So is it a social construct after all?
0 comment Monday, September 1, 2014 |
Once again, it's a liberal who speaks politically incorrect truths about racial matters. Nader is not on our side but even a broken clock is right twice a day: Nader: Obama trying to 'talk white'
Nader said he is not impressed with Obama and that he does not see him campaigning often enough in low-income, predominantly minority communities where there is a "shocking" amount of economic exploitation.
"He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician," Nader said. "He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."
In the Free Republic discussion of this article, a commenter asks:
'How should Obama talk? Should he sound like an African-American? That makes no sense. He's 50% white, and the rest is a mix of his Arab and Kenya heritage.''
Another Freeper offers:
Uhhh....Ralph. He is white. He�s as much white as he is black.''
Another says:
Why are liberals so hung-up on race?'
Yet another bizarrely insists:
Obama is MORE white than black. Arab bloodlines are not considered black bloodlines.''
Another says:
While BO's father was from Kenya, his father's family was mainly Arabs. His father was only 12.5% African Negro and 87.5% Arab. (His father's birth certificate states he is Arab, not African Negro).
I'll leave it to you and others to sort this out as to legitimate sources, etc. One source is as good as the other. Pick your own pew. Since Obama is purportedly half-black and half-white, why does his "birth certificate" say "African". This is not 100% true.'
First, I've read the claims of his being mostly of 'Arab' ancestry on his paternal side. His father's appearance is 100 percent African as far as I can see; if there is any 'Arab' ancestry it must be so remote and so diluted as to be invisible. So I put no stock in that claim, although the Freepers seem willing to believe it because their only apparent objection to Obama is that he is a crypto-Moslem (and he may well be) who is partly Arab.
But the more baffling question for me is this: there seems to be a new (to me) definition of 'White.' Since so many on the 'right' are genuinely upset that Obama does not prefer his White ancestry, it appears that there is some newly-devised definition of White wherein anybody with half-White ancestry is 'White'. This was never the historic definition of White anywhere that I know of. So what is up with this new understanding of racial categories? Are conservatives finally surrendering to the 'race is a social construct' dogma? It could be interpreted that way. Or do conservatives think that when someone is half-and-half, one can pick a race? If so, the definition of White will be substantially changed.
This whole issue seems to be a curiously emotional one for many 'conservatives'. I've commented here before about how I've read so many rather hurt comments from Whites asking why Obama won't claim his White ancestry. They truly do seem genuinely wounded by this; they say things like 'he was raised by his White grandparents and grew up in White culture but he won't call himself White.'
Whence the hurt feelings here? I don't get it. I can see how the White relatives who raised him might feel hurt and rejected, but why should random White people be so emotionally invested in this?
I wonder if many people, 'conservatives' as well as liberals, truly crave acceptance by blacks and other minorities (but primarily blacks). Is this just one more manifestation of the White guilt Nader alludes to? Do we think that our Original Sin might be washed away by Obama's embrace of his White ancestry? Would that be the ultimate absolution White liberals (and 'conservatives') are yearning for?
If so, I would find that more understandable, though servile, and less troubling in a way than the idea that we are suddenly ready to re-define racial categories or to proclaim that race is, after all, a social construct, or whatever we decide it is.
Does a black man become White by 'talking White' as Nader says, or does reading ''lit fic novels'' make a black man White, as Steve Sailer implies here? I thought Sailer believed that race is real. Maybe I've misunderstood him all along.
...white Democrats haven't seemed to like black candidates much. They've looked down upon non-racialist pragmatic black politicians like former LA mayor Tom Bradley as Uncle Toms, yet also looked down upon racialist politicians popular with blacks like Rev. Jesse and Rev. Al as buffoons. So, Obama is the unexpected answer to their fantasies. A black candidate who has worked hard to establish a career for himself as a South Side racialist, but who is really a lit fic novel reading white man in a semi-black skin.''
Shades of 'Stuff White People Like.' Is being White a matter of having 'White' cultural preferences, like the caricatured, aracial 'Whites' of the SWPL blog? There are plenty of Whites who are not 'lit fic novel reading' types; where do they fit in?
There have always been a few blacks, regardless of whether they have White ancestry, who speak standard American English, have conservative ideas, or work in predominantly White professions or businesses. Are they then automatically Whites?
A prominent example would be Oprah. She 'talks white', so much so that she was on the receiving end of many jokes by some stand-up comics back in the early days of her career, before she became some kind of saint. She is culturally more White than black, it seems. She may claim some non-African ancestry, probably American Indian like 90 percent of blacks do. But does anybody say she is anything other than black?
To me, the old commonsense rule still applies. If someone looks black, they are black, even though they may have White genes. African genes are outwardly dominant. No one with one White parent and one black parent looks White. In the past anyone who suggested Obama might justifiably call himself White would be viewed askance, to put it mildly.
So what is going on with this silly-putty view of racial identity?
Somewhat pertinent is this post which discusses American blacks' ancestry:
Studies have repeatedly shown American blacks average ~20% European admixture, while white Americans show minimal if any non-European admixture. Gene flow was overwhelmingly one way.
It is no surprise that among American blacks "self-report of a high degree of African ancestry in a three-generation family tree did not accurately predict degree of African ancestry". The overwhelming majority of American blacks have "African" (black) parents and grandparents. No doubt most of Aframs' European genes entered the Afram gene pool more than 3 generation ago. Aframs without recent white ancestors may range from light-skinned to coal-black. We see no such variations in the phenotypes of white Americans.''
That first sentence I quoted disposes of one of the common myths or 'arguments' of the social construct devotees: the claim that 'many White Americans have African blood, so there is no true White American.'
I've heard that said or seen it claimed in many internet discussions.
But the racial myths and half-truths will go on as long as they serve the purpose of blurring all distinctions.

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