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The Obama Presidency

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An Open Letter to the American People

 

This year's presidential election is among the most significant in our nation's history. The country

urgently needs a visionary leader who can ensure the future of our traditional strengths in science

and technology and who can harness those strengths to address many of our greatest problems:

energy, disease, climate change, security, and economic competitiveness.

 

We are convinced that Senator Barack Obama is such a leader, and we urge you to join us in

supporting him.

 

During the administration of George W. Bush, vital parts of our country's scientific enterprise

have been damaged by stagnant or declining federal support. The government's scientific

advisory process has been distorted by political considerations. As a result, our once dominant

position in the scientific world has been shaken and our prosperity has been placed at risk. We

have lost time critical for the development of new ways to provide energy, treat disease, reverse

climate change, strengthen our security, and improve our economy.

 

We have watched Senator Obama's approach to these issues with admiration. We especially

applaud his emphasis during the campaign on the power of science and technology to enhance

our nation's competitiveness. In particular, we support the measures he plans to take – through

new initiatives in education and training, expanded research funding, an unbiased process for

obtaining scientific advice, and an appropriate balance of basic and applied research – to meet

the nation's and the world's most urgent needs.

 

Senator Obama understands that Presidential leadership and federal investments in science and

technology are crucial elements in successful governance of the world's leading country. We

hope you will join us as we work together to ensure his election in November.

 

Signed,

 

Alexei Arikosov Physics 2003

Roger Guillemin Medicine 1977

Peter Agre Chemistry 2003 J

ohn L. Hall Physics 2005

Sidney Altman Chemistry 1989

Leland H. Hartwell Medicine 2001

Philip W. Anderson Physics 1977

Dudley Herschbach Chemistry 1986

Richard Axel Medicine 2004

Roald Hoffmann Chemistry 1981

David Baltimore Medicine 1975

H. Robert Horvitz Medicine 2002

Baruj Benacerraf Medicine 1980

Louis Ignarro Medicine 1998

Paul Berg Chemistry 1980

Eric R. Kandel Medicine 2000

J. Michael Bishop Medicine 1989

Walter Kohn Chemistry 1998

N. Bloembergen Physics 1981

Roger Kornberg Chemistry 2006

Michael S. Brown Medicine 1985

Leon M. Lederman Physics 1988

Linda B. Buck Medicine 2004

Craig C. Mello Medicine 2006

Mario R. Capecchi Medicine 2007

Yoichiro Nambu Physics 2008

Martin Chalfie Chemistry 2008

Marshall Nirenberg Medicine 1968

Stanley Cohen Medicine 1986

Douglas D. Osheroff Physics 1996

Leon Cooper Physics 1972

Stanley B. Prusiner Medicine 1997

James W. Cronin Physics 1980

Norman F. Ramsey Physics 1989

Robert F. Curl Chemistry 1996

Robert Richardson Physics 1996

Johann Diesenhofer Chemistry 1988

Burton Richter Physics 1976

John B. Fenn Chemistry 2002

Sherwood Rowland Chemistry 1995

Edmond H. Fischer Medicine 1992

Oliver Smithies Medicine 2007

Val Fitch Physics 1980

Richard R Schrock Chemistry 2005

Jerome I. Friedman Physics 1990

Joseph H. Taylor Jr. Physics 1993

Murray Gell-Man Physics 1969 E.

Donnall Thomas Medicine 1990

Riccardo Giacconi Physics 2002

Charles H. Townes Physics 1964

Walter Gilbert Chemistry 1980

Roger Tsien Chemistry 2008

Alfred G. Gilman Medicine 1994

Daniel C.Tsui Physics 1998

Donald A. Glaser Physics 1960

Harold Varmus Medicine 1989

Sheldon L. Glashow Physics 1979

James D. Watson Medicine 1962

Joseph Goldstein Medicine 1985

Eric Wieschaus Medicine 1995

Paul Greengard Medicine 2000

Frank Wilczek Physics

David Gross Physics 2004

Robert W. Wilson Physics 1978

Robert H. Grubbs Chemistry 2005

 

The views expressed in this letter represent those of the signers acting as individual citizens.

They do not necessarily represent the views of the institutions with which they are affiliated. The

Medicine award is for “Physiology or Medicine.”

 

http://sefora.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/nobel_letter4.pdf

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Will Obama's election will improve race relations?  I think his election is a reflection improved race relations but of course not the catalyst.

 

Personally I think his election will generate respect, for often dogged African-American Black men. 

 

For the first time, a large portion of our population will spend time getting to know someone of a different race.

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Well, it won't hurt it but I don't know if it will help it either.  Hell, I don't know...I hope it does.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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I think too many people (not necessarily anyone on here) think that Obama's election will be a panacea for race relations.

 

That being said, I think it has the potential for helping race relations. But at the same time, as long as racist groups like neo-nazis and the Black Panthers exist, it's going to be difficult.

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Will Obama's election will improve race relations?  I think his election is a reflection improved race relations but of course not the catalyst.

 

I think it will have the most effect on the youth. They have yet to be exposed to a lot of the bullsh!t that goes on in our country, and they get to grow up in a nation with an African-American president. This could shape their perspectives for life. I can't begin to say how much little kids were involved/obsessed with this election.

 

When I covered the unions in Toledo, the sons and daughters of the parents I talked to were remarkably well-informed and completely invested in the Obama campaign. They knew more than the college students at OU. Kids from every race and creed I met in Lucas County continued to impress me with their political and socioeconomic knowledge. This win is biggest for them. This completely changes what they think of the country they're growing up in. This gives them real hope at a time when it's rough being a kid.

 

I can see this changing the youngest generation. Generation Z benefits most. Will it have quite as strong an effect on older generations? Probably not, but if we can raise just one generation of kids where a minority is president, that can change the nation forever. The book on America is now being rewritten.

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Will Obama's election will improve race relations? I think his election is a reflection improved race relations but of course not the catalyst.

 

I think it will have the most effect on the youth. They have yet to be exposed to a lot of the bullsh!t that goes on in our country, and they get to grow up in a nation with an African-American president. This could shape their perspectives for life. I can't begin to say how much little kids were involved/obsessed with this election.

 

When I covered the unions in Toledo, the sons and daughters of the parents I talked to were remarkably well-informed and completely invested in the Obama campaign. They knew more than the college students at OU. Kids from every race and creed I met in Lucas County continued to impress me with their political and socioeconomic knowledge. This win is biggest for them. This completely changes what they think of the country they're growing up in. This gives them real hope at a time when it's rough being a kid.

 

I can see this changing the youngest generation. Generation Z benefits most. Will it have quite as strong an effect on older generations? Probably not, but if we can raise just one generation of kids where a minority is president, that can change the nation forever. The book on America is now being rewritten.

 

I hate the phrase  "Generation Z". We're running out of letters. It implies the world is coming to an end. #$%@ that!

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It might help, unless the unthinkable happens to him, then their will be major racial problems that make the late 60's look like romper room.

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I think it helps. It's one less question about race that has to be answered (ie: why hasn't there been a black president?). The less often that questions or group-think comes up about a person's superficial characteristics (skin color, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, etc), the better.

 

It might help, unless the unthinkable happens to him, then their will be major racial problems that make the late 60's look like romper room.

 

Or it could have the reverse effect. Would the Civil Rights Act of 1964 have been passed by Congress if Kennedy wasn't assassinated? The legislation was championed by Kennedy but couldn't get anywhere in Congress until he was killed. Assassinations can either unite or divide a people.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I thought it might be interesting to start a thread chronicling the life of Obama as POTUS. Years from now we can look back on the early days and see what has changed in terms of policy as well as its effects on us.  Maybe four or 12 years from now, we can publish our thoughts into a book. Just a thought.

 

 

 

From the UK Daily Mail

 

Day One: Obama faces Cold War threat, a warning from Israel... and an armed guard to go to the gym

 

By David Gardner

Last updated at 9:47 AM on 07th November 2008

 

 

With barely time to savour his triumph, Barack Obama has been confronted with various international crises to test his mettle.

 

The U.S. President-elect faces threats from Russia, Israel and Afghanistan as it emerged his election team's computers were hacked by a 'foreign entity' during the election.

 

Officials at the FBI and the White House believe the hackers sought to gather information on the evolution of both his and Senator John McCain's policy positions with the idea of using that information in negotiations with the next administration.

 

Obama technical experts later speculated the hackers were Russian or Chinese, and security ended the intrusion, Newsweek reported.

Barack Obama

 

Straight to work: President-elect Obama faces a looming international crisis

 

The first of the challenges thrown at the President-elect, who received his first national security intelligence briefing yesterday, came from the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

 

He threatened to base warheads along the Polish border if Obama goes ahead with a Bush administration plan to create a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

 

Then Israel warned Obama last night that his claim that he was ready to open talks with Iran could be seen in the Middle East as a sign of weakness.

 

Furthermore, Afghanistan's president Hamid Karzai demanded that Obama 'put an end to civilian casualties' by changing U.S. military tactics to avoid airstrikes in the war on the Taliban. He spoke out after seven wedding party guests were accidentally killed by an American airstrike.

 

It was as he was locked away in his Chicago home, that Obama received his first national intelligence briefing as he wrestled with appointments for his Cabinet.

 

During the day he ventured out twice, once to visit his local gym and then his downtown offices. Each time he was escorted by a convoy of black vehicles carrying heavily armed secret service agents.

 

Aides said he planned no public appearances until later in the week.

Barack Obama

 

It also emerged that both Obama and McCain's computers were hacked into by a 'foreign entity' during the campaign.

 

Newsweek magazine revealed the FBI and the Secret Service had been called in, with one agent warning the Obama campaign: 'You have a problem way bigger than what you understand... You have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your system.'

 

Federal agents told Mr Obama's team in late August that Mr McCain's campaign computer system had been similarly compromised, with a McCain aide confirming to Newsweek that the computer system had been hacked and the FBI involved.

 

The hacking may have been Obama's first skirmish with what was believed to be a foreign entity.

Obama security

 

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev was the first to lay down a challenge to America's new leader - by increasing tension in a stand-off reminiscent of the Cold War.

 

In a provocative speech from the Kremlin, he threatened to base warheads along the Polish border if Mr Obama goes forward with a Bush administration plan to create a missile shield in Eastern Europe.

 

Then Israel warned last night that the new U.S. Commander-in-Chief's campaign claim that he was ready to open talks with Iran could be seen in the Middle East as a sign of weakness.

 

After eight years of staunch support from President Bush, the Israelis are now watching Mr Obama closely - even though he does not take power until January  -  looking for indicators as to how he will handle the nuclear threat from Tehran.

 

'We live in a neighbourhood in which dialogue - in a situation where you have brought sanctions and you then shift to dialogue - is liable to be interpreted as weakness,' said Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni.

 

Asked if she supported any U.S. talks with Iran, she quickly said: 'The answer is no.'

 

In a step that will further increase Israel's anxiety about Obama, Tehran announced last night that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had broken a 29-year tradition and sent his congratulations to the President-elect - the first time an Iranian leader has offered such wishes since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

 

Ahmadinejad congratulated the Democrat on 'attracting the majority of voters in the election'.

 

He said he hoped Obama will 'use the opportunity to serve the (American) people and leave a good name for history' during his term in office.

 

Iran and the U.S. have had no formal diplomatic relations since 1979 when militant Iranian students held 52 Americans captive 444 days.

 

President Bush has repeatedly clashed with Tehran over its nuclear program and its opposition to the U.S.-led invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai demanded that Mr Obama 'put an end to civilian casualties' by changing U.S. military tactics to avoid airstrikes in the war on the Taliban.

Senator John Kerry

Bill Richardson

 

He spoke out after seven wedding party guests were accidentally killed by an American airstrike in the southern Kandahar province. Afghan officials said last night 13 gunmen were killed in the attack.

 

Mr Obama has vowed to switch the U.S. military focus from Iraq to Afghanistan and is reportedly planning to ask Britain to send 3,000 extra troops to bolster extra American forces in the region.

 

But his aides fear a public backlash if he moves swiftly in Afghanistan before acting on his pledge to start a withdrawal from Iraq.

George W.Bush and Laura Bush

 

Gordon Brown became one of the first world leaders to congratulate Obama in a ten-minute telephone call last night. Aides said they discussed Obama's plans for a phased withdrawal from Iraq and his commitment to boost forces in Afghanistan.

 

Speaking from the South Lawn of the White House, President Bush said he would be meeting Obama next week and is making 'unprecedented efforts' to make a smooth transition during his final 74 days in office.

 

As if the instant foreign policy tests were not enough, Mr Obama was also facing more economic problems with the Dow Jones Index dropping for a second successive day.

 

Wall Street greeted his election win by plunging nearly 500 points on Wednesday and it was down again by 274 points in afternoon trading.

 

While new presidents often take weeks before naming their Cabinet, Obama was quick out of the blocks yesterday, offering the chief-of-staff job to tough-talking congressman Rahm Emanuel, a veteran of the Clinton administration, and more appointments are expected next week.

 

 

 

 

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Here's a little something to add to the thread for background information. This is Obama's attorney profile from when he worked at Miner, Barnhill and Galland.

 

Current:

Illinois State Senator - 13th Legislative District, Chicago. Member of the Judiciary, Public Health and Welfare, and State Government Committees.

 

Senior Lecturer - University of Chicago Law School. Courses and seminars in constitutional law, voting rights and issues of race and the law.

 

Of Counsel - Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C., Chicago. Specializing in civil rights litigation, real estate financing, acquisition, construction and/or redevelopment of low- and moderate income housing; representation of not-for-profit organizations created to promote the welfare of low- and moderate income urban communities.

 

 

Education:

Harvard Law School, Cambridge, Massachusetts J.D. 1991, Magna Cum Laude

 

President, Harvard Law Review

Executive Board, Black Law Students' Association

 

Columbia University, New York,

New York, Bachelor of Arts, 1983

Major: Political Science.

 

 

Other Activities:

Chairman - The Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which is directing $50 million to public school reform in Chicago.

 

Board of Directors - Woods Fund of Chicago, the Joyce Foundation, Leadership for Quality Education, Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Cook County Bar Association Community Law Project.

 

Participant - Saguaro Seminar, a two year project based at Harvard's Kennedy School to foster increased civic engagement in American life.

 

 

Honors:

1993 Crain's Chicago Business "40 Under 40" Young Leader Award

 

1994 Monarch Award for Outstanding Public Service.

 

1995 "Legal Eagle" Award from Independent Voters of Illinois for litigation leading to Illinois' compliance with national "Motor Voter" legislation.

 

 

Prior Work Experience:

Director - Illinois Project Vote, Chicago,

April 1992 - November 1992. Organized and directed voter registration and education campaign targeted to minority and low-income voters in cook county. Recruited and managed 10 paid staff and 700 volunteers; helped raise $200,000 for the project; coordianted multi-media campaign; set up office and reporting systems. Resulted in approximately 150,000 newly registered voters in the 1992 Presidential election.

 

Director - Developing Communities Project, Chicago,

June 1985 - June 1988. Organized and directed not-for-profit community development program in low-income areas of Chicago's Far South Side. With a membership of over twenty churches and civic groups, the organization trained indigenous leadership to formulate and execute a range of community development strategies, including the establishment of job training programs for low-income students, and school reform and parent training programs in Chicago public schools.

 

 

Publications:

Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, published by Times Books / Random House and Kodansha Books.

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cleveland.com:

 

 

Obama to review Bush's orders, fill 'diverse' Cabinet

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mark Silva

Chicago Tribune

 

Washington - President-elect Barack Obama plans an "across-the board" review of President Bush's executive orders, with an eye toward making his own quick imprint on important matters. He also plans to swiftly put in place a "diverse," bipartisan team of Cabinet members and aides, key advisers said Sunday.

 

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With Michelle Obama, many African-American women feel they finally have an accurate reflection of themselves in White House

 

Posted by dvantass November 09, 2008 21:00PM

 

Lisa DeJong/The Plain Dealer

 

A voice on the television stopped Shirley Hart midfold as she was doing laundry a few months ago in her Cleveland Heights home. Michelle Obama was making a speech. Hart hadn't heard her before, but she was listening now. "I sat down on the corner of my daughter's bed and just listened," she says.

 

...continued...

 

http://www.cleveland.com/living/index.ssf/2008/11/black_women_discuss_their_view.html#comments

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Pentagon board says cuts essential: tells Obama to slash large weapons programs

 

WASHINGTON - A senior Pentagon advisory group, in a series of bluntly worded briefings, is warning President-elect Barack Obama that the Defense Department's current budget is "not sustainable," and he must scale back or eliminate some of the military's most prized weapons programs.

 

...continued...

 

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/11/10/pentagon_board_says_cuts_essential/

 

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Generation Z = Generation ZOMBIE?

 

The Obama Presidency will positively help race relations is the sense that it will help us begin the conversation on race from a different place. As I posted back on the Presidential Election 2008 discussion, the election of a black president isn't the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement; it's the beginning.

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The Long Road to Barack Obama's Presidency Began in Brownhelm Township (Lorain County, Ohio)

 

07JMLangston1849.jpeg

 

John Mercer Langston was one of the most extraordinary men of the 19th century. Slim and debonair, and of mixed-raced parentage, Langston was highly educated, an expert in constitutional law, a community organizer and a gifted orator who sought to unify a divided country after the Civil War. He was the first African-American elected to a local office in the United States, winning the office of Clerk of Brownhelm Township on April 2, 1855.

 

...continued...

 

http://vermilionohioharbourtown.homestead.com/VermilionOhioNewsHome.html

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All spill-over from the Election thread goes in here regarding Obama.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Generation Z = Generation ZOMBIE?

 

The Obama Presidency will positively help race relations is the sense that it will help us begin the conversation on race from a different place. As I posted back on the Presidential Election 2008 discussion, the election of a black president isn't the culmination of the Civil Rights Movement; it's the beginning.

 

I'm sorry, but don't you think you are ignoring and belittling the major strides that have already occurred to get us to this point?  This is no end, but it is hardly the beginning.  We have entered a new act in the story of civil rights.  But don't for a minute think that this didn't require an awful lot of groundwork, and an awful lot of changed attitudes to already be in place.

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Are you going to be merging the other Obama threads, started since his election/closure of the presidential election thread, into this thread?  It's not clear.

 

Just a suggestion, but it might be wise to list the ground rules of this specific thread, so we'll all know what topics are allowed to be posted in this particular thread.

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I don't think KOOW is that far off, as a 42 year old man of Color, its like is like the Berlin wall coming down.

 

I can't speak for KOOW, but I don't think he is discounting any previous strides in race relations in America. 

 

This is a true benchmark and a new era for Civil rights and race relations.

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great article buckeye1....although quite ironic coming from the newspaper of a town with one of the most horrid of race reputations, at least as is known to lorainites. hold your breadth....a posted sign on the same post under the lake road 'welcome to vermilion sign,' on the eastern side of vermilion....facing lorain naturally....said, "n****r don't let the sun set on your a** in this town." apparantly it was torn down and put back up for decades. welcome to the america of not that long ago that you don't read in the history books, folks. so it's no time for complacency, obama or not we still got a ways to go.

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I think it will have the most effect on the youth. They have yet to be exposed to a lot of the bullsh!t that goes on in our country, and they get to grow up in a nation with an African-American president. This could shape their perspectives for life.

 

^ I agree.  I'm cautiously optimistic that it will have a positive effect.  I hope it will, but not for one second do I think that it will be the end of all or racial tensions in the country. 

 

One thing I can say is that as an African-American father, I felt an immense amount of pride knowing that my sons will grow up seeing a black president.  Where as to me it still seems like something totally amazing, as much as I try to explain it to them, they don't understand the enormity of this situation... and I like that.  To them, he's just a man that is the new president of the U.S., not a black or white or bi-racial man, just Barack Obama.  Growing up for them, this will seem to be the norm, which in my view is a step in the right direction.

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Drudge:

 

 

 

 

BUSH ANGER: OBAMA AIDES LEAK CHAT DETAILS

Tue Nov 11 2008 09:28:10 ET

 

Just hours after President Bush and President-elect Obama met in the Oval Office of the White House, details of their confidential conversation began leaking out to the press, igniting anger from the president, sources claim.

 

...read more here:

 

http://www.memeorandum.com/081111/p56#a081111p56

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Yes. This will become a repository for all the Obama threads currently floating about. Look for mergings to begin shortly, and from there on all Obama postings will end up here unless they fit better under other threads (e.g. Obama's Unveils New Transportation Policy; Obama and Colday Present: Gritcinnati part 3; etc.)

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All spill-over from the Election thread goes in here regarding Obama.

 

Thank you for extending the opportunity for continuing the Presidential discussion. Now that the election is over, I certainly trust the tone in this newly-transformed forum will be more respectful than in the overheated final weeks of the campaign, while at the same time allowing for legitimate voices of dissent. So let’s “police” ourselves—and if anyone on either side feels he/she has been the victim of a genuinely malicious attack to report it at once, with punishment to be meted out in a reasonable manner—not based primarily on the perpetrator’s ideological disposition. Thank you.

 

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I think it will have the most effect on the youth. They have yet to be exposed to a lot of the bullsh!t that goes on in our country, and they get to grow up in a nation with an African-American president. This could shape their perspectives for life.

 

^ I agree.  I'm cautiously optimistic that it will have a positive effect.  I hope it will, but not for one second do I think that it will be the end of all or racial tensions in the country. 

 

One thing I can say is that as an African-American father, I felt an immense amount of pride knowing that my sons will grow up seeing a black president.  Where as to me it still seems like something totally amazing, as much as I try to explain it to them, they don't understand the enormity of this situation... and I like that.  To them, he's just a man that is the new president of the U.S., not a black or white or bi-racial man, just Barack Obama.  Growing up for them, this will seem to be the norm, which in my view is a step in the right direction.

 

J. Dub well said.  For me it still hasn't "set in".  I don't think it will be real until he takes the oath.

 

My older nephews and niece understand the race thing the two younger (7/8) said the same thing.

 

Being from a multi ethnic family and have relatives who are in multi ethnic/multi national (Black, PR, Panamanian, Brazilian, Chinese & Japanese) marriages, race and ethnicity is something we've always discussed.

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