Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Patchwork Heritage"

(I know the media has covered this already.)

Presuming that they all are U.S. citizens, born here and living here the requisite number of years, etc.,

If our latest president's parent were both considered white but one or both of them were natives of South Africa or anywhere else on that continent, would we call him or her our first African-American president?

What if the president were black-looking, whose Hispanic parents or grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Cuba and were descendants of African slaves? Would he or she be the first African-American president?

Our latest president's dad was African, and his mom was (what we all call) "American," so there is a scapegoat technicality that makes arguing over the denomination's wording irrelevant.

I'm under the impression that it seems to come down to color more than it does to so-called race or ancestral-country(ies)-of-origin. I guess we're still going by the thing that if you look black or have any African-derived "blood" in you, you're African American. We are all mixed with families we wouldn't know personally, we Americans. But we go by color and call it culture. After all, didn't Rev. Lowery's benediction prayer end with some funky rhyming lines about race — lines that identified us by colors, black, brown, yellow, red, white?

Our latest president is where he is because he worked much, much harder than I ever will.

To reiterate a Facebook post: lazy is the new unpatriotic.

It's hard to live up to someone who went to a better school than you did, seems to be in better shape, has the best poker face and the best smile, likes to do community service, is really good with words, and whose marriage and family life look enviable.

1 comment:

DKC said...

You want real irony?? During the desegregation case that Arthur Benson and Judge Clark so happily presided over, the race of the mother determined the race of the child. Therefore, for the KCSD, Barack is white. There were many instances (for real) of black children being brought from Blue Springs and other hinterlands to Northeast High School as a part of "desegregation" because their moms were white.