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Sunday, 30 November 2008

Comments

Craig

No one is saying Obama is not biracial. Everyone knows he has a White mom and those who care to know.

To overemphasise this to the extent of saying "well basically, he's not technically Black", you are treating the concept too literally. You might as well deny W.E.B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass or Frantz Fanon were Black leaders on account of their ancestry and light skin.

Ultimately, all these categorizations are arbitrary. In America, 1 drop is Black, that's the way it is (the same reason Colin Powell and Halle Berry are Black). If he were in South Africa, he would not be Black, he would be what they call "Coloured" because race has a different history over there. To get into technical disagreements, counting percentages of race, is to fall into pseudo-scientific nonsense not much different from the German racial theorists who arguing whether it takes 1/8th or 1/4 to make a Jew..

Kiki

Dear Craig,
You are missing my point. What I'm saying is that if Barack Obama were a transformational figure he argues that he is and if he represented change that we could believe in, he wouldn't be content with the way things are. That's my point. Tiger Woods spoke and took a lot of heat for not saying that he was Black, but he accepted to take that chance. Society is always behind and needs someone to say no to the way it categorizes people. They were a time when Blacks were called Negroes, when mobilitiy challenged people were called crippled and when women were called c*nts and it takes someone especially when s/he aspires to be great to say don't define me this way. As Barack Obama would say "don't tell me that words don't matter!"

LoveTruth

Kiki,

I think that you completely failed to understand due to a lack of education on the topic or pure ignorance that the vast majority of blacks are of mixed race and cultural background. The vast majority of people in the Western hemisphere are of mixed race and culture. I am from the Caribbean and it is a melting pot. By Ms. Arana's definition, I am not black. African American culture and history in this country is a melting pot. Some of our greatest leaders were of obvious mixed race. Most were ions lighter than Mr. Obama. Obama is darker than Louis Farrakhan, DuBois or Malcolm X. Obama has direct lineage to Africa while most blacks in the Western Hemisphere have a far less direct lineage. Ms. Arana speaks about finding out about her mixed ancestry from a geneologist however the vast, vast majority of African Americans have also found that they have mixed ancestry. Did you miss the special by Henry Louis Gates where many black notables found that they had a great deal of mixed ancestry. I am waitng for you to deconstruct this.

Also Obama has defined himself as a black man of mixed heritage. He has spoken about African Americans being hybrid people.

As for Tiger Woods, there is a great irony that exists. He claims that he is not simply Thai and African American but also Caucasian and Native American? Where did the Caucasian and Native American come from? Oh yes, I read that it came from his "black" father. While people like you refuse to acknowledge that African Americans are a hybrid people (as Mr. Obama once pointed out himself in a interview), Tiger Woods is claiming his father's mixed ancestry? The same mixed ancestry that many blacks in the country have if not the vast majority. However ignorant people in this country still choose to classify African Americans (which is an ethnicity not a race) as a monolith.

kiki

Dear Lovetruth,
Is it possible for me to disagree strongly and passionately with you without being ignorant or stupid? I think that you are willingly missing my point about race, which is that it isn't something that you should be mystified as Obama and you seem to do because you cannot let go of the fact that being black doesn't anybody nothing about who one is. There is nothing sacred about blackness, which in my opinion cannot be or rather shouldn't be an identity but something that you happened to be or not to be. What bugs me with Obama is precisely the fact that by saying that he is black, he is making a choice about what he is or rather accepting what society is deciding that he is and that it isn't what a leader does. You may disagree with me, but don't pretend that your point of view is the only one, which one who is cultured and educated can have.

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