How Black Is BHO?
Episode 35741 of bloggingheads.tv is another edition of the two black guys, @JohnHMcWhorter and @GlennLoury. They had plenty to talk about. PG has been burned out on racial discussions, and kept turning it off and on. Finally, at the 43 minute mark, PG realized that it was just fifteen minutes to go. He might as well listen to the rest of the show.
At 46:11, there was something to listen to. Dr. McWhorter had been talking about the eulogy BHO gave at the funeral of Rev. Clementa Pickney. The message was set in the rhythyms of the black church. It was very well received.
BHO was raised by white people. He lived in Hawaii and Indonesia. BHO attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School. When BHO came to Chicago, and began a political career, it was suggested that he find a church. This church affiliation is essential to an identity as a black politician. The act of speaking, in a black church, in the manner of a black minister, is something that BHO learned as an adult.
Rachel Dolezal was discussed on the show. Here is a white woman, who presented herself as black. After a while, she was roundly criticized for doing so. It was said that she has not suffered the hardships, and oppression, that comes with being black. Therefore, this light skinned woman is the object of derision for claiming to be black.
BHO was raised by white people in Hawaii and Indonesia. Arguably, he has suffered little, if any, of the oppression that most black people face. He chose to attend a black church in part because he wanted a political base. And yet, this half white man with dark skin is routinely accepted as a black man. Racial labeling, like beauty, is skin deep.
Pictures are from The Library of Congress.