February 2, 2008

"I don't think there is a person of color in this country that doesn't struggle with what it means to be a part of your race..."

"... versus what the majority thinks is right."

Michelle Obama, commenting on what she calls the "silly" question of whether her husband is "black enough."

9 comments:

rcocean said...

Sounds like a good reason for not electing someone of color POTUS. I want a POTUS who spends his time looking out for the country not "struggling with what it means to be part of your race' or trying to figure out whether a position will be taken as a betrayal by fellow members of his race.

Middle Class Guy said...

It is hard for Obama to ignore the racial aspects when they are constantly being brought up by others, especially Clinton operatives and Bubba himself.

It is insulting to have to defend one's self based on race instead of character; which Clinton sorely lacks.

Zeb Quinn said...

Black runs to Obama's strength. Green is his problem.

Bender said...

Much more refreshing is this --

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: But a lot of times, your career helps define who you are.
MICHELLE OBAMA: It doesn't for me. It doesn't for me. I mean, what I do in my life defines me. And a career is one of the many things I do in my life. I mean, how I -- I am a mother first. Where do I get my joy and energy? First and foremost, from my kids.
In the midst of this campaign, what I've done is I don't campaign every day. I'm not gone for weeks on end. I will not go on a trip that will have me away for more than two days. And the campaign has understood that. I'm not going to miss a ballet recital. I'm not going to make them move their world around to accommodate me and Barack. We have to do the accommodating.


Quite a refreshing contrast to the contemptuous "I've done the best I can to lead my life ... You know, I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life."

dmfoiemjsof said...

As a white person, I think Obama is perfect. He is biologically half white and completely raised by his white mother to have a white work ethic and white values. Yet, he will be perceived as a "black" candidate just because of his skin color. Brilliant.

SMGalbraith said...

Shelby Steele, whose parents were, like Obama's mixed racially, argues that that:

"The black American identity is still for the most part grounded in challenging [interesting word]. You never give white people the benefit of the doubt; that’s our power."

White people must eliminate this doubt through the right words and views.

But Obama, he says, is trapped. If he gives white people the benefit of the doubt [without proving it] and garners their support, he loses black support. But if he challenges white people in a nod to the black community, he’ll lose white support.

It seems to me that this is not entirely - or even mostly - true. Black Americans are turning to Obama while his message is still a transcedent one and not a direct appeal to his racial identity.

Maybe the best way of avoiding the trap is not to recognize it?

Zeb Quinn said...

But Obama, he says, is trapped. If he gives white people the benefit of the doubt [without proving it] and garners their support, he loses black support. But if he challenges white people in a nod to the black community, he’ll lose white support.

Sounds about right. That's why he keeps his mouth shut on substance, smiles a lot, and then when he does talk he talks in platitudes and slogans.

I say again, it reminds me of Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Greg in Madtown said...

I dig Michelle. RCOcean, well, how does one begin to address your statement? Probably best by assuming your sincerity. Sure, part of me agrees with you. But, hey, I'm white. Of course I'm not gonna sit around struggling with interpreting my racial identity. I don't have to. I'm white. Get it? It's a give and take. I respect your conservative ideals. Really, I do. But... come on! Can't you unbutton your dress shirt a little? Just the top button? Reach out. Empathize.

PG said...

How is it that every time we see an individual who has one "black" parent and one "white", we tend to think of him or her as primarily "black"?