Barack Obama is a White Man
I don't get it. Obama is seen as a Black man. Why not see him as a White man. He is, if I understand his parentage, 50% White and 50% Black. Moreover, he went to Harvard. This constitutes unimpeachable evidence (sort of) that Obama is a White man. Tiger Woods is 50% Black and 50% Thai. How in hell does that make him into a Black man. His father raised him, it seems, to be White in that he taught him a mostly White sport and sent him to mostly White Standford University (the last is a guess). I suspect that Tiger has more White friends than Black ones. I hereby claim him as a White man.
Back when I was a full time faculty remember I looked over a class I was about to teach Sociolinguistics for the first time and remarked that it was too bad there were no African Americans in the class since we would be talking about issues of interest to them. A girl right in front of me said, "What makes you think that there aren't any Blacks in this room?" I took a good look at her essentially White freckled face and her red hair and said, on observing that her hair was "kinky" in the way the hair of Blacks can be and replied, "If you say so." The next class two relatively clear cases of Black students showed up.
Since that "error" on my part, I have observed all manner of athletes on TV whose race I find it impossible to tell. They could be very light skinned "Black" people or White people. Certainly their skin color is often lighter than that of certain so-called "White" people from Europe.
It seems that there has been a "one drop" rule for distinguishing Whites from Blacks in America. Wikipedia puts it this way;
The one-drop rule is an historical colloquial term in the United States that holds that a person with any trace of African ancestry (however small or invisible) cannot be considered white and so, unless the person has an alternative non-white ancestry that he or she can claim, such as Native American, Asian, Arab, Australian aboriginal, the person must be considered black.This is asinine. One might as well have a one drop rule for making someone White.
When I was an undergraduate at Rice, I wrote a paper on race in which I cited research that showed that if one abstracted away all of the defining characteristics of race -- hair color and consistency (straight, curly, kinky, etc.), lip shape, nose shape, skin color (taking shades seriously), butt size, etc. and valued them equally, we could come up with some pretty wild racial groupings if we were to take any one of them as the single most important criterion.
Should we take blackness of the hair as most important, we would be inclined to put Orientals and Blacks together. Were we to take the straight/kinky hair characteristic as definitive, we would lump together Blacks and certain Semitic peoples. Should we take straightness of hair as definitive, we might lump certain Whites, Orientals, and some or all of Amerindians together into one race. But we didn't do any of these things. The Black-White distinction was picked and in America and elsewhere, the one drop rule was adopted for racial identification. That is sad.
In fact, the Black/White thing is ethnic more than any other thing. On that ground alone, Barack Obama is more White than Black. I have seen him engage in certain sporting activities. He would be on the outer reaches of the Bell Curve for acquired and native athleticism of Black's based on what I have seen. He and his wife seem to be very different in their ethnicity but I surely have missed something. I would need to see him at, say, a family reunion of his wife's family. This is probably going to sound racist but I don't mean it to be. Michelle Obama acts more Black than Barack does and I suspect that at a reunion of her people, we might find him acting more like she does. Who knows? None of us should really care.
A year or so ago, I saw a film of a family reunion that might look a lot like Barack's parent's family reunions might look like -- lots of Blacks and Whites and In Betweens. They seemed to get along quite well with each other. Indeed they seemed to act quite lovingly toward each other. That should be the model for America. We have a chance with Barack Obama to make it so. We Whites should claim him for ourselves.