KATELAN CUNNINGHAM Staff Writer
So, a black man will be President. But don’t pack your bags for Canada quite yet – he’s white too! Baby steps, America.
I too, got caught up in the chants of “Yes we can!” and “We want change!” It’s all very uplifting. But, being biracial myself, I will take the liberty of pulling the race card – the race card Obama has buried with his book, “Dreams of My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.”
Stereotypes are quick and fickle. I can’t dance, so the blame immediately falls on my white half. And my love for watermelon, of course, is a “black thing.” Show me a person who does not enjoy a juicy slice of watermelon on a summer day and I will show you a phony.
Standardized tests have become a dilemma of morals. Do I check black or white? Minority scholarships or majority perks? Or do I fall victim to the undefined, ambiguously ill-fated “other.” What does “other” mean? I’m not a creature of some extinct lineage. Nor am I confused as to where I come from. I am not a monster!
But when it came time to check the box for President with your mechanical #2’s, was Obama’s ethnicity not the more convenient choice? A failsafe? After all, we still have half a white man in the White House. (Insert cliché racial pun).
Obama has recently referred to himself as a “mutt.” Any biracial person probably has at one time or another. As proud as I am, I will admit to taking sides for the sake of a laugh or the convenience of conformity. It’s a battle of being black enough or white enough. In Obama’s race for President, he didn’t take advantage of his own childhood battle of inner and outer prejudice. He didn’t even check “other.” He checked “President.”
Obama knows our country is far from color blind. With lines being crossed amidst what is considered taboo, Obama could have easily used his powerful, rhetorical conviction to pump up his diversity. But he won with a campaign driven by his policies for change and his hopes for America. Well played. He nods once to being the first black President saying, “This election has many firsts.”
So, it should not be ignored that Obama will be the first man to represent our country from a background of overcoming obstacles of race from a nation and within himself. But can I just say I am proud to be part of a nation that checked “other.”