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By Andrew Cohen |  July 2, 2007; 9:11 AM ET
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Whay is one classified as "African American" and not "White" "Hispanic" "Asian" when they are "Interracial" shouldn't it work both ways?...

Posted by: JOEY | July 2, 2007 12:47 PM

How about the news that the appeals court has denied Scooter Libby's request to stay the prison sentence pending appeal? This will have to create tremendous pressure on Mr. Bush (assuming that he is capable of experiencing pressure, something I'm not too sure of) to pardon him. Failure to do so will surely be considered by his conservative base and the talk radio ranters as pure perfidy and abject betrayal. After infuriating these folks with, e.g., Harriet Miers and the "Kennedy immigration bill," his support from the right may finally bite the dust. Of course, in light of his lamer and lamer lame duck status, it may make no difference, except in the unlikely event that there is an impeachment move against Gonzales or Cheney, but one wonders whether it is possible that his approval rating will be able to plummet lower than Nixon's if right wing support evaporates. For gamblers, it would make an interesting office pool, kind of like the old limbo dance, "how low can you go?"

Posted by: P. Bosley Slogthrop | July 2, 2007 02:16 PM

Joey: Depends on how you're trying to work "whatever it is" to your advantage.

Why are all Hispanic nationalities lumped together under Hispanic, when for other Europeans it's Italian, Greek, Portugese, French, etc.?

Simply because the power brokers found that by pulling what may be otherwise significantly diverse groups into one, they can demand things for that group which they would not be able to do if they are treated separately.

So, African-American leaders latch on to Tiger Woods as being Black, when he is as much Thai as he is African-American. But. Tiger accrues respect (power) so the African-American leaders will always refer to him as being Balck and never anything else.

The power brokers use whatever identifying factor they can in retaining power for themselves.

Posted by: | July 2, 2007 02:19 PM

Andrew - Hope you have a good 4th!

Posted by: | July 2, 2007 02:21 PM

joey the answer is because our history was in jeopardy of being erased from our minds and the minds of our children. Our schools didn't educate us nor did our history books informs us. I think for a race that helped discover, shaped and propelled such a great country as the USA, we deserve to have our history acknowledged.

Posted by: tmp | July 2, 2007 02:27 PM

Now that President Bush has commutted Scooter Libby's sentence do future Presidents have the perfect mechanism for breaking the law? Obstruct justice at every turn, then remove all legal leverage with commutations and pardons?
Isn't this action a de facto admission of shared guilt by the President? Doesn't this say that Libby was doing just what the President wanted? Just as his support for AG Gonzales means that Bush supports the partisanship of Justice?

Posted by: Shannon | July 2, 2007 07:19 PM

There is a historical legal doctrine that was adopted in most states during slavery and remained on the books long after the Civil War called the "one-drop rule" in colloquial terms. In a country that policed racial boudndaries and miscegenation, it was important to classify persons, therefore to make the legal operation simple it was said that one was black if they had even one drop of traceable black blood. this historical tradition is simply one that still lives today in the way we tend to classify race. The fact is that great majority of those who identify as black have recent ancestry that is white, asian, hispanic, etc. Identifiying simply as black is a simplifier because when people look at someone who is part black the reality is that the average american will identify them first and primarily as Black. Hope that clarifies.

Posted by: Amanda | July 2, 2007 08:31 PM

I dont' see that his being Black is a deterrent. I feel it's due to lack of being in Gov't long enough to actually be able to assess what America needs. For one thing, I believe he's too young. Maybe down the road that will change?? Only God knows... Meanwhile, make sure whomever you vote for, cares more about the American people than for their own righteous and personal feelings. As we know Bush has.
Don't be the " Decider", let the people of America do it. As we see every day, the mistakes made.
God Bless America

Posted by: Shirley | July 3, 2007 02:45 AM

I hate to say this but Obama has no chance, he is black. There is still a huge problem in this country concerning racism. Has anyone checked with the republican states on Obama?

American will not elect a Jew, A black, an asian, bodybuilder or a woman.


Posted by: Wayne | July 3, 2007 08:25 AM

Why do we have african american and other stupid names aren't we all americans or rather citizens of the United States?

Posted by: Bobbo | July 3, 2007 09:17 AM

Wayne, the comment you just made about Obama is sad but true. It's really a tragedy because we, as Americans, no longer have the luxury to make a decisions based on something as silly and juvenile as that. Hopefully, in the end, we will choose someone that can help us reposition ourselves and cultivate and maintain key relationships globally.

Posted by: Takiyah | July 3, 2007 09:35 AM

I've been gone for awhile but am doing fine
otherwise. Re: Obama, I feel America is ready for a president who's got game. He can hit the 3 pointers, drive the lane, rack up lots of assists and hit his free throws. What else do we need from our commander in chief?

Posted by: Wilt Chamberlain | July 3, 2007 09:37 AM

I have a grandson who is bi-racial, and I do not think he should ever be labeled either as black or as white. To make bi-racial people choose one part of their ethnicity over the other is unfair to the person and to those of both races who love and nurture that child.

Posted by: Janet | July 3, 2007 09:42 AM


You are right. We should think of ourselves much like basketball players on a team. You should have one common goal. It doesn't matter what the player who is next to that goal and is best able to execute that goal looks like. You pass it because if he or she makes it, we all win. And the best teams really understand that concept that most.

The military thinks the exact same way. If you have been shot and need medical attention, you don't have time to pick and choose who is going to do it. We as civilians are spoiled; as we spend lots and lots of time to sit around and discuss such silliness as race.

If we only knew just how debilitating and ignorant that is, I don't think we would do it nearly as often.

Posted by: Takiyah | July 3, 2007 09:46 AM


You are right. We should think of ourselves much like basketball players do, as a team. You should have one common goal. It doesn't matter what the player looks like who is next to that goal and is best able to execute that goal. You pass it. And if he or she makes it, you all win. And the most effective teams fully understand that concept.

The military feels the exact same way. If you need medical attention, you don't have time to pick and choose who is going to provide it; nor do you care.

We as civilians are spoiled; as we spend lots and lots of time sitting around discussing such silliness as race.

If we only knew just how debilitating that sort of thing is, I don't think we would do it nearly as often.

Posted by: Takiyah | July 3, 2007 09:50 AM

Oh yeah, is there a unified history for a race, all their experiences are the same? And why is this history told differently depending on who tells it, and often with large fabrications of fact?

Takiyah,Wayne: a bodybuilder? Is that an identity? how about a wrestler? Mud wrestler? Lap dancer?

I don't think it has to do with whether black or whatever. I have a problem with African-Americans or purple-colored or whatever who identify their identity and beliefs with their race, and on top of it when what they claim as their identity is a prepackaged collection of prefabricated ideologies made by someone else, and then they can go through life just consulting that; then you have African-Americans, women whatever who see themselves as normal people (but the criteria of what are normal American people vary)just as much as a member of the purported majority (but most people have deviations or eccentricity in some way so where is the line defining a special perspective deriving from some sociological classification, other than say the mentally ill-sorry to say, but in 2007, but this notion still seems sort of nonsensical to me), and evaluate circumstances without presumptions of one's special class and status.

Seem to be not so many of the latter, (Obama can't even run as a skin color neutral person even if he wanted to-seems he might have tried to begin with, and there was much explicit talk from the African-American community and in the periodicals whether he really was "black" and had sufficient race-consciousness; how could he even have a chance to win if many black voters decide not to on this basis, even if they don't mind his stated positions [!]), and it isn't readily apparent who is which type of minority above mentioned.

Posted by: Jo | July 5, 2007 01:48 PM

Amanda, your explanation for convenience and simplification
of filling out forms is one thing, but to say the average American person just assumes one as black if they have even a small part is another entirely.

Europeans, Australians, Middle Easterners etc..can have ancestry mixed from all different parts and countries of different socioeconomic levels(plenty can look just as dark as Negroes), no one seemed to have this great concern that they have one drop of dark skinnedness (Sicilians, Tunisians, Bosniansetc..)or of poverty.

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