Barack Obama is a White Man

Barack Obama is a White Man

The Language Guy

Michael Geis
, Professor Emeritus in Linguistics
Ohio State University

I don’t get it. Obama is seen as a Black man. Why not see him as a White man. He is, if I understand his parentage, 50% White and 50% Black. Moreover, he went to Harvard. This constitutes unimpeachable evidence (sort of) that Obama is a White man. Tiger Woods is 50% Black and 50% Thai. How in hell does that make him into a Black man. His father raised him, it seems, to be White in that he taught him a mostly White sport and sent him to mostly White Stanford University (the last is a guess). I suspect that Tiger has more White friends than Black ones. I hereby claim him as a White man.

Back when I was a full time faculty remember I looked over a class I was about to teach Sociolinguistics for the first time and remarked that it was too bad there were no African Americans in the class since we would be talking about issues of interest to them. A girl right in front of me said, “What makes you think that there aren’t any Blacks in this room?” I took a good look at her essentially White freckled face and her red hair and said, on observing that her hair was “kinky” in the way the hair of Blacks can be and replied, “If you say so.” The next class two relatively clear cases of Black students showed up.

Since that “error” on my part, I have observed all manner of athletes on TV whose race I find it impossible to tell. They could be very light skinned “Black” people or White people. Certainly their skin color is often lighter than that of certain so-called “White” people from Europe…

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