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BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 October 2007, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
What you've said
Barack Obama addresses Democrats in Boston, July 2004
Panorama: Mondays at 2030 BST on BBC One

Thank you for sending us your views on Panorama: Is America ready for a Black President?

The debate is now closed but you can read a selection of your comments below.

Ready or not, America has got to take notice. People are people irrespective of race. The time has come to do the right thing! Vote him in as president.
Cathy Crownhouse, Oxford, UK

We are closer to having a white president in an African country then a black/mixed race president or prime minister in a predominant caucasian population country! Why? Preconceptions are culturally imprinted for generations to come; FACT
Hernani Gabriel, Wolverhampton

Nice documentary, America remains the leader of the free world.
Ola Jacob, Harlow, UK

It's sad that BBC Panorama interview failed to give a clear picture of the main issues of the US Presidential compaign and decided to concentrate on the Obama's identity. From the black people you selected focusing only on those disadvantaged communities and you didn't bother to seek the view of middle class black American, it is a reflection of the BBC and indeed England that has failed to identify mixed race population by branding them black and not white. Mr Obama is as half black as indeed he is half white. Why call him black,while for some reason if he goes on top then you BBC might find it important to tell us that he is half white? I also take issue with Panorama trying take classify black as dark skinned black and light skinned black. And implying those with darker are dangerious, shame on you there isn't anything like that and we shall not accept it. I am light skinned and it make me sick to hear you trying to distance me from my brothers and sisters. Of what we know is that Americans are more liberal when it comes to race than what Panorama wanted its English viewers to think.....
Osimba, Leeds,UK

As long as the question is 'is America ready for a black president' and not 'is American ready for Barack Obama to be president' then the answer is clearly 'no'.
Chris, Newcastle

Shouldn't Panorama be doing a programme on whether Britain is ready for a catholic prime minister rather than going on about racist bigoted Americans as if there are no people like that in this country
Noel, Lewes,

When I think of the BBC, I think of impartial reporting and fair representation for all sides concerned. I was so disappointed with your Panorama report concerning Barack Obama. It was biased against the man and so clearly anti Obama. The BBC did not present any black pro Obama views and Obama's views were so clearly misrepresented. I hope the BBC does not repeat this mistake. Thank you.
Tola Sarumi, Mitcham, England

Although well-reseached, this programme was clearly edited by those who had not left the Civil Rights era of the 1960's. Much was made of the views of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson neither of whom has ever managed to be elected, unlike one must say Jesse Jackson Jnr.; by contrast Obama has been elected. He has also managed to amass a huge war chest for next year and donors do not give such sums to candidates who are likely to lose. One look at the New York Times interactive guides would have told you that. Much was made of the South Carolina primary. Unlike in 2000 and 2004 this does not matter so much this time because of the "front loading" of so many other primaries and caucases. The plight of the poor black lady was, of course, made far worse by Bill Clinton's welfare reforms in 1996 and yet you said how popular he was in the Black community. If you want to see black success just look at who chairs the key spending committees in the House of Representatives, just look at the senior officers in the armed forces, just look at senior members of the Civil Service. Your programe was thus very narrow and out of date. Finally the argument ignored the many other groups who are key sections of the American population - comparison with the Hispanic vote and their leaders would have set the programme in the 21st century. As Jesse Jackson did point out in 1988 the key to Black influence in elections is registration and it is there that much more could be done. That issue is technical and would have made a dull programme but that does not excuse the old cliches that were broadcast last night. If you want any help on American Politics in the future, just call!
Mark Lovett, Crowthorne, Berkshire, UK

I felt compelled to write in response to the programme. I was extremely disappointed with the so called expert who made a point of white people feeling comfortable with a light skin black man in contrast to a dark skin black man who is perceived to be aggressive and likely to be arrested for committing a crime. Its most unfortunate to hear "white America" applying a caste system to the many shades of black people. The darker your skin colour the more you fit the white stereotype of the aggressive black person who has a 150 year old chip on their shoulder. I am a mother of three dark skin black boys and I am extremely disappointed that this is the perception that white society still hold according to the programme.
Tracey Thomas , Hackney, London

How can he be a black man when his own Mother is a white woman? He is mix race NOT black
Ali, London UK

I think he is a fantastic candidate who is trying to appeal to everyone. I think he will the states where the democrats have appeal and amongst the highly educated but in the republican states he does not connect enough to minority groups for being to white or too black or another reason. He will have trouble in "Republican " states and in swing states, and amongst uneducated Americans. I do not think the USA is ready for a black president.
Naz, Guildford UK

Even if Barack Obama became president, which is unlikely unless Hillary Clinton pulls out of the race, he will NOT be America's first black president. This is due to the simple fact that Barack Obama is not black, he is actually MIXED RACE- half black and half white. In other words, Senator Obama is no more 'black' than he is 'white', yet it is shocking to me as a mixed race person that a seemingly intelligent programme like Panorama, based in a multiethnic country like the UK, can utterly fail to identify someone's actual ethnic background!
Piers Register, Nottingham, England.

To base your voting preference on colour or gender is a false premise. Compare the policies put forward by Obama or Clinton and you won't find much difference between them, both are members of the Council on Foreign Relations and AIPAC, neither will commit to withdrawing troops from Iraq before 2013. Obama promises to bring them home, eventually, but he'll do it piecemeal, a little here and there, assuming George Bush hasn't sent US troops into Iran. It should be noted that since Obama and Clinton are both Democrats, only one of them can get the nomination for their party's presidential candidate, we're not going to see a black man versus white woman presidential campaign. To answer the question, is America ready for a black president? I'd say yes, based on the fact that Obama seems to be spouting the same rhetoric as most of the other candidates on both sides of the red/blue divide, he is no different from the others be they black, white or female. As an aside, I'd like to see Panorama do a feature on the republican candidate Ron Paul, he genuinely is saying something different and has motivated mass grassroots support, mostly through the internet, since the main media outlets seem to ignore him.
Paul Knight, Dundee, Scotland

I find your Panorama programme "Is America ready for a Black President" very interesting. While you tried to balance the views of both Black and White Americans I still think you could have done more to include those Blacks in the southern states who have rather done well compared to the disturbingly poor you did show on the programme. Politics is a confusing subjects rarely understood even by middle class even here in England. For you to expect any commentary that goes beyond race from those Southerners you featured on the programme is rather unfair. You have just managed to convince anyone that not only America but all those countries with White majority population including England are not ready for a Black President in the foreseeable future. I am African, both my parents were black so were my grandparents. I am considered Black. Its rather interesting that you refer to Barak Obama as Black. His father is Black, fine, his mother is white. Is there any reason scientific or otherwise why anyone with part Black parenthood is automatically called black by organisation such as yours? Its rather historic and flawed. If you consider Blacks to be equal to Whites, why don't you call people like Barak Obama White? By using such terminology, your organisation with all its might simply perpetuate the injustice that Blacks have experience since beginning of time.
Isaac Chihwe, Birmingham, England

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