Friday, January 25, 2008

I've not been following the weirdly complicated opening rounds of the insanely complicated American Election process with any great attention despite the coverage it is getting over here. The distractions of children who do things like announce, as they did tonight, that they aren't going to have their regular ration of evening TV because they want to perform a short ballet called 'Bringing the Happiness to India', and piles of cruddy movies to be watched get in the way of following the blow by blow, handshake by handshake, money pissing competition that is happening over there but one thing has left me bewildered.

Why is Barak Obama black? He's always referred to as the 'The first black candidate for... ', or 'The first African-American to... ' etc. As I understand it his dad was Nigerian his mother an American 'Caucasian'. Which if you want to start labelling people by their skin colour makes him the proud possessor of one 'white' parent* and one 'black' one. So why whenever his colour is referred to is he always 'black'? If he had had only one Grandparent who was black would he still be 'The first black candidate'? or only one Great-grandparent? At what point does this weird notion that Blackness outweighs Whiteness in this way stop? Or maybe it doesn't. The whole notion of the 'one-drop rule' seems utterly absurd to me. Because, apart from playing the racist game of thinking the amount of melanin in your skin has got ANYTHING to do with your character or value as a person, when it comes down to it we are all descended from a bunch common ancestors who lived in Africa 140,000 years ago. Ethiopia, Kenya or Tanzania. Somewhere round there.

We're all black!

The first 'black' president of the United States was George Washington.

*I hate that word 'white'. I'm not white. 'White' people aren't white - unless you paint them. Whenever someone asks me what colour I am I reply, "a sort of dirty pink."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

bravo! I'm sort of a caramel colour.

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