Michigan in Color: Authenticity

Michigan in Color: Authenticity

The Michigan Daily: The campus newspaper of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Michael Chrzan

Courtesy of Michael Chrzan

In an article for the National Review late last year, senior editor Jonah Goldberg discussed the (now former) popularity of Ben Carson amongst the GOP. He said “ … most analysis of Carson’s popularity from pundits focuses on his likable personality and his sincere Christian faith. But it’s intriguingly rare to hear people talk about the fact that he’s black. One could argue that he’s even more authentically African-American than Barack Obama … ”

Goldberg makes this statement and then goes on to make a number of claims as to why President Obama is not “authentically African-American” enough, at least when compared to Carson.

“ … Obama’s mother was white and he was raised in part by his white grandparents. In his autobiography, Obama writes at length about how he grew up outside the traditional African-American experience — in Hawaii and Indonesia — and how he consciously chose to adopt a black identity when he was in college.”…

This isn’t a new sentiment. Many people of many different races have often brought up Obama’s racial heritage as a way to discredit his Blackness. In fact, a 2014 article by the Washington Post shows most of America doesn’t consider the president as Black, but as “mixed race.” The problem with this line of thinking stems from how we conceptualize multi-racial identities in this country — one with a history of hypodescent ideologies, like the infamous one-drop rule. The problem with this line of thinking is that all Obama needs to be “authentically” Black is to be Black, and that he most definitely is…

Read the entire article here.

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