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Thread: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

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  1. #1
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    "In America, we rise and fall together," Obama told the National Action Network, the Rev. Al Sharpton's civil rights group. Promoting his efforts to revamp health insurance, education and consumer protection programs, Obama told the crowd to keep working with him.
    "We will build an America where the ideals of justice and equality and opportunity are alive and well," the president said. "And we will reclaim the American dream in our time
    Is our president saying african americans will reclaim the American dream or ALL Americans ??
    Considering he is speaking to Al Sharpton's group I seriously doubt an equal cross section of races were present .
    You know, I think I would rather be a man than a god . We don't need anyone to believe in us. We just keep going anyhow. It's what we do.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    I think WE means anyone who will vote for him. Not unlike any politician. He smartly went to an event held by Al Sharpton because he is trying to win back the black vote. Good political stategy.

    Although it begs the question, what if Rand Paul said similar things at a tea party? I understand the question and can see the irony.

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    World Champ ODH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    I don't really get the analogy. The comments quoted are so innocuous and generic I don't see how anyone could be offended even if Rand Paul said them to a Tea Party really.
    Assuming becasue his audience is probably all African-American that he is only talking about blacks regainng the American dream seems delusional.

    All the candidates when they campaign in NH and Iowa will say similar things and becasue of the makeup of the states, the audiences will be mostly all-white.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    I forget who said it in the race for the white house in 2007, but someone (white) said YOU PEOPLE to a mostly black crowd. A big deal was made of it, although I didn't get why. That is how I took this post. I didn't find what Obama said as offensive in any way and I didn't find what the dude said running against him in 07 offensive. Some people do, and I think that was the gist of the question.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by quinn14 View Post
    I forget who said it in the race for the white house in 2007, but someone (white) said YOU PEOPLE to a mostly black crowd. A big deal was made of it, although I didn't get why. That is how I took this post. I didn't find what Obama said as offensive in any way and I didn't find what the dude said running against him in 07 offensive. Some people do, and I think that was the gist of the question.


    Yeah, but that's an entirely different situation. Saying "You people" to a group of black people, in particular if you're white is a bit different than generically saying "we" when giving a speech.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger84 View Post
    Yeah, but that's an entirely different situation. Saying "You people" to a group of black people, in particular if you're white is a bit different than generically saying "we" when giving a speech.
    I think you are spinning it to what you want it to say, just like the media. Saying YOU PEOPLE to the people in the audience means nothing more than YOU PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE. Just like saying WE to a bunch of people in an audience. I don't think the white guy (McCain or Romney, I'm thinking) meant "you black people". I think he meant it as just the people in the audience. Same with Obama.

    I really think people make too much out of the color of skin. The media stirs it up and gets people to think differently than they normally would. But, it sells papers so who cares about the people, huh.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    Quote Originally Posted by quinn14 View Post
    I think you are spinning it to what you want it to say, just like the media. Saying YOU PEOPLE to the people in the audience means nothing more than YOU PEOPLE IN THE AUDIENCE. Just like saying WE to a bunch of people in an audience. I don't think the white guy (McCain or Romney, I'm thinking) meant "you black people". I think he meant it as just the people in the audience. Same with Obama.

    I really think people make too much out of the color of skin. The media stirs it up and gets people to think differently than they normally would. But, it sells papers so who cares about the people, huh.
    I think I would disagree with you on this, quinn - "We" is inclusive. "You people" divides into at least two groups - me and you. I do think way too much is being made of the President referring to a group of constituents as "we". I do wish, however, that if, as suggested earlier, the president was attempting to reach out to his black constituency, he had selected a different group than Al Sharpton. And I agree totally that the media stirs it up. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

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    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    I agree with ODH, Ranger and M here. When the President uses "we," he usually means his entire constituency, i.e. the American people. "You people," whether meant intentiionally or by accident, has come to be a condescending term referring to a group to which the speaker doesn't belong.

    No matter what Obama says or does, some people (not you people) will dissect it and find a way to put a negative spin on it. He isn't always right, but he isn't always wrong either.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Which WE is Obama referring to ?

    I see your all's point, I just still think that it is a stretch. These guys campaign in so many places in front of so many different crowds that I think they just start repeating themselves with no intention of race.

    What if the white guy was speaking to a mostly white group like the NRA and said something like "You people have the power to get the right people into congress!" I don't think anyone would think that was derogatory to anyone. That is probably all he meant. I think people are still so scared to talk about race that things get blown out of proportion. Blowing things out of proportion is also a great way to get ratings or sell papers.

    I have worked with, played sports with and hung out with many black people, both male and female. Not one of them refers to themselves as African-American. Not one of them sits around thinking about how to stick it to the man. None of my white friends or family sit around plotting how to keep the black man down, either. This may be naive, but I think if the media and people like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson would just shut up, racial issues wouldn't be what they are. And "you people" or "we" wouldn't be over analyzed. But, I admit, I don't live in a big city so maybe my personal experiences are different.

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