Barack Obama and His Biracial Advantage

Barack Obama and His Bi racial Advantage

By Chance Kelsey, chancellorfiles.com

Senator Barack Obama won the Iowa Caucus over Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Many blacks, whites, and non whites where shocked. Many thought Hillary Clinton would finish first. 

I have always felt that by Barack Obama being bi racial and acknowledging his white ancestry, and having been raised in white American culture has been his main asset. Obama also was raised in Indonesian culture, when he was a little boy he lived for a while in Indonesia. Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4th, 1961 to a white mother and a black father. Barack Obama’s father was from Kenya, and his name was Barack Obama (senior).

Obama’s mother sent him to live with her parents in Kansas City, Missouri for awhile when he was a little boy. He was basically raised in white culture, and combine that with the fact, that he lived and went to school in Indonesia as a kid for a short time makes Obama more of an internationalist in culture than an African American (black American) in culture.

Many people don’t want to admit the fact that the major reason that many white Americans feel comfortable and like Obama is because he is not an African American (black American) in culture. Obama does not come across as the angry black man who dislikes whites. Rev. Jesse Jackson ran for president in the early 1980s, and he did not generate a lot of support and affection among white democratic voters nor admiration from many white republicans, and lack of white support from among other whites who vote libertarian.

Now Rev. Jesse Jackson is a very popular civil rights activist, and many blacks like him and admire him. The reason Jackson did not generate the type of admiration from whites is because Jesse Jackson is a part of the old civil rights establishment from the 1960s. Many white conservatives view him as hostile and at odds with them. White Democratic voters knew that Jackson was not electable because he was guaranteed to lose if he ran against the republican nominee for president (Ronald Regan). Adding to that many white conservative republicans were against him because of his pro black civil rights activism.

Therefore, Jackson did not get the Democratic nomination to run for president. Al Sharpton ran for president in 2004, and like Jackson did not receive the democratic presidential nomination to represent the Democratic Party. Like Jackson, Sharpton was seen by white conservative republicans as hostile and pro black, and therefore Democrats knew that electing Sharpton would guarantee that many white conservatives would show up at the voting poll to vote against him. Jesse and Al are both Reverends (religious ministers), both are civil rights leaders, pro black, have caramel brown skin, leaders their own organizations, and are admired by many black Americans. Not all blacks admire them but many do.

Obama is very different he has no connection to black slaves because his mother is white and his father is from Kenya Africa. He was raised in white culture and Indonesian culture, he acknowledges that he is bi racial and respects his white ancestry, not hostile towards whites, does not come across as obsessed with being pro black only, comes across as being friendly to all ethnic groups, and he is a young and from a younger generations that has and continue to produce a lot bi racial kids.  

I feel that deep down many whites (not all) will accept a man with visible black ancestry but is mixed looking in phenotype if he or she acknowledges their European or mixed race ancestry. Claiming to be black only, in the minds of whites automatically puts you to a major degree in the category of black. Therefore, whites are not obligated to acknowledge and negotiate politically with people who are mixed race but have phenotypes stereotyped black.

Obama has visible black ancestry and caramel brown skin, and he is admired by many blacks, whites, and members of other ethic groups. The fact that many whites embrace and like Barack Obama shows that there is a unique link – that connects Obama in a way with white Americans, and in which no other major political figure with visible black ancestry has every connected with whites.

The missing link is publicly acknowledging you have white European ancestry. Many black politicians and civil rights leaders who have white ancestry like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Julian Bond, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. etc were forced to only live and claim black their first self identity or risk loosing the black vote, and influence they have among blacks.

Black politics currently still demand that you self identify as black only if you are going to seek the black vote or black influence. Obama is one of the few who has managed to stay in the middle.            

Light skin blacks, bi racials, and black America in general should acknowledge their mixed race ancestry. This will help gradually eliminate racial tensions. Whites have showed that they as a collective are willing to acknowledge mixed race people if the mixed race people acknowledge their European, Asian, native American, and other ancestries.

I predict another land mark that will manifest — will be the creation of a mixed race category or some category on the government census and job applications that acknowledge us mixed race people.   

Notice Obama is not a quadroon in phenotype, and this proves, you don’t have to look totally white in appearance to get acknowledged as a mixed race person.

Rise up my mixed race brethren and sisteren the future look bright for us. 

Written during the 21st century by your Chancellor (Chance)

 


  1. AP


    Chance wrote: 

    “many white Americans feel comfortable
    and like Obama is because he is not an
    African American … in culture …”

     

    AP’s comment: 

    Obama is also *not* a member of the
    African-American (AA) ‘Ethnic’ grouping.

    This is because, the AAs are
    “a very specific” Ethnic group.

    The AAs are the people who are
    descendents of the survivors
    of the matrilineal-based, ‘negro’
    chattel-slavery system as found
    on the continental United States
    during the antebellum period”.

    Neither one of Obama’s parents are
    “descendents of the survivors” —
    and thus, they are also not members
    of the African-American (AA) Ethnicity.

     

  2. Chance

    @ AP

    @ AP

    This makes sense AP, he is not a descendant of the survivors of slavery in America. Just like a Puerto Rican who has visible black ancestry but is not a part of the African American ethnic group. This has been one of Barack Obama’s major advantages. He was influenced by Indonesian and white American culture (raised among whites) more.

  3. AP



    Chance wrote:

    This has been one of Barack
    Obama’s major advantages. He was influenced by Indonesian and white American culture (raised among whites) more from childhood.

    AP’s response:

    Personally — I completely disagree with both
    this statement and also with what appears to
    be the entire mindset behind it and want to
    state that I do not feel the points that you
    have stated here are in any way related to the
    many reasons Obama appeals to so many people.

    In addition, I feel that the overwhelming vast
    majority of people who are ; and who were
    raised in any of the wide variety of communities
    composed of the African-American Ethnicity;
    and who have also been “heavily influenced
    by those ideas and opinions that many
    African Americans hold and learned from
    childhood” (people such Michelle Obama)–
    all have the ability and tendency to appeal
    to all groups of people and are taught to
    work hard and honest for success in life.

    Being a Mixed-Race person — who also happens
    to be a member of the African-American Ethnic
    grouping myself (since some of my very own
    ancestors were, in fact, surviors of the
    ‘negro’ chattel slavery system) – I have to
    say that I have spent the day reading your
    blog and I have found many of the views that
    you have published, in regards to the people
    of my Ethnicity, to be both offensive and
    based largely on stereotype-based
    negative perceptions that you have
    chosen to believe and hold onto.

    In some of you writings — you seem
    to have what appears to be a rather
    general-disdain for ‘all things
    that you associate as being
    related to black’ (including
    the people who are members of the
    African-American Ethnic grouping).

    The mentality I have seen displayed in
    some of your posts truly saddens me —
    as this is not even remotely close to
    what the Mixed-Race Movement is all about.

    The Mixed-Race Movement is essentially
    about learning to EMBRACE, ACKNOLWLEDGE
    AND LOVE ‘ALL’ OF ONE’S LINEAGE — and
    it is not about disdaining any part of
    one’s lineage (including the Black part).

    Again — my only point was that although
    Barack Obama’s father is from Africa —
    this does not make Obama a member of the
    African-American Ethnic grouping — simply
    because it, like other Ethnic groups, is very
    specific and every person of a given race or
    racial admixture cannot simply be a part of it.

    How this innocent statement of fact was taken
    and turned into what appears to be an
    attack on this very same Ethnicity — I will
    never know — but — I also most certainly
    do not want to and will not be a part of it.

    In no way, shape or form was I even remotely
    trying to state that “because” Barack Obama
    is *not” an actual member of the Ethnic
    group known as African-American — that
    I felt he stood a better chance or
    worked harder or smarter at success.

    All I was trying to state was that the
    African-Americans are ‘a very specific’
    Ethnic grouping of people (much like
    the Italians, Swedes, Irish and so
    on) — and are not a ‘race’ group.

    Let the record show that I am fully believe
    that the overwhelming vast majority of the
    people of the African-American Ethnicity are
    a very capable, intelligent, hard-working,
    morally-ethical group and in no way, shape
    or form do I believe that being “heavily
    influenced by those ideas and opinions that
    many African Americans hold and learned from
    childhood” would in any way preclude a person
    from having popular success with other groups.

    A book I would recommended anyone read
    on the many very positive contributions that
    have been made and are still being made by the
    people who are members of the African-American
    Ethnic group is entitled “Don’t Believe the
    Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About
    African-Americans
    (by Harvard University
    graduate; Newsweek correspondent, and Meet
    the Press anchorperson — ‘Ferai Chideya
    — who, by the way, I am very proud
    to say also happens to be Mixed-Race).

    Links which may be of interest are as follows:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OneDropRule/message/7794
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Generation-Mixed/message/3331

    Again — no offense to you or to anyone else
    on this board, but I felt compelled to express
    my perspectives and view points on this matter.

  4. Chance

    @ AP,

    AP wrote: Being a Mixed-Race person — who also happens to be a member of the African-American Ethnic
    grouping myself (since some of my very own
    ancestors were, in fact, surviors of the
    ‘negro’ chattel slavery system) – I have to
    say that I have spent the day reading your
    blog and I have found many of the views that
    you have published, in regards to the people
    of my Ethnicity, to be both offensive and
    based largely on stereotype-based
    negative perceptions that you have
    chosen to believe and hold onto.

    My response: Stereotypes in general are based upon observations of the same old situations, habits, behaviors, manners, and reactions manifesting themselves again producing the same general results. Some stereotypes are true and some are false, some positive, and some negative. Is Europe currently one of the most civilized continents on earth? Yes. Is that a stereotype? Yes. Is it true? Yes. Do Northern Asians have higher IQs than whites? Yes. Is this a stereotype? Yes. Is it true? Yes.

    I suggest you go to the search box at this blog, and type up stereotype or stereotypes and read the essay I wrote not to long ago on stereotypes. It will explain a lot of things.

    AP wrote: In some of you writings — you seem
    to have what appears to be a rather
    general-disdain for ‘all things
    that you associate as being
    related to black’ (including
    the people who are members of the
    African-American Ethnic grouping).

    My response: Many black people who can’t pass for anything but black in physical appearance no matter what country they go to dislike their own fellow blacks. In some cases many blacks hate blacks. They mistreat, beat, rude, insult, and are negative towards other blacks totally unprovoked. Poverty is not the only reason for why many blacks dislike and hate blacks. On top of that if you are a part of the African American ethnic group you are considered to be black regardless. America does not distinguish between American America ethnic group and Black race. African American ethnic group is simply the culture of the black race, just like white American ethnic group is the culture of the white race. Many black blogs are hostile towards blacks and write rude things about blacks.

    So telling someone like me that I distain blacks or any other ethnic or racial group does not really faze me. I don’t like it, but I realize it comes with the territory of being a writer and blogger.

    AP wrote: The mentality I have seen displayed in some of your posts truly saddens me –
    as this is not even remotely close to
    what the Mixed-Race Movement is all about.
    The Mixed-Race Movement is essentially
    about learning to EMBRACE, ACKNOLWLEDGE
    AND LOVE ‘ALL’ OF ONE’S LINEAGE — and
    it is not about disdaining any part of
    one’s lineage (including the Black part).

    My response: I agree, I accept and acknowledge all of my ancestries. This blog is about me exploring, sharing, informing, and being informed. Many Black Americans (African Americans) oppose the mixed race movement. They don’t support it. Most blacks support being black and nothing more you know this AP. AP you know that most blacks support the one drop blood rule.

    AP wrote: Again — my only point was that although Barack Obama’s father is from Africa –
    this does not make Obama a member of the
    African-American Ethnic grouping — simply
    because it, like other Ethnic groups, is very
    specific and every person of a given race or
    racial admixture cannot simply be a part of it.

    My response: By since Obama has a phenotype that is stereotyped black he is considered black, and this carries more weight than not being a part of the African American ethnic group (the culture of the black American race). It is not the African American culture that has Obama labeled black it is his phenotype and the one drop blood rule.

  5. T

    Blogger , everything you say is not and cannot be right, because like the rest of us you are human. Anatole Broyard was a writer too of creole descent and lived as a white man until his death( he was of mixed heritage of course)being a writer does not absolve anyone of having issues, sometimes it means you have more. You have no idea what “Most” Black Americans support. Since you haven’t asked any personally it is all speculation on your part. Also the white american population doesn’t represent the entire white race. How did you even submit that. The white race is represented by europeans, South Africans,Various Islanders,Canadians and even Latino’s.

  6. T

    I want to also state that Broyard had every right to live as a white man if he so chose but his now grown daugher feels ripped apart from a family she never knew until only recently b/c of her father’s choices. She had mixed family that she never grew up with, and so I say that being a writer does not absolve anyone from the basic mistakes of humanity. Not saying you( blogger) think you are God Like just that a person has to take there lumps.I agree with some of your statements but AP was not wrong about your disdain for the black race, b/c you seem to want to seperate as far from it as you can, do you do the same with the white race? If you love the mixed movement so much than you will lobby for mixed people and love the races that produce Mixed people, that includes Black and white( and I hate the term African American that applies to Second Generation Africans in America and Africans who gain citizenship, thank you). I have a mixed( which I come from a mixed family as well but Im not biracial and he is) boyfriend and he doesn’t focus nearly this much on his mixedness or race in general. I don’t understand all of the racial focus or the argument, what is the purpose of it all?

  7. Chance

    @ T,

    I don’t need to ask every black person I go by trends of behavior, and these trends have been consistent enough to the pint where one does not need to go the exceptions to the rule. I have not distain for blacks, but I have come to accept the anti black label. I am not focusing totally on whites and blacks in other countries just mainly the ones here. Bliss Broyard, has a right to go find out and study the ethnic background of her father just like a mixed race person has a right to go study the ethnic back ground of of his or her family tree. Sometimes mom, dad, and family don’t teach their children the all of the ethnic backgrounds they are mixed with. They only teach them about one or two but not all. So the children have to go and find out what is in their family tree on their own, if they are interested.

  8. proud black man

    @ Chance

    I read all your comments, and that of T and AP, but i am still not convince by your arguement. They lack foundation, depth and knowledge. I think thats some of the point raised by AP and T come from knowning about the subject matter. on the other hand i find that your response to AP was allover the place, and not dealing specifically with the matter and I also sense that your response was biase and you arguement seems to be rounded by your negative views of Africans and anti black sentiment portray in western society .

    @ AP
    I wish i could be as articulate as you are. some of the pointed raise in your response to Chances arguement was very informative, without beating around the bush and found that it came from unbiased place. In some way i feel you have restore my faith in people of mix heritage.

    By the way AP, thanks for recommending that book, which i had the priviledge of reading, all i can say is that what an eye opening experiment. As an American i also hold some negative stereotype about African American (Black American), this book and your arguement changed that immensely.

    @ Chance

    i will strongly recommand that you read this book, it will educate you in a new way about race relations and your views of AA will never be the same again. honestly please read this book.

    i still think you are racist, i will be very interested to know why you have these views.

  9. Denise

    Obama has a Dark skinned African-American wife and, he attended a predominately Black church. He identifies more with his black lineage-well at least in the public eye, because he would not be elected if he did not. I don’t think that Americans both Black and White are ready for a biracial identified president. And one more thing, I have a crush on Obama, lol. He is so handsome and distinguished and intelligent, I wonder where I can find a man like that.

  10. Joseph

    lol, r u serious? I heard he bowled like a 60, that’s not man enough. 😉

  11. "Mixed Messenger"

    The Way We Live Now
    By Peggy Orenstein
    From: http://NYtimes.com

    Most Americans watching Barack Obama’s campaign, even those who don’t support him, appreciate the historic significance of an African-American president. But for […] me, Obama, as the first biracial candidate, symbolizes something else too: the future of race in this country, the paradigm and paradox of its simultaneous intransigence and disappearance.

    It’s true that, over the past months, Obama has increasingly positioned himself as a black man. That’s understandable: insisting on being seen as biracial might alienate African-American leaders and voters who have questioned his authenticity. White America, too, has a vested interest in seeing him as black it’s certainly a more exciting, more romantic and more concrete prospect than the “first biracial president.” Yet, even as he proves his black cred, it may be the senator’s dual identity, and his struggles to come to terms with it, that explain his crossover appeal and that have helped him to both embrace and transcend race, winning over voters in Birmingham, Iowa, as well as Birmingham, Ala.

    Mixed-race marriages were illegal in at least 16 states when Obama was born, though the taboo was historically inconsistent — white men could marry Asian women in some places, for instance, while marriages like mine, which go the other way, were forbidden. Since 1967, when those laws were declared unconstitutional, the rate of interracial marriage among all groups has skyrocketed. And those couples have children. Of the seven million Americans who identified themselves as mixed-race in the 2000 census (the first in which it was possible to do so), nearly half were under the age of 18. Almost 5 percent of Californians now identify themselves as mixed-race; by comparison, fewer than 7 percent are African-American. Hawaii, Obama’s childhood home, is the most diverse state in the Union: 21 percent of residents identified as “Hapa,” a Hawaiian word meaning “half” that has gone from being a slur against mixed-race Asians to a point of pride — and has increasingly been adopted by multiracials of all kinds on the Mainland.

    But the rise of multiracialism is not all Kumbaya choruses and “postracial” identity. The N.A.A.C.P. criticized the census change, fearing that since so few in the black community are of fully African descent, mass attrition to a mixed-race option could threaten political clout and Federal financing.

    Mexican-Americans, a largely mixed-race group, fought to be classified as white during the first half of the 20th century; during the second half, they fought against it.

    Among Asians, Japanese-Americans in Northern California have argued over “how Japanese” the contestants for the Cherry Blossom Queen must be (the answer so far: 50 percent, which is less rigid than San Francisco’s Miss Chinatown U.S.A., whose father must be Chinese, but more strict than the 25 percent Chinese required to be Miss Los Angeles Chinatown).

    Hapas muddy discussions of affirmative action and the gathering of health-care statistics. When a Centers for Disease Control researcher who called to survey me about my daughter’s vaccinations asked about her race, I answered, Caucasian and Asian. There was a pause, then she asked, “Which would you mainly identify her as?”

    More than anything, though, Hapas remind us that, while racism is real, “race” is a shifting construct. Consider: Would Obama still be seen as “black enough” if the wife by his side were white? And don’t get my husband started on why Tiger Woods — whose mother is three-quarters Asian and whose father was one-quarter Chinese and half African-American — is rarely hailed as the first Asian-American golf superstar.

    Race is thrust on Hapas based on the shades of their skin, the shapes of their eyes, their last names. (Quick: What race is Apolo Ohno? How about Meg Tilly? Both are half-Asian.) But ethnicity, an internal sense of culture, place and heritage — that’s more of a choice. Cultivating it in our children could be the difference between a Hapa Nation that’s a rich, variegated brown and one that fades to beige. I know that challenge firsthand. Because we are trying to raise our daughter as bicultural, much in our family is up for grabs, from the food we eat — and what we say before and after eating it — to the holidays we celebrate to whether we call her rear end a tushie or an oshiri.

    For the moment, she attends a Jewish preschool (where, as it happens, a quarter of her class, not to mention an assistant rabbi, is Hapa) and identifies so strongly with my heritage that my husband has begun to feel uneasy. He recently suggested that, for balance, we enroll her in Dharma school at the Japanese Buddhist church. Let me be clear: he is an atheist who grew up Methodist; I hew to a kind of social-relativist concept of “oneness.” And our daughter is going to spend her days shuttling between two temples?

    I sometimes wonder what will happen in another 50 years. Will my grandchildren “feel” Jewish? Japanese? Latino? African-American? Will they be pluralists? “Pass” as Anglo? Refuse categorization? Will Hapa Nation eventually make tracking “race” impossible? Will it unite us? Or will it, as some suggest, further segregate African-Americans from everyone else? The answer to all these questions may be yes. Regardless, watching Senator Obama campaigning with his black wife, his Indonesian-Caucasian half-sister, his Chinese-Canadian brother-in-law and all of their multiculti kids, it seems clear that the binary, black-and-white — not to mention black-or-white — days are already behind us.

  12. "Mixed Messenger"

    The Way We Live Now
    By Peggy Orenstein
    From: http://NYtimes.com

    Most Americans watching Barack Obama’s campaign, even those who don’t support him, appreciate the historic significance of an African-American president. But for […] me, Obama, as the first biracial candidate, symbolizes something else too: the future of race in this country, the paradigm and paradox of its simultaneous intransigence and disappearance.

    It’s true that, over the past months, Obama has increasingly positioned himself as a black man. That’s understandable: insisting on being seen as biracial might alienate African-American leaders and voters who have questioned his authenticity. White America, too, has a vested interest in seeing him as black it’s certainly a more exciting, more romantic and more concrete prospect than the “first biracial president.” Yet, even as he proves his black cred, it may be the senator’s dual identity, and his struggles to come to terms with it, that explain his crossover appeal and that have helped him to both embrace and transcend race, winning over voters in Birmingham, Iowa, as well as Birmingham, Ala.

    Mixed-race marriages were illegal in at least 16 states when Obama was born, though the taboo was historically inconsistent — white men could marry Asian women in some places, for instance, while marriages like mine, which go the other way, were forbidden. Since 1967, when those laws were declared unconstitutional, the rate of interracial marriage among all groups has skyrocketed. And those couples have children. Of the seven million Americans who identified themselves as mixed-race in the 2000 census (the first in which it was possible to do so), nearly half were under the age of 18. Almost 5 percent of Californians now identify themselves as mixed-race; by comparison, fewer than 7 percent are African-American. Hawaii, Obama’s childhood home, is the most diverse state in the Union: 21 percent of residents identified as “Hapa,” a Hawaiian word meaning “half” that has gone from being a slur against mixed-race Asians to a point of pride — and has increasingly been adopted by multiracials of all kinds on the Mainland.

    But the rise of multiracialism is not all Kumbaya choruses and “postracial” identity. The N.A.A.C.P. criticized the census change, fearing that since so few in the black community are of fully African descent, mass attrition to a mixed-race option could threaten political clout and Federal financing.

    Mexican-Americans, a largely mixed-race group, fought to be classified as white during the first half of the 20th century; during the second half, they fought against it.

    Among Asians, Japanese-Americans in Northern California have argued over “how Japanese” the contestants for the Cherry Blossom Queen must be (the answer so far: 50 percent, which is less rigid than San Francisco’s Miss Chinatown U.S.A., whose father must be Chinese, but more strict than the 25 percent Chinese required to be Miss Los Angeles Chinatown).

    Hapas muddy discussions of affirmative action and the gathering of health-care statistics. When a Centers for Disease Control researcher who called to survey me about my daughter’s vaccinations asked about her race, I answered, Caucasian and Asian. There was a pause, then she asked, “Which would you mainly identify her as?”

    More than anything, though, Hapas remind us that, while racism is real, “race” is a shifting construct. Consider: Would Obama still be seen as “black enough” if the wife by his side were white? And don’t get my husband started on why Tiger Woods — whose mother is three-quarters Asian and whose father was one-quarter Chinese and half African-American — is rarely hailed as the first Asian-American golf superstar.

    Race is thrust on Hapas based on the shades of their skin, the shapes of their eyes, their last names. (Quick: What race is Apolo Ohno? How about Meg Tilly? Both are half-Asian.) But ethnicity, an internal sense of culture, place and heritage — that’s more of a choice. Cultivating it in our children could be the difference between a Hapa Nation that’s a rich, variegated brown and one that fades to beige. I know that challenge firsthand. Because we are trying to raise our daughter as bicultural, much in our family is up for grabs, from the food we eat — and what we say before and after eating it — to the holidays we celebrate to whether we call her rear end a tushie or an oshiri.

    For the moment, she attends a Jewish preschool (where, as it happens, a quarter of her class, not to mention an assistant rabbi, is Hapa) and identifies so strongly with my heritage that my husband has begun to feel uneasy. He recently suggested that, for balance, we enroll her in Dharma school at the Japanese Buddhist church. Let me be clear: he is an atheist who grew up Methodist; I hew to a kind of social-relativist concept of “oneness.” And our daughter is going to spend her days shuttling between two temples?

    I sometimes wonder what will happen in another 50 years. Will my grandchildren “feel” Jewish? Japanese? Latino? African-American? Will they be pluralists? “Pass” as Anglo? Refuse categorization? Will Hapa Nation eventually make tracking “race” impossible? Will it unite us? Or will it, as some suggest, further segregate African-Americans from everyone else? The answer to all these questions may be yes. Regardless, watching Senator Obama campaigning with his black wife, his Indonesian-Caucasian half-sister, his Chinese-Canadian brother-in-law and all of their multiculti kids, it seems clear that the binary, black-and-white — not to mention black-or-white — days are already behind us.

  13. seb

    I have often wondered if white people (and other racial/ethnic groups as well) would react positively to Obama IF his grandmother had been a black woman. Somehow, I do not think the reaction would be positive. That many whites react more positively to him (and according to some news reports of comments from white males), many consider him more “palatable” BECAUSE he has a white grandmother.
    Because of 450 years of devaluation of blackness, whiteness (with all the hells it has caused) is considered normal in this country, even though there has never been anything “normal” about the inhumane brutish mistreatment non-whites have suffered at the hands of whites in all of America’s history. His white grandmother would be seen as acceptable to millions of whites, as opposed to his having a black grandmother. Which is why I do not consider America as ready for a BLACK FIRST LADY. Black women are devalued by America, especially politically progressive black women who speak the truth of America’s sordid history (Michelle Obama on how she can now have pride in America).As for IRs, and so-called “mixed-blood” people.
    The illogical, insanity that: “The myth involves the belief that mixed race people are 1) signs of progress and 2) potential saviors who will somehow liberate us from racism because they understand “both worlds”, is something that is wretched in its refusing to face up to the history of America. Mixed-blood people in America started when the first white man set foot on the North American continent. White men have been climbing on top of non-white women in this country/hemisphere for centuries (Red, brown and black women), and race relations are still shit in this hypocrisy of a country. If it were true that crawling between each others legs would end racism, then racism would have been abolished in people’s hearts and minds centuries ago.
    But, institutionalized racism is embedded into America, and ALL suffer because of it. And, no, mixed-blood people are nothing new; mixed-blood people are not “transcending” bridges between races. There have been many so-called mono-race people (hell, as if such a race of people still live in America with all of the rape-mixing that has occurred) who have been just as much bridges between both races. Black women and men who worked with whites; black women who had close contact with whites, on an individual level, and in various organizations—-so-called mixed-blood people are not some cosmic racial Godsend to build bridges between races. That is one of the biggest lies given concerning mixed-blood people. A lie created by white males to justify their sexualized gendered racism against non-white women through the centuries. They are not a panacea; they are not “saviours”.
    Mixed-blood people are NOT the best of both worlds.
    Mixed blood people are NOT the worst of both worlds.
    They are just human beings who put their pants, dresses, boxer/briefs, shirts, neckties on just like the rest of the world. They kill, steal, lie, cheat, help, hinder, shit, piss, love—and hate—-just like any other human being. They are not to be held up above anyone else; nor are they to be held down as less than anyone else. In short, they are PEOPLE. Nothing more; nothing less.
    People who acknowledge the humanity of ALL people, are the best of both worlds;
    People who treat ALL humans with dignity, with respect, are the best of both worlds;
    Men who treat ALL women with consideration, deference, and respect, ARE the best of both worlds.
    People have been working to make your country the best country in the world, many of those people being what would racially be called “Black”, who have worked much to build bridges across the racial chasm created by white supremacy.
    That many black people carry the blood of rapists in their veins (courtesy of the fine, upstanding-black-woman-respecting- white men)

    has not stopped black Americans from giving their very best to this country.
    That black people are tied to whites genetically due to white male hatred of black women, has not stopped black Americans from still loving this country and not giving up on it.
    So, no, so-called mixed people are not the salvation of America, anymore than black people are the destruction of America (as white-run America just loves so much to try and portray with racist stereotypical media—news, television, and film).

    The past will remain with America until she has the guts to acknowledge her hatred against the race of people who have given her so much: Black people.But, she will never do that, for her vicious hatred against black people is so deeply entrenched with the worship of WHITE DEATH, which has nearly destroyed your country.

  14. Anonymous

    One of the great achievements of the last forty years in race relations in this country (WHERE I WAS BORN AND RAISED) has been the formation of a strong and present biracial middle class. People like my mother blazed a trail, working their way up from poor rural upstate New York farms, into the halls of medical school and onward to high paying government research jobs. As a result subsequent generations have produced people like Obama and myself:

    * many more of us are openly mixed-race than in previous generations;
    * we didn’t grow up in impoverished situations;
    * we’ve attended the best schools and had solidly successful careers from the beginning; and
    * we have been raised mostly as minorities in a white context, rather than struggling up from segregated ghettoized neighborhoods.

    Men and women of different races have been marrying and having children of blended ethnicity “in significant numbers” over the past forty years and at all socioeconomic levels. It follows then that they, and their children (now adults) have friends, peers, associates, coworkers and relatives of various races that admire, respect and love them. And now the third generation has arrived. There are kids adolescents and adults who look like Barack Obama all over the place. We have kids who look like Barack Obama at our Christmas and Thanksgiving gatherings, on our children’s, soccer and tee-ball teams and at their birthday parties and in classrooms and in our churches. Some are our children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren and they don’t look anything like us. America is undergoing a sweeping social change as the races blend and many of our artistic, intellectual and sports icons, across a broad spectrum are representative. Senator Obama is no exception.

    Much of White America is voting for Senator Obama simply because they think he is a magnificent candidate. And I am convinced that his being Black has no bearing as it is just simply not of consequence due to education and the experiences and attitudes of obviously a great many White Americans today. This is a tremendous dynamic that transcends politics because there is no existing political model. These are uncharted waters politically and also dangerous waters for the traditionalist. First, they don’t see what is happening so they don’t understand why the cause and effect of injecting race is failing. Secondly, they don’t understand that you apparently can’t exploit a qualified person of blended ethnicity racially in politics today. It simply can’t be done without (in the case of Senator Obama) receiving the wrath of both sides of his ethnic voting blocks. His largest base includes blocks of young and older educated Whites that not only have close personal and professional associations with Blacks but who more importantly, just don’t see race through any demeaning or uncomfortable lens.

    The “race card” represents an insult or personal affront to them and they are intelligent enough to see and understand overt and covert negative politics versus reality.

  15. seb

    @ Anonymous

    BELOW IS A SPEECH, MADE BY OBAMA. CLEARLY FROM THIS SPEECH NOT ONLY DOES HE REGARD HIMSELF AS BLACK (WHO USES HIS WHITE AS AN ADVANTAGE), BUT ALSO CLEARLY PLAYING RACE CARD. DONT GET ME WRONG, I STILL VERY MUCH BELIEVE IN THIS VISION.

    SPEECH BY OBAMA:
    Understanding this reality requires a reminder of how we arrived at this point. As William Faulkner once wrote, “The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past.” We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country. But we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

    Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.

    Legalized discrimination – where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments – meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

    A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families – a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods – parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement – all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.

    This is the reality in which Reverend Wright and other African-Americans of his generation grew up. They came of age in the late fifties and early sixties, a time when segregation was still the law of the land and opportunity was systematically constricted. What’s remarkable is not how many failed in the face of discrimination, but rather how many men and women overcame the odds; how many were able to make a way out of no way for those like me who would come after them.

    But for all those who scratched and clawed their way to get a piece of the American Dream, there were many who didn’t make it – those who were ultimately defeated, in one way or another, by discrimination. That legacy of defeat was passed on to future generations – those young men and increasingly young women who we see standing on street corners or languishing in our prisons, without hope or prospects for the future. Even for those blacks who did make it, questions of race, and racism, continue to define their worldview in fundamental ways. For the men and women of Reverend Wright’s generation, the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years. That anger may not get expressed in public, in front of white co-workers or white friends. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. At times, that anger is exploited by politicians, to gin up votes along racial lines, or to make up for a politician’s own failings.

  16. seb

    @ Anonymous

    I also agree that history has created a great deal of racial baggage that we carry around with us as people. Moreover, there is an acknowledgement in the “speech on race” that these effects linger in the form of institutional racism.

    With the exception of the comment about welfare policy, which echoes Ronald Regan, I think these are pretty bold statements for a politician to make. Of course, they are not quite as bold when they are framed as products of past discrimination rather than products of both past and present discrimination, but given the conservative nature of political discourse, I can live with it




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