If he is elected will Obama actually be the first black president of the United States, considering his mother is white.
Up until quite recently, this country operated on a simple premise: if you looked black, you were. The one-drop rule applied with one caveat: if you
were phenotypically 'white', you could "pass".
Then, everything changed (I noticed it in the 90's, but it certainly could have begun earlier), and (white) people started caring "what you were."
Before, white people didn't seem to care (although black people catalogued this genealogical trivia)- you were just "black", or whatever else they
called you- then, all of a sudden, people (of all colors) were even asking me, "What are
you?", all big-eyed and wondering. It was
disconcerting, even though I got the impression it was supposed to be a compliment.
So, 'racial etiquette' changes, and people adjust. Based on a decent sized sample representing a broad cross-section of black people (young people
a lot of ATS'ers would characterize as 'thugs' and '(future) baby mamas', older Bill Cosby minded folks, community activists, younger college
educated professionals, etc), the main question is, how is he socialized? It's hard to say, since we don't know him personally, but a pretty clear
indication, at least to the black people I speak to, is that he's married to an African-American woman. In a very real sense, he's "yoked" to the
Not that any of this matters, of course. I've said before: I do not expect him to settle the debt many Americans think this country owes black
people. If he wins, he'll have his hands full trying to get this country back on track. He'll need to focus, and I don't want him distracted with
the race-baiting that is sure to follow any attempt at directly giving aid to "black America".
He has a larger task, and I understand that.
Btw, did I manage to answer your question somewhere in there?