For some time now, I have been intrigued by how a person (take Barry Obama, for example) who is exactly one half black and one half white can declare themselves “black.” Given the reality of this person’s genetics, would not a claim of “white” be equally valid, mathematically? Is the person’s physical appearance the determiner? If that is the case, then I suppose Barry’s supporters are right in saying that he is the first “black” presidential nominee of a major political party. But wouldn’t the term “bi-racial” be far more accurate in describing this person, irrespective of their physical appearance?
A couple of months ago I drafted a blog post discussing this paradox and the political convenience of portraying Barry Obama as a black man as opposed to being a bi-racial man, but decided in spite of my best efforts to keep it objective, many would find it to be prejudicial, or at least snarky. So, I not only didn’t publish it, I deleted the draft.
But that discussion pales in comparison to the news that ABC Nightline’s Terry Moran discloses in this video. What are the implications of this and how do we describe this new political “first”? I confess that I was not aware that this was even possible. Is this part of Obama’s “change we can believe in”?
HT: I have no idea who to give the hat tip to. Suffice it to say, I did not find this clip on my own. I have seen it on 5 different blogs today and am not though reading all the sites I frequent. I simply pass it along to my readers who may not have seen it elsewhere, along with my comments.