Chris Suellentrop's "The Opinionator" (New York Times) points to the fact that Barack Obama has a problem: He's not black.
In his column he tells us that Debra Dickerson, author of “The End of Blackness,” concurs with Stanley Crouch: “Obama isn’t black,” she writes in Salon. She continues:
“Black,” in our political and social reality, means those descended from West African slaves. Voluntary immigrants of African descent (even those descended from West Indian slaves) are just that, voluntary immigrants of African descent with markedly different outlooks on the role of race in their lives and in politics. At a minimum, it can’t be assumed that a Nigerian cabdriver and a third-generation Harlemite have more in common than the fact a cop won’t bother to make the distinction. They’re both “black” as a matter of skin color and DNA, but only the Harlemite, for better or worse, is politically and culturally black, as we use the term.
It seems Obama hasn't suffered enough, hasn't borne the burden of being black in order to be called "black." Since he's not descended from African slaves, he can't know what African Americans have gone through.
“[H]e’s not a ‘native’ African American who can trace his roots through slavery, the South, emancipation, Jim Crow, civil rights, etc. He’s an African African American. His family journey from Kenya to Harvard was recent and shortcutted a lot of American black culture and politics.”
When Alan Keyes ran against Obama in 2004, Keyes was unable to make the distinction between himself and Obama:
That race was never much of a contest, but one fascinating subplot was how Keyes was unable to draw a meaningful distinction between himself as a black American and Obama as an African-American. After all, Obama's mother is of white U.S. stock. His father is a black Kenyan. Other than color, Obama did not - does not - share a heritage with the majority of black Americans, who are descendants of plantation slaves. (Stanley Crouch)Should all this make any difference? Right now Hillary seems to be ahead of Obama among black voters:
Black Democrats prefer Clinton 3 to 1 over Obama, and four out of five of black Democrats view her favorably, much higher than the 54 percent who have a favorable view of Obama, according to combined findings from two Washington Post-ABC polls taken in December and January. Clinton also enjoys close ties to top black elected officials, and her husband, former President Clinton, remains extremely popular among African-Americans. (Mercury News)