The racial politics of this presidential race are truly distressing. When I hear about the racial epithets hurled at McCain/Palin rallies toward Obama and the prejudiced comments of the people who attend those rallies, it really upsets me.
Here’s my question. Why can’t people see through color and look at a person for who he or she is? Sure, Obama looks black, but he’s actually biracial — the product of a white mother and an African father. I can’t think of a better person to best represent the ethnic diversity that is part and parcel of the American experience. In his book Dreams of My Father, Obama explores what his background and upbringing have meant to him. This book, written long before he became a US Senator, is an honest and poetic look at feelings about identity.
When I look at Obama I don’t see color. I see an intelligent man who is willing to take on one of the hardest jobs in the world to make this a better place for us all.
While Obama has openly explored his identity, his opponent, John McCain hasn’t. McCain’s family owned slaves. He has black relatives. Every year the McCain family has an interracial family reunion in Teoc, Mississippi which McCain’s own brother, Joe attends.
Why then, allow race to enter into his campaign? Is McCain so afraid of where he’s come from? Why can’t he own his background?