As I mentioned last night, another indication of how much more obsessed white Americans are with African-Americans than with all other minorities combined is reflected in the widespread hope among whites that Barack Obama can somehow or other resolve the white-black race problem in America (an assumption shared by fewer blacks.)
And yet Obama's upbringing was wholly outside the continental U.S., in cultures with radically different perspectives on race than those prevailing here.
By upbringing, Obama is largely Hawaiian, but almost zero attention has been focused on the fact that he is the first major Presidential candidate with a Hawaiian background. Indeed, Obama's Hawaiian acculturation undercuts much of his self-made myth. He likes to go on about how he felt alienated as a youth because he didn't look like everybody else around him, but the truth is that a huge fraction of people in Hawaii look vaguely like Obama, since multiracial people are far more common there than anywhere else in America. Fu and Heaton reported: "Between 1983 and 1994, 46% of all marriages contracted in Hawaii were racially exogamous."
Granted, there aren't many blacks in Hawaii, but there also is less prejudice against them there than elsewhere because most blacks in Hawaii are connected to the military in some way, and thus they, or their ancestors, were selected for intelligence, honesty, and diligence.
That's why black children test less below average in Hawaii than almost anywhere else, except perhaps in Alaska. For example, on the National Assessment of Educational Progress school achievement exam of reading, in the overall U.S., 59% of black 4th graders score below basic versus 38% of the general population. In Hawaii, however, only 51% percent of blacks are below basic versus 47% of the total Hawaiian population -- a barely discernible difference.
Of course, Obama wasn't given an average Hawaiian upbringing. His grandparents sent him to the famous Punahou prep school, which is probably more dominant in the social structure of Hawaii than any other prep school in America is in its respective state. With 3,750 students from K-12 (and high school graduating classes of 430) in a state of only 1.2 million, it absorbs a very high proportion of all the young elites in Hawaii. Illustrative of Punahou's dominant resources, Sports Illustrated ranks Punahou as having the fourth best sports program of any of the 38,000 high school in America.
The Punahou School opened in 1841 on land owned by the Rev. Hiram Bingham I (grandfather of the discoverer of Machu Picchu), with its first teacher being the Rev. Daniel Dole (one of the many Congregationalist missionaries who went from New England to Hawaii to do good and whose families ended up doing well). It officially opened its doors to all races way back in 1851. For example, Sun Yat-sen, future first President of China, enrolled in 1883. Today, its student body is only 1/3 white.
So, Obama's feelings of racial oppression as a youth were more adolescent alienation fantasies than his daily reality.