Sometimes the questions that we ask are more important than finding answers. As the sometimes oversused saying goes (or a version of it): ‘It’s the road travelled that matters, not the destination’ (I would personally counter that the destination is also important, but that’s just me).
In any case, I found a great article regarding the entire Barack Obama-ethnicity debate that doesn’t answer the question, but that raises many other interesting ones that contribute to elevating the debate above the ‘Is he or isn’t he’ it seems to sometimes stall on.
What if Barack Obama was not Barack Obama, but Barry O’bama (or simply Barry O.), a tall, slim white haired white man with the same view points and charisma of Obama. Would there be a stir over his comments in San Francisco? Would his pastor have been vetted? Has scrutiny of a candidates Christian church happened in the last 30 years? Would the issue of his race or background (Irish in this case) even be an issue? Would he face issues with any voters of any ethnicity that say “I won’t vote for a white man?” Would anyone call him too white, or not white enough? Would the media discuss the “black vote”, the “black-brown divide”. Would there be an exit poll question about whether race mattered in people’s votes?
Would Geraldine Ferraro say Barry is only where he’s at because he’s a white male? Would Barry have to explain that while every US President in the history of the United States of America has been a white male, and every US Vice President in the history of the United States of America has been a white male, he is not privileged by his race? Would Jesse Jackson have been mentioned, or MLK vs. LBJ? Would anyone use the word “fairy tale”? Would he be called a kid or a boy? We already know how African Americans can strongly support white candidates, as they did for Bill Clinton’s Presidency, the “first black President”. So, gaining that loyally democratic vote would be very possible, while not being analyzed through racial lenses.
Read the rest of this interesting post here.