Monday, June 9, 2008

Race Rules In America - The Over The Top Fascination With Barack Obama's Race

After being labeled as "black" all presidential primary season, all of a sudden there is new debate to decide if Barack Obama is "biracial." Check out these videos at CNN - Does Obama's Race Matter? and Is Obama black or biracial? This debate burns me up.

The man has discussed his racial background completely and made clear that he identifies as African American (for a multitude of reasons) and yet, here we are dissecting his racial identity again. Obama is sure in the hell not gaining any "half-white" privileges, so what is left to discuss? Some white folks will certainly embrace Barack Obama for President, but most white folks are not going to be running around celebrating that they have a "half-white" President.

We have always had biracial people in this country, but it was the racism and racial politics of American society that forced half black/half-white people to choose. The "one drop rule" is still heavily enforced in nearly every segment of this society for African Americans and in most cases against their will. Why doesn't the media talk about that and stop acting like its just a simple choice. It an extremely complex choice for a complex society.

And what kills me the most is when the media is having this discussion they can surely find black people to speak on this subject. We're invisible to them in any other venue of the political debate, but when they want to talk about taboo issues of race, suddenly they can find all kinds of black folk to comment.

6 comments:

Naima June 9, 2008 at 10:25 AM  

I have noticed within the past couple of years there is a movement among biracial people to drop the one drop rule. Although Obama identifies as black, many biracial people especially the younger ones are not identifying only as black. There are going to be white folks celebrating the half white president, the ones who have half white children.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com June 9, 2008 at 12:10 PM  

Naima...

Actually, it wasn't the biracial people who decided to drop the "ONE DROP" rule...it was fully conscious black people who realized that the "one drop rule" was introduced by white slave masters, embraced by black slaves who were too ignorant to understand why it was introduced in the first place, and therefore it has been WIDELY and RIGHTLY SO... eradicated.

Did you get the memo?

Black consciousness now carries a mandate to stop enforcing the Massa's stupidity among the black race any longer..

Obama does not identify as black but as a biracial man...he fully and openly acknowledges his white ancestry...and speaks of BOTH sides of family in terms of "who I am".... at least that is what it has always seemed to me...

Even Michelle mentioned that when she met him at the law firm, she didn't know what to do with the knowledge that he was biracial...so he must have said so for her to know it...that's not something that a person adds to a resume...

Biracial people have a RIGHT to identify themselves as biracial and do not have to denounce, deny, or pretend that they ONLY have one ancestral bloodline...people can and SHOULD know their ancestry and be proud of their ancestry...even if they encounter OTHERS who are not proud of it or of theirs...

I am not biracial so that is not why I make the statement...

My parents are not from different races however....but different ethnicities...

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Naima June 9, 2008 at 2:05 PM  

Well I don't know about some black consciousness mandate that went out to every black person that apparently I didn't get. I just know amongst the biracial people that I know, that they openly embrace both sides now, and in the past they didn't as much. I never said Obama didn't acknowlege his white family, he has said he viewed himself the way society did, as black man. You read way too much into it.

focusedpurpose June 9, 2008 at 3:44 PM  

hi Professor Tracey-

if people would start calling it like it is and telling the truth from the beginning there would be no controversy.

if the black masses would get some self respect, we wouldn't continue to indulge this conversation time after time. multi/bi racial, done. call it what it is and move on.

O is biracial. black folks don't have white mothers and fathers. it really is that simple. and yes, i realize non of us are 100% anything.

what we see now is a mad dash to make O more acceptable to white folks. unlike us black folks white folks INSIST that they see themselves in all aspects of life.

Naima- most black folks don't read enough into what they see. Lisa is telling you the truth in her super spicy way. hi Lisa!:-) it is the truth nonetheless. i think our refusal to look deeply into anything is why we black folks hold firm at the bottom of our society and societies around the world. in most instances there is a thing in the thing. the bi/multi racial people that i encounter flip and flop around in terms of what they want to call themselves. who, but desperate black folks with no self respect would want to claim that type of behavior/person and see it as an asset?

not a sports fan, however, i don't think players on a team would tolerate that business. can you imagine? on this team, no, on the other team, no, i will be on both teams! ??? in fact, when i attend my son's games, i clap for both teams because they are all children doing their best and folks get mad. it is just a h.s. game! when it comes to issues of race, we are talking about survival and folks don't want to take it too seriously???????????? i.don't.get.it.

also, Prof. Tracey, i think O has profited from being half white. had his mother been black divorced and/or deserted, he would likely have a different story altogether because of the dead last spot of value held by black women. white women hold the top spot of value in this society---this comes with privileges world-wide.

side-note: i love Michelle! seeing her makes me happy!!! yes, because she is black, strong, educated, classy and fully representing/perpetuating a positive image. i am not sorry:-)


blessings,
focusedpurpose

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com June 9, 2008 at 7:28 PM  

Hi Focused Purpose! (smiles)

I am sorry for being super spicy!! *LOL*

I am a Latina ...what can I say? We love spices!! *LOL*

Oooops I mean...I'm African! We love spices! *LOL*

See how we flip flop on what we call ourselves? Actually, I am joking because I do not change up...I am Black and Boriqua all the time...I never CHOOSE mom's side over dad's side of the gene pool...I claim BOTH parents' ancestry equally.

Since I am not biracial so I can't comment on that whole thing...it's entirely different...

Thanks for clarifying what I was saying...I suppose I said it all wrong...wouldn't be the first time....sorry Naima...if my approach had a bit too much Picante sauce! I just can't believe how many black folks are still clinging to the mindset of plantation slaves...you are right though...more biracial people are now openly embracing both races in their ancestry....

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

GoldenAh June 11, 2008 at 4:10 PM  

The media is looking for a box to squeeze Obama into since "black" didn't work. They are checking to see if "biracial" will fit.

The media has to stop pushing and promoting the racist notion that there is something wrong with having partial, whole, or pieces of African ancestry (DNA).

They enjoy treating "Black", "biracial", or any mixture like a germ under a microscope. That nonsense must stop.

I'm sick of it.

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