My View: Are we doing enough to make sure our kids aren't racist?
Some young fans of "The Hunger Games" have expressed disappointment on social media that Rue, the character seen here, is black.
April 2nd, 2012
06:40 AM ET

My View: Are we doing enough to make sure our kids aren't racist?

Courtesy Daniel PerezBy Jose L. Vilson, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Jose Vilson is a math teacher, math instructional coach and data analyst in a New York public school. He can be found at TheJoseVilson.com. Vilson is also on the board of directors for the Center for Teaching Quality and the steering committee for the Save Our Schools Movement. Tune in to AC360 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for the special series "Kids on Race: The Hidden Picture”.

 (CNN) - Recently, there’s been controversy over the motion picture “The Hunger Games” and the casting choice for Rue, a character that the book’s author, Suzanne Collins, intended to be dark-skinned at the very least. Amandla Stenberg, a young black actress, plays Rue in a cast that also includes rocker Lenny Kravitz and actress Kimiko Gelman.

Some fans expressed disappointment all over social media that they didn’t think the character should be black and that they hadn’t envisioned a black child as this character to whom they gravitated to so ardently in print. One search on Twitter for Rue leads to a set of tweets ranging from subtly questionable to strangely racist.

Teens are the predominant target group for this movie. At some point, don’t we as a society have to step in and question what we’re teaching our children about race? Isn’t it our responsibility as caring adults to tell our children that our differences only make our country richer in experience? How do we get our young boys and girls to understand that the difference they see in skin color, facial features and accents don’t make other people any less human? How can we change the climate of America’s race relations to the point where more people believe that Rue, a fictional character, is still every bit the relatable figure for fans of the novel regardless of the race we assign to her?

If we’re in the position to speak to our youth, we have a responsibility to teach them about race in a way that makes sense for the 21st century. At this point, we can all agree that race as a social institution has been engrained into our society. Rather than tiptoeing around what we call different peoples or honing in on two or three historical figures in a specific community, we ought to consider the concept of color-consciousness.

Color-consciousness, an idea I first saw in Beverly Daniel Tatum’s seminal “Why Do all the Black Kids Sit Together in the Cafeteria,” implores us to stop thinking we’re colorblind and consider a different strategy. Instead, we should seek to understand people for who they are as a whole and not judge a person because of differences.

For example, when a young man walks into my classroom for the first time, I may make an assessment on how to say his name, where he sits in my classroom, and how he typically dresses when he comes to school. I take a good look at his habits, his intonations and the way he writes. I even get a good sense of what he likes and who are his friends.

Yet none of this affects whether or not he deserves a good grade in my class. As a matter of fact, I sift through some of these red herrings of bad scholarship (such as hoodies and sweets, for instance) and get to the heart of the matter. Does he get the material? Does he participate in class? What doesn’t he understand about what I’m teaching? How can I extend the learning in the class to meet the students’ needs with what resources I have?

Some might read this and think, “But isn’t that a colorblind way of approaching teaching?” No. If anything, the fact that I prefaced knowing the person before knowing the material should tell you a lot about how I prepare lessons and explain material.  I might plan the lesson with a mention of their names in it with a situation I know they like. I might use a little Spanish to connect an idea to a cognate in English. I might change a problem set knowing that my students don’t have an experience in a certain setting or around people different from them.

Things like that go a long way in modeling the sorts of behavior we want our children to have. For different reasons, the people who ought to take the lead on changing the race dynamic feel uncomfortable with discussing it, even when they’re teaching children of color. Everything from the literature and informational text we ask kids to read to the themes we pursue in a social studies context matter. When kids don't get a chance to have a nuanced conversation about the realities of race in this country, they inevitably go back to their pockets of reality.

In other words, Collins could have begged us to see Rue as a dark-skinned girl, and children who consider themselves devout fans of “The Hunger Games” would still ignore this important detail and portray Rue as white. It's easy for me to dismiss these individuals as racists, but it's more complex. Children are not born racist, but they are born to differentiate between people and possibly put them into categories. What we do or assign to those categories determines whether or not children can envision the movie in black and white or high-definition.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Jose Vilson.


Filed under: Issues • Practice • Voices
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Jeff

    I hope this is being taught to kids of every skin type! As racism in this country sure aint limited to one color!

    April 4, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • JOSE0311USMC

      WHAT IS RACISM ?? RACISM IS DIFF TO DIFF RACES.......TO MEXICANS IF YOU WANT ILLEGALS DEPORTED, YOU ARE A RACIST.....IF YOU WANT A WALL ON THE MEXICO BORDER, YOU ARE A RACIST.......THAT IS NOT RACISM , THAT IS LOOKING FOR AMERICA FIRST...SECURING OUR BORDER......BLACKS COMPLAINT THAT THE POLICE STOP THEM TOO MUCH , WHY ? BECAUSE THEY COMMIT MOST OF THE CRIMES AND DRUGS ..THAT IS NOT RACISM–OR-RACIAL PROFILING..........IF YOU WANT CHINESE FOOD ? WOULD YOU LOOK IN A ITALIAN RESTAURANT FOR CHINESE FOOD ? NO...RACIAL PROFILING IS BEING ABUSE BY THOSE WHO BREAK OUR LAWS ...MEXICANS ARE GREAT AT THAT..

      April 4, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • TinaBoBina

        Jose, what the HELL does that have to do with the article or the book "The Hunger Games"? Think before you go on your silly little rants, please.

        April 4, 2012 at 9:56 am |
      • Alex

        Apparently you haven't heard of the "hidden agenda". Yes, the idea of racism can vary, but the basis is discrimination and fear of the unknown. If politicians taught the reality that race is a social construct and does not truly exist, this would not be an issue.

        April 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
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    April 4, 2012 at 7:09 am |
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  4. kelthehobbit

    I loved the books, loved the movie and LOVE LOVE LOVED the casting of Rue. When I read the book I pictured Rue, Thresh and Cinna as black, just as they are in the movie. If you read the books the description of Rue automatically brought up a little black girl in my mind (and I am white).

    My main defense of this casting choice, Suzanne Collins was VERY involved in the process...script, casting, everything. If she says Rue, Thresh and Cinna are black...THEY'RE BLACK...she's the author, she gets to do that.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  5. Lou Galliard

    Unfortunately, there are things that white America says in public, with an audience and there are the whispers spoken at home around the dinner table.

    There are so many great people out there and limiting myself to blacks, white, asians, latinos would be limiting myself....am not about that!

    April 3, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  6. Myra

    The fans aren't upset because Rue is black. They're upset because the book was changed. They'd be just as upset if she was black in the book and white in the movie. I'm not saying that racists don't exist; i'm just saying that wasn't really an example of racism.

    Personally, I thought the actress in the movie did a lovely job playing Rue.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Alyssa

      You do realize that Rue and Thresh were both described as having "dark brown skin" in the books, right?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:37 am |
    • Amelia

      How were the books changed, as far as characters go?

      April 9, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  7. Regina

    Sadly, the genius of these books and the Hunger Games story is completely lost on some readers and those who saw the film. WHO CARES WHAT RACE RUE IS!!! A 12 year-old human being, a child is sent into an arena to fight to the death. Vengence, hatred and pure evil sent her and several other children. Geeze, God help us!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
  8. biblestudyspace

    CNN Hate Speech and Bigots
    We have more Christians dying around the world today, than ever before in history because of CNN bigots. But we have more hate speech from CNN Erin Burnett and John Avlon on the CNN Network.
    OutFront Video on 4/02/2012
    http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2012/04/03/talat-take-a-look-at-this-4-3-12.cnn.html
    Erin Burnett and John Avlon said that Christians are bigots and the Holy Bible has more Hateful statements than Koran. How many more Christians mush die, before the CNN bigots and CNN hate speech against Christians and the Bible will end. CNN Hosts Erin Burnett and John Avlon needs to be fired. CNN needs to Apologize to the Christians who are dying around the world, for the Word of God.
    We have sent over 50.000 emails out, in the past 24 hours. We also have Christian News Networks working on the story. This will never end until Erin Burnett and John Avlon are fired and CNN apologize to Christians for the Hate speech. http://biblestudyspace.com

    April 3, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  9. Amelia

    Isn't everyone the same color with the lights off? Why does it matter?

    April 3, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  10. Amelia

    I can't believe how racist some of you are being toward a finaminal trilogy and movie. Suzanne Collins specifically states Rue as "Darked skinned." Light or dark, does it matter? I feel that humans only view things in one perspective, their own. They don't think what it would be like to have the situation reversed. We only know what it is like to be one color. Some are discriminated to a full extent, and not many understand how it feels. I get it we are only human, but try to use your common sense. Amandla Stenberg did a beautiful job in the Hunger Games. It was a lot to put on her shoulders especially since she is so young. It is heartbreaking since some Americans base some one on color. I am only twelve and I can understand this, while some adults take one look and say " No, wrong color."

    What have Americans turned themselves into? Why teach your kids this? Picking on a defensless person, of such a young age, I am disgusted.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • Tim Tringle

      It's spelled, 'phenomenal". Not Finaminal.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Lou Galliard

      I applaud your comments Amelia...they seem genuinely heartwarming and sincere....yet as in MY AMERICA, our day to day, sadly enough, falls greatly short of our collective ideals.

      All and all, your disposition is appreciated....towards the collective!

      April 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
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  12. GOD

    Personally, I can't tell the difference between most races. all humans look the same to me. All good masked peons and ants with a rotten, evil core

    April 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
  13. pastortimwhite

    I am certain that if you set up the same test with southern children, using northern accents, you would get the same, or northern children, using southern accents. This is a human nature problem that goes beyond race. Race is just and easy target to see the problem. It has always been a us vs. them issue and differences are never easily accepted.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
  14. Bwin

    I think it's pretty obvious that dealing with racial issues by ignoring racial differences has not worked. Perhaps we need to confront the issue head on and deal with the bald fact that we have serious racial issues in this country. Someone could do an entire television series of interactions between races, in the workplace, in marriages, in friendships, in riots, in crime. We get bits and pieces from the media, most of it harmful because they're just tidbits. A serious discussion of our relationships between races could be beneficial if handled properly.

    April 3, 2012 at 11:16 am |
  15. Mep

    99% of humans naturally gravitate towards their own race culture. On our own we can be friends with anyone and appreciate them for who they are, but end up in prison or a riot situation and see how fast you'll get a knife in the back if your not standing with your own race. Evolution could change that when we all have three fingers and no hair. Maybe....

    April 3, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  16. Nichole

    Good article. I am reading the Hunger Games and I envisioned her as black, before even seeing who they chose for the part. What part of dark-skinned do people not understand? Do they really overlook that, so that they can picture a dark-skinned white girl? I don't get it. I envisioned her as black and loved her and cared for her character all the same. Sincerely, a white female.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Sophia

      Right on! True fans of the book – should NOT care what color her skin was! What does it matter that she was white, dark or olive-skinned? Her role in the books (and movie) is super important, so focus on her character instead!

      April 3, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
  17. Zar

    The current state od race relations or lack thereof in the U.S. and possibly other parts of the world have more to do with ultra conservative right wing groups stoking hatred to further their aims. Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, as long as these right wings groups have the podium and the resources to get their ugly messages out, both directly and subliminally, we're not going to see race relations improve. Everything from anti-semitism to race and islamaphobia is game for the right wing and their ilk. And with the kind of money they have to get their message out to people who are ripe for focusing their own troubles on scapegoats, we don't have much hope in these troubled times.

    April 3, 2012 at 10:42 am |
  18. james

    I hope Australians can evolve and stop being racist

    April 3, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • ks

      I hope all multiculturalists burn in the inner most circles of hell, where they belong.

      Sub-human filth.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:43 am |
      • Robert

        You are a prime example of why the gene pool needs more chlorine.

        April 4, 2012 at 8:47 am |
      • Alex

        Obviously you're uneducated as the idea of race isn't real. It's a social construct.

        April 4, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  19. Kay

    I could care less what color a persons skin is. Racism is alive today because the media, people like Sharpton and Jackson and there are more blacks that are racist than white because they have the feeling everyone owes them something. I don't owe anyone anything my family grew up poor but worked hard. You get out of life what you put into it. Hanging on to something that was supposed to happen hundreds of years ago to get a handout is a cop out. Not one single person that walks this earth today was alive during slavery to even prove it happened as its said today. There are many variations of how slavery was and how it started or if it ever was. So many things that supposedly happened in history has been proven wrong. As long as racism is kept alive by the media and the people that use it to get what they want it will always be around.

    April 3, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Dion

      and what historical instances are you referring to? and to state that there are more racist blacks than whites or any other race in simply conjecture. not i do wholeheartingly agree that racsim isn on ALL sides, but that simply makes it everyones enemy. and yes, the media makes it worse, but it isnt the media on discussion boards, or the media running for office, or the media segregating school proms. it comes down to the fact that it is simply the people of this country who have to make a unified decision to end bigotry and racism, not the media.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:21 am |
    • Bob

      I believe you mean you couldn't care less about the color of the one's skin.

      If you could care less, that implies that you do care about the color of someone's skin, at least a little bit.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:31 am |
      • Luke

        Who cares.....BOB.

        April 3, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • Sheridan

      So, what you're saying is because of the "liberal" media, racism is still alive an kicking today? If the media would stop bringing race as an issue on certain topics, then racism will end? I don't think that's how it works.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:58 am |
    • RIP2HIM

      how are there more blacks that are racists? Do you know every black person in the US? Do you know the struggles we face being "black." No, and im pretty sure you have never been the victim of racial profiling like myself and i am a female. Racisim starts with individuals like yourself believing that profiling and other discrimination does not happen.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • JustSayin

      Mahmoud Ahmadinejad doesn't believe the hollocaust ever happened either..... You can't change history, and you certainly can't fix racism by pretending slavery never happened KAY!!

      April 3, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • West Indian Company

      O, how do I agree with you. So many stories about slavery. But really, the black Africans decided themselves to swim to the far side of the Atlantic Ocean, attracted as they were by the prospect of having to pick cotton and chop sugar canes. Not for money but for whip lashes. But the socialists don't teach that in the classroom. No it's all about slavery and the planet being a global sphere instead of a square pancake as the Bible clearly suggests.

      April 3, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  20. John

    Who cares whether shes black or not? I mean seriously is it just because she got killed? Was it racist that the guy who was Catniss's stylist was black? I mean seriously come on people that's ridiculous!!

    April 3, 2012 at 8:03 am |
  21. zzmorgan

    Who cares what color she is The hunger games is a freaking awsome book and movieno matter what

    April 3, 2012 at 6:29 am |
    • Barbara Robertson

      Bravo zzmorgan!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:43 am |
  22. whosurdaddy

    How about teach your kids not to believe religion?

    April 3, 2012 at 4:10 am |
    • SBynum

      By the criteria of evolution, racism is a corner stone of societies ability to progress. By the criteria of religion, at least for Christianity and Islam, we are are descended from Adam and Eve and are all brothers and sisters.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:52 am |
      • wayne

        Evolution also states we are all related and share common ancestry. Adam and Eve were not real, that's apparent to anyone with half a brain.

        April 3, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  23. whosurdaddy

    LOL mind control trying to tell people how to think good job CNN.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:06 am |
  24. WCT

    Are we teaching our kids enough about race? Yes, yes we are. In fact we are teaching them too much. Kids don't distinguish between race when they are young, only after society has imparted its views on them.

    People who complain about racism are the ones who are only going to perpetuate it. As long as somebody is going to continue to complain about racism it is going to continue to exist. If you want racism to stop just shut up about it...

    April 3, 2012 at 2:29 am |
    • Guest

      As long as people think racist thoughts racism will exist
      I agree that we dont really need to talk more and more about it,but we should be able to stop certain individuals from their 'right' to free speech.
      I think if the Idiots who propagate racism in the first place ought to be silenced

      April 3, 2012 at 5:45 am |
    • Jules

      Only in your world right. Escaping a teachable moment is not fixing the problem

      April 3, 2012 at 7:29 am |
    • bill01370

      I think it's one thing to see race, another to ascribe characteristics to a race, and yet a third thing to act on those. Of course we see race. We also see who's wearing yellow or green or whatever colour shirts. Ideally, we could note that in passing and have it be basically meaningless. Ideally, we would not make any assumptions at all (even subconscious) based on that observation. Until we as a society can get to that point, we need to ensure we don't act on assumptions. In order for that to happen, we have to acknowledge we have those assumptions, which means acknowledging we see race.
      It's hard for kids to understand that sometimes they have absorbed viewpoints that come across as racist even though they personally abhor racism. Similarly, it's hard for kids to understand that even if they truly don't have a racist bone in their body, there's still a systemic racism in this country. Heck, it's hard for adults!

      I look at my students now compared to 25 years ago, and I think we're making a lot of progress. But we still have a lot of progress to make. Toward that end, I appreciate articles like Mr. Vilson's as they keep me thinking about what I need to be doing to help build a better world.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  25. Parker

    I cannot believe this article exists. The over analytical part of society is what seperates us more than uniting us. I am tired of people being worried about every little thing being racist. I did not see Rue as being black but I don't think that they made her black to have a racist tone to things. Her part was played well. I also had not envisioned Thresh in the way that he was portrayed in the movie. However, I would like to point out just that, it is a movie. I doubt that "Lionsgate" said "Oh, let's just add a bit of racism in the casting, that'll boost the numbers". Watch the darn movie and maybe you'd have been almost mortified like I was when she died. (just like the other 20 white tributes)

    April 3, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • zzmorgan

      yeah

      April 3, 2012 at 6:30 am |
  26. Mariacristina Cortez

    I went to see the movie with my 17-year old granddaughter who is 1/4 Mexican, 1/4 Salvadoran, 1/2 Caucasian. My granddaughter look Caucasian. She read the book and said that people who were upset about Rue being black were racist. I have a different point of view. I am a dark-skinned Hispanic and it does not upset me that the character was portrayed by an African American actress (I have black coworkers who take offense to being called African-American); I thought the girl was very beautiful; however, a character being described as dark-skinned I would expect an actress that looks more Mediterranean, Hispanic, Arab, Greek, etc. Books and movies do not have to be exact. As a matter of fact, they can't be. I do find it interesting that many people in America see their world as either black or white. Many of us do not fit into either category.

    April 3, 2012 at 12:54 am |
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    April 3, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  28. Ke

    Seriously? Who cares if the person who acted as rue in the movie was black, white, or anything!

    April 2, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
  29. john

    i am a 15 year old boy and i have struggled with racism for a while. im white and was grownup with a fine family. but my dad being racist rubbed off on me. same with his brother my uncle who is around. it has taken me nearly a year now to fix my racism problem. i think if you want kids like me to understand racism it lies in the house they live in as much as anything else. now that im way less racist i hate people who are open about it. i hate my old self . my dad and uncle made me racist. i think the home is a huge part of wether u r racist or not

    April 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • Ro Vi

      I completely agree with you John.

      April 2, 2012 at 11:22 pm |
    • Dion

      very good point sir.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:24 am |
  30. 60 year old man

    Concerning blacks, as long as they keep relating their failures to slavery, by having people like Jessie Jackson, Sharpton, Crump still alive racism will always prevail. When skin color is used pro or con to cover up a crime or an unfavorable confrontation there will always be a huge rift between the races.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • allynom

      It'd be hilarious if the "bad girl" (Finally!) were represented by a blond pretty (they all are – right?) girl – what't d be?
      The blond pretty ones are the devils in the works anyways -just check them out in the high schools (not many left 😦
      Somehow I think it's the upbringing – the dinner talks and the future preps – come on, you all know what I mean.
      The parents of those are too busy with their own precious lives to leave an impression on their own child – and, hence, the impression has to be passed on

      April 3, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Chuck

      Reading this, you do not know what the current consensus state of mind of blacks is

      April 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  31. Impossible

    That is impossible? Find me any culture and I can find some prejudice that exists. Some dislike Mexicans or some mislike the Jews or just hate liberals or hate republicans...... It;s all around us so give up!

    April 2, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  32. Genek1953

    Someone's sympathy for a fictional character changes just because the character's appearance isn't what they imagined it. That's just pathetic.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  33. Ronald Reagan Luther King

    Honestly we will never trust each other in our lifetimes, I feel every time I turn on TV there is a Racist witch hunt going on. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would like to put a little Racist stamp on every White male in the USA. We think 180 degrees from each other, The difference in our thinking is the same kind of difference that a Male and a Female have. We can see the same thing and because of our culture and upbringing (for better or worse} we see two completely different things. There is no fixing it, there is only accepting it. . Stop wearing your skin color like it was a Cross of burden.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  34. JrzWrld

    The fact that so many people are "shocked" that the character of Rue is black makes me fear for the future of this country, even more than the latent racism in those comments. That so many young (and old) people can fail so miserably at reading comprehension with regard to a book that should be comprehensible to a middle school audience is deeply disturbing. Collins' portrayal of Rue clearly indicates that she is dark-skinned. Kinda confirms the idea (that I believe has been supported by scientific evidence) that racism and lower IQs are closely linked.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  35. markjuliansmith

    If seeking security and harmony One should not judge a person, a community, a Nation by the colour of their skin, the level of their intellect, their physical dexterity nor their table manners but One must certainly judge them by the character of ALL their "insulting, dangerous, and wrong" foundation text regards Other, particularly as it relates to the status of women relative to men.

    For only after complete examination by oneself (not taking anyone else’s subjective word for it) of the Foundation Text regards Other and Women and ignoring demonstrative pious claims utilizing select abridged versions of the Foundation text to hide the truth, will you be able to conclude such a person, such a community, or such a Nation will eventually cause you more harm than good and is really not worth having anything to do with.

    Change the foundation text which defines Other as less, be it secular or religious, or change nothing = prejudice against Other continues.

    This is also why being prejudiced against a culture, for having foundation text which determines Other as less and justifiably destined to 'grievous harm' or the 'severest penalty' death, is not racism or a phobia but a rational reaction against infamy. Pathological Altruist Cultural Relativists call this rational reaction bigotry.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  36. twang

    I feel sorry for the white kid that isnt a racist and ignorantly wanders into a black neiborhood

    April 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • sure

      Amen! Trayvon Martin can attest to that!

      April 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Dion

      Or the black kid who isnt racist and attempts to go to prom in mississippi.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  37. Tommy D

    I find it interesting that the hunger games racist comments and tweets are happening at the same time as the Treyvon Martin case. With Treyvon, it seems like nationwide there has been an outpouring of concern for this case with people from all races showing support. At the very same time we have people upset about skin color in the movie completely undermining the progress (if any) that is taking place with Treyvon Martin. Its a stark contrast and a real example that racism exists. The saddest part about it to me is that a lot of us (including me) like to feel that the younger generations are growing to be less racist, when in fact these tweets from teenie boppers show otherwise.

    April 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  38. Tracy

    Why do we hate black people?

    And try to attain some of their Physical traits?

    We burn our skin and attain a toasty complexion because we know it looks better than the the normal white skin, we get breast implants, we get butt implates, we can our lips done we GET CANCER FROM TANNING WE PAY TO BE TANNED IN A COFFIN LIKE THING.

    BUT WE HATE BLACK PEOPLE.... I DONT GET MY PEOPLE I JUST DONT UNDERSTAND!

    April 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Justin

      why do black people hate white people? it goes both ways,

      April 2, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
      • Dion

        that doesnt make it better. and no one has said that. its stuff like this that keeps it going.

        April 3, 2012 at 8:29 am |
    • Ronald Reagan Luther King

      I see what you are saying Tracy, I see a lot of white kids trying to act like thugs and their hoes, Wearing their cloths like rappers and the girls tanning there skin to attract Black males. But I think once you leave the city and Metro areas You wont find a lot of people trying to be Black.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
      • Fellowtraveler

        Ha Ha! That's very funny. You really think white kids in the suburbs do not try to act black? Think again. Who do you think pays the most for all the thug apparrell and rap concerts? That's right, suburban white kids.

        April 3, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • mm

      @tracy your not white so please give up the gig

      April 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Fellowtraveler

      Basically Tracy, it's part of a sub-conscious struggle within so called "white" people's minds between the reality of their physical/biological/genetic inferiority as compared to so called people of "color" and the delusion that these "white" people are actually superior to people of "color". To put another way, blonde/red head, blue/green eyed, pale skin appearances are genetically recessive/inferior traits. I believe many pale skins realize their genetic inferiority; that's why so many risk skin cancer to look brown, but they also have a history of being told they are superior. Hence the delusion and the subsequent psychological conflict.

      April 3, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
  39. enkephalin07

    Maybe Suzanne Collins imagined a post-racial world, where someone's race is less descriptive than the color of their skin-deep complexion, but she doesn't have a post-racial audience. The future isn't here, there will be racism as long as their are races, so let the mongrel race begin. Maybe no one is better than anyone else, but everything is at least a little bit better with Cherokee blood.

    April 2, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  40. Skeetz

    The only hope to stamp out racism is when something common that bonds all members of the human race together, like aliens from another planet coming to stamp out human life on this planet. Until there is some signifying uniform event such as this, the current generation and perhaps even the next two generation, you will have to look beyond those to cure the ills of society. When whites can hold other whites accountable for crimes against the black community and the black community will hold black accountable for crimes against the white community, then that will be a start.

    April 2, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  41. Little Girl

    I wonder if Racist People go to heaven hmmmm. When we are supposed to love our neighbors as we love ourselves or at least try to.

    April 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • andahero

      You are the greatest enemy to freedom the world has ever known.

      April 2, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • hammer

      Read the bible didn't God have whole tribes killed even the children.Some of you people are to self righteous.

      April 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
  42. andahero

    I still believe I have a right to be racist.
    What's this crap all about?

    April 2, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • andahero

      Trying to tell me what to think, what to feel?
      Every Chivar man on the street corner...

      April 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  43. Rachael

    Folks do we understand why the NAACP exist, why their are things that exist for other races. Do we understand that our country has a very bad history and we try to make up for it by affirmative action and other things. Like putting race and gender on an application. Why do we do this? HMMMM... Maybe because of the bias in the world. Some people do not like women, some people do not like black, hispanic and if it were up to them they would not hire them just because of the bias stereotypes that exist and the hatred within their own hearts. The US carters to White people look at the movies and everything I feel sad for my non white friends because I know that I have a better chance at succeeding just because I am white I not that smart but I beat I get a job before they do just because I am white we all know this most would never say it though. That hardship that they encounter even when they are well qualified they are over looked

    April 2, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  44. Indira Acosta

    This is a hard question with an easy answer. NO we are NOT doing enough. As a teacher and mother I find it very hard to talk about race even within the same race. Growing up in the Dominican Republic no one ever questioned why my siblings and I varied in skin and hair color yet when we moved to the United States it was a topic that other kids found fascinating. It was difficult explaining that even though my mother was "blanquita" (white) and my father "negrito" (black) and my sisters, brothers and I were all the different shades in between we were all the same: Dominican. This was 20 years ago and by the looks of what's happening not much has changed. Seems we are hardwired to see differences and to automatically want to categorize them.

    April 2, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  45. CAREY

    I personally apologize for all the racist white people in the U.S. We kind of take in what our Great Great Great grand parents instilled in our parent and it just sort of goes on into the next generation. I am a young white person that literally experienced my parents and grandparents teaching me all the wrong things about all the other none white people. How i am superior because I am white and our ancestors owned blacks and they will always be owned in some way shape or form to whites. Now I am 19 years old and if this is still being taught in my family line than I know in Many other families it is the same. I will strive to ensure MY CHILDREN ARE RAISED BETTER THAN THAT. I have many diverse friends today because of life experience the good and the bad of all races. Life is short people who cares what color your are. Just get to know the different cultures and you will appreciate and understand why it is the way it is.

    April 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • mm

      my family came here in the early 1900's they didnt own anybody..stop speaking for all whites

      April 2, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
      • sure

        no need to be defensive man.....stop the us vs them talk, it gets old!

        April 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  46. IMGRR

    We all have bias, we were not born this way we learn it. We have to make a conscious choice to question our assumption and find supporting evidence to validate our taught because we can’t read minds. Until we are honest with our self and question our assumption we will not progress on this issue. I fear for my brother and my husband almost every time they are at a social function because I know there is a (violent) negative perception of black male. As a immigrant to this cultural some of the assumption of racism by black people tick me off, because I taught, look at the idiots playing into their hands this is what they want you to do prove them right. My taught process was if you don’t act as they predict then your anger cannot be perceived as hostility. But when you are face with this question (racism) five out of ten times it takes discipline to say I’m going to give him/her the benefit of the doubt. For example, your colleague (white) makes a mistake and it’s over looked and or address privately and you make a mistake (black) and it address in a department meeting. This may be simple because the manager has a better rapport with this person. At the end of the day we can’t read mind and we all have to make a conscious effort to put yourself in another person situation and reduce your judgment.

    April 2, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  47. Naz

    I recall watching something on 20/20 years ago in an anthropology course. John Stossel had a focus group of kids and he was asking them who they would want to be friends with based on pictures of people of different races. Even the non-Caucasian children voted the prettiest girl was blonde with blue eyes like person. They asked boys similar questions and who they thought the "bad" kids in class were and so forth. Who is smarter, who has more money and so forth were all asked to this focus group of children. I remember that these kids were like 5 years old and somehow due to media influences or their own families these children had prejudices formed into their minds sadly at such a young age. I read that black barbies don’t sell nearly as well as the white ones and that even children of other races for some reason think that Barbie is just not that appealing when she’s non white. When it comes down to children and teaching them to not be prejudice, not to stereotype people it really all begins at home and the foundation that parents lay down. Media ads play a big role in this also. This is something that all families, of every race must be aware of. Every home needs to preach equality and so forth. Also I did a youtube search and it looks like Stossel did another one of these recently with arab looking pictures of people and I haven’t watched that one but I did watch the one from what looked like the mid 90s. It seems like nothing has really changed and that families need to teach their kids at a young age to not form certain mindsets about people based on their race or dress habits and so forth.

    April 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • quantumelf

      So now get rid of the associations that focus specifically on race: NAACP, etc. Also get rid of the ones in the media (e.g. BET). These are exclusionary and inherently divisive. As long as they exist the proponents of them are advocating some form of racial divide. They served a purpose in the past but to perpetually continue their usage is self-defeating.

      April 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • sure

        lets also do away with Fox and clear channel...

        April 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  48. Ashley

    I am the only person that does not care about race I think so. You know the only time it affects my life and when I read things in the news etc. Man maybe all you old people are so concerned with these things that in controls your life. Forget Color for a minute and just relax and love one another. As a young person all that matters to me is are you friendly, do I like you and do I enjoy your company and conversation. Man you older people need to relax drink some coffee and just have a nice day. Yes Racism exist but when you die WHO CARES!!! Maybe this makes no sense to you are but I think w all just need to lighten up a little and take in the fresh air. Love peace and happinest MAN I DONT WANT TO GET OLD!

    April 2, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well said. The only time I see racism show its ugly head is when someone starts whining about being a victim because they didn’t get hired or promoted or pulled over for speeding. It’s just a cop-out some people use to justify life’s little problems.

      April 2, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  49. Lsmith

    Let's see are we doing enough to make sure our children aren't racist?.......hmmmm....What a dumb question. In today's enviornment you cannot teach the young about race. You can preach all you want but they're going to form their own opinions about race relations and people of different races as they make their way into the world. I wasn't raised to be racist and throughout my younger years and through high school I had no predjudices against blacks or anyone.

    However.............60 years and counting my feelings have been time tested and time hardened by the reality around me. Am I prejudiced? Yeah....but I came about it honestly.........thanks to experiences in the workplace, in my neighborhood and quite frankly everywhere around me. It comes in the rap/hip hop music that invades my ears in public places where I cannot block out the obscenities. It comes from hearing the foul language espoused from the black youth playing street basket ball in my neighborhood, with no thought to the parents pushing srolllers past..

    It comes from picking up the newspaper everyday and viewing the most recent rash of burglaries, rapes, assaults and murders. It comes from watchin "spike" TV's Gangland television show which has made it a badge of honor to get featured on their weekly show as gang of the week. Bait car...........Jail........Lockup......Extended stay,....border wars...the list goes on and on of television show which either glorify gang mentality or showcase it. in all it's ugliness.. Nothing but negative images coming from these shows unfortunately put a real spot light on a sad reality which to the chagrin of many has caused a stereotype to be formed.............

    You know, if you don't like the negative stereotype, take some initiative, break the mold and become the anti-stereotype. dress, act and speak as you'd like to be perceived..............

    In the meantime, I don't need the bleeding heart anderson cooper telling me I might need to be doing more to keep my children from becoming racists.........Wrong answer........I'm doing my part, giving you the benefit of the doubt, what you do after that first encounter is squarely on your shoulders, I will however be observing with a jaundiced eye till things become clearer. If You don't like the end result, well tough........

    April 2, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
    • GwB

      I'm sure for 60 years you have been time tested when it comes to race but I find it hard to believe that you have no prejudices. Everyone has some form or prejudices but I think it depends on the magnitude of it. But to say you have no prejudices after being test for close to 60 years, I find it hard to believe.

      April 2, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
  50. quantumelf

    Almost everyone is "racist" to some degree and as long as there are differences between people it will never change. Expecting everyone to get along and integrate completely is a joke. Why do you think all of the neighborhoods are divided into Vietnemese, German, black, Asian, etc. People want to naturally congregate with their own kind. This doesn't necessarily mean they hold great prejudices, but it's just the way it is.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  51. ALEXANDER

    Good day All. I do not understand the problems of the US. The racial problems when you all are orignially from another country. Not one of you are better the the next. Europe. African, South America., Asia. I mean the United States is supposed to be the land that everyone wants to be a part of. But I mean who wants to be a part of a LAND WHERE ALL THE PEOPLE THAT MAKE UP YOUR COUNTRY HATE ONE ANOTHER. I mean WOW. In the United States you all separate each other CAUCASIAN, Black hispanic not hispanic. I mean why doesn't the united states call White people EUROPEAN Americans. I mean I am a foreigner but many of my friends are Americans and I truly do not understand. Such a lovely country with so many Race related peoples. May God bless you all. NO ONE IS BETTER NO ONE WE SHOULD ALL REMEMBER THAT.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      @ ALEXANDER
      > Good day All. I do not understand the problems of the US. The racial problems when you all are orignially from another country

      I stopped reading after this sentence. It shows your ignorance and invalidates any point you might have been trying to make. Neither I nor anyone in living memory of my family is from another country. If you meant to say my ancestors, then yes. But here is a news flash… so are yours. Go back far enough and unless you are currently living in central Africa your ancestors came from somewhere else too.

      April 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
  52. hawk4200

    Here is an idea how about all the blacks go back to Africa and all the Whites go back to Europe and lets see which race benefits from the other. I think we can all agree that Europe is light years more advanced that Africa !

    April 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • African

      Here's an idea how about all the Blacks rape, pillage and slave Europe while taking all the revenue taken from Europe back to Africa; doesn't sound fair does it. Go learn some history you inbred Fox News fan.

      April 2, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  53. hawk4200

    Here is an idea how about all the blacks go back to Africa and all the Whites go back to Europe and lets see which race benefits from the other. I think we can all agree that Europe is light years more advanced that Africa.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  54. Dennis

    I'm originally from Europe and my wife is from the Dominican Republic. We both are US citizens and I'm seen as white and my wife is seen as black. We receive many times funny looks from African Americans, and at times we there are racial slang's put out when we were close by African Americans. We have a 2 year old son now and I'm worried about it. My best friends are African American's and even the person I call Grandma' is from African American heritage. Many times I've noticed that the older generation rub racial separation onto their kids. the young children and teenagers picking up this behavior and looking at the other race as something negative. We don't like it and it go to far that I've started to separated myself from my best friend and his family, even his mother who I call my grandma'. It hurts me but I don;t want this negativity rubbed in my son's face. I want him to grow up and understand that all people are equal.

    just a few month ago in a waiting room. A small 7 year old African American kid looked at me and my wife and said the he didn't knew that a white man can marry a black girl. We were kind of shocked .... That shows that the older generation in each family is putting these things into young teens and that is wrong. we as society can educate our kids of historic event's and true facts but we should always ensure that our kids are seeing the positive change, the equality of all people.

    Grandma' (the lady I call grandma) even told one of her grand daughters one time that she can't get a office job and told her to look at her skin color.... that's crazy,.. well,.. she's now a well paid person ..

    April 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
  55. Chuck

    Food for thought:

    Your dad is forced to work hard his entire life, builds an empire and with all the money the company made he got nothing from it and left you nothing. When your great grandchildren see this company is the biggest company in the world, and decide "hey our great great grandfather built this, don't we deserve some of the money, if not all of it" is there something worng? Is there something wrong with taking the money from the person who is the heiress or heir of the person forcing the other to work? And now that you will not give it to them is it wrong for them to feel wronged? But although they feel wronged many of them continue to work hard (in worse conditions, with less education because the money that their ancestor should have earned is paying for others to get better schooling and living arrangements) and are not afforded the luxuries of the not guilty for but heir of stolen money. Take race out of the picture and imagine yourself in this predicament. If you are left stolen goods, do they belong to you?

    April 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  56. Mace

    How can adults teach children about something they haven't learned to deal with fully themselves? lol. The proof? Just read all the crazy replies that I get from my post lol. Children aren't stupid, you can't tell them that race doesn't matter and were all equal and then give the lie away when you speak! When the man who gunned down a unarmed teenager still walks free.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Ash

      I am with Mace, but if you think about it no matter how the cast the players it would've been wrong. So better that the somewhat good people were black then the all out crazies were black. Come on people it really could've been worse.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • AtlHebrew

      How can you expect adults to do something that is natural. All people are predisposed to some form of being racist. All one can do is control how they handle it . If you say you have never had a racist thought or generalized someone you are being untruthful to yourself and everyone else.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
      • Chuck

        AtlHebrew,

        I will disagree slightly with your statement. Not everyone has a racist thought, but more of a prejudiced thought, We all have them, it is how you handle them. Racist thoughts are oft handled without care. Most people of ANY race do not have racist thoughts but prejudiced thoughts.

        – Saeed (My name is Arabic for HAPPY!!)

        April 2, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  57. laurenwint

    It is imperative that we teach the next generation to have an open mind to people, and paradigms, that do not coincide with that to which we have grown accustomed. If we only congregate with/relate to people and concepts that we are familiar with, how will growth ever take place? Great post.

    April 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
  58. Ray

    I went to a high school where the teachers promoted their 60s-based philosophy that we're all one race. It took me years to realize that this was true but also deeply false.

    What is described as racism in the U.S. has more to do with culture than it does with race. My experiences with black culture have left me with the conviction that it is a culture that values ignorance rather than education, griping about 'the man keeping you down' rather than working for what you get, and a huge chip on their shoulders about every other culture but their own.

    There's a reason why hispanics are prospering and black are not. Until black Americans put in a serious effort to change their culture through intellectual achievement, they'll continue to be relegated to the lower classes.

    As for me, I will no longer propagate the lie that all cultures are created equal.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
    • Yadzik

      "My experiences with black culture have left me with the conviction that it is a culture that values ignorance rather than education..."

      Well, since you sound like an Idiot, and a racist, you're "experience" and "conviction" doesn't really count for anything does it?

      April 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm |
      • Jim

        The reason Americans can't have an open discussion on race is people like you. Supposed liberal who is the FIRST to label someone.

        April 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
      • hawk4200

        I have to agree with you on the fact that they are a rather ignorant and violent race.

        April 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
      • Illwill

        "you're", eh? Nice try, but you're the idiot here (and that's how you use "you're").

        It's really quite simple: study the world and its history. Blacks/africans (whatever you prefer to call them) haven't done anything good as a race...ever. Gypsies? Same thing. Arabs? A thousand years ago they managed to steal some ideas and even came up with a few of their own, but nothing since then. How about east-asians, jews or whites? Oh yeah, now we're talking!

        April 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
      • Rick

        Sorry Yadzik, but Ray has a point. I have had the same experiences with the black culture. Compare with other it would seem that the blacks seem to lean more towards the world owing them a living rather than making their own.

        You can't knock others for their personal experiences. I was in the military for 24 years traveled to 49 states and 9 countries. It seemed the same was true in almost every location.

        I was stationed in Nebraska and shopping at Wal Mart when black woman put a flat screen TV in her cart and walked right out of the store with it. I could hear her yelling from the parking. She was telling the security personnel to leave her alone. she said that she had the right to take the TV because she was black. She kept yelling..."but I'm black"... over and over again presumably meaning that, because she was black, she had the right to take anything she wanted without paying for it.

        I have had a black supervisor call me racist because I "didn't act like I liked him". the fact was that his race had ZERO to do with the reason we didn't get along. It was how he treated his wife and children that I had the problem with. The fact for me is that it doesn't matter what color your skin is. If your going to jerk your wife and kids around just so that you can get laid by an old girlfriend and live closer to her...then I have a problem with it.

        Believe me I am not a racist. I grew up in a small town in Utah and was the first to become friends with the first black family that moved into town. The son was my age and we hung out together alot. I got spat on and called names and tooke beatinge for being his friend. However, from my experience, it seems that many blacks feel that anyone who doesn't see things their way is racist.

        One question for you. whatever happened to being innocent until proven guilty? It seems that is the rule unless a black person is involved. Zimmerman has already been tried and executed in the medial and many of the public's eyes. Yet the black man who killed two british tourists in Florida, just for walking into his neighborhood, is being billed as one who grew up in a poor family and didn't know any better because of his uprbringing. I guess the black man shooting the two white guys isn't racism because it wasn't a black that was killed. It would seem that the media portrays the British killings and Zimmerman's "media trial" both as justice for the blacks.

        Fair and balanced journalism is definitely not being shown by CNN in either of these cases.

        April 2, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • KindaSorta

      We are all created equal. We may just evolve differently because of cultural differences. News flash "The Man" does still try to keep blacks down. I've unfortuanately been privy to conversations to the contrary.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • We Are Not Created Equal

        This is where your logic fails.

        April 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • sortakinda

        I thought we had come to some understanding about the tags. Are you me in a Bizarro universe?

        April 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Dave

      you need more experience with Black culture my friend...what If I made a remark that my experience with "white culture" left me feeling everyone was hateful, two-faced, racist and only out for their own..corrupt and untrustworthy? how would that sound based upon my limited experiences? get the point?

      April 2, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
    • Words Are Cheap

      We can all talk a good game and say warm, fuzzy epithets concerning a new day, etc, but the bottom line is the actions we see firsthand make the most valid and lasting impressions.

      Everything else is cheap talk.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
    • Brixzz

      Ray.. you're kidding me right... One thing we have learned here is that ignorance is blinding. Seems you've never seen the world out in front of you .

      April 2, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • ann

      Ray,
      I'm glad that I learned a few years that my experience with some in white culture who think like you does not apply to all white people. Growing up I was told that white people hate black people, that they are sneaky, two-faced, backstabbers, and never to be trusted and not only that but I was told that whites tend to be immoral and they weren't clean. Is all this true about you? I doubt it. You seem to be the only one who values ignorance. You don't know all black people, obviously and you seem to content to continue to be willingly ignorant.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Andre

      You only see what you want to see, Ray. Black culture is not fundamentally any different from "mainstream" American culture. The difference is that the level of opportunity is not the same.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • Silent peasant

      How empty a person you are. Blacks are the only race that did not come here to escape repression and poverty in ancestral nations. No other race was enslaved here. I am white but think we should consider reparations for what we did and, obviously, some like you are still doing.

      April 2, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  59. Mike H

    How do you make sure your parents aren't racist ?

    April 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  60. Ron Sorenson

    Racism is alive and well. However after living in the south (MEM) for 15 years I found that much of the racism is black against white.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Chuck

      Ron,

      I would have to disagree with that sir. While I do believe that there are racist blacks, I do not think most racism is committed by them. I do feel that blacks hold a high number of prejudices as do whites as do many other races.

      – Saeed (My name is Arabic for HAPPY!!)

      April 2, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • ann

      after living in the south for a few years the racism is black against white....Hmmmm, I wonder why? maybe the years of jim crow and lynching have something to do with it.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • sure

      LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL, your are funny! I give you that..... what.... your serious?!

      April 2, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  61. davidjcu

    How blind and ignorant do we choose to be when we don't acknowledge that racism exists. It doesn't go away by not acknowledging the existence of the problem, nor is someone not racist because they haven't said anything bad about another race. If we want to make sure our kids aren't racists lets not let them draw conclusions from tv, media, and movies that do nothing but portray stereotypes but rather have them have real world experiences with people of different races.

    BTW, the whole hunger games thing is such garbage, apparently those who were upset and read the book must completely suck at reading comprehension.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
  62. The truth

    I find it very disturbing that CNN is trying so hard to always throw fuel on the racism topic. How many kids did you speak to? Does this represent each race as a whole? Btw- This is not a black and white only country. But you wouldn't know that watching CNN. All you want is to win the ratings war and you will do so by dividing this country as a people. If this was a case of an asian and a puerto rican it wouldn't even be reported on. This story is doing nothing but putting whites in a negative light. That's racism! But if anyone has any doubts about whites and their views on race, go take a good look at the president. Millions of white people helped put him into office and it wasn't because of the color of his skin.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Kevin F.

      That's ridiculous! Did you not just see what happens when it's not talked about?

      April 2, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • Well Said

      But CNN will never listen to logic.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  63. Ojumu Seun

    there is only one race! the Human Race!

    April 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  64. edeveryday

    "Racial profiling" has more to do with "irresponsible behavior" on the part of the black community than it does with "skin color". That whole "just because of my skin color" angle is just a diversion and an over simplification on the part of the black community. "Skin color" BECOMES an issue as a direct result of the chronic misbehavior and dysfunction that goes on everyday in the black community. Asians look different too but generally speaking they behave themselves on a day to day basis compared to blacks. The population of Asians far outweighs the population of blacks in the U.S. The same can be said about Latinos. You don't see Asians and Latinos flashmobbing and looting liquor stores and department stores. Blacks should try cleaning up their act and behaving themselves for a change and then eventually they won't be "racially profiled".

    April 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Kevin F.

      Probably the most ridiculous post I've ever read. Who let's people like you post this crap?

      April 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • P Smith

      How ignorant are you? The black population is more than the Asian population first of all. Have you ever heard about gangs like TRG? Just one of many violent Asian gangs. Or how about MS 13? Avery violent Latino gang. Every race has there good and bad. It is ignorant generalizations like yours that make racial profiling possible. So I guess every black kid is out here looting liquor stores? should I believe that every white kid is going to go on a shooting rampage at their school one day? No I wouldn't cause I'm not ignorant.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • ann

      so, should we start racial profiling all white kids, who dress goth or weird when they go to school that they are going to shoot up the school, or maybe all white men are serial killers, whites profile every race but their own. there are good and bad in every race and culture, just like all italians aren't in the mafia, all blacks aren't committing crimes. out of the millions of us in this country, the majority of us are working hard, trying to achieve the american dream and put our kids through school, just like you.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  65. clemalum07

    Getting rid of the racist groups such as the KKK and Black Panthers would help a lot. Also Racist hypocrites such as Jesse and Al who have done nothing but hurt race relations in the past decade.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • statenislandviews

      the same "freedom" that permits those groups to exist also give fair minded people the right to speak up. That said, there is no way to get rid of supremecists or separatists...fair minded people just need to keep talking...especially to each other...and the extremes will fade.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
    • Kevin F.

      I suppose Rush Limbaugh is your hero.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  66. Knucklehead

    I am true to the Knucklehead race.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  67. Knucklehead

    Hard to teach your kids to not be racist when you're racist yourself. Just saying.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  68. sortakinda

    The solution: Black kids go to school in white face. White kids go to school in black face. Everybody learns to play the banjo.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  69. Jesse

    The reality is and scientifically that all humans are not white or black, in fact we are different shades of brown. It's called pigmentation, you can look it up, and depending on the genes of our parents will determine the color of our skin without the factor of sun. If we taught this in school, racism wouldn't be so much a factor. In fact most of the reason that racism is a factor is because hollywood and different rights groups bring it up all the time, for example tiger woods and obama, one has a mother that is full thai and there other a mother who is full white, so to say he is a great black golfer or a first black president is creating more racism, why not just say president or golfer. We are all humans plain and simple. By the way if your wondering, I'm a white 31 year old male with roots in australia.

    April 2, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Kriss Greenn

      Jesse, that was very well, put. I'm a 28 y/o black woman that was raised by a father that had to live thru the Jim Crow days.My dad would tell me all the time that I have to try and beat white people in being more successful in life; always stay one step up. Well, isn't that what we all want anyway; to be better? I've learned for myself that the way he looked at race was COMPLETLY different from mine. I really don't see the person's color anymore and really don't care what color they are.....they're still people.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • statenislandviews

      respectfully, the last sentence was unnecessary...most people reading your post already knew you were white. Without indictment, it is a facet that few African-Americans agree with...those who say "We don't see what all the fuss is about", can't see it, or in worse cases don't want to see it. Lastly, ignoring race and its effects, both positive and negative, doesn't help anyone, it usually allows those who use race as a wedge to flourish, and those who are penalized to flounder.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Chuck

      Jesse,

      That is the problem at hand. Bringing up race does not brood racism, it in fact begins to teach people how to handle it. There needs to be conversation about race to quell the hatred. Ignoring race is not the answer. The first black President is very important, it lets youth know that anyone (or at least any man, we're still working on getting a woman in there) can be president now. In a country that has not elected an African American president (before now), it puts the ideology into action, it shows that these weren't only words. The gettysburg address wqas cute, but it did very little (the reason why other laws were inacted). The truth remains constant- a white male has many privleges not afforded to men of other races or women. Until that is not the case, and until african americans and other races can reap the benefits of their ancestors yield (unpaid labor, that made others rich or well off) then we need a continuing conversation on race. And on the other hand we need to teach young minorities to take a step back and th ink before they claim racism. But this twitter reaction in fact was racist.

      – Saeed (My name is arabic for HAPPY!!)

      April 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Chuck

      Jesse,

      That is the problem at hand. Bringing up race does not brood racism, it in fact begins to teach people how to handle it. There needs to be conversation about race to quell the hatred. Ignoring race is not the answer. The first black President is very important, it lets youth know that anyone (or at least any man, we're still working on getting a woman in there) can be president now. In a country that has not elected an African American president (before now), it puts the ideology into action, it shows that these weren't only words. The gettysburg address wqas cute, but it did very little (the reason why other laws were inacted). The truth remains constant- a white male has many privleges not afforded to men of other races or women. Until that is not the case, and until african americans and other races can reap the benefits of their ancestors yield (unpaid labor, that made others rich or well off) then we need a continuing conversation on race. And on the other hand we need to teach young minorities to take a step back and th ink before they claim racism. But this twitter reaction in fact was racist.

      – Saeed (My name is arabic for HAPPY!!)

      April 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  70. Steve

    Perhaps if focused more on math and science in the schools we all would be better off.

    April 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • "all created from the same dust"

      How about we teach the scientific proofs of the oneness of humanity to every child at every age while at school? There is only one race the human race, cultural anthropologists stopped dividing humans into "races" officially in 1946! However unfortunately our "color" ( it only represents %0.01 of our total genetic make-up) definitely makes a difference in the way we are treated like in jobs, housing, education, healthcare and the justice system...

      April 2, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
  71. Max

    I teach my kids to be loyal and never sell out their race. To have critical thinking skills to disseminate media propaganda and peddling of white guilt, and fight for their own interests and their community.

    April 2, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Knucklehead

      How do you "sell out your race?"

      April 2, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
      • BillyBob117

        How do you sell out your race-–easy--be just like Al, Jessie, Maxine, Charlie and other so called black leaders--cannot include little barry, because he is not black-just look at his family tree-–

        April 2, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  72. michael

    The story takes place in a future totalitarian society, so complaints should be directed towards those fictional dictators who are doing all the segregating ...right?

    April 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  73. r

    If you're a jerk I don't care what color you are.

    April 2, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • "r" is Dead On

      Perfect

      April 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  74. lovingmommy

    Me as a young mother to be and coming from a black mexican and white family i see racism all the time, from me being 19 and pregnant to me either not being light or dark enough to fit into a certain group. i have never seen this movie or read the book but if it brings to light a topic like this that no one ever wants to talk abot because they are affraid of change and learning about other races than it must be amazing if there were more open minds like this man who wrote this maybe or country wouldnt have half the problems we see today

    April 2, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Truth

      Very well said. And this article was extremely relevant and necessary. And for those who are calling this author or column racist, need to do some research and understand what racism is. Racism is the belief of an inherent superiority of one race over another. Now please tell me where you get this from this man or this article. And please stop disguising your own racism by senselessly throwing out the term "racist." The author hit on a topic that needs to be addressed. It does a child no good to try and raise them without mentioning the differences in races and cultures. Instead, we need to embrace our different cultures. We need to learn about and from each other; this truly enlightens your whole world. We have some many beautiful cultures–not only in the world–but also here in the U.S., and instead of discriminating based on these differences–let's embrace them.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
  75. Tyrome Biggums

    By 2050 there wont be any "white" people any more.. "White" will be replaced by a mocca complexion so I dont see what the point is of racism because after 2050 we'll all look the same..

    April 2, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
    • worktolive

      Tyrome, I sure hope you are wrong-we should all be proud of our race and I feel it would be such a loss to do away with the different races. We should all respect each other and get along-regardless of race.

      April 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Kelli

      2050 is only 38 years away. I find it hard to believe that in 38 years (or in any of our lifetime's) that only mocha or non-white skin will exist.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  76. mattmezgersr

    Your message is very well taken, Jose. Indeed, your truly radical subject to verb agreements had me backtracking at least twice. Maybe we need to see some instant replay before we make these poor judgements. I don't read, or watch much teen fiction anymore, its all vampires to me, but I do read the blogs alot, and I am so jealous of yours.

    April 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Mattmezgersr

      "but I do read the blogs alot, and I am so jealous of yours."

      You REALLY need to get out more.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
  77. jusme101

    What a crock.... This is a learned trait, not an inherent trait... Simply don't teach your children to be racist... Not that difficult now is it ???? But, then there goes your article.... id_iot.

    April 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Green

      i thought the same thing when i was reading this

      April 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • Max Powers

      I think that is just a tad over simplified. I don't teach my children to be racist, but they are subject to a great many influences and it takes a lot of time and awareness to make sure that my kids are absorbing the right material and rejecting racist ideas. I still find things in my vocabulary that are racist, but because they are so commonly accepted, I don't notice them for years.

      April 2, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  78. Joanna

    I am so surprised that no one has brought up the fact that in the short story by Steven King, The Shawshank Redemption. Red in most part is interpreted as a white man.
    He is called “Red” for his Irish heritage and as a play on his last name “Ellis Boyd Redding” Can you imagine anyone else but Morgan Freeman playing this role!

    April 2, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Joanna

      "Red in most part is interpreted as a white man."

      In most part nothing. In the book, there is no doubt Redding is white.

      White people do not complain about these things; only blacks do.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  79. Julie

    It's ignorant to ignore other races in this country. I've read the book twice and have seen the movie. Rue is black, there's no denying that fact. The young lady chosen for the roll depicted the character perfectly. Yet, Rue was not the only black character. There were more than one black actor and actresses in the main rolls, and people of many different races playing citizens of the Districts and the Capitol. The diversity was the one good thing that happened in the future of this country as part of the storyline.

    April 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • Julie

      "It's ignorant to ignore" – wow, that is so deep.

      Also, it is spelled, "role" not roll.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
  80. Shika

    When I first read about the remarks to the Rue character I was very surprised. In my opinion Rue did not look African American or Black but she is biracial. I think people were only looking at her from one dimension and failed to see that she is dark skinned like the book says and comes from an African American and Danish background. lol on another note I was also confused because if the book says she is dark skinned and in the movie she has dark skin where is the issue..just wondering. People today need to be culturally aware.

    April 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Shika

      "People today need to be culturally aware."

      Why exactly? Why do I have to share your personal life?

      I am 100% socially tolerant, but please resist your need to share your life with me.

      Thank you.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  81. Smr

    Very true in deed now days are getting killed because of racism it isn't right.

    April 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Here's the problem ...

      But blacks killing other blacks for reasons other than racism is ok.

      Check.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  82. Nethalein

    I like they way Morgan Freeman put it best with black history month. Just stop talking about it. ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIQj7hhqaLg )

    April 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • worktolive

      Amen. It is discussed way to much.

      April 2, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
  83. orlando

    race has nothing to do with an authors thoughts i would have bin proud to see my race in movies as big as the hunger games and not be complaining about why does the actress die or why do they come from an agricultural area i'm a American Mexican and i know what my people are and what they do i would've been proud to see my race in that movie

    April 2, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  84. Samantha

    The actress who played Rue was EXACTLY who I had pictured as the Rue from the book. The casting director did a fantastic job casting her. I cried when I read her death scene in the book and both times while watching it in the movie. She did the role perfectly and no one should deny her that with his or her prejudice.

    April 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • Jackie

      Rue was exactly as I had pictured too. The actress did a great job! Perhaps they didn't read the book. If they did, they weren't careful readers. And the bottom line.....what difference does it make if the character is black?

      April 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
      • Andrew

        At first i thought Rue was white. I guess I didnt see that page. WSo when I saw the posters I was surprised and shocked. But when i saw the movie I realized she was Rue. Imagine a little blonde girl quiet and calm going through the trees. Sorry but no all the little blonde peole I know are loud. Rue in my opinion was perfectely selected.

        April 5, 2012 at 9:07 am |
  85. esoteric1

    The other day my wife and my two girls 8 and 12 were driving to go campling. We started talking about each other and if we knew enough about each other to know what each of us dislikes, hates, the most...what really bothers the others. My wife asked my 12 year old "what does daddy hate the most?" My 12 year old said "I know!, I Know!...daddy hates prejudice!" I am not sure I have ever recieved a greater compliment in all my 49 years. I am awhite, and live in rural Kansas.

    April 2, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • JR

      I come from a very diverse community in New Jersey. It really pleases me to hear that people from your area dislike prejudice as much as I do.

      April 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
      • NJ Sucks

        And you know it does.

        And yes, I live here until blessed retirement, then I am out of this ghetto state.

        April 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
    • Susan

      That is awesome! I hope my daughter thinks the same about me one day as well.

      April 2, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • Susan

        that was supposed to be a reply to estoriec1

        April 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • So?

        No self respecting white person likes you.

        April 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
    • Oh Please

      Get out of my country.

      You are a disease.

      April 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  86. raisa resseger

    Excellent article, Mr. Vilson. Keep doing what you are doing – one person at a time...We the parents are certainly responsible to teach our kids that what really matters about another person is what is inside of them.

    April 2, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Jackie

      Yes, yes, yes.....and we need to understand that our own words and actions teach most clearly!!!!

      April 2, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
    • adhdee

      Agreed %100 percent..

      Kids are so susceptible to everything around them (Isn't that common sense??), and 98% of the time I blame the parents. I am not a sync, however it could be relatively easy to convert to one. Just from working in a kids clothing store for a 6 months, drove me to doubt the parenting skills of 80% of people. The things I witnessed were truly a disgrace.. look at the parents actions and behaviors..they are their children is adult form. (It is scary)

      April 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  87. Habin

    We're all same humans, just with different skin color. All people have differences, and their own idiosyncrasy, and we shouldn't discriminate people because of it.

    April 2, 2012 at 8:30 am |
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