August 15, 2007

FUN TO SEE THE LEFT ADOPT THE ONE DROP OF BLOOD TEST:

Black enough to invite hope (Lynne Varner, 8/15/07, Seattle Times)

Before tackling jobs, immigration or the plight of the uninsured, presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama understands he must first deal with the wearisome yet cutting question, "Is he black enough?" [...]

Obama's candidacy inspires hope not just about his chances to reach the White House but his chances of changing the world. His presence speaks to a world a lot browner than many have been willing to acknowledge. Obama challenges the political assembly of white, male entitlement, three things en route to becoming, to paraphrase former CNN anchor Bernard Shaw, island specks in an ocean of color.

The challenge to Obama's racial identity is worthy of political-science and psychological studies. The Illinois senator is the progeny of a Kenyan father and a white mother. He is not the descendant of slaves like most African Americans. The question of whether he fully understands, and is committed to addressing, the residual damage of slavery, segregation and lingering racism is legitimate.

His wife, Michelle, tried to put all this to rest during an interview with National Public Radio.

Obama's "leadership is going to be informed by his experiences, and the bottom line is Barack is a black man who's lived in the world, who's walked the streets and felt the discrimination that many people of color have felt ... and that's going to inform his decisions," she said.


If from a biological viewpoint he's no more a black man than a white man, from a political viewpoint he's free to define himself. The Left requires him to hold certain views in order to be "black enough." The electorate requires him to repudiate many (most? all?) of those views. In the campaign thus far, he seems plenty "white" enough.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2007 2:55 PM
Comments

The people saying he's "not black enough", have a point. The difference between "African-American" (Africa as in ethnicity) vs. "black" is that the former are (or are children) of recent immigrants while the latter have ancestors who were shipped over here in the 18th century. Being "black" means one can trace ancestry to people who lived under the worst of Jim Crow and who were property, something Obama (and most of us white folk) can't do. It's an either/or thing, since free immigration by Africans wasn't allowed until after the 1960s. Sorry, but if you are going to buy into ethnic group politics, being Kenyan-American just doesn't cut it, being no different from being Thai-American or Argentine-American.


Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 15, 2007 3:32 PM

I know this guy is a Democratic candidate, but can't we please have a primary election focusing on issues that, um, matter?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 15, 2007 8:52 PM

Bill Clinton seemed to qualify, so why not Obama?

Posted by: Genecis at August 16, 2007 7:40 AM
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