The conservative Republican blogger, whose mother is black American and whose father is Arab, asks: exactly what makes Sen. Barack Obama black in the United States when he has no direct ties to the black American experience? “My people built this nation. My people have bled for the chance at liberty. My people marched in the streets while being physically ripped away from their bones for a cause against injustice. My people sit in seats of government, churches, and influence. I am a Black. No matter your color… No matter your race, you can relate to me. We’re American. That’s what I share with Barack Obama. He is American. We don’t share a past. We don’t share an origin. Barack Obama is not Black. Obama cannot be rattled by the word N___r. He has no origin to the hate or bigotry. Obama cannot even relate as a primary source to the current sufferings of the African American community. This election, with the aid of the free press and all too willing politically correct [p]arties – Obama has been dubbed with a history and origin that is not his own. He has stolen N___r from history. His dad is a Kenyan. Obama has a history, an origin, a family with roots. Obama has been given privilege and only had a taste of the modern African American community with poisons of his own choosing.”
My response: I’ve debated this issue with relatives. One of my aunts, who is ironically lighter-skinned than Sen. Obama, does not consider Sen. Obama to be black because his mother was white. An uncle argues that Sen. Obama hasn’t experienced being “a real black man like me”, because Sen. Obama was raised by whites and Asians. Since when does one have to be a descendant of slaves to be considered black?! Better tell that to West Africans – who are genetically purer than black Americans – that one. Or the ones who have immigrated to America. While I don’t consider Sen. Obama to be “black like me” because our ancestries differ (just like I don’t consider sub-Saharan Africans to be “black like me” either, albeit for different reasons), I consider him black enough. Is there really a difference between Sen. Obama, and these famous folks who are considered to have two black parents but have multi-generations of mulattoes in their family trees? As told in his first book, Sen. Obama has experienced racial difference. Mr. Akbar forgot to note that Sen. Obama has a wife and two daughters who are descendant of slaves.