My plea is answered.
I’ve written before (here and here) about the “Is he black enough?” question dogging Sen. Barack Obama, opining that the question was actually code for “Isn’t he too educated, too wealthy, too successful and too ‘white-talking’ to represent African-Americans, whom the media and professional activists stereotype as permanently downtrodden victims of ineradicable racism?”
I think I’m right on that, but given the extreme sensitivity of racial dialogue in America, I know I’m vulnerable to the “And what would a white guy know?” charge. That’s why I’ve been hoping that a perceptive black commentator would jump in on this one.
At last, now comes Miami Herald columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Leonard Pitts, Jr. with his take on the subject. It’s good stuff, so check it out here.
Incidentally, I interviewed Pitts for a magazine piece a few years ago when he had just put out a moving and intelligent book called Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood, about his own largely absent father and the continuing psychological and sociological problems born of low marriage rates among blacks. I was puzzled when the book was almost totally ignored, but thanks to Amazon (here), it’s never too late to pick up a copy.