Obama Makes It Official: He’s African-American

Obama Makes It Official: He’s African-American

The Huffington Post

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Political Analyst and Social Issues Commentator

President Obama unequivocally and unhesitatingly made it official: he’s African-American. That may sound silly and facile to say that but his checking the box “African-American” on his census form did two things. It made meaningless the incessant chatter of whether Obama should be called mixed race or African-American. It recognized the hard and unchanging reality that race relations and conflict in America are still framed in black and white. The one-drop rule in America renders anyone with even a trace of African ancestry in their genealogy as black. It’s a delusion that calling oneself mixed race, no matter how light complexioned they are, will not earn them a pass from the lash of racial persecution.

…A mere check of the biracial designation on his census form would not spare Obama from any of the routine petty racial harassments and annoyances — the subtle and outright forms of discrimination. The biracial box is a feel-good, paper designation that has no validity in the hard world of American race politics. The instant that Obama tossed his hat in the presidential ring in February 2007, and through his relentless, hyper pressurized presidential battles, the vile, venomous, racial pounding has been non-stop. The Joker Posters, the Confederate and Texas Lone Star flags, the racial taunts, digs, cracks, insults, and slurs, the ape and monkey depictions of him and First Lady Michelle Obama on tens of thousands of web sites is a horrid testament that even a president is not exempt from racial loathing, bi-racial or not…

…Even though Obama has never called himself anything but African-American, and now has made it official on the census form, the sideshow debate over whether Obama is the black president or the biracial president still creeps up. The debate is even more nonsensical since science has long since debunked the notion of a pure racial type. In America, race has never been a scientific or genealogical designation, but a political and social designation. Anyone with the faintest trace of African ancestry was and still is considered black and treated accordingly….

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