Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More on the blackitude

Look, Debra Dickerson is obviously a very intelligent woman, and I believe she is sincere, but what on earth is to be gained by going on the Colbert Report and claiming that Barack Obama cannot be African-American, although he might be African-African-American? Okay, he's not "the descendant of West African slaves," as Ms. Dickerson defines a black American, but I'm not so sure that distinction would make a difference to anyone who, for example, might be tempted to discriminate against him because of the color of his skin. Several black commentators have remarked that whites like Obama because he isn't really black. How can that be true, I wonder, if whites didn't know he wasn't black until those same commentators said so?

How can you define the issue of American race in terms of geneology, when the causes and effects of racism are almost entirely based on physical appearance?

This issue makes my head spin. Luckily, the Daily Show is there with an antidote from their Senior Black Correspondent, Larry Wilmore:

Wilmore: American blacks love African art, African clothes, African music. We're just not that crazy about Africans. So for blacks to support Obama, he's got to make up his mind. Is he African, or American? Because he can't be both. That doesn't make sense.

Stewart: But obviously, being an American of African descent...wouldn't that just make him -

Wilmore: Some kind of unspeakable hybrid? Exactly, Jon. And this isn't science fiction. It's politics.


dad said...

I think whites are more likely to vote of Obama for the reasons Sen. Biden clumsily pointed out. In the general election would blacks vote for a Republican? I don't think so. Obama may be elected because he is not the typical black American politian. I guess the question has to do with winning the Democratic nomination.

MonstrousJoe said...

Isn't this just going to be the most fascinating Presidential running in our (maybe any) lifetime?? The entertainment value is off the chizzain, the political impact is immense, the social impact... wow.. exciting!

vikkitikkitavi said...

It's the first election in 80 years in which there is no presumptive nominee on either side, so yeah, it should be interesting.

Of course, I'm still gunning for Gore. He's cool now! He could win!

eebzookee said...

you're missing the point. What defines Obama as different to most other African Americans is
1. he's half Caucasian
2. The African half isn't from the same root as most African Americans, he has no typical African American roots.
3. He's hasn't descended from slaves, so doesn't have the same perspective of being an African American as those who do.

Conclusion. Whilst Obama is an attractive candidate on his merits, he shouldn't take the white or black vote for granted as he has not much in common with either of them. The social politics of America will always be complex and to dismiss it and overlook it will be at your peril, if you are anything but a WHITE middle class politician, who at the end of the day holds the status quo in the so called melting pot you call America.