d. E. Rogers

Conforming to Succeed

In Series 1 on June 2, 2010 at 10:40 am

As we look at how racism has changed, can we really say there is no racism today? Is it an issue that is overrated and is no longer a problem? Have we really become a country with equal opportunity exists for everyone? Or have many African Americans just conformed to a culture that is not their own in order to succeed?

Many have been left to wonder, regarding race in America, just how much people will have to assimilate into the white culture in order to have a chance at succeeding. As we assimilate to this culture, however we lose ourselves – an important part of what makes us who we are. In one area of life we hide who we are to stay under the radar of certain stereotypes and in other areas we are free and are true to ourselves. But if racism was not still an issue today, we would not feel the need to have multiple masks. We would be our true selves in any environment.

Then there are those that choose the more challenging route, believing that there are opportunities to succeed by remaining true to their roots and not falling into the pressures to conform. However, this choice does not come without scrutiny.

A good example of this is the election of President Obama. His victory didn’t come without scrutiny. President Obama was put through the ringer, so to speak, during that election, with people questioning and commenting on everything from his name to his religion, and from his citizenship to his ability to speak so well. Issues were explored and discussed during his campaign – and even after he took office – that no other President ever had to experience.

In a recent Time Magazine article, Why the Obama Plan Is Working, Mike Dorning provides statistics from a Bloomberg national poll in March that Americans by an almost a 2-to-1 margin, believe the economy has gotten worse rather than better during the last year. Yet, Dorning states “the market begs to differ…while jobs have been slow to return, the country has experienced and incredible productivity boom.”

Chief economic strategist, Dan Greenhaus stated, “If Obama was a republican, we would hear a never-ending drumbeat of news stories about markets voting in favor of the President.”

President Obama is an excellent example to all of us and has held steadfastly to his true self during the election and presently as the scrutiny continues.

In your life, do you feel you have to conform to the established white culture in order to succeed or do you believe you have the same opportunity to succeed while staying true to yourself? Crossing Color Lines shows us that we have a choice every day and the choices we make impact our lives in tremendous ways.

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  1. No, I do not feel one has to assimulate to any cutural dictates to achieve sucess.

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