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President Barack Obama (black father, white mother) tells the census he’s black

Barack Obama, he of the absentee black father and the white mother (and raised by white grandparents), has told the U.S. Census that he’s black.

From the Saturday (a day things are buried) New York Times:

Asked to Declare His Race, Obama Checks ‘Black’
By SAM ROBERTS and PETER BAKER
Published: April 2, 2010
It is official: Barack Obama is the nation’s first black president.

A White House spokesman confirmed that Mr. Obama, the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas, checked African-American on the 2010 census questionnaire.

The president, who was born in Hawaii and raised there and in Indonesia, had more than a dozen options in responding to Question 9, about race. He chose “Black, African Am., or Negro.” (The anachronistic “Negro” was retained on the 2010 form because the Census Bureau believes that some older blacks still refer to themselves that way.)

Mr. Obama could have checked white, checked both black and white, or checked the last category on the form, “some other race,” which he would then have been asked to identify in writing.

There is no category specifically for mixed race or biracial.

So Barack Obama could have checked both “white” and “black” boxes, but chose not to check “white”? Maybe he can plead ignorance to the Census rules? Maybe he forgot his mother was white?

By most accounts, Barack Obama is more white than black. Jewish law considers the mother’s religion for the religion of the child. Obama barely knew his father and was raised by whites.

But Obama chooses to be black AND ONLY BLACK.

Can’t say that I’m surprised.

FWIW, my parents were Jewish and my wife’s parents are from the Dominican Republic. My wife was on the phone with a census person for a long time, asking what to check for our kids, without getting a clear answer.

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