On the View yesterday, President Obama addressed the non-discussion we are having about race in America by stating that African-Americans are “sort of a mongrel people.” He then clarified that statement by stating that the same holds true for white Americans.
His statement has begun to stir the pot a little. I would submit that the President used a poor choice of words to describe the mélange that is African-Americans a rarity for this President. If former President George Bush made the same comment he would have been even more vilified than he was. I believe he most definitely would have returned man to the moon. He would have been exiled there. In general, roughly 24 hours since his appearance there has been little outcry about the remark. Is it that we all understood that the President used the word mongrel in its adjective form? Or, do we just need a break to catch our collective breath from the entire race baiting and straight out racist comments and actions we have been a witness to over the past 18 months?
Personally, I can accept the word mongrel in its adjective definition to describe myself. I am a mixture. There is no one in America that is of “pure race” which when you trace the etymology of mongrel the use was to describe someone who was “not of a pure race” in the 1500’s as well as today what the hell is a “pure race” that has never and will never exist anywhere on the planet Earth. I identify myself 110% as being black however, I acknowledge that on my maternal and fraternal side there has to be European ancestry. My mother was from the South so the history of slavery and its dehumanizing effect concludes that there is European white ancestry. My father is Spanish, and in my fraternal lineage there is Chinese, European, and African. I cannot deny the blood in my veins, the choice about how I would identify myself was not mine to make but was made for me by my parents. It is their example, their guidance, their love, not just their color that kept me well grounded in my identity as a Black man in America.
The N-word however, I have more than a strong disdain for. It was created as a deliberate insult. It was created to disgrace, discredit, show contempt, and to display superiority over black people. This word has direct and carries irrefutable hatred in it. The fact that it is used and accepted in our community as well as in other communities is abhorrent. There is no way to logically justify the word in a positive sense and its usage.
I believe the President should receive a pass from us on this one. He acknowledges and embraces his blackness and does the same with his whiteness. We should do the same. We are a mixture; everyone in America is a mixture. And the diversity pot gets richer every single day. We all need to realize and embrace that. We all must engage in an honest and forthright way a discussion to subdue the beast of racism in America.