Some African-Americans Admit, 'We Judge Obama Based on his Blackness, Not the Content of his Character'

In south-east Washington DC, in a bar on Martin Luther King Jr Avenue, two very impressive children are showing off their knowledge in a dazzling performance.

The questions are rapid and their answers even snappier.
They rattle off the names of presidents, the highest mountain and the deepest lake, but there is a persistent theme across the questions and answers:

The date of Martin Luther King Jr's assassination, the date of Malcolm X's assassination, the date the first black man became the heavyweight champion of the world, the date of the violence in Selma and the bombing in Birmingham.

Here in Anacostia, like other predominantly black areas, people don't want their kids to forget history or how hard the struggle for civil rights has been.

The children are just the opening act - the main show is a documentary on the civil rights movement. It's just one event among many leading up to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where King made his I Have a Dream speech.

But no-one in the bar thinks the battle has been won. No-one here doubts that racism is still a reality in the United States.

"Until you have lived the life that we lived as Afro Americans, it's hard to get over when it's constantly in your face," Liz Floyd tells me.

"Even the ones that think they've arrived - you can't arrive when it's constantly in your face, who you are not.

"Athletes make it, they think they've got it and then they find out they're just a black guy with a lot of money and as soon as you get in some problems and trouble everyone desecrates you."

Davina Calahan has just come home after taking a master's degree in Massachusetts, where she says she experienced racism.

"Even with our own people of our own colour it exists," she says.

"They vote for Obama just 'cause he's black and one thing Dr King said - he said, 'I want my children to be judged by the content of their character not the colour of their skin'.

"So even our own people, we judge Obama 'cause he's black and voted for him because he's black, not because of the content of his character."


SOURCE: Mark Mardell
BBC
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