Why is Obama black, not white?

Ed Morganroth, Jr.
Plover, WI

I have wondered since Mr. Obama broke onto the national scene why both he and the media have always characterized him racially as black and not as biracial or white. Why did he decide to pick one race – he is indisputably half black and half white? I would think he would wish to be considered biracial or some other similar term of his choosing to honor and recognize both his parents’ heritage. Perhaps his reason is cultural, that a child should take the father’s name, race, etc. He should not be black culturally, he frequently mentions his mother who was white and how she and his grandmother struggled and sacrificed to raise him, and made him who he is today. His father who was African and black left he and his mother when Obama was very young, and by his own admission was not much of a factor in his life. His referring to himself as black seems to me to either ignore his white mother’s and grandmother’s contributions to his life and success at best, or disrespects his mother and grandmother at worst. Having said that, I am sure that that is not his intent. Perhaps his reason is for political expediency – a gutsy calculation that America might be ready someday, and maybe even eager, to elect minority national political leaders, including its first black president.

Mr. Obama has recently discussed race and various racial issues facing this country (to his credit). And yes, I realize that even if Mr. Obama were himself to answer my question, that would still leave unsolved all the various racial issues this country and its people face.

I’m sure some readers of this racecard will be curious about my background. I am white. Politically, I am an Independent. I am not prejudiced against any race or ethnicity. And I voted for Obama twice for President.


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