So, what color IS Obama?

How he identifies or defines himself is HIS decision and HIS business - no one else's. But in general, the world sees him as a Black man, not this "biracial" business, so I don't think it is that crazy to call himself Black. And not all people of mixed race are conflicted or have issues - that's rather insulting to assume.
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Brownish. Seriously tho, I like that Obama honors both sides of who he is, but it's clear that he identifies as a black man because that is how the world sees him. He's not wrong to do it. He wouldn't be wrong to identify as biracial either. How he wants to identify is his business. Instead of arguing about it, maybe we should shut up and accept what he says about that particular thing, because as far as that is concerned, he has the final say on it.

ETA: And by the way, OP, maybe you should review why this "bothers" you so much. This has nothing, NOTHING, to do with how good of a president he will be. Get over this race nonsense and get to the heart of the matter.

Unless this race issue IS the heart of the matter for you.
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Last edited by confusedmaiden; 07-21-2008 at 11:13 AM.
I don't care if the next president is purple. I thought my question was a fairly simple one...maybe I didn't phrase it correctly. That's possible.

The question was posed to get a reasoned response from the community here. I've read/heard a lot of questions and discussions on it and I apparently made the mistake of thinking that I could ask that question here and not have everyone's hackles raise over it...I've read blogs in various communities online and have read a wide variety of responses.

Guess that I won't make that mistake again.
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He looks like the color of an American President to me.
Originally Posted by Suburbanbushbabe
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The question was posed to get a reasoned response from the community here. I've read/heard a lot of questions and discussions on it and I apparently made the mistake of thinking that I could ask that question here and not have everyone's hackles raise over it...I've read blogs in various communities online and have read a wide variety of responses.

Guess that I won't make that mistake again.
Originally Posted by susancnw

Did our responses differ from those you've gotten on other blogs? Did the other blogs explain that he HAD to choose according to the U.S. Census bureau? I can't imagine what other comments there could be. He's biracial, calls himself African American because that's what he is and that's what he looks like. How many different explanations can there be?

Another day, I'd love to know why, if you've seen the topic discussed other places and gotten reasoned responses, why it bothered you?

Nicole Ritchie is biracial but identifies as White. Tiger Woods is biracial but identifies as Caulablasian (sp?). Halle Berry is biracial but identifies as Black. None of their choices should bother any of us.
How he identifies or defines himself is HIS decision and HIS business - no one else's. But in general, the world sees him as a Black man, not this "biracial" business, so I don't think it is that crazy to call himself Black. And not all people of mixed race are conflicted or have issues - that's rather insulting to assume.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I'm curious how it's insulting to assume that biracial people are conflicted/have issues. Even if the person doesn't let it get to him, he often has to go through a lot of prejudice from both sides. Case and point: white people call Obama black, but then there are black people who say Obama isn't "black enough" for them. I would think that kind of exclusionary torture that people put biracial people through must have some kind of detrimental effect on a person's outlook.

I'm not an Obama supporter, but I feel sorry for him that both sides aren't doing him any favors. He's both black and white and should be accepted into both circles.
Are you serious?

This has been bothering me for a while.

He's not black, he is biracial. His mother is a white American, his father is a black Kenyan. Why does this make him black? He had a middle class white upbringing and, according to his own autobiography, he didn't attempt to explore his 'blackness' until he was in his late teens and afterwards. (seriously paraphrasing). He is married to a black woman, and probably involved in her family also. Great.

I've read articles about him in UK papers and they refer to him as biracial. Most papers around the world do.

So, why is he 'black'?
Originally Posted by susancnw
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Didn't know that...I've not filled out the race or ethnic part since it became optional. Don't see why it matters in most situations.
Originally Posted by susancnw

So if it doesn't matter, why has it been 'bothering' you for some time which race he says he is?

Why mention if he's taupe or beige or gray (as one poster on another board said) at all?

What color was Reagan and did that enter into any political discussions in 1976 or 1980?
Originally Posted by Myradella3
Yeah, I was wondering the same thing....
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She doesn't respond if she's challenged to support a comment. I think she thinks we're attacking her or her values to ask why. I don't think I'm doing that but it appears that that's the case.
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he looks black. he identifies with black. i call him black.

though i agree, dark beige seems more accurate a hue.

i respect that people like to include all of their racial make-ups in how they describe themselves. but if at face value, you don't appear to be anything other than a prodimant race, that's the race i'll be thinking of when i see you.

i was recently watching a documentary about being black in america and saw a clip about a black woman, her white husband, and their biracial son. now, their son at face value did not look remotely black to me. he didn't look like a light skinned black person. he looked mediterranean/greek, from hair to facial features. i didn't see mama in any part of his face. and if most people passed him on the street, i'd imagine that they'd think he was a foreigner, as he also didn't have a "white" look to his face either.
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She doesn't respond if she's challenged to support a comment. I think she thinks we're attacking her or her values to ask why. I don't think I'm doing that but it appears that that's the case.
Originally Posted by Myradella3
I haven't been back here for a while...not avoiding the issue. I am honestly trying to figure out why it seemed to matter to people. Race has nothing to do with it for me...
My son wears combat boots (and a parachute).
The older I get, the less patience I have with cleverness. Thomas Sowell.
Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Benjamin Franklin.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain.



How he identifies or defines himself is HIS decision and HIS business - no one else's. But in general, the world sees him as a Black man, not this "biracial" business, so I don't think it is that crazy to call himself Black. And not all people of mixed race are conflicted or have issues - that's rather insulting to assume.
Originally Posted by Amneris
I'm curious how it's insulting to assume that biracial people are conflicted/have issues. Even if the person doesn't let it get to him, he often has to go through a lot of prejudice from both sides. Case and point: white people call Obama black, but then there are black people who say Obama isn't "black enough" for them. I would think that kind of exclusionary torture that people put biracial people through must have some kind of detrimental effect on a person's outlook.

I'm not an Obama supporter, but I feel sorry for him that both sides aren't doing him any favors. He's both black and white and should be accepted into both circles.
Originally Posted by AngularScience
It's insulting because it implies that people of mixed race are more "messed up" than those who are not as obviously or identifiably mixed race. What you described happens to lots of people - not just mixed race people are called "not Black enough" or not accepted by whites. And truthfully, most Black people in the Americas are mixed and can look any kind of way - there's no magic look for "biracial" or mixed people. I think the "torture" you described happens for all, or most, Black people what with shadism, racism, post-colonialism, etc. Those of us who are mixed don't have any special claim on that.

Also, Obama has the right to define himself and I find it insulting when people TELL him or anyone else that he is "both Black and white' or "biracial" or whatever. Yes, he has African and European ancestry, but HE has the right to say whether or not he considers himself Black, white, both, neither.... some people seem to have this utopian but strangely rigid view that if someone has a Black parent and a white parent, they MUST be this "biracial" poster child who is both races, gets crap from both races, has the ability to be, or should be, "accepted" by both races, has the best of both races, identifies equally as both races.... and it gets tiring to me because there are a variety of possibilities for that person's identity, and identity can be fluid and/or take on multiple identities, so why try to pin someone in a "biracial" box?
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











She doesn't respond if she's challenged to support a comment. I think she thinks we're attacking her or her values to ask why. I don't think I'm doing that but it appears that that's the case.
Originally Posted by Myradella3
I haven't been back here for a while...not avoiding the issue. I am honestly trying to figure out why it seemed to matter to people. Race has nothing to do with it for me...
Originally Posted by susancnw
Here and the other sites where it was discussed - did you get your answer? Or are you still bothered by the question? I'm personally still trying to figure our electricity. I don't stay awake at nights but I just don't understand it.
Obama is a very pretty brown color. I think he would be identified as black if someone had to pick one color to describe him. I know my ancestry is mixed...I might look white, but I have native american in me...should I get confused too? I am me. Obama is himself. Most of us are "mixed." Nothing wrong with that.
I'm pale white with brown eyes...my mom has dark brown eyes and dark brown hair (gray now). She's always considered herself "white," but she has many Native American features. Should it even be an issue?
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i don't think obama said he was black. he's always said he was biracial. i think society groups him as black and black americans embrace and accept him.
perhaps the question should be asked why doesn't white america embrace him as one of them?
black americans are products of slavery and have lived in this country for hundreds of years. his black ancestry is directly from africa. culturally he shares very little with black americans.
he has been raised by his white family members and didn't even "get" black people as he was growing up.
it's kind of absurd how he's been painted as this black radical just because he has black features and a black wife.
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i don't think obama said he was black. he's always said he was biracial. i think society groups him as black and black americans embrace and accept him.
perhaps the question should be asked why doesn't white america embrace him as one of them?
black americans are products of slavery and have lived in this country for hundreds of years. his black ancestry is directly from africa. culturally he shares very little with black americans.
he has been raised by his white family members and didn't even "get" black people as he was growing up.
it's kind of absurd how he's been painted as this black radical just because he has black features and a black wife.
Originally Posted by frau
if he didn't grow up participating in his father's african heritage and culture, then he is as detached from his african roots as the majority of black americans are.

and a reason why many/most white people may not accept him as being partly one of them is because, at face value, he doesn't even look biracial (at least, not to me). he looks like a black man. and he's married to a darker-skinned black women, and they have two medium-dark skinned children.

i think if obama looked more like this guy, how white people personally identified with him could be different. this is totally conjecture, of course, because i've never ever asked a white person how they identify with people who are half black half white.

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it's kind of absurd how he's been painted as this black radical just because he has black features and a black wife.
Originally Posted by frau
Don't forget, he was a community organizer!


What amazes me is that he gets the finger pointing for being a black radical one day, and the finger pointing for being elitist another. From the same idiots.
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he looks black. he identifies with black. i call him black.

though i agree, dark beige seems more accurate a hue.

i respect that people like to include all of their racial make-ups in how they describe themselves. but if at face value, you don't appear to be anything other than a prodimant race, that's the race i'll be thinking of when i see you.

i was recently watching a documentary about being black in america and saw a clip about a black woman, her white husband, and their biracial son. now, their son at face value did not look remotely black to me. he didn't look like a light skinned black person. he looked mediterranean/greek, from hair to facial features. i didn't see mama in any part of his face. and if most people passed him on the street, i'd imagine that they'd think he was a foreigner, as he also didn't have a "white" look to his face either.
Originally Posted by rainshower
Genes are funny things. I've seen some biracial (1/2 black/1/2 white) people that are similar to Obama in color and featurewise. I've seen some that look less black than I do as a "quadroon." I've seen many quads that look obviously black, some look very Caucasion, like Victoria Rowell's daughter. I've been told I don't know how many times that I look Greek. I have no idea what Greeks look like. ME, I guess! Black people almost always know that I have black in me. I've gone to identifying as black partly for that reason.
Originally Posted by rainshower
he looks black too according to american standards. the only person with black/african heritage that gets embraced by whites are the ones that don't look black at all; wentworth miller or mariah carey.
Originally Posted by rainshower
he looks black too according to american standards. the only person with black/african heritage that gets embraced by whites are the ones that don't look black at all; wentworth miller or mariah carey.
Originally Posted by frau
i agree. i think mariah carey looks too ethnic (not necessarily black) to have whites identify with her. but i toally agree on wentworth. that beautiful beautiful man...

but im not white so i have no clue.

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