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On the 'mixed' = not really black discussion. Nope. In America blackness has been traditionally defined by the one drop rule, or more accurately, being unable to consistently 'pass' as white. Given that race is purely a social construct, that definition is reality. There are plenty of blacks in America who are less 'black' than Obama, in fact they were traditionally very overrepresented among the black elites, where light skinned blacks intermarried amongst themselves.

What Obama's mixed background does represent is the old racist nightmare of miscegenation, especially as we're talking about a white woman and black man. I believe that a majority of white Americans considered mixed sexual relations as wrong well into the seventies.

by MarekNYC on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 12:46:55 AM EST
The "one drop" rule is less important than it used to be in the U.S.

Here in Colorado Springs, with its large military popluation, there are a lot of mixed race people with African and Asian heritages. They aren't labeled as "black." There are also quite a few mixed race families with Latino and European roots, and while they have dark skin they aren't "blacks" either. Nor are Indians or Arabs over here. I also know some very dark skinned African-Americans who speak with the received accent and have WASP values.

The U.S. military is pretty integrated, which has changed the viewpoint in that community. Not perfectly, though.

There is still some overt racism; we had a blatant example in my neighborhood just a few months ago. But I think it was an outlier...

by asdf on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 01:13:24 AM EST
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I believe Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash claimed 'military' as an ethnic group of its own...

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by A swedish kind of death on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 12:16:42 PM EST
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When one looks at present-day American movies and TV series, in most cases, mixed relations still seem to be taboo.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 04:49:03 AM EST
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I don't think so. There are plenty of mixed race relationships in recent high-profile TV shows (Grey's Anatomy, Battlestar Galactica, Lost). And they're usually presented as normal. Then there are a lot of famous Hollywood movies that deal with it. To name some bad ones, just take Bodyguard and Save the Last Dance.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sun Nov 9th, 2008 at 09:53:34 AM EST
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