My Black Dilemma

by Ali Akbar | October 19, 2008 4:44 pm


What makes Obama “black?” It’s a question that’s been swirling in my mind for well over a year now. I’ve been putting off writing this, because I’m honestly afraid of what I might say. What will I feel? Will I be another Uncle Tom? Hell, what made President Clinton the “first Black President?”

It matters not. You see, intellectual honesty means more to me. My country means more to me.

I haven’t taken a firm position on the use of the N-word, but I do intend to use it here.

Barack Obama shares my skin color. In fact, he and I share more of the same skin pigmentation than Rev. Al Sharpton. We both glow a little yellow. I get mine from my father, while he gets his from a dash of makeup and his father, I suppose.

I’m certainly Black. A Black isn’t a person with a shade of brown in their skin. That’s ignorant and my contention is that it’s racist.

A Black is a person who is African American. Their roots are invisibly tainted by the worst point in American history. Slavery brought Africans and people of dark color into a relationship forced by Caucasians. People were brutally taken from their homes, deprived of human rights, all dignity, and physically raped. The government that would free them would then tell them they were second-class citizens. Blacks were forced into a permanent class of poverty and deceit.

We were labeled “Nigger.”

Those are my roots. They aren’t pretty – but they are mine and they forced my blood line into a greater plan called America.

I take great exception when friends brush off the history of my origins as simply, “the past.”

I remember the first time when the word “Nigger” was lodged at me as a child. I didn’t know how to react. I knew I was Black, but I was not his Nigger. Even to this day, Nigger, the term hides in the dark and whispers behind my back. It sends chills down my spine. I fear their ignorance and relish in the pride that I am Black. I have a rich cultural history that has impacted and built this country into the very nation it is today.

My people built this nation. My people have bled for the chance at liberty. My people marched in the streets while being physically ripped away from their bones for a cause against injustice. My people sit in seats of government, churches, and influence. I am a Black.

No matter your color… No matter your race, you can relate to me. We’re American.

That’s what I share with Barack Obama. He is American.

We don’t share a past. We don’t share an origin. Barack Obama is not Black.

Obama cannot be rattled by the word Nigger. He has no origin to the hate or bigotry. Obama cannot even relate as a primary source to the current sufferings of the African American community.

This election, with the aid of the free press and all too willing politically correct Parties – Obama has been dubbed with a history and origin that is not his own. He has stolen Nigger from history.

His dad is a Kenyan. Obama has a history, an origin, a family with roots. Obama has been given privilege and only had a taste of the modern African American community with poisons of his own choosing. He has sampled the worst and then preached with the best. I am offended. He is an African who is an American – but he is not Black, he is not an African American, and he is most certainly not a Nigger.

An entire continent of people who share my skin color call the community that belongs to my mother “Black” as a term of less than. “Nigger” is a word that is used among Africans as a term for African Americans.

My identity has been stolen in attempt to paint something that is not there.


Obama promises more of the economic same. While he’ll “spread the wealth,” he promises no meaningful inroads in breaking the barriers that keep African Americans in a substandard social and economic class.

Civil Rights leaders fought first for those basic rights that were guaranteed to the disenfranchised, and then set their eyes to education before anything else. It is of the greatest importance to point to Barack Obama’s education policy and fundamentally where his philosophy is rooted.

Chairing a board that holds the view that the public education system’s primary cause should be to “radicalize” children is not beneficial to the African American community. The community is riddled with substandard books, teachers, and financing – yet Obama’s record reveals that plunging children into the political process to make uninformed decisions plays chief among his “top priorities.”

The Chicago public school system pays its teachers among the best in the entire country. However, what we discover is an environment of corruption, the highest dropout rates, and children who graduate without being literate. The Chicago public school system and teacher’s union cannot be tied to Obama in geography alone, when he has given them his full weight when he was a State Senator and vice versa.

More Black children will grow up in an environment worse than what their parents were given and it’s appalling. This is racism at its most powerful. A community denied of education cannot better itself. Young adults are not given choices but a primitive environment of survival of the fittest.

When Obama won the Iowa caucus, it wasn’t until South Carolina’s primary where he finally talked about in very broad terms, ‘the community.’ He dare not touch the issues he discussed affecting the African American community before his first victory.

Shame will befall upon the African American community if we choose to give Barack Obama our silent blessing while he ignores our issues, our heritage, and our origin. There’s no requirement to be Black, he cannot change who he is.

Most will never feel the scorn or the lost identity that comes with being biracial. I, however, have found one consistent point of refuge in my mother’s community. Black people crave “authenticity” and in agreement with Tom Joyner – there is nothing like “Black love.”

I want the pleasure of voting for the first viable African American candidate, regardless of Party, but a shell won’t do. I’ll wait for the real deal.

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