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DubiousRant: Obama is Black?

There is this nagging feeling that I’ve had in the back of my head for the past few days. Coincidentally enough, this feeling came about around the same time as the country elected its first president of African descent.

Amidst all the applause, laughter, tears, expletives and fist pumps, I felt like there was something brewing inside the president-elect’s head as well. I could not quite put my finger on it until the day after the election results were announced, and it was with this announcement that the floodgates suddenly opened.

It seemed as though everyone with a MySpace page or witless Facebook status raced to their keyboard, frantic with excitement, clicking and clacking away to profess their excitement (and sometimes rage) concerning America’s decision.

The comments ranged from, “OBAMA 2008! WE DID IT!” and “Obama.Obama.Obama.Obama” to “Great! Now I have to move to Canada! Smart choice, America!” and my personal favorite: “I don’t want a nigger president!”

But these comments and status changes did not bother me nearly as much as the slew of race-baiting word vomits that spewed from many members of the black community. Comments such as, “My president is BLACK! Take that!” and “Our people are now triumphant! We are not the minority anymore!” to yet another personal favorite: “Yup! I DO want a nigga president! LOL!!!”

Now, far be it from me to play devil’s advocate, because it is nearly impossible for even the most rational of human beings to truly consider the “other side,” but I felt it was a bit hasty and ill-advised to make such inflammatory claims concerning such a high-profile public official. This is mainly because with every “my-president-is-black” statement made, the cogs in the self-balancing machine turn faster and faster all the while shifting the weight in a very unbalanced way.

For example, people tend to forget that president-elect Barack Obama came from very humble beginnings and lived a very multi-faceted (and multi-racial) life. The son of a Nigerian father and white mother, Obama is considered a bi-racial individual.

All considerations aside, there is nothing conditional at all about his ethnicity. Technically, one could use the age-tested “One Drop” rule…if it was 1895 and America was still locked in the crushing grip of the Jim Crow laws.

Fortunately, for me especially, this is not 1895, and the idea of “claiming” a candidate because their African father just so happened to have relations with a white woman and conceive demonstrates the kind of ignorance that is usually reserved for those who don those fashionable white robes with the matching hoods.

It almost makes me wonder, if Barack Obama lost the election, would those same folks who were so adamant about choosing sides in the beginning still have the same political and ethnic fervor? For some reason, I feel that a lot more focus would have been placed on his “whiter” attributes if the tables were turned.

Essentially, what I’m trying to get at is the fact that it is rather counterproductive to discuss how electing a candidate like Barack Obama would be beneficial to the unification of the country on one hand, but then on the other hand attempt to explain to friends and family how you voted strictly for his “black side” at the polls.

Not only are you doing yourself a disservice by completely denying an integral portion of the president-elect’s character, political know-how and diverse life experiences that helped get him to where he is now, moreover, you run the risk of being pegged a racist. (Yes, individuals from other races can be racists, too. It’s crazy, I know).

Instead, be happy about the idea that the majority of this country’s inhabitants came together in an act of selfless social responsibility and voted. Not for a candidate that has a white mother but demonstrates dominant African traits, but more so for a candidate that is the physical embodiment of everything that our ancestors—whether white, black or in between—fought for: a united front that is concerned with the betterment of the country as a whole.


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