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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/25/10

Obama's "Mongrel" Statement: A Manifestation of Strategy and Indifference

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President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama
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In the last few weeks much discussion regarding a unique matter involving race has surfaced within the African-American community. Such is the case, as President Obama's appearance on the daytime talk show, "The View", in which he classified African Americans as a "mongrel people" has provoked feelings of displeasure among some members of the group.

Obama's characterization of Americans of African descent as "mongrels", germinated in response to a question spawning from the show's executive producer and co-host Barbara Walters, in which the Head of State was asked to expound upon an issue regarding his ethnicity.

The President's use of the term "mongrel" in describing African Americans, registers as a technically adequate expression, as it defines an individual in possession of genetic matter from more than one racial group. However, the word "mongrel" - historically used by white supremacists opposed to miscegenation -functions, more commonly, as an expression employed by dog handlers in classifying a specific species of canine. Consequently, such peculiar phrasing on the part of the President has resonated among many within some African-American quarters as a great affront.

That Obama, then, in the next sentence suggested white Americans are too of a "mongrel" class - thus broadening the application of the term - functions not to diminish this reality.

It is not within the history of white Americans they have been classified among the beasts that inhabit the Earth as have black Americans since the arrival of the first enslaved African on these shores. The White American has largely enjoyed a station of abundant privilege, in the face of an African-American people that have struggled unceasingly to have their complete humanity recognized.

The fact that President Obama is of partial African ancestry does not function to psychologically prohibit such an inherently offensive statement from projecting from his person, as the source of his part African identity - Barack Obama Sr. a native of Kenya - held no significant position in his life as a parental figure and or caretaker.

Barack Obama was raised by grandparents of another race in lands physically and culturally far removed from Black America. Resultantly, the infusion of ethnic sensibilities, relative to an African-American population which descends from a people historically dehumanized by an unrelenting oppressor never initially developed within the psyche of our nation's 44th President.

Barack Obama was not brought up by those who emerge from a people enslaved for centuries in which opposition to this abominable institution invited the unforgiving sting of the whip or terminal force of a noose.

Obama was not nurtured by those whose heritage encompassed the incessant lynching of its men for the slightest perceived offence leveled toward a white woman.

Obama was not reared by those whose lineage consist of a people existing in an era in which, for any of its members, to stand in the name of the slightest semblance of justice, induced the presence of hooded riders in the night - a collection of profoundly racist American citizens committed to the practice of terrorizing and ultimately slaying any black individual who would be so bold as to challenge white authority.

Obama was not trained by those whose legacy recognizes a heritage in which its population was deemed so socially unacceptable; the larger society constructed a separate and grossly inferior society in which this people - by law - would be forced to function within - an act of social control designed to keep white citizens from having to engage the black masses in any manner that would constitute a state of equality.

Obama was not instructed by those whose history bespeaks the inability of its members to assemble in mass, vote or seek redress within an impartial justice system - an American court system historically designed to uphold the tenets of white supremacy in leveraging its power against those persons of a darker complexion.

Obama was not directed by those whose descendants were denied basic human rights in which their ability to secure adequate housing, food supplies, medical attention or an education was often rendered nonexistent, as it lay in the hands of a thoroughly tyrannical ruling class - a governing body largely supported by citizens acutely indoctrinated with a religious theology which proclaimed the existence of such an apartheid state, a manifestation of divine providence.

Lastly, Barack Obama was not guided by those whose history bears the mark of having been perpetually excluded from the ranks of those for whom a society regards as fully human and thus by implication was - and is often still - reduced to the grade of that of an animal in the minds of many of its members.

While Obama's early development - in some manner - was influenced by forces varying significantly from those of most black Americans; reason would suggest the leader's scholarship affords him the intellectual awareness to understand the subtle comparing of an African-American people to that of a canine sub-species represents an insult to the group.

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Frederick Alexander Meade is a syndicated columnist providing analysis on social and political matters. His works appear in news magazines and publications internationally.
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