Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Obama: Black or Biracial in 2008?

Apparently others are wondering the same thing that I am. Barack Obama - black in politics or biracial in politics? Blogger James D. Walton of the site Black in Business, asks the question and links to the reader response blog of Chicago Sun Times columnist Mary Mitchell on this very topic.

Obama seems to be riding the middle ground between black Americans who generally one drop anyone with any African heritage, and whites who want to be proven wrong in their desire to one drop anyone with African heritage. Black Americans still seem to believe (erroneously in my opinion) that enforcing a group identity will somehow ensure the social, political and economic interests of black people in America. White Americans appear to be believe that most black politicians aren't fit for national leadership positions because they are too narrow in their focus of securing the interests of black people above the (white) majority. Both positions reinforce each other, and it will take an especially skilled politician of African descent - black or biracial - to sufficiently soothe the fears of either group to be voted into the highest office. Whether Obama can keep it real while simultaneously passing into the mainstream will be a fascinating process to watch in the next couple of years.

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1 comment:

James said...

I remember when Jesse Sr ran in 1984 and 88, it was as a voice for black people, now I agree, we must pick someone that will closely match our views and values. Many black Americans supported Judge Thomas for the nation's highest court even though his views hurt most black people. We must move pass that. We have had some good comments on this subject at blackinbusiness