Obama’s dreaming

I started into Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama last night. My first impression? This man has abandoned his white heritage and white upbringing because in his mind, he’ll get further if he’s black. He admits in the book that he stopped explaining his half white/half black genetics at the age of 12 or 13 because he felt he was “ingratiating” himself to white people.

Ingratiating – intended or adopted in order to gain favor. I believe that’s exactly what he’s done with blacks and many whites who most urgently want to prove that they are not prejudiced.

There is nothing “American Black” about Obama’s upbringing. I can see, after reading this little bit of his book, how his elitist tag continues to stick. He was reared in a white home by a white mother and grandparents, went to a white prep school and then to Harvard, which is a little white, too. When he calls himself the “first black man to…” – as he often does – he’s ingratiating himself to the black Americans that want a hero. Nothing in this man’s background indicates the American Black experience as explained by the media over the last thirty years.

He’s done a remarkable job of reinventing his history, though. He tapped into the black community because it would give back. He’s identified himself as “an African American” because it’s more likely to give a return than being a half black first generation African American.

In fact, he’s using the very people he claims he wants to advance. I guess they haven’t read his book.


  1. Do you think it’s at least equally as likely that Obama’s identity is as a black man because when 98% of the country looks at him, they don’t see a white guy?

  2. But color isn’t supposed to matter, folkbum. He doesn’t get to play it both ways. In one speech he says another politician is playing a race card, but in another he’s playing it himself and we aren’t supposed to mind.

  3. Cindy, why shouldn’t Obama identify himself as “an African American?” Sure, he was raised by a white mother and had what you categorize as a “white” upbringing, but neither of those things change the fact that he’s still an African-American.

  4. because being white is zero sum… if you are less than 100% white, you aren’t white.

  5. Zach, sorry, you were in the spam filter when I checked this morning…

    Obama wasn’t just “raised” – he is half white, but chose not to identify with that side of his ancestry.

    And Shawn, I disagree. I know plenty of people that are half of one thing and half another that are fine with acknowledging both ethnicities.

  6. Kathryn says:

    I’m not very comfortable with people being half this or half that unless we’re discussing genetics rather than ethnicity. He can be all black and all white. It’s not like he’s gone all ‘Al Sharpton.’

    Repeatedly explaining one’s ethnicity–or hair style, or some other difference–can be tiresome, even when the other party is friendly. I generally tell people to check whatever box brings the most funding.

  7. “check whatever box brings the most funding.”


    That’s one of the reasons race is still a problem in America.

  8. Kathryn says:

    Yes and no. There are private grants for promoting this and that; might as well.