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ABADays
01-19-2009, 09:01 AM
This may have been a topic once but I didn't see it and I'm just real curious about it. Why is Obama considered an African American when he had a white mother?

Putnam
01-19-2009, 09:14 AM
The common attitude in the US has always been that even a little black blood makes a person black. This has been supported by law. The case of Plessy v. Ferguson said that Plessy was "black" even though he had only one distant black ancestor. They called it the "one drop rule" and it you had one drop of African blood,then you were black.

Interestingly,it is the reverse in West Africa, where even a little white makes a person white. Many African-American Peace Corps volunteers are surprised to go over there and find that the Africans do not consider them black at all.

There used to be plenty of words to describe a person's racial composition precisely. A quadroon was 1/4th black and 3/4 white. An octroon was 1/8th black. And so on.

They stopped using those words, but the way the Census Bureau tries to document races even now is still a confusing mess. There is a movement of people who suggest the only correct answer to the race question is "Human."

travmil
01-19-2009, 09:17 AM
Well, I will comment before the inevitable close/lock and gentle reminder of UnPD's location.

This is directly from the definition used by the U.S. Government, meaning the Census Bureau, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor:

"Black or African American. A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa."

So to me, that says that if you have any African heritage no matter how distant, and you are an American citizen, you are African American.

ABADays
01-19-2009, 09:23 AM
Interesting and thanks for the replies. I don't quick understand why the thread would be locked though. It was a legitimate question.

travmil
01-19-2009, 09:25 AM
Interesting and thanks for the replies. I don't quick understand why the thread would be locked though. It was a legitimate question.

Just about everything that could turn political, religious, or racial is locked. The Admins don't want to deal with it anymore, and after what happened on the old news and politics forum here who could blame them?

Raskolnikov
01-19-2009, 09:31 AM
Still don't know what exactly happened to be honest...and still think it's a humongous pity...I mean I registered on UnPD but it's just not the same....but I shouldn't go there should I?

N8R
01-19-2009, 09:53 AM
I was wondering the same thing but I understand why it is big in that he is 1/2 African American which is by far the largest ratio of any president. I wonder if any other presidents have had even a little bit of African American blood in them? I wouldnt be surprised.

But as far as octaroon is concerned I first heard it on SNL and I thought it sounded rather racist.

Putnam
01-19-2009, 09:56 AM
Still don't know what exactly happened to be honest...and still think it's a humongous pity...I mean I registered on UnPD but it's just not the same....but I shouldn't go there should I?



I think Hicks made the right decision here and I'm sorry that I ever contributed to any of the arguments that got overheated. But UnPD is an OK place to take things away from here.

Hicks
01-19-2009, 03:01 PM
Since the question's already been answered and I'd rather leave this kind of thing for places not (or un ;) ) PD, I'm going to shut it down at this time.