by Yvette Carnell
In 2010 I wrote an editorial for the Huffington Post declaring unequivocally that President Obama was not the first African-American president:
In classic Obama style, he’s adorned the costume which we’ve come to associate with all rebellious agitators. Unlike some who’ve compared his speaking style to MLK, I see more of Malcolm than Martin in Obama’s mettle performance. Short, decisive, snappy comments, which linger with the listener by virtue of their verbosity and in your face intellectualism. This was Malcolm’s marker. In 21st century America, Obama is Malcolm’s emulator, but not his heir apparent.
While African-Americans were busily working for change during Obama’s 2008 campaign, we absentmindedly forget that history often foretells future events.
Born to a white mother and a Kenyan father, young Obama’s world view was fashioned in Indonesia and Hawaii through the prism of his mother. There is nothing unseemly about Obama’s upbringing, but it does belie the difficulty inherent in labeling President Obama as African-American.
My attempt to distinguish Obama, born of a white mother and Kenyan father, was met with enraged black voters who wrongly believed I was questioning Obama’s blackness. Now that some time has passed, Antonio Moore and I again explore the question of whether Obama is African-American. Watch the video below: