These days it seems like things are going back to the way they were in the good old days, only with a few tweaks. You’ve got proud racists, anti-abortion “feminists”, and now it looks like we’re getting a 21st century reboot of the “one drop rule”. This time, however, it’s one drop of white blood that apparently gets you everywhere you want to be.
As you may have read on Feministe, Washington Post reporter Kathleen Parker called Obama the “first female president” and some drama ensued. I’m not going to get into that, read the link because Nisha on Feministe does a good job of breaking it down. So in attempting to apologize for that assclownery, she steps in it again, several times, but particularly this point:
You’ll have to take me at my word when I say that I don’t view Obama exclusively as a black man — no matter what he said on his census form. Not only is he half-white, but also he has managed to transcend skin color, at least from where I sit.
Oh! Then she adds this tidbit, which is an extreme version of the “My best friend is black” trope:
As a sidebar, there’s another reason I don’t see him as only black. He is my cousin. I had intended to save this nugget for a future column, but now seems as good a time as any to brag.
I learned of this surprising family link when a cousin conducting genealogical research contacted me recently: “And by the way, did you know you’re kin to Barack?”
Apparently, we are descended of brothers whose parents — Johann Pieter Straub and Anna Maria Barbara Hoffman — emigrated from Germany to the colonies about 1733. According to the family grid, Obama and I seem to be eighth cousins once removed.
Why is it that whenever progressive white folks want to prove that Obama transcends race, or racist white people want to take him down a notch, they bust out with the “well, he is half-white” business. For the racists, it’s as if the white blood in him is responsible for his success. A lot of black people have some white blood in them somewhere along the line. Are all their successes also due to the white blood? For the progressive whites, it’s like him being half white makes him some kind of shaman, able to communicate with the “black world” and make it safe for them to understand, therefore “transcending” race. Do the many other black people with white blood in them also possess this mystical ability?
Though Obama identifies as a black man, these jokers still feel the need to point out that he’s half white. In fact, for many people his racial identity changes depending on the point they’re making or what they’re complaining about. If Obama transcends race so well, WHY ARE WE ALWAYS HAVING THIS CONVERSATION? It’s just silly.
Race is not something you can transcend, really. It’s a social construct and a daily reality. So can we please just stop flapping our jaws about what Obama is or isn’t and lose the magical Negro talk? Because this half white black woman is just about done with all this back-in-the-day business.