You know, I’ve been thinking about this for awhile, and I think they are.
Not that I’m endorsing Obama in the Democratic primary, you understand. I still think Edwards’s views about what the problems are, and how to fix them, most closely match my own.
And not that I think this country has finally given up its legacy of racism. Far from it. I think it will take many, many generations before our nation’s children will have that bred out of them. It will take many gradually less racist generations of parents before we can produce a generation of children who will enter adult life without that overwhelming fear of the other that makes mean our souls and blinds us to what people truly are and can be. Racism is like a rope that connects us to the very beginnings of our nation, and it seems we are incapable of cutting it, we can only slowly wear it away, year after agonizing year.
But even in times and places of deep and persistent racism, there have always been those black people who were allowed by white
I remember once when I was but a young thing, I hooked up with a cute boy on the ski slopes of upstate
And then, immediately after dinner, they settled down to watch the broadcast premier of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video. “Don’t you love Michael Jackson?” the matriarch asked me, breathlessly. “We love Michael Jackson!”
And you know what? They really did love Michael Jackson. And not because he had, even at that early date, begun bleaching his skin white, either. To them, Michael Jackson was not black. He was Michael Jackson.
Similarly, if he had been so inclined, I’m sure that especially during the height of his tv popularity, Bill Cosby would’ve been welcome to become the first black man to have the sun set on him within the city limits of certain all-white towns in Indiana. One need only witness the still-pervasive popularity of garish, oversized, fugly-ass sweaters among middle-aged white men to understand the degree to which Cosby was accepted as one of their own.
Even O.J. Simpson, because of his image and his popularity, was given a pass by the LAPD to beat his wife again and again and again. To be clear, it isn’t just money that allows a black man to live by different rules. I’m sure that 50 Cent, if he had beaten his pretty blonde white wife in
So does Barack Obama qualify in the eyes of certain white voters as “not black”? Not to get all Joe Biden on y’all, but does his poise, his speech, his intelligence, his wardrobe, and most importantly, his fame, mean that he is, as certain relatives of mine would put it, “different”?
He’d better hope so.
And if he becomes the Democratic nominee, we, sadly, had better hope so too.