May 9, 2011

Obama's mom on his choice of racial identity

There had been a lot of subtle evidence available before about Dr. Stanley Ann Dunham Obama Soetoro's psychological hurt over her son's choice to identify solely as black, but it's historically valuable to have it now all spelled out in Janny Scott's new biography of Ann Dunham, A Singular Woman. Now, we learn (via Jacob Weisberg's review in Slate) what the President's own mother thought about her son's choice of racial self-identification. From Scott's biography:
"She felt a little bit wistful or sad that Barack had essentially moved to Chicago and chosen to take on a really strongly identified black identity," recalled Don Johnston, Ann's colleague at Bank Rakyat Indonesia. That identity, she felt, "had not really been part of who he was when he was growing up." She felt he was making what Johnston called 'a professional choice' to strongly identify himself as black."

Scott's revelations are not just important for what they say about the President of the United States of America, but, more essentially, for what they say about modern America.

David Axelrod's version of Barack Obama's Narrative as the racial transcender always had one obvious weakness: the politician himself self-identifies as black and only black (as he chose to do on the 2010 Census). When this inconvenient fact has been brought up, it has usually been explained away by noting that white racism wouldn't allow poor Obama to identify as both black and white. The One Drop Rule, you know.

Yet, the existence of part-black celebrities, such as Tiger Woods and Derek Jeter, who take a less dogmatic view of how to self-identify racially, has seldom been mentioned in the press in relation to Obama's choice. Further, Obama's Hawaiian upbringing in the laid-back 1970s, where he was thought of as "just another mixed kid" at his highly mixed prep school, is also ignored.

Another implicit suggestion of the Axelrodian version of The Narrative is that being half-black made the rise of Barack Obama harder. If he were white, presumably, an amazing talent like Obama would have been President at 37 instead of 47.

The subversive counter-narrative is that Obama figured out fairly early on that his path to power would be much easier in modern America if he self-identified only as black. (He made a mid-course correction in  whom to target his Narrative to after his humiliation by Bobby Rush in the 2000 House primary taught him that black voters, who are more savvy about matters of black identity, would not recognize him as "black enough" relative to other black candidates, but that clueless white people would.)

When Obama was elected head of the Harvard Law Review in 1990, he banged the paternal race gong hard in the ensuing PR, to his mother's bemusement. You can read this important account from Scott's book on Google Books.
"A longer article a week later in The Boston Globe went into greater detail. "What seems to motivate Barack Obama is a strong identification what what he calls 'the typical black experience,' paired with a mission to help the black community and promote social justice," the Globe reported. It described "his unusual path, from childhood in Indonesia, where he grew up, he says, 'as a street kid [with several servants looking after him],' to adolescence in Hawaii, where he was raised by his grandparents." The article dwelt at some length on the influence of Obama's father, who, it said, was born in Kenya, "studied at Harvard and Oxford [?] and became a senior [?] economist for the Kenyan government." In high school, the article said, Obama began a regular correspondence with his father, "whose heritage was to be a major influence on his life, ideals and priorities." One of Obama's most valued possessions, the article said, was the passbook that his grandfather, a cook for the British before Kenyan independence, was required to carry. "He said that even though his heritage is one-half white, and although has had a mixture of influences in his life, 'my identification with the -- quote -- typical black experience in America was very strong and very natural [?] and wasn't something forced and difficult," the article said. Of Ann, it said little more than "His mother, who is white, is a Kansas-born anthropologist who now works as a developmental consultant in Indonesia." 
In an even longer article in the Los Angeles Times a month later, Ann was described simply as "an American anthropologist" and "a white American from Wichita, Kan." 
The marginal role to which Ann was consigned in those accounts did not go unnoticed. She had raised Obama, with the help of her parents, after his father had left for Harvard when Obama was ten months old. She had been his primary parent for the first ten years of his life. 
She had returned to Hawaii to live with him when he was in middle school. She had moved back to Hawaii from Indonesia for several months during his senior year. Yet in those accounts, Obama had been "a street kid" in Indonesia, then sent back to Hawaii to be "raised by his grandparents." Yang Suwan, Ann's Indonesian anthropologist friend, recalled Ann returning to Jakarta around the time of the Harvard Law Review election. As always, she was extraordinarily proud of her son. But on another level, she seemed crushed. 
"'His mother is an anthropologist,' Ann told Yang, quoting an article she had seen. "I was mentioned in one sentence." ... 
When Ann told Made Suarjana that Obama was graduating from Harvard Law School, he said, "So, he's going to be a billionaire." Ann corrected him: No, she said, he wants to return to Chicago and do pro bono work. Because Suarjana knew that Obama was interested in politics, and because he felt he knew something about American public life, he said, knowingly, "Okay, so he wants to be president." 
To his surprise, Ann began to weep. ... 
"No, not this time," she answered, according to Suarjana. "He's going to be a senator first."
Had they already talked about it, Suarjana wondered later. ... 
"She felt a little bit wistful or sad that Barack had essentially moved to Chicago and chosen to take on a really strongly identified black identity," recalled Don Johnston, Ann's colleague at Bank Rakyat Indonesia. That identity, she felt, "had not really been part of who he was when he was growing up." Ann felt he was making what Johnston called "a professional choice" to strongly identify himself as black." It would be too strong to say that she felt rejection," he said. But she felt, in that way, "that he was distancing himself from her.""

This may offer clues for some of the missing pieces in the puzzle of Obama's life, such as why he wound up at Occidental College, a fine liberal arts college but not exactly the Ivy League. And he came from an academically ambitious family: his father had gone to Harvard, his mother was working on her Ph.D., his grandmother's sister was a statistics professor at (I believe) the University of North Carolina, and his grandmother's brother was an executive in the U. of Chicago libraries. 

Similarly, Obama seems like a smart guy, but not only didn't his PSAT score at his prep school allow him to make National Merit Semifinalist (a very high bar, one that few recent Presidential candidates would have cleared), but he didn't even make the much lower bar of National Achievement Scholar, the affirmative action version of National Merit Scholar for blacks. 

Then, after two years at Oxy devoted largely, in his own account, to smoking weed and and hanging out with rich Pakistani Marxists, he suddenly transferred to the Ivy League.

What happened? 

Well, one thing we know happened at Oxy was that he changed the first name he went by from Barry to Barack. Perhaps, he also changed his racial identity as well?

Maybe on the PSAT and on his college applications he didn't check the "Black" box? If he didn't, college admissions officers would have looked at an application from some kid named Obama in Honolulu and figured he maybe was another Japanese kid, and they already had lots of applications from affluent East Asians with better grades than this Obama character.

His mother, who had lived with him in the fall of his senior year in high school when he would have been thinking about his college applications, recalled, "That [black] identity, she felt, 'had not really been part of who he was when he was growing up.'"

Maybe his idealistic mother suggested it wouldn't be fair for a privileged preppie like him to claim affirmative action benefits? Who knows?

Granted, this would sharply contradict Obama's own race-obsessed version of his teenage years. Accounts by his high school friends vary. Most of his friends remember him as a mellow pothead. His half-Japanese half-black friend Keith Kakugawa (whom Obama fictionalized as the all-black and bitterly anti-white "Ray" in Dreams from My Father) recalls Obama as being far more paranoid about white prejudice than he was. (Another character fictionalized in Dreams also told the LA Times that the anti-white views his character expressed in the book sound more like Obama's literary self-projections). But Kakugawa also said that the main emotional turmoil in Obama's life was caused not by race but by his feelings of abandonment by his parents.

Of course, Kakugawa is an ex-con, so who are you going to believe? The jailbird or the President? The guy who couldn't talk his way out of prison or the guy who talked his way into the White House?

Quite possibly, Obama's own view of his racial identity was subject to the usual teenage emotional flux.


86 comments:

Svigor said...

What did she think? Marrying an African black and giving birth to a mulatto was the path to a normal family?

She sounds like a bit of a narcissist, wanting more than a sentence, especially given how relatively little she contributed to raising her child.

Anonymous said...

Sad, confused, broken people make the best presidents don't they.

Camlost said...

Don't the ingrate Oreos always identify with their absentee black father? This is usually despite the fact that said black baby daddy is nowhere to be found and does zilch for them during their formative years.

Halle Berry wins an academy award and spouts on and on about her black father, who she admits to knowing very little about. Deval Patrick writes in his memoirs about dying to please his absentee black activist father who chastised him for not being "black enough" since he had no talent in sports. Yet Deval Patrick still complains about every perceived minor slight at the hands of the white families, friends, professors and private school administrators who went so far out of their way to help him along.

But I guess when your wife is Michelle "I'm finally proud of my country" Obama you've probably spent a lot of time at the dinner table complaining about white privilege (as if Africans accomplish much on their own when not living in white-run countries).

Formerly.JP98 said...

Steve -- Sounds like you should come out with a revised and expanded edition of America's Half-Blod Prince in time for the 2012 election.

Anonymous said...

So the first person he threw under the bus was his own mother. That's our guy.

Anonymous said...

Children do tend to identify with their father so I wouldn't be inclined to hold this against Obama, regardless of how much of a dick move it seems like.

Polichinello said...

Can we really blame the guy for distancing himself from his dingbat mother? His grandmother is a harder case, though. Of course, she went under the bus in due time.

Truth said...

"What did she think? Marrying an African black and giving birth to a mulatto was the path to a normal family?"

No, she thought it was the path to giving birth to the POTUS. That's why the rigged the birth announcments in the newspaper when Barry was 4-days old.

Truth said...

"you've probably spent a lot of time at the dinner table complaining about white privilege..."

You've spent practically every minute of your time on this site complaining about black privilege.

Maya said...

Happy VE Day, Steve. Something nice to celebrate today, so take a step back, smile and remember that the US was and still is a powerful and largely positive presence in the world.. It wasn't a fairy tale ending, but all and all, the good guys won. The bad guys were sorry and worked very hard to become good guys, successfully, with a lot of help from the original good guys.

Maybe it's because this is one of a few days that my former and present homelands can celebrate together that Obama's fictional racial hardships don't bother me today. Screw him and his pathetic ilk. These spoiled "victims" can't negate the greatness and the benevolence of The United States. Thank you, America, for providing everything a regular kid could possibly have needed to live a good life; from a high quality public education and low interest federal loans for an undergrad degree to an emergency service that actually comes when called, functioning sirens to warn of natural disasters, competent military and relatively low taxes. And thanks for letting me in. Oh, and thank you, Steve, for a quality news source.

Anonymous said...

You seem to be saying that Obama actually took the PSAT. On the web site Ask.com they conjecture that the reason he didn't become a Merit Finalist or Semifinalist was because he didn't take the PSAT. By their calculations if he had taken it he would have an IQ of "only" 129 or less. They try to explain this away and leave the possibility open that he is much smarter.

The Black version is said to be about ten points (it's not clear what points these are - IQ, standard scores, percentiles?) easier.

I claimed long ago that he seemed to me to be smart but real smart. I think I estimated an IQ of around 125-130. That questimate seems to be holding up pretty well.


Albertosaurus

dearieme said...

"his grandfather, a cook for the British ...": what, all of them? He must have been busy.

Comment Inflation said...

Steve, your credibility has taken a hit ever since accused Obama of having thrown his own White grandmother under the bus in that Race speech. Most of us normal folks saw something much more nuanced.


This sounds like yet another hatchet job with NO evidence, just mostly gossip.

elvisd said...

The reason why mixed celebs identify with the ever-absent black father is that "blackness" confers some magical, mystical journey of discovery for them. It's not the identity, but the long, winding road to it, that gives some instant profundity. It's literary, in a way.

Maya said...

"Steve, your credibility has taken a hit ever since accused Obama of having thrown his own White grandmother under the bus in that Race speech. Most of us normal folks saw something much more nuanced."

Alright. What's your take on Obama's comments on his grandmother? He compared her to someone very racist and hateful, an open agitator. That's not easily forgivable.

Steve Sailer said...

Right, Maya, don't let people insult your grandmother like that!

Anonymous said...

Children do tend to identify with their father so I wouldn't be inclined to hold this against Obama.

Even if this were anywhere near universal, it certainly wouldn't hold true for (American) biracial children. Biracial kids, at least the great majority of them, identify with the black parent, regardless of that parent's sex. Though, yes, that identification seems to be particularly strong in the case of kids with deadbeat black fathers.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Children do tend to identify with their father so I wouldn't be inclined to hold this against Obama ...

It strikes me that even though she was present in Obama's life, there really wasn't much of Stanley Ann there, so Barry invented this towering black father figure to live up to.

Why he went that direction instead of the direction of the many 'affaleets' I hear going on and on about their single mommas, I don't know.

Maya said...

LOL. I meant within the family, obviously. It matters very little that the McCains made up stories about the circumstances of their daughter's adoption, that Clinton cheated on his wife or that Obama comes of as ungrateful to the family that raised him. It does say something about their characters, but of course, family business isn't the reason all three of these men aren't acceptable leaders. However, the McCains did claim their daughter was handed to them by Mother Theresa, Clinton did cheat on his wife, and Obama did compare his granny to Wright. Facts can't be slander.

P.S. Both of my grandmothers are racists. I can admit it because 1. As far as you are concerned they are anonymous grandmothers of an anonymous Maya on a message board, not identifiable people. 2. Being elderly conservative Eastern Europeans, they wouldn't be offended by this marker. They assume everyone is, and we are glad they don't speak much English. I'd never call either of them something they'd find embarrassing, and I'd especially not compare them to the epitome of the said charge. So... grandpa isn't a communist!!!! He is nothing like Lenin or Pavlik Morozov. If you ever put his picture next to either of these names, he and I will be very upset. Happy VE Day!

Steve Sailer said...

Obama's coolly skeptical view of his mother is good evidence for how little black he is by culture. Can you imagine, say, Charles Barkley talking about his mother the way Obama wrote about his in Dreams from My Father?

Steve Sailer said...

Oh, sorry, Maya, I was assuming you were Maya Soetoro, the President's half-sister talking about their mutual grandmother. My mistake!

RS said...

>> you've probably spent a lot of time at the dinner table complaining about white privilege...

> You've spent practically every minute of your time on this site complaining about black privilege.

How much complaining about black|white privilege is there in this whole country? And how much per actual black|white privilege?>

Dennis Dale said...

Further, Obama's Hawaiian upbringing in the laid-back 1970s, where he was thought of as "just another mixed kid" at his highly mixed prep school, is also ignored.

Note that Obama the politician discards his personal experience growing up in multi-racial Hawaii--this post-racial icon somehow does not say, "I've seen a multi-racial society and this is how it works";
instead he selects from the rack the standard romantic-delusional garb of the Oppressed Black American--doubly false in his case. Everyone adopts the Big Lie--Barry manages to magnify it.
Uniter? Come now, Mr. President.

Dennis Dale said...

Obama's mom is like Silk's mom in The Human Stain, lamenting losing her son to his ambitious "passing".

dores said...

"Children do tend to identify with their father so I wouldn't be inclined to hold this against Obama, regardless of how much of a dick move it seems like."

well men do anyway.

jody said...

i would like to know the universe in which barack obama could become a billionaire. is this that multiple universes thing i keep reading about when i periodically brush up on what modern physicists are thinking?

all the real brainpower in obama's family seems to come from his mother's side. they're all real academics. his father was your standard affirmative action fraud as far as academics go. he was definitely no fraud when it came to being a professional african though. expelled from college, lots of kids with lots of women, totally irresponsible lifestyle, and finally killed while driving drunk. i believe teenagers today call this "swagger".

RS said...

> Steve, your credibility has taken a hit ever since accused Obama of having thrown his own White grandmother under the bus in that Race speech. Most of us normal folks saw something much more nuanced

If that's normal people logic, I'm glad to be aberrant. He took some incident where his grandmother was threatened, which he did not witness, and exaggerated/deceived by saying the guy was 'just walking by', so he could ZAP her as a racist. All this in order to neutralize the Rev. 'Not Goawd Bless America, Goawd Daaaamn America!' Is that something you're proud to think of as classy?

What if you yourself were branded a super-racist, before an audience of millions, and compared to Rev. 'God Daaaamn America!', for committing the same sort of 'offense' however many decades ago as she committed?

Tony the Tiger Mother said...

Ah, a nice post for the Hallmark season. Last I checked Oxy and Columbia undergrad have both now fielded the same # of Presidents, so why have an inferiority complex about it? Actually anybody being honest would have to call it for the trade-up it is, especially in light of Bar's "nascent" political aspirations, though I wonder how much it spurred him on by seeing the campus coordinates. Sure, anyone doing a meaningless 9 AM tour past the Low Library steps can appreciate the 125th St. distinction (back when Harlem was *HARLEM*, I mean) but maybe Obama transferred on the basis of an MTA fold-out map. Presto, yuppie... If only Mama Stanley had threatened to burn his dolls, he might've got all the way to the Leland Stanford Jr. University instead

Anonymous said...

"But Kakugawa also said that the main emotional turmoil in Obama's life was caused not by race but by his feelings of abandonment by his parents."

And anyone who has spent time around lots of kids knows this to be true. Even those kids who are, by society's standards, very well behaved and successful, are forever changed by an apathetic parent or by one who fails to emotionally nurture the child, either present or not.

Anonymous said...

It is not at all unusual for the child to create a hero/heroine out of the absent parent even when that childs feels abandoned. The kid actually blames himself for the abandonment: "If I were more lovable, he/she would never have left me."

Truth said...

"i believe teenagers today call this "swagger"."

No, actually Jody, they call it "William Jefferson Blythe."

Rrrrrrroger said...

I am usually annoyed at commenters who make uncheckable factual assertions, but I'm going to make one now. A person in Obama's class at Occidental told me that in those days students accepted at Occidental were given an automatic right to choose to attend Columbia for their junior and senior years.

Steve Sailer said...

Interesting.

Rrrrrroger said...

I also find people who post first and Google later annoying. I am in that class also. Apparently a form of the program still exists. Although now it appears to be a three year-two year program and then it was a two year-two year program.

http://college.oxy.edu/physics/3-2-engineering/3-2-engineering-faq/

AMac said...

Rrrrrrroger @ 7:28pm --

> in those days students accepted at Occidental were given an automatic right to choose to attend Columbia for their junior and senior years.

Hmmm.

Was it a secret policy?

If not, it seems a bit odd that this interesting tidbit wasn't aired before now, e.g. during the 2008 campaign. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people would be aware of it.

If it was a secret policy... how'd that work, exactly?

Steve Sailer said...

Thanks. Now that you mention it, I vaguely, very vaguely recall some kind of Occidental - Columbia link from my reading of college catalogs in 1975.

Rrrrrroger said...

AMac, I am reporting hearsay. It may not be true, or may have been remembered incorrectly. The reported policy definitely was not secret, but a selling point for Occidental, and generally known in the student body. My impression was that it was something they told prospective students who were wavering because they wanted to attend a more prestigious school. It would be ineffective if it were secret.

Wikipedia reports that similar programs exist today, but apparently more limited than the program that was described to me as in effect in 1980. See Occidental College Exchange and Cooperative Joint Degree Programs.

stari_momak said...

Wow, Oxy is to Columbia as Squeedunk Community College (sez this proud CC xfer) is to UC__. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

With all the stress that exists today, it's funny to think of how laid back things were when Obama was growing up. I think that's one reason that so may leaders don't feel the impact that immigration is bringing on the current generation.

Another reason is that the wealthy/powerful can afford to insulate themselves from the consequences of their policies.

World's Best Mom said...

Heard Terri Gross on Fresh Air interview the author on NRP.

I experienced extreme cognitive dissonance as the author praised Stanley despite describing facts that seemed at times an alternatively irresponsible, narcissistic and emotionally autistic who was an especially terrible parent.

Obama previously described his discomfort when his mother described her sexual fetish after seeing Black Orpheus together.

In this book, the author said that Pres. Obama described his mother and the world around her as unrealistic, unstable and disorganized for which he was especially grateful for grandmother creating a stable environment for him.

Those two passages about Obams's perception of his mother explain why he only anonymously refered to his mother in passing as an "anthropologist from Kansas" in contrast to his unknown and fictionalized father. It also explains why Obama likely didn't bother visit Stanley during her months long death from cancer in Hawaii.

The fact that Stanley was surprised and hurt by Obama getting as far away as from her as physically and emotionally practical speaks to her low shortcomings of character.

Censored said...

Ann felt he was making what Johnston called "a professional choice" to strongly identify himself as black." "It would be too strong to say that she felt rejection," he said. But she felt, in that way, "that he was distancing himself from her."

Steve, I'm sorry that you [appear to have] felt the need to censor the first version of my remarks, but my basic point has simply got to be repeated: This guy is a psychopath.

Back in the 1990s, people thought that Clinton was a ghoul ["an unusually good liar", according to Bob Kerrey, who told Juanita Broaddrick to "put some ice on it"], and while it was true that Clinton was willing to cast his half-brother Roger to the wolves [on the original Arkansas cocaine bust & imprisonment], I have never seen any evidence that he harbored serious ill-will towards Virginia Kelley.

But this guy Obama is not tethered to reality.

And, in turn, the revelation that Obama discarded the Dunhams who had raised him, and instead adopted an angry negro persona which he had invented for himself out of thin air - for purely "professional" purposes - casts all sorts of doubt on Whiskey's theory that Obama is [intellectually & emotionally] dominated by Michelle and Valerie Jarrett: If Janny Scott is correct, then Michelle & Valerie [and, for all we know, Malia & Sasha] are just glorified props - little more than styrofoam Greek columns - in the ongoing melodrama of Mr. Barry Soetoro goes to Washington.

We're talking about a pathologically aberrant personality which wouldn't be constrained by any normal interpersonal emotional bonding - a personality which has spent years now - decades! - creating its own reality upon which its insatiable narcissism can feed.

In a word: P.s.y.c.h.o.p.a.t.h.

Anonymous said...

If you were a 17 year old kid in Hawaii and living in an apartment with your grandparents, going to college at Occidental in big-city LA was probably a big jump. Maybe Obama didn't applied to any Ivies at all.

Black Sea said...

"black voters . . . would not recognize him as "black enough" relative to other black candidates, but that clueless white people would.)"

I think Obama is plenty "black enough" for white voters, but not because they are clueless to the distinctions. They're actually quite aware of the distinctions; they're just not very comfortable talking about them.


"Children do tend to identify with their father so I wouldn't be inclined to hold this against Obama . . ."

Hmmm, this would have come as news to August Wilson, or should I say Frederick August Kittel.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

I wonder what the average is for half-breeds who identify as white vs. black vs. both, and how it correlates with the race of the father. Would a mulatto with a white father be more likely to identify as white than a mulatto with a black father - present or not?

In my experience mixed-race individuals of any two races, and of either sex, tend to identify more strongly with their father's race than with their mother's. To begin with they inherit their father's name. Father's, if they're present, also present a more assertive personality, which may draw them more toward their father's heritage.

Someone climbing the political ladder, like Obama, would be even more likely to identify as black. A black/white mixed race individual will probably be smarter than your average black and dumber than your average white. Amongst blacks he'll be a leader. Among whites he'll be no great shakes. We've had endless debates on iSteve over the question of Obama's IQ, and its value relative to other politicians and presidents. Take it for granted that there are probably dozens of senators, governors, and school board members with IQs higher than Obama. But how many black pols have an IQ higher than his, or even within 15 points of his? Few if any.

Anonymous said...

"In my experience mixed-race individuals of any two races, and of either sex, tend to identify more strongly with their father's race than with their mother's."

If so, then Tiger Woods may be an exception. Growing up, he identified more strongly with his mother's race and Thai culture...or at least so he said while he was a golf star at Stanford.

Once the contract with Nike was signed, that was no longer the party line, however, as Nike, from their huge success with all things Michael Jordan, pushed the strong "black thang" with Tiger, at least here in America where black dollars are spent on all things with the swoosh.

Not to leave out a burgeoning market overseas, however, they had Tiger take tours of Asia.

Of course, the black community immediately claimed him once they knew who he was, and stressing that he had felt more Asian than black as a kid was out of the question by then.

Anonymous said...

Steve-- It could be interesting to compare Punahou admission standards (SSAT scores, posted on their web site) with PSAT standards for National Merit/Achievement. Given the general lack of information on Obama, this might provide some sort of upper and lower bounds estimates for his SAT scores and the like.

I would guess that Obama's SAT scores are something like Bush-II's -- above average but hardly impressive. But you are more knowledgeable in the subject and could no doubt make a tighter estimate.

One thing I have not seen mentioned in any of the musings (yours or others) about Obama's education is that Occidental in fact has a transfer program with Columbia. A kid who really wants an Ivy League degree but doesn't get in as a freshman can try this less-traveled route (2 years Oxy, 2 Columbia). And, a kid who grew up tropical (Indonesia & Hawaii) might even prefer a few years in laid-back LA.

Occidental is a pretty good school, as you noted. But so is Punahou -- as selective as Oxy and well regarded by college admissions people, so if a kid gets out of one he'll probably get into the other.

Punahou staff is pretty good at placing its graduates and certainly knows the tricks. So, with acceptable but unimpressive grades and test scores, Obama may well have been advised to "just use your Punahou paper to get into Oxy, relax for 2 years and then play your race card with Columbia."

wren said...

I didn't read Obama's book, so excuse me if he covered it, but I have sometimes wondered if his conception was consensual.

Anonymous said...

"Growing up, [Tiger Woods] identified more strongly with his mother's race and Thai culture"

Woods is supposedly 1/4th black. He's not a normal half-and-half, mixed race individual. He is twice as much Asian as black. He bears a strong resemblance to an old friend who, from what I know, was 0% black and at least half Southeast Asian.

I wonder to what degree racial identification has to do with what you wind up looking like. I have an ex-gf who had a Chinese mother and a European father. She looked like an exotic white girl and identified as white on her dating site profile. Her brother looked more Chinese, but I never knew (nor asked him) how he identified racially.

Anonymous said...

I think a "Tiger" "O" comparison is called for. Tiger really wasn't very black. Grew up in SCal, mother was Asian, father was 1/2 black and part white Indian & who grew up in Kansas.

But "Tiger" never identified himself as "Black" because he didn't have to.

Silver said...

I wonder what the average is for half-breeds who identify as white vs. black vs. both, and how it correlates with the race of the father. Would a mulatto with a white father be more likely to identify as white than a mulatto with a black father - present or not?

Check out sites like "StudyOfRacialism" and "OneDropRule." They talk about little else.

(Couple of nice hit jobs on you, Sailer, over there, too.)

Svigor said...

No, she thought it was the path to giving birth to the POTUS.

Then the girls got a real eye for the numbers. Somebody get her to a gas station PDQ.

Svigor said...

You've spent practically every minute of your time on this site complaining about black privilege.

If that's at all accurate, I have to give you credit. I couldn't tell you much of anything about Camlost's positions. There are so many posters here, I can't keep track of the positions of more than a handful of them - generally the most prolific. But I admit I have a much sharper picture of the one's I disagree with regularly. Maybe that's your secret?

Either way, I do find it amusing how vital the personal is to all your "arguments." It entails a hell of a lot of projection, in case you didn't know.

Svigor said...

Steve, your credibility has taken a hit ever since accused Obama of having thrown his own White grandmother under the bus in that Race speech. Most of us normal folks saw something much more nuanced.

Yeah, because "normal" = effin blind, dumb, and crazy. Sane people saw something that the media would at least [i]try[/i] to spin into un-electability if the poles were reversed ("typical black person" from a Republican?).

Svigor said...

Steve, your credibility has taken a hit ever since accused Obama of having thrown his own White grandmother under the bus in that Race speech. Most of us normal folks saw something much more nuanced.

I love this. This deserves another comment. For the faithful, you don't even need to want to put your fingers in the One's wounds, much less run a spear through him while he's up on the cross. You just have to criticize one of his less important, more questionable acts, like saying you've only come for the sons of Israel. Then you've taken a "credibility hit." LOL.

Anonymous said...

In my experience mixed-race individuals of any two races, and of either sex, tend to identify more strongly with their father's race than with their mother's. To begin with they inherit their father's name. Father's, if they're present, also present a more assertive personality, which may draw them more toward their father's heritage.

Haven't really noticed that on any sort of large scale. But maybe my own example sort of blinded me to the phenomenon. I'm not even multiethnic, let alone biracial, but both my parents come from places with a strong regional identity, and I've always identified much more with my mother's region and with her family, even though both my parents were assertive personalities and I was equally close to both of them. Not 100% sure why, because it's always been this way, but I think it simply comes down to the fact that I liked her region and her family just that little bit better and found them more interesting as a child.

Race is, of course, a whole different issue, and, from what I've seen appearance plays a part. But moreso with White/Asian "hapas", who often identify as white if they look (close to) it. But then again, even if they don't, they almost always identify at least as mixed race.

Only ever knew 2 black/white biracials who identified as biracial instead of black. Never asked which of their parents were which.

Svigor said...

How much complaining about black|white privilege is there in this whole country? And how much per actual black|white privilege?

Ever heard of the medicine wheel? The Amerind thing with an eagle at the top and a mouse on the bottom (big picture<--->little picture) and an elk on the left and a bear on the right (extroverted<--->introverted)? You're thinking from way too far toward the eagle here. Dial it way down, down, down, toward the mouse. More. More. More, until you're right on top of the mouse. There, that's better. Now you're at T's perspective. That's better. Now try again.

Svigor said...

What if you yourself were branded a super-racist, before an audience of millions, and compared to Rev. 'God Daaaamn America!', for committing the same sort of 'offense' however many decades ago as she committed?

IIRC, she wasn't branded a "super-racist," but your garden variety racist, just like all typical white persons.

Anonymous said...

As has been pointed out here numerous times, when it comes to celebrities, it's a whole different ball game, and they are definitely under pressure to identify with the minority race.

Jessica Alba is still being torn to pieces for "snubbing the Latino community", when she's only half-Latina (whatever "Latino" even means) and her family hasn't spoken Spanish for generations. Tiger Woods was judged more harshly for his "rejection of his blackness" than for his recent scandals. Vin Diesel has been shamed for not embracing the blackness, too. The list goes on. It's different for the average mixed Joe.

Anonymous said...

This made me interested, since at first I couldn't think of more than a couple of famous black/white biracials with white fathers. Apparently there's Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Eartha Kitt, Ronnie Spector, Bob Marley, August Wilson, Lenny Kravitz, Slash, Soledad O'Brien, Thandie Newton, Zadie Smith... aaaand that's about it (well, they do mention Malcolm Gladwell too, lol).

Definitely a LOT less star power than on the black father/white mother list. Wonder if it's just a coincidence.

Anonymous said...

I was a Merit Semifinalist. Hillary Clinton was a Merit Scholar. Barack Obama didn't make the cut even for the Merit's Afirmative Action version.

Unless there is something not understood or seriously mistaken here, Obama can't have an IQ over about 130.

The Merit screens out those above the 97 percentile nationally in its first cut. Later rounds are less regular but in the end they tend to result in winners who are in roughly the 99th percentile.

Hillary and her daughter made the grade. Obama didn't.

Mensa requires scoring at or above the 98th percentile on approved tests. On the evidence Obama doesn't qualify for Mensa. He's just not smart enough.

Mensa is just about the easiest of the HIGH IQ groups. There are seventeen such groups listed on the web. Only two have lower standards for membership than Mensa. Most of them require a 99.9 percentile or better score.

I could be wrong but I think everyone on my high school debate team was a Merit Semifinalist. Such people aren't all that rare. Even much smarter people are not unknown. For example, Steve Sailer himself is probably eligible for one of the triple nine groups.

BTW I'm one of the few people you will ever encounter who has actually been the subject of a Stanford-Binet individual IQ test. I volunteered to help a Psych grad student get some experience. It took all afternoon and yielded pretty much the same number I got on group tests.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

I think the reason Obama identified with Blacks rather than Whites is quite simple. It's so much easier to be a Black.

The same sort of thing was common in American history with Whites and Indians. There were many cases of White men dropping out and joining an Indian tribe but almost no cases of Indians trying to join the Whites - at least at first.

Being a White man gets you no breaks or special privileges. Among Whites Obama would have been just another member of the crowd - talented but not exceptional. Among Blacks however he would be a phenom.

The advantages for a bright young man in being Black are so large and obvious that no other explanation is needed.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Don't the ingrate Oreos always identify with their absentee black father? This is usually despite the fact that said black baby daddy is nowhere to be found and does zilch for them during their formative years.

Halle Berry wins an academy award and spouts on and on about her black father, who she admits to knowing very little about.

Yeah, this pattern is so common that it merits some sort of "law", like Godwins Law. It's uncanny how frequently these half-black/half white kids with an absent black parent decide to wrap themselves in the flag of their completely non-existent oppression while pissing from a great height on their loyal white parent.

C. Van Carter said...

In this 1995 interview Obama said his mother encouraged him to identify with his black side because in America "we're already getting a full dose" of the "that side (the white side) of our culture." He also lamented his granny's fear of "strange black men", and said "it's liberating to be in a country where black people are in the overwhelming majority."

Anonymous said...

Obama's coolly skeptical view of his mother is good evidence for how little black he is by culture. Can you imagine, say, Charles Barkley talking about his mother the way Obama wrote about his in Dreams from My Father?


What makes you think that his view of her is "coolly skeptical" rather than cynical or racist or emotionally disturbed?

Wade said...

"His half-Japanese half-black friend Keith Kakugawa (whom Obama fictionalized as the all-black and bitterly anti-white "Ray" in Dreams from My Father) recalls Obama as being far more paranoid about white prejudice than he was. (Another character fictionalized in Dreams also told the LA Times that the anti-white views his character expressed in the book sound more like Obama's literary self-projections)."

Reading this kinda creeped me out. It's dawning on me for the first time just how much Obama really played the MSM like a Stradivarius, a key skill of successful demagogues. Obama's good. He knew just what he was doing from the beginning. It's kinda scary the only people of any visibility who tried to call him out on his past were "ideologues" like Sean Hannity on Fox... Shameful!

Wade said...

"Of course, Kakugawa is an ex-con, so who are you going to believe? The jailbird or the President? The guy who couldn't talk his way out of prison or the guy who talked his way into the White House?"

Is this a trick question?

Anonymous said...

Steve, I am waiting to hear what you have to say about the nude photos of Obama's mom.

C. Van Carter said...

"One of Obama's most valued possessions, the article said, was the passbook that his grandfather, a cook for the British before Kenyan independence, was required to carry."

He carries it around because in the passbook his adult grandfather is called "boy". When he visited Africa he insisted on mentioning it in the speeches he gave.

Anonymous said...

The comment appears of how the salient feature of BHO's struggle for self-hood was not his race but his relationship with his mother. Given the permissive sexual mores of his youth--the moreso in an upper middle class high school in Hawaii-- his observed relationships with females are devoid of elements of genuine hetersexulaty.

dearieme said...

"I couldn't think of more than a couple of famous black/white biracials with white fathers." There's always some of the offspring of Thomas Jefferson - the ones he owned.

Svigor said...

I could be wrong but I think everyone on my high school debate team was a Merit Semifinalist. Such people aren't all that rare.

Nope, not rare at all. People who go to prep school and don't take the PSAT - they're rare.

Svigor said...

"I couldn't think of more than a couple of famous black/white biracials with white fathers." There's always some of the offspring of Thomas Jefferson - the ones he owned.

Is there any good evidence for this yet, or are you just trotting out the same old paper-thin mythology?

Truth said...

"his observed relationships with females are devoid of elements of genuine hetersexulaty."

Oh yeah, I feel you bro, except for...um...CHILDREN!

Anonymous said...

Censored: This guy is a psychopath.

Anonymous: his observed relationships with females are devoid of elements of genuine hetersexulaty

I realize that this is the 21st-Century equivalent of whistlin' Dixie, but are we ever going to learn who murdered Donald Young?

Or, for that matter, Lt Quarles Harris Jr?

Svigor said...

Oh yeah, I feel you bro, except for...um...CHILDREN!

Hmmm. Hey, when did the Right Honorable Doctor Reverend Wright enter the picture?

dearieme said...

Jefferson and his slave family:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2008/oct/09/jeffersons-concubine/?page=3

dearieme said...

Jefferson & Black Sal - there's also this:
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jaoC2BtS4OIC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

dearieme said...

here's an interesting part of the Wikipedia entry on Sally Hemmings:

Free persons who were seven-eighths white, as Sally's children with Jefferson were, under 18th and 19th-century Virginia law were legally white. ... the one-drop rule ... was not part of law in Virginia until 1924.

Anonymous said...

Ref. Censored / Truth
(1)Probably most homosexuals are capable of bisexual relationship and not infrequently sire children.
(2)The work of psychologists such as the late Hans Eysenck, the here-and-now Chris Brand/ Phil Rushton/ Richard Lynn / & others give a clear enough picture of the inherited predispositions forming the major personality traits. Psychopathic tendencies are highly heritable. The reasonable conjectures of CENSORED (earlier post) are the more persuasive in view of the pronounced psychopathic character of Barack Obama, Sr. and to a lesser extent (rather culturally harnessed) of
Stan Dunham. Stanlee Ann Dunham's personality from her earliest school years through high school graduation was that of a borderline schizo who formed a worldview shaped around common social rejection. I suspect her of gravitating into lesbianism after the erosion of her second marriage. There aren't any reasonably well-loaded genetic dice in the whole scene other than those of the relatively remarkable Madelyn Payne Dunham. It is not unlikely that Ruth Lucille Armour Dunham was hugely bimodal and also having a conscience of the substance of a ping-pong ball. My own hypothesis is that since Kansas had full prohibition before the whole nation did, that the Armours and the renegade RWE Dunham were involved in bootlegging in Wichita from 1914 or '15 and went there for that purpose from El Dorado (then, 40 miles away ) Behind this all, is the sense of BHO having a "go with the flow" personality that is shy of confrontation and bereft of the self-determination that can arise only from such personal confrontation. BHO gives hint of a personality that just defines life in terms of the breezy verbalizations that can "sell" here and now. He may be an extremely dangerous person as presently situated.

Anonymous said...

"The comment appears of how the salient feature of BHO's struggle for self-hood was not his race but his relationship with his mother. Given the permissive sexual mores of his youth--the moreso in an upper middle class high school in Hawaii-- his observed relationships with females are devoid of elements of genuine hetersexulaty."

Pot smoking turns men into eunuchs. It also causes permanent man-boobs. These are in evidence in the picture of Obama without his shirt.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/obama-shirtless

James Kabala said...

Svigor - The short answer is that the 1998 DNA tests did prove that those Hemings descendants who were tested were descended from the Jefferson paternal line. (The previous rival candidates for paternity, Jefferson's nephews Peter and Samuel Carr, were Jeffersons only on their mother's side and therefore could not have been the Hemings ancestor.) Since the DNA tests, some have put forth Jefferson's brother Randolph as an alternative candidate. The lack of evidence pointing toward Randolph (he was almost never mentioned as a possible father before 1998) causes most scholars to discount this theory and accept that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Sally Hemings's children.

Even before 1998, I don't think anyone disputed that the father of Sally Hemings's children was white. (As previously noted, the rival candidates put forward - even by members of Jefferson's family - were the Carr brothers, who of course were white. Sally herself was likely the daughter of a white man and black woman as well.)

Truth said...

"Sally herself was likely the daughter of a white man and black woman as well.)"

Not only was she the daughter of a white man and a black woman, the white man was his father in law, which made Hemmings his widow's 14 year old sister.

Truth said...

"(1)Probably most homosexuals are capable of bisexual relationship and not infrequently sire children.

I wouldn't say that most homosexuals "not infrequently sire children," but I would say that most hetrosexuals sire children. I don't know if Barry is gay or not, but I do know Occam's razor, and I know that you have to decide whether you want to be part of a chatboard, or a "ladie's gossip and tea.
"

Anonymous said...

For what it is worth, extrapolating from college boards and military aptitude test showed John Kerry at 120 IQ and President Bush at 126.

Anonymous said...

Re the post by Censored---A knowledge of the high heritablity of traits (dispositions for exerpience)
is sobering re BHO. His maternal grandmother and possibly his paternal grandfather, are about the only immediate ancestors who would seem to have favorably loaded "genetic dice". There are florid psychopathic traits in both Barack Obama Sr. and in Stanley Armour Dunham--although Stanley Dunham seemed to have matters in harness and somewhat "sublimated".
Stanlee Ann Dunham, BHO's mother, was a pervasively socially rejected child throughout most of her public schooling. She manifested florid schizoid characteristics. Biographical facts about her tend to fuzz around the question of how many enduring ELECTIVE social relationships she ever had after the birth of her son. Most of what I've come across about her biography is consistent with the assumption she was likely an asocial person who had "gotten a life" by involvements to reform the world. With this kind of "genetic dice throw" , BHO ought to be the last person for indulging in expansive "verbal engineering" "creative biography" cliche emotionality, etc. Deep down he seems more like someone who has been an extension of his mother's subconscious rather than someone who has confronted these dispositions visited upon him, in order to define himself--to "give birth" to himself, if you will. The phrase "Mask of Sanity" has established itself in psychiatry simply because these sorts of psychopathic disorders meld so easily into what is superficially seen as normal range conduct. BHO appears to be the least genuinely known and understood President we've had. One would hope the a fuller release of relevant facts,
social recollections, etc. would lend assurance and dissipate troubling shadows surrounding him.
Having worked in high schools and middle schools in "similarly situated" circumstances to the social milieu of BHO's high school, it seems to me salient there is so little indication of any heterosexual orientation by him. Viewed with due skepticism , his life seems not to have been dominated much at all by issues of race, until at the interesting "transformation" after high school graduation (and extensive, expensive world travel? ) he announced, "No more Barry!" Our verbally self-invented President?

Patriarch said...

OBAMA'S biological mother is alive & well:

He took her to the NCAA FINALS LAST YEAR, & on a safari to Africa.

http://moralmatters.org/2013/07/27/the-terrible-truth-of-obamas-id-fraud-he-learned-well-from-his-mother/

http://moralmatters.org/2014/03/29/nana-anna-aka-stanley-ann-makes-a-safari/

Just one catch, unlike jonathan pollard he got a lowly magistrate to dismiss her fugitive domestic terror charges shortly after his inauguration:

http://www.montgomeryblairsibley.com/library/DukeOrder.pdf

On the lam since 1985, F.B.I. Most Wanted Fugitive Domestic Terrorist “Elizabeth Ann Duke“ is the living, biological mother of United States President “Barack Hussein Obama II“. “Elizabeth Duke” is one of her multiple known identities.

In early October 2012, Private Investigator Neil Sankey identified F.B.I. Most Wanted Fugitive Domestic Terrorist “Elizabeth Duke” as likely the same person as the woman identified as Jo Ann Newman the actual – and living – mother of the man who fraudulently presents as “Barack Hussein Obama II”.

Self-proclaimed revolutionary “Elizabeth Duke” is a known long-time comrade of Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers and co-founder of May19CO, a New York City based communist organization dedicated to Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh that advocated violent overthrow of The United States Government.
Along with six co-conspirators, “Duke” – arrested along with co-conspirator and 1981 Nyack New York Brinks Heist accessory / fugitive Dr. Alan Berkman, 23 May 1985 in the Eastern District Of Pennsylvania – was charged with multiple violent acts against America, including the bombing of the United States Capitol and several additional Washington D.C. sites.

Elizabeth Anna Duke is wanted for her alleged involvement in a series of criminal activities during the late 1970's and early 1980's. She was allegedly a member of the radical group known as the May 19th Communist Organization which advocated communism and the violent overthrow of the United States Government. Duke was arrested in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in May of 1985 for her alleged participation in this group, but was released on bail of $300,000, over the strenuous objections of the United States Attorney. She subsequently failed to re-appear as ordered and a fugitive bench warrant was issued for her arrest on June 2, 1988 by DC District Court Judge Harold H. Greene.

To date, twenty-five (25) years later, Elizabeth Duke has not been captured pursuant to that warrant of arrest and she is still listed on the F.B.I.’s most wanted list.

HOWEVER, on June 17, 2009, shortly after obama seized power, an Assistant United States Attorney made an oral motion to dismiss the Indictment and quash the arrest warrant for Duke, a fugitive, domestic terrorist, United-States-Capitol-bomber.

It is ILLEGAL FOR A MAGISTRATE TO HEAR A MOTION OR RENDER A DECISION. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson granted the government's Oral Motion and entered an Order Dismissing the Indictment Curiously, neither the Oral Motion nor the Order dismissing the Indictment gives any explanation for this extraordinary action.
-----

FBI REWARD
"The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading directly to the arrest and conviction of Elizabeth Anna Duke.
SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ARMED AND DANGEROUS AND AN ESCAPE RISK."


http://amoprobos.blogspot.com/2013/07/obama-dismisses-indictment-against.html?m=0

http://amoprobos.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2013-09-22T06:45:00-04:00&max-results=3&start=9&by-date=false&m=0

http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/dt/elizabeth-anna-duke

http://www.montgomeryblairsibley.com/library/duke2.pdf