Monday, February 12, 2007

"Is Obama Black Enough? Huh?" (with video)

Crooks and Liars:
Howard Kurtz brought this one up on Meet the Press. Gwen Ifill had to leave a different question on the table to answer the charge and asked "is she black enough?"

Kurtz: The only storm cloud on the media horizon has been something that’s picked up speed in the last week or so, was mentioned on “NBC Nightly News” on Friday, and that is this notion of is he black enough to get support in the African-American community, and if he is—isn’t is that because he’s trying to either please white people. And so the novelty and the challenges of being a serious African-American candidate for president, the press is just starting to grapple with, I believe.

MS. IFILL: Well, probably. But before I get to that, Tim, I really have to respond to the comment that Howie made about the black enough story. I—you know, I, I guess I could paraphrase Lloyd Benson and say, “I covered Jesse Jackson, I know Jesse Jackson, Barack Obama is no Jesse Jackson.” But what I mean when I say that is people seem to set up this really interesting test for Barack Obama of blackness, which I have found absent in any other dialogue involving people who clearly appear to and identify and work in the black community, and I—I’m not quite certain where it comes from. As you know, Tim, I’m, I’m the child of West Indian immigrants. I, I don’t know if because I’m not the son of African-Americans—the daughter, that is, of African-Americans who are born in this country that makes me less black. So I’m a little puzzled about this discussion. I don’t know quite what, what—where it’s coming from, other than maybe some folks who haven’t been invited to the party.
Video from "Meet Tim Russert" here.

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