Obama and the one-drop rule

You aren't qualified.
--Brian Billick

Noticed in the comments below we're debating whether Obama is actually "black" again. This seems like a monthly topic. It always amazes me when I see a scrum of white people claiming that some dude "isn't really black" or that "he talks white." Predictably this sort of logic comes from the same people who claim that such identity games are part of the problem with black youth. For the record these dubious accolades aren't just reserved to biracial blacks but is often awarded to any black who manages to hold a job, tie a Windsor knot and dont be tryin to talk like dis. But you must admit that it is, indeed, an incredible time to be alive--here we have a pill-shooting, Malcolm X-paraphrasing, dap-giving, dirt-off-the-shoulder-brushing, Omar-from-The-Wire loving dude from the South Side who "isn't really black." Postracial indeed.

Let me not strain this debate. Here's a simple way to think about this--let the dude be who he wants to be. I'm not biracial, and my only acquaintance with that experience is anecdotal. I would not endeavor to be so arrogant, rude and ignorant as to tell any biracial what they are. If Tiger Woods considers himself Cablinasian, so be it. What the fuck do I know about how he's lived? Ditto for Barack. If he considers himself a biracial black man, then that's the end of the debate for me. Furthermore, in that identity, he stands in an honorable tradition--Frederick Douglass was a biracial black man as was Booker T. Washington. Malcolm X's mother was biracial.

To white people who feel smart enough to assess the relative blackness quotient of black people, I say--Stop Now. No offense, but just on the strength of you having this dialogue, I'm certain you haven't the fucking faintest idea what you're talking about. To black people who feel that your years of living in your skin gives you the right to question another man's blackness, I say--Stop Yesterday. All indication seem to demonstrate that nothing intelligent is coming from our end either.

Why not give the man his respect. He is what he says he is. A black man with a white mother. Let's not act like he's the first.