Barack Obama says “The American people aren’t stupid…”

I was just listening to an address on economics Senator Obama was giving in Flint, MI, one of the most depressed cities in the USA. I really like his ideas, however, he said during his speech that “The American people aren’t stupid…” I think that’s a generalization and over simplification. Or maybe wishful thinking on his part.

A couple of weeks ago my wife, LEB, and three kids were at a neighborhood swimming pool where we have a membership. I had dropped them off there and proceeded to do some errands. When I came back some adult, middle aged white folks, several of whom I had at least spoken to before, were in the middle of the shallow end of the pool talking politics. More specifically, they were saying stuff like Alan Keyes was a good candidate, better than Obama, and generally running Senator Obama down.

I didn’t pay them much mind. Just walked on over to LEB. She was steaming hot and ready to leave. She said they had been saying things like “Obama is the anti-christ. Obama is a terrorist. He’s being funded by terrorists, where else could he get all that money. And on and on…” Now that sounds like some stupid Americans to me.

My initial reaction was to tell LEB not to be so upset. That white people have been doing and saying stuff like that for years, especially down south. After all, we live in Greenville, SC and SC is the state that fired the first shots of the civil war at Fort Sumter just a few short hours drive from here. Greenville was one of the last places to recognize the MLK Holiday. What do you expect? I even said that it may have been ignorance, or lack of concern for anyone else’s opinion or feelings, or they may have been saying things on purpose to intentionally hurt her.

I thought about it more and came back and apologized to her. No one should have to listen to that sort of hateful talk. I wish I could spare her and my children from encounters like that.

Another difficulty in the situation is that they might not have considered her black. LEB, and my children, are all very light skinned black people. I’m black and am considered light skinned by most, until you put me next to my wife. In fact when I first met LEB I thought she was Hispanic but she’s not. People in Mississippi, where I’m from, used to think I was Hispanic, too but if there is any Hispanic in my background it’s only a trace.

I think what those people said had a whole lot more to do with them, than me, my family or Sen. Obama.

Oh, and let me be clear. I don’t think all white people are like the people who were loudly displaying their ignroance that day. Just like you can’t generalize and say all black, Hispanic or any other nationality or so-called race are all one way. But there are some ignorant, racist folks in this world. To deny that is more than naive, it’s down right stupid, too.

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4 Comments to “Barack Obama says “The American people aren’t stupid…””

  1. The American people are possibly the dumbest people on the planet.

  2. @will – I don’t agree with that. I don’t think you can claim all people from any country are any one way. But I will say, as a proud American, that as a cultural we are often self delusional believing absolutely that the American way is the only way. Yet, this country is made up of people from all over the world it’s hard to even define in absolute terms an American way or culture.

  3. There are some people who just have no clue. They aren’t stupid per se, just clueless.

    I am sorry that happened.

  4. stupid people are everywhere. stupid people will say stupid things. i wish that we could avoid them. i wish we could get rid of racism and racists (not just push it behind closed doors). but we can’t make other people change, but we can do as MLK said and turn the other cheek and let it roll off your back. arguing with them will only make you look foolish.

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