I suppose this could have been written months ago, or be put off until next Tuesday, but I saw a comment in the newspaper today and it just got me to thinking a little.
The comment was regarding a bi-racial child, whose grandparent wasn’t happy with racial designations provided on official paperwork; she stated that usually only “black” or “white” were the proferred choices. I happen to know that’s inaccurate, but that’s not the point.
The individual closed by saying that the granddaughter was neither “black” nor “white”, but a new race, the Obama Race.
Is this a joke? Race is not designated by skin color. How absurd. Race, as defined by Webster’s, is considered “a family, tribe, people, or nation belonging to the same stock”, or “a class or kind of people”, or even “a category of humankind that shares certain distinctive physical traits”. Can the term “Obama Race” fall into any of these definitions?
Perhaps, by a stretch. A very long stretch. But race is not determined by one characteristic alone, and a new one can certainly not be created on the whim of an individual. Of course, if bi-racial, or black/white, or whatever term one uses, can be considered a “race”, then it’s certainly been around for a long time. And naming it after someone who is arguably the most famous person in the world at this time is nothing more than a gratuitous stunt.
I did not vote for Obama. His race had nothing to do with it. I consider him too young, too inexperienced, and too naive. Neither am I black or bi-racial.
I understand this individual who commented probably has great pride in Obama’s accomplishment in being elected President of the United States. I understand it, even while something escapes me: to be truly free of racism, something which minority communities frequently accuse whites of being, color or race should be irrelevant.
It’s almost as though I myself should be “proud” if a blond, green-eyed president were elected, simply because he shared a couple of my physical characteristics. Does that make he and I a “race” unto ourselves, even including others with these attributes? I don’t think so.