Column: Focus Of Obamas Election Shouldn't Be Race

This story was written by Kristina Betsworth, Kentucky Kernel
Within the past two centuries, slavery has been abolished, blacks have been given the right to vote and segregation has ended. Now, for the first time in history, a non-Caucasian man has just been elected to our nations highest office. These events demonstrate the true racial equality for which American citizens are striving. However, it seems to me that many are not viewing this as a statement of fairness, but instead as another point on the scoreboard for blacks. It is not a contest and as long as it is viewed that way, true impartiality will never prevail.

Having voted for Barack Obama myself, I have confidence he will be a capable leader. He deserves to be remembered as a man with great ideas, morals and leadership abilities. Coining him as the black president does not do him justice. His victory undoubtedly deserves celebration, but why make his race the focus of our celebration?

One can find many examples of the reverse racism shown since the election on the Internet more specifically, on media-submission sites such as YouTube. Im sure everyone has heard about or even seen the videos of the festivities that took place on campus after the results were announced on election night.

A friend of mine, a white male, was walking alone on campus when he was approached by a group of black men who were taking part in the celebration. All hyped up on the victory, they tried to start a fight, shouting phrases such as, Whats up, white boy? It wasnt until my friend told the young men that he was also an Obama supporter that they allowed him to continue on his way.

Another example of this is the Obama effigy that was recently displayed on campus. Rather than viewing the incident as a political statement, authorities automatically focused on Obamas race and deemed it a hate crime. Do I think authorities should look the other way when it comes to true bias in our society? Absolutely not. But as long as officials, the media and the public put so much emphasis on a persons race, there will always be tension.

I think the solution to this problem starts with our generation. We need to stop making snap judgments and assumptions based on the color of someones skin. Most importantly, we need to cast aside the pain from the past so we can one day raise our children in a nation that is finally, truly equal.

Kristina Betsworth

journalism sophomore
  • CBSNews

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