February 1, 2007

He Might As Well Be Sporting a Turban

In his book, Golden, Harry, Only in America (Perma Books, 1959), the author noted with none too little jocularity that when a black newsperson from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, toured the south in the 1940s wearing a turban he was welcomed with open arms in the most exclusive hotels.
As I recall, he suggested buying turbans for Southern blacks to break down segregation.

Now the Gray Lady suggests that poor Barack Obama is getting a negative reception from some American blacks because he isn't descended from slaves and therefore isn't one of them, or at least doesn't share their experiences.

That, of course, is precisely why Obama appeals to whites, as Hapless Joe Biden awkwardly said. Like Colin Powell, he "ain't that black." Setting aside the post-9/11 connotations of the headgear, Obama is the 21st-Century equivalent of Harry Golden's turbaned reporter.

The first Irish Catholic President was the Harvardized Jack Kennedy. The first black President probably won't be Obama, but five'll getcha ten he won't talk black, won't be a racial rabble-rouser, and will dress in the best white-bread style. And he very well might have immigrant ancestry, from Africa or the West Indies.

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