Barak Obama – “The first black President of the United States”.
This statment has been troubling me somewhat over the last week or so and I felt duty bound to challenge it simply on the grounds that Barak is mixed-race and not black; I don’t think I’m the only one to think along these lines either having spoken to some friends in the office about it.
The fact of the matter is that Barak has a white mother and a black father, and whilst I can understand the importance of the media championing him to celebrate how far they have come since slavery and years of oppression, I feel that they are missing the bigger picture here; and inadvertantly everyone who is influenced by it. I’d go as far as saying that I genuinely feel it is somewhat disrespectful to his mother for the media to portray him purely as ‘black’? Are her chromazones unimportant? Has she conveniently been forgotten so that Barak can be ‘black’? Does this make for better headlines? I think so.
If by some amazing twist of fate I became Prime Minister of Great Britain, what would society (and the media) make of me? Would I be white, mixed-race or an albino Indian? No doubt many Indians would celebrate a Krishnan being in charge of the country with open arms, a few hardliners perhaps would do so just to get one over on all the Goriya/whities (trust me, they would!), but where do you draw the line?
I personally think it is FAR more poignant that a person of mixed heritage is going to be President, given that mixed relationships were once just as unacceptable a concept as (and still are to some) a black person holding possibly the most important office in the world.
His very existence shows that divides can be crossed and believe me when I say it, people of mixed-race can often be rejected by purist bigots on either side of the ethnic coin, I know from personal experience that they also may encounter great personal hardships because they may not ‘fit’ into either ethnic groups. Having spoken to my Dad at at great length about what it was like for him growing up in Britain during a time where people were a lot less tolerant, perhaps society is evolving given this change? Perhaps.
When Alex and I thought about what Antikrish.com would stand for, I felt it was to make people consider that “Not everything in life was brown (Black in this case) or white'”. That pun is certainly at the core of my existance because I am neither one nor the other. I just am.
I for one take great interest in the career of Barak Obama because I think he is also making people consider this statement in his own way; aside from avoiding nuclear war with Russia and undoing all the cowboy diplomacy in the Middle-East.
Progression and tolerance should be his legacy, not the ‘First black President of the United States’.