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The Butler

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mdegges
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I finally got a chance to go see The Butler and I'm really glad I did. The movie follows a white house butler from his childhood (where he worked in the cotton fields of georgia) up through Obama's election in 2009.

 

After Obama was elected I remember watching the news and seeing everyone crying and saying how remarkable it was that a black man was elected president. At the time I didn't think much about it- I didn't think it was that important- but now I realize what an achievement it is and how emotional it must have been for those who had been fighting for racial equality for so long.

 

I wasn't alive during this time so sometimes it feels like the civil rights movement happened hundreds of years ago instead of a mere 40 years ago. It takes movies like this to remind me that this DID happen recently, and to help me understand that Obama's election was an achievement on its own, regardless of his politics. 

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What do you mean "regardless of his politics"? Your whole post is about civil rights, which in the US was aimed at removing racism from government. That's a political cause. The only thing that should matter to you is his politics.

 

I don't understand why you would celebrate the election of Barack Obama, if that is your cause. The Obama administration is the first racist leadership the US had in decades, and his cronies have spent the past five and a half years working tirelessly to institute racial discrimination back into the American system of government. 

 

His election was a huge step back for civil rights.

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Like it or not, Obama's election is a huge milestone representing civil rights progress. It's not that something changed on election night. Large numbers of people became comfortable with the idea of a black president long before one was elected. But his election offers, among other things, clear proof that people are comfortable voting for a black president. It is normal and good to feel some sense relief or elation because of that. One can experience those feelings while also recognizing that Obama is an awful president, partly because his justice department promotes racism. See the NBPP voter intimidation case, George Zimmerman's civil rights investigation, or the "poll tax" smeering of voter ID laws.

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Like it or not, Obama's election is a huge milestone representing civil rights progress. 

I don't like it. And, if electing a racist, after decades of non-racist Presidents, counts as progress in so called civil rights, then I don't like civil rights either.

 

What I do like is individual rights, and equality of rights. What I also like is a country that votes on the merits of candidates policies, and congratulates itself not when they manage to elect a person of a certain skin color, but when they elect someone with rational views on race.

 

I think that, as far as the issue of race goes, electing Obama was not an achievement at all. Electing the first President who wasn't a racist (probably Eisenhower, if not then JFK) was the achievement. Going back to electing a racist is the undoing of that achievement.

Edited by Nicky
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See the NBPP voter intimidation case, George Zimmerman's civil rights investigation, or the "poll tax" smeering of voter ID laws.

 

 

His handlers have him play race-identity politics, to the point of failing to prosecute civil-rights violations when they occur, prosecuting civil-rights violations when they don't occur, and using race as a way to block measures designed prevent voter fraud.

Edited by FeatherFall
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His handlers have him play race-identity politics, to the point of failing to prosecute civil-rights violations when they occur, prosecuting civil-rights violations when they don't occur, and using race as a way to block measures designed prevent voter fraud.

Then there is the fact that it would be impossible for a person who spent twenty years being friends with, frequenting the church of, and taking his children to the sermons of a virulent racist, Jeremiah Wright, to not have liked what he was hearing.

It's like being flabbergasted by the suggestion that a veteran member of the KKK is a racist.

Edited by Nicky
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I saw and liked the movie also. I liked how they showed the presidents' personal relationship with a black person (the butler) influenced how they felt towards different laws. However, I didn't like the end making a big deal of Obama's election as if it was good he got elected because he was black regardless of his policies. The goal should be to not see colors at all and never let a person's race be a relevant factor in such issues.

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