Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Postracial, my foot.

Race shouldn't even be an issue in this election, but since it's too late for that, I may as well put in my two cents here.

America has not elected its first Black president.

It has done something that should be much more significant: it has elected its first BIRACIAL president.

But said candidate, the media, and many who elected him are apparently content to ignore one side of his heritage.

As a biracial person, I am appalled by this. Even early in my childhood, I quickly grew sick and tired of having to "check only one" box when asked to identify my race on my personal records for school and college. I didn't think of myself that way. I loved and honored both sides of my family, and it seemed illogical to ignore one for the sake of a narrow-minded bureaucracy.

In the last eight years or so it has seemed as if there was growing awareness of the fact that a person can be of two races at the same time: that s/he can grow up in between two cultures and take the best of both into adulthood.

When the LA Times and other news outlets were publishing articles suggesting Obama's biracial heritage was a problem, Obama could have refuted the very premise of their questions and publicly celebrated his biracial heritage as an example of what is possible in America. He could have argued that American culture has matured to the point where it will take him for who he is and what he believes.

Instead he has chosen to check only one box. Worse, he has chosen to allow others to check only one box for him for the sake of political convenience.

Now, I know there are other issues in this election that are far more important. The protection of the unborn, the family, freedom of religious expression, and the security of our nation just to name a few. Those alone are reason enough for my vote against him today, regardless of anything else.

Obama campaigned on hope, change and new politics, yet he and his supporters acquiesced to what should be outdated ideas about race relations in this country. He speaks of "the power of ideals". It would seem that the ideal of being judged primarily by the content of one's character wasn't powerful enough here.

So much for change.

No comments: