Mutt Like Me
Back in the fifties, there was a book called Black Like Me, which was the story of a journalist and self-described "specialist in race issues," (who) left behind his privileged life as a Southern white man to step into the body of a stranger. In 1959, Griffin headed to New Orleans, darkened his skin and immersed himself in black society, then traveled to several states until he could no longer stand the racism, segregation and degrading living conditions."
The book is a classic on race relations in America.
Though the book spoke to the zeitgeist of the time, which was steeped in the simplistic dialectic of black and white, cracker and nigger; the reality of race relations in America then and, even moreso now, is that we are tied up in Falkneresque twisted roots.
One of the things that I have most resented about Barack Obama is that he has, through his associations with such pathetic luminaries as Jeremiah Wright, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakhan, declared himself to be a black man, when he is not at all a product of Black American Culture. Being the son of an African black and a white women, and having been raised by his white grandparents for the most part, he is not a black American, but is instead more a product of white culture.
That is to say he is more a white man than he is a black man.
However, the color of his skin does mean something in a society which is still racially-conscious and that is probably why Barack Obama chose to identify himself with Black American culture.
But, the question is, who did the color of his skin matter more to, the people around him, or himself?
As long as Barack Obama has continued to continue perform the political minstrel show in black face, he was idolatrously exalting the simplistic dialectic of black and white, rather than acknowledging the more multifarious, complex, and beautiful reality of race in America.
So, I am glad to hear that Barack Obama has finally come out and admitted the truth, that he is a "Mutt".
I'm a mutt too, my children are mutts, my nephews and nieces are mutts, my whole family is contributing to the general muttliness of the future of America.
I prefer to think of it as the destiny of the Golden Race.
Truth is, while race exists, race doesn't matter, unless one allows it to matter.
I'm with MLK on this issue, I believe we ought to judge a person not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. We will know that America has bloomed into its manifest destiny when we realize the incarnation of MLK's dream
America is in the mind. It is not in the skin. An American is a person who has achieved a certain freedom from within, rather than a freedom granted to him by class, racial attribute, or by the government.
There is a sense in which an American can be nothing other than a mutt. For to be a true American, one must be filled with the sublime conflict of the collective. As Whitman said,