The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

COMMON GROUND

Every so often a thought occurs to me that, well modesty prevents me from calling it “brilliant”, but which I believe could fairly be categorized as “insightful”.  Just such an experience occurred the other day – and I’ve been mulling it around so that I could entertain you with it in this post.

I am disturbed that so much of the focus of this election seems to be centered around the skin color of the two candidates for President.  There is no doubt that many people who are black will vote for Obama for that reason alone.  It is equally true that there are people who are white who will not vote for him because he is a black man.  While I consider people in either camp to be racial bigots, their bigotry is not the common ground which is the subject for this post.

I make no qualms about the fact that one of the few gifts that I possess is a keen ability to do math and calculations.  It may be one of my few redeeming qualities.  And so I started to look at the President and his genetic background from the standpoint of pure mathematics.

Now the nice thing about math, unlike political races, is that it is one of those absolute sciences on which we can rely for truth.  In our base ten math system, the correct answer to 2 x 2 will be 4 whether you are an American, a Chinese, a resident of Mali or a charter member of Al Qaeda.  I hope we are all in agreement so far.  I’m further hoping that even recent graduates of our public school systems have mastered this basic bit of multiplication.

But then we turn to the more difficult and challenging question of percentages.  (Please don’t hit the “X” button at the top of the page quite yet because I know even those who struggled with fractions will find this easy).

Moving right along, it is the consensus of belief and without dispute even from Donald Trump that President Obama’s father was a black citizen of Kenya and his mother was a white citizen of the United States.  That would make the President 50% black and 50% white.  Are you with me so far?  After all, this is just really, really basic math.

My question – and I would love to hear from anyone who can explain this to me – is why is it that we consider President Obama to be a “black” man rather than a “white” man since he has equal parts of his genetic material from each of his parents?  Are we saying (much to the consternation of women everywhere) that the male’s sperm contributes more than just its fair share to the fertilization process than does the female’s ovum?  If we make that argument it’s a good thing that Betty Friedan has passed on as it would undoubtedly require her to write yet another book.

And so we find our basis for the common ground between your run-of-the-mill-black bigot who will vote for the President because he is black and your run-of-the-mill white member of the Aryan Nation who will not vote for him because he is black.  We have found a point on which these two groups are in agreement, that the President is a black man.

I hope that members of both extremes will have the opportunity to read this post.  I am certain that knowing that they have found some commonality will allow them to sleep comfortably – although the realization of their agreeing on anything may cause them to endure a horrible nightmare.

As for me, I am going to take the alternate position and, supported by the mathematical analysis I provided, I am going to insist that President Obama is indeed a “white man”.  This simplifies my life and my voting decision since I no longer have even to consider the matter of race as a potential issue.  Hopefully, this might simplify your life too.

So what it all comes down to for me is the President’s track record and the campaign promises on which we relied in 2008.  One of those statements in particular keeps ringing through my mind.  That was, “If I can’t cut the deficit in half in my first four years, I would not deserve to be re-elected.”  Rather than a fifty percent reduction we’ve seen a sixty percent increase.

Relying on the President’s own words, I’m compelled to vote for “the other White Meat”.

Comments on: "COMMON GROUND" (4)

  1. A very cogent, and unfortunately rare but honest look at race and politics in America. I voted for Obama in 2008 because pure and simple he was he best man for the job; to me it was a no brainer. It still is: that Obama and a pathological liar should be neck and neck in this race truly boggles my mind. Despite four years of obstructionism and an unprecedented torrent of hate propaganda, the President has brought us back from the very brink of disaster and is slowly leading the country back towards prosperity. The recovery would be much farther along if he had had an ounce of cooperation from the opposing party.

    All that aside, your comments on American’s weird notions of race are quite true. Statistically, Americans of African Descent (ie those of us descended from freed slaves and not the more recent immagrants from Africa–such as Obama) are actually only seventy percent black on average. Converselly, I would wager to say there are many more white people walking around today who think they are white but actually have some percentage of negro genes in their DNA makeup–they just don’t know it. Ultimately, we are all Africans, since it has been proved conclusively through mitochondrial DNA that every human being on the face of the earth is descended from a female ancester anthropologists call “Eve” who dwelt in Africa somewhere in the early stone age. Just something to think about.

    • Thank you for taking your time to read this post and for responding to it. I appreciate both of those acts.

      While I couldn’t disagree more with some of your statements and the conclusions you drew in your first paragraph, I always welcome everyone’s thoughtful opinion. That is the wonderful thing about a democracy – that we can “agree to disagree” and hopefully still work together to accomplish those things that are in the best interests of our society and each of us as individuals.

      Your comments are always welcome and I look forward to hearing from you in the future. I wish you all the best.

  2. What a wonderful post. You break it down and make it look so simple. Sometimes I wish both candidates were of the same color (either way) so that people would stop putting so much emphasis on it. If they were both the same exact color, then MAYBE people would look at the record instead of all the race issues.
    I have great hope that one day our ugly past will heal as we teach our children that race and gender just don’t really matter. It’s what we DO. It’s what we SAY. It’s who we ARE. One day, maybe a generation away, I truly believe this, but it won’t be happening in my life time.
    Your post was entertaining and insightful. I think you should have your own political t.v. show. I’d watch it every day because what you say makes sense. 🙂
    Maybe you could start your own Utube channel….. 😀

  3. Well, Momma-to-be – once again I have to thank you and award you the title of “World’s Greatest Booster”.

    I intended to be humorous (it happens) in this post – yet sincere. Why is it that when people speak of the President it is that he is our first (pc term) African-American President or, in my parlance, black man elected to that office? He is equally white genetically – so the fact that we choose to categorize him as “black” is little more than a holdover from the days of slavery and segregation in which white supremacists, if they were able to find any traces of black blood in a person’s heritage, deemed him or her to be “black”. And on this both the liberal and conservative press seem to be in agreement, amazingly.

    That small segment of the voting public who cast an intelligent vote, not based on race or ethnicity or party label, will, as they should with every election, determine who is the most qualified person based on a candidate’s track record and how well the programs they promise us fit with our view of what is best for the country and ourselves.

    It is hard to make a positive case using those criteria for President Obama. (No matter how much weed you’re smoking).

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