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Can Blacks Be Americans?

May 14, 2009

I was recently reading this interesting post over at Sociological Images and the following story came to mind.

Before the American election last year I was talking to a family member about Obama. He told me, “If he gets elected he’ll just support the blacks.”

My wife and I assured him that we did not think this was the case, and that, even if it were, African-Americans probably deserved it since we’ve had forty-some white presidents who just supported the whites.

My family member remained firm: “He’ll just support the blacks…. You know, that’s why they have that law about not allowing foreign-born presidents.”

Now, one might think that he was talking about Obama’s international heritage, but he was not (I don’t think he even knew about that at the time). On the contrary, he was actually suggesting that African-Americans aren’t really Americans. There shouldn’t be a black president of the USA because the USA is a white country. Apparently there’s no difference between “America” and “White America.”

So the view implicitly suggested by the news story posted at Sociological Images doesn’t surprise me.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. bradcorban permalink
    May 15, 2009 11:57 am

    Thanks for writing on this, MfM. I’m highly interested in matters of race. In fact, I’m hoping to write my master’s thesis on white responses (theological or not) to black theology.

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