Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Is he or isn't he?
To further divide Barack Obama's supporters, recent media reports are now calling into question his blackness. I know, it sounds a little crazy but because his mother is white and his father is black, instead of calling Obama black, they're now referring to him as bi-racial. Technically, Obama is bi-racial but he has said many times before that he's embraced the black community and the black community has embraced him. He looks black, he sounds black, he identifies as black, therefore, the man is black. If he was a regular guy on the street, no one would care. They'd see a black man and keep it moving. Let's break it on down. Obviously, he looks black. Really and truly, everybody looks black because the colors of our skin range from cafe au lait to blurple, that's blue black and purple. Under normal circumstances, I'm told, bi-racial people don't often get a chance to choose which group they identify with. From what I understand, they spend a lot of time trying to figure out where they fit in and usually fall in with the crowd that accepts them. More often than not, it's the black community. Up until I was growing up, kids who identified themselves as bi-racial was an anomaly. It's not like we didn't have them, it's just they didn't identify themselves as such because it would leave them open to criticism and teasing and in some cases, hazing. Now that interracial relationships are widely accepted and it's OK to be different, folks still feel a need to make bi-racial kids and now adults, choose a group. Why can't they embrace all of them while they identify more with one group? What if Jasmine Guy, Lenny Kravitz, Cree Summer, Lisa Bonet, Boris Kodjoe, his wife Nicole Ari Parker-Kodjoe, Alicia Keys, Faith Evans, Eartha Kitt, Derek Jeter, Grant Hill, his wife Tamia, Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Malcolm X, Mario Van Peebles, Michael Michelle, Smokey Robinson, Shemar Moore, and the ever-so-fine Tyson Beckford all decided to tell the world about their bi-racial heritage. Would they be looked at any differently? The world may never know, because I'm willing to bet that a lot of you didn't know half these people had white and asian parents and grandparents. You didn't know because they haven't put all their business out in the open like Obama has. Is that wrong of them? No. Does it make Obama any better because he has? No. Putting out his heritage shows that Obama is all about putting his business out himself. He didn't wait for his counterparts to find old family photos of him with his interracial parents. He didn't wait for his counterparts to dig up childhood friends to ask whether or not he's smoked weed. He put it out there himself. The bottom line is let the man be. Yes one of his parents is black and the other one isn't. He's still human and he has a right to be who he wants and embrace every part of himself. Who is the media, and anybody else, to deny him that right? The funny thing is he isn't black enough for some white liberals who want to make sure he identifies his white heritage and he isn't white enough for white conservatives because he looks black. The bottom line is he doesn't have to be black enough or white enough, he has to be smart enough, stable enough and human enough to run the Oval Office. So enough with trying to figure out whether or not he's more one thing than the other. The one thing we should be concerned about is whether or not he's ready and equipped to fix this Bush mess.