Ta-Nehisi Coates has a piece at The Atlantic that got me thinking.
For a white person to vote for Obama is racist. The one drop rule means that they are voting along racial lines. Normally I like Coates’ writing, and I agree with his general sentiment. However, it still seems like we are stuck in the same mode of racial thinking. Obama has one white parent and one black parent. Why is he still considered black? I know there is an element of self-identification involved, but as a society, we treat him as black because of the one-drop rule. Black people will vote for Obama because race overrides reason in the conservative worldview. So what of all the “Joe the Plumbers” who are voting for McCain? It’s racial loyalty over reason. What about the white people voting for Obama? Is it still racial loyalty? Obama not forces us to think more intelligently about race, but can get doing something more intelligent about race.