Friday, August 29, 2008

How Black Do You Need To Be, To Be Black?

Tonight, on his TV show, Bill Moyer's referred to Barack Obama as 'black candidate of mixed heritage'. Why a black candidate? Why not a 'white' candidate of mixed heritage? True, Obama exhibits some discernible some 'black' features; but why do we have to call him 'black'? How about this way of looking at things: Tiger Woods is a mixed heritage Thai golfer. Barack Obama is a racially mixed heritage presidential candidate.

In truth, isn't the appellation of Obama as being a 'black' candidate a racist remark in the first place, hearkening back to the days when anybody with even a little black blood in him/her was categorized as irretrievable and totally black?

(There is a great and delicious irony, by the way, in the fact that most African -Americans want to co-opt this half-white man as a black. Oh well, we all want to co-opt winners!)

Let's face it, we are almost all these days of mixed heritage. I'm a Turk mixed with German and English, and predominantly white with some 'black' blood running through me. (After all, Turkey sits at the crossroads of Asian, Africa and Europe; and I didn't get to be olive-skinned by being 'pure' white.) If Obama's black, so am I. The differences between all of us, including the 'progressive' Bill Moeyers, is just a matter of percentages.

Where is the cut-off? So I'll know how to categorize me and my Granddaughter; whose father by the way is Latin American. Such a conundrum.


Post a Comment

<< Home