Asian, I make plenty of jokes about myself as well as others. People who know me usually enjoy my jokes and know that I mean nothing serious by them. People who don't know me sometimes cringe when I say something for the first time to them about how you can't wrestle money outta me because I am Chinese or how I'll eat almost anything. I make some jokes about Indian folk doing the impression of their accent but also do the same with Irish and Scottish as well, I was an improv actor in the past, what do you expect? I just love accents and the people who have them. It's not done out of malice at all but admiration. I make less jokes of the African American community just because they seem a little more touchy about it but my African American friends seem to want a relaxed society as well (to a point). As a person who pays attention to people though, interested in social issues and sociology as well, it's very interesting what Barack Obama had to do today.
Interesting but not surprising. That's right, he had to defend himself today over someone else's belief's and words. He did it well though. I for one think he got the word out that there is racism, there is reason for it, people have legitimate reasons for their views, and as individuals, we should all take and judge what people say in individual terms.
I think Obama understands why many people say and believe what they do, probably more than most of us do, but he had to make those of us who don't realize that come to our senses and do the same. We can't as people understand what others go through very easily as individuals and especially cannot if we come from different ethnicities. What he said today, if not now, will in time help us to understand each other better.
I for one do feel a bit disturbed that he had to defend himself and had to say what he said today but on the other hand, the things he said needed to be said and have not been said with such focus and clarity in such a long time. So it was an important speech, I wish we didn't need it, but also I think there was no one better in the United States today to say it.
I just want to also say that I don't intend to influence at all what people think on the upcoming election as far as who they plan to vote for, at this time I have not made my own mind up on who I will vote for, I do want to point though that people who remember and speak out about racism like nothing has ever changed just make the situation worse, perpetuating those views. Not only those who are still racist or who do nothing whom also make the situation worse. I think Obama, with what he said today, takes us back in a direction that we do want to move toward, talking about race relations reasonably and with an open mind, moving forward and making things better.