Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mutts Like Me

In his first post-election press conference, when asked about what kind of dog he and his wife plan to get for their daughters, Barack Obama said, referring to his daughter Malia's allergies, " "Obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me. So whether we're going to be able to balance those two things, I think, is a pressing issue on the Obama household."

His description of himself as a "mutt", which was made casually in good humor, is an allusion to his biracial heritage, of having a black father and a white mother.

This self-reference indicates to me that President-elect Obama will take a common sense approach to racial issues, free of touchiness and without carrying a chip on his shoulder. We can safely assume that he won't blame every criticism of his administration, opposition, or setbacks on racism. Barack Obama will not play the race card at every opportunity, though I'm sure he'll effectively address any instances of real racism.

Many have said that he's the first African-American president, which is true. But it's not the whole truth. He's the first biracial president, just as much white as he is black, and he represents the white side of his heritage just as much as he does his black side.

Mutts like me. America has always prided itself on being a melting pot -- we're all mutts of one sort or another. It's part of what has made this country great and will continue to be.


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