Barack Obama speaking at a public library in 1995 [VIDEO]

Originally published at:

What I find interesting is, there are more than 5 million views, but there are no comments on this youtube video (and comments are not disabled).

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As a mixed race person of Japanese and Northern European decent who lived in Hawaii when Obama did, who is the same age as, this video did not disappoint me.

If anything, this needs to go viral so that folks can learn and get a sense of a way of seeing the power dynamics of faux race that’s actually nationalIstic history. In the 20 or so minute envelope, when Obama says, “nationality,” he is telegraphing in one word the nationalistic history of racism that folks in Hawaii managed to view historically without the taint of “race.” What he nailed is the history of Colonialism that created the idea of “Race”—which is to ask about a cultural inheritance. That is the reason folks in Hawaii ask about “Nationality” instead of “Race.”

And Obama inscribed all that in shorthand.

The way he broke down his awakening, I almost feel Black.

May Hawaii be the future of America’s race reality!!!

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Definitely hang around for the Q&A after the reading.


Why… have the police tried to kill you?


I’ll just leave it at: I learned pretty early that there is no trying to have a conversation with a cop.

So… your answer is “no” then.

You have not been perpetually harassed, profiled, abused, denigrated, villainized and demonized by society for your whole life simply because of the darker hue of your skin.

That’s what it is to be Black in America, no matter which state one lives in.

Also, no one should ever “try to have a conversation” with an LEO: almost invariably there’s not going to be any benefit from doing so.


Are you suggesting that Obama wasn’t Black until he left Hawaii?

BTW, I did find out that ending up in the backseat of a Police cruiser is the response to attempting a conversation with cops.

I am definitively stating that as an actual Black person who lives in the US, I feel that your comment about “almost feeling Black” was very badly phrased, to the point of “almost” being offensive.

I understand that likely was not your intent.

I am also stating that racism and bigotry exist in EVERY state, including Hawaii. It’s baked in to the very foundation of our entire society.


I mean, the Native Hawai’ian government was over thrown in favor of a white, planter-led “republic” until it became a US territory.


Don’t make it all about YOU maybe?

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Too much like right.

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Damn it! You’re right. “Soapboxed.”

Keep shitting all over the rest of us. I’m sure that will improve the world.

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If possible, would you mind a PM conversation? I’m curious to learn more from you and your experiences.

I’m not sure how much evidence people need about systemic racism. If what we’ve seen for 400 years and more isn’t enough, I’m not sure what WILL be enough.


Slow down, now. Not my intention. If you really think or feel I’m actually “shitting” on people, I’m very open to hearing how so beyond a flat statement. And I don’t mind a thoughtful correction. How else to improve?

I am not in a good place at the moment; with everything that’s going on in the world, I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted.

It is highly unlikely that I can provide the kind of enlightenment you seek right now.


No worries. We live in a grim time. My apology for my error still stands.

BTW, that one time I landed in the back of a cop car was because I was trying to stick up for a Black co-worker. We were at a club, and he was pissed off about change money stolen from on top the bar, and cops were called. Whatever… Something like that does not signify I am “awoke.” More like naive.

Colonialism, yes, but the mindset in Hawaii, with the majority of residents being of mixed (to use Obama’s word) “nationality,” doesn’t have that sense of “race” that people have on the Mainland have.

Of course, there are assumptions about ethnic lineage. I know locals who attribute a sanguine nature to having Portuguese blood. But they don’t speak of race. It’s not in their vocabulary.

If you listen to Obama, pay mind to the context when he mentions nationality. It doesn’t happen in a way that invokes Nationalism. It means something different. It carries the meaning that Hawaii locals invoke. And it is one that honors all the ethnic roots that all Americans possess, one where each and every one stands with equal footing, possessing and deserving equal respect.

That is one of the shades of meaning that “Aloha” also has. It’s the affirmation of respect and dignity. That’s one of the reasons why saying, “Aloha,” means both hello and goodbye. That President Obama clearly understands Aloha is the main reason I’ve never supported a president as fully as him. And having Aloha is why the State of Hawaii is not a racist place. Well, that and the fact that pure ethnic blood lines become increasingly rare as every year goes by.