Random thoughts from an often warped mind…
A friend asked me why McCain didn’t fare better in Tuesday’s election. I told him, “McCain was like an injured AA baseball player competing against a thoroughbred horse in a race officiated by Russian judges.” (I enjoy mixing as many sports metaphors into a single sentence as possible). This sentence encapsulates the three principles behind McCain’s loss: 1) a less than ideal GOP standard bearer; 2) an eloquent competitor who ran a very disciplined race; and 3) a supportive mainstream media
“Words mean things,” as Rush Limbaugh often states. I agree, and as such, cringe when I hear people use “hyphenated-American” phrases to describe different racial backgrounds. I’m not a European-American, I’m simply an American. We shouldnt’ be a country of Mexican-Americans, Filipino-Americans, or Caribbean-Americans. However, I must admit, it is entirely accurate to describe our new President as “African-American” because he technically fits the pure definition of the phrase (unlike most blacks in the U.S. who describe themselves as African-American). For Barack’s father was indeed African and his mother American. In addition, it is entirely inaccurate to describe our bi-racial President as “black.” Words mean things.
Is Obama’s election truly the momentous historical moment portrayed by so many? Perhaps. However it doesn’t reflect a society which has “moved beyond race” as a substantive factor in politics. Honestly, does anyone believe he would have been nominated, much less elected, if he weren’t bi-racial? If Obama were Caucasian, he wouldn’t have come close to being nominated. We will not move forward as a society on racial issues until we reach the point where candidates are nominated and elected based on their substance and not their race.