Good Question: Is Obama The First Black President?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2010-06-28 00:44Z by Steven

Good Question: Is Obama The First Black President?

Good Question

Jason Derush, Reporter

You can’t turn on television or read a newspaper without seeing a reference to Sen. Barack Obama, the first black President. But wait a minute, said Naomi Banks, if Obama has a white mother, “My question is… why isn’t he the first biracial American President?” asked Banks.

“I think it’s more representative of reality,” she added. “It represents our country and how it’s changing with demographics.”

Banks said she has a special interest in the question, because she considers herself to be multiracial.

“My mother is Caucasian, my father is Native American and African-American,” she explained. “I’m proud of all aspects of my heritage,” said Banks, who said she couldn’t imagine leaving part of it out.

“I think of him as being an African-American of multiracial ancestry,” said Enid Logan, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Minnesota.

Logan’s team has been interviewing University of Minnesota students about their racial attitudes in relation to the candidacy of President-Elect Obama…

…”Is the black/white binary still the primary axis around which races relations in the U.S. revolve?” asked Logan. “I think for the most part it absolutely is.”

Logan said that people feel a need to label others in terms of race, because along with gender, race is one way that American society has been historically organized. It’s a shortcut.

“It’s a society that sees itself as colorblind, but race is important. And people feel disoriented if they can’t figure out what race other people are, they don’t know how to interact with them,” explained Logan…

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