Black and White

Is anyone else as irritated as I am by the constant description of Barack Obama as “black”? He has a white mother and a black father, which by my calculations makes him half white and half black. So it’s just as true to describe him a white man as a black man. I can’t help sensing a racist presupposition: just to be a bit black is already to be demoted, as if white purity has been somehow tainted. Of course, it’s a good thing that a partially black man can be within a hair of achieving the White House, and it’s worth pointing this out in descriptions of him; but in a post-racist society it would be misleading to describe him simply as “black”. I really don’t see him as one or the other, just as a combination–preciselly as white as he is black. So let’s look forward to the next president of the USA as a “blite” man or a “whack” man.

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