An individual's responses to census questions are confidential, but one of President Obama's answers on the 10-question form adds more fodder to the ongoing conversation about how America sees itself.
After media inquiries, the White House confirmed that Obama checked only the racial box that says: "Black, African Am., or Negro," the Associated Press reported.
Obama could have checked more than one racial box, given that his father was an African from Kenya and his mother was a white woman from Kansas. He could have checked "white" as well, or even "some other race" and written in "multiracial."
Yea, he could have. So what?
If he self-identifies as primarily black, who am I to argue with him? Hell, as far as I'm concerned, he can self-identify as Eskimo and it doesn't make a damn bit of difference.
Technically, he may be multiracial. So am I, if you go back far enough (NatGeo has it about 50,000 years, based on deep analysis of my DNA). My ancestors stalked game on the plains of Africa, just like nearly everyone else on this rotten hellhole of a planet that we've managed to screw beyond belief.
But he's in an unique position of being able to legitimately choose what identity he wants. 50-50. Half African American, half Caucasian.
In the old days, under any number of laws on the books in any number of states, this would automatically classify him as "Negro" (or worse). That was the default, as his blood wasn't pure enough to be white.
We still see remnants of that discrimination, albeit uncodified, in society at large.
Ask yourself this: which community has been more welcoming of the election of a black man as President: the white American community or the black American community?
Can we really blame him for identifying with the people who threw open their arms as opposed to folding them up? Does anyone believe that this man in his life has not seen the same acceptance/rejection theme time and time again?
When Teabaggers accept that a man born of a Kenyan father, raised in an Indonesian household (among others), but a natural born American can be a legitimate President, and look past the color of his skin to the content of his heart, then we can have this discussion.
Until then, leave the nice man alone, please.