Discussion » Nonsense » Is Barack Obama black?

  • Vincent AKA 文森特
    Vincent AKA 文森特 wrote:
    The media/folks keep mentioning that Barack Obama is a black man. I’m interested in understanding and explaining why Barack Obama is labeled as a black man. Besides the fact that race is very relative and a socially constructed labeling mechanism we can still analyze it as a labeling mechanism and accept that it is effective as such.
    First point i should clear up is that Barack Obama was born of a black father, from Kenya, and a white mother, from Kansas. So why is he considered black and not white? I’ve seen people who are considered to be white with darker skin and darker hair than Barack Obama. Is it his facial features? That seems pretty superficial. To me it goes much deeper than that.
    American society has a very hegemonic conception of race and that conception is inherently racist against those of black origin. Back in the day if you were as little as 1/32 black you had to register as such in certain states in the US. The purpose of this style of labeling was the belief that if you had any black blood in you, you were tainted, you were still black. In this way “blackness” is akin to dirtiness. If something is only a little bit dirty, it’s still dirty; if something is a little bit clean that doesn’t make it clean. Just like how Barack Obama is black and not white. If you were one of millions who automatically bought into this system of labeling it doesn’t make you racist necessarily, it just makes you part of racist society.

    Eagerly awaiting your thoughts and comments :)
  • John
    John wrote:
    I guess...
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Sorry to ask ... but why does it matter?
  • Hans Christian Eriksson
  • Erik Aleksander Aas
    Uprightly to me it really does not matter whether Obama is black or white. To me the color of ones skin makes as much difference as the color of ones eyes.
    Just surmised that it could merely be an interesting topic of discussion as opposed to repetitive deliberations on the forum about "penis size", "how many times i got laid". "what you think after sex", "Chinese women are whack" and all other futile topics of conversation!
    If productive examination of today's societal attitudes and conventions is not your cup of tea, good riddance!
    Not all WLIB users are complete morons (I hope).

  • Erik Aleksander Aas
    (Previous response directed towards 叮噹叔叔) - Sorry to answer...
  • Candy Q
    Candy Q wrote:
    I'm racist against all kinds of racists!
    Obama is definitely not withe, not black either, he's a mix, wait a second, does it make him yellow? haha. got it, he's korean....LOL.
  • Jiayu Dong
    Jiayu Dong wrote:
    barrack was raised in a white cultural family as a kid.....he had white education and white ppl thoughts even thought he appeared to be a black guy. i dont really understand the biological knowledge about his either blood or gene. all i know is he represents the willingness of majority americans and how his skin color is doesnt matter to many ppl actually
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    Hahahaha ... that's an interesting thought ... so what's all this fuzz (or fuss?) him being the first black preseident when in fact he might just be another Nixon or Reagan or Bush or Clinton?
  • Jochen
    Jochen wrote:
  • Mathew Abisai
    Mathew Abisai wrote:
    Vincent...good Question...Never really got time to think about this, but i thought its the media plus all racists and the anti-obamas..labelling him as black. but somehow i think its emphasized more to show the support for a black president, so that in the future if they have someone who is pure black and as intellectual as obama then we will not have problems.....OR probably the reason they decided to settle in with him despite of his capability as president is the fact that the people are looking at him as a white person yet being labelled as a black...

    SHIT...i hope u guys really get what i am trying to say
  • A豆腐
    A豆腐 wrote:
    I don´t know, i´m not racist
    but i think that if we ask this question to one racist (for example belong to KKK or NRA), then this person will say -yes, he is black- (althought, maybe also this person can say that he is a mix, cause for a racist mind this is always worst than be black, yellow or white). So, yes for racist mind (always thinking in terms of races), Obama has the enough melanin in his skin for be consider a black skin.
  • Aina Berge
    Aina Berge wrote:
  • ****
    **** wrote:
  • anja hånes sætre
    It's a good question, even if it is somewhat irrelevant to any of our daily lives.
    Whenever you have the answer please let me know...however you seem to kind of understand the residual nature of racism.
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Is an albino from Africa still black?
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Race is socially constructed and genes count for exactly jack and shit. What's important is how he self-identifies--dude says he's black, so I guess he's black. But Obama's upbringing was radically different from most African Americans. There are some radical black nationalist types who might say he had the luxury of choosing which side of his heritage to embrace.

    The face-palmingly stupidest thing about having Barry as president is how all the rabid right-wing assholes scramble to call him a nigger without actually saying "nigger". Instead he's a socialist, Muslim, or radical--all labels of Otherness, to say "this guy is not one of us."

    Personally I think the guy is a pawn for the bankers. Black, white, brown, yellow, red, the only color that really matters is green. Fuck. I liked him better as a radical socialist.
  • Erik Aleksander Aas
    @Alban Raysse; Bro, your level of imprudence amazes me!

    @Jon Gu; If you understood the angle of my question, even just vaguely, you'd realize that your question is painstakingly irrelevant!
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    Hehe, Candy, I cannot stop laughing:D
    BO is not black, he's err...brown...and, as long as there is certain political advantage to be black, he is black, and he has to be black.
  • Shane
    Shane wrote:
    Lol jon you got me searching albino african on google right now.
  • Shane
    Shane wrote:
    Wow.... stumbled across this gem while looking at pictures.

  • Kodi
    Kodi wrote:
    I am an Albino African. Barrack has to be black because portraying him as black serves the purpose of letting the United States seem like a nation who has achieved universal suffrage.

    I think Obama looks like an African man. if you look at me I look like a Caucasian man, however I am a mix of Italian, French, Cherokee, and Southern Louisiana Cajun mumbo jumbo. I tend to think of my Cherokee side as my proudest attribute.

    Some people say Obama is not black in order to portray him as a fake and not worthy of being trusted by the black population in the United States, moreover he is portrayed as black in order to create a new status quo in the United States and also lull minorities into a state of bliss and make them think that anybody can really be president. However, how we view him is only our interpretation. Without all the symbolism that his race creates in the minds of people I would like to know what the true meaning of his presidency will be.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Vincent, I'm pretty sure you answered your own question.
    In the states, anyone who's partially of black African descent is considered black. Asides from racist reasons of trying to label blacks as "others", I think this may well be because a lot (most?) of black Americans are of mixed blood, so saying "mixed" is superfluous.

    I'm fairly ignorant and haven't done any research into the topic, but most of the black Americans are the descendants of African slaves, and I assume that the children between those slaves and the slave masters who raped them were treated as black slaves, rather than being raised as the children of the slave masters. Thus sets the precedent that everyone everyone who's "mixed" would still be considered "socially black".

    Interesting thing about Obama is that he wasn't raised by someone who was considered "socially black", as most black or mixed black Americans are. As to how this aspect affected him growing up though, I would guess not much, as you are treated by society as however they see you, and your personality is shaped by those social experiences.

    I should add the disclaimer that this is not intended to offend or promote any racist ideas, and I welcome corrections to any factual inaccuracies. Pretty much everyone is "mixed blood", and race is mostly a social construct.

    "American society has a very hegemonic conception of race and that conception is inherently racist against those of black origin. Back in the day if you were as little as 1/32 black you had to register as such in certain states in the US."
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    "he is portrayed as black in order to create a new status quo in the United States and also lull minorities into a state of bliss and make them think that anybody can really be president"

    what a point of view! that's why I think maybe BO is a good guy, however, he's still just a "meat puppet". It's quit a common and intrinsic fault of all government/ruling class that no matter what kind of way they use, their ultimate goal/intention is to fool most of the peoples. Some used communism as their approach in the past, some uses awkward political propaganda now, and some other use wiser way like "XXX dream", "XXX accomplishment", "universal truth"...oh, "universal truth", how can a politician uses such a sacred word again and again while the heated debate of concepts like "utilitarianism", "Kantian" and etc is far to over? Politics need not rigorous academical conclusions or opinions, what they do is to find a best way to fool its people. No matter what kind of way they use, they are basically the same: ruling class is ruling class, unless the peoples really rule the country--there is none until now in the world.

    I'm quit sorry I said to much beside the point...This post just focuses on social attitude towards underlying milder racial prejudice right?
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Holy fuck Shane that's ridiculous! haha albino african juice for $2000 wowwwww

    I disagree that it's irrelevant though. Think about it... you're questioning the rationale for labeling a guy as "black." What is it? Skin color? Obviously that's dominant factor since well shit, black people are black, right? Last I checked, everyone still bleeds red, it's just the skin color that's different. And science/genetics supports the idea that humans are all just one race and that previous ideas about the "white/asian/black's" as a race is inaccurate. So you take a guy of African descent and upbringing but you remove his pigmentation. Do you think people would still label him as "black?" Or in that case would just be "African?"

    On the other hand, if people call Obama black, but an albino guy an "African," what does it prove? That black is just a label people use for outward skin color and appearance? We know that's not true, there are people even lighter colored than Obama who are still "black."

    On another note... I once saw this news report... the reporter was so concerned about being PC and not saying "black" that he was calling black French people "African-AMERICANS!"
  • A豆腐
    A豆腐 wrote:
    Should be the Obama´s character like the characters of Mr. T in Rocky III or Christopher Tucker in Rush Hour (the two most common ways of show the persons with black skin in the hollywood movies) for be consider ¨black man¨?

    Can you imagine Obama talking like Mr. T????

    I have reached to be president of USA fighting alone, training hard, I don´t need nobody, Shut up McCaine !! I will kick your ass !!! I´m Obama !!! Shut up fool!!!!!

    It makes you have a black, white or yellow skin the pigmentation of your skin, not imitate a fucking stereotype. Melanin in our bodies does not convey any character.

    If I close my eyes and listen talk one person, and i can not guess if this person have a determinated colour of skin, i have in front of me a real person, deep and complex, cured of all racism.
    If I close my eyes and listen talk one person, and I can guess the colour of the skin (for example Mr.T), then I have in front of me a stereotype (thinking all fucking day in colours instead persons)
  • Sofia
    Sofia wrote:
    To me,the skin color is next to nothing, i never waste my time sorting people by their colors
    All born as human beings, we only differ from animals and "superbeings",&.&
    anyway, nowadays, pets are even treated as previous babies, why not a human being

    I didn't care much abt American politics, so originally Obama and Bush to me are the same. I'll label them after i go deeper into US politics and find out whose policies really work better, wait, haha

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