Without his whiteness would Obama have been elected President? It’s certain that most black Americans voted for the man in the last two Presidential elections but without the white vote he would not be President. That goes without saying and almost no one is.

His mother was Stanley, named by her mother after a character in a movie. They were white from Kansas. The complexion of his father was not on the line between white and black. His father, born near the shores of Lake Victoria was clearly black. Both parents were unusual. They conceived an unusual son, born into a world where very few people would share his genetic race. The President is clearly neither black or white but a combination.

Just how did his DNA form? He is neither black nor white nor are the percentages of the mixture known. That would be genetically unpredictable and unknowable. It will remain so until and unless genetics evolves with the identity of the genes that determine the characteristics and attributes of race in the individual but race in general and his race in particular is more than just the addition or the changes between two sets of attributes.

The President is clearly part white and part black. His parents were each pure examples of their respective races, pure in the sense of the defining attributes and characteristics of their separate races but the combination of their union did not follow the laws of mathematics, at least not in the Euclidian sense. Biology may be destiny but DNA is not. The characteristics of President Obama flowed into the Presidency because of a rather unique combination of destiny, fortune and effort.

Nevertheless, some of the DNA produced expected results. The President is neither black nor white. We know that, not from just his appearance. It’s known because of his two books. Obama carefully explains some of the results of his racial combination. Fathered by a black man; conceived and delivered by a white woman, raised by his white mother and her parents, what is the possibility that President Obama is mostly black? Even with all of the white influence, his whiteness is still questionable because the quotidian is not so exact. To the black Americans who voted for him he’s a black man. To his wife, we are less certain. To his children who are not as bi-racial as him we don’t know. Their race component can be calculated. Mother 100% black; father 50% black; they are 75% black but wait. DNA doesn’t combine along statistical path’s. Genes are sort of predictable on a macro scale but not for any individual. The arithmetic is clear; The percentages are not.
The percentages of the President’s DNA cannot be calculated. The race attributes are no more known they are many of the other attributes which are the consequence of the combination but some components are clear. The President has black skin but, …..
Yes but. The blackness of the President is no more exact than his whiteness. So what’s the problem?

The racial attributes in the President’s DNA remain unknowable. The personal attributes we know from his biographical signature but how much of his personality came from his father? Unknown. Likewise for his mother. Two unknown’s don’t make a known.

The bottom line on the race of the President is: there is no line. The line between the contributions of his parents is not a line at all. It’s a sort of smear of attributes that are at once greater, the same and different than the exact attributes of his parents. He enjoys basketball. He was a varsity player at Punahoe School but like the movie “White Men Can’t Jump”, he couldn’t slam-dunk. Is he more white because he can’t jump?

Is the President more black because of his skin color? How about his intelligence? His left-handedness? We know those attributes, like the rest of his attributes are the result of his DNA. We just don’t know the whole story.

Why is that important? Because he’s the most powerful man on the planet. Because he’s an American in America and we need to know as well as possible the basis of his decisions. It’s not so important if he likes his eggs scrambled or poached but it’s vital to the rest of the human race how to know the basis of his decisions on, for example, the use of the police.

The President cannot directly control the police of Ferguson, MO. or New York City. He cannot control the police of the tinniest borough even if it’s only one cop. He can’t. He’s prohibited by one thing more powerful than himself; the law. That’s a lot more clear than his race but his ideas about race affect his decisions. That’s why he called the decision of the Cambridge police to arrest a black professor stupid and because this is America he had to change his mind which is did, ..sort of when he said: “I want to make clear that in my choice of words I think I unfortunately gave an impression that I was maligning the Cambridge Police Department or Sergeant Crowley specifically — and I could have calibrated those words differently.” Also, that “I continue to believe, based on what I have heard, that there was an overreaction in pulling Professor Gates out of his home to the station. I also continue to believe, based on what I heard, that Professor Gates probably overreacted as well.”

That’s another characteristic of the President. Stubbornness in the face of opposing evidence. Another attribute, a fault really is his sometimes refusal to apologize when he’s wrong. Is his stubbornness and his intransigence because he’s part white? No way to know because he’s not just the product of his DNA. His mentation was shaped but not fully determined by his DNA. He may be statistically 50% white but culturally his whiteness is unknown.

We do know he decided not to support his whiteness when he wrote in his book “Dreams From My Father”: “I ceased to advertise my mother’s race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.” You can try to reconcile his words with your views on race. The context of the President’s words are in his book but the context doesn’t change the idea. Barack Obama decided to be not-white and he succeeded so far as his superficiality goes but he can’t change his DNA.

The analysis of his quoted words is all over the internet, both pro and con but the take-a-way is he is race conscious and he veered towards being identified as black at age 12 or 13, in his own words. That doesn’t make him a racist but it verifies his direction in his mind. He can’t be both black and white when it comes to his ideas about race when he “ceased to advertise” his mothers whiteness despite his mother’s contribution to his DNA. He’s still part white whether it’s convenient to him or his purposes or not. He’s free to accept it or deny it in part or altogether but the denial doesn’t erase his whiteness. His father was black. His mother wasn’t. He has wrestled with that since he was 12 or 13, and most likely long before that. He was raised by his white mother and her white parents.

In his book: “Dreams..”, he goes into great detail about going to Kenya to visit with his fathers’ families and his Luo tribal land. He didn’t stop ion Kansas.

He could have been a transformational President but he went along with Al Sharpton and the black race hustlers. He received, accepted and acted on the words of Rev. Wright. He should have absorbed the words of Malcolm X who got past his black race into the brighter, wider world. He could have helped unite America a bit more instead of deepening and widening the racial divide. He’s in denial about that too. He encouraged the Ferguson Rioters by going along with the idea of two America’s divided by the mythical black-white divide. He could have embraced the whiteness of his mother along with the blackness of his father but he didn’t. He couldn’t. He can’t and that’s too bad for the rest of us.

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