Okay, okay– so the title’s a bad tie-in to a movie nearly as lame. But it did get your attention, right? In contemplating what it was I wanted to write about today, no other pithy five to eight words popped to mind. Here’s the deal.
I’ve heard (Shhhhh) white murmurings that Barack H. Obama is not reeeeeealy a black man; that he’s bi-racial. I’m the pale half of ZebraCouple. I’m easily sucked in to this controversy. I think of the physical traits of our wide-eared Commander in Chief. Not black-black really. Light brown. Much was made of his white Kansan Mother, Kenyan father. And how about having Hawaii as your boyhood home? Talk about your haven of neither white-nor-black people. “Yes, Barack is definitely mixed,” I inwardly agree.
“So,” say a lot of people– and remember I am easily influenced– “Why doesn’t he call himself mixed– or biracial? Why does he call himself black / allow everyone to celebrate the history of America’s first African American President?” This gets a little complicated for me. I’m a simple suburban WASP but I do have an opinion…
Save for this forum (and times when my wife and I are having “cultural” discussions & differences), I can’t really say that I ever think of myself as white. Or male for that matter. No more than I go around introducing myself as an Elvis loving, Cub fan, beagle owning, doting father of 3. Identity is just something that I am. There’s never really much cause or reason to “consider” it.
But what about during an historic political campaign watched by ga-jillions around the globe? Surely he thought about his identity then? Maybe not. I don’t think so. While everyone else thought about race, and some feared he might even be a radical Muslim, and “Is America ready,” I think maybe he still just thought of himself as himself. Basketball & Beyonce loving doting father of 3. Busy community organizing, trying-to-be-a-good-husband-to-Michelle, Barack. Not white, not black, not mixed. Maybe thankful for a life full of blessings. Maybe overwhelmed by it all. Maybe even not. Maybe born for this, but that is fodder for another post.
Bottom line is, there are two reasons Barack never really made too big a deal about his race: 1) Everyone else did, and 2) It’s just not an issue for him. Frankly he’s got much bigger issues on his shoulders now. He had much bigger issues in mind seems like since he was a junior Senator. And (pun intended) more power to him! Look at what he’s done. He’s our President. He’s Jackie Robinson in the White House.
Why doesn’t Barack go around saying, “I’m bi-racial,”?
Do you go around saying, “I’m white,” or “I’m black,” or “I’m mixed”? Thought not. Neither does he. End of story. Now maybe we can all support the man as he goes about the more important business of digging our country out of the mess we’re in?
Hear me Rush Limbaugh?