Sunday, January 6, 2008

Barack Obama (Mestizo) and the Race Question

UPDATE: Barack Obama surges in New Hampshire and currently polls TEN POINTS more than Hillary Rodham Clinton. (via CNN).

Barack Obama, mestizo, born of a Kenyan father and white American mother in Honolulu is more like a second generation Filipino American whose father might be an Ilocano and his mother a Caucasian Americana. In this sense, he is closer to the immigrant roots of America than the canonical "Black experience" and racial politics as we have known it in the late 20th century. I think his political success thus far lies in the fact that he may be among the first "post-racial" politicians in America, as he has sometimes been described.

NY Times has video coverage of the Democratic and Republican New Hampshire debates.
Senator Barack Obama repeated a stand he first mentioned in a speech last year: he would go into Pakistan even without its permission, if the United States had actionable intelligence on Osama bin Laden, and take him out. Shades of George W. Bush? Haha! John Edwards and Barack Obama ganged up on poor Hillary...

The New York Times has a survey of the major candidates in the US Presidential race and is a good way to take a seat just in case you haven't actually tuned in yet.

The GOP's Iowa winner, Mike Huckabee is here along with Rudy Giuliani and New Hampshire front runner John McCain. Right opposite Hillary Rodham Clinton whose campaign may actually be suffering from Bill Clinton's hulking presence.

Here's Barack Obama on YouTube (for a quick intro) to the US Senator from Illinois, who is a mestizo or mulatto, for the information of the cute-headline writers at the Philippine Daily Innuendo ("BLACK PRESIDENT IN THE WHITE HOUSE?"--January 4 front page headline)

Background Info on Barack Obama:
Barack Obama is a multiracial American politician, though he bristles at that label. He served as Democratic state senator in Illinois, and then as US Senator from that state. Only two other blacks have served in the US Senate since Reconstruction. His father was an economics student from Nairobi, his mother a white American anthropology student when they married. They divorced when Obama was young, and his father returned to Kenya. Obama was raised by his mother until about age 10, when his maternal grandmother in Honolulu took him in. He graduated with honors from Harvard Law School, where he was the first African-American to edit Harvard Law Review. Obama practiced civil-rights law, representing victims of housing and employment discrimination and working on voting-rights legislation. He worked as a community organizer in a slummish Chicago neighborhood. He has spoken against NAFTA and racial profiling, and for universal health care.
The Race Question involved in this US election pertains of course to Barack Obama. It might be summarized by the question, "Are Americans ready for a black president?" I think it depends. Barack Obama would not be a "black president" in the sense that racial issues would not be the transcendental motif of his presidency, though it would certainly be a major part. I think this is what some pundits mean by calling him a "post-racial politician." Some in Hillary's camp have been less kind and say Barack ought to quit acting "white"!

(Which of course is related to the question regarding Hillary: "Are Americans ready for a white woman president?")

Back on the campaign trail... From the looks of this, Barack Obama is bringing a lot of momentum from Iowa right on into New Hampshire, and is now running neck and neck with Hillary. John McCain has a decisive six point survey lead over Mitt Romney for the GOP in New Hampshire.

10 comments:

Amadeo said...

First, what is also of importance is that Obama in his writings almost always idolizes his Kenyan father who we learned left the family when he was very young, and thus he was essentially raised in a white household.

Second, it is truly unimaginable that the action of 36% of 214,000 (what Obama got in Iowa) could generate so much ink in his favor.

I suspect this is because the anti-Hillary crowd (her negatives are still up there in the 50%) wanted to beat up on her big time, in retaliation for the “inevitability” mantle that her campaign had initially wrapped around her candidacy. Thus, Obama shines on that reflected light, for he still is essentially an “empty suit” or at least superficial with regard his politics, very mass-appealing liberal ideas and catchy buzz words like change. Change to or for what?

Add the fact that there are really no other inspiring Democratic candidates in the field. Even a high-scoring John Edwards is not taken seriously by the general public. And the same could be equally said of the other side.

But precisely because of these, we do live in very interesting times.

Who will occupy the White House come ’09? A woman, a Mormon, a mestizo, an Italian-American, or a preacher? I would have added a Hispanic if Bill Richardson had done better. And he did place a distant 4th in Iowa.

Dave said...

Basically Obama does well because he comes across as a very likeable fellow. Cannot say the same for Chillary. Ditto for Mike Huckabee who is just your friendly
neighborhood bible thumper. This role always plays well in heartland America.

What is heartening about Obama is
(at least initially) the quality of his converts/adherents. They seem to be blankety-blank liberals to be sure, but they also seem to lack the derangement syndromes that have characterized the American left in recent years. In other words, they are antiwar, but are pleased that General Petraeus is doing well in the field. One only hopes and prays that this initial read of the Obama-mytes holds true. At any rate, the D's seem headed for a two-candidate brawl.

The Rs? They look headed for a brokered convention with a genuine nomination tussle settled in those
hallowed smoke-filled rooms. And that will probably produce the best candidate for them.

By the way, go to insidetrackaz.com and read the latest Emil Franzi column there. Emil is a lifelong political pro and his comments on the conservative coalition are well worth reading.

john marzan said...

Barack Obama, mestizo, born of a Kenyan father and white American mother in Honolulu is more like a second generation Filipino American whose father might be an Ilocano and his mother a Caucasian Americana.

having a filipino father and white mother, that's rare. the more common combination is caucassian father-filipina mother. among blacks, it is more common for a black man to marry a white woman (their "kryptonite" raw, whatever that means), than the other way around too.

In this sense, he is closer to the immigrant roots of America than the canonical "Black experience" and racial politics as we have known it in the late 20th century. I think his political success thus far lies in the fact that he may be among the first "post-racial" politicians in America, as he has sometimes been described.

do you think it's possible that one day we'll have a filipino-american president running america? wouldnt that be something?

DJB Rizalist said...

Why not john? Filipino Americans can produce presidential timber.

Anonymous said...

John:


having a filipino father and white mother, that's rare. the more common combination is Caucasian father-filipina mother. among blacks, it is more common for a black man to marry a white woman (their "kryptonite" raw, whatever that means), than the other way around too.

I beg to disagree. Though I do not have figures to show, the social dynamics in American society are visibly changing fast especially with the second generation immigrants. In my own family, I can show the Filipino father/white mother and Filipino mother/African-American father combinations, notwithstanding that I personally may be harboring some regrets or reservations for the inter-racial unions. And even among relatives and acquaintances, such colorful offspring combinations are not that uncommon anymore. And I would venture to add that IMO African-Americans who marry out of their race would tend to prefer Asians, Hispanics, or Europeans, more than American women.

Give it a few generations more and we definitely will have FilAms in mainstream politics. Imagine the kids of the most visible FilAm political activist, Michelle Malkin, are natural-born US citizens and thus could qualify for the highest office of the land.

Amadeo said...

Sorry, that anonymous comment above would be me.

john marzan said...

And I would venture to add that IMO African-Americans who marry out of their race would tend to prefer Asians, Hispanics, or Europeans, more than American women.

i've think black men prefer white women--whether they're american, european, or caucassian looking-skinned hispanics. basta puti.

HILLBLOGGER said...

My brother is married to an Irish-American.

John: "i've think black men prefer white women" ???? that's stereotyping blacks.

HILLBLOGGER said...

Another brother was married to an Austrian with whom he has two sons, born and raised Austrians or Europeans if you like. They've divorced since and he married a full-blooded Fil Chinese and they've got a beautiful daughter.

john marzan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.