Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nader Invoking the One-Drop Rule...In Reverse

Independent presidential candidate Ralph “I’m Showing My True Colors” Nader, accused Obama of “trying to talk White” and of appealing to “White guilt.” Damn. But there was another racist statement that Nader offered that merits some additional scrutiny. Nader said Obama is “half African-American.” “HALF?” So here we are in 2008 and Black folks still can’t get away from one-drop rule measurements. “HALF?”

It used to be that people were automatically Blackened even if generations before there was thought to be an African American in the gene pool. Folks dug deep into family history, coming up with ridiculous metrics such as octoroon or quadroon. Up until Obama’s presidential run, he would have most certainly been considered Black—no question. More, Obama has self-identified as possessing an investment in Blackness—while celebrating his diverse racial and ethnic memberships.

But then certain people got it into their minds that powerful, voting Black folks should be told that Obama must be viewed from a different “one-drop” angle, that of White blood. Somehow, biologically, Obama is not Black (enough) and not worthy of Blacks’ attention to his campaign. The real implication is this: if Black folks are going to vote for a “White” man, why not vote for…well, Nader. Forget the issues—this is about skin color. Heck, even Charles Steele of the SCLC said Barack was “of the system,” while Michelle had “slave blood” running through her veins. Rush Limbaugh had a field day with this mess.

Folks don’t be fooled by this latest desperate tactic to shift attention away from what Obama seeks to do. But what a novel strategy of reversal this is—bigots alternately grabbing at drops of Black blood (for Whites) and White blood (for Blacks) to confuse and alienate. Now, that is truly desperate. Change can’t come soon enough.

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