The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Moving Day

Boy, Barack had better have a barber on speed-dial. Like Vin, The Rock, or Will (or yours, truly) don't let that hair grow out, offering another visual clue to his ethnicity. That hind-brain is a tricky thing. See all of the white folks complaining that this half-African man is considered "black"? Why can't he be white? They want him, and while I've heard versions of this going on for decades, I've never, ever seen as much of it as now. It is, in a very real sense, people reaching out across a life-shattering divide, and trying to join hands. In the process, we're having some of the most honest discussions about race I've heard in my lifetime. Great.

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More than I can convey in words, I would love to be able to relax some of those muscles. This isn't healthy, not even a little.

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I have to go out to move Nicki out of her dorm in a few hours. She'll be home for the summer, and serving an internship at Strange Fruit Productions, an entertainment company we've been partnering with. A little bit of the rubber is about to meet the road. Daddy is nervous and proud.

13 comments:

Brian Dunbar said...

A little bit of the rubber is about to meet the road. Daddy is nervous and proud.

They will grow up, won't they? You want to hold their hands every .. step .. of the way but you _can't_.

Lynn said...

-- "See all of the white folks complaining that this half-African man is considered "black"? Why can't he be white? They want him..." --

Some of us white folks are deeply embarrassed by other white folks, by our history. We have this strong desire to make things right but a lot of the time we don't quite know how. It just seems logical that if a person is half of one and half of the other they shouldn't be considered more one than the other but the reality is that if a person looks black it won't matter to most people what his parents looked like.

Those of us white folks who are desperately hoping that Barak Obama will be our next president, for reasons that have nothing to do with race, will do what we can to get everyone to vote for him and if that means trying to convince a few of those people who would never vote for a black man that he's not all that black is that an entirely bad thing? (I know... it probably won't work anyway but fear of republicans can make you do crazy things.)

Pagan Topologist said...

Lynn, I tried to post a comment on your blog just now. The system does not work, for some reason. When I clicked "Submit Comment" I got a message to choose whether to open my file with a text editor or save it to disk.(?)

Kai Jones said...

The people I notice are claiming that Mr. Obama is not African-American, and they're not people who support his candidacy for the most part. They're asserting that he is falsely implying or claiming to be African-American, because the way that term is usually interpreted in the US, it means "descended from slaves brought to the US more than 100 years ago," not "one or both of my parents came from Africa."

Ethiopian Infidel said...

"See all of the white folks complaining that this half-African man is considered "black"? Why can't he be white? They want him..."

America does seem to be changing. As a bi-racial person, rarely before have I've been considered anything but simply Black..

Lynn said...

PT - Thanks. I don't get many comments so I didn't know. I see if I can figure it out but I don't really know a lot about how that stuff works.

Lynn said...

Oops. I'll see...

Brian Dunbar said...

I know... it probably won't work anyway but fear of republicans can make you do crazy things.

Not probably won't work - won't work. People aren't dumb and can generally tell when they're being fed a line.

About your comment issues - it looks like you're running WordPress - that's good because while I know squat about that I do know there are a whole lot of people running WP and who will be able to help you out in the WP forums.

When I comment I get a web server timeout page (I'm using Firefox). Maybe an issue with the authentication bits you have turned on not talking?

Marty S said...

lynn:I thought I would try posting on your site to see if I could get a clue to the problem, but the post went through fine.I use foxfire too so its not the browser.

On the political front, the supreme court, which I claim is now balanced to swing depending on the issue just handed the Bush administration its third loss on the issue of Gitmo detainees.

Marty S

Dan Moran said...

Marty and I agree on this point. And, since McCain and Obama will nominate ideologically indistinguishable candidates to replace the two liberal justices who are about to retire, it ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT MATTER which of them you vote for.

This, of course, translates to one fewer reason to vote for John McCain. Conservatives can safely stay home this cycle, particularly those living in swing states.

Steven Barnes said...

"if that means trying to convince a few of those people who would never vote for a black man that he's not all that black is that an entirely bad thing?"--

Lynn--it's not a bad thing at all! It's human. The irony is thick enough to cut, but it's also an incredibly positive sign in some interesting ways: as long as it doesn't create a class of "mixed" or "colored" that sits half-way between white and black in terms of social power and freedom.

Lynn said...

Yeah, people are so darned complicated. I guess that's why they're interesting.

sharleen higa said...

I read a CNN.com article touching artlessly on the subject of Obama's racial heritage. Honestly, I don't think I understand the question. Is Obama black? Absolutely. He's black because he considers himself black. Is he biracial? Obviously. His father was one race, his mother was another. Are these two mutually exclusive? Well... clearly not.

This is America: we have every right to make stupid decisions based on people's skin color, and we have every right to harbor hatred and bitterness against them. But we've got no right to look at a man and tell him that we know better than he does who he is. That's not just wrong, it's a little bit insane. Besides, if Obama were to call himself biracial, that wouldn't change the mind of one single voter who doesn't want a black man in the White House.

Hey, I didn't hear people complaining that Halle Berry wasn't really black when she won her Oscar. I wonder what that means?