Monday, January 26, 2009

Dear Confused White People, Malia and Sasha Obama are NOT 'bi-racial'.

I'm reading in the comments, and I see this discussion going on.
I was reading Jezebel earlier and they were talking about the Obama girls and I notice this on other sites as well and want to ask a question. Since when are the Obama girls "biracial"? When did this happen?

Yeah, when did this happen?

This reply was given by our ever astute Town:
I think "biracial" is being pushed around by white people to divorce their non-white offspring/non-white person they like from the "undesirable" minority group they came from.

That's why it confuses many whites when Obama willingly, conciously CHOOSES to self-identify as black, marry a black woman and have two black kids. Why would he do that, they wonder?

I think the "biracial" movement is being pushed by whites who don't want their offspring stigmatized and by those non-whites who don't want to be stigmatized.

By calling the Obama girls "biracial" they are totally erasing Michelle from the mix. Which I guess is the point, huh?

Town, always comes around to the point of things.



In yesterday's discussion about Patricia J. Williams and Melissa Harris-Lacewell, I wrote this in the comments as a reply to a poster:
Obama is BLACK. This bi-racial mess is coming up because he's successful, and because he made the choice, and I do think it was a choice to be Black. Everyone knows what Lacewell means by it; well, I do. That is what startles so many about Obama - who, if given a choice, would CHOOSE to be Black? I mean, come on, Tiger Woods is darker than Obama and has a made up term for himself. While some purport that Obama is ' obviously bi-racial', to which I call BULL, because if we had done a 'Barbershop' test in 2004, passing around the pictures of Barack Obama and Harold Ford, Jr., asking which one was ' obviously bi-racial', who would have chosen OBAMA over the at least 2 shades lighter, green-eyed, born of two BLACK parents- Ford? Come on, now.
barackobamacomparisonharoldford2


And, what does this sudden ' he's bi-racial' stuff really have at its core? It's to divorce Obama from the Black community, because we've ALWAYS been a multi-racial people, from the first time the Slave Owner went down to the slave quarters. That's how we can claim everyone from late NAACP head Walter White to Bernie Mac.
walterwhitebernie-mac-pointing
When White folk claim bi-racial Pookie that just robbed the store and shot a couple of people, I'll know it's about this ' bi-racial' category. Until then, it's about divorcing Obama from the Black community.

Now, folks aren't just satisfied in their attempt to divorce Barack Obama from the Black community. Now, they're trying to do it with Malia and Sasha?

Well, here's the skinny Confused White People.

Malia and Sasha are Black.

Because their Daddy is Black, and their Mama is Black. Two Black people produce BLACK children.

This is a picture of a Black mother with her BLACK children.

USA-POLITICS/

You want a picture of a bi-racial child, here it is:

s42980ca105303_2_0
Her mother is Black, Her father is Mexican. SHE is bi-racial.
She will speak Spanish and English. She will grow up eating tamales and collard greens. She will learn how to make flan and sweet potato pie. She will grow up hearing tales of Mexico and the Jim Crow South. When she gets older, she will begin making the trips that her mother did to our family home in Mississippi, and go to the cemetary where her ancestors, beginning with her great-great-great grandfather, are buried. Her mother has already booked the room next year for homecoming at Tuskegee.

Here's an FYI:
The Black community has ALWAYS been multi-racial. Has been ever since the first Slave Owner strolled down to the slave quarters. That's why when two Black people the only real hope that you can have with a child is that they be born ' normal and healthy'. You never know if a ' throwback' gene will kick in.

But, let's get back to Town's supposition that this is about Michelle.

Funny how it always gets back to Michelle.

I've written several articles over the course of the campaign about Michelle Obama as a Racial Rorschach Test.

Last summer, New York Magazine did a foul piece on the Obamas called " Black and BLACKER: The RACIAL Politics of the Obama Marriage."

When I did this post, I found a most appropriate quote from over at Michelle Obama Watch:
Sisters Gina and Nichelle summed it up well at Michelle Obama Watch:

The message from the article is that Black women are not suitable mates for successful Black men and you can’t trust him because he married HER.

Exactly. That is always the undercurrent in coverage of Michelle Obama. I guess the media is so used to seeing successful, educated Black men like Barack with women who are non-black or very light-skinned if they are Black. Historically, that has been the case so to see Barack with brown-skinned-clearly-black-not-mixed Michelle is making a lot of people lose their conservative AND liberal minds.

Good:)

I, too, believe this is half of the crux when it comes to Michelle Obama. The other half comes in what Chris Matthews described as ' all the bad stuff' associated with race that supposedly doesn't come when Barack comes to the table; you know, chattel slavery, the Middle Passage, the 3/5 of a human being thing, rapes, beatings, Jim Crow, legal oppression under the guise of Separate, but Equal'.

You know...all THAT 'bad stuff'.

Otherwise called AMERICAN HISTORY.

So, try as you might, it's a no go.

The President is Black. The First Lady is Black. The First Daughters are Black.

In case you haven't gotten the gist of this post: there's nothing wrong with being Black. What's wrong is that you'd actually think someone would want to divorce themselves of the Black Community, because YOUR definition of it is so narrow, so pathological, that it doesn't encompass the depth and breadth or beauty of the complexity of our humanity.

10 comments:

The Angry Independent said...

"When White folk claim bi-racial Pookie that just robbed the store and shot a couple of people, I'll know it's about this ' bi-racial' category. Until then, it's about divorcing Obama from the Black community."

Sorry Rikyrah... I don't buy that.

Barack Obama IS Biracial. There is not much to discuss on that point. Whether he is perceived as such by American society due to the one drop rule is a different issue. Someone else's perception can't change the biological fact.

I am not sure I can buy the fact that his daughters can't be considered bi-racial either. Why can't they be?

They are still part White. Although... by most measures (mostly measures that society prescribes) they are viewed as Black.

They still have a White Grandmother (although she has passed) and they have white family on that family tree...only one generation removed.

I'd say they are multi-racial.

But it's up to the Obama's (and the daughters themselves) to decide how they want to identify. Not anyone else.

Why are Black folks so paranoid about this? Obama has you all losing your minds :)... Get a Black Prez...or a Prez of Color and you don't want to share.

If they want to identify as multi-racial, it does not diminish their impact and their role as the first Black Family in the White House or the first Family of Color. They still take up the role of the Huxtables..... in fact, they may end up being more important than the Huxtables when it comes to changing perceptions. That role won't be any different because of the fact that President Barack Obama is biracial.

Black folks should take a deep breath and relax on this issue... because it is being overplayed IMO.

I bet Barack and Michelle laugh about this nonsense in private... that Black folks are stressing over this.

The Angry Independent said...

Her mother is Black, Her father is Mexican. SHE is bi-racial.
She will speak Spanish and English. She will grow up eating tamales and collard greens. She will learn how to make flan and sweet potato pie. She will grow up hearing tales of Mexico and the Jim Crow South. When she gets older, she will begin making the trips that her mother did to our family home in Mississippi, and go to the cemetary where her ancestors, beginning with her great-great-great grandfather, are buried. Her mother has already booked the room next year for homecoming at Tuskegee.


And how do you know this Rikyrah?
These are gross generalizations (at minimum). Which I try to avoid myself.

You are going off the cliff on this. :) Please take a deep breath.

abagond said...

Excellent post! I think it all comes down to what you said in the last paragraph: for too many people there is something wrong with being black. Why else all the word games?

J.R. LeMar said...

Co-sign the whole blog! Especially the comment that "The Angry Independent" quoted above. I made that very point recently in Hiedi Durrow's blog (Light-skinned-ed Girl), when debating why the media refers to Pres. Obama as the First Black President instead of the First Biracial President.

One woman tried to argue with me, asking why White people can't "claim" (her word) Pres. Obama, too? And I pointed that if he were a drug-dealer or a serial killer, then he would definitely be "Black," and the Biracial crowd wouldn't be going out of their way to correct them.

Then I said that you don't see Whites or Biracials rushing to claim Louis Farrakahn, either. And she goes off on how Farrakahn is a horrible man (which I agree, he is) and that's exactly my point!

If you're going to start declaring all Black people who have some non-Black blood in them (and I think most Black people in America do, even if they're unaware of the exact mix, you don't see many pure Africans looking like Will Smith, if ya know what I mean), then you can't just site the good successful ones, that make you proud. Fight just as hard to declare the Biracial bums, too.

rikyrah said...

AI,

the little girl is my great-niece. So, I guess I know how her parents are raising her.

rikyrah said...

If you're going to start declaring all Black people who have some non-Black blood in them (and I think most Black people in America do, even if they're unaware of the exact mix, you don't see many pure Africans looking like Will Smith, if ya know what I mean), then you can't just site the good successful ones, that make you proud. Fight just as hard to declare the Biracial bums, too.

if they're trying to claim Black folks as 'their own', then they need to pretty much claim the entire Black community, which, due to 'mixing' has some WHITE blood in them. How else can we have rainbows in our own FAMILIES without us being mixed with someone else.

They don't want to acknowledge that nearly the entire Black community is 'mixed', if their definition is having ' White ancestors'.

The Angry Independent said...

Didn't know... Didn't catch that one.

That's why I am reluctant to take you on.... because I never know what you have up your sleeve. lol

I should have known you had that part covered.

I still disagree with your overall point though. But love your spirit.

LorMarie said...

I'm going to have to agree with AI on the surface. Barack Obama is biracial if we really want to get down to the meet and potatoes. I just don't believe that he would have been where he is had he been a full-blooded black man. His biraciality made a difference whether or not that is a good thing.

I do believe it is a stretch to refer to Sasha and Malia as biracial. They may have some fairly recent white blood but once it gets to a certain percentage, does it really count? That is why I don't classify black Americans as multi-racial or even mixed. Why? I'm quite sure that there's a huge difference between my DNA and Halle Berry's. No need to call myself mixed.

Sai said...

He is Black....there I said it. Get real people. No black person is totally black. I am dark with "good" hair and all my life had people ask me "what are you?"

My momma is darker than me with straight hair down her back and she NEVER claimed to be anything but black.

I think this is political-correctness to the 10th power and it's whack!

Get over it people - and like one of the other readers posted if he commited a crime he would be listed as B.L.A.C.K. duh!

J-Bigg said...

He IS Bi-racial. I was born of a white mother and a black father and I don't consider myself either black or white. Despite what "one drop rule" or other ignorant theories people come up with I am BOTH black AND white. So, being that Barack has a white parent and black parent, he is BI-RACIAL!