Barack Obama may be joking about his blackness, but as Gary Younge, the excellent Guardian journalist based in New York City (and a neighbor) breaks it down in the commentary for the BBC below, there’s something racial about recent events.  Gary rounds up the usual reference points: Joe Wilson, Strum Thurmond, Jimmy Carter, tea-baggers and this placard above which speaks for itself. But Younge also reminds us that it was Hillary Clinton and her former campaign adviser Mark Penn who first questioned Obama’s American-ness. Remember Penn’s advice to Clinton during the Democratic Primary campaign to point Obama as not “… fundamentally American” because of his childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii.

As Obama told Letterman: “I was black before the election.”

Worth a listen. Abour 13 into the broadcast.


Further Reading

No more caricatures

Engaging seriously with Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s life could help us understand how South Africa got where it is and where it’s going.