Black Like Me
"So, yes, Obama's interracial background puts him at cross purposes. It gives him a racelessness that is politically appealing to whites, but it also draws him toward precisely the kind of self-conscious black identity that alienates whites. For nearly two decades Barack Obama has attended a black church on the South Side of Chicago that his own mother could never have felt comfortable in. It subscribes to a "Black Value System" in which "black" was always the operative word--"black family," "black community," "black freedom," etc. But it was not a black value system that accounted for Obama's success in life; it was the values of his white Midwestern mother. Could he stand up in his own church and say this?
People do well because they are loved and because much is asked of them--not because they are black or white. Their own sense of responsibility is always their greatest asset. Whatever consolations blackness may offer, it is not an agent. It does nothing. And there is indeed a "fresh" politics to be made from these simple truths. Who better to do this than Barack Obama? Here, within his own actual experience, is his chance to deliver the "freshness" that so many Americans look for in him."