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Response to: “What do you mean Black people don't have power?  Obama’s Black and became president.”

Obama’s election did not prove the lack of racism in America; it highlighted it.

When Obama became the first Black president in 2008, many Americans changed their perception of discrimination and racism. However, the belief that racism had lessened did not translate to positive feelings about policies that address racial disparities, according to a new University of Michigan study. In fact, opposition to affirmative action and immigration may have increased since 2008. When racial progress occurs, as seen with a Black president, it may appear counterintuitive that opposition to pro-equality and equity movements like affirmative action increases. When the playing field seems to be more balanced, the perceived need for policies to address inequality decreases. The fact that we had a Black president didn’t get rid of racial disparities in America. 

There have been several assassination plots against Obama throughout his presidency (2008, 2009, 2011-2015) and even after his terms (2018, & 2019). Feel free to research these plots on your own. Additionally, in Obama’s early presidency, some argued that Obama was the Anti-Christ because he supported gay marriage and transgender rights. Several religious conspiracy theories surrounded him because of his position regarding humanitarian rights. In addition, many conservatives attempted to discredit Obama with the Birther movement, which political commentators characterize as a racist reaction to his presidency. He was not necessarily a perfect president; like all presidents, he had his shortcomings too. The fact that we had a Black president doesn’t mean that racism disappeared or that minorities have achieved equity in America. If anything, the evidence stated previously suggests that despite Obama’s policies and influence on equity as the first Black president, racism increased. 

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Haarika Karlapati


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