Ha! Made you look.
Listen, since we've been talking media in the past couple of posts, I had to take this opportunity to declare shenanigans on my industry, at least the part of my industry that keeps us informed on presidential politics. The first time I heard anyone declare shenanigans was on "Cow Days," season 2, episode 213 of South Park. A traveling carnival was in town. The boys scraped together money to buy Terrance and Phillip dolls at the carnival, and after they paid big bucks the dolls immediately fell apart. Well, the boys declared shenanigans, and the rest of the town got together in a mob and beat the carnies with brooms and garden tools.
I don't plan on beating any other journalists like carnies, but I should. Getting ready for work this morning I channel surfed between CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, and FNC, and I heard no fewer than six talking heads refer to Obama as "African American" AKA black, and potentially "the first African American" president. To be fair, I've sipped that Kool-Aid once or twice and not thinking before I spoke or wrote, referred to Obama as a black candidate.
It is short-sighted and disingenuous for my elevated peers to keep referring to Obama as black or African American. He is biracial.
And while his skin color...and Clinton's gender, and McCain's age shouldn't matter in terms of their qualifications, how we address those characteristics should matter to you.
This country has a history of using that whole "one drop" rule that basically stated anyone with a drop of black blood in his system is black. It was used as a means of holding some folks back, back in the day.
We're past that kind of blatant stuff now, I know. But this has psychological implications too. By completely ignoring the fact that Obama is half white, when discussing voters' feelings about his ethnicity, the media is perpetrating a fraud on the news consumer and buying into to the racial hype that has contributed to people drawing tan lines in the sand this election season.
Let me say this one more time: if Barack Obama is black, then he is white.
He is half of both. So if my better-paid peers insist on continuing to refer to him as the black candidate, instead of a biracial candidate - on those occasions when his appearance is relevant to the conversation - then I am going to have to start referring to him as the white candidate. Why not? Clearly forcing him onto one side or another makes for better TV.
It hasn't been that many years since the media crowned clergymen from New York and Chicago the co-emperors of black people. Are we so desperate to crown someone new that we're gonna force the rectangle that is Obama into the square hole that is the mass media's designated spot for such royalty?
All this talk about making this race about substance and, um, not race, and we can't even use an accurate description of this man's ethnicity. Tsk, tsk.
And remember, when major party candidates finally turn you off for good, you always have this.