Black, White… Whatever

Is Obama Black or Bi-racial?

That’s the headline I recently saw on CNN.

Damn, what a question- I can’t believe it’s something that never even crossed my mind… me, of all people.

I guess I just always thought of him as black…

We all know Obama’s mama is white, and his daddy is black… similarly, my own mother (biological) is white, and my father (again, biologically speaking) is black.

Personally, I consider myself bi-racial (or Native Halfrican American if I’m feeling frisky)… but I think of Obama as black.

I wonder what he considers himself… black? Bi-racial? Halfrican? (my personal favorite, I must say)… but really, does it matter what he considers himself?

The answer is no.

Why?

Because society, myself included (hanging my head in shame) has already labeled him black, regardless of what he himself may think.

In and of itself that’s not a bad thing… but as the CNN article states, even though Obama is as much white as he is black, he’s still considered, well… black.

As Jason Carroll geniusly points out, if elected, Obama will be both the 44th white president and the 1st black president- at the same time.

That’s pretty cool.

It is interesting how anyone with any discernable amount of black blood in their bodies are considered black… at least in society’s eyes.

I realize this practice dates back to slavery… anyone that had traceable amounts of black in them were deemed black, so they could legally be slaves.

What’s sad is that this practice (minus the slave part- duh) still exists today.

So many of those who swear racism no longer exists, who swear color doesn’t matter, still make the effort to label multi and bi-racial people like myself and Senator Obama black. Even people like me, who fight against racism, and truly love people of all colors are guilty of this.

It reminds me of a child who is a genius- very, very smart, but is told his entire life that he’s stupid. After a while, that’s how he identifies himself- regardless of the fact that it isn’t true.

Those of us of mixed heritage have been told by society over and over again for so long that we are black that we begin to personally identify ourselves that way, instead of as the beautiful mixture of both black and white that we truly do represent.

Why? They cannot enslave us any longer, nor can they deny us the right to vote or own property… is there something offensive about the idea that perhaps some of us do not fall into a simple “black” or “white” category?

I remember growing up, getting picked on because I talked “white”… to my peers, I was black… they didn’t like the fact that I wasn’t speaking in a manner that was stereotypical of how they felt black people should speak.

Rather than take the time to understand that I am as white as I am black, and further, was raised by a white family, I was instead labeled as uppity… Someone who because of my light skin tone and “good hair”, thought I was better than those who were darker than me.

Still to this day, if I dare try and openly celebrate my bi-racial heritage among the wrong people, there are negative consequences, people begin to feel threatened, telling me I am denying my heritage- that of a black woman.

If I do mention my bi-racial heritage, I generally must do so in a joking manner- calling myself Halfrican or Caucegro for example.

Otherwise I am being offensive in denying the black race others have labeled me with.

Why can I not be both?

I am both.

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12 thoughts on “Black, White… Whatever

  1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. You are my first visitor on that blog. If you want to read something a little lighter you might want to come by and say, “Hi” at http://4rpets.wordpress.com.

    I have always thought of Barak Obama as bi-racial and he does have the best of both worlds.

    Be proud of your heritage and who you are.

    Kathryn

  2. For me, a politician is a politician: even when I voted them in with a song in my heart, you still can’t trust ’em as far as you could throw ’em! Down here in Australia, we’ve got our new PM just out of the honeymoon period. It’s the first time we’ve had a left-wing leader in 11 years; I voted for him; and yet, I still feel vindicated in whinging when he does something stupid.

    Still, I reckon Obama will be good for the US, in a lot of ways. Down with McCain!

  3. With politicians it certainly can be tricky, trying to figure out when they are and are not telling the truth. With most of ’em, you can tell they’re lying simply by whether or not their mouths are moving!!

    I do feel Obama’s kinda different than those others though. I really do like this guy, and I think he’s… well, soothing is a good word to use. This country has not benefited in any way from the hard ass “Bush Regime” and we are ready- and desperately need- a kinder, gentler touch. That’s where Obama comes in…

    Anyway, sorry for ramblin’ and thanks for weighin’ in!!

  4. My think has always been, why does anyone have to be classified as any nationality other than the country in which they reside. Until everyday people learn to drop the dividing by skin tones (which changes by season for many people, heck our family ancestry is so mixed my fathers side of the family could pass for practically any nationality especially during the summer months.) there will be some joker trying use skin color to divide and conquer for gain.

  5. Thanks for the comment… I don’t necessarily hope for a color-blind society, but one that embraces diversity… seeing all the various colors and ethnicities that make up the population of this nation as a good thing… not a divisive one.

  6. Your part black??? Hell I thought you just tanned better than the rest of us. HHHMMM Go figure. Love ya sis

  7. IF J.C. LETTOW is listed ANYWHERE as a racist,
    please remove HACKED COMMENTARY.

    I am a Former Marine Explosive, E.O.D. Team head.

    Also a deadly shot-Former Gunnery Sergeant USMC

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