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Is Obama black?

Monday, May 05, 2008 by Dave Winer.

A picture named progress.gifYesteray at breakfast at the Sunnyside Cafe in Albany, we arrived late, all the indoor tables were taken so we sat outside. It was frigid cold, for California, in the low 50s. I wasn't really dressed for it.  Permalink to this paragraph

We started talking with the man at the next table about how cold it is, and I said it's nothing, I grew up in NYC and went to school in Wisconsin. The man, who was black and wearing an Obama for President button, said he was from the Bronx, we started talking about the hometown and the good old days (we're about the same age) and after a while talk turned to politics and he volunteered something that I found jarring. You know Barack Obama isn't black like I am. Hmmm. Permalink to this paragraph

He said Obama was raised by his white mother in Indonesia and his white grandparents in Hawaii and his father who was from Kenya was not an American. I've been to Hawaii, it's not like the Bronx or Chicago, LA or the Deep South where most black Americans live. If you look at a map you'll see how far away Hawaii is from the US mainland. Permalink to this paragraph

So what's the point? I don't know, but if if the tables were turned and we were electing the first Jewish president, but his father was from Israel, and his mother was Christian, and he was raised far away from the cultural centers of Jewish life in the US, I'd wonder how much like me he was. Permalink to this paragraph

That's all. I'm still voting for him.  Permalink to this paragraph


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A picture named dave.jpgDave Winer, 53, pioneered the development of weblogs, syndication (RSS), podcasting, outlining, and web content management software; former contributing editor at Wired Magazine, research fellow at Harvard Law School, entrepreneur, and investor in web media companies. A native New Yorker, he received a Master's in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin, a Bachelor's in Mathematics from Tulane University and currently lives in Berkeley, California.

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