Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The World Is Neither Black & White, Nor Shades of Grey

So, it has come to my attention that these past few weeks that there is much talk about Obama's "race." As I watched the Colbert Report last week, he had on the author of "The End of Blackness," Debra Dickenson, herself a black" lady. She said that "black" is "the descendent of West African slaves brought here to labor in the United States." She called Obama not an "African-American," but a "African-African-American." So we discover that the world is not Black & White, but Black, White, and African-African-American. And this story showed up on the nightly news later on, further grabbing my attention.

First of all, this is good news for Joe Biden. Biden got himself in trouble by saying Obama was the "the first mainstream African-American who’s articulate, bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" candidate. Clearly he didn't mean Black, but rather a African who is an American, shortened to African & American, or better put, African American, and not African-American. There have been plenty of African-American presidential candidates, like Jesse Jackson, or Al Sharpton, but Obama is the first African American presidential candidate. The hyphen is the key. It just accidentally got added in the transcript, causing this whole debacle. So Biden is exonerated.

This seems to me both absurd, and quite frankly, racist in itself. "African-African-American?" If anything, I would think the term African-American would be more aptly applied to Obama than someone who's family has lived in America so long. Do you here term European-American as a race? I think not. And going further, is nationality race? No, not that it matters. But anyways, if you would vote for someone if they are an "African-American," but not a "African-African-American," then I would think that would make you as much a racist as one who would vote for a candidate if they were white versus if they were black. Indeed, the degree that you have to split hairs over these supposed races of African-American versus African African-American would make one more of a racist then if you simply used a few basic racial categories to separate people.

The presidential race shouldn't be about race, but about class. Rich people can become president, black or white or black-black-white or men or women, etc, but not poor whites and blacks and poor men and poor women. How much money someone has is what truly matters when voting for someone, not race or gender. Just see the post http://thegregariousblog.blogspot.com/2006/11/if-doesnt-matter-who-you-vote-for-just.html, for a discussion on why the rich should lead our country, and not the poor.

But seriously, I want to propose a novel idea, judging candidates by their ideas, character, experience, etc., and not their race or gender. Perhaps you could even say, judging them based upon the content of their character, and not the color of their skin. Or is that dream too lofty? To not vote for someone because of their race or gender is racist or sexist. But to vote for someone because of their race, or gender, whether that be black or female, is just as racist, or sexist, as with the latter case. Affirmative action has no place in deciding our president, their is simply too much at stake. Whether Obama is or isn't "black" doesn't matter either way. What matters is who is the best candidate for the job.

1 Comments:

Blogger Alex said...

Did you see the SNL skit about how "black" you can be and still be electable? Apparently, right now, Barack is "blacker" than the Black Eyed Peas, and slightly "less black" than Bill Clinton.

Tue Feb 13, 11:51:00 PM EST  

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