This story was written by Everdeen Mason, The Lantern
When president-elect Barack Obama spoke Tuesday night, it brought many to tears. Some people didn't pay attention. Others were outraged that their candidate was not elected. All of these are reasonable and respectable responses. We should respect any educated political opinion. What we should not respect is ignorance and hatred spewed over Facebook, Internet blogs and news articles.
Obama will not grow a watermelon patch or throw barbecues in his front lawn like some have suggested. The White House will not mysteriously become the "Black House." America will not be attacked by Muslims because the president-elect has a "Muslim name."
These attitudes are shocking, not because of what is being said, but because of who is saying them: educated adults and college students.
This generation of Americans is supposed to be past this racism. We have more resources, a broader view of the world andmore education than generations before. We are the future leaders of this country, and when people write ignorant Facebook statuses such as "Obama is not a real black person," they tarnish everything America has overcome.
What is the definition of "black" anyway? My friend overheard her roommate say, "Barack Obama is not even a real black person. He isn't, like, from the ghetto or poor." So being black meansbeing "ghetto"? Since when has being black been synonymous with being poor? Why is it acceptable for an educated college student to say that?
Electing a black president was spectacular because it showed Americans are able to look past race and just vote for a leader. It showed that this is no longer a place where black people are inhibited fromachieving success. However, when people ignorantly say Obama should die and other ridiculous remarks, they take that victory away from everyone. In a way, those people make America less civilized.
Respect the man who will be president in January. Even if he is not the leader you wanted or expected, the fact that he was able to become president is respectable. This is the man who will lead the country for four years. Learn to deal with it.