First, just get your yuk-yuk on with this bit from Comedy Central's new "Chocolate News"
Now for why I went there. From time to time—ok, pretty much daily—I just have to check the modest stats on this blog. Over the many months since I first began writing about Barack Obama and the presidential campaign, at least 10% of my hits have been from this Google search: Obama not black.
I think this comes up because there are a great many people who don't want Obama to be both black and president of the United States. Their number may well include Obama opponents and many disinterested (read : people in other countries who just don't get the contradictions of the American way of race) folks as well as die-hard Obama supporters.
The American Race turns up on these searches because of this post —"If Obama's Not Black..."—from way back in (gasp) January 2007!
I wrote in response to what I (correctly) called the opening round of artillery concering race and American identity in what was already the beginning of the political two years of our lifetimes. My take; forget about determining whether he's really black.
If he's not "black", I wrote, so what?
At the time, of course, the "so-what" was that the collective African-American feelings were smarting over the big —huge, really— exception white America seemed poised to make for him. Because, at the time, we could only assume it was based on the facts of Obama's white mother and non-slave descended African immigrant father. Obama looked like "get out of guilt free card" for the progressive white electorate.
And now? Have you noticed how all that talk of him being something other than black has evaporated into the mist, and the truth of the One-Drop rule still in effect? In fact, until recent news of Obama flying to Hawaii to see his ailing white grandmother, and the rare shots of her daughter his mother in last night's infomercial, most of America had forgotten about the "what is he" question.
Or, rather, it had long since been put to rest because his bid for leadership was never about being half white, anyway. It was about being all-American, notwithstanding the color of his skin, the circumstances of his upbringing or even where it took place.
The above video is funny, today, because the black David Alan Grier—playing black—can joke about convincing American racists to just "vote for his white half," in the best B'rer Rabbit trickster style.
Again, it's not about what Obama is, it's about what black is, really.
Why don't people want him to be black? Next post.