Our president chose to identify himself as black, without hesitation or compromise.
We can try to guess what is in his head, like the woman with the "Jamaican-American" children. I am Jamerican, daughter of two Jamaicans; I was born in New York City. There are many configurations one can use to formulate a racial identity. The ambiguous term "African-American" can serve multiple purposes, but the fact of the matter is he chose not to check "mixed" or white.
As a black person, I prefer the term "African-American." I feel I am part of diaspora and history, not simply a color. Our president embraces that history wholeheartedly. Kudos to him--not all are wise enough to do that, including many of us growing up with two "black" parents.
The visceral hatred of this man from white people on the left and right speaks volumes to your thesis. I have not observed the constant bashing on the part of my Latino, Asian and Native American friends that I have among white friends and associates. He has not so much redefined blackness--momentous achievement against the odds is what we do. But people like Barack Obama uproot white supremacy. The fact that he embraces being "American" (not white) and black makes him un-American to many. They belittle his achievements and tear him down because white people are dependent on supremacy as whiteness. It is not simply a skin color. It is an entitlement. Obama wants no part of white entitlement. He made his way as a black man, and he intends to stay one.
I pity white Americans, especially. While they blame and castigate blacks and other races, we are moving forward accepting that racism is fundamental to the white entitlement character. But we are doing what we always do-- moving on. Whites trapped in a sense of entitlement will miss the opportunity to build a country that can be truly great. This presidency is an opening. They just don't see it. Too bad, America has a long way to go and many dangers lie ahead. National unity is our most precious resource in a global context. When we vilify (not criticize) as a foreign, Manchurian candidate or terrorist Muslim fundamentalist, we let the world know we are ripe for the picking. A house divided cannot stand to defend anything.
Finally, thank you for this information about President Obama. He makes me prouder everyday. Pray for him, his family, and staff.
Oh, and to all the haters of black people and this president in particular, your arrogance, scorn and sense of grievance (when you've never been victims collectively) are broadcast the world over. McCain represented that sense of white outrage, grievance and entitlement. White Americans are a pariah to the world. Even your European friends back away from you. Calm down, work with others, or find yourself left behind on the losing side of the future.
Apr 26 2010 - 7:24pm