Thursday, July 24, 2008
Black in America: Continuing the conversation

 

The issue of race in America is huge and it affects so many people. As part one of CNN's documentary television series "Black in America" aired on Wednesday night, we hoped that CNN viewers of all races would come to iReport.com and weigh in on issues of race in America raised by the show. We wanted to hear how you liked the show, whether you thought it correctly depicted your experience as a black American and what the show left out in terms of explaining the black experience. Scores of people weighed in. Here , CNN.com's Melissa Long and iReport producer Kate Taylor discuss a few of the responses. Also, CNN's Soledad O'Brien speaks with an iReporter about the documentary here , and answers your iReport questions here . Part two of the documentary airs tonight. We hope that you'll put your responses on camera and share them with iReport.com.

144 Comments
July 24, 2008
Click to view Memphisbelle's profile

I was really interested in the program, and I watched the first one.  I watched it because I want so badly to understand our black neighbors and friends.  I am white, but I grew up in a black neighborhood and was blessed to have two beautiful black women who were my friends and mentors. I asked many questions about black people, and they always answered me openly and honestly. I loved them.

   So I watched the show to try to understand the prejudice I feel toward me since I moved to Southeastern Georgia.  I was born and raised in Memphis, and I never have been treated with such contempt and hate as I am here.

    The morning after the show, I tried to discuss it in the break room with two of my black coworkers.  They wouldn't talk to me, though usually pretty friendly, they got up and left very quickly.

    The Reverend Wright thing blew me away because I never knew black people hated whites so much,but it's finally beginning to sink in. Prejudice will never go away because people won't let it.   That makes me so sad.

    You know what guys?  I was in Memphis when Dr. King was killed.  I remember the horror of those days.  I remember when the black schools got our torn up, used school books when the white schools got new ones.  I was in the 3rd grade when the first black children were allowed to come to our school, and even as a child,I felt terrible about the way people were treated just because they were black. My parents had never taught me to be prejudice.

    I remember when all the white people started moving out of our neighborhood and all the blacks started moving in.  All the sudden, the properties became beautiful, with manicured lawns and brightly painted houses. My parents stayed, and we had the best neighbors we could have ever wanted.

     I guess my point is this.  If America was like my neighborhood, where we weren't afraid to share ideas and embrace diversity, and we chose not to hold onto old hurts and angers, we might actually become a successful nation. Right now, we are divided, and in this hour of need, we need to rethink our priorities.

July 24, 2008

Obama’s Come to Town

 

Hey bro, hey bro!

unsullied news

Obama’s come to town

suited up and chatoyant

propagating himself the way heralders do

smoke and mirrors and photosynthesis

an aged soul

a peacemaker

for all of us and all of them.

                                                

A man for the world

lit Mars-bright

new light for a new man  

wrapped gloriously strong and stride-full

patient and learned

and erudite.

 

“I am change,” he prophesizes.

(We succumb to the ancient Canaanites.)

“Are you the one? Are you the one?”

We demand. “Speak. Tell us.  Are you the one?”

Quell our rubbled minds

our blistered hearts

our forlorn and vegetative confines.

Tell us you are the one.

Give us revelry

and hope and a new-eyed infancy.

 

He commands silence,

quiets jubilancy.

 

He replies,

“No.”

Pushes back,

“No.”

Rebuffs us

a thousand times…no.

“I am not the one.”

Then a long, un-undulating caesura…

 

“But we are the ones,” he chants.

“We are the ones,”

…louder…

“Together we are the ones

mustering in Third Age enlightenment

peace and joy and victory

hope and change and resiliency.

For we are the ones

we are the ones

we are the change we seek.

                              A Brown Woman, 2008

July 24, 2008
Click to view garryp1's profile

I saw the story about the 2 brothers.

"50%" of them in jail for murder.

Yeah that's about statistically correct.

July 24, 2008
Click to view pransome's profile

I am finding the whole show very informative and teaching me a lot, as a Australian guy dating a nigerian/american girl in houston it has helped me understand a lot of her culture and her friends, sometimes I feel like a alien when with her friends even though accept me as a equal, its her parents I dont really understand, they arent racist or anything but they prefer my gf dating a white guy which I dont understand coming from a black family, even my gf doesnt date guys from her own race.

Its all a little confusing, is this like reverse racism or something?

July 24, 2008
Click to view floydmanley's profile

The documentary overall is wonderful and very informative but I gotta vent a little about the segment I just saw about deadbeat black dads. Yes, that guy should take care of his baby and his responsibilities. But what about the woman, who, with a baby not yet walking is already pregnant by a different father? She bears some responsibility here as well. Birth control. Abstinence. Something. I didn't catch whether the second father was in the picture and owning up to his duty, but as a feminist, I have to say, women, take some responsibility for yourselves here.

July 24, 2008
Click to view devilman's profile

why dont u guys stop crying! its hard being black in America  give me a break every race has problems not just black people its not the 60's anymore so stop crying!

July 24, 2008
Click to view loverules's profile

I'm Black and all i can say is "Whats with this". You guys think just because you do a show that last 3 hours or even a couple of days that your going to know everything about black people in todays society, than you've got another thing coming. CNN doesn't even show that many good things thats happening in the black community. I mean if you can do a show about tons of negative things in the black community. Why not have "White in America". Attempt to ask questions like why some white police officers abuse some black men, try asking why many of white kids bring guns to school. How about just do a segment pointing out as many bad things in the white community as you do in the black. But of course your not. Blacks always have been shown in a bad light before in a good one, so why should this be any different. This entire show just makes me mad. I mean if you really want to to know about black people its going to take way more than a couple hours or days to figure things out. Each person is different in their own way including blacks, we all have different backgrounds. To me this is like a big Cirus Show for Black people. Find out as many things you can know about blacks in America, to me thats all CNN is trying to do. If im the only black person that thinks this, than somethings wrong. I Mean Really!!!

July 24, 2008
Click to view jackshark's profile

I wish CNN and other people would stop trying to lump the black community into one category.  There is no way a TV show can sum up ALL black people the idea is simply crazy.  The saddest part of the whole CNN commentary is that people actually believe this stuff.  What about black people who have never lived in the ghetto?  What about black people who have never been discriminated against?  Why do we believe these false stories about black people?  Sorry folks, all black people do not think alike, this is simply crazy that we would have this type of dialogue in 2008.  There is nothing ground breaking here, it's the same old story attempting to lump one group of people together for evening entertainment.  This is all about class…and CASH.

July 24, 2008
Click to view DebbieBradle's profile

When does it end.  Do you think white people have it easy.  We have stories to.  I am not going to watch the CNN tonight.  We can not change the past.  Blacks have the same opportunities at whites. LET IT GO

July 24, 2008
Click to view psyduckstar's profile

I am wonder if CNN is going to have a special for Latino in America, Indian's in America, etc. why is everything is discuss about RACE is just done in a Black/White format. CNN should realize their are other races and we would like to be in the discussions as well

July 24, 2008

Booked the Penitentiary Online

 

Didn’t they tell you, bro?

Dajuan, Kajuan, Mickale, Domeion, Tejay

booked the penitentiary online

a group special

cocked a ghetto-cowboy gun in some sister’s face

carjacked her on a Tuesday

orphaned a bunch of unbred kids

sterilized their moms, too.

 

They booked the penitentiary online, bro.

Used discounted bonus points

boarded the express bus

got swooped up in the police bust

5 dudes, bro, blood on my blood

“we real cool”

slithered around one night

on the creep side of midnight

two freeway lights down

in front of the convenient mart

performed the thuggy art

left a hole in their school

left a hole in the hoody heart.

 

Didn’t you know, bro?

Didn’t they beep you?

You missed the peep show.

Called themselves bad-assing Barnett Street

jumped this sister and her dad late

armed robbery

lifted jewelry

a necklace—they say—gas money, a phone card

just hanging out

football players

a hooper, too.

Yeah, bro, reserved their rooms early

booked the penitentiary online

got the cheap rate for their last hurrah show

the five of them

real cool.

Didn’t they beep you?

You missed the whole show.

 

                    A Brown Woman

July 24, 2008
Click to view shon's profile

The Warren family is exactly what hurts my feelings as a black woman. I see a successful family and you want to see black families continue that legacy of education and success, but you can't because they don't choose black women.  Educated black women don't even hit their radar.

July 24, 2008
Click to view DebbieBradle's profile

Soledad O'Brien, when is your special on Whites in America.  Already know the answer. NEVER.  That is why there is so much racial problems.  Poor black people.  The white people have it made, don't they.  You would not know you are so hung up on your race

July 24, 2008
Click to view cerebrum's profile

I enjoyed the documentary.There are alot of huddles. Now with all the technology companies di background check and find away to tell you no because of mistakes you made in the past. Isn't it great that something that is just a machine can tell who you are...

July 24, 2008
Click to view shon's profile

Also, I am glad this program has aired because I'm reading so many negative comments like "get over it black people", "everyone faces segregation" and "that doesn't represent me". CNN has shown a true snapshot of what's going on in our country...real statistics. We need to stop the denial, accept the learning opportunity and move forward. This story should inspire you to go to the scary neighborhood (not by yourself ;) and mentor young children so they don't fit these statistics in the next few years. Black men should be inspired to seek a wife/help-meet, and not sit back and watch the community continue to disentegrate or only date "trophy" women.  I teach at a predominantly Mexican school and I see the kids falling into the same trap.  It's not about black, white, mexican or other. It's about education and closing gaps. Slavery ended in the 1860's, but slave mentalities haven't caught up.

July 24, 2008
Click to view crobinson152's profile

I WANT TO KNOW IN WHAT HOOD DID THE GUY FROM THE COSBY SHOW GROW-UP IN BECAUSE HE CANT BE WHERE IM FROM OR HE WOULD UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE TOO DO THE BEST YOU CAN WITH THE CARDS YOU ARE DEALT ESPECIALLY WHEN THE OTHER TEAM HAS THE REFEREE'S ON THEIR SIDE.                                                                     WHAT CREDENTIALS DOES HE HAVE TO SPEAK ON THIS SITUATION. WHAT IS HIS FROM HOOD TO HOLLYWOOD STORY??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 24, 2008
Click to view KingDean's profile

One of the Most Amazing things to me, being an American Citizen, is the simple lack of concern for each other we have here and the total care we place with other nations.  I was robbed on Dec. 26, 2007, the person, stole my wallet.  After 18 Hours of hard work on my part, I had a map, name, and home phone number of the person that was using my card all over S. Mississippi.  This person, attempted to purchase 5 cases of beer with my AMEX, he emptied my debit card, stole 2 check books, all of my cash.  The day after Christmas, I am broke, no bank open, and no way of getting anywhere.  Neighbors loaned me gas money, I traveled to Ellisville, Hattiesburg, Columbia, Monticello - all in which I filed charges for theft and fraud.  The police in Hattiesburg and Monticello helped me tremendously.  They drove me to the sites to talk with store clerks and they led me in the right legal directions.  I travelled to Columbia, a town that should FIRE every police officer.  I identified the thief on camera, they had three cops show up for review, and all watched the tape.  They arrested the guy 1 month later.  The police department, NEGLECTED to go and keep the tape of the suspect, no evidence, so Columbia had to release the guy - All of my work, money and my dignity, gone.  NOW, this is the point.  I am a 26 yo WHITE male, I was robbed by a black male that I invited into my house to get out of the cold.  Hattiesburg police where white and black - they performed there duties to the top of the line, Columbia, and all black force - they neglected everything from tips to evidence.  They acted as if I had to do everything for them, they wouldn’t return phone calls, the detectives at Columbia allowed my tape evidence to be erased - thank God it wasn't a murder case.  The guy that robbed me was black.  Every time I said something to some - not all- of the police, they almost showed in there face that they thought I was just doing it because I was some white guy that had been victimized by some black guy.  Not everyone in the South is racist.  I have dropped all charges and will appear in court soon - to make the police officers answer for the lack of care they showed me. 

 

I could just as easy claim that I was racially targeted, and racially disregarded by police - the truth is, no, we have got to stop this blame game, and get back to the basics of right and wrong. 

 

No doubt that race is a problem, fixed by understanding that no matter what color, race, and creed - everyone on this planet affects everyone else....no matter what.

July 24, 2008
Click to view silverado's profile

WE GET IT ALREADY POOR ME IM BLACK.For pete sakes turn the page already .How many decades will this go on? Im no racist and tired of the whinning. Someone kick the juke box its a broken record. spike lee is the biggest racist in Hollywood,why dont you appraise him more soledad.I feel your a racist also.CNN talks and reports about things against blacks all the time. It happens to all races maybe more to blacks SOMETIMES by a few idiots.  Their are plenty of wrongly convicted whites in prison as well. I have a nobel idea How about whites in america?? Oh boy we cant do that then were racist.. My gosh blacks most of us would love to unite with but their to busy uniting with the spanish of brown color and whinning. Stop global whinning. Slavery is over those awful people are dead and gone. Blacks are inbread  in every single culture on this planet. EXAMPLE black french,black spanish,black mexican,black brits and they dont complain .Black germans,black irish,black muslims etc etc etc.Mission accomplished,let it go already. Theirs millions of good white people who get a bad stereo type rap for the actions of some others.Black week at the fair,black tv,black college fund,NAACP the klan with a tan...The race dard just goes on and on. I wish the people that are treating some not equal would lose their jobs so can simply be americans. Slave mentalities have caught up. for pete sakes.. Spike lee was angry at EDDIE MURPHY  for actine with NICK NOLTE in 48 hours and then he cried over director CLINT EASTWOODS CHOICES on his movie... put a period behind it..

July 24, 2008
Click to view crobinson152's profile

SOMETHING SHOULD BE SAID ABOUT THE PART THE CIA PLAY IN B.I.A. THE IRANCONTRA AFFAIR DRUGS FOR GUNS. THE TONS OF COCAINE THE GOVERNMENT ADMITTED THE CIA BROUGHT IN. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND YOU WILL SEE THESE FACTS.

July 24, 2008
Click to view llclady's profile

As a moorish woman, I did not appreciate the white family in Arkansas that was presented as a black family with all of their white wives and white girlfriend. In my opinion, I did not appreciate seeing what I perceived as a family running away from who they were and assimilating into white society.

July 24, 2008
Click to view crobinson152's profile

I DO NOT LIKE PHILLIP THE GUY WHO PLAYED ON THE COSBY SHOW. SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHERE HE IS FROM.

July 24, 2008

I feel this series only perpetuates the rebellion attitude of blacks, that whites will "never understand". We all make choices on how we live our life, but by blaming others and never trying to understand others, it ceases any progress to grow. I am white, am come from a mixed family of Germans, English and Irish. Because I am white does not make my heritage any less important than someone who is not white.

 

My grandmother her brother were orphans and adopted for the sole purpose of working on a farm in Michigan. My mother was an only child whose father died in the war when she was only 4. My Grandma never blamed anyone for her situation. We have struggled to overcome many things as well, but I guess when whites are poor and struggling is easier to call us white trash instead of trying understand where we are coming from.

 

Everyone has a story, and not skin color nor nationality should make a difference to the significance of their struggle. We all need to just stop looking for pity and pointing fingers and just do what we can to improve things for each new generation.

This is the time to create new and lasting legacies, let us do it right this time.

July 24, 2008
Click to view crobinson152's profile

I WILL STOP WHINNING WHEN YOUR FOREFATHERS WRONGS ARE REPROVED. FOR 400+ YEARS YOU HAVE HAD A HEADSTART GIVE ME SOMETHING TO CATCH UP WITH. REPARATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 24, 2008
Click to view silverado's profile

I just seen a part where the boy oops sorry the child goes to court but my gosh his pants are hanging off him ,his shoes are not tied and his parents are with him going into the court room..What does that tell you?  I also noticed soledad that the guy got a job part time from the girl whos face was fogged out but one can tell she was black..WE GET IT... Im thinking you want the key to the united states.. Sorry that will take some more doing. Alot more..Whites cant stand up for our thoughts because we will be called racist and then here comes good ol al sharptin and jessee jackson.What if their was a all irish or all britain or all russian or simply all white night at the state fair like their is African american week It wont fly and its a shame. I know theirs many good black americans that are tired of hearing the whinning and the race card being played... Peace to all GOD BLESS !

July 24, 2008
Click to view shon's profile

The statistics speak for themselves.

 

Go mentor an urban child so he/she can break the vicious cycle. Help a child so he/she won't play the so called "race" card because you were a role model and showed you cared.

July 24, 2008
Click to view richyrich's profile

I think it is great that someone would attempt to address the issue.  People usually appear to be oblivious about race or are just accepting the status quo.  I really think it depends on the region of the United States, one may emanate from.  For example, African Americans in California appear to be more tolerant, subdued or timid when it comes to race.  However, in the South, Midwest and East Coast, people appear to be more outspoken about issues of race.  This is just my observation--from living in these regions.  It is true that African Americans have made great strides.  However, in some venues, you still have a lack of African Americans in management or other more highly profiled positions.  I have to go to Dallas, Texas and eastward to see more African Americans in corporate leaderships positions.  Because it is not there in California and some of the other Western States.  I commend CNN for moderating this highly sensitive issue of "Black in America."

July 24, 2008
Click to view silverado's profile

They did what was Lincoln chopped liver? He realized it was wrong and made it right.forefatehrsdidnt have anyhting to do with slavery..I wish it never happened believe me . its awful..Facts are black kings sold other blacks that story is never told.. Arabs use to sell them as well and i think the french maybe were the biggest.But i wish it didnt happen it was wrong and my children know it... Peace...

July 24, 2008
Click to view cdwinau08's profile

The "Black in America" is a total crock of Dung.  It's the same crap....Blacks are continually mistreated in white society....and blacks still feel the repercusions of slavery over 100 years after the fact. 

I'm 43 years old and I'm still suppose to feel guilty because of slavery....well I don't..it was a horrible fact of our history as a country, something I'm certainly not proud that our country did....but i'm tired of having it rehashed constantly...it's time to move on and start taking responsibilty for your race and stop blaming others for the problems in the black community.  Men like Bill Cosby have the right idea but no one in the black community seems to listen to him.

The question you should be asking is Why is why 75% of black children born in this country don't have a father figure at home.  You can't blame slavery on that one....I was born the year that the civil rights act was passed...so I never lived in an era where blacks had to sit in the back of the bus....I live in an era where blacks and whites mingle, marry and get along...but I'm told constantly that things aren't fair for black people....I just don't see it....I am a white person who lost everything a few years ago...home, job, family, car....I was almost on the streets...but I now own a thriving business....I didn't wallow in self pity...I picked myself up and did something instead of waiting for the government to come to my rescue....anyone can do it.....it had nothing to do with me being white....I know black business owners who experienced the same thing as me and they are successful....so this negative take on blacks in america just doesn't make sense to me.

Stop blaming people for the problems in your community and get off your butt and do something about it...stop expecting handouts from uncle sam....stop telling me that I should feel quilty for something that happened over 100 years ago.

July 24, 2008
Click to view jwalthall1's profile

I am a multi-ethnic Muslim who identifies with Black identity as well as all the others of my ancestors because there is simply no logic in discrediting any of them and claiming just one. I've been following the the series and I've noticed the absence of an analysis of Islam's contribution to the Black experience in America. Proud, momentous leaders and other notables such as Malcolm X, Zaid Shakir, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf,Akon, Busta Rhymes Carson, Dave Chappelle, Keith Ellison, Louis Farrakhan, Lupe Fiasco, Jermaine Jackson, Ice Cube,Sherman Jackson, Warith Deen Mohammed, Elijah Muhammad, Nas, Shaquille O'Neal, Mike Tyson, Siraj Wahaj,Wu-Tang Clan have all helped to shape and mold the construct of 'Black American'. The exclusion of the Islamic Black experience seems to beg more questions than the apparent.

July 24, 2008
Click to view cindygirl's profile

I am black, married, and mother of six children. I have a BS in Accounting and three Masters (Business, Accounting, and Public Administration). Yet, I am unemployed. Now, what is wrong with my background? Getting degrees is quite an accomplishment, but my career life isn't being fulfilled. If you want to present what is wrong in this country, please answer my question.

This so-called truth telling only depicted blacks in a negative manner. Not all black people coming from a single-parent household and/or with little money commit crimes and end up dead or in prison. Black and white males and females are having babies out of wedlock with multiple partners. All you have to do is watch Maury. CNN did not do the Blacks in America any favors by showing so much negativity. This is the typical manner in which the media portray black communities. I'm not saying that these things do not affect blacks. What about the positive aspects (successful men and women)? What about the police brutality and/or murder of black men? What about the prejudicial methods that companies use in their hiring practices, loan approvals and insurance policies? That is what should have been discussed since these types of issues play a significant role in this country.

July 24, 2008
Click to view jacki56's profile

I commend CNN for the guts  to present such a program in an attempt to inform the general population about  being Black in America.

Driving while Black continues to be a problem.   I have a 24 yr old son who has been stopped many times by law enforcement.   By the grace of God he has not been arrested or shot.   But when he began driving, my late husband and I taught him how to respond to being stopped by the police, or questioned.

July 24, 2008
Click to view knowledge15's profile

There needs to be more, there is sooo much plaguing the African-American community;black male and female relationships (or the lack of), I am a 40 year old African-American female and I don't understand our brothers dating/marrying outside their race especially with the ABUNDANCE of attactive, intelligent, educated and gainfully employed African-American women; our youth, I am an educator, I am going on 16 years in the field of education, I have worked mainly in urban schools, OUR YOUTH NEED US. It is heart breaking that not enough African Americans (especially African-American males) are not entering/choosing careers in education. Many of our youth are being educated by white women who do not understand, care and fear our children. Our presence is needed in our public schools. Our youth need role modles and mentors. I encourage everyone to  take the time to mentor an African-American boy or girl, before you criticize or complain about OUR youth, ask yourself, what are YOU doing to make a difference, many of our youth need encouragement, support, someone cares and believes in them, remember EACH ONE TEACH ONE; and last economic empowerment, what to do with our money, how to invest our money. We need to be smarter with our money.

July 24, 2008
Click to view ljtennessee's profile

I found it interesting that the reporter for this story is what America thinks is representative of beauty.  A culturally non-descript women, who is slim with long hair.

 

I find it interesting that each new segment of information about "Black America", was introduced with a scene in a church.

 

I find it interesting that Anderson Cooper refers to Barak Obama as 'presumptuous' because of his recent international travels.  These are the phrases and terms that are used for Black men who operate outside of America's sterotype of thuggish, unemployed Black men. But you never hear of a presumptuous white politician.

 

I'm sure White Americans are tired of hearing Black people "complain", but the reality, as unfortunate and uncomfortabel as it may seem, this is the country in which we live.  I don't like it, I operate around it and move on.  For the most part, I've been treated well in life, but I am continually disheartened by the way Black women and Black men are portrayed by any form of media.  White women are treated and portrayed as if they are the very essence and origin of beauty.  They're portrayed as innocent, fragile and worthy of protection, attention and love.  Black women, when they are portrayed, are portrayed as sexualized baby machines, having no sense of inocent, pure beauty - the way white women are portrayed.

 

White men are portrayed as the savior of the world, creating and sustaining every institution in human culture.  Black men are portrayed as athletic entertainers who either father children without parenting them and people who would either kill you or steal from you if you turn your back.

 

How does that happen and How can the world sustain these images when there is so much proof to the contrary for any of the images?

July 24, 2008
Click to view MrJones's profile

I think Black in America was an important step in hopes of healing race relations in our country. Maybe, just maybe, members of the white community will get a better understanding of blacks and the struggles we've faced and still face. Maybe, members of the white community will finally understand that the wounds that are carried by blacks still have not healed and may never heal unless our society matures to the point where black people will be fully accepted as equals. When you look beyond skin color, mannerisms, culture, you will find a human being that cries when hurt. You find a person who's motivated to do what is right, but angered when barrier after barrier is placed before him. You find someone misunderstood. You find someone with a voice, but no audience which to project that voice to. It is difficult to be Black in America and it will continue to be difficult until our society learns how to treat its fellow man.

July 25, 2008
Click to view casey6tall's profile

I saw the show regarding the men, I missed the one for women.

 

I felt the show did show some of the things black people have to struggle with.  I realize that they only have so much time to touch each subject, but there is so much more than what was showed.

 

Me being a mother of a dark skinned son, I worry so much about his future.  He is a bright young kid, who will have to struggle with the race of this country.  I worry about if he is driving to the store, what will happen to him, if the police will stop him and accuse him of something he has not done, but because he fits the profile......(please) 

 

True story, I drive a small car....drive it all day and night.  BUT if my husband drives it, and he too is a dark skinned man, will get stopped as soon as he gets on the main road.  The last time he was stopped, the policeman told him that he stopped him, because one of the tail lights were out, WHICH WAS UNTRUE, I saw as my husband drove off in my car, all three lights worked.  I even double checked them when he got back home, ALL THREE WORKED. 

 

SO YOU TELL ME WHY HE WAS STOPPED?

 

What will happen to my son?  Right now he is 17 and owns his own landscaping business, a business he has had for 3 years, he is a good kid, liked by many people.  Once he moves from my home and goes to college, what will happen to him?  Right now all I can do is pray his road will be smooth.

 

I feel just like DL Hugley, I do not trust the police, and they are the ones WE ARE SUPPOSE TO TRUST.....

 

What can be done to change years of discrimination? 

 

I say, one step at a time.  I do feel we have to start with ourselves first.  Once we can establish that we are a race of honor, then others will see us as the same.  Like the story of the boy who did not know how to be a father to his child.  Someone has to step in and be a father to him, and show him how to show love, how to show his child right from wrong with both a tender hand and a strong hand.  PLUS, children of all races need to know they have choices.  Maybe some black families feel this is the cards that was dealt to them, and this is all they have to play with.  Someone has to step in and show them there are better ways.  Too many times I feel we chose the easy road instead of the challenge. But if someone can start within ourselves then the world will move with us.  They already watch us, so why not show them we can be a strong nation?

July 25, 2008
Click to view spangsteve's profile

I found D. J. Hughleys comment's about the cops very interesting. His stereotypical thinking that all cops are bad, and "he does not trust them," is exactly the problem that the U.S. is in. He has a bad experience, and tags all law enforcement as bad apples, and now he is teaching his son to think the same way. When people think about negative stereotyping and racism, they think of blacks being on the receiving end, but I believe it is a two-way street a lot more than the press wants you to believe.

July 25, 2008
Click to view wifey's profile

I am so grateful that issues in the black community are being highlighted. I am a member of the black community, but I am angry. I am angry as a black woman who is married to a black man. I am a mother and a wife, but I was a wife first. I want to say that not in all cases but in many cases there are women who try and trap men. And there is a misconception that having a baby gets you a husband or even worse a boyfriend. Black women have babies becuase they think they are in love and fear losing a man. They have babies to try and keep men around. When that doesn't work, they become bitter and many women will do everything in their power to give a black man hell. No one wants to be in the mist of drama 24/7 becuase a woman made a decision that did not work to her favor and now she is angry calling the black man a dead beat dad. I know many good black men of all so socioeconomic backgrounds who would love to be there for their child but they encounter a "babymama" who jumps on him curses him and tells him "hell naw you can't see my baby". No one wants to go through this stress to a child many fathers then develop the attitude that one day their child will get older and hopefully understand what was going on. I encourage and challenge black to be responsible in co-parenting. Just becuase that man does not want to be with you does not mena that he does not want to care for his child. From personal experience, the judicial system and department of human resources help women put fathers on child support for free or next to nothing. When a man is not given his proper visitation, and that father tries to get help, he has to pay a retainer for a lawyer...or he is told to do his best to work it out with her. When men are given the same help by the same system that they pay into, I bet you will have a lot more fathers who are actively involved in the lives of their children. And you will have women who are forced to act responsible. When court documents tell a man you will go to jail for not paying child support; but a mother can hide her child and is not given the same consequences for failure to abide by a court order! You want black men to there, but at every turn he is set up to fail and live up to the stereotypes. And last but not least let's take better care of our daughters and tell them that is more important to be a wife and then a mother or just a single professional woman. Let's teach our daughters to love and respect themselves enough to not do things out of order. And that if you have to have a child to have a man, then that man is not for you. And I hate that black men have to take the fall for a society who promotes poverty among minorities and then say monorities have a problem. Society and the government knows that, they started it.

July 25, 2008
Click to view mercier7w's profile

PROBLEM SOLVER .....

 

I want my non-black family (white, Asian, Indian etc) to understand one major thing as a dark skinned male when I walk thru life as you do. One of your fellow non black assoc/fiends/coworkers/managers/law officials is secretly making it harder for me simply because they see the skin I'm in. (not because of anything Ive done or said, but more simply because one look t me reminds them of THAT EPISODE OF COPS, or SOME NEGATIVE STEREOTYPE THEY HAVE BURNED IN THEIR HEART)) Then they laugh and joke as if they are fair and balanced with you and with me like they never committed that undercover secret sin.

This is the racism we most put an end to.

 

I'm a well dressed professional well-spoken customer service rep for an Atlanta hospital - BUT I have experienced the prejudging side of the work force were experience (skillset) means nothing, even to the point were Ive been told by Black Women "were not hiring men for this job" {EEOC VIOLATION I KNOW put without tape hard to prove.}

 

Or being victimized by DeKalb county police dept arresting me in 2006 for a ticket that was 8yrs old 1999 (and according to there own records was closed but they never took out of the police data base....also where I was held in jail 58days NO PHONE ACCESS ON THE FLOOR WERE I WAS HELD AFTER SEVERAL COMPLAINTS never went to court, never allowed MY CIVIL RIGHT to the law library.. CAUSING ME UPON RELEASE TO BE HOMELESS, DO TO MY EVICTED FROM MY APT..ALL MY POSSESIONS GONE . Stayed in a homeless shelter (only two in the area for men I found out) two years later IM back on my feet finally and seeking a civil lawyer to explore my lawsuit options

 

My point is for my non-black brothers and sisters dark skinned males struggle while races stick together in the work force as well as black women (for sister only conferences and so on...) the support group for black men is SIMPLY NOT THERE ..coupled with lack of strong men in the boys growing life. A male to show then the potholes in life

 

THE SOLUTION...

 

MOTHERS OF SONS SEEK OUT PROGRAMS SPECIFICALLY FOR BOYS (even boys scouts and check all the churches in your area for PROGRAMS INTERACTING WITH MEN. EXPOSURE TO POSITIVE MEN IS KEY TO THE FUTURE OF THE MALE CHILD early and often.

 

FATHERS ...FIGHT LEAGALLY, AND BREAK YOUR BACKS TO GET BACK INTO YOUR CHILDS LIFE. EVEN IF IT MEANS STOPPING YOUR DREAMS. LET THE CYCLE OF PAIN STOP WITH YOU, AND GIVE THAT CHILD KNOWLEDGE WARNINGS AND LOTS LOTS OF MALE HUGS

 

BUSINESS PERSONS...DEVELOPE INTERN PROGRAMS AT YOUR BUSINESS, GOVERMENT GRANT PROGRAMS FOR SPECIFICALLY BLACK MEN TO RE-DIRECT what a man is, true male traditions, and true males teaching what a husband should be ready for

 

long winded but this will....cause change

please remember these points when when you look in the eyes of a darker male

July 25, 2008
Click to view axisglobal's profile

NEED A JOB!

 

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This website is for people who can not find employment right in their local area, disabled or would like a flexible schedule to stay at home with their kids and save on high fuel prices.

 

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I know they strive to put all contracting agents no matter of race, religion, or ethics to work.

 

Thanks

Sherry T.

Dallas, TX

July 25, 2008
Click to view foxeroxe's profile

The program was informative and insightful but there was not enough betrayals of positive black families in the inner cities. I am an example of a positive family.  I am married and have 3 children, not to mention the extended family that we mentor and nurture. I have come to the understanding that it is up to each individual in our community to do as much as we can to help our youth who are our future. Remember the old saying "it takes a village to raise a child".  Racism in america is institutionalized and most white will never understand the hardships, hatred, discrimination, oppression and isolation that all minorities face each and every day.  Until white america walks a day in our shoes they will never understand the privilege they inherit in america by just being white. My point is, racism hinders alot of the things we are trying to do.  My sons are affected by the negative media portrayals.  The most profound portion of the program is that black men are treated like they are felons even if they have no record.

July 25, 2008
Click to view Hoops1888's profile

This is just another example that we have way too many Jesse Jacksons and not enough Barrack Obamas, Barrack Obama is right when he says the black community needs to be more responsible for their actions and stop pretending they are the victims.  Thats why Barrack Obama has my vote, the black community needs to stop pretending the whole world is against them when that is not the case.  We as a country have evolved into the most diverse society in the world yet a certain segment of the black community still believe that we are stuck in the days of Jim Crow and racial oppression when that is not the case.  I like the story and its great that its being reported but its being reported for the wrong reason, it should be reported because the main problem with being black in America is that the black community pretends they are victims, victims of what, their own racial views if you ask me.  We need to heal our racial wounds and move on, feelings like this will only prevent us as a country from achieving the dream that Dr King has set for us to accomplish.

July 25, 2008
Click to view Hoops1888's profile

One more thing, the only racists we need to worry about are Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Black Panthers & The Nation of Islam, they divide this country more than any other type of racists because they are black, racism is wrong period, and this documentary while informative helps fuel black supremacy even more.  Equality is just that, equality, no group is better than another, we are all Americans and protected equally under the law.  If you don't believe that you are either racist or ignorant.

July 25, 2008
Click to view MYNCOpinion's profile

I think we need to be very careful when we begin labeling men like Brandon” father’s”  He is a sperm donor.  I raised my sister as my daughter.  At 21, she became pregnant by a man 34 years old.  She is young and beautiful and makes a decent salary, yet she still doesn’t realize that he is a zero.  The stream of lies he continues to tell her would create a line between North Carolina and Georgia.  First he was a college graduate – now he only went to college.  First he was a teacher – then that turned out to be a lie.  Then he was getting a great job at a great company – now he is a minimum wage Admin.  Oh he is definitely not absent.   She sees him on weekends, when she gets off work and drives 1.5 hrs to take the baby to see him.  She is just happy he wants to call himself a father –no child support, no insurance, no daycare fees – all he offers is his opinion on how to raise” their” baby.  When I remind everyone of the fact that it takes more than mere presence to be a parent – babies cost (Look at  our checkbooks!) – He says, I am only interested in money.  I guess that is easy to say, when you are not deliverying any!!!  My family is always very angry with me because I refuse to acknowlege him.  He is off limits at my home and in my life!!!  He is a SPERM DONOR, PERIOD!!!  He was without a father growing up.  I accept the idea that these men & young men don’t know how to be a father, but let me tell you this – they had NINE MONTHS TO LEARN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And most importantly, there were ways to prevent the pregnancy anyway.  He wants points because he didn’t walk out – GIVE ME A BREAK – WALK – PLEASE WALK

July 25, 2008
Click to view ncnwire's profile

The program is a fake and continues to stereo type the African American communittee. One of your participants, Spike Lee uses the words bamboozle and hoodwink. Where was the discussion about men who have been raised by men but are still leaving their familes after marriage, then date dozens of women during the leftover marriage and after divorce.  And, what about men who don't marry their women, who have children by them but continue to remain in the home to take care of the family.  How about the welfare system, whose rules and regulations are not built to support a married family but will support women who have boyfriends who might otherwise marry them but they don't because they can get more food stamps and money if they don't marry.  Even more, how difficult it is for single black mothers who go back to school to get an education but still can't get a decent earnings, whether through a job or entrepreneurship.  They are being told that they are the cause of the problem and live by the Willie Lynch rules.  I question the reason for this program.  There are a lot of men and women who don't know how to be parents, didn't know who their fathers were but they do the best they can to be the best they can in the African American community.  The President of Bennett College said the whole story needs to be told, well when has all of it ever been told.  This is another exploitation of the African American community.

July 25, 2008
Click to view natedigidy's profile

An African American-french Indian siting at home eating dinner with my Mexican American-Polish wife. wondering what a time in my life to see how far we have not come. We must stop thinking in terms of color. There have never been groups of people that said they were purple  and they were from the land of purple.  These things get put in our minds over time and we begin to associate words with colors, feelings, thoughts and more. At one point we begin associating these things with people and it all escalates at some point.  BLACK IN AMERICA? the word in any dictionary starts out by saying evil or color of evil. this repeated over time in minds and hearts of everyone around the globe thru film, music, poetry and more. it seems so silly an childish but look in your own hearts and minds and think to yourself....what is truly the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear someone say, or see the word BLACK? something bad? a scary movie? a funeral? that last night of too much partying? pain? what ever thought you come up with ad that to a person with dark skin. people with slanted eyes. people that don't look, act, or speak as exactly as you do.

1. so until we can come together and change the hearts and minds of generations of people to be open minded of differences and not rear them ... I, " A BLACK MAN IN AMERICA", will continue to accept the looks, the remarks, the denial of opportunities to advance, to obvious hatred and disregard and try to stay positive and anticipate the day we can all accept each other.

Nate C

San Antonio, TX

July 25, 2008
Click to view axisglobal's profile

I would like to add what got my attention to the story today on TV is when they stated how a black man with a good record and background that is trying to get a job is comparable to a white male convicted with a felony.  A black man with a felony convicted has no chance in getting a job.  This is negative talk but its still happening in this country and it needs to stop.  I stopped working in Corporate America over 10 years ago and work at home! Thank God!

 

Thanks

Sherry T.

Dallas, TX

http://www.axisglobalclientreferralservices.com/internaljobs.html

http://www.axisglobalclientreferralservices.com/Contractorprescreening.html

July 25, 2008
Click to view brad2glo's profile

The (1st amendment/freedom of speech) is certainly proving worthwhile relative to the comments I've read here today. Fact of the matter is that being (BLACK-IN-AMERICA)means something different for each individual based on his/her environmental exposures. I can find some truths in each of the comments posted, but I also find the statistical data alarming relative to opportunity for employment, prison data, crime data, and the forever present covert methods for denying African Americans equality in financing, housing, auto lending, and credit ratings. Certainly some African Americans can boast about his/her success, and proclaim that all is well in America regarding the treatment of Black Americans. The fact of the matter is that their is a disproportionate amount of opportunity, access, consideration, and inclusion pertaining to the rules of democracy, humanity, creation, and the American way of life. It's no mishap that African Americans have the highest unemployment, the highest incarceration, highest conviction, and lowest educational acheivements. African Americans make up such a small percentage of America's population and yet lead in all of her negative Societal standards. Yes, progress has been achieved, Yes as a culture we need to be more responsible and proactive in our approaches to success, and Yes we need a spiritual cleansing/overhaul of our morals, values, and ethical systems to facilitate synergy within a nation of diversity. We need "CHANGE", We need "LOVE" for one another, We need to rid our society of "GREED" and all the bad and negative behaviors associated with that "GREED" called hatred, racism, prejudice, etc. There is plenty of blame to spread and share, but the reality of the situation is that it exist.

Bradford L. Hall

Jacksonville, Florida

July 25, 2008
Click to view TheBigkat's profile

The program was awful. How does a non-black person (Soledad) report on black people.

 

It was filled with the usual stereotypes that a white owned network  thinks about black folks.

 

Why not do a show on Jewish , Italian or Irish America?

 

It was stupid and and ignorant!

July 25, 2008
Click to view BeeTap's profile

Being Black in America. "The Narcophobe War Machine"

 

Your drug war has hurt a lot of people indirectly and directly from the collateral damage of the drug war and the many irresponsible closed mind laws that went along with it, Many of these laws have caused far more harm to society than the drugs themselves. Many families were broken up because of the "over kill" and over compensating laws that have caused pain and suffering to millions of otherwise ordinary people. Most of the poor and displaced were kept poor and confused because the collateral damage from the drug war affected our Constitutional protection, economic and social infrastructures. The many violations just against our Constitutional protection alone has cause tremendous damage to the very fabric of our social infrastructure, causing a break down in the family unit and creating legal and physical burdens that drains an already taxed system of family strengths and weakens an already over burdened economic infrastructure that holds it tentatively together.

Don't get me wrong here, we need laws and rules to bring about order and safety. The drug war has played a major role in the severe injustices to our social and economic systems.

We need to either stop this insane drug war and use a far more logical and common sense approach or continue on this same road of destruction and have every American pay for it and loose our personal liberties, freedoms and personal space.

The drug war creates a black market whereby unqualified people sell and manufacture many of these super strong street drugs. Prohibition creates super strong street drugs, meth, the horrible crimes stemming from the black market and the decline in our social and economic infrastructure.

In other words, we would not have meth, super strong street drugs, crimes, deaths ruined lives (both socially  and physically), violations of our Bill of Rights and Constitutional protections, and the death and injuries, if we had instituted "harm reduction" in our drug law making policies.

If we would have allowed cocaine tea (considered a health tonic rich in vitamin C and other nutrients in South America), opium gum/tea and marijuana, years ago, we would not have meth, super strong street drugs, designer drugs and the crime today.

Remember we spend 40 billion dollars a year. That's in ONE YEAR! To catch some poor fool for possession (personal use). If we would have spent 40 billion on the New Orleans levy systems and other flood control around the US during the last few years, we would not have had an entire city flood, killing hundreds. This is criminal negligence on our law makers part.

It is high time that policy makers, law makers and those narcophobes be made aware of the consequences of their decision making processes and be accountable. Until our law makers realize this, their thinking and decision making process is still considered a far greater threat to our peace of mind, security and way of life. A far more greater harm than the drugs themselves.

 

The problem is without regulation more kids will get their hands on them. Yes if regulation was the norm some kids will still get their hands on them. However it is the number of them that would be important. There would be far fewer kids doing so.

Look at our inner cities today. Mom and dad are in jail and junior is in a gang. Mom and dad probably sold drugs to get by, but they are unqualified to do so because they do not know the proper dose and proper people to sell. The money we spend goes toward gangs and the criminal element. Gov't has the opportunity to get that money but they choose to let it slip through their hands. Gov't has got to realize we cannot legislate morality. Gov't is only supposed to manage our lives not dictate. Management mean where my freedom ends and your begins. Gov't should protect us all but as individuals and not at the expense of our personal space.

We all make mistakes. Even Gov'ts. That fine. However when our law and policy makers make the same mistake over and over again, year after year, knowing better, it become criminal negligence. This incompetence is political malpractice and it is the number one crime against our social and economic infrastructures. Those that are responsible must be held accountable and either make amends and/or even serve jail time.

July 25, 2008
Click to view freewilly's profile

Get a job!

July 25, 2008
Click to view krishnaNYC's profile

I want to congratulate the CNN production team for a beautifully filmed and edited documentary.  However, I think the title could have been, "Heterosexual Blacks in America with commentary by Closeted Blacks in America."  I am saddened that black gay men were, once again, invisible in this documentary--with the exception of a few notable,closeted gay men that were interviewed during and after the documentary.  We missed the opportunity to learn about the contributions, challenges and successes of black men who have sex with men.  We missed learning about the complex issues, particularly around the alarming rates of HIV infection amongst black gay men.  As a black woman and single parent, I am very concerned about the lives of black gay men.  I am sorry their lives were not reflected in this two-part documentary (even for 10 minutes which was total amount of time for the segment on HIV/AIDS in the first part).

July 25, 2008
Click to view Trisheala's profile

Black in America...Black in America...Black in America! Does anyone know what it's like to be Black in America? Apparently CNN didn't think so. Perhaps we don't know---maybe that's why we have been bombarded with programs, documentaries, talks, books, etc. about being Black and the issues that plague the Black race.

 

On one hand, I'm thinking CNN has done a good job (hint of sarcasm here) of exposing the poverty, disease, promiscuity, paternal abandonment, deteriorating families, unemployment, racism and the widening academic achievement gap that have all plagued the Black community. It's good for those who don't know what it's like to be Black in this country and for Blacks who aren't aware. Perhaps we all need to get a clearer picture of today's harsh reality.

 

Twenty-five percent of Blacks live in poverty. Blacks represent fifty percent of people living with the HIV/AIDS virus. Nearly sixty percent of Black males in the inner cities will not graduate. Seventy percent of Black children are born in single-parent homes. One in nine black males are in prison. The statistics are alarming!

 

What is the problem? As I've pondered over these stats, my mind wandered back over the last 140 years, even over the last 40 years and the thought keeps running through my mind: What have we become? As a nation of Black Americans, what have we become? Have we become a product of the injustices in government and society? Or have we become a product of our own lack of personal responsibility and refusal to rise above today's perceived governmental and societal threat against our culture?

July 25, 2008
Click to view ComxDlr's profile

I have very strong feelings about the whole race battle.  I have American Indian blood, Irish etc.. but what I think makes the biggest difference is in how I view others.  As I meet people, I do not consider what race, sex, tax bracket they are in.. I dont care, I judge the person based on their actions and personal actions.  I have friends who are white, black, Laotian, Vietnamese, European, Mexican, Canadian.. rich, poor, middle class, jocks, nerds, etc.. it doesnt matter.  I think if people of all races would treat others as a human and judge them on their actions it would help.  I honestly hate to see people say that we need to "make people apoligize for the past" or "pay reparations" for things that happened etc.. because it just drives a bigger wedge in (in my opinnion)..  What I think needs to be done, is we need to teach our children that people are people, that God made everyone different, thats what makes each and every person special.  The adults that hold a grudge against any other "type" of people passes that on to their children and makes the world worse in the future.

July 25, 2008
Click to view lavern19's profile

Soledad is just masterful as with any story or documentary that she crafts.  Her handling of Dr. King's documentary was awesome as well.  This documentary is long overdue as it points out why the Black Community is not thriving from problems that can be solved in the community to problems that must be solved by the Justice system, employers when hiring, housing and other key issues facing the community.  It's is our hope that this kind of knowledge will continue to be conveyed to America so that those who are not aware of what the real problems are facing this great nation and that we need everyone's help in solving these problems before American can truly be come the beacon of opportunity and a great life for every American.

July 25, 2008
Click to view marge43's profile

Interesting that CNN chooses to do a special "Black in America" when there is a black man running for president.

 

Perhaps CNN should consider doing a special on Age Discrimination. After all, CNN would have a wide audience with the large population of active baby boomers.

 

 

Also, why is it ok for the CNN news reporters to make jokes about McCain's age but it is not ok to joke about Obama's race? Isn't this age discrimination?

 

 

Wake up CNN. If you think the american voter is that naive that they can not see thru all this media hype then CNN is sadly mistaken.

 

 

Obama may be the media darling now but then again so is Britney Spears!!!

July 25, 2008
Click to view queenangle's profile

First of all, thank you Soledad O'Brian for  the documentary.  Knowing that is was only 4 hours long, there is no way that you could capture the entire black experience in 4 hours.  But your documentary has sparked discussion,  which is always good.

 

Second - for the posters that that posted when will there be "White in America" - it is sad that you have no empathy and cannot imagine what it is like to be African American, Latino, Asian, etc. and only infrequently see your image in mainstream media.  Most shows, magazines, etc are focused on those of European ancestery.  I am saddened by your lack of empathy.

 

Third - was is most interesting is some of the reaction from the African American community.  A number of people have commented about the focus on the negative aspects of the black community and that not more time was given to successful African Americans.  I remember when the Cosby show aired years ago and was critisized for not being an accurate portrayal of black life in America.  However, the Cosby show was very much like how I grew up - I am African American and had two parents (married for almost 50 years before my mother died) who were both educated with advanced degrees, a middle class childhood, and the blessing to grow up in a stable environment and get a very good education.  I now have an advanced degree and am very successful as a teacher and am doing financially well. 

 

For those who critisize Soledad and CNN for "focusing on the negative", I beg to differ.  My response is - make your own documentary about those of us achieving the dream.  I also think that those of us who are doing relatively well should work to be a part of the solution. When there is a documentary about a problem, the response should not be "why did you show us this dark side" -the reaction should be to do something about it - every effort  - even if you do something small - makes a difference.   As a teacher, I strive to give the very best education to all my students no matter their race, but I especially try to be a positive roll model for my African American students and I stress that they work hard, be responsible and help them get the educational skills that they need to that they do not become another statistic.

 

I would love to see a dialog between African American men and women that promoted healing and more positive relationships.  As a teacher, I daily see the casualties of the statistics of single parenthood and deal with children who are emotionally broken.  I also see young girls who don't love themselves enough, and mistake sex for love and bring another child into the world who will become a broken spirit.  This has got to stop and watching the documentary really made me realize that we in the black community have to come together and stop the madness.  To not do so is child abuse of the highest form.  While men and women are playing relationship games, children are brought into the world and are the victims.

 

What I am about to say may be politically incorrect, but I think we must have a dialog as a country that stresses sexual responsibility of men and women - although there are many wonderful single parents out there, children thrive when there are many loving and caring adults in their lives - the children I teach who don't have fathers in their lives, both black and white, suffer greatly and before anyone has a moment of passion, you need to think about the life you may create.  Producing a child does not make you a man or a women - giving that child the best environment and surrounding that child with the love of two parents and a family - being responsible enough to do that - makes you are real man or woman.

July 25, 2008
Click to view NancyCarol's profile

I found the documentary to be thoughtfuly done.  However, I believe that the emphasis on missing fathers in black families is not as much of a problem as the lack of education and the lack of emphasis put on education in the black community.

July 25, 2008
Click to view janhad's profile

I want to say that as a married African-American woman raising two daughters that are looking to go to Ivy League schools, I was overall very satisfied with the Black in America series.  It showed the range of our experiences and the positive and negative side of being Black in America.  I do take issue with the fact that there was little attention paid to unwed mothers who keep having babies with different men.  If they would just learn to keep their legs closed and stop looking for love in all the wrong places, we could have much less of a problem with children being born into single mother homes.  Someone needs to show them tough love and that their choices contribute to the problems also.

July 25, 2008
Click to view swagga's profile

I came away from watching that show very disappointed as it was another laundry list of how Black people are doing so badly in comparison to white folks. This show is no different than what Jesse, Sharpton even Bill Cosby has been saying. Yes we all know that there are more Black people in Jail than anyone else. Yes we know there are many absentee fathers in the Black household just like there are many absentee white fathers but we don't hear much about that do us? Then they went on to bash Hip Hop as if that was the main cause of racism and why Black people are in jail, young women getting pregnant etc. To me it was a waste of my TV viewing time as I have seen and heard all this a million times on TV over the last twenty years. Heck almost daily there are studies that comes out saying how bad black people are doing in comparison to white folks. Well duh....white folks had a 400 year head start and America is a racist society that tries in many different ways subtle or overtly to disparage Black people. We just barely got into the race in the 1960s and while they run unimpeded we are still stuck on the obstacle course.

Now what I have not heard is that in spite of all this, in spite of racism and the legacy of slavery, in spite the trappings of poverty and the fact that Black folks have to do twice as much to be considered somewhat equal we have risen like the phoenix to dominate so many aspect of American culture. In spite of racism we have Oprah, Tiger, Will Smith, Denzel, Michael Jordan, Dr Charles Drew, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, Obama etc. Imagine that Obama a Black man in America was drawing 200 000 white people in Germany (the land of Hitler) to listen to him speak yesterday...the white man George Dubya Bush can't even get 200 to even watch him on TV much less go to listen to him speak.

In spite of racism over 125 HBCUs are still striving and educating Black people today. And they graduate more Black people at a higher rate than any other universities out there.

In spite of racism we will be dominating the Olympics again next month....keep in mind that a little over 60 years ago NO black person was allowed in the Olympics because white racist scientists back then said our brain and our physical make up wasn't good enough for us to compete with white people. Then Jesse Owens got a chance and the rest history.

In spite of racism and trappings of poverty we took a pass time on the streets of the black ghettoes of New York and have now turn it into a $20 billion industry call Hip Hop all in a short 20 year span. It is creative genius of Black folks that did that and now have Russell Simmons, Jay-Z and Diddy close to being Black Billionaires.

In spite of racism it was a Black man that invented the traffic light, the first blood banks and perform the first open heart surgery. You see the positive achievement of Black folks is also part of parcel of being Black in America and not just the fact that black people have more medical problems than white folks.

July 25, 2008
Click to view DiPrince's profile

IT IS AMAZING THE LEVEL OF THIS CNN REPORT, MS O'BRIEN. I AM SO VERY THRILLED BY HER VERY EXCELLENT JOURNALISTIC EXCELLENCE ON THIS BLACK IN AMERICA PROGRAM, HER AUDACIOUS AND LOQUACIOUS REPORTING IS FAR MORE THAN EXCELLENT. SHE WAS ABLE TO FEEL INTO THE MAINSTREAM AND AT THE SAME TIME SECURED THE MOST DESIRED RESULTS. THE BLACK IN AMERICA ARE GIVEN THE CHANCE MORE MORE TO WASH THEIR DIRTY LINEN ON THE PUBLIC AND I AM MOST HAPPY THAT WE ARE LEARNING FROM IT.

WHEN I VENTURED INTO THE U.S SOME 5YRS AGO, I WAS MOST SHOCKED BY SO MANY THINGS, PARAMOUNT AMONST THEM WAS, " THE BABY DADDY, BABY MAMA ISSUES", EVERY LITTLE GIRL THAT I WALKED BY ON THE STREET HAS A STROLLER AND A BABY, KIDS WERE HAVING KIDS AND IT BAFFLED ME BEYOND BOUNDS, I STARTED TO ASK QUESTIONS, IN MY LITTLE RESEARCH, I FOUND OUT THAT MAJORITY OF THOSE KIDS, BOTH MALE AND FEMALES, WERE BORN THAT WAY TOO, NO STABLE HOME, NO FATHER IN THE HOUSE, THEIR MOTHER'S ARE BUSY CHANGING BOYFRIEND'S AND OR LOOKING FOR ONE. MOST OF THSES KIDS WITNESSED A GOOD NUMBER OF THEIR MOTHER'S BOYFRIEND COME AND GO. NO PARENTAL CONTROL AND INFLUENCE, HENCE, WE HAVE A THOUSAND NUMBERS OF BASTARD CHILDREN MOVING AROUND AND ACTING LIKE ANIMALS.

THE PROBLEM WITH BLACK AMERICA'S HAS GONE BEYOND WHAT THE WHITE DID TO THEM, MOST OF THEM, WITH ALL THE NECESSARY THINGS AT THIER DISPOSAL STILL PREFER TO DO OTHERWISE, I HAVE YOUNG BALCK MEN DRIVES A MERCEDES AND LIVES IN THEIR MOTHER'S BASEMENT, THEY CANNOT MAINTAIN A JOB AND MOVES FROM ONE GIRLFRIEND'S HOME TO ANOTHER EVEN AT THE AGE OF 40 +.

 

IF AND ONLY IF, BLACK MEN START TO REALIZE THAT SOME OF US THAT MIGRATED TO U.S WITH ONLY OUR SUITCASES AND TODAY ARE MAKING ENDS AND THEY CAN DO BETTER.

THERE IS NO REASON WHY A BOY IF 18YRS OR SAY 25YRS SHOULD HAVE 3KIDS FROM 3 DIFFERENT WOMEN AND YOU THINK HE WILL BE STABLE, WHEN THESE YOUNG PEOPLE SECURE A JOB AT TARGET, WAL MART, KOHLS ETC, BOUGHT A 1996 CAR, THE NEXT THING FOR THRM IS HAVE A KID, IT IS PATHETIC.

July 25, 2008
Click to view SAFriday's profile

I am interested to see if the same framework used to create this program could be used for a White in America... Hispanic in America... Asian in America? Cover the same material, ask the same questions, perform the same studies and fact finding, continue the unbiased look at a specific race and see what we get.

 

Will it show that the same issues discovered in this program are shared between all races? Would it help further unite us all or would it fuel the fire of racism and prejudice that has been so difficult to put out?

 

Sometimes I wonder if specific reports like these don't cause more harm than good. In order to put our differences aside, we need to eventually stop pointing them out.

July 25, 2008
Click to view LADY2CNTX's profile

The first segment of Black in America was EXCELLENT!  i did not enjoy last night's show.  It depicted all of the negative stereo types.  I would have enjoyed seeing a black family in a black neighborhood that is successful.  Why did we have a see the 'successful' black family in the 'white neighborhood with the white daughter in law on Black in AMerica?  I know that it is their reality but there are other successful families that could beviewed to show our perspective.

July 25, 2008
Click to view albertmartel's profile

The recent show on black in america was a show that only seem to give alot of blacks an excuse to continue complaining instead of standing up and doing something with thier own lives..I am a black man who came from a home were my parent was a part but i alway knew who my father was and were he was and he is a part of my life even now. I also have  two daughter that lived with thier mother till they was adults and who i was married to for 14 years and I am a very much apart of thier life. Both my mother and father has no more than a 8 grade education but they never once allow us to feel we was poor or less than anyone else..no matter what job they held to support us.. My father paid 30.00 per month in child support for 5 kids cause that all he could afford  but my mother never once bad mouth him or  allow us to. That gave me the understanding that when i as a black man  face a seperation from my kid mother  it was important for me to make every effort to stay involved in my girls lives. they are now 19 & 24 year old women now but even today I still enjoying everyday they are apart of my life .I think  most black men think as I , but it seem the media somehow need to continue to show the negative of some blackmen  and not the  goodness of the majority of blackman..

July 25, 2008
Click to view car4lee's profile

I am so very offended by this trash. What is the purpose? It's not anything new, just more of the same.

Slaves had many restrictions far to many to name.

However, on in particular sticks out.Denegrade,dehumanize,humilate,basradtize the Black man in front of his woman and his children.have sex with his woman while he watches.Give her more freedom and privelages in exchanee for trampling on his self worth.

This was one of the core and principal tools used for control by slave masters.This is how you gotto become a winch

I have lone wonderd how Soladad lost her anchor job. now I know

She obviously has no shame.She is willing to put ambition before pride and duty before dignity. and for that she cannot be forgiven.

This show served no purpose ,other than to bring more shame and disgrace to all black people

It accurately points out that in the 1400's Europeans planted racism and superiority in The DNA of black people from africa.

This show merely measures it's effectiveness by bring up basket of topics and statistically comparing them to white people. not asians,not hispanics, not africans, not native americans just white people.

This show suggest that white people are Gods chosen people and that it is by these standards the the rest of the world should choose to live.

This country was born in both sin and bravery and as of today it is still not a perfect union. Therefore,this subjct matter cannot be approached at the end without and understanding of How and Why.

Everyone has to understand that you cannot beat a system. The only way to defeat a system is to replace it with a better system and no one has shown a willingness to do that.

What is clear is that many word have changed in america but few deeds and the only thing that white people in america feel in their hearts for black people is contempt. evidenced by the disparity in the quality of life.

There is no concrete evidence that shame is a great motivator judging by the results in america.

Black people do indeed have issues not only in america but throughout the world. but, hanging out the dirty laundry on CNN is not helpful.

To author and air this show was bad judgement at it's worst

There are obviously systemic issues preceeding every social problem that was pointed out .yet not a single one was pointed out.

No baby comes in the world and say I to be poor, i want to be a criminal,I want to be dumb, I want to be homeless, I want to have aids,

Yes every child should have a mother and a father. not to be compared to whites but, because it is a better way to live

Please remember during slavery black famalies were seperated on purpose. forced apart all sent to different regions and states and not allowed to communicate or make contact with one another.

In speaking about slavery Thomas jefferson once said that if there really is a God then someday we are going to pay for this.

well the chickens are coming home to roost,it is time to pay.

You simply cannot train a dog and expect him to bevave correctly at a tea party.

Soladad,I cannot find the words to express just how disappointed I am, not to mention sick

July 25, 2008
Click to view layaatexas's profile

I take issue with the media’s seemingly, unending victimization of the black woman.  I'm appalled by the accepting and condoning attitudes of Black America with regard to young black women having multiple children out of wed-lock.  As a black woman, I'm incensed that the blame for the erosion of the black family is being placed squarely on the shoulders of the black man.  We should all be alarmed by the number of impoverished black women choosing to bed, and become pregnant by any man who comes along.  Most of these young mother's have no meaningful relationship with the would-be father before she becomes pregnant.  During the Black in America series, I heard someone mention the rationale of most poor unwed black mother’s as; “young women who don’t feel as if they can become anything in society, but they do believe they can be good mothers.  It is this idiotic, callous and self-serving belief that festers and weakens us as a people.  A good mother is one that provides basic necessities for her child, which includes a father.  And if you must rely on the Federal Government to support your child for life, you’re not being a good mother.  Our children are suffering because of the ignorance, and irresponsible behaviors of our black women.  In my opinion, black women bare just as much responsibility for our economic failures as a people, as the black man.  Black women have become major contributors to the excessive poverty that exists in our race.  We are breeding ignorance, and Black in America was biased in that regard.  I look forward to a substantive report on the role the black woman is playing in the continued social and economic demise of our people. Maybe then, black women who so eagerly point the finger of fault at a man, the government, and others will finally look in the mirror.

July 25, 2008
Click to view towninfl's profile

I think many of the problems African-Americans face today are rooted in the legacy of slavery.  I can't even begin to imagine coming from a family where generations of my ancestors were told they couldn't marry, they couldn't read, they couldn't apply for certain jobs, etc......... Many of the problems that black america struggles with today are the exact same ones that for two hundred years they were forbidden from doing.  Education, literacy, marriage, employment, etc...

So for white america to think you can undo in 40 years what they took 200 years to create is crazy. 

 

Black people are trying.  We are fighting the stereotypes, the prejudice, the indoctrination of inferiority that was laid upon us. I know one day, Martin Luther King Junior's dream will come true, but we are still far from that day.  Both whites and blacks still have alot of work to do, for that dream to become reality.

July 25, 2008
Click to view Hoops1888's profile

this is more of the same, the black community needs to stop complaining and pretending they are victims when they are their own worst enemy, the problems outlined in the documentary are all self fulfilling prophecies of the black community, we are all equal so why don't we all act like we are equal?

July 25, 2008

There is one recurring theme in many negative sides of black society and that is the idea that all white people are born into privilege. I know a great many black people growing up that were more well off than my family was. We were dirt poor and fatherless as well.

 

The issues blacks face today are no different than what people off all races in this country face. Instead of blaming others for our misfortunes we need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, "what can I do to make things better?". I believe each generation should learn from the generation before, instead of using the past as an excuse for the present. Even if is just one step at a time, but it would a step in a 'positive' direction.

 

By the way, isn't Solidad Obrien a mixed race, she isn't even black, she is Cuban and Australian Irish. Hmmmmm...

July 25, 2008
Click to view veroni96's profile

I concur, that there are many Black Americans who have never been faced with the negative downtrodden side of life. The issue is not about our race but ECONOMICS. Once the nation realize that we all have the same color blood and unite with the common cause for economic self perservation the better off we will be.

July 26, 2008
Click to view catlady7's profile

It seems that being Black is a reason to create a whole separate set of rules in America. If we are all equal, than why do "Blacks" have to have a separate Black Caucus, Black entertainment channel, Black Miss America, Black college, Black churches etc. If there was a White entertainment channel or a White Miss America Pageant, or White college, the screaming of racism would never stop...

 

If the "Blacks" of America don't stop screaming foul over their color the racism will never die. This just keeps it going and gives an excuse for why they can't or won't succeed.

 

We weren't the slave owner and they weren't the slave, but they refuse to let it die. That is racism to the max. Every race can cry foul, from the Indians to the Jews to the Japanese. The list could go back as far as human history, if you wanted to go there.

 

 

Every time a "black" is charges with a crime, and some thing is not done as it should of been done, their color is used as a reason. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are the first to stir it up. In justices happens to every race not just Blacks, but you don't see "White" america crying foul over their color. Also people of color are not minorities any more, "white" people are becoming the minority at this point in time. so what will the complaint be about next.

 

 

If you don't want to be "Black" in America go back to your homeland of Africa. If you are Mexican and don't like it here go back to Mexico and reform your own country. The same goes for any other race. Either be an "American" period, or go back to your "roots" and change your heritage as it is refered to in you own homeland where ever it may be.

 

 

Racism begins in your own backyard and to keep perpetuating the cause is your own downfall, no one else's..Better read what Bill Cosby has to say about being Black in America... Pretty smart man...

July 26, 2008
Click to view zoesmamma's profile

My stomach turned as I sat and witnessed the CNN's documentary on the state of being Black In America. It reported that we as a people are at the bottom of the totem pole! We are the least educated yet the most to suffer from diseases and the most likely fall into the negative punitive system.

 

Horrifying statistics were presented: Black Women make up 2 out of 3 newly infected with HIV. More than 50 percent of Black children are born out of wedlock. Black Man- make up more the half of the jail population.

 

As I continued to watch I thought to myself "Oh My GOD!" Black people are in a state of depression. Depression, I was taught, is anger turned inward. It dawned on me that this is something that has been manifesting itself in so many ways. Drugs, Crime, Promiscuity, Obesity... This list can go on and on however it all says the same thing we are angry and we are taking out on ourselves.

 

What are our solutions? Church, Therapy, Airing our Dirty Laundry on National TV. I’m not sure if these are the ways in which to solve the problems we are facing. However, I am Black and I live in America and I want the “American Dream”. In fact I want us all to have it. But we must first find our way out of our Depression.

 

Suggestions Anyone????????

July 26, 2008
Click to view Dwrightcj's profile

Soledad, "Black in America" documentary spoke only of somewhat of the Black experience. Example: you reported on the Black population of Black men in prison, but failed to mention how many just in the past year have been exonerated after serving YEARS for a crime they did not commit. This  injustice in the Black community have also contributed to the break down of the Black families. The injustice of our Judicial System have been used against the Black community for years, a tool used to deny Liberty, Life, and the Pursuit of Happiness. There are stories we know of through movies, books etc, but what about the many untold story of successful Black men who have been INNOCENTLY incarcerate? Have anyone stopped and asked how did our Judicial system failed these INNOCENT men when there are safeguards to prevent this type of injustice from happening? Does Due Process have a color? Has anyone stopped to question how were these INNOCENT men's appeal(s)were denied? Who are these Justices and Judges who failed at their jobs to stand for  the law of the land, and deny these INNOCENT men of justice? We focus on what Blacks in America aren't doing that's positive, but failed to focus our heroes who have been targeted by injustice, on the real problem. I did not confess that every Black man/women in prison is innocent, as any race people make mistakes, but you have the stats. We are more likely to pay for mistakes others make. An adage of former president Ronald Reagan "someone has to pay for crime" not the criminal but someone. Why isn't there a documentary of why and who failed these INNOCENT Black men in AMERICA? I feel the documentary of "Black in America" should have also included what Justices, Judges, Prosecutors, Law enforcement feel about having Blacks in America.

"A HERO/HUSBAND/FATHER/SON/FRIEND, AND SUCCESSFUL MARINE, A BLACK MAN FALSELY INCARCERATED FOR A CRIME HE DID NOT COMMIT COULD ONLY HAPPEN TO HIM, BECAUSE HE IS BLACK IN AMERICA"

July 26, 2008
Click to view tcp2111's profile

OK IM THRU WITH CNN. I'M SO TIRED OF THIS BLACK IN AMERICA CRAP. THERES JUST AS MANY DISADVANTAGED PPL IN OTHER RACE'S AS THERE IS BLACKS. THE BLACK IN AMERICA CRAP GETS SHOVED DOWN OUR THROAT AND IT MAKES ME SICK. I HAVE MORE BLACK FRIENDS THAN WHITE FRIENDS. I'M NOT RACIST BUT IM FAIR. I'M CHANGING TO FOX NEWS JUST LIKE MOST EVERYONE I KNOW HAS ALREADY.

July 26, 2008
Click to view azfather's profile

Charles Barkley is wrong!  There are over 4 million black males in college, and close to 1 million in prison (as CNN correctly pointed out in their program).  Will someone at CNN PLEASE CORRECT HIM and those false, IGNORANT statements that he continues to make!!!  Also, EVERY black male in my family takes care of his children and family (whether there are born in or out of wedlock)!!! And there are many! SEE YOU ON THE GOLF COURSE in Scottsdale, AZ, BLACK MAN IN AMERICA!

July 26, 2008
Click to view RANGERDOC's profile

I am torn on my feelings toward this “Story” that this NEWS channel has chosen to spend this much time and money on. Now I can’t say that we as an American people don’t have a problem with race in our country. But hasn’t it improved, considerably for the Black American??? I mean really. If you where to even whisper a word of this “Story” as WHITE America…. Red Flags would rise across the nation.

 

One of the questions that keep coming to mind as I watch this “story” is, “where are all of the EBONIC Speaking Black Americans that I seem to run into. I think its great that you have wisely chosen to search out well-educated people that are not only well spoken but apparently successful in their lives.

 

I knew a young man (Black American) that was standing around talking with his friends and using the N word. I came up to him and asked why it was okay that he could use that term but it was unacceptable that I did. His reply didn’t surprise me. To be honest I expected it. It told me that IF I where an African American then it would be okay. And honestly I was HOPEING that he would give me that answer. It just happened that I had another young man (AFRICAN AMERICAN) who was WHITE and in FACT a SOUTH AFRICAN. Making him, yep you guessed it, An AFRICAN AMERICAN. I asked the first young man if would be okay that this young man used that term and of course the answer was, a resounding NO! I guess my point here is that as “WE” are looking for equal rights and to look past the race problem. I think we need to get past the double standard that comes with it! On Both sides!

 

Do you remember SEPT 11?? I know you do. But do you remember SEPT 12th when a nation woke up TOGETHER as one. One country with no race, no sex, nothing but as AMERICANS!!  Get past it!!!

July 26, 2008
Click to view Hawkeyes's profile

I agree that this should just be about America, but the reality is that our country is divided by race, so until we change our mind set about color globally, we won't get past it.  We have Asians dying their hair blonde, Blacks wearing blue contacts, countries saying that rascism doesn't exist, yet the dark skinned Morrocan is seen as less than, historical and biblical references still perpetuating black negative sterotypes. As early as three months ago my three year old son was confronted by a six year old asking him if he was dirty. Our global views of the past have started this negative view when our forefathers landed on this country and today's global views of self hatered still perpuate our division of color today.  What I felt was missing from the show was that all blacks were not represented.  We have a small group, that don't feel like they belong to the black race.  They speak well, are well educated, live in suburbs or small towns where they are one of few black families.  They don't attend a black church.  They choose not to join a Black Greek organization on college campuses and have even gone to precievablly "White" colleges, like the University of Iowa or Utah State University.  We have been ridiculed for not being Black enough and feel that we have more simularities with our other friends that are culturally different from us. We admire Martin Luther King and other leaders not of the Black race that fought for all equality.  We understand that there is no such thing as white and black language but only English which is still not declared the offical language of the land.  Most of us were born or raised in the northern states and felt very isolated in the Southern states. When we open our mouth about rascism in America or being Black in America, we are told that our voice doesn't matter. We are Uncle toms and we have sold out.  In fact, we as a race sold out a long time ago when we wanted to pass laws to legitamize "Ebonics".  We are a country of Americans and if anyone read a history book, they would realize that we were one argument away from speaking German. We are biologically a mixed race of characters, thoughts and ideas, popular or not and everyone should be heard.  The recent election is a perfect example of the same old fight.  Jesse Jackson recently and inappropaiatly said some negative things about Obama.  There are a lot of Blacks that feel the same way as Obama.  They grew up in Kansas and struggled between the "White" and the Black "World". We are gypsies living among all racisim that moved to this great land called "America".

July 26, 2008
Click to view nydrak's profile

One segment highlighting children without fathers involved in their lives focused on a father who arrived late at his daughter's first birthday party and was repeatedly cajoled him to 'get involved'. Soledad stated he thinks getting involved is bringing a box of pampers on his infrequent visits. He had since fathered another woman's son.  But should we be so hard on the father? Isn't his irresponsibility a learned behavior? Most in his community, including himself, were raised without a father.

Anthropologist Margaret Mead identified a mother's role as biologically based and the father's role as a social creation. The males of most other species are not involved in raising their young. She alluded to the difficulty of reestablishing the fathers role in the family once lost.

Excellent birth control being available, why would a mother plan to have a child without any promise of the father's involvement? Did anyone ask the mother 'Why'?  Did anyone ask how she provides for herself and her child?

One participant made unsubstantiated links to the legacy of slavery, but seventy five percent of black children were born to married couples after WWII. What changed?

Prior to government assistance for single mothers, most unmarried mothers stayed in their extended family. It wasn't a picnic, but most extended families included a father or grandfather.

Government assistance and government housing options were made available only to the unwed mother and child who required to live alone.  Without a father or extended family to provide guidance and relief, child abuse is less unexpected and, statistically, boyfriends pose a huge threat to infants in the home.

Young, especially unskilled, black men cannot compete with government checks. If a father did try to live with the family, he was driven out of the home as a 'cheater'. Getting males back into the families now may be impossible. It will definitely be made impossible as long as the mothers do not find themselves without the option of government assistance.

Males of our species, when robbed of their role of provider, lose their incentive to be productive.  Look at the Native American reservations when their provider role was removed.

Its going to be tough to break the cycle of dependence, but that has to happen first... before the mothers will demand responsibility from the fathers and reestablish the family.

July 26, 2008
Click to view insleymatt's profile

I have no problems with CNN airing a program on being black in America. I think since we're going to have our first black president this year it's all but appropriate. I would, however, like to make a request. Why don't you air a documentary on the subjugation of homosexuals in America? I understand that African-Americans still are faced with racism and stereotype, but homosexuals represent the MOST subjugated minority in this country right now. Don't you think it's time to eliminate racial lines and discuss a subject that strips many Americans (of every race) of basic rights?

July 26, 2008
Click to view Hawkeyes's profile

Furthermore, I get tired of being told that if we want to fight about continued injustices, go back to our homeland in Africa.  Live in Africa for one year and you'll realize that "African Americans" are not African.  Our homeland is America.  Most blacks that trace there heritage back to slavery did not come here by choice.  If you're going to get upset by black leaders complaing about old fights "Catlady7" then allow us to point out that your comment "Why don't you just go back to Africa if you don't like it" is also a equally negative and deameaning.  My respectfull comment to you would be to read two books "The curse of Hamm" and Howards Zinn's book about US people's history. African Americans, which I will agree with you on is an overplayed discription of me, but we can't go back to a country that sold us to white slave owners.  We only have America, as inperfect and perfect as it is.  Thank God we live in a country that we can point out it's inperfections and injustices without being killed or jailed.

July 26, 2008
Click to view leo59jacque's profile

I was horrified that you didn't mention not one time in your Black in America stories about the women who leave their children home alone to run to be with men while you come down hard on the fathers who can't get jobs because of the mistakes they made in their young lives because of lack of male roll models, or there being no meaningful employment in there area of the city that is inside city limits except for Walmart, McDonald's etc which doesn't pay a living wage.  I am a single father of one child whose mother abandon her other four children prior to my sons birth I've had custody of since he was 18 months old and there is no help at all for a single struggling father. It's easy to show a lot of high yellow well to do colored folk and call them black if you remember your history lessons light skin coloreds always were favored over the dark skin colored people i.e.; servants, maids, and coachmen. also its easy to pull yourself up by the bootstrap when you come from a middle class family, I was raised by a single parent (mother) who spent over ten (10) years going to school part-time to receive her PhD in sociology made a career of it but spent very little time with me, while I spent my time raising my twin sisters that I never asked for and didn't want the responsibility of raising had no choice in the matter. My father was a former police officer and businessman who went to prison for being black w/property and money in the 50's and 60s. My mother always told me he was dead. So please don't lay all the blame on black men, my father raised three of my sibling by himself when he got out of prison, one of which was later poisoned and died in Korea in the late 70's. you do a serious misdeed with the second half of your series and didn't cover the terrible mothers that are out there.

P.S. I was a high school drop out because I ran away from home to get away from my mother who was like "mommy dearest" but worse, I went back and received my G.E.D.  and went on to a community college for a year before I continued on to work due to lack of funds not one of the well dressed black women had time to help a black man because there was no political or nothing to gain in it for them  . So Please STOP the MADNESS.

July 26, 2008
Click to view born2change's profile

As a 53 year old African American women growing up in the late fifties/sixties era, I can certainly appreciate the documentary.  It does show the ills of what racism and segregation has birthed. However when do we move pass airing the negative views of Blacks and move towards resolve.  Perception is everything.  The perception that Blacks are mostly like to have the most negative out come from education, to jobs; to health plays on the psychological  reasoning of "so a man/woman think, so is he/she". When the legal system stop portraying Blacks as worthless criminals because they are Black and give them the same compassion that is given to Whites that commits even more violent crimes than most non-violent Blacks, then we will remove the chains of plantation mentality that has now evolved into the penitentiary mentality - hopelessly fighting against a White mans system. When all Americans start seeing Black people as valued contributors to this country, then we will begin to affect change.

 

Thank you for allowing me to join the movement towards equality.

 

Illinois cares!

July 26, 2008
Click to view dollface5000's profile

its tough being black in america true. try being black and transsexual in america, living in a continental community that rejects  you because you live in the  truth of who you are.black women look at you as either a threat or a joke and black men who publicly reject you as a member as your own race  privately  expect you to deal with their selflothing 'dl'situations. its incredible and very discouraging to live in a country that wont even acknowledge a transgendered experience exists in this country unless you are on demeaning tv show i.e. jerry, maury , a criminal or have some sort of medical affliction.automatically your looked at as off your rocker and not even worth paying attention to, having no valid basis for your lifestyle and definately not part as some other larger brother/sisterhood.i am a tranican american i have history in this country and i am not ashamed.-lexxi

July 26, 2008
Click to view mikemattsr's profile

I'm a 50 y/o white male. I grew up in Paterson NJ. I have an Irish/Italian heritage. My uncles and aunts and my parents were I hate to admit very prejudiced. I am very happy to say that trait does not affect me. I have always loved the diversity of the area I was from. In school I was friends with blacks, latinos, middle easterners. That was an education in itself. I feel that we need to learn that we are different in many ways, but also that we are so similar in many ways as well.

I just wanted to give alittle background before my comment.

What I am concerned about was not really talked about in the Black in America program. Gang violence. I think that we need to do something about neighborhoods being ravaged by the gangs of youths that are shooting each other, and selling drugs. I know that if the violence that is happening in the streets of East LA, and other mainly black and Hispanic neighborhoods, there is no denying the facts. I have been in liquor stores with bullet proof dividers between me and the clerk. I say this because I have seen it first hand. If this were to spread to the white neighborhoods, there would be national guard units rushing in.

Our government is not looking at this problem at all. They just lock em up. We need to take back these areas, give these kids something to aspire towards. Education in this country should be top notch in each and every school in this country. Education and involvement from we the older generation are imperative. Get involved and love one another.

July 26, 2008
Click to view ABreeze's profile

I am yet to see this program and I will have to only assume that it is only being aired as an distraction of American minds. Here we are in a prophesized crisis in 2009 and CNN decides to do a special on black america, I personally do not blame any other ethnic groups responding to this blog from being jealous, but the thing is as you can see from just the comments posted here America is all too familiar with this subject, furthermore Africa America knows the problems but seldom come up short with the solutions; this my people is why I have posted. 

 

I am a young African American man from the south, Georgia that is, and if you want the "Black in America" experience then the south is where it's at!

 

But I  am working now so I will only spill this.

 

WILLIE LYNCH note!!! FIND IT, SHARE IT!!

 

And we ARE the chosen brothers and sistas of Israel!!

I can go on......... and on............

 

But GAS is HiGH and America IS at WARx2.  READ BLACK MAN READ!!!!!!!!

July 26, 2008
Click to view BarbadosZimm's profile

In response to "Catlady" it is clear that understanding is missing. African Americans did not create the inequities in America.  She along with many other  responders have elected to identify African Americans as whiners and they obviously lack knowledge and/or any understanding of the institutional impact racism has had during and since slavery.  Poor whites and Blacks are treated the same by those who control the power within this country.  The only benefit given to whites, in some instances, is the color of their skin.  It troubles me that the right to vote without the imposition of superficial restrictions and prohibitions does not belong to black people without the continuing need to renew the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The government had to establish a law, after the intense efforts of freedom fighters (black & white), to eliminate what some states had established as separate election practices that differed for blacks and provided priviledge and advantages for whites.  The Act is not a permanent one and keeps African Americans in a position to be separated from mainstream America without its regular renewal. Conservative oppostion has consistently been raised in an effort to strangle the process.  When efforts to block the basic rights of Americans, and we are born Americans, the cry will continue to be for Equity, Parity, Justice and Equal Opportunity.  Whining has and never will be the tactic used to accomplish what justly belongs to all citizens regardless of race, color, or ethnicity. 

 

In the absence of truth being taught in American school systems, white children and their parents remain misinformed believing that the greatness of this country is solely because of their genius, work ethic, and hard labor. WRONG! It was Black slaves then and minimum wage slaves today that are needed to keep this economy alive.  Poor and lower class whites are now feeling what we have felt for many years except in most cases as cutbacks occur, blacks will be terminated before them and/or hired before any black college graduate.  It's called racism and I don't see it going away any time soon.

Without those black institutions,etc. our children would not have equal access to higher education, etc.  I feel sorry for you because no longer can ignorance be "bliss:.

July 26, 2008
Click to view Phoenix1973's profile

I am not sure if I am writing in the correct blog but I wanted to say a few things about your, Special Black in America. What an eye opener. This series has opened my soul to the realities faced by Black people in America (and eveywhere else). I am white Canadian and I was never raised to see black or white so racism makes no sense to me. I am still shocked by the depth of the hate that still exists and in awe of the strength so many African Americans have. As a white person let me apologize, not for anything I have done, but what my fellow "race" has done and continues to do. I hear so many people say African Americans need to get over slavery and inequality from years ago, obviously those people have no clue as to what still goes on and the struggles still faced by African Americans. There have been improvements (hey youmay have a black President and I am a huge Obama fan, wish we had Canadian politicians like him) but until we stop seeing black and white as different we have no hope of true acceptance and understanding.  I admit to being ignorant and not truly realizing the depth of the problem until I watched all CNN has been doing over the last few months on this subject. It has not created pity in me but extreme shame for the absolute stupidity and cruelty many in my own race have shown. It has also given me a much, much bigger respect for all African Americans struggle through , their pride, culture and passion. Thank you for bringing awareness to my views on this and for making me realize that just because I don't see in "black and white" there are many, too many, people who still do. I have a 16 year old son and I made him watch this series. I raised him the way I was raised so he has no bias but he needed, all kids need, to know the truth. With awareness comes wisdom, I thank you for sharing your wisdom.

 

Shenna Racine - Ottawa, Canada

July 26, 2008
Click to view malyo's profile

THE MORE I READ, THE MORE I GET OUTRAGED. CNN MADE THIS PROGRAM EASY FOR WHITE AMERICA TO SWALLOW. IT SEEMS TO LEAVE THE REAL SOLUTION OUT AS IT OPENS THE DOOR FOR MORE OF THE BOOTSTRAP CRAP, AND THE CHOICES THEORY. I AM NOT SAYING THAT THESE ARE NOT NECESSARY, AS THEY ARE IN BLACK AMERICA JUST AS THEY ARE IN WHITE AMERICA. NOW I AM AN ANGRY BLACK WOMAN...I LOVE SOLEDAD, BUT I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT WITH ALL OF HER RESEARCH FOR THIS STORY, SHE COULD NOT GET TO THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE...WHITE DENIAL, WHITE PRIVILEDGE...WHICH ARE NOT THE CAUSES OF ALL OF BLACK IN AMERICAS PROBLEMS, BUT IS THE ROOT OF WHY THINGS WON'T REALLY CHANGE.  THERE WAS A WHOLE COMMUNITY OF AVERAGE BLACK PEOPLE, WHO NEVER GOT IN TROUBLE, NEVER LIVED IN THE HOOD.  THERE IS A WHOLE COMMUNITY OF BLACK MUSLIMS MAKING A POSITIVE DIFFERENCE IN THE TROUBLED AREAS OF THE COMMUNITIES.  THERE IS A DEEPER SUBJECT THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN IGNORED; POST TRAUMATIC SLAVERY STRESS DISORDER... IF ANYONE CARED, REALLY CARED TO BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN THE RACES IN AMERICA, THEY WOULD SEEK TO UNDERSTAND THE REASONS WHY SOOOO MANY BLACKS FEEL INVISIBLE UNDER A SPOTLIGHT ON THE WORLDS STAGE. FOR THOSE OF US WHO HEAR, HOW TIRED WHITE AMERICA IS OF HEARING ABOUT RACE IN AMERICA, WELL THERE ARE JUST AS MANY BLACKS WHO ARE TIRED OF TRYING TO GET THEM TO SEE THAT THIS IS NOT ALL IN OUR HEADS.  THERE IS AN ARGUMENT TO BE MADE FOR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY, BUT YOU CAN'T TELL ONE GROUP TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR A SICKNESS THEY HAVE AQUIRED BY THE CONSTANT ATTACK ON THEIR HUMANITY AS A WHOLE...NOT ONLY FROM SLAVERY, BUT WHAT ABOUT A NONSTOP ATTACK AFTER SLAVERY BY THE ATTITUDES OF WHITE AMERICA TOWARDS BLACKS THAT CAUSED THEM TO RE-ENSLAVE BLACKS TO OBTAIN WEALTH FOR WHITES THROUGH THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX...WHICH COINCIDED WITH THE ATTITUDES OF WHITE AMERICA TOWARD BLACKS THAT ALLOWED THE UNMERCIFUL ACT OF MUTILATING, BURNING, AND LYNCHING BLACK BODIES...WHAT ABOUT THE ATTITUDES OF WHITE AMERICA TOWARDS BLACKS THAT CAUSED THEM TO INSIST ON THE INFERIORITY THAT THEY CREATED OF BLACKS AS THEY DENIED WHITES AND BLACKS THE TRUTH ABOUT THE POSITIVE IDENTITY AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLD OF BLACK AMERICANS TRULY WERE PRIOR TO SLAVERY. WHAT ABOUT THE ATTITUDE OF WHITE AMERICA THAT CAUSED THEM TO SEPERATE THEMSELVES FROM BLACKS, LEAVING THEM BEHIND IN POVERTY...WHAT ABOUT THE ATTITUDES OF WHITE AMERICA TOWARDS BLACKS THAT CAUSED THEM TO ENACT BLACK CODES, AND JIM CROW, AND WHAT ABOUT THE ATTITUDES OF WHITE AMERICA TOWARDS BLACKS THAT OBVIOUSLY DID NOT BEGIN IN THE WITH THE 60'S, BUT CONSTANTLY PORTRAYED AS IF IT DID...AS THAT ATTITUDE OF DENIAL ALLOW MANY WHITE AMERICANS TO PROTEST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AS THOUGH IT HAS SERVED IT'S PURPOSE OF EQUALIZING THE EFFECTS OF ALL THE DAMAGES DONE TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY SINCE THE BEGINNING OF BLACKS IN AMERICA, AS THEY STAND BY KNOWING OF SOMEONE IN THEIR OWN FAMILY OR COMMUNITY WHO WOULD DENY A BLACK EQUAL ACCESS, OR ACCEPTANCE IN THEIR WHITE WORLD.

I AM NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST, BUT IT DOESN'T TAKE ONE TO SEE THAT AN ONGOING, NEVER ENDING ATTACK ON THE BASIC HUMANITY OF A PARTICULAR RACE FOR CENTURIES WOULD WITHOUT A DOUBT HAVE A LASTING AND IMPACTFUL EFFECT ON THE EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, AND SPIRITUAL CORE OF A HUMAN.

WOULDN'T CNN ADDRESS A PERPETUAL RAPE OF A WOMAN AS A CRIME IN NEED OF JUSTICE?  WOULDN'T CNN SEE THE NEED TO REPORT ON THE PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE CAUSED BY THE REPEATED RAPE OF A WOMAN? WOULDN'T CNN MAKE THE CONNECTION TO THE CHANGES IN THAT WOMAN'S EMOTIONAL, SOCIAL, AND SPIRITUAL BEHAVIOR AS A DIRECT EFFECT OF THAT DAMAGE?   WHY DOES WHITE AMERICA IN DENIAL, AND SOME BLACK AMERICANS WHO DEAL IN THE SYSTEM OF PROFITING FROM LETTING WHITE AMERICA OFF THE HOOK BY FURTHER BEATING UP ON THE VICTIM OF RAPE, AND INSISTING THAT THE PROBLEMS THE VICTIM OF RAPE WERE BROUGHT ON BY THE VICTIM THEMSELVES.  IF CNN FEELS COMPELLED TO SHOW THE BLACK EXPERIENCE TO WHITE AMERICA, THEN IT SHOULD SHOW HOW MISEDUCATION AND THE ATTITUDES OF WHITE AMERICANS TOWARDS BLACKS HAVE MORE THAN HELPED TO SHAPE THE BLACKS IN AMERICA.  HARSH WORDS I KNOW FOR A HARSH SUBJECT. I'LL ACCEPT THE ANGRY BLACK WOMAN TITLE IF THAT'S WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO GET YOU THROUGH THE NIGHT, BUT IT DOESN'T CHANGE WHY I WOULD BE ANGRY. REPORT ON THAT! PEACE.

July 26, 2008
Click to view jjjemmm's profile

I am a 58 year old white woman who first learned of segregation as a child when we visited relatives who lived in Southern states and was an enthusaistic supporter of the civil rights movement as a teenager.

 

As an adult, I worked as an RN with many black patients, families, and coworkers in hospitals and public health agencies in GA, as an FNP in clinics in TN, and finally as a nursing professor in FL.

 

I have been very impressed by CNN's recent programs about the influence of race in the United States and I would like to share some memories that made strong impressions:

 

Being confused as a child when I saw signs that said "colored" on some water coolers, restrooms, or motels and asking my parents what it meant - and I wondered how black parents explained to their children what it meant to be a "colored" person (or Negro, as we used to say back then).

Hearing an elderly aunt tell my parents she would not ride on a bus or a train to visit us in Washington, DC if she had to ride with "colored people because they smell bad."

 

Watching Dianne Carole sing with Dean Martin on a television show at another aunt's home in central FL, and being shocked and disgusted when she exclaimed, "Look at that white man putting his arm around that nigger woman!"

Listening to mayoral election results early in the afternoon while working in an Atlanta hospital and hearing my black co-workers say, "Don't worry, Honey - Maynard Jackson may be behind right now because our people can't take time off from to vote during the day, but he'll still win because they will all come out and vote this evening."

Working with a poor family in a black neighborhood in Atlanta and having a black man politely escort me to my car about 5:00 pm saying, "You go on home now, Miss - you don't want be around here after dark."

Many years later, working in a school health clinic in a black neighborhood in Miami and having co-workers offer to bring me some lunch from the little restaurant across the street because they thought it would be dangerous for me to go in there.

 

Working in a clinic in a poor black neighborhood in the South and finding that patients were more comfortable with me than with my new black colleague who had recently moved from New York and was unfamiliar with their community and traditions.

As a nursing professor, noticing that white students and employees at the university were simply excused if they explained that they were absent because they were sick, or late because they had to drop off a child at school, but black students and employees were usually asked to provide a note from a doctor or teacher if they said the same thing.

 

Having a black professor that I worked with ask me, "How did you manage to grow up without being prejudiced?"  and explaining that I was the child of an Army officer who lived on military bases during much of my childhood and I was never taught by my parents or teachers that race was important - and I was also taught by my church that "red and yellow, black and white, Jesus loves the little children of the world."

 

Asking why my black colleagues often seemed to automatically assume that any conflict or difference of opinion between a white person and a black person was due to racism, and being told, "If someone treats you poorly, you always know that it is not because of your race or color, but we always have to consider that is a possibility."

Hearing a cousin say, "It's too bad that black people name their children Tamika or Jamal because they are likely to be eliminated without even an interview when they apply for a job" - and responding, "Why should anyone waste their time going to an interview with such a prejudiced employer?"

Reading an article that pointed out that middle-class blacks are more vulnerable to economic decline because, as descendants of former slaves, most of them do not have the same safety net of inherited family wealth that many whites can fall back on if they become sick or unemployed.

 

Recognizing that although I worked mostly in black communities  and had many black patients, coworkers, students,  I had very few personal friends outside of work that were black.

Being pleasantly surprised to discover at the first PTA meeting that the new 6th grade teacher my daughter had been enthusiastically raving about for several weeks was a black woman (as was the principal of the excellent public school) – and my daughter had never mentioned that.

 

Finally realizing that it is impossible for any American of my generation to be completely "color-bind" because race and color have had such a profound influence on our personal and cultural experiences, but it is important to be become aware of unconscious prejudice and strive to eliminate discrimination on that basis, so that future generations may grow up to respect and judge others "based on the content of their character rather than color of their skin."

 

Thank you for giving us all an opportunity to consider and communicate about these important issues.

July 26, 2008
Click to view pennylover's profile

To once be viewed as less then human, to be treated by most human races with a lack of compassion. To deceive, and distort your history, to take away from your self identity, have your history stored with your livestock, to erase your history of your Indian heritage with those who suffered most of the same fate in suffrage at the time an then forth.

To never understand why the world viewed your race as a whole as less then human burying heritage with the cattle of the land because of the view of being in humane till this day justifying  harsh and degrading treatment, reflecting stereotypical views that cause mass environmental schizophrenia views with and toward blacks in America.

Without proper knowledge of God a man is capable of doing and believing anything, knowing you can only give what’s been given to you as well as share unless you choose to learn something that agree or disagree with the common view.

When I get angry now about mass injustice that would be lacking in end time that I must endure to the end, I turn to the word of God that told me so in order that the works of God made be made manifest in behalf of those who suffer the lawlessness of man.

July 26, 2008
Click to view mikemattsr's profile

There should be no anger at all! The refusal to acknowledge that we do have an advantage as white is true. I willing admit it. I personally dont agree with it, but I know it happens. That is why this discussion is so important. We are still in our infancy as a species, when we discover that biologically we are one, and working together will bring a new future to this planet we will be better off. Look at bee hives, colonies of ants, the convergence of thousands of birds in flight, or fish in the sea. Working together people, that is our only hope.

July 26, 2008
Click to view jerriwinston's profile

if anyone knows what it is like to be the illegitimate child of a father who reluctantly accepts that child into his established family of other children born out of the true love of his wife into a happy home, then you have some idea of what it is like to be Black in America.

 

if our mother were America and our Father, the government, then our father went outside of his marriage into some illicit affair and out of that came slavery and the Black child. and that is how America treats this Black child. she wants to ignore their history, "put it behind us" and just move on from here. she doesn't love and embrace the Black child like she does her others. she and "father government" are always fighting over just what to do and how to handle this illegitimate child who she really doesn't want to deal with but was forced into because of his immoral actions. and these feelings for this Black child (Black America) do not go unnoticed. Black America feels and responds to this with a constant fight to be noticed, acknowledged, loved and honored as true Americans just like any child (White, mainstream America) born out of love.

 

black america has a deep love for our country and some even appreciate the necessary evil of the slave trade that was ultimately required to populate this country as a TRUE melting pot with people of color. we all know good and well that had it not been for the slave trade, America would have instituted the necessary "laws" preventing Black people from being a major percentage of immigrants to this country. but we do get frustrated as Black people, that mainstream White America refuses to truly embrace our Black American history just as we are "forced" to embrace theirs. the fact that our history here is noticeably absent from mainstream history books, schools, libraries, songs, museums, holidays.......and all things that  represent the celebrating, honoring and learning of America, simply represents how we are still ignored, marginalizes, and just not embraced as true Americans. and then they wonder why we have a different concept of what it is to love our country than mainstream White America.

 

i acknowledge that with this generation of Americans, a new dawn is coming and my children will not experience the same issues that i did as a Black American. we have essentially rid ourselves of individual bias, prejudice and racism and it is not accepted by most Blacks or Whites.  but we still have deeply embedded in our SYSTEMS and government establishments (justice, education, health...) the remnants and residue of jim crowe, segregation and other "invisible" forces that are easy for White mainstream America to ignore but that Black america feel the backlash from every day.  i know that these conditions will continue to improve with the intentional efforts of all Americans.  it is just a matter of understanding each other and respecting each others experience and culture as a melting pot.   i know that we all want this to happen in order to create  a better America.

July 26, 2008
Click to view divagk's profile

No doubt, CNN delivered on the sound byte "viewers would get a good picture of what it is to be Black in America today". Albeit the intention of this series could have been laudable, this was simply a depressing and in many ways demoralizing television viewing experience. Truly, one has to realize that Black people, not individually but as a community, are decades away from achieving true equality in this country. Even on the edge of the dawn of impending political change, that which is systemic in this country and which was prominently highlighted in this series is, no where near change.

July 26, 2008
Click to view justme76's profile

Comment poster by psyduckstar »

I am wonder if CNN is going to have a special for Latino in America, Indian's in America, etc. why is everything is discuss about RACE is just done in a Black/White format. CNN should realize there are other races and we would like to be in the discussions as well

Reply:

Now I think this is one of the few comments on this blog that I can say is a worthwhile. I believe that all those segments of the population deserve the same focus. To answer your question as to why the country is seen in a Black/White format is a history question. Up until the recent surge in the Hispanic/latino population in this country, these were the two largest and most affected groups. Also the laws of land are archaic and focus on these two groups. The focus does need to be widened.

July 26, 2008
Click to view justme76's profile

Comment by DebbieBradle »

Soledad O'Brien, when is your special on Whites in America. Already know the answer. NEVER. That is why there are so much racial problems. Poor black people. The white people have it made, don't they? You would not know you are so hung up on your race

Reply:

 

DebbieBradle here is a quarter and a tissue.  The quarter is to call any white anchor you wish to call to write and air your story… and the tissue is to stop the nose bleed because you need to be punched.

July 26, 2008
Click to view justme76's profile

Comment by DebbieBradle »

When does it end? Do you think white people have it easy? We have stories to. I am not going to watch the CNN tonight. We cannot change the past. Blacks have the same opportunities at whites. LET IT GO

 

Reply:

 

I have never read seven sentences that made me what to scream, “kiss my behind” before but thanks DebbieBradle for affording me that opportunity. Your picture is in the dictionary next to the word ignorant…and you are comfortable in that ignorance. In response, to your request for black America to LET IT GO…my answer is a resounding, “Hell NO!!!”I use it as fuel to make me get up every morning to show all those who believe I am worthless that they are wrong... As a black female in this county who probably has more education than you; I had to fight for everything that I got (not taking away from others who have to fight)  I have been told by white supervisors that I had to work harder than my white counterparts because I am black, even when I am equally or more qualified for the job (those are their words not mine) But there are those of you believe things like don’t happen...wake up. Because something doesn’t affect you directly doesn’t make it any less harmful or hurtful…or true. I now control the fate of those people who told me that I was worthless and wouldn’t amount to anything. I don’t know about your God but mine said he would make my enemies my footstool. Hello footstools.

July 26, 2008
Click to view justme76's profile

Comment by ackshark »

I wish CNN and other people would stop trying to lump the black community into one category. There is no way a TV show can sum up ALL black people the idea is simply crazy. The saddest part of the whole CNN commentary is that people actually believe this stuff. What about black people who have never lived in the ghetto? What about black people who have never been discriminated against? Why do we believe these false stories about black people? Sorry folks, all black people do not think alike, this is simply crazy that we would have this type of dialogue in 2008. There is nothing ground breaking here, it's the same old story attempting to lump one group of people together for evening entertainment. This is all about class…and CASH.

 

Reply:

 

I am a lover of history and truth. Anything that brings truth to the forefront is worth the time and effort put into it. In response to “ackshark”… you are sad… there isn’t another word for it. The reality is not that all of us have the same lives; the reality is that there are things we do share.  It doesn’t make you anymore black to live in the ghetto than to live in the ‘burbs. Experiencing discrimination doesn’t make you black, that is not the point of this all. And the country, black, white, Latino, Asian, and etc. are very aware that all black people don’t think alike. The fact that you think that race relations (of any kind) are so “good” that this or any conversation does not need to be had, your rock must be really comfortable. Yes, the rock …that you live under.

July 26, 2008

CLAIM YOUR KID: sign the birth certificate!!!!!!!!!!!!1

 

We are a non-profit group that believes one way too help all kids is too pass legislation requiring parents to sign the child's birth certificate.

 

This does not require massive funding.  Something dies in a mother when the dad denies their child; something dies in the child once he or she is old enough to realize that the parent didn't sign the birth certificate.

 

Granted, some mothers hide their pregnancies from the fathers or decide after the child is born that the father isn't good enough, and they run off with another man.

 

Therefore, in a country where birth contol is available, adoption and abortion are available, and in Ohio, you can leave a newborn on the steps of the fire department without consequences, once a child is born there is no excuse for not signing the child's birth certificate.

 

Signing the birth certificate anchors the child's identity, strenthens families, and boosts morale and self-esteem.

 

The child is born, then

1. Both parents sign the certificate.

2. If a parent(s) refuses, the hospital forwards these names to the courts.

3. The reluctant parent is summoned, and DNA tested. 

4. If the test is positive, the reluctant parent pays court costs, pays for the DNA test, and the parent's names is affixed to the birth certificate.

5. If the mother is falsely identifying fathers, she pays the courts costs, the DNA costs, and is subject to various fines and penalties already on the books for perjury and slander.

6. If a reluctant parent refuses to be DNA tested, that parent is found guilty of child neglect, a misdemeanor.

 

All parents of all races and incomes would be required to sign the birth certificate from the poorest parents to wealthy business persons and consorts.

 

No revenue is necessary to enforce this provision, but its impact would be monumental.

 

Please email our organization with letters of support and spread the word at

           signforkids@prodigy.net.

July 26, 2008
Click to view mslahill's profile

I think the program is great. It is actually bringing things to the surface that most of the time is just overlooked or it is talked about but not to the detail how of a real life situation may be. When I was a junior in high school, I was at track practice one day after school and a car full of white males drove by me and threw pop all over me and called me a nigger. It was the most hurtful and embarassing situation that I have ever been in and I have been through some things in my life too. I eventually had the chance to face the boys who did that to me and expressed to them the hurt that they caused. They knew nothing about me, if I was a bad person, if I was a kind hearted person, they only seen the color of my skin and that provoked them enough to complete the act. I let them know how it made me feel and received an apology from them and to this day I have forgiven but I have not forgotten how I was treated. It is so hard to try and teach those of the generations currently growing up. I am teaching that there is no color and that if there is we still don't see it as that is not how we judge someone. We compare what they have inside and what they have to offer to others.

July 26, 2008
Click to view darteest's profile

This program about "Black in America" is just an introduction to the black experience.

 

But let me tell you the real story......

 

Inheritance... Say What? That's right... INHERITANCE is the root of the problem. You see, Black people have real no name. Our names were given to us by those who were our slave masters. But we as a people can't lay claim to any true wealth is this country.

 

Why? ...Because we can't prove who we really are, or what family we belong to. For instance I was never invited to a "Last will and Testament" from my white relatives. They don't even know I exisist. But my mother's extreme light skin tone proves that I'm related. I need to know If I'm a close relative of Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, Ted Turner, or a CEO of a major corporation, or that millionaire general constractor down the street, for example. If I am, aren't I too intitled to thier wealth through inheritance? You know, as a family member.

 

After all, we as black people created this country's wealth from picking cotton for 400 years. By the way, where is my great-great grand father's 40 acres and  mule that was promised.

 

You see true wealth, not riches, are passed down through blood-line only! Isn't that the same blood that flows through my vaines as it does through my wealthy white relatives. And what about the broken promises by our government afer reconstruction. I would imagine that our government has mounds and mound of documentation on the ownership of slaves. They're just not elling us, and we arenot demanding to know, So I guess everything is just fine in black america. No complaints here! I got my big screen, cell phone, cable TV, a good job, nice car (with payments), Hey everything is just fine....right?

 

NOT!

 

You see, inheritance is just the foundation of which we can begin to heal the wounds that we still endore!

 

Oh, one more thing. If black people flocked to the beaches all over the world, every weekend to bathe in the ocean, to lighten thier skin, we would be labled as crazies with no self esteem. It would be said "Black people" must really hate themselves.

 

So why do white people bathe in the sun for days and days, sometimes weeks, to darken thier skin. This is something that is NEVER TALKED ABOUT!

July 27, 2008
Click to view sugardad12's profile

What should have been discussed in detail is the judicial systems war on African-Americans. I've had an up front and intimate view of the criminal justice discrimination. For arguments sake, a white youth arrested and charged with possession of two ounces of marijuana, he's given supervised probation and one year rule. If he has no arrests for a year, his arrest record is wiped clean. A black youth arrested and charged with possession of two ounces marijuana is additionally charged with intent to distribute! The black youth is sentenced to the minimum of eighteen months in the county jail. Upon his release, if he has no further arrests, he can petition the court for an expungement in ten (10)years. Take for instance DebbieBradle, this child really doesn't have a clue! They are quick to say, "get over it!" I haven't heard one tell the Jews to "get over it!"

July 27, 2008
Click to view rmays111's profile

I appreciate the Special. I believe one of the hardest things to do is to listen to someone tell you negative things about you and yours. Accept the statistics. Accept the storyline. Dont get critical because they didnt report what you wanted reported. This show was about blacks in america not how we relate to another races or how what someone did to any of us that created the situation. If you dont like the topic or something you feel was left out then you can report the other isssues your way. dont get defensive because you have been blessed not to have been effected by some or all of the issues reported. Be thankful for it. Please remember we are family and because you dont see it doesnt mean it dosent happen. I have been blessed to be black. I know alot of my family and friends that fit in the worst categories a saw. WHY? Do I fit in, no. I am one of us that see alot, have an idea yet fear my light. I want to do so much but lack the confidence to step out and try anything that might get me into a situation that I dont want to be in.  We are threatened daily with prison and other ways of being locked up that I fear for myself an my children. I have watched officers do things that Make me know they are willing to do what ever it takes if you make to much of an impact. We dont stand together is the biggest reason they are able to do it. Its no secret that if you enter the system getting out is the hardest thing to do. Once tagged your done. I dont want that for me or you but who is it most like ly going to happen to? WHY? Who is my worst enemy? Black men! WHY?! WHo knows it? Anyone willing to tell you the truth. I am entitled to my opinion and this is it. Lets learn from our past to get to a better future. How many people are really willing to stand up for your brother, REALLY WILLING? Now these things I say are not 100%. there are people that will have different outcomes and different situations but the majority of those in situations will end the same way. I have taken the time necessary to sit in court rooms and listen to simular cases. I ahve watched white men walk away from the same charge the third time and watched black men get the maximum the first time, WHY? The white guy was not alone. He was represented throughout the courtroom, Throughout the building, Outide on the sidewalk, His family in the room, People there to stand with him and not judge him in public, Family showing that he is important and a real person. I have seen countless Black men alone and cold, Hard and angry, easily agitated appearing to have no remorse at all, looking for someone, anyone that he can relate to, not going to happen until he gets behind the wall and learns that even in prison we are still our worst enemy. Why dont we know how to play right together? Why do you have to be so much harder than me? Why cant we grow as a people together as one united with everyone else? Well thats right we live in American, the land of the free, the place where men can be killed by someone infront of 100 people yet no one saw anything. Why? I could go on and on but lets talk people, lets try, lets see if its even possible, because i am tired of you speaking for me. I am tired of people seeing me coming and checking their personals they have out. I am tired of not being able to speak to you because you want to mean mug me because you feel infearior because of your choices. I have not seen the Black man that scares me yet. I have learned that when I see you I cant trust you, I have learned that you dont like you, I have leaned that you dont know anything else therefor  you do what you think is right, be hard and untrustworthy, a man(oops not to me) a person that requires nonstop attention because you dont know how to get along with people, you think its ok to be alone in this world and all you need is your balls and your word, oh and cant forget that nine.

July 27, 2008
Click to view YEBF's profile

Thank you CNN for airing Black in America.  While the information provided in the program is nothing that most African Americans arent already aware of, I believe that it was necessary to air such a program to provide awareness to THE REST OF AMERICA. After browsing through comments, I am very upset that many cannot see the educational and social value of this documentary.  I believe the real issue is that many African Americans are embarassed to see some of the issues of our community (lack of fathers, lack of education by some, poverty, and other sterotypes that are realities for many)being broadcasted for millions and the world to see.  The reality is, that though I may have not experienced poverty, poor health care systems and other issues of the like, that doesnt mean that I cant sympathize and even empathize with the problem.  This is the problem with many Black Americans today who are sucessful.  Its too easy to  out OUR problems, and act like they dont exist, because they dont personally affect us.  As an African American Female, any problem in the Black Community is my problem as well.  Hopefully this documentary, will foster a conciousness of change and we as Americans can ask ourselves what can we do to fix these injustices in society.  But also it is important for African Americans to know, it is not OK to blame all of the problems of our community on the Justice system and other social policies that have failed us.  While these issues may contribute to the State of Black America, lack of personal responsibility also plays a MAJOR.....and in my opinion sometimes a more significant role than anything else.  Before we can effectuate change in society, African Americans must effecuate change in ourselves.

July 27, 2008
Click to view PearlJr123's profile

As the author of the book, Black Women Need Love, Too, the main aspect that upset me the most was that the face of HIV/AIDS is now Black women.  In 2005, Black women were the fastest growing group being diagnosed with the virus, not that Black women have the most HIV/AIDS as if we are some group of diseased women spreading this disease.

 

Currently, the fastest growing group are Black males between 13-24, yea 13!

 

The statistics from the CDC is 75 percent of men have the virus and 25 percent are women, just that alone lets us know that Black woman are once again under attack with misleading falacies.

 

The most riskiest form of sex is anal sex, especially anal receptive anal sex, and condoms break easier in the anus than in the vagina.  Google search "anal sex hiv/aids" and research for yourself.

 

Furthermore, it is 500 times harder for a woman to give the disease to a man than it is for a man (who dumps teaspoons of sperm into either a vagina or an anus) to give it to a woman because men have a small slit to which the fluid would have to travel upward making transmission much more difficult.

 

So stop with the misogyny against Black women.  We have it hard enough.  Tell Black men to stop having anal sex with men and calling themselves heterosexual because they are wreckless sneaks who don't have sexual perimeters.  If you are a man who has sex with men, DO NOT HAVE SEX WITH WOMEN, you've made your choice, now live with it.  Ladies, don't have anal sex, even with a condom, period!

 

BTW, there still hasn't been a confirmed case of a woman spreading the disease to a woman via an sex act.

July 27, 2008
Click to view shejack's profile

I want to extend my gratitude to Soledad and the producers of this program for executing such a wonderful and well-rounded look at the Black experience in America. I was totally engaged, so much so, that I've been watching this series every time it repeats. I also loved the poetic chapter intros! That was fantastic!! I would like to see more of this series in the future. It should examine the black community from within. There is still the issue of  light vs. dark skinned within the community, hip-hop culture and its influence, and the use of "n" word. This series could go n and on really. However, I must say that while there are many injustices within the system, I was struck with the fact that people are in charge of their own lives and sometimes the choices they make can either have a positive or negative impact on their futures. For example, the single mother from Texas, unlike the single father from NY,  with the four children was not divorced, separated from her husband, or widowed. She chose over and over again to have children despite her socio-economic situation, and it is very difficult to be compassionate about her plight. 

Also, with regards to HIV/AIDS being the #1 killer of women ages 25-34, I am not surprised! I know of many well educated black women, who continue to have unprotected sex and refuse to learn their status.

Finally, one of the last chapters in the first part of the series talked about blacks "selling out," and I was accused of that by my own sister. She used to tell me that I was "acting white" because I loved school, ate healthy foods, and listened to a variety of music other than hip-hop and r&b.

July 27, 2008
Click to view whiteBoy's profile

ok yes your right it has been made a racial problem black men in america.to all my black brothers i am so sorry.but i will tell you brother its not racial as much as it is poverty.if you were a rich man in north america and you loved your privalage and did not want the mases to take it away from you. you would find a way to divide and concore,the history books have been talking about this for thousands of years,,,we the mases are to ignorant to see this its easier to call it racisium or a black problem or a presently a iraci or afgany problem for years the wealthy have gotten the poor to see our own problems as we will not see theres if we only look at the problems faceing the poor...by the way shame on that black man ...u no the superintendent brother makeing it sound like hey look at me i did ok and i teach my children to no if they work hard they can do anything ,,,,bunch of bull ,,hit because hes earned a fair amount of money in the right place right time) thank god for him he sacrifice hes life to give his children an easier one ,,now he can preach to all look your wrong im right ...fuc u (white man) he bought his his middle class ticket now he thinks hes white ,,,,boy you just rich thats all even the rich white man call me trailer trash ,,so u must no what they call you...you see my brothers and sisters it not racial its economic...and the sooner we see this the sooner well see the isnt capitalisum or communisum there is only the 10 per cent filthy rich and the 90 percent fithy poor ,,,the sooner we make the word communisum not a bad word the sooner the 10 percent filthy rich will get scared....so cnn you can call this a black problem all you want ,,,and do just what the rich want you to do seperate us some more this is not racial its economic ....if anyone beleives this on my daughters birthday to celibrate my poverty im taken her to the parliment buildings in my city ...please take your kids to your parliament building the same day and make the rich nervous the we found out about them ....divde and concore ...her birthday is Sept 01 all see u at the parliament buildings to protest,,,,sighned White boy,,,,that would be a marical if you even let anyone no this letter existed,,,,good luc with your racial fight shame on you allllllllll...by the way all you poor i cant fight no more 48 years is enough dont have an ounce of strength left drugs and poverty

July 27, 2008
Click to view 4sable77's profile

I am a Black American woman and I feel that your show grossly distorts the truth about Black Americans.   There are over 50 million Blacks in America yet your show focus is on the poorest Black neighborhoods and this is not where or how the majority of Black people live. I live in a suburb of LA and there is a large population of Black families that live comfortable good lives.  They are not rich but hard working people that are postal workers, nurses, teachers, bus drives, grocery store works, policemen, firemen etc.

They live nice neighborhoods without drugs on the streets or broken homes.  They raise good strong Black children.  I know many hard working mothers & fathers who do a great job as a single parents.  Your shows selects to portray some people without ambition and no incentive for living a better life that you must be willing to work for to have it.  These people choose not to use birth control that is readily available to those who want it.  Women who have babies by different men they are not married to, to maintain a welfare existence.  I agree that the prison system is racist but most of the people in them did have choices but what about all the many law abiding Blacks that are not in the prison system.  I think your show "Black in America" is over rated and does nothing but perpetuate a negative image of Blacks to America's White population.  You say there are a million Black men in prison but there is a much larger number of Black men living and working and not in prison.  Why don't you do a show that focuses on the great contributions of what Black people have given to America.  The large majority of us do strive to work hard to live the American dream.  Our problem as a people is economic not Blackness that keeps some of us in poverty.  Education is one tool to change this circumstance but also seeing ourselves as Human Beings first and Blacks second is the means by which we change.  Most of our problems come from being poor and lack of unity.  We need to work harder to bridge the gap between rich and poor for ourselves and not to prove anything for White America.   Why don't you do a show that displays what it is like to be White and poor in America and I'm sure many of the same problems will emerge as in the poor Black communities.  The world needs to change and the biggest change needs to be that we are all first Human inhabitants of this Earth and we need to love each other and respect our diversities.  We need to focus on a better world for all people where the strong don't victimize the weak but help them to become stronger and more productive inhabitants of our beautiful Planet Earth.  Humans were meant to be caretakers of our world when will we cease to be plunders and destroyers. I wish CNN would stop showing this "Black in America" it does not represent me or many other Americans, who happen to be Black.

July 27, 2008
Click to view DHill's profile

There are several points I think were overlooked in this special "Black in America".

 

•     White perspective.  Why not have a discussion panel of white or non-blacks?  Surely their reaction would add significant value and insight.  For many Blacks, this story is nothing new.  Tell us something we don’t know.  I’d like to hear from the hiring managers, CEOs, police officers, judges, the suburban neighbor, etc.  Ask White hiring managers why they are reluctant to hire Black males.  Why are there few Blacks on corporate boards.  Why do White police officers profile Blacks?  Why do judges give harsher sentences to Blacks?  Why do Whites fear or even flee when Blacks move into suburban neighborhoods?  Why do Whites look at and treat Blacks differently?  What has changed or what have Whites learned about Blacks in America since the death of Dr. King?  Let’s discuss the generational racism or ignorance, the entitlement, when does it end?  Why not have a follow up program with such a panel?  How about White in America? 

 

•     The program would have been far more beneficial to all Americans if we could have heard from the Whites who were students at the high school in Little Rock in 1968.  Where are they, what are their lives like now?  What are their view of Blacks in America today?

 

•     There are some Blacks doing well.  Why not show the average Black person or family doing well with no underlying issues?  This proved typical media sensationalism.

 

•     Butch Warren.  I found Butch Warren’s reaction to the question of his sons marrying White women evasive.  Why wasn’t that same question posed to Mrs. Warren?  As the mother and a Black woman, how does she feel about her sons marrying White women?  Her response would have been far more interesting.

 

•     Finally, not all Black men are locked up.  I was disappointed in the comments from professional Black women with respect to their reasoning for being dateless or single.  I’d like to think they were caught up in the moment of this documentary, failing to provide a more reasonable response.  The crack epidemic and the laws that followed, and the many young (gen X & Y) Black men in the prison system is neither a conclusive nor a valid excuse.  These men would not meet the criteria for dating professional Black women anyway…if they were using or selling dope or a participant in any other felonious activity.  I think this portion of the discussion was extremely misleading.

July 27, 2008
Click to view pagann's profile

What was not talked about is how sexism attitudes amongst some of our black men have a direct impact on the failure of black men and women to form lasting partnerships called marriage. Black people are overly religious and black men still feed into the old testament bull that the man is the king of his house.  Instead of working as a team; some, not all black men treat the black women like a slave and not a partner.  This time period is played out. In the past and even today more white men will pay for housekeepers for their wives; whether she is working or not but the black buy into the black woman is superwoman crap. No she is not, that is why she is dying young. Some black men are insensitive to the enormous responsibility black women have to juggle.  The black woman didn't just get liberated; she has always worked. Why are there so many single black women; sometimes it is easier to stay single and take care of oneself than to try to fit dating a man who feels that his needs are more important because he has a dick into the picure into her already hectic schedule. Heaven forbid after working all day, the house is not in order. You have some men instead of lifting a finger to help around the house, will set back and judge, preaching about a woman's role and a man’s role but forgetting that today's black woman has to wear multiple hats, including the pants and bring home the bacon. She is being pulled in so many directions, dating is time consuming and if a mother her children needs her, she has to work, keep house, cook and clean,  something has to give and for some women; it is dating and marriage. Let's not forget the resentment that some black men hold against her for being independent as if it is an affront to his manhood when all she is trying to do is survive and do her.  Black men need to see black women as human first, not a thing to possess or owned.  Not only have some black women just given up on black men, some brothers have given up on black women as well and now the down low is a big phenomenon in the black community.

July 27, 2008
Click to view LaShawn's profile

Black in America was an interesting story done by Soledad O'Brien. Although it was interesting, it didn't at all touch on the full throttle of being black in America.

 

Not only is it hard for black men to find a job in America, what about the educated Black women? I have been unemployed for a year and I hold a BA in Communications and a minor in Psychology, and it's not because of the economy, and not every white person is to blame for it. There are times when African Americans are in positions to help other African Americans, but they don't.

 

Joseph C. Phillips appeared to be a bitter black man, who's probably married to a white woman like Charles Barkley who insists on making asinine comments about the black race, which they have fallen out of touch with. Can you say hypocrites?

 

Jonathan Warren has no idea what his father and his mother has endured for him to be a DA today, because he has no concept of what being black is. He is totally out of touch with black people. He would not be married to a white woman if it wasn't for his education and his job as a DA. His brother Justin Warren also has no clue of what it is to be black.

 

I HAVE NEVER HEARD OF ANY BLACK PEOPLE MAKING FUN OF OTHER BLACK PEOPLE JUST BECAUSE THEY SPEAK CORRECT ENGLISH OR ARE EDUCATED. I as a black woman feel that we were totally mis-represented in this part, especially since Mr. Warren was an active member of the NAACP. I not only fault the Warren children; their parents are tremendously at fault as well.

 

As far as incarceration is concerned, not all black men dissappear from their families. And let's evaluate the rates of incarceration between black and white women, because there are more white women in the prison system then there are black women.

 

I think this piece should have been done on more black people in America instead of the select few. There was clearly not enough research done on black people from all walks of life, all States and ages. Plain and simple, it was not detailed enough.

 

LaShawn.....Birmingham, Alabama

July 28, 2008
Click to view fatcat1957's profile

I'm not black but I have been poor in America. A lot of what I saw on the program comes more from being poor than Black. I don’t doubt blacks have a rougher time finding a job than his equally educated white counterpart, but I think things are equalizing and not in a good way. As more people in this country become poorer, and folks we are on the way, you’re going to see more of every race in our jails, more fatherless kids and more drugs.

July 28, 2008
Click to view jkirton2's profile

Please understand that this is the most difficult and one of the most controversial blog posts I have ever written. Unfortunately, from the start, I am unable to write it unbiased due to my being created by God as a white Caucasian. I can only hope and pray that you the reader will read this post with patience and will be able to see my heart and my love for both God and His creation, no matter what color is used by His hand.

 

 

From my earliest memories, I remember asking my mother, after seeing my first black* person, why or how they were black. Her answer was simply that God had made them that way and to remember that God made man in His own image (see Genesis 1:26).

 

Later in life, I attended a private school with a black boy and girl in my class. Melvin** was quiet and friendly, and Anna had the most prettiest pony tails and, despite her kindness, she cried a lot.

 

As I grew older, I was repeatedly exposed to my stepfather's racial prejudice and that of his father's. While I was not appreciative of that sort of "humor" (I use that term loosely), nevertheless, I was still exposed to it. And, because of that exposure, I have found myself tainted. However, unlike those who choose to give in to their prejudicial exposure, I choose to fight against it, to fight against the flesh.

 

I recall from my studies in high school that history teaches us that when the white plantation owners had increased their cotton crops and their plantations needed additional workers, they decided to go to Africa, promising Africans a new future in America in exchange for work and a future of freedom. While I can only imagine that maybe a few were rewarded, I believe that a majority of those slaves were only rewarded with broken promises.

 

 

Today, when I see a black person, I cannot help but wonder if they see me, a white person, as their enemy because of the sins of my forefathers. Do I bear the guilt of their actions?

 

 

As I watch television, I am appalled by our mass media and their portrayal of black people. In shows like "Cops", it seems as though a majority of the criminals are either black or Hispanic (you see very few whites). Why is that? Then, there's the whole "racial demographics" policies for the workplace and television advertising. Unfortunately (as in, because there seems to be separate shows with black actors), we now have separate television shows like "House of Payne" and "The Cosby Show", portraying black actors. Is this white America's feeble attempt to make up for the gross atrocities they have committed? Lastly, over the past few years, there has been "Black History Month" in February and most recently, CNN has a documentary entitled "Black In America".

 

 

And many times, it seems as though blacks are portrayed as either homeless or jobless. Then there's the whole view which our society has equated fame and wealth with success and again, that only a few blacks can achieve that "success" if they are celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jackson.

 

 

Blacks have come a long way since Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America. Since then, such heroes as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, had done their part to make America a better place for the inclusion of blacks in society. Blacks looked to them for hope, as I believe many also look to Oprah Winfrey and most currently, Barack Obama, to make another revolution.

 

 

What does the future hold for blacks today? Currently, we have a black candidate running for United States President. The question has been posed by CNN: "Is America ready for a black president?" I have a better question: "What can we as people (notice I didn't indicate a color/skin pigmentation) do NOW, today, for our nation?" Here's what I propose:

 

 

1. Love one another.

2. Recognize that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" (Declaration of Independence, 1776) and "All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness" (Massachusetts Constitution, 1780).

 

 

While I know that this may sound simplistic and some may even argue that "that's not enough", I believe that it is. It is a paradigm shift in the way we as people think and behave towards each other. It is a heart issue, if you will. And it's not just toward our black neighbors that we can do this but with EVERYONE!

 

 

A friend of mine in the office encouraged me to watch CNN's "Black In America" the other day. While I intentionally mean to, I just haven't been able to make the time to do so, not because it's not important to me, but because I am in the middle of a reading project (and I already fight against procrastination and A.D.D.-like reading issues!). I hope to be able to find the complete series on the Internet soon. After thinking about it overnight, I told my friend, "I do intend on watching the series, but I may not completely understand all of it. And even if I don't, I can still continue to treat my fellow man with respect and love my neighbors as Christ would have me love them."

 

 

 

 

*Note: I am using the term “black”, defined as "pertaining or belonging to any of the various populations characterized by dark skin pigmentation, specifically the dark-skinned peoples of Africa, Oceania, and Australia" and the term “African-American” is defined as "a black American of African descent; of or pertaining to African-Americans".

**Note: I will not be using the last names to protect the identity of my classmates.

 

(C) jkirton2.blogspot.com All rights reserved.

July 28, 2008
Click to view alberta2020's profile

The CNN special "Black in America" was a grand disappointed.  More importantly, it serves to further perpetuate the negative perspectives that the greater society and the world have of our race.  I expected, as others did, a fresh view--capturing the root of the AA plight or should I say history.  White supremacy is the reason we are where we find ourselves and that should have led the story.  Shame on you CNN, thanks for nothing!!

 

here is a wonderful website.  check it out.

 

blackeconomics@blackeconomics.org

July 28, 2008
Click to view lyond77's profile

CNN's recent presentation of Black in America raised several issues confronting the African American population. The documentary examined issues varying from single parent families, education, and interracial dating. The statics presented in the documentary did manage to detail some of the continued struggles faced by people of African decent in the United States. Soledad O’Brian relied primarily on Michael Eric Dyson and Roland Fryer to explore topics dealing with African Americans. O’Brian’s reliance on these two individuals as the ultimate authority on issues facing black America, depreciates the value of the documentary. O’Brian could have ascertained a more varied viewpoint by interviewing a broader spectrum of individuals. It seemed as if both the opinions of Dyson and Fryer were the driving force behind the documentary.

 

The documentary focused too heavily on the victimization of the African American individual. The story has been told for decades of the ill that has plagued the black community. While racism no doubt contributes to an extent to the issues facing African Americans, there comes a time where the focus on these struggles need to be directed inwards. Black America should begin to examine with urgency their own actions as it relates to their current state of affairs in this country. America has come a far way in paving a better path for African American compared to the 1960’s. I admit that there is still a long way to go. But perhaps we need to focus less on the issue of race relations and more on the plight of the poor. The struggles facing African Americans, such as increased school drop out rates, poor living conditions, high prison incarcerations, and low college enrollment, is descriptive not only of the African American, but of poor individuals nation wide. In many developing countries we see the same situation facing the extremely poor population.

 

It may be argued without a doubt that African Americans form a larger pool of the economically deprived, and therefore we may be led back to the discussion of race. However, in the documentary one important statistic detailed the high rate of absentee fathers in African American families. These single parent families almost always reveal declining conditions for the children involved. Children raised in single parent families are more likely to underperform in schools, and get involved in criminal activity. There is an absence of good male role models available to young men for them to emulate. I do believe that this situation contributes significantly to the plight of the African American population in America.

 

To continually play the role of victimization ignores the issues of which only African Americans have control. In the American collegiate environment we see annually the success rate of international students from around the world, many of which are of African decent. These individuals tend not to carry the baggage of racism, and a victimized mentality. Instead they conclude that they are just as capable as anyone else, and deserve the best. Until young African Americans realize that their destiny is in their hands, they will always continue to face adversity. Playing the race card all the time, and being a victim does not yield success. Success comes from the realization of self worth, and the determination and focus toward specific goals. Maybe if more people focused on the importance of building strong and solid nuclear families then the condition of the African American will improve more greatly. Less emphasis needs to be placed on the degrees of victimization, and more on self determination.

July 28, 2008
Click to view clever's profile

Black in America was nothing more than a joke exploitation and distraction from the fact that Senator  Obama is running a successful campaign  so let's see how we the media can help ruin it by airing the most negative stereotypes possible summed up in a "documentary" about african americans.  Shame on you Solidad for allowing yourself to be used as a tool in this debacle.  I guess since Senator Obama is also of white heritage,  "white" in America is next.   Cnn, stop insulting the intelligence of "all" Americans.

July 28, 2008
Click to view BlkCigarCzar's profile

Soledad is a good correspondant but wasn't kevin Corke, Michael Baisden, Tavis Smiley available to do this piece? Soledad is not a good representative of the "Black" community. She is mixed and then CNN spent a whole lot of time I'm sure looking for the perfect family to showcase. Just enough problems and enough triumphs to satisfy the white viewers. So now most white viewers will think "what problems do blacks have that we don't". If your black, you know who your family is or your friends family is and "we" act at reunions, bbq's or just when we get together in a social atmosphere! They didn't show that!!! PC, sugar coating or acting like straight #@$%^^& is what goes on! Most black folk don't live in South Central L.A., or live like the Cosby's so when CNN what's to see real black folk and show the rest of the world what they really should see then you will have a story with some impact.

 

The part when the group of brothas and sistas were discussing different topics and they were talking about dating and marriage and what was the prime example why black men are going elsewhere for relationships!!!

A sista says black women have their own stuff now and this includes a mortgage, car, good credit and no drama from previous relationships! Well drama comes from the very sistas they are friends and family with, top 5 percent of the nations population have "Good Credit" and to have a mortgage, career, and money, everyone is lucky to have any if not all of those today. Remember too that they are not all set in stone!!! Also remember one more thing, the minute a black man loses one or more of those variables most black women are the first one to leave the relationship, unlike black parents were back in the day! Hopefully blacks will change their tune and maybe we can break this viscous cycle!!!

July 28, 2008
Click to view Resolve's profile

Seeking Solutions for Urban Schools and Communities

 

My mother volunteered me to be one of the first black students to integrate a white middle school in the bay area in 1967.  We were welcomed until the following year when unruly kids from the “other side of the track” beat up white and nerdy black students for no reason.  High school was horrible because black students were not welcomed, isolated (1 black student per class) and ignored.  We did not feel welcomed at a white southern university, so we socialized through black student union activities.  Those of us that persevered and graduated have had successful middle class lives, in spite of occasional discrimination and layoffs.

 

After enduring the frustration of glass ceilings in corporate America, where I’ve had to work twice as hard and be twice as good to be considered acceptable, I’ve chosen to work in black inner city high schools in career education positions.  The counselors and I provide students with opportunities to test and learn their career aptitudes and skills, hear speakers talk about their careers, job shadow, tour colleges and work sites, provide job readiness workshops, offer internships, apply for scholarships, learn about entrepreneurship options, and try to recruit mentors.  Many of the students that have excellent technology skills have very poor reading comprehension, writing and math skills so we provide tutors to help students catch up. 

 

When exposed to opportunities to learn about their options, and when give support, encouragement and rewards, I’ve seen teenagers excel and beam with pride as they have successes.  Students that were afraid to speak have given great presentations.  Students that were afraid to attend work ethics workshops participated and knew and explained appropriate answers to ethical problems.  Many students are turned on by opportunities they didn’t know existed, and they appreciate the guidance and opportunities to explore new options that can result in their having better lives.

 

We know the problems…it’s time to focus on solutions to help students and families in poorer urban communities.  In order to compete with the negative influence of gangs, perhaps more successful members of fraternity, sorority and social organizations can serve as mentors to help teens avoid criminal activity and criminal records.  To help people see drugs as slavery, poverty, jail and death traps, perhaps more church members can reach out to people where they are without judging, and help them seek fulfillment in God.  Instead of increases in single parents, AIDS and obesity, perhaps there can be more prevention education, and hopefully people will listen and use good health practices.  Instead of joblessness and welfare, perhaps more community organizations can help more people improve their job readiness skills, and/or start more needed and legitimate businesses that create jobs.  And I pray that African Americans can drop the “crab mentality” left over from slavery, and help and encourage each other rather than fight and pull each other down.  We need better self esteem, education, and desire to achieve positive options.  I look forward to seeing more concrete examples of best practice solutions shared that have actually improved lives.

July 28, 2008
Click to view HETEPU's profile

In addition to this series that was way too "ambitious" in its scope, I find it relevant to a story CNN did a few weeks ago on the African American lady that was murdered by a contracted killer hired by her East Indian father-in-law. CNN sorely "missed the boat" on exposing the REAL RACISM of the Caste System that exists in Indian against the DALIT peoples or "Untouchables"

http://www.cwo.com/~lucumi/india.html and  http://www.dalitindia.org/  and tracing its roots to European Invaders from the Caucus Mts. thousand of years ago, that set up the Racist Caste System, and FAILED to extrapolate that very same system to here in AmeriKKKa, and is very evident in studio at CNN, whereby the "paperbag" test IS in "Full EFFECT" with anchors & reporters of the likes of: Don Lemon, Salidad O'Brien (herself), Suzanne Malveux, Frederica Whitfield, Lisa Slyvester...to name a few. Here in AmeriKKKa, the "house negro" has always been socially advanced above the "field nig." ... and THIS is coming from one of the "privileged negroes," who have benefitted from my "brown-ness" ...just as Dr. Eric Michael Dyson noted in the series with his "darker" brother. I can't STRESS enough how WE ALL loose out in perpetuating this Illusory and FALSE notion of different "Races," which counters Biological FACT, which I explore in greater details below ...but first: I thought that Raymond L. Roker, of the Huff. Post a real good article in response to this series, which I offer here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymond-leon-roker/black-in-america-are-we-t_b_115245.html .

In addition to Roker's and my previous comments, what the 1968 Kerner Commission noted that "America IS still TWO Nations, One Black & One White: Separate & Unequal," with its ramifications too vast to attempt to enumerate in just four hours; to cover a history of INJUSTICE that spans from the early 1600's , when the first African slave landed on these shores of N. America (Caribbean notwithstanding). As a Social Studies/History teacher, let me share an epigram that I've coined, "Perspective determines Perception," which should explain why European Americans perceive "Race" and "Racism" differently. It's a case of viewing life with a "Worm's Eye" view, that of the OPPRESSED, as oppose to the "Bird's Eye" view, that of the Oppressor, who has " his ("white")foot on one's neck!! " It amazes me that some people/bloggers MISTAKENLY accuse one from the OPPRESSED group to be "Racist"(or any of the other"isms") when they do NOT have the POWER to Systemically IMPOSE their BIASES upon the "Subordinate Group." This is per Socio-Psychology 101, and issues of "Dominant Group Privileges." Speak of a PERSON's BIAS(es), but do NOT use an "Ism" when they are part of the Oppressed Group !! I strongly suggest reading, "Chains & Images of Psychological Slavery" by Dr. Naim Akbar, to understand the "legacy" of Slavery & the Jim Crow/KKK era (Terrorism US Style), & its IMPACT on today's African-American society and Family structures(or lack thereof) !!

Also seek out writings by Dr. Edwin Nichols of Wash., DC to better understand the "Different, NOT Deficient" World View of Different Ethnic/Cultural Groups, within this country & elsewhere!!! From my own scholarship, as I posited to Dr. Cornel West (@ my alma mater, Univ. of Md-CP) the very LABELS of "Secondary Deviance," of "Black" and "White," which are denotatively & connotatively antithetical ,(opposite) MUST be done away with !! Because they are POLARIZING, DIVISIVE and perpetuates the FALSEHOOD that Biologically there are Different Human SUB-SPECIES, which is to say, "RACE"...and BIOLOGY 101 teaches just the opposite!! PBS's "Race:The Power of ILLUSION" documented the FACT that "RACE" is a "Social Construction," and if we are to BECOME a UNITED States of America, then we MUST start by rejecting the USAGE of such DIVISIVE, POLARIZING, "Colorizing"(which speaks to phenotypical differences & NOT genetic) TERMS...just as we are striving to remove the "N-word" or any other term that DIVIDEs or insults, not only our intelligence, but HUMANITY...there IS but ONE "Race" or Homo sapien sapien Specie, and it IS HUMAN !!! ...and in a Metaphysical sense, WE are ALL "Children of ONE Creator (GOD) !!! "

... Peace & LOVE to ALL on Mother Earth (Pacha Mama) !!!

GOD Bless not just the US, but the ENTIRE World / Creation !!!

July 29, 2008
Click to view Wonderus's profile

STOP THE “War on Drugs” IT’S STUPID     

     Tax payers are spending billions of dollars housing non-violent criminals for ridiculously long sentences and it has not proven to be successful in stopping the use or distribution of drugs. Clearly the drug laws are really stupid as long as smoking and alcohol are legal.  Ask yourself this question: “If I placed food on a stand in the middle of a neighborhood full of homeless or extremely poverty-stricken people and made it illegal to eat from, could I in good conscience consider condemning them as a common criminal if they were to eat from it?”  To the point!  Allowing drugs into this country to some of the poorest neighborhoods and saying you can’t deal them or use them is almost the same thing. WHY???? In a poor neighborhood people are hurting more than ever, good jobs are almost none existent, drug dealers are most times seen as role-models, and people do most of these drugs to help them make since of their pitiful lives. As a result the “War on Drugs” is rendered ineffective. The only real result from this “War” is the fact that the jails remain over populated with non-violent offenders from predominantly poor neighborhoods that were only trying to reach a weird shimmer of success that they were cultured into.

Like I alluded to earlier, many drug dealers in poor neighborhoods are idolized in a since and seen as some-what successful people in the eyes of people from these neighborhoods. What also kills me is when I see people act as if drug dealer’s aggressively court their customers, or court them at all. For the Record DON’T Believe the Smearing Propaganda the Government and Media have fed you… “DRUG DEALERS DON’T GO AFTER THEIR CUSTOMERS TO TRY TO GET THEM ADDICTED TO DRUGS”… Most of their customers if not all were doing drugs before the drug dealer started selling drugs to them. So all these commercials showing drug dealers standing outside of school trying to get kids addicted drugs are just “NOT TRUE”.  The people in our society that do drugs are simply the same people who have being doing them from generation to generation like Bill Clinton, George Bush, Al Gore, your parents, and many, many, many more. Weather it was the people who were doing opium in the 1800’s to the hippy’s of the 1970’s, and many others. People Will Do Drugs, either to escape their realities, or whatever reason they have. Rather over the counter prescription drugs, street drugs, alcohol, gas, Listerine, or who knows. It will continue to happen until we as a society learn how to fight the root of the problem which is the CONSUMER.

We need to be treating the addictive behavior to drugs in a much more aggressive way, giving more assistance, better remedies, and expanding our psychological treatment centers to stop people with psych issues from becoming drug users because of mental illness or whatever other reasons would be the first step. Second, reduce the time drug dealing offenders spend in jail to about 2 years and do not put the first drug offence on their record if they comply successfully with either a school or work program for a certain mandated time. Not doing so only creates more career dealers. Most drug dealers don’t sell drugs to be cool or bad. Most do it for the money where financial opportunities are either low or non-existent. If you have not ever lived in these neighborhoods you really have NO CLUE. People are so easy to pass judgment on others not like them but quickly overlook the sin of those conveniently that fit their ideal mold. Like Bill Clinton, George Bush, Al Gore, and ext. HINT, HINT. I personally know many good people behind bars on drug convictions with ridiculous sentences just because they were trying to feed their families. Don’t believe the movies and stereotypes of the evil drug dealers on the corners or kingpins with no regard to human life. It’s just NOT TRUE. Most of them are the exact opposite, just regular people trying to get ahead just like everyone else. I honestly feel that if we’re going to put people in jail for illegal drugs. We might as well put anyone who sells liquor, cigarettes, propane, or anything else that gets people high in jail as well, because they all cause societal problems.

People will always use drugs until treated correctly for using, and people will always sell drugs when someone is willing to buy. As one drug dealer is incarcerated another one will soon replace him. Just simple Supply and DEMAND… Statistical studies have shown the “War on Drugs” as a sham that has been in NO WAY successful. If anything, perpetuated the problem and drugs since the so called “War on Drugs” have began have become more accessible, and cheaper to get.

One more Point. It’s really strange how people in our country who have held the highest office in the land have experimented with illegal drugs at one point in their lives almost risking their chances of ever becoming president of the United States; but just didn’t get caught, Sits OK on the conscience of most Americans. Yet, if they had been accused of child molestation, murder, or rape and had gotten away with it, it would have by no means sat well on the conscience of most American and would have probably heavily prevented the possibility of them ever becoming president. But yet child molestation charges start at 2 yrs. and the typical drug charge can get one 15 yrs to life. WOW!!!

July 29, 2008
Click to view treborjant's profile

Let's discuss the new AIDS stats just released...

 

It seems apparent that many Blacks in America find it so convenient to blame the Whites in America for all of their problems! Now that AIDS/HIV has become an epidemic they find it easier to blame the whites - the money hasn't followed the problem...Well, ya know what you should do?? TAKE SOME RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS! USE A DAMN CONDOM! MAYBE 1 PARTNER AT A TIME? STOP USING DRUGS! TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

 

As a gay man who survived and has remained negative to HIV/AIDS, I know first hand while watching friends die that we as a community took responsibility to educate our community, to develope programs, etc. in an attempt to slow the spread and progress of this disease. AND WE WON!! Without all of the "funding" that the blacks are crying for.

 

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS AND CLEAN UP YOUR ACT AND STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR THE PROBLEMS THAT WERE CREATED AS A RESULT OF YOUR OWN PEOPLE'S IGNORANCE!

August 1, 2008
Click to view augustbrown's profile

I believe that these topics are things that need to be addressed...but now that we have put "it" out on front street what do we do?  Well we can start by noticing what we choose to miss everyday...our brothers and sisters.  You don't have to date a man to tell him you are proud of him and the same goes for a woman.  We need to look each other in the eyes while we are on the train, the bus,walking outside to get into our cars, we have to notice each other.  Give something to stranger in need outside of church...like a person who short of money at the grocery check counter, i've done it.  I watched a woman search her wallet with shame in her eyes because she did not have enough for her food.  I paid for it without hesitation and told her that is what "God" would want me to do! It is little things like that.  I have given black men that hugs because I know they need them too...no strings attached, as a mother that is what I was born to do.  WE have to care outside of CNN reviews and political debates...We have to learn to love again.  My promise is be proactive in uplifting all those around me. Let's put the mirror's down and let our smiles be the reflection.  I am tired of being tired!  So instead of talking about it...I choose to be about it!

August 9, 2008
Click to view madmup1943's profile

Black, White, Brown, Red, Yellow, who the hell cares.  Let's just be civil and quit worrying about the past.  You can't change the past and if you want to wallow in the miseries of your ancestors, then go right ahead and hold your own damned pity party.  If you keep looking back at the past you are going to stumble over an opportunity that presents itself.  The past is history, let's not repeat it.

August 15, 2008
Click to view BabetteinSTL's profile

NO BETTER LAND THAN THIS

If I knew a better country in this glorious world

today

Where a man's work hours are shorter and he's

drawing bigger pay,

If the Briton or the Frenchman had an easier

life than mine,

I'd pack my goods this minute and I'd sail

across the brine.

But I notice when an alien wants a land of hope

and cheer,

And a future for his children, he comes out and

settles here.

Here's the glorious land of Freedom! Here's

the milk and honey goal.

For the peasant out of Russia, for the long-

subjected Pole.

It is here the sons of Italy and men of Austria

turn

For the comfort of their bodies and the wages

they can earn.

And with all that men complain of, and with all

that goes amiss,

There's no happier, better nation on the world's

broad face than this.

So I'm thinking when I listen to the wails of

discontent,

And some foreign disbeliever spreads his evil

sentiment,

That the breed of hate and envy that is sowing

sin and shame

In this glorious land of Freedom should go

back from whence it came.

And I hold it is the duty, rich or poor, of every

man

Who enjoys this country's bounty to be all American.

THIS WAS WRITTEN OVER 90 YEARS AGO AND STILL APPLIES TODAY!

I have to ask Americans this question. If your house was filled with snakes and you didn't know which ones were poisonous, would you let them continue to live in your home with the people you care about and love? Would you simply say, "Oh, I don't know which ones are the poisonous ones and it wouldn't be fair to throw out the ones that are not, so I'll just keep the whole lot." I'm sorry, but I care about my loved ones and friends and even the people all over America that I don't even know. I would not take a gamble on one of the poisonous snakes biting one or many of us and making us sick or possibly killing us. I'd toss out the whole lot. So why is America allowing terrorists (poisonous snakes) to live among us. Professors, doctors, students, etc. are living here in our homeland, not because they want to be Americans, but for more sinister reasons. Have we forgotten what happened in our country on September 11, 2001? What is happening right under our noses and what could and probably will happen in the future? We need to be and stay vigilant. Wake up and smell the coffee! Don't get me wrong, if someone from another land comes here because they truly, deeply in their hearts and souls want to be an American, in every sense of the word - to fight for America and all that America stands for, than welcome to our land. But everyone else can just get out and stay out! We don't want you here.

And Mr. and Mrs. Obama, the same goes for you. You can't be proud to be an American only when it suits you. If you have lived all of your life here, in America, and something has just now made you proud to be an American, then I don't want you running our country. You should not be in a position to run America. You should have left America and went to another country, somewhere that you could have been proud to call your country, your home.

And Mr. and Mrs. Obama, I have always heard that if you are wanting to join a church and you are a Christian, you should attend a church at least three Sundays in a row, thereby getting the feel of the church and learning the beliefs of the leader of the church and its congregation. If you have the same beliefs of the church (whether it be minister, pastor, etc., along with the congregation), usually the next step is to become a member of the church. How can you attend a church and not know their beliefs? And if you have, for all these years, been a member of the church and been ignorant of this, what does that say about you?

Please, how stupid are we, America? What kind of president do you want? If Obama was a caring Christian and was a member of his church and friends with his congregation, wouldn't he also share in their beliefs? Could he really be so ignorant as to not know how the leader of his church and congregation felt? Was he asleep while sitting in his pew? Would he be as ignorant running our country? Would he care enough about America to be a good president? Or would he be asleep, unaware of what was being said, of what was going on around him? Would America be what he fought for, stood for, lived for? And only America and Americans? Think about that!

August 26, 2008
Click to view HARRYSFOB's profile

The Black People in America should know this. President Tyler Stole Texas and it;s oil,then they proceeded to the south to take their oil under the guise of protecting the country. These oil men have controlled most of the world's affairs. There were 17 types of indiginous people inslaved by the north and south, Yet only a few get special treatment. This is because King George freed the very same first. The U.S. currently has slaves in fourteen countries. All indiginous peoples deserve better. Harrysfob

August 30, 2008
Click to view chicagoman1's profile

I want to have a hand in rebuilding our men, women, and children, our institutions, our culture, our lives. I believe I can be part of changing the direction of the world.

We must recapture the black male identity, redesign the black female identity, put the black family back together, expose how the american ecomany is fueled by drug dealing and drug money.

September 6, 2008
Click to view freedom67's profile

You want the real on what it's like being black in America the information you are about to read won't shock black America @ all this is our reality! Sit back absorb the madness this is real not fictional sept 2008

Lemonade any one? I thought this was the sunshine state where are the friendly compassionate people of Florida Is this the Racist capitol of the world, since Detroit was once referred to as the murder capitol. I don't  feel so warm fuzzy & welcome it's about as cold as a harsh northern Winter. I just settled in to this country living nice peaceful then about 3weeks ago all hell broke loose. Where's the love & respect one nation under god so on and so forth, love your brothers & sisters etc. etc. hmmn. plz see the hate filled responses to blog posted as 2008 not 1808 not 1968 it's scary the attitudes of the local community, more than that it's even scarier the lack of positive responses. I've been told to go back from where I came classic racist remark. ignore the obvious, travel a different route, oh I'm a racist that's another classic, to avoid the obvious project you've attempted to  mirror your image back to me. Good psychology move didn't work though.To all the negative bloggers when you wake upon sunday before church, before work, before your daily trips to Wal-mart  look @ your self in that mirror in your home look long & hard are you proud of who you are & what you represent. When you sit down to enjoy your sunday family dinner look @ one another confront the racism in your families make & stand for change if not for yourself or you children for the common good of mankind & future generations. It's a sad state of affairs we live in I would not be bloging on this site if it were not for the events that transpired recently the raising of one of the most controversial symbols in American history. I'm not sure the current percentile of minorities in this area but you have offended absolutely all of us thx for the southern hospitality. Hey got an idea how about putting up those ridiculous flags atop that stupid wall along the border you want to build to keep illegals out. Yall do hate the foreigners as well! And for those who say it's the race card, it's the race card again! Idiots I don't own a deck I only play with uno cards! Peace & Love  now that I got u on the hook see why this response was created@ myfoxtampabay.com   under new blogs 2008 not 1808 not 1968   

my blog title freedom67

September 6, 2008
Click to view freedom67's profile

This is my story you gotta see the response though. It's sad.... I knew racism existed I got quite a few horro stories growing up in Detroit & it's suburbs. But down south wow! The civil rights leaders before us were true heroes men of valor cuz if it's like this now imagine 50-60 or even 100 years ago. Amerika has 2 change. My convictions are deep, my safety for my family safety are uncompromising. Where's the NAACP when u need them! help a brother down here all alone. plz forward & make aware as many people on this planet you can. brace yourselves it get's ugly  also google tampa florida confederate flag controversy  this sit has a small i-report as well  but this is my story!!!!!!

 

Hello Mayor Pam Lorio:  

                                 I am writing today with strong conviction & deep concern. Please ask yourself as well as the Tampa city council person’s  Why in my city our city? Why? Unfortunately racism is alive & well & Jim Crow's of the south are running rampant. I am a native Detroiter who moved to the Tampa Bay Area with my wife & children 3 years ago. I thought I was moving from the inner city to a more peaceful community for the sake of my family the move seemed right. I assumed & from first glance thought the community I moved my family to was diverse & peaceful. Then two weeks ago l was forced back to reality my commute from my peaceful community of Valrico Florida 20 minutes to northern Tampa  my commute takes me up I-75 North. I did not believe & still do not believe my eyes to the north on the south bound side of the expressway the largest confederate flag I have seen in my life!!!!!!!!!!!! There in living color flying boldly, symbolic swaying in the wind hatred front dead & center.

                             Why in 2008 would the city of Tampa allow such a deep seated symbol of hatred be displayed.  ask your staff & the city council would the city or state of Florida be so quiet & unresponsive if A black panther flag, a black power flag or a nation of Islam flag fly vividly over a state hwy that stretches from Key West to the Upper Peninsula of my home state of Michigan. Would America be so quiet then? Does Tampa not respect & love it’s people of color. Mayor is this the city you want to represent? This cannot be the majority’s approval and if this flag is an indicator of our community then I chose the wrong place to relocate my family,  The people of Tampa oppose this hate filled symbol, why in 2008 does the old southern way of thinking prevail, Jim Crow will not die.                       

                             I love people of all races & have raised my children to be diverse, what do I tell them now!  I will be contacting  several media outlets & a host of others including the National Football League concerning the Super Bowl scheduled for the Tampa Bay Area to bring about change in this poor decision made by the city of Tampa, County of Hillsboro , The state  of Florida. I went to the small piece of land Mr. Adams refers to as a Memorial for southern pride & it hurt my heart & soul so bad I began to weep. It’s not a coincidence the location just north of MLK Blvd. between I-4 rt next to I-75, visible by all to see driving that local stretch of hwy, the size, the placement, the symbolism precisely planned hatred for all to see. This is a dark moment for the city of Tampa! Shame has blanketed the city. Will nooses hang on the light fixture of I-75 next?

 

September 5th 2008

September 7, 2008
Click to view freedom67's profile

plz visit the rest of this story @ www.MYFOXTAMPABAY.com brace yourselves it's ugly pass this on change has to happen not just because of this story but all the ugly things regarding race in this counrty, only with our collective voice can we advance change & the dream of those before us for suffered & some lost there lives for our freedom for our rights to vote, live to be free. life,libert,the pursuit of happiness thats all we want truly the american dream, a world of more compassionate people of all background uniting with a common goal, accepting one's differences embrace that whic is different from us. exercising our rights under the constitution, yet there is no room for hate speech or symbols of hatred displayed in our communities on public or private land ther has to be an answer, there has to be change!!!!!!!!!

September 9, 2008
Click to view freedom67's profile

Black in Amerika is A real situation, Yet Priceless. Brothers now is the turning point the shining moment get it together for the present & the future (NO Preaching Necessary!) Your seeds need you, you wanna rep your hood do it in a positive way. Be strong stand up for your convictions.Be a man in the true sense. Love yall  One!

September 13, 2008
Click to view stonewall68's profile

largest problem about blacks in america are they feel they need to be called african americaN. I AM WHITE AND MORE AFRICAN AMERICAN THEN ANY OF YOU, YOUR AMERICAN american!!!    you want to be african i'll pay for a plane ride, so you can be part of the tribal wars. famine. killings. any race that puts anything in front of american can go to hell,, you lose so much respect from me and many others classifing yourself that way, but hey it invokes many rights that others don't have so what the hell,

October 8, 2008
Click to view ase's profile
ase

America is not racist! America DOESN'T decide how and what people think! I've met many people of different races who are great people with good positive attitudes and ive met many  nasty people with negative attitudes, majority of America is not racist and the people who are racist  feed off the people complaining about racism.If you let people know it bothers you they'll keep it up that's what negative people do. I've met so many peole who say they hate black mexican arabs and so on... and each one of those people have a friends who are those races... So if you ask me races people need to get a life and are full of shit, it's the 21st century we have bigger problems to worry about.. But hey I'm mix with white and iranian, and black and white peole have made fun of me , so there is races peole but who cares about them if race is all they worry about i feel sorry for them, but don't say America is races!Everyone has there own mind so how can a country or or race be races?

October 10, 2008
Click to view wislov's profile

America will never get over racism ,because people are too blind to see others for who they are not the Color of their skin,It's sad to see us in the 21st century and still act like barbarians,Savages.Whites hate Blacks,Blacks hates Whites.I always wonder what kind of lessons or history we will leave behind for our kids and grandkids?Can we truly lives with ourselves when we too selfish to  even think about  the Next Generation,It's a sad moment in history of Mankind.i wonder what do God  thinks of us when we suppose to be his kids.We all came from Adam & Eve.It's Sad Story for a Great Country like America, Allowing Racism to overpower the Beauty.

November 5, 2008
Click to view dariush's profile

I dont like senator obama as I dont like populism. I am experiencing it beside the socialism in my own country.

I have a question from you black people. you know your skin colour is not a matter for me while I have problem with the fact that black people feel they have been supressed by others.

my question: despite white people who voted mainly for senator obama, only 2 per cent of black people voted for senator mc cain. Is it racism among the white or among the black. I call it reverse racism.

 

dariush from iran

November 11, 2008
Click to view homono's profile

I feel stereotypes and if you want to take it further racism stem oftens times from truth.  I feel everyone needs to have the same rights and priviledges but what happens time and time again is that certain races show to the world what they are known for and thus make either a positive or negative image for themselves.

 

For example:  Blacks and Mexicans have the highest crime rates of any race in the the country. In fact, black males have a higher chance of going to prison than graduating from high school.   Also, the country of Africa which has the highest black population also has the highest crimes rates, starvation, disease, and other problems in the world.  Much of the Latino world is the same.  Also the worst drug activity in our country is primarily involved with the Mexican and Black populations along with Gangs that plague our society.

 

Just because a certain race or culture is poor doesn't mean they don't know the difference between right and wrong and can't act upon it.  There is more scholorships and public money to pay for education and grants to minorities than any other group so getting an education and getting a load to start a business can't be an excuse. 

 

My family was poor but they worked hard, got their education, adhered to good values and morals and have prospered because of it.  We just don't see that in primarily black and mexican populations even though they have so many resources to pull from that even white people are unable to get.

 

The bottom line is that if a culture or race want respect from the whole they need to earn it rather than earning a bad reputation which they can't blame anybody but themselves.  The black and mexican population have so much to offer and they need to earn a respectable and upright standard as to be seen different in the eyes of the world 

 

If black people and Mexicans are treated like criminals

December 18, 2008
Click to view NoBOforme's profile

Why not have a indian america, or asian america, or hispanic america?  So sick and tired of all the blacks whine about how rough they have it, you never hear any other race whine about racism. While we have a "black america" program, BET, Ebony magazine, black caucus, black history month,etc.

 

Blacks represent 13% of the population, yet 50% of jail population, a lot of them are on either section 8 or on disability, getting the monthly check. And now that BO wants to spread the wealth, it will only make things worse and fuel the fire. Its not the color of their skin, its their CULTURE that is so screwed up. Single moms with different babies daddy, just to get that check, crack babies, dealing drugs, the list goes on. They should focus on family, morals, integrity, education, not on handouts. Unfortunately, the ones that destroy the black culture is not the evil white rich people but the blacks themselves.

 

2 cents from an evil conservative white guy. WORD!!

January 14, 2009
Click to view grdofhrdknck's profile

Ok here goes............i will no doubt get slammed for this but it is still America so even if you don't agree I am entitled to my opinion too.....no, I did not watch the show......but I have read enough of the comments to get agitated.  Short story to start with.  When I was 18 in basic training I was roomed with a black man.  Keep in mind I came from a small town where I didn't even know the "N" word was a bad thing till I got to basic training.  It was all very eye opening.  He and I spent a number of nights just talking and he was patient with my ignorance.  But, then one night he and a few other black guys where talking while I was going to sleep.  They were talking about how they shouldn't even be in the army because the white man wouldn't give them the promotions anyway, they would always give them to the white guy.  This went on for awhile while I just listen and thought about many things.  Finally I had my fill and sat up to confront them about it.  My first question is this.  Who freed the black man from slavery?  A white man!!  And my family roots happen to go back to the civil war.  So I get tired of hearing how the white man keeps you down when my ancestors died to free your ancestors.  Why is it when we look into the past all we see is the negative?  we remember the fact that blacks were used as slaves by whites but we forget that whites also freed them.  Here is my issue.  It is the reverse racism.  I understand that the people that owned slaves were the scum of the earth but they are all dead now so we need to move on.  Why is it that we can have a channel on TV specifically for blacks and a college fund just for blacks...etc you see where I am going with this.  But if I were to start white entertainment television........OMG I am racist.  I am not racist and am sorry for what white people did.  But that does not mean that the entire nation needs to say "I am sorry" every day till the end of time.  Ok enough from me unleash the fury I can take it

January 17, 2009
Click to view calgaltx's profile

I am so happy about Obama's multirational background

 

but

 

 

I am so bored about all the whoopla about black sand slavery

 

 

and

 

 

absolutely

 

 

no mention about a Native American being appointed to Obama's cabinet when they too were held as slaves.

 

 

When are you going to cover the miserable accounts of ALL colors of slaves in America?

January 22, 2009
Click to view SpikeT's profile

I live in a rural area in Arizona. fed Ex comes to deliver exciting things that I bought on-line. The driver is an African American, and he always calls me sir. I usually give him a tip, and he appreciates it.

Yesterday he delivered a box, rang the bell, and when I got to the door, he was getting into his truck. he said, how you doing brother, and I said great. The fact that he used to call me sir, and now brother made me feel so great. It's amazing what OBAMA has created, so good....

February 12, 2009
Click to view jessiejammes's profile

Simple question?Obamma campained,,,SMALLER GOVERNMENT?

Why is he flipping? He campained. No Lobbiest???.Why is he flipping?My question is this.Are we planning on splitting this country into 2 countries,,black and white?.Heck How are the blacks going to recieve the Brother Muslims,from Iran when they flood this country?.Are we going to turn on ourselves when we are blamed for there attacks opened by Obamma?

February 12, 2009
Click to view jessiejammes's profile

Simple question?Obamma campained,,,SMALLER GOVERNMENT?

Why is he flipping? He campained. No Lobbiest???.Why is he flipping?My question is this.Are we planning on splitting this country into 2 countries,,black and white?.Heck How are the blacks going to recieve the Brother Muslims,from Iran when they flood this country?.Are we going to turn on ourselves when we are blamed for there attacks opened by Obamma?

February 12, 2009
Click to view jessiejammes's profile

One more?.

Why dont ASIANS get ASIAN HISTORY WEEK>>>>MONTH?

Why dont Italians get Italian week/

Why dont NATIVE AMERICANS????? THE ONLY ONES REALLY DUE!!!!!!!!!

A week of HISTORY ?

As blacks,,,,Why do you always resort to skin color after blaming others for doing it? I remember the most impressive thing I ever saw.After we dropped the bomb on japan,with in a hour.They had there children in the streets TEACHING them nopt to make the same mistakes!!!!!!!

monkeys advance!Why dont we???

February 25, 2009
Click to view mrssurvivin's profile

I am a 42 yr old single mother with a 17yr old daughter,i just graduated with my bacholars degree in applied management, i feel that president obama should develop a program for working americans to help them maintain their crdit worthiness, this way the banks will be willing to work with them when they go for loans.

December 21, 2009
April 9, 2010
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April 14, 2010
Click to view fantaixi's profile
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