Obama Gets the Nomination – Another Strike for Multiracial Babies!

By Adrienne Maree Brown Jun 03, 2008

So I can’t write much on here but I have to just share this temporary moment of swelling heart boom boom because Obama, Barack Hussein Obama, a half-breed, Hafrican, mulatto, black and white cookie, creamed coffee, is-he-is-or-is-he-ain’t, mixed, multi-, biracial, more-than-a-drop, cafe au lait like me is going to be the Democratic nominee for President. No one will want to remember it that way, it’s too advanced to get into, its big enough that he’s a black man, the black candidate who has been running against the woman candidate in our oversimplified media vomitorium of electoral coverage. But as a woman who grew up with that special experience of visiting the far reaches of the American experience as represented by the racial spectrum in my veins, as a biracial woman who takes note of all the multicultural straddlers out there leading and supporting movements, I want to take a moment that we rarely get. Mariah Carey, goddess that she is, isn’t out there forging the path of righteousness for those who are undefining the boundary. Halle Barry wants nothing to do with the gray space. We haven’t had many public figures giving speeches about their mixed heritage, out there publicly applying the unique ability to go beyond temporary bridge-building to the true and evolutionary, fusionistic type of movement building which is a survival mechanism honed at the dinner table for multiracial babies. There’s a Pandora’s box available for analysis everywhere you look. Is it the light skin and white grandmother that made Obama eligible as a black player in this game? Does Hillary understand that it wasn’t her gender, or her race, but her spirit of contention that lost her this run? Doesn’t this just complicate the image of oppression with a black/mixed face at the tip of an iceberg of immoral and divisive policies and ideals? Can black people, immigrants, Arab Americans/immigrants, queer folks, poor folks…can any disenfranchised community see a tangible hope in this moment? Does America operate in tangibles when it comes to ideology, or merely when it comes to punishment and retribution? All of those questions remain for another day – those are conversations that need to be had. But today, I’m just relishing in that little forgotten possibility tucked into a time capsule and buried in my brain: you could be president of this great nation…someone like you could be president of this great nation. So its not a great nation. So nations may not have the ability to both be nations and be great. So the role of president has become a point of betrayal, ridicule and something to distance ourselves from. So what! Today? Someone who is evidence of the kind of love that made me – love between individuals who refused to be defined and limited by race, which is a mode of categorizing defined as a tool of oppression – someone like that is playing big. Maybe in this moment we can remember that we do not exist to be divided, and fight against each other, and create suffering and walls and borders. We might be called to something larger, to be the living representation of a world steeped in culture and beyond inequality. I know his mixed heritage won’t be a major talking point for Obama, and politically I understand the need at this moment for a black candidate, for it to be more simple. But let’s don’t give up too much on the way – it’s the bravery in some of us to create spaces for being who we truly are that allows us all to evolve!