Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama And Race

It turns out that Barack Obama is no more insightful or magical than the next Average Joe on the street when it comes to some things. Oh sure, he speaks better than most people, and that voice of his is commanding. He has a magnetic personality and charisma that makes many in his audience crave the next spoken word. But, as he has smoothly chosen words of eloquence and delivered them with mastery, he has also accidentally exposed himself as little more than one of the rest of us when it comes to the complexities of race, a man who struggles with his own genetic identity and that of those around him.

I do not question Obama's sincerity as a lot of other people have, but I do question his deep understanding of race relations. Today he referred to his grandmother as a "typical white person." That is from the common man lexicon, not from the mouth of a man destined to unite the races.

Barak Obama's story is remarkable for he is the product of a mixed marriage, a man who has undoubtedly suffered the prejudices of two races, and here he is, on the cusp of receiving the nomination of the Democrat Party for the Presidency. That, in and of itself makes this man very special. He is forging a path in the US that has never been traveled before and he has great courage for doing so.

And, if Barack Obama does capture his party's nomination and goes on to win in November, it might very well be good for race relations in this country, because it just might, once and for all, help to dispense with the "typical white person" canard and others like it, that seems to pop out of the mouths of too many people these days. As it turns out, a lot of typical white folks will vote for a black man--and millions already have.

If he does win this November's election I hope he succeeds in making his hopeful vision on race a reality. But, I think if he does so it will be because of his bravery and charisma and will have little to do with any unique perspective he has on race.

h/t Power Line

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