The other day I read where there were a couple of black people who were debating whether or not Barack Obama was good for the black community. I’ve asked myself and other people the same question time and time again. For all of his public appeal Mr. Obama didn’t seem to be connected with the black community. I felt that his talk of healing and uniting people on both sides of the racial divide during the build up to the Jena, Louisiana protest last September was pretty weak. I was disappointed in his response to Rush “The Lush” Limbaugh referring to him as the Magic Negro. I was embarrassed to see him dancing for votes on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. I wasn’t impressed with his plans for battling the healthcare crisis. Personally speaking I’m just not feeling the love.
In all fairness though I have to admit that his willingness to talk to the heads of state of countries that people in this country have been taught to fear did give me some hope of change and a new direction for leadership.
But the other day I read somewhere that someone black said the Barack Obama wasn’t fully black because his mother was a white woman. Therefore, the black community couldn’t depend on him. This man was saying he’d vote for Hillary Clinton. My brow started to furrow, my face frowned up, my lip started to curl and I had to ask no one in particular, what? Mr. Obama isn’t fully black? Who the hell is? I mean when I look at myself in the mirror I can see somewhere along the Peacemaker family tree that somehow some European cream got into my African ancestors coffee. My skin isn’t very dark at all. If I stood next to Mr. Obama I’m pretty sure I’d lose the “Who’s The Darkest” contest. And both of my parents are black. And regardless how the hell does that translate to whether or not that makes him presidential material?
Because only one of Mr. Obama’s parents was black he is unfit to represent this particular voter. I wondered how this man would feel if he heard a white person say that Mr. Obama had only one white parent so that would make him untrustworthy. Hell! More than likely Clarence Thomas had two black parents and I know for a fact that if you are black and on trial that you don’t want this man to walk out of the judge’s chambers to preside over your trial. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather see my fate in the hands of Ruth Bader Ginsburgh than tom. Having two black parents is no guarantee of anything. And his mother was white means he’s not fully black? In the immortal words of Colin Powell, “In America…when you look like me, you’re black.”
And what’s the alternative? Having someone in the White House without either parent being black is somehow more attractive? This will be the type of person that would swear up and down that race would have nothing to do with their logical deduction or lack thereof. They just want to make sure that the black candidate knows what it’s like for black people. So would the white person with white parents make a better candidate because their race has absolutely nothing to do with anything?
Even with my doubts as to whether or not Barack Obama is the best candidate for the presidential job, as a black man I have to confess that I would be ecstatic to see a black man winning the confidence of America and getting an opportunity to setup shop in the oval office. But, as a black man, I have to admit that I am severely disappointed to see an obviously black man sitting on the Supreme Court and using his position to undermine the black community at each and every opportunity. Having a black man on the Supreme Court is supposed to be an uplifting phenomenon for the black community but instead, for many black people across this land, it is turning into one of our worst nightmares.
It is no longer safe to say that the black community would like a black man in the job. The black community needs to make sure that we have the right black man in the job, the right person in the job. Whether or not Barack Obama is the right black man is an individual choice. But I honestly have to say that whether or not both of any candidate’s parents are black is truly out of place as an indication of his or her qualifications or a measure of his or her connection to the black community.