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It has yet to be mentioned. No pundit has brought it up. Yes, Obama is the first African-American presidential nominee of a major party. Yes, he is a black man. But he is not the grandson of slavery. His ancestors came to America on student visas, not slave ships. Granted, there is an institutional racism that he and his father had to face. Although, it was dialed back. It was his father’s accent not his skin tone that was likely ridiculed. The devastating generational legacy that most black Americans have had passed down, Obama can experience only as an interested bystander. Perhaps, this is why he sees Rev Wright’s racially-charged rhetoric as outmoded. Perhaps, this is why he has a growing reputation for being an elitist. The fact is, no one on either side of this family tree has felt the sting of the slave driver’s whip, the callouses of the cotton fields or the humiliation of the auction block. Obama has a whole other heritage. Yes, this is a historic moment for black Americans. Just not historic enough.

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One Comment

  1. So you have to be the grandson of slavery to make history? At least important history, if I understand you well? The point I’m trying to make in raising this question is that adversity comes from the people who do not make any distinction between African American and African. It usually comes down to the color of your skin. History was made because he defied expectations. Whether his ancestors came on slave ships or not, please believe the ones who stayed back in Africa weren’t throwing parties either since we’ve had our share of exploitation in conditions as horrific as those who came to America.

    So in the end, your argument is completely beside the point!


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