Guest blogger Real Moms Have Curves: All this talk about the nation's first black president has me a bit annoyed.
On the night Barack Obama won the presidency by a landslide (and all the days before it), everyone was raving about "the nation might have a black president!!" I personally felt like people (myself included) were shouting it from the rooftops, wearing it on T-shirts and screaming it in the national media. But then I had to pause: Why are we calling him black? Isn't he just as much white as he is black?
Don't get me wrong. I classify myself as black (though with my skin tone, most people think I am otherwise) but is saying "he is our nation's first black president" just buying into centuries-old rules about race, namely, that if you have one drop of black blood then that means you're black?
The real question is: What if Barack Obama said he was white? The responses would probably go from initial laughter to outrage -- from both sides of the fence. Unfortunately, the media hasn't been so friendly to celebs who decided to go with their white parent -- in the 80s Mariah Carey was practically crucified for only acknowledging her mother's side of the family.
One of the many things that makes our country beautiful is that all of us are mutts in one way or another -- a big mixture of people from different worlds who have decided to live together. It seems from all his public appearances (and his book) that Barack has learned to reconcile the two sides of himself, embracing both equally. But have we?
As this basketball and chili loving lanky man becomes President, I would hope that we can take a cue from him and accept people without pigeonholes, and without categories, acknowledging that whatever hodgepodge someone comes from, it doesn't make up who they are.
If our prez can be comfortable with being a mutt, then so can I. And so can you.