Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Days of Miracles Are Not Over

Well, after a string of unsuccessful tries, the Bee finally printed another one of my letters......

See past skin color

Perhaps one thing that the Barack Obama presidency will do is help us confront our attitudes about what "being black" means in a post-slavery America. The Bee and other papers have described President-elect Obama as the "nation's first black president." We know though that Obama is the son of a white woman and a black man.
How do we make the decision to call Obama black, rather than white? If he had one black grandparent and three white ones would he still be black? What if only one out of eight great-grandparents was black? Where do we draw the line on blackness?
Tiger Woods is one-fourth African-American, and yet he is consistently referred to as "Tiger Woods, that great black golfer."
Regardless of what else the Obama presidency will accomplish, if it can help us to start seeing past skin color as a way of categorizing each other, it will be transformative beyond belief.

Jeffrey W. Eisinger


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