Tuesday, June 10, 2008

By that same logic, apples + oranges = apples.

Finally, CNN asks the question I've been asking around here for a good 18 months: How is Barack Obama "black"? You gotta wonder—PC sensitivities aside—what the hell took them so long?

And God-be-praised, could this mean that someone in major media will soon, or at least eventually, find the cojones to question the role black racism is apt to play in the Obama presidential run?

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P.S. No, I'm not cracking...yet. (Though I must admit I do like the sound of "SHAMblog Mondays." Or maybe "Sundays": more alliterative.) For now, we'll just put this down as a pertinent follow-up that I couldn't resist.

13 comments:

Mike Cane said...

Crrrrrrrrrack!

Yeah, I can tell the ones who are addicted.

Or are writers.

Same thing, eh?

Have they yet dug into his "white" side of the family and brought them out for scrutiny? Personally, I think the press is waiting for the inevitable moment when they turn on him.

Anonymous said...

Thank G-d

How else am I supposed to find out whats going on in America?

I think this is an excellent question which I have been grappling with for a while now. My Dad is Hungarian and my Mom is Romanian but I don't identify with either as I was born in Israel and raised in South Africa.

It seems to me that Obama is more American like his mother then Kenyan - if we go by culture and not colour.

Londoner

Anonymous said...

A little on the subject and a little off the subject, the Big O is doing the commencement address at Stanford University this weekend and I will be in attendance. My stepson is graduating so lucky me gets to hear the Big O. I bet she coos about Obama getting the nomination.

Steve Salerno said...

By all means report back, Anon. Love to hear what inspirational, I'm-living-proof-that-you-can-do-anything-if-you-try-hard-enough messages are shared.

Yekaterina said...

I agree that it's asinine to refer to Obama as a black man when he was raised by a white mother and biologically speaking is as white as he is black.

When will the media realize that calling him any color at all is about as intelligent sounding as calling him the brown-eyed candidate?

Steve Salerno said...

Y-kat, many black people would of course take umbrage at your analogy, arguing that to summarize the legacy of the black experience in America by making an offhand analogy to differences in eye color is to miss the point entirely. They would say, I'm sure, that people are not enslaved because of eye color; that still today, no one is refused a job or an apartment, or automatically assumed to be of inferior pedigree, because his eyes are brown (unless his skin also happens to be brown). I would agree that to be black in America is quite different from any other racial or ethnic heritage.

And yet we're left with the question to which I constantly return (and this is why I agree with the logical end point of your argument): How do we ever move beyond race if we hyper-analyze every single thing that happens in society based on race?

Mike Cane said...

OK, is it me, or did you recently change "posted by" to "(C) Copyright by" (sorry, can't do the frikkin Copyright symbol ...)?

If it's been there for some time, let me know so I can slap my head around for not noticing it.

Steve Salerno said...

Mike, yeah, funny story about that. But two things happened coincidentally that spurred that change. 1, an editor I know quite well at the Wall Street Journal told me they'd received a piece (an essay) from a novice writer that not only made reference to SHAM, but sounded very much like the material I write. I asked him to send me the manuscript, he did so, and lo and behold there were entire paragraphs virtually lifted intact from SHAMblog. That led me to 2, which is the realization that there's going to be all this archived material sitting here "for the taking," even with the blog suspended/inert, and I thought it would be a good idea to add a little reminder that whether the blog is active or not, this is, indeed, intellectual property.

Yekaterina said...

Judging a man by the color of his skin is as ignorant as judging a man by the color of his eyes.

How can anyone take umbrage with that?

Anyone who thinks I was summarizing the legacy of the black experience in America by making an offhand analogy to differences in eye color is free to feel offended. :-)

Steve Salerno said...

Y-kat, I agree with you! I'm just saying, I think the "black" line of argument goes something like so: For 300 years you enslaved us and hanged us and called us "nigger" and "boy." You locked us up in your prisons for piddling offenses and sent us to the electric chair on the flimsiest of evidence, just so you could stamp "solved" on the case file. You forced us to live in squalor and tried every-which-way to deny us the vote.

Now you say you're ready to have a truly colorblind society...and you expect us to just forgive and forget? Sorry, pal...

Anonymous said...

We, the posters, do not have the privilege of copyright here, do we. Whatever we write is ripe for the taking, isn't it?

Steve Salerno said...

Actually, it is my understanding of copyright law that whatever you write and submit for publication (even online) is automatically copyrighted in your name, unless the publication makes a special arrangement with you whereby you surrender your copyright to it. That last situation is the case, e.g., with most newspapers, which put a notice on their "Letters" page specifying that all submitted material "becomes the property of" that given newspaper, and the paper is free to do with it what they wish. A lot of newspapers these days have that policy with so-called "op-eds" as well: You write 'em, they own 'em.

In most other settings, however, you own the copyright to whatever finished material you produce in your own name the moment it is produced. As a practical matter, of course, you'd have a hard time proving damages with infringement of your copyright to a comment or a blurb, as you're not being paid for it (here on SHAMblog) in the first place.

Yekaterina said...

SHAMblog Sundays sounds good!

It's Sunday!