Wednesday, January 28, 2009

He Is 1/2 White

I like the man, and I hope he does a better job with this country then his predecessor. For he couldn't possibly do any worse. Or so we will see. What has kind of bothered me of sorts, is the medias near obsession with the black side of his heritage. Oh, and if you have not figured it out yet, I am referring to our current president, Mr. Barack Obama.

Do not get me wrong, he seems to be gifted and talented, but even in a democracy, you are only as good as your houses are to you. Oh that's right. Mr spanky shiny new president could have all the right ideas, great ways to implement them and if our congress/senate/ does not back him, he might as well flush his ideas right down the toilet with the rest of the garbage.

But I got side-tracked. Why don't they ever talk about his white mother? They harp on his African American heritage. Don't misunderstand me, I acknowledge the fact that he is half black, but what about his white side? Let's play devils advocate here for a second. What if he was half black and half Asian, or half Native American, or half anything else for that matter. Do you not think the press would be exploiting his other nationality? You darned right.

But let's look at his past a bit more closely. His father did not come from slaves, so their playing thee oppressed black man is not being bought into, at least not by me. And correct me if I am wrong, but Mr. Obama did have some advantages and did make it through high school, and on to college. Why? Not because he was a black man but because he was someone who had goals. He had a game plan. He was on a mission, and one he obviously completed (With a little help from Oprah, in my opinion), but he made it none the less.

So should his 'African American' side be constantly harped on? Not in my book. I just wonder how he would be treated, viewed if his other side were not white.


appleleaf said...

I've heard & read many mixed messages about President Obama & am interested in following the news to see how his impact on the world continues.

William Cooney said...

This is an interesting subject, and you make a couple of points worthy of consideration.

Something I came across recently put much of it in perspective for me. While President Obama is biologically half white, his predominant cultural affiliation is African American. He identifies with his Black heritage, not exclusively, but to the point where it defines who he is, and self-identity is the kind of identity most deserving of deference and respect.

The president is also very quick to credit his white mother for the immeasurably positive influence she has had on his life, and I believe this is being more than adequately convered in the media.

I disagree that the media has been nearly obsessed with the Black side of his heritage. The media are going overboard and sensationalizing this story only to the extent that they are in the business of sensationalizing stories. The unprecedented nature of Mr. Obama's ascendence to the presidency is worthy of most of the hoopla surrounding it largely because of the symbolism it embodies. It does say much that we live in a country where a man of Mr. Obama's racial constitution can be elected president.

The media also love a "triumph-of-the-human-spirit" story, and the story of the people and culture the president most identifies with is plainly one of overcoming unspeakable adversity.

You're right. Mr. Obama is half white, and perhaps that is not getting enough play. But this sensitivity speaks to a subtle yet complex crisis of identity for white people and their dimishing role as majority stake holders in American culture. There are some who don't seem to want to embrace the emerging influence of people of color as a good thing for America.

Very good post. A fascinating topic.

Orlando Realtor said...

You must have been reading my mind. I agree with you to a "T". Interesting, your topic could have read: "He is 1/2 Black", and maybe would have taken on a slightly different meaning.

We have a new President. We all wish him success in this position. I wish that the Media would would stop referring to him as they do, and just report about him for what he does.

Tara B. said...

Interesting post, and something we've talked about often around here!

First, I wasn't thrilled about any of our choices in this election, but I have to admit to being quite excited that a black man was elected president in MY lifetime as my mother used to argue with me, it was something I'd never see, and I just did!! Woo Hoo!

That aside, now he is president and has to prove himself in the role as a man, a president, not black, not white, just president which is a hard role to have!

I don't know why some people choose certain parts of their heritage to focus on more than others. I long for the day where race and heritage don't matter. But even for me, I guess it does. I grew up believing I was Jewish, Irish and Native American. I for whatever reason chose to hone in on my Native American side.

Then, I come to find out that due to so many adoptions in the family and deep, dark family secrets I may not be any of the above but have quite a bit of Pakastani, so where does that leave me? Same place it did before, I am still the same person regardless of my heritage, but I have to admit it bugged me for sometime...not being or not being of one background, just not knowing..

My husbands family is intersting. He and his siblings are half mexican, half scottish. Some of them don't identify much with either, some consider themselves more scottish(even though they were all raised by only their mexican mother!) and others consider themselves more mexican. So, I am not sure where our ideas come are 7 siblings all of the same mother and father, all raiesed the same way, and yet they each associate more with onc side or the other.

Interesting topic..