Ticker: What Color Is Barack Obama?
on 1/26/2008 (4)
The color of the man in the White House emboldens the courage of the average man on the street. Remember that.
|White sheep, black sheep, |
|Have you any wool? |
If you have been following the DNC presidential primaries as of late, you may have noticed that Barack Hussein Obama is alternately referred to as 'black' and 'African-American' without seeming logic or reasonable accord. So what is the difference between the two? And what color is Obama as well?
Barack Hussein Obama is the product of a white mom and a black (or is it African-American?) father, yet Obama has been universally touted as the most viable black candidate in U.S. political history. Certainly, Obama's light skin tone and impeccable linguistic ability have wooed him to many white voters, who see him as potentially 'safe', that is to say, not too far removed from their own tribe.
Yet, 80 percent of 'black' voters, (those of 65-75 percent or greater unmixed African descent) have pledged outright support for Obama, who they view as a fellow tribesman who will represent and address the needs of their own lot. Truly a strange conundrum. 'Blacks' can openly support one of their own based solely on skin color and not be deemed 'racist', but whites cannot do the same. The scales of social structure have tilted to people of color this election year, it would seem, thanks to popular media, as he who controls the media controls the world, after all. Being black is hot, being white is not, at least in the world according to MTV. Social taboos abound and define what each of us says and does in regards to race these days, and minorities have garnered great leaps in power and persuasion via the popular media and folkways, indeed.
Yet, is not calling Obama 'black' a disservice to his fair skinned mother? Where does she fit in? Why is her racial composition and genetic contribution being ignored?
Calling Obama 'black' harkens back to slave days when even 1/8 black blood rendered you black. This still seems to be true today. Any black blood makes you black, and this is the case with Obama. But when is a 'black' an 'African-American'? When there is fear, of course. A black is called an African-American almost exclusively by whites who are afraid to call them 'black', lest they commit social faux pas de resistance and be branded a 'racist' by their (oddly often white) peers.
The big difference is that blacks have no trouble in calling themselves black, as it embodies 'black pride' and even black militancy, where as 'white pride' has been decried and outcast as merely fascist, or even Nazism. As it goes, whoever wins on the 2008 presidential ticket (black, white, male, female or something in between), it's clear that a simmering, subterranean battle between the races is already at hand, and only promises to become more pronounced, overt and perhaps even explosive if whites truly do lose power in the U.S. this year and awaken from their pop media induced slumber to an ice water wash of having been succinctly 'played' to the illusion that race truly doesn't matter in human affairs and respond with piecemeal embryonic militant movement(s) of their own, polarization bristles back to life, and the tireless pendulum of culture and political power sweeps back the other way.
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