Archive for the ‘Barack Obama’ Category


This picture shows Barack Obama and Valerie Jarrett at Manny’s Coffee House in Chicago in November 2008, a week or so after his victory. Jarrett is one of his most trusted advisers and friends, someone who helped him to get his start in Chicago politics and who always tells it to him straight. Michelle Obama says she is like a  big sister.

I do not know what it is about this picture that gets to me. It has to do with the utter ordinariness of it – ordering lunch. It also has to do with Jarrett somehow. She made me feel like I was in the picture, if that at all makes any kind of sense.

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As busy as the president is he still finds time to take his wife out on a date to be just with her. They went to see the August Wilson play, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”. (Lincoln also took his wife to plays, as we know!)

It is also kind of cool to walk out of your house, get on a Marine helicopter and be flown to New York! When he was a boy of ten his mother saw no future for him in Indonesia and had him flown to America. For some reason that just came to my head.

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Barack Obama on April 7th 2009 greets American troops in Iraq at the end of his overseas trip.

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Malia Obama takes a picture of her father on the night of the inauguration.

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Barack Obama is black. He is not biracial, much less white.

Some say that in American society you are whatever you say you are. Like Tiger Woods calling himself Cablinasian. If only. But even from that point of view, Obama is still black: he has always called himself either “black” or “African American”, never biracial, never mixed.

Yes, he was brought up by the white side of his family, mostly by his grandparents who grew up in Kansas. Yes, he barely knew his black father from Kenya or any other black people while growing up. That is why Steve Sailer says he is a white man trying to act black – a wigger.

But what makes you black in America is not your upbringing but how you look.

So even during that supposedly wholesome white Kansan upbringing that he had, he had white coaches who passed him over for less able white players. He had few if any girlfriends because only black girls would date him and there were few of them at his private school in Hawaii.

When whites do not accept you because of how you look but blacks do, then you are black. Not just black but “black enough” in all the ways that truly matter.

So Obama is not just black but he is also black enough.

When neither whites nor blacks accept you – you are too black for the whites and too white for the blacks – then you become biracial. That was not Obama’s experience, so he is not biracial – except in the strict sense of the word, a sense that is useless when talking about black Americans since most are part white. Some are even mostly white by blood.

Some seem to think that having a white parent and a black parent is something new, something the 1960s brought in. Hardly. The mixing of the races may have been looked down on (and still is in many quarters), but it has been going on in America a long, long time, almost from the very beginning of the country. There are plenty of light-skinned blacks to prove it. And DNA tests on white Americans show that a tenth of them are mixed with black too.

But then why this urge to see Obama as biracial?

Is it because we are entering a new and better day when the colour line is going away, when the One Drop Rule is becoming something only found in history books? I wish.

Partly it is because biracial people, understandably, want to claim him as one of their own, but mainly it is because many white people do not want to admit we will now have a black president. It is easier for them to see him as biracial or mixed or half-white.

Anything but black.

Calling Obama biracial would not be progress: it would allow whites to hold on to their racist views about blacks. Thank God Michelle Obama will be the first lady.

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I saw this one on the Black Snob. It shows Barack and Michelle Obama leaving Spiaggia Restaurant in Chicago. For some reason it seems like such a cool picture to me. I think it has to do with how he seems so ordinary in this picture – a man taking his wife out – and yet knowing that he will be president.

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I saw this at the Black Snob:

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Remember this video, “Yes We Can”, the one where John Legend sang and Barack Obama spoke? Remember back in January 2008, way back then, before Super Tuesday when we thought Hillary Clinton would crush Obama like a bug? We all hoped and voted but never dreamed we would see this day.

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I love this picture. I saw it on Something Within. It shows Barack Obama with his ten-year-old daughter, Malia:

This picture was taken on July 4th 2008, the day Malia turned ten. They are at a Independence Day parade in Butte, Montana.

That book that Malia is reading, by the way, is “Outside Beauty” by Cynthia Kadohata. What Barack Obama is reading (not pictured) is “The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America” by Thurston Clarke (so says MSNBC).

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