Authenticity: Why Obama’s not Half-Black

Authenticity: Why Obama’s not Half-Black

In a recent article for the National Review, senior editor Jonah Goldberg discussed the popularity of Ben Carson amongst the GOP (at least based on recent polls). He notes that

“… most analysis of Carson’s popularity from pundits focuses on his likable personality and his sincere Christian faith. But it’s intriguingly rare to hear people talk about the fact that he’s black. One could argue that he’s even more authentically African-American than Barack Obama.”

Goldberg makes this statement and then goes on to make a number of claims as to why President Obama is not “authentically African-American” enough, at least when compared to Carson.

“…Obama’s mother was white and he was raised in part by his white grandparents. In his autobiography, Obama writes at length about how he grew up outside the traditional African-American experience — in Hawaii and Indonesia — and how he consciously chose to adopt a black identity when he was in college.”

This isn’t a new sentiment. Many people of many different races have often brought up Obama’s racial heritage in a way to discredit his blackness. In fact, a 2014 article by the Washington Post shows most of America doesn’t consider the president as black, but as “mixed-race”. The problem with this line of thinking stems from how we conceptualize multi-racial identities in this country- one with a history of hypodescent ideologies, like the infamous one-drop rule. The problem with this line of thinking is that all Obama needs to be “authentically” black is to be black, and that he most definitely is.

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Force Perspective

Force Perspective

By now, you have most likely seen the video of the young student from  Spring Valley High School being reprimanded by the resource officer- Ben Fields- so I’ll spare your eyes a posting of the video, but here’s a link. Since the video went viral about two days ago, it has sparked some debate over whether Fields’s actions were justified.

In the video, you see clearly how Fields handles the student, but you don’t know much about how he “went from 0-60”, as Professor Marc Lamont Hill put it, or why he is in the classroom to begin with. As it has been reported, the student in the video was being disruptive to the class by having her cell phone out and not turning it into the teacher when he asked her to give it to him so he could continue with the class. Since she refused, the teacher called for the resource officer to remove her from class. Then… well… you’ve seen the video.

So this all brings up numerous- related- questions. First and most obvious, was the officer justified in his use of force? But this also calls into question the purpose of having officers in schools and also the obligations students and teachers have to each other.

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The “M” Word and Other In-Group Words You’re Not Allowed to Say (and Why)

The “M” Word and Other In-Group Words You’re Not Allowed to Say (and Why)


This one is an article about the word nigga.

Ok, so not really but kinda. Just wanted to be sensational haha. You did read the title right, it says “M” word. This article is about words you shouldn’t say and why, like the n-word and the m-word. Because some people don’t seem to get why one group can say some things and other groups are excluded. Like Tom Hank’s son (who’s apparently a rapper???) who has decided he is in fact allowed to say the n-word.

Even lesser known than the n-word, a large number of people (especially younger people) don’t even know anything about the m-word. As the identity is re-emerging I thought I should shed some light on it. I also figured releasing it today, known as Loving Day, would be awesome!

Check it out and let me know what you think! As usual, always open for a respectful debate on the topic!
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Religious Freedom and Public Rights

Religious Freedom and Public Rights

Hi all!

I recently ran across a Rachel Maddow story about North Carolina’s House of Representatives reviewing a proposal that I thought would open a conversation on the tug and pull between “religious freedom” and the law. The proposal would allow county magistrates to reject marriage licenses to people based on their religious beliefs. In the video, Maddow notes that under the new law…

…Magistrates could refuse to marry gay and lesbian couples, or couples who were remarrying after a divorce, or couples with one Buddhist and one Jew, couples where one person is white and one person is black- like the good ol’ days.

-Rachel Maddow

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Why I Can Vote for Divestment: A Response

Why I Can Vote for Divestment: A Response

This Post is in Response to another op ed written in the Michigan Daily’s paper (the Michigan Daily is the student publication at the University of Michigan). The op ed can be found here. I submitted my response yesterday and did not hear back from the paper.


2 years ago, I was given a unique opportunity and asked by a friend to run in the Central Student Government elections as the representative for the School of Education. I hadn’t considered CSG before and in all honesty had no clue what CSG did or why it was important. Since I was interested in learning more about policy and politics though, I signed up. While I didn’t win that year, I was able to return to run last year and secured the spot as the representative for the School of Education. Last year also included flourishing student activism on campus, including the movement #UMDivest.

That student activism- from #BBUM to sexual assault prevention work- was the catalyst for my interest in becoming a part of CSG. It is not my belief that any representative I have had the honor of working with this year joined CSG to not make Michigan better. Our goal is to leave this great place better than we entered it. It’s a part of what makes Michigan Michigan- students who push the envelope and demand this university become better than it was before. That commitment to continuous improvement comes from our mission as a public institution. As Michigan students, we can learn about our place in this world and how we can use our knowledge, skills, and passion to make the world a better place. We owe it to the public that has both founded and maintained us to do just that, both domestically and abroad. It’s for this reason I plan to use my position on CSG to vote in favor resolution AR 4-042, “A Resolution to call upon the University of Michigan to Appoint a Committee to Investigate Investments in Socially Irresponsible companies that violate Palestinian Human Rights.”

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