Barack Obama ordinarily pretends that he’s all-black, and America ordinarily pretends to accept him as such. But in reality, he has a disingenuous conflicted racial identity. The first biracial president’s racial confusions aligned so
perfectly in 2008 that Obama was elected president.
It was a huge win, given that Barack Obama had no record of legislative leadership prior to becoming president. Despite this, most blacks and many whites voted for him based exclusively on who and what he said he was and what they wished him to be.
Obama’s identity, however, soon came under scrutiny, and critics questioned his views after his mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, openly maligned white America in a widely publicized rant. The president responded to such questions by publicizing a photo of himself with his white mother, grandmother, and
grandfather, further complicating the issue.
Explore how Obama’s conflicted racial identity heritage aligns with the nation’s uncertain identity. By learning more about the nation’s first biracial president, you’ll discover more about the individual and group attitudes that drive America’s views on race.
About Peter J. McCusker
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Published September 15, 2011
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