American Morning

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September 29th, 2009
03:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 9/29/2009

Editor's Note: Tuesday’s American Morning audience sharply rejected the idea of racism as the impetus for discontent with President Obama. Most denounced Mr. Obama’s position on the issues and remarked that President Bush received the same treatment.

  • Donald: John Roberts asked "where is the level of disrespect coming from?" Why wasn't this question asked for 8 yrs when Bush was in office? Most people don't want their health care touched. I, however, am in favor of reform.
  • Michele: Why don't you compare the attacks against Obama to the ones against BUSH? Was that racism also? CNN be fair! I had NEVER seen anything like what was done to Bush and Palin as well! RACISM? COME ONE? Look at REV WRIGHT'S words? CNN feeds the race card, it's getting OLD.
  • Alvina: Please don't stir up the dislike for Obama on the basis of COLOR. Color has NOTHING to do with it. I voted for him, but I hate his aggressiveness to CHANGE everything so FAST WITH NO INFORMATION TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON THEIR HEALTH CARE PLAN. He thinks he can solve all his problems VERBALLY. He refuses to get involved in the hard health care decisions and now goes to talk with the Olympic organizers when he hasn't talked with his general in Afghanistan. SHAME ON HIM! AGAIN, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIS COLOR!
  • John: We have come a long way on race problems in America, but it isn't all about white people acting out against the blacks. There are blacks who are just as bad. The race problem has always been since Bible days and it will go on until the Good Lord comes. It is sad but true.
  • CP: Dear CNN–your obsession with that school children singing about the President in a program for Black History month goes beyond the pale. I mean TWO mornings in a row?? Of course, since this non story was buzzed up over last week by all of those so called 'conservative blogs' it appears you are pandering to their sad, small, little agenda to get our President no matter how they can. And now CNN is engaged in the exploitation of these CHILDERN, this school merely because this is on the 'conservative agenda'. So what if these children wanted to sing the praises of the newly elected PRESIDENT of the US?? I think it's great! AND YES this belongs in the schools, it's civics, social studies, music–it's within our curriculum. This would NEVER EVER be an issue if this were a REPUBLICAN president and YOU know it!! It wasn't during Bush's time with those Katrina Kids when they sang a song to him and Laura at an Easter egg roll. […] I cannot believe your station is being used as a tool of their right wing agenda to bring down the president–I don't think you're the one least bit smart or cool in doing this, how sad, how small and how little of you being such partisan hacks!\
  • Mrs. Lou: John, the Republicans have forgotten they got us into the mess in which we find ourselves. Ronald Reagan sold his soul to the Southern Baptist Convention and other fundamentalist preachers and they are all race baters. Reagan kicked off his 1980 presidential run in the Mississippi town where three civil rights workers were killed and he talked about states rights. They finally convicted a Baptist preacher for setting up the murder of these three civil rights workers. The Republicans were race baters then and now. They can't stand it that there is a black man in the White House.

How do you suggest Americans move away from the negativity so that we can unite and solve our most pressing issues? Do you think race has a place in the conversation?

Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Macy


    Go Yankees!!!!! And no game 7 was requested, Please have a nice day because Iam . Oh by the way the waeatherman Rob says go Yankees!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  2. DONNA

    The very POINT I am I am making you have PROVEN in your last comment in that you say white people are "racist" while black people merely have "issues". And then you go on to validate thier issues by using white people as an excuse for their issues. Unless black people see that many of them are racist too we will never get anywhere. I guess black people will always have an excuse to victimize white people with a validation THAT NO LONGER EXISTS. I never denied white racism in fact I say I'd like to do away with it on both sides! Do you think if Obama had lost the election that there would merely be words of hatred and racist undertones that you speak of? I think not. In fact, many black people said before the final election day that if Obama had lost black people were going to have violant riots and they feared for deaths and vandalizm towards whites. Do you think it would be justified by the color of their skin? (I am not trying to make an excuse for the white racist hatred that is portrayed. I am trying to prove a point that it was gonna be bad no matter what side won, but I think the hate would have been much worse had it been if Obama had lost and it would be justified. I was verbally assaulted the day after the election by 2 black coworkers the day after the election for not voting for Obama (even after I told them I was happy that Obama won because they were so elated). Had it been the other way around it would have gone to our superiors. But neither one of these girls had even voted in a single election before this election they outrite stated they only voted for Obama because he was black.. But that's my point we take your racism and we don't sit around complaining .
    I never said you were stupid. I am saying there has always been hatred in every election and this one is no different. And your blog was actually mild compared to many blogs that I have read, and as I said in my first blog my comment was geared towards many blacks as a result of reading many of the blogs on the cnn topics and what I observe in life. Reading these blogs on all these sites just shows me that white racism has gotten a whole lot better in America. Good luck to you and your family.

    October 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  3. Cheryl

    WOW! You had a lot to say. Seems you have a lot of things on your heart. I just checked back in to see the comments since I've been away. Now where do I start?
    Maybe by letting you know that each time I comment, I categorically say that NOT EVERY WHITE PERSON IS RACIST. I'm not stupid and I have many white friends. But whether you believe it or not, there are white racists. Of course, there are blacks who have issues. Much of it stems from the injustices that have been meted out to black people all their lives. But I'm with you on much of what you have said. I am not of the belief that I'm owed anything by anyone. I work hard and impress upon my children the same.
    True, that Presidents get criticized, it comes with the territory. But, Donna, if you deny the pure hatred, anger and racist undertones and in some cases very blatant, then you are not being honest. I'm getting off this topic after this, because the back and forth gets us nowhere. Like you, I would hope that we all could one day live together in peace and harmony, but there are those out there that do not want that and until those people change, the world will continue to be a mess!
    I, for one do not support this President just because he is black ( I suppported George Bush) and unlike many did not ridicule or denigrate him. I support President Obama for his values and his beliefs. I've been following his policies since 2004 and he wants all people to have equal opportunity. There's been so many lies told about him, despite all his pleas for people to work together. But, politics is what it is and I truly believe he will prevail, because good always overcomes evil.

    October 6, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  4. Donna

    To Cheryl and Tina. Every president has had hate groups. As I have said once before- welcome to the precidency. There have always been waccos out there during EVERY precidency. I think most black people just haven't paid attention to it as much before because we haven't had a half black president before. President Bush got bashed for taken the most vacations of any president. He was bashed for being a druggy in the past. He was bashed on SNL and other shows like that for being a mindless not able to speak in public president and bashed for carrying out his fathers war that he did not finish. The list goes on and on and on for all the presidents. Holy cow President Clilnton was bashed for the sex with an intern thing. Please black people. Stop whining! Stop using race as every darn excuse for EVERYTHING. I read some of these blogs on all these sites and the more I do the more I notice there are WAAAAAY MORE BLACK RACISTS IN AMERICA THAN THERE ARE WHITE. Even more than I thought before I started reading these blogs on different topics. And some that are just preoccupied with their skin color. Cheryl, is it black peoples God given rite to be the only ones who see and say something about racism? Why is it every time a white person says something it's racist? When a point is trying to be made. You guys are making up a lot of things just to have something to complain about. Do you act like the world should bow down to you and give you special treatment. White people get beaten by cops, white people get falsely accused, white people get followed by security in stores, white people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads too and yes white presidents get poor approval ratings and threats and rally's against them. Stop looking for fringe benefits and excuses! My husband tried to get a job on the police department and he scored highest on his test and the person hiring told him he was sorry he couldn't hire him because he had to give the position to a black woman. My husband got laid off from his dead end job though a month after my last child was born. But some black lady who didn't do as well as my husband shattered his dreams!!!!! Where's the equality in that??????
    How can we unite? That is an awesome topic.
    1.) Get rid of any special treatment specified for one race. That means get rid of affirmative action. There was a time when that was needed but that time is long gone. It is racists for a man or woman to get a job just for the color of their skin. Do away with BLACK scholorships, the united NEGRO college fund, all BLACK schools who advertise in this racist fashion, BLACK clubs and meetings, BET channel is racist as heck, BLACK beauty pageants, BLACK movie awards, BLACK music awards, BLACK history month (before black history month was in the public schools, the children learned all about black history and their inventors and Harriet Tubman and many many more black people and the strong leader Martin Luther King. Pictures hung in my sons school of many of these black people and he did multiple projects and book reports on many of these great black inventors and leaders). And this was before black history month came about. And all public schools were closed for Martin Luther King day. So why did we need to have a RACIST AND HIPPOCRITICAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH??????? Black people- the next time you say "black" think about what you are saying. For instance, white people don't go around saying he is a strong white man. But you guys say he is a strong black man. Why can't it be he is a strong man?. It makes you guys sound like you are supprised there is a black strong man who does what he is suppose to do for his family. Black this and black that. YOU GUYS ARE THE ONES WHO ARE DIVIDING YOURSELVES FROM ALL OTHER NATIONALITIES. I know not every black person is racist and doesn't talk in a hippocritical racist fashion but a lot of you do. Almost all of the white people want to unite and be a strong thriving nation but you guys are being hippocritical and racist. Making up stuff just to complain and forming your little black groups is just as bad as what you are complaining about. You guys call each other niggers-it is disrespectful for ANYONE to say. Do you guys know many of the black people from other countries do not want to be compaired to african americans because they say you guys are a bunch of whiners who use their skin color as an excuse for everything. You guys have MORE FREE OPPORTUNITIES THAN WHITES BECAUSE OF THE COLOR OF YOUR SKIN and still you call US racist!?
    2.) White people need to tell all the old granny racists to shut up. I think some of the older (over 70's age) white people are still racist. I think if they talk racist we should question them out loud and not let them infect the other generations who really do get the don't be racist thing. Don't let it SLIDE BY and don't just talk about how they were racist when we go home we should SAY SOMETHING WHEN IT IS BEING SAID. Because now is the time there are so many white people who are not racist we should nip the OLD RACISM. And get rid of the kkk.
    3.) We need to realize that almost every country has had slaves BLACK AND WHITE. We should realize the indians have nothing that was once theirs. If anyone should be mad it should be the indians.
    4.) When we vote for a president we shouldn't vote for him or her just because he is black or white – as is what has happened in this election. Many black people I know and what I've seen on t.v., voted for President Obama just because he was black and didn't know anything about him or who he was. And the same went for what I saw on t.v.. It is not healthy for our nation to vote just by skin color without finding out his or her beliefs. President Obama said he'd rather be a muslim than an american and he still won the american presidential election. That's ballsy! Only in America can that happen.
    5.) Note that black and white voted for President Obama so if his approval ratings plummet then it is ALL races that are disappointed in him.
    6.) Whites don't owe blacks and blacks don't owe whites. My generation didn't buy you and you didn't buy me.
    7.) I think a wonderful way for legal Americans to unite is to start with every child in america. I truely believe that if both parents didn't have to work and one could stay home (if they wanted to) with the children our country would be stronger in that – let's face it – nobody can love and nurture our children as good as their parents. Child care is germy and it is just a paycheck to so many daycare providers and their employees. WHY CAN'T OUR GOVERNMENT MAKE IT AFFORDABLE FOR ONE PARENT TO STAY HOME WHILE THE OTHER PARENT WORKS – THE WAY IT USE TO BE MANY YEARS AGO??????? There were less medicated people because there was a calm and peace and organization (o.k. and some chaos when the kids got out of hand). Why do we need government funded daycare as a thought? Why not redo the welfare system so that it can enable one parent to stay home while the other one works while we bring the economy up with payscales that are concurrant to the cost of living. Not just for the poor but the middle class too. Why does the government give more to non working families while the middle class struggle while still having both parents working?????????????? It's not fair to the working parents children. Doesn't anybody see the domino effect having both parents working full time is having on our children? I think many families nowadays have to move away from their blood families in order to work too- and it because of that that it is making the familial foundation weak, as many children learn from their elders and relatives. Bring back jobs to ease American minds. I think once we can get our feet back on the ground in America with the "basic" necessities it takes to raise a "balanced" child then it can be an easier to relax and enjoy and make less hastey judgement and blames and racism for our children and our problems. One working parent and help from the government to help only until the economy gets to it's senses and stop raising things to an unattainable rate. Maybe the government can afford to do this by reforming welfare and stop paying for illegal aliens medical bills and have it billed to the country they came from and let their country worry about finding them and paying the cost of their bills and pay for the cost to deport them. The cost of living in this country is imbalanced to our paychecks and raising the cost of living wages will do nothing but raise the cost of everything. Housing needs to be lowered. Everything we buy needs to be lowered. In the 1960's you could buy a house for 12,000 dollars and now the same house would cost 120,000 dollars. Bring back jobs from overseas so that our nation does not to rely on the government. And why does every child have to go to college to have a decent family life? It use to be when I was younger my parents friends and family could get out of high school and get a job and start a family and have a beautiful life with good memories. Now it is taboo to find a job after high school and buy a house and start a family at an early age when it was that way (and it worked) many years ago. I think that technology my be kicking our butts and decreasing the quality of life we have by always trying to get more and more technology etc.
    8.) I do have one question. Is it racist to tell a racist joke? Polish, black, white, chinese, italian, (blonde). If you don't mean it?
    9.) Our president needs us rite now whether we voted for him or not. We need to be strong and think of ways to better our families in a economical way. President Bush left President Obama a big mess to clean up! Don't listen to approval ratings guys. I see his picture on the screen and he's been looking so disappointed when it should be Bush that looks disappointed.

    October 4, 2009 at 2:46 am |
  5. Bert Pace

    We need another 250 Democrats just like Alan Grayson. Finally, a Democrat with spine. What a rarity!! He has my support.

    October 2, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  6. Angela Savage Austin

    Follow up to my last comment.....I remember as a child my parents telling me to do as I say...not as I do. What example does that set?.

    September 30, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  7. Angela Savage Austin

    Thank you spur99. All we seem to have left our voice, ears, hearts and prayers. I heard an UFC fighter named Kimbo Slice state our enemy is often our inner me.

    Our children are a reflection of us…Adults. Look at what we are teaching them….around the world….corruption, violence, greed racism.pure hatred, war and rumors of War, self medication sanctioned by Doctors and Pharmaceuticals companies. My God …look how our leaders act, disrespect of each other, inappropriate sexual acts by Teachers, Clergy, Political Leaders, Security Authorities, calling on the death of Our President in the name of God, even Nature is rising up in protest against Humanity ! We Adults are the first one to be responsible for this sick behavior. Our children are the mirror-reflection of ourselves. This is not to excuse their choices…however Hostility Breeds Hostility, what do we expect?.

    September 30, 2009 at 11:00 pm |
  8. spur99

    Amen to u ANGELA SAVAGE FOR YOUR congrats to TINA on her views.....Now thank u for sharing your thoughts for i couldn't have conveyed a better message to the viewers online.

    September 30, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  9. Cheryl

    I am surprised at this so-called poll and the Editor's note that most of the responses rejected the idea of racism behind the 'verbal abuses' (not just criticism) of the Presidents. Of the 300+ responses (and I went through all) most of the responses agreed that racism played a large part. I'm not sure which of the responses the editor read.
    It is a truly sad time in American politics. We're obviously not saying all white Americans are racists (maybe not even the majority) however those people with racists attitudes are now showing their true color and using this time to spew their venom. They just can't accept a black man as being President of the USA. These people somehow think they have some God-given right to this country more than other races. Very sad!! It is frightening to think what is going to happen if this continues.
    One thing I know for sure is that black people are not planning to stand by if some fool decides to do harm.

    September 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  10. Bob T

    Why wasn't it raceism when Bush was in office? Because Bush alienated the world, Bush got into 2 needless wars that has crushed our economy. Bush was a fool. At least Obama is an educated orator who is doing exactly what he said he would do! The problem is that because he forecasted his actions well in advance, die-hard conservatives have nothing to complain about other than offering more fear-based opinions!

    September 30, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  11. A. Ervin

    I would like to comment on longer school days for American children. I am a high school teacher in Woodbridge, Va. In conducting a panel of students from various other countries in my class two years ago. I found that most other countries have time out in their days to go home for family time for hours within their school day. I think that we have gotten away from parents communicating with their children at all and expectations are for the teachers to be teachers and the parent. What our kids are lacking is parent participation. If you lengthen the school day I see more high school students droping out, skipping school a big problem now. Our special ed. students whose attention spans are limited and don't adapt well to change will suffer greatly. What our students need is for their parents to show them a little attention and help them out with their homework when they get home. If parents don't have the skills needed then they need a program in place for them to gain skills. When I was coming up there was always a parent in the home when we arrived. My mother continued to work with us on school work when we got home. Our parents did not leave it up to others to raise their children they did it. We as teachers are everything to these children. It is time for parents to step it up and take some responsibiltiy for their children's education, Don't leave it all up to the teachers.

    September 30, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  12. Dave

    Hey AM folks...

    I pay quite a bit of attention to the news and the world around me. I have many resources to utilize and keep me "in the know."

    But I am STILL quite unclear as to what the "public option" is that we keep hearing about in the healthcare debate.

    I'm covered through my job and am honestly less concerned but I truly worry about those that could benefit from something and they don't understand it.

    I'm no genius... But if I'm in the dark, I know there are others!


    Dave in Hartsdale, NY

    September 30, 2009 at 7:47 am |
  13. Sharry

    I was totally taken aback by Rep. Chairman Steele's comments this morning as he was being interviewed. He seems to not only be ignorant of current events or who Tom Friedman is, but has an attitude of putting his head in the ground to keep his focus. He admits to racism always being there in our society, but it appears that he doesn't want to acknowledge the realities of the world now. It is symbolic of how the Republicans function - keep talking with blinders on.

    September 30, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  14. Angela Savage Austin

    History taught us that all Great Empires fell from within. I believe that if we continue to focus on the "Elephant" in the room, "Racism", that this Great Country will experience that same Fate. No one can change the heart and mind of another human being other than God or that person...himself or herself. We all know that Racism is still an infant with a lot of years ahead to grow. As a citizen of Humanity I pray to God we all look in the mirror and ask ourselves why would we want this poison to infect our children and kill their future. God have Mercy on us all, for we know not what we do!

    September 30, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  15. Angela Savage Austin

    Amen Tina!

    September 30, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  16. Tina

    Unfortunately, race has played into the role of politics today. To say otherwise, is naive or blind.
    We saw it with some of Ms. Palin's campaign rallies and ignored it. She seemed to be relishing in the discontent and did nothing to stop it. Oh, and lets's throw in the "Death Panels".
    We saw it at town hall meetings, when some of the angry protesters went a little too far and the politicians did nothing to correct inaccuracies fed to the protesters.
    We hear and see it from certain cable news networks and anchors and radio personalities. Do we just ignore the hate generated from them?
    We saw it at "Tea Party" rallies with the signs and actions of some of those participating. The event would have be credible had the organizers discouraged that kind of behavior. I did not see one Rightwing elected official denounce it, only to say it was "free speech".
    How about the "Birthers"? The agenda is fairly obvious.
    Now we have this Facebook survey. Shall the, so called, legit media overlook this? Or are we going to be proactive and prevent a possible tragedy? Remember we do have a past and it only takes one person.
    We are always going to have a division of the political parties given to us. The question is, who is going to stand up for what is morally right.
    Yes, people are angry, but is it for the right reasons? Why are we not taking out our aggression on the ones that got us here? Wall Street, Bankers, Lobbyists, Insurance, etc. All of these need to be regulated so this economic mess can not happen again and they need to be held accountable. It is not happening and people are frustrated. Unless we take the $$ out of politics our cynicism and discontent will not go away.

    September 30, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  17. Angela Savage Austin

    In response to children going to school and having longer days and shorter summers... I wrote The White House, Rick Sanchez and Anderson Cooper with the following suggestion and now I am writing you. Let’s start a “Campaign For Champions” Why can't we use the Media to create a TV Show where children can write, email, or video that they have a dream and share with the viewing public what their dreams are. The TV Show points them in the right direction by providing them with contacts, programs, any and all resources available to make their dreams come true or jump start them. You have so many resources available and I am willing to help if you have me. Sincerely, Angela Savage Austin

    September 30, 2009 at 6:53 am |
  18. Eli

    Longer school hours?Shorter Summers? So that America can catch up with Europe and Asia? People forget that over in Japan and China their citizens respect teachers more so than Americans respect teachers over in this country. Citizens in Japan, China and Europe have a high regard for education. How is it that Asian-American students here in America have higher scores than other American ethnic groups with shorter hours and long Summers ? It's because education and respect for teachers is an important family value for them. It's tradition. The majority of Americans just need to change their mindset about education and teachers in order to compete globally.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  19. Angela Savage Austin

    In response to children going to school and having longer days and shorter summers... U wrote The White House, Rick Sanchez and Anderson Cooper with the following suggestion and now I am writing you. Let’s start a “Campaign For Champions” Why can't we use the Media to create a TV Show where children can write, email, or video that they have a dream and share with the viewing public what their dreams are. The TV Show points them in the right direction by providing them with contacts, programs, any and all resources available to make their dreams come true or jump start them. You have so many resources available and I am willing to help if you have me. Sincerely, Angela Savage Austin

    September 30, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  20. alisha in g-ville fl.

    I cannot belive that any parent would have a problem with a full day of complete education for our kids in this country . Access to whole learning is rare for most kids in public schools . I live in Gainesville Florida home of UF a college town and the kids go to school @ 7:45 – 1:45 pm and every Wed. they get out @ 12:30 pm . The daycare system in this country is raking us over the coals charging outrageous rates for after school care , I agree with Obama that are kids are so important to us that we should be willing to give them the best education possible not more time off.

    Alisha S.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:41 am |
  21. spur99

    I think a lot of the recent discord with PRESIDENT OBAMA is solely based on race and not the issues of health care or whatever for we are less tolerant of minorities in general and that's doubley so if that person or individual is black.

    September 30, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  22. Zap

    Compare apples to apples, if race is not involved then you would see the same discontent over the same irelevant topics (i.e. outcry over Obama song in school, presidents speaking to school students, etc.). Put politicians numbers up, how much money has each gotten from the insurance companies? Then show who voted for reform and who didn't. Utilize the census to get the People's opinions. Or, better yet, have the people vote on public option, much like local policies.

    September 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  23. Rusell DiGi

    It's not raceism it all about police and policy only if Obama was chines
    people would be just as made Polisie, Reid and other are white and people are mad as hell at them equil to how mad they are at Obama.

    September 29, 2009 at 3:46 pm |