Obama: the first “black” president

barack-obama-mother

OBAMA AND HIS MOTHER

 

There has been so much joy in this country to see a black man finally elected to the presidency. And I share that joy…I never thought I would see such progress in our society in my  lifetime… all the talk about unity and one people in this country as represented by Obama. The only thing is, the fact that he’s half white is pretty much ignored, as I see it. Why???? Wouldn’t it be even MORE unifying to acknowledge the mix of BOTH races in our president elect???

I know from my studies that people of mixed race tend to identify with the minority half. I don’t know why. I just know its so. And I don’t get that.  It seems like a disowning of half of who you are. Kind of a reverse racism of your own identity. 

Talk to me somebody…Help me understand this….

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16 Responses to “Obama: the first “black” president”

  1. shortyindahouse Says:

    I think the hype is more about the color of skin than race or nationality. The news reports say that he is the first African American or Black president. They rarely say that he is the “first president of African American and White heritage.”

    I received an email stating that some of our previous presidents were Black but because they had white skin there was little discussion. So, that is my understanding of the whole color thing.

  2. Amber Says:

    I agree… this is a very strange thing.

  3. Lirone Says:

    There’s a scene in a book I read (wish I could remember title or author!) which depicts a new immigrant arriving in the USA in the 1800s and being classified as black on the basis of having one black greatgrandmother – he didn’t appear black, and nor did any of his children – but nevertheless this one ancestor was sufficient to class him and all his offspring as black and deny them any of the privileges that then were only allowed to whites.

    That may be part of the answer to your question…

  4. mssc54 Says:

    I think it’s because everyone wants to root for the “underdog” and then celebrate when he wins.

  5. plaintain1 Says:

    In my experience, mixed race people tend to identify with the White part of themselves. As a Black woman, when I mix with mixed race people, I find it always a good idea not to talk ‘race’ for fear I might offend the ‘white’ part of themselves. If their politics is ‘black’ then it makes room for some dialogue. I used to think I was alone in this thinking but meeting with other black people and discussing this topic, I realized I was not alone.

  6. leafless Says:

    The media likes a fairy tale headline. “The first mixed race president” is just not very fairytale-ness.

  7. psychscribe Says:

    mssc54: I’m thinking you have to be right- politically it certainly proved to be the case. Look at the landslide win!

  8. psychscribe Says:

    Hi Lirone: Thanks for the input… so are you then saying its an act of solidarity, advocacy these days, to identify with the minority part of self?

  9. psychscribe Says:

    leafless: that makes sense- not just media but politics, as i said to mssc54

  10. psychscribe Says:

    plaintain1: thanks for the input…it does sound like inner conflict then…like a person has to choose one race over the other within themselves…what a shame…its like choosing one parent over the other, isn’t it?

  11. psychscribe Says:

    shortyindahouse: yes…it appears to be so…thanks for visiting my site, and thanks for writing.

  12. vanessaleighsblog Says:

    What I found in the past, psychscribe, when working with several children with various behavioral issues, many of those children were biracial, specifically caucasian and african american. Almost all of them experienced conflict about it, but seemed to have several factors that influenced which race they identified with more: which parent or parents were raising them, and what that parents’ race was; the actual pigment of their skin, whether they were more light skinned or darker skinned; and then then how others responded to them. It is such a personal process, and part of me believes that what matters most is how he self-identifies, which now that I think about it, he has always described himself based on the race of each of his parents. I hope that as time goes by, his election will assist us as a society to have a more open and understanding dialogue about all aspects of race with one another……

  13. psychscribe Says:

    Thanks vanessaleigh. Interesting input….for me its easy – both parents white and even of the exact same European ancestry. Everything you say here makes sense…

  14. Whelan Says:

    well the reason “they” keep calling him black is because in america (and I think its a law) as long as you have 1/10 black blood running through your veins, you are legally black. I guess it makes sense if you look at the fact that 2/200 vision is considered legally blind.

  15. Esther Dafna Says:

    Being of mixed decent myself,living in a multi-racial, multi-ethnical country (Trinidad & Tobago) I can relate to the issue. I believe the association with one race or the next is dependent upon the individual’s personality. The person who has strong feelings pertaining to ethics, human rights etc. would align himself with the race which is most persecuted;in most cases, the minority, and in so doing make a statement that he is not afraid of said association. The person who is more inclined to annonymity or rather passivity, may opt to associate with the less persecuted race; usually the majority. In a twist of events, a “hybrid” may adopt another creed altogether, in order to forge an identity for himself, or to simply evade alignment with any of the races which bred him.ie. evading choice or the appearance of bias.

    It is a very rare occurence that a person of mixed decent strikes a balance among hie races, simply because it is a terribly difficult task to accomplish; an ever wavering see-saw if you will, and every equation which may promote equilibrium eventually fails. In Obama’s case, I believe that because of what he has achieved, regardless of his partial black heritage, serves as an incentive for other blacks to achieve more than society once-upon-a-time readily told them they were able to. Whereas, whites have been historically dominant in society; dominant over the blacks themselves. It is therefore deemed as more of an accomplishment that an African American gained the presidency rather than a White American.

    Well thank you so much for taking the time to write this perspective. It makes a lot of sense to me politically and socially and helps me to understand. But Esther, if I were the mother of a mixed race child, and the child totally identified with the other race, I think I would feel marginalized within our family…and hurt as well…

  16. 8) Says:

    Directed @ ur ? as 2 y people usually identify with their minority half… because thats how i feel most people treat u. personally i identify with both sides of my heritage. but no matter what ur mix is… u are labeled what ever the darker/more disliked/most “disadvantaged” half/portion is. say you are mexican and white, and you look “light brown”, if u “act white” your called white washed…if u “act mexican” ur just being “who u r”. this is how society goes for every other combination in the book. im half black, and no one could care lessssss what the other half is. they just assume mexican or white(neither of which are correct) and move on, bcuz it wouldnt matter anyway…theyve already identified my “darker, “more disadvantaged” half, and that denotes my label in society.

    Wow. I never got it until you explained it to me this way. It like the lightbulb finally went off. Thank you.

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