President Obama wants to be known as Black not Biracial

  • metta

    Posts: 39078

    Apr 05, 2010 6:32 PM GMT
    President Obama wants to be known as Black not Biracial

    http://www.pamshouseblend.com/diary/15748/the-2010-census-and-the-browning-and-seasoning-of-america
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    Apr 06, 2010 1:50 PM GMT
    And I like be called Australian not Asian-Australian or Asian.

    Very good article, especially the part about Middle eastern descent.
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    Apr 06, 2010 1:55 PM GMT
    People already see him as JUST Black, so why continue to waste time and energy attempting to correct people? Just go with what people ASSUME you are and go about handling your business! No need to make it a bigger deal than it should be.
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    Apr 06, 2010 1:58 PM GMT
    well he sure was biracial during his campaign....but then again he was also for hope and change....so another lie in the bucket isn't any big deal right?

    and no, im not Republican....Im just an equal hater of BS politicians, regardless of what bubble they fill in on their census....and who gives a damn what color he is, do the damn job Obama, and stop running around like youre a celebrity.
  • CuriousJockAZ

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    Apr 06, 2010 2:10 PM GMT
    Why does it matter? He should be more concerned about being known as a good President.
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    Apr 06, 2010 2:16 PM GMT
    I'm conflicted about this. President Obama is actually of mixed racial ancestry, and the 2010 census form allows for checking multiple boxes to indicate various racial mixes. Yet he chose only Black/African-American.

    In the bad old days of racial segregation in the US, one of the legal conventions, especially in the South, was that almost any amount of Black ancestry at all, even specified down to 1/64th or less in some States, made the person 100% Black (or Negro/colored, per the terms of that time).

    Given the disenfranchisement of Blacks in the South, this practice could be used to force people into inferior legal and social positions, and compel them to live segregated lives. The evils of this system were even a plot element in the American musical Showboat, when the character "Julie" is unmasked as being technically Black, and thereby prevented from marrying her White lover, since interracial marriages were illegal.

    I'd have thought President Obama might realize he could be seen as endorsing that vile & obsolete practice, by declaring himself 100% Black, when in fact he is not. I suppose a person can call themselves anything they want, but on the other hand, someone would likely criticize & challenge me, if I were to declare myself Hispanic, or a Pacific Islander or something else that I'm not, when I'm actually of White European heritage.

    So I'm puzzled by the President's choice, and wonder what others think about this.
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    Apr 06, 2010 2:51 PM GMT
    Red

    What the heck is a technically black person are you serious! Your use or a fictional charecter to illustrate your point just leaves me speachless.

    You would have been better off using Dorothy Dandrige or Lena Horne come on at least they are real people.

    Perhaps you didn't get the memo but in this country you what you look like when it comes to race!

    If he wants to be seen as an African American that's his choice.

    Even the mere disucussion of just goes to show just how far we have not come as country regarding race.

    There is nothing vile or obsolete about the choice he has made.

    He chose the race that he personally most indentifies himself with and also when Obama first burst on to scene you didn't look at him and
    which I'm sure that he has been reminded that he is.

    If you wanted to delcare that you were Latino or Asian who is going to challenge you? Do you and be you.
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    Apr 06, 2010 3:32 PM GMT
    Ducky46 saidRed

    What the heck is a technically black person are you serious! Your use or a fictional charecter to illustrate your point just leaves me speachless.

    You would have been better off using Dorothy Dandrige or Lena Horne come on at least they are real people.

    Perhaps you didn't get the memo but in this country you what you look like when it comes to race!

    If he wants to be seen as an African American that's his choice.

    Even the mere disucussion of just goes to show just how far we have not come as country regarding race.

    There is nothing vile or obsolete about the choice he has made.

    He chose the race that he personally most indentifies himself with and also when Obama first burst on to scene you didn't look at him and
    which I'm sure that he has been reminded that he is.

    If you wanted to delcare that you were Latino or Asian who is going to challenge you? Do you and be you.

    You seem to have seriously misread most of what I wrote, and I guess you don't know the reference material I used. I said the previous practice of determining race for Blacks in some States was vile and obsolete. I hope you agree with that.

    It applied to no other races, just to Blacks, and basically said if you had only a drop of Black blood in you, you were entirely Black. Nothing to be ashamed of, naturally, but in the context of that era used for the purposes of racial discrimination. I said that President Obama could be seen as endorsing that practice, meaning by his enemies, of which he has many eager & willing.

    BTW, since in this country we may be whatever race we want, according to you, I hearby declare myself a Native American. I've always had genuine respect for them, I married a woman who was part Indian, and my sons therefore are partly Native American, too, of which I'm quite proud, truly. So yeah, I am now a Native American, no longer White European, and I'll pick my tribe later.

    You may choose to argue my semantic choice of the word "technically" by which I meant "Julie" was only fully Black in the eyes of Southern law, not in reality. And she did not want to be Black, per your contention that we can be any race we want. She wanted to be White, but the law wouldn't let her, forced her to be Black which she didn't want, nor allow her to marry the White man she loved. Is that not a tragedy?

    And while she was a fictional character, as you state, her situation was real to many in the US. And I remember reading about these cases even when I was a kid, and the controversy when some Northern states rescinded their miscegenation laws and allowed interracial marriages, which Southern states continued to refuse to recognize (sound like gay marriages today?).

    I mention these historial perspectives to make the very point you mention: how far we have come regarding race. And how we are in danger of returning to it. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it. I see warning flags because I know the past.

    But I offered a certain perspective about President Obama's census choice to generate discussion, as I stated, not to insist upon it as fact. I invited input because I am "conflicted" and "puzzled.," not certain or inflexible. Your viewpoint is obviously impassioned, but not without merit.
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    Apr 06, 2010 3:48 PM GMT
    Point well made.
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    Apr 06, 2010 3:52 PM GMT
    he is black. there's nothing to discuss.
  • Delivis

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    Apr 06, 2010 6:02 PM GMT
    I'm going to keep calling him white/Irish. Mostly because, i couldnt give a damn what his "race" is.
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    Apr 06, 2010 6:14 PM GMT
    Delivis saidI'm going to keep calling him white/Irish. Mostly because, i couldnt give a damn what his "race" is.

    I totally agree with you, and indeed, Obama's race was the least consideration (no, not true, not ANY consideration) when I voted for him in 2008. But I think the discussion here is what Obama chooses to call himself, and why. Commendable that you take the position you do, but let's stay on topic.
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    Apr 06, 2010 6:56 PM GMT
    Doesn't this go back to the whole "is he black enough"/"is he too black" questions of the 2008 race?

    And does it matter? Well, yes, because America needs that symbol of moving forward, but like Harry Reid said:

    Thank God he's only a mulatto technically, because if he were expressive of ghetto slang or other such stereotypes of the inner urban ethnic minorities of the American prosperity backwaters he wouldn't have gotten as far as he did.

    Yes, he's black.
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    Apr 06, 2010 6:58 PM GMT
    There are black people, and there are african americans... obama is pretty much a cracker.
  • Delivis

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    Apr 06, 2010 8:27 PM GMT
    I really liked the moment when - i forget who it was, maybe Stephen Fry - was interviewing the president of Uganda (i think it was) he was asked what he thought about Obama becoming the first black president of the US. He said you have to remember, if he got elected here, he would be our first white president.
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    Apr 06, 2010 8:40 PM GMT
    And I want to be royalty but I'm not.
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    Apr 07, 2010 12:10 AM GMT
    A Japanese-European friend of mine would say he's Japanese, it's his birthplace, first language, grew up there and identifies with Japanese culture. If you were European raised in Japan, most people would say that you'd be a European in Japan wouldn't they?

    Is race just genetic origin? I thought it could be about identity associated with cultural upbringing. If you are of two races, one could be a stronger influence and that one part of your identity is how you define yourself as. Do you get a choice?
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    Apr 07, 2010 12:17 AM GMT
    And this is important because?.....
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    Apr 07, 2010 12:28 AM GMT
    IHG84 saidAnd this is important because?.....

    ...because he wants to boost the moral of the Black Community.

    Or important to this site?icon_neutral.gif
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    Apr 07, 2010 12:37 AM GMT
    jim_e said A Japanese-European friend of mine would say he's Japanese, it's his birthplace, first language, grew up there and identifies with Japanese culture. If you were European raised in Japan, most people would say that you'd be a European in Japan wouldn't they?

    Is race just genetic origin? I thought it could be about identity associated with cultural upbringing. If you are of two races, one could be a stronger influence and that one part of your identity is how you define yourself as. Do you get a choice?


    I think you're confusing race with cultural identity and nationality. They're 3 different things. Race is just the least tangible of them.
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    Apr 07, 2010 12:55 AM GMT
    makavelli said
    Thank God he's only a mulatto technically, because if he were expressive of ghetto slang or other such stereotypes of the inner urban ethnic minorities of the American prosperity backwaters he wouldn't have gotten as far as he did.

    Yes, he's black.


    FYI, mulatto can be taken offensively by some people. I had no idea until I used the term in front of a friend of mine who is half black/half white. It has associations to the days of colonial oppression and slavery, and the word itself originally referred to the hybridization of a mule and a horse. Not everyone takes offense to it, but some do. It was news to me, so just passing it along.

    In regard to the topic, I have slightly mixed feelings on it. He certainly could have listed himself as biracial or "other" and filled it in. Not doing so does neglect a part of his personal background. Ultimately, I don't have an issue with it though. It spoke volumes about how far we've come as a country to elect someone who could have been sprayed with fire hoses by white American policeman merely 50 years ago. Furthermore, I can easily see racial identity being a very individual issue for people who come from a two or more backgrounds, the same way someone may find themselves on a "sliding scale" in terms of their sexuality but identify themselves to be gay or be straight because that's how they feel the most.
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    Apr 07, 2010 12:59 AM GMT
    And I want to be known as a tall dark and handsome true Blue Aussie. Alas I'm always going to be of average height, blond True Blue Aussie.
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:00 AM GMT
    What is there something wrong with being mixed race?
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Oct 31, 2011 7:10 AM GMT
    RoyGBiv79 saidwell he sure was biracial during his campaign....but then again he was also for hope and change....so another lie in the bucket isn't any big deal right?

    and no, im not Republican....Im just an equal hater of BS politicians, regardless of what bubble they fill in on their census....and who gives a damn what color he is, do the damn job Obama, and stop running around like youre a celebrity.


    Why does it matter? He should be more concerned about being known as a good President.

    Over a year later and still a BSer! His lie bucket is full. Time for "change." Not spare change.
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    Oct 31, 2011 7:17 AM GMT
    I think he wants to be identified along with the African-Americans who have ancestors that were emancipated from slavery, as opposed to a bi-racial man whose African lineage did not involve slavery.

    I recall some heated discussion amongst members of the African-American community that as a man of privileged upbringing with a non US-born-African lineage, Obama could not completely identify with the African-American experience as descendants of former slaves and having been subject to great injustices for several generations after emancipation.