He's Not Black

Discussion in 'Politics' started by sargon20, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. sargon20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    11,390
    Likes Received:
    2,130
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Atlantis
    You know
    You know



    [SIZE=+2]He's Not Black[/SIZE]
    [SIZE=-1]By Marie Arana
    Sunday, November 30, 2008
    [/SIZE]
    He is also half white.

    Unless the one-drop rule still applies, our president-elect is not black.
    We call him that -- he calls himself that -- because we use dated language and logic. After more than 300 years and much difficult history, we hew to the old racist rule: Part-black is all black. Fifty percent equals a hundred. There's no in-between.


    That was my reaction when I read these words on the front page of this newspaper the day after the election: "Obama Makes History: U.S. Decisively Elects First Black President."


    The phrase was repeated in much the same form by one media organization after another. It's as if we have one foot in the future and another still mired in the Old South. We are racially sophisticated enough to elect a non-white president, and we are so racially backward that we insist on calling him black. Progress has outpaced vocabulary.


    To me, as to increasing numbers of mixed-race people, Barack Obama is not our first black president. He is our first biracial, bicultural president. He is more than the personification of African American achievement. He is a bridge between races, a living symbol of tolerance, a signal that strict racial categories must go.


    Of course there is much to celebrate in seeing Obama's victory as a victory for African Americans. The long, arduous battles that were fought and won in the name of civil rights redeemed our Constitution and brought a new sense of possibility to all minorities in this country. We Hispanic Americans, very likely the most mixed-race people in the world, credit our gains to the great African American pioneers of yesterday: Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King Jr.


    But Obama's ascent to the presidency is more than a triumph for blacks. It is the signal of a broad change with broad ramifications. The world has become too fused, too interdependent to ignore this emerging reality: Just as banks, earthly resources and human disease form an intricate global web, so do racial ties. No one appreciates this more, perhaps, than the American Hispanic.


    Our multiracial identity was brought home to me a few months ago when I got my results from a DNA ancestry lab. I thought I was a simple hemispheric split -- half South American, half North. But as it turns out, I am a descendant of all the world's major races: Indo-European, black African, East Asian, Native American. The news came as something of a surprise. But it shouldn't have.


    Mutts are seldom divisible by two.


    Like Obama, I am the child of a white Kansan mother and a foreign father who, like Obama's, came to Cambridge, Mass., as a graduate student. My parents met during World War II, fell in love and married. Then they moved back to my father's country, Peru, where I was born.



     
  2. sargon20

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    11,390
    Likes Received:
    2,130
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Atlantis
    I always knew I was biracial -- part indigenous American, part white. My mother's ancestry was easy to trace and largely Anglo-American. But on my Peruvian side, I suspected from old family albums that some forebears might actually have been African or Asian: A great-great aunt had distinctly Negroid features. Another looked markedly Chinese. Of course, no one acknowledged it. It wasn't until the DNA test percentages were before me that I had a clear and overwhelming sense of my own history. I wasn't the product of only one bicultural marriage. My ancestral past was a tangle of races. When I sent back for an analysis of the Indo-European quotient, I was told that my "white side" came from the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. There had to have been hundreds of intercultural marriages in my bloodline. I am just about everything a human can be.

    Still, the same can be said for many Hispanic Americans. Perhaps because we've been in this hemisphere two centuries longer than our northern brethren, we've had more time to mix it up. We are the product of el gran mestizaje, a wholesale cross-pollination that has been blending brown, white, black and yellow for 500 years -- since Columbus set foot in the New World.

    The Spanish and Portuguese actually encouraged interracial marriage.

    It wasn't that they were any more enlightened than Northern Europeans, it was that their history of exploration, colonization and exploitation had been carried out by men -- soldiers and sailors -- who were left to find local brides and settle the wilds of America. The Catholic Church, eager to multiply its ranks and expand its influence, was prepared to bless any union between two of its faithful, regardless of race. So over the years, the indigenous people of Latin America were handily converted, mixed marriages propagated abundantly, a new fusion of races was born and the Church prospered.

    At first, those unions were largely between the native population and Iberians -- El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, for instance, the great 16th-century chronicler of the Spanish Conquista, was the son of a Spanish captain and an Andean princess. Later, the Atlantic slave trade sparked widespread mixing among blacks, whites and Indians -- particularly in Venezuela and Brazil. And then, in the late 19th century, a fourth ethnic group was imported to the continent in the form of Chinese coolies who came to work the guano islands and sugar fields. They, too, intermarried.

    Latinos in the United States have always been difficult to fix racially. Before the late 1960s, when civil rights forced Americans to think about race, we routinely identified ourselves as white on census forms. After 1970, when a Hispanic box was offered, we checked it, although we knew that the concept of Hispanic as a single race was patently silly. But since 2000, when it became possible for a citizen to register in more than one racial category, many of us began checking them all: indigenous, white, Asian, African. It would be false to do otherwise. "Todo plátano tiene su manchita negra," as we say. Every banana has its little bit of black.


    With so much history in our veins, Hispanics tend to think differently about race. The Latino population of this country continues to be, as the New America Foundation's Gregory Rodriguez puts it, a vanguard of interracial mixing.


    "By creating a racial climate in which intermarriage is more acceptable," Rodriguez writes in his new book, "Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds," Latins are "breaking down the barriers that have traditionally served to separate whites and nonwhites in the United States." Mexican Americans, he claims, "are forcing the United States to reinterpret the concept of the melting pot . . . [to] blur the lines between 'us' and 'them.' Just as the emergence of the mestizos undermined the Spanish racial system in colonial Mexico, Mexican Americans, who have always confounded the Anglo-American racial system, will ultimately destroy it, too."

    In other words, intermarriage -- the kind Hispanics have known for half a millennium, the kind from which Barack Obama was born, the kind that is becoming more visible in every urban neighborhood in America -- represents a body blow to American racism. Why don't we recognize this as the revolutionary wave that it is? Why can't we find words to describe it? Why do we continue to resort to the tired paradigm that calls a biracial man black?

    Even Obama himself seems to have bought into the nomenclature. In his memoir "Dreams from My Father," he writes, "I was trying to raise myself to be a black man in America, and beyond the given of my appearance, no one around me seemed to know exactly what that meant." You can almost feel the youth struggling with his identity, reaching for the right words to describe it and finally accepting the label that others impose.

    It doesn't have to be that way. As the great American poet Langston Hughes anyone who has any Negro blood at all in his veins. . . . I am brown." once wrote, "I am not black. There are lots of different kinds of blood in our family. But here in the United States, the word 'Negro' is used to mean

    Hughes was right. North America has been slow to acknowledge its racial mixing. Anti-miscegenation laws, which were prevalent in Germany under the Nazis and in South Africa during apartheid, were still the rule in a number of states here until 1967, a mere generation ago, when the case of Loving v. Virginia finally struck them down. The goal of those laws, unspoken but undeniable, was to maintain racial "purity," ensure white supremacy. It was not only undesirable, it was punishable for a white to procreate with a black. Or an Asian. Or an Indian. And yet a quiet cross-cultural mixing continued all the while. Even under Thomas Jefferson's own roof.

    The explosion of "minorities" in the United States in the past half-century has guaranteed that ever more interracial mingling is inevitable. According to the 2000 Census, there were 1.5 million Hispanic-white marriages in the United States, half a million Asian-white marriages, and more than a quarter-million black-white marriages. The reality is probably closer to double or triple that number. And growing.


    The evidence is everywhere. If not in our neighborhoods, in our culture. We see it in Tiger Woods, Halle Berry, Ben Kingsley, Nancy Kwan, Ne-Yo, Mariah Carey. Yet we insist on calling these hybrids by a reductive name: Berry is black. Kingsley is white. Kwan is yellow. Even they label themselves by the apparent color of their skin. With language like that, how can we claim to live in a post-racial society?

    A few years ago, after I gave a talk about biculturalism at a Pittsburgh college, a student approached me and said, "I understand everything you say. I too am a child of two cultures. My mother is German, my father African American. I was born in Germany, speak German and call myself a German-American. But look at me. What would you say I am?" She was referring to her skin, which was light black; her hair, lush and curly; and her eyes, a shining onyx. "I am fifty percent German. But no one who sees me believes it."


    Few who see Barack Obama, it seems, understand that he's 50 percent white Kansan. Even fewer understand what it means to be second-generation Kenyan. It reminds me of something sociologist Troy Duster and bioethicist Pilar Ossorio once observed: Skin color is seldom what it seems. People who look white can have a significant majority of African ancestors. People who look black can have a majority of ancestors who are European.

    In other words, the color of a president-elect's skin doesn't tell you much.

    It's an unreliable marker, a deceptive form of packaging. Isn't it time we stopped using labels that validate the separation of races? Isn't it time for the language to move on?
     
  3. mizzlopez

    mizzlopez Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    341
    Albums:
    2
    Likes Received:
    5
    I mean come on now, unless you live under a rock!!!!!!!1
     
  4. marleyisalegend

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,587
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    charlotte
    Good luck with that. People clutch their prejudices like a teddy bear, like a safety blanket. Even worse, they don't question then, if anyone else does they respond by ranting about politically correct and give a few statistics or cultural references that support their prejudice.

    Asking them to give it up is worse than asking them to give up oxgen.
     
  5. musclebutt2

    musclebutt2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisco
    An optimistic article, but problematic on how the author glosses over the inner politics of mestizo culture. Yes, there is a lot of mixing in Spanish/Portuegese speaking America, however, status is still top down on the color line. White on top, with increasing melanin towards the bottom. Power and money distribution also follows a similar trend. The Conquistadors also intermarried with natives for another purpose: the specific creation of a mixed blood caste to work in a low to mid administrative capacity. Since they were part European, they would be more 'trustworthy' to defend the crown's interests than a full blown native. Another advantage of the caste is its use as a means of establishing class, maintaining the status quo, and as a buffer against uprisings and violence from natives. The French tried the same thing in Indochina with mixed results. Apparently, the tropical weather was seen as deadly to French troops and miscarriages (whether man-made or not) were common. It must also be noted that the French were in the region for only approximately 100 years while Spain/Portugal had control of the New World for much longer. Technological advances such as the steam engine versus galleon ships, and the option to leave a colony, also contributed to one's motivation to stay abroad and create a new life.

    Yes, Obama is Mulatto. Not fully black. But as the beginning of this article states, Americans are still in the mindset of the one-drop rule and fully enthralled by the Mestizo social structure... still. Quite doubtfull whether the USA will ever get past it.
     
    #5 musclebutt2, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  6. B_Nick4444

    B_Nick4444 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2007
    Messages:
    7,002
    Likes Received:
    12
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Antonio, TX

    yes
     
  7. clecle3880

    clecle3880 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    127
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    Semantics.

    I myself am mixed/mestizo. My dad is quite similar to Obama w/a black/mixed father and a white mother. My mom is also half black/half East Indian.

    However - and this is the kicker - people treat you like how you <LOOK>. My white grandmother told me a long time ago, the same as she told my dad: 'The world will treat you like how you look - not - who you are'.

    It is that simple, or that complicated. You choose.

    Truth of the matter is: Obama, walking down the street minus the fame, political light, the world ignorant of his background etc, will be noticed by most if not all passers-by as 'a black man walking down the street'.

    Funny how that works. All the rest is semantics.

    It's simply sad that we choose to notice. Sadder maybe that we do. Ridiculous even.

    We're just people. Wise up.
     
  8. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,790
    Likes Received:
    17
    Nice to see you posting again, Marley!

    I agree, very well said.

    In the context of the Americas, what is "fully Black"?

    The reality is, while we address Obama's identity, self-styled or not, he is the embodiment of Black America--that is multiracial and multicultural, yet ultimately defined by the ambiguous term of Black.

    If we do not like it for Obama, we should drop it for all Blacks because it does not adequately define the racial, ethnic and cultural diversity of the group.
     
  9. marleyisalegend

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,587
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    charlotte
    No, NOT semantics. The one-drop rule and paperbag test are COMPLETELY racist in nature, in facts those tests were designed to make racism easier.

    It doesn't make a lick of sense to call Obama black when the "black" half of him is ENTIRELY superficial. He looks black, but he has a white mother, the white mother/family is the side that raised him. He had little to no exposure to his black side, yet that's his designation because of physical features.

    I agree 100%, but the only people who label him as black will be people that care about his color. Theoretically whether he's black or not shouldn't cross your mind at all. I agree with you 100% that it's the reality of the world, but that doesn't mean it's right. I'm not saying I know how to fix it, but there are lot of things I don't know how to fix that I still think are wrong.
     
  10. invisibleman

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Messages:
    9,976
    Likes Received:
    39
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    North Carolina
    "Black Folks You May Not Have Known Are Black
    Mariah Carey

    Jennifer Beals

    Tom Hanks

    Carly Simon

    Slash

    Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Johnny Depp

    Michael Jackson

    Kevin Bacon

    Robin Quivers

    Elizabeth Berkeley

    Paula Abdul
    Black Folks Who May Not Know They Are Black
    • Mariah Carey

    • Jennifer Beals

    • Tom Hanks

    • Carly Simon

    • Slash

    • Arnold Schwarzenegger

    • Johnny Depp

    • Michael Jackson

    • Kevin Bacon

    • Robin Quivers

    • Elizabeth Berkeley

    • Paula Abdul

    Black Folks You Kinda Wish Weren't Black
    • O.J. Simpson

    • Michael Jackson

    • Gary Coleman

    • Robin Quivers"
    Source: The Mulatto Millennium
    from UTNE READER. Written by Danzy Senna.
    I have the actual magazine article somewhere. :smile:
     
  11. B_FruitFly

    B_FruitFly New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    Messages:
    597
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    2Small4Depth2Fat4Comfort
    According to a bunch of conspirators he isn't even human, but a reptile of some sort gunning for world Domination. How did they come to this conclusion, you ask? HIS EYES!
     
  12. musclebutt2

    musclebutt2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisco
    That's why I didn't define the word "black." Terminology to define race and ethnicity are all artificial constructs and horribly outdated, so I use them with a caveat emptor. Having said that, the definition for Mulatto is:

    Mulatto (Spanish mulato, small mule, person of mixed race, mulatto, from mulo, mule, from Old Spanish, from Latin m&#363;lus.) is a person of mixed black and white ancestry or the offspring of one white parent and one black parent or someone 50% black and 50% white.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulatto

    That's why I called him Mulatto. I don't use the term black very often, I stick with "African-American" until people that identify with that label switch to something else. He's obviously not quadroon, octoroon, quintroon nor hexadecaroon. Full Black/African-American to me would mean 100% African descent. But if you prefer I use the term "Biracial," not a problem. I will be glad to do so.
     
    #12 musclebutt2, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  13. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,790
    Likes Received:
    17
    Except for a few isolated regions in Brazil, Colombia, Haiti, etc., where do these people of 100% African descent exist in the United States or Americas?
     
  14. musclebutt2

    musclebutt2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisco
    New African Immigrants.
     
  15. Penis Aficionado

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2007
    Messages:
    2,135
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Texas
    In Obama's book, DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, written before he seriously entertained any thought of becoming president of the United States, he writes very honestly about his youthful attempts to become an authentic "black man" despite his mixed ancestry. So, in a sense, I think we can call Obama "black" because that's how we *wants* to be seen.

    On an slightly tangential note ... this has been bugging me for years. Is Jason Kidd black? white? mixed? What the fuck *is* Jason Kidd?


    Jason Kidd is of mixed ancestry. THough he probably looks whiter than black he seems to identify himself as a black man.
     
    #15 Penis Aficionado, Dec 2, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2008
  16. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    3,790
    Likes Received:
    17
    Exactly. So "fully Black" describes an extremely small portion of the Black population in the Americas.
     
  17. musclebutt2

    musclebutt2 New Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Messages:
    458
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    San Francisco
    He is mixed. We were students at CAL during the same time. Good baller, but as a student, dumb as a rock... that was his reputation on campus
     
  18. marleyisalegend

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    5,587
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    charlotte
    In a perfect world, we would ALL be called biracial, few and far between are people withstrict, linear heritage.
     
  19. nubian

    Verified Gold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,138
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    17
    Gender:
    Male
    Verified:
    Photo
    Mulatto, considering that it refers to mules and breeding as if we are animals and not people, should never be used in polite conversation in the 21st century. Black, biracial, whatever, what he is is the 44th President of the United States.
     
  20. bobabooey69

    Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,177
    Albums:
    1
    Likes Received:
    87
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    FL
    Yeah I agree, people can not get past his skin color, eventhough he is of mixed race.

    I am myself, while my skin color is brown, don't label me.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted