I wonder if I’m black? This might seem like a weird question to ask given my obvious abundance of melanin in my skin. But I guess that this may not enough to make one black according to one “conservative” commentator. Now when I say conservative, I don’t mean my Republican friends who differ with my political beliefs, I mean those who believe our president is a Kenyan national with hopes of planting anchor babies, I don’t really listen to them. Victor Davis Hanson wrote a piece for the National review which states why Herman Cain is a real black guy and Obama is not.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have known what constitutes authentic blackness. But thanks to people like Mr. Hanson and of course my favorite buddy in the world black walnut himself Herman Cain, the debate that seemed to be everywhere during the ’08 election is revving back up. Unfortunately people of Mr. Hanson’s ilk confuse me. You see way back in 2008 and shortly after the election of BHO the same people who are claiming that the current heat Cain is feeling is because he is black and the Democratic Party and their liberal agenda are racist wanted us to believe that because a black man was in office racism was no longer a problem. So if I understand their logic our President was black enough to end racism except for when our candidate has gotten himself into trouble?
The problem with this is as I have said on numerous occasions is it portrays being Black as one set list of things. If you don’t fit in somehow your blackness isn’t as authentic as someone else’s. Mr. Cain is a republican businessman who made his wealth peddling bad pizza, I am a democrat who like hip-hop. Am I blacker than Herman Cain? No, because it’s not something that can be measured. In his book, “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness” writer Toure states: "If there are forty million Black Americans then there are forty million ways to be black. There are billions of cultural artifacts of blackness... Not one of these things is more authentic than the other." And this is true. I listen to all forms of music (minus country) , love documentaries, and have no interest in becoming a rapper. Do these things mean I am not as black as Herman Cain?
I think what angers me most about these people is that while they argue over who’s blacker, they are missing the beauty and complexities of Black culture. It has infinite possibilities and a chance to learn from them all. When you box yourself into one narrow preconception of what Black is you’re still Black, but you become something else as well.