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colorism and obama

Reader comment on item: Was Barack Obama a Muslim?
in response to reader comment: Will the real Obama please stand up

Submitted by steinevers (United States), Jan 11, 2008 at 17:50

one thing that people should keep in mind: in the black community, traditionally if someone is quite light-skinned or has a white parent and/or has not been brought up in the black community, one often (in the past absolutely) joined and/or identified with the most "BLACK" organisations, in order to be accepted by the community. so, as obama did not grow up in the ghetto, lived overseas and was educated by white grandparents at harvard, to me, it makes sense that he would join the most "BLACK" church around, as black folk take church-going and belonging more seriously than the normative US community. if the trinity church represents that sort of "super/hyper-black identification, then logically that would be the one for him to choose.

his church affiliation to a very black identified church would make up (in theory) for his lighter skin, normative speech and other oddities which could get him called an 'oreo' or worse by darker, 'more authentic' black folk. so his affiliation would not alarm me; indeed, i understand it very well.

but i don't believe that less than a full term as the junior senator of any state prepares anyone for the white house, just as i don't believe that even two terms as a state governor would be ample preparation.


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