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I have a problem...

I have a problem with the coverage and portrayal of our President-elect, Barack Obama.

In the last few weeks, I can count the number of times I have heard Obama described as biracial on one finger. He's always described as black, or African-American.

I do not understand why his biracial status is basically omitted from the discussion, and I also do not understand why it appears that he hasn't done anything to correct the omission.

For those reading who don't know me, I'll tell you why this bothers me so much: I am biracial.

I am half white, half Japanese. Like Obama, it's not terribly obvious to someone who looks at me. Most of my physical characteristics are Asian -- the skin tone, the hair color, the eye color, etc.

In fact, when strangers who do not know my true ethnicity describe me, I'm not even always described as Asian. But I'm never described as white.

This doesn't bother me, especially when people haven't had a chance to learn about my ethnicity. I was bothered as a child when some other kids thought I was Native American and called me a mild racial slur, but that's a different story.

But if I was in the international spotlight, and everyone called me Japanese, and omitted the physical and psychological role my white mother played in my development as a person, I'd be offended, because by omitting that, people would be dismissing her role in who I am. And I wouldn't let it slide. I'd be sure to correct them.



  • interesting

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