Thursday, September 17, 2009

Obama's Color

The New York Times is running an article entitled, "As Race Debate Grows, Obama Steers Clear of It." The article begins, "President Obama has long suggested that he would like to move beyond race. The question now is whether the country will let him." The article reports that "His goal, Mr. Obama has told both camps, is to be seen as a president who happens to be black rather than the nation’s first black president."

Questions for Younger Children

1. Think of five ways in which people can be different from one another.

2. Why do you think that black people and white people are sometimes treated differently? Other than their color, do you think that they are different? Why or why not?

3. Have you ever been afraid of anything? If so, what? Why do you think that you were afraid of this? Was there any real reason to be afraid? Explain!

4. Some people dislike others simply because of the color of their skin. If you could say one thing to these people who dislike others, what would you say? Why?

Questions for Older Students

1. Vocabulary terms to discuss: Civility; Disavowed; Tenuous; and, Tinged.

2. Do you think that a large number of opponents of President Obama's policies are likely racist? Would there be any way to tell which opponents are motivated by non-racial issues and which are motivated by racial issues? If so, how? If not, why not?

3. Do you think that President Obama's color is influencing his style of governance? Explain!! If you wanted to develop a more sophisticated response to this issue, what questions would you ask? Why?

4. Why do you think that racism exists? Do you think that it will ever be possible to eliminate all forms of racism from society? Explain!

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