Baltimore Sun: More 'Is Obama Black Enough'? Now With Slave-Owning Ancestors?

March 2nd, 2007 4:16 AM

Obama's white ancestors owned slaves. So says the research of William Addams Reitwiesner, "who works at the Library of Congress and practices genealogy in his spare time", and who is featured in this morning's edition of the Baltimore Sun.

Many people know that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's father was from Kenya and his mother from Kansas.

But an intriguing sliver of his family history has received almost no attention until now: it appears that forebears of his white mother owned slaves, according to genealogical research and Census records.

While reading this, my very first thought had me wondering how well this will sit with the Obama-isn't-black-enough contingent?

It didn't take long in the story to get the issue addressed.

The records could add a new dimension to questions by some who have asked whether Obama -- who was raised in East Asia and Hawaii and educated at Columbia and Harvard -- is attuned to the struggles of American blacks descended from West African slaves.

"..attuned to the struggles"? That's code for the victim mentality we are used to in this debate which will naturally lead to "He isn't one of us"!

The Sun writers also included this quote from Ronald Walters, director of the African-American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland:

"The twist is very interesting,it deepens his connection with the experience of slavery, even if it deepens it on a different side of the equation."

Talk about a spin! Imagine if this was Strom Thurmond, or Trent Lott we were talking about here? Do you think this professor would have been waxing eloquent over these wonderful "connections" or do you think he would have been breaking out the tar and feathers?

To Professor Walters, at least, Obama is "black enough" to have the slave issue spun to the candidate's favor.

After a discussion on American genealogy the Sun's piece gets back to the "black enough" question once again.

Author and essayist Debra J. Dickerson wrote in a January article that she had previously refrained from opining about the senator because "I didn't have the heart (or the stomach) to point out the obvious: Obama isn't black."

" 'Black,' in our political and social reality, means those descended from West African slaves," Dickerson said.

..."What people are really asking is, 'Can I trust this guy? Do I have confidence in this guy? Does he understand my situation, and therefore [is he] able to take my issues into the political system?'" Walters said.

No, the real question should be, can we in America ever have a black candidate who breaks the mold of the blacks-as-victims mentality that keeps the Jackson's and Sharpton's of this nation living in the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed -- a lifestyle built on the seething anger of American Blacks, an anger Jackson and Sharpton stir like a witch's cauldron of muck.

It would appear that no is the answer to that question because this Obama-isn't-black-enough issue is being raised more and more as the campaign rolls on and sooner or later, Obama is going to have to address this issue head-on.

And it'll be an interesting debate if ever had.

But it is sure that the MSM will never focus on the more beneficial side of the debate: WHEN can we dispense with the victim mentality in our Black community?

(A welcome to all the readers from Michelle Malkin's daily interactive site, thanks for the links, guys.)