Carmen “Walks the Racial Tightrope” on AC360

by Latoya Peterson

Carmen has published another piece on Anderson Cooper’s AC360 blog, titled Walking the Racial Tightrope: Whose “side” is Obama really on?”

Carmen once again delves into the thorny topic of mixed race identity in America:

Watching news coverage of Jesse Jackson’s remarks about Barack Obama “talking down to black people” reminded me of a conversation I had in 2000.

I was chatting over lunch with a couple of co-workers about celebrity gossip, and the conversation turned to Halle Berry’s multiracial identity. My co-workers scoffed at the idea that a person could identify as biracial, declaring: “When it comes down to it, you know what side Halle’s on.”

At the time I wondered to myself: When it comes down to what? The inevitable great race war? Will we all have to pick a side once and for all and declare our racial allegiance?

Much has already been made about the supposed rift between “the old guard” represented by Jackson and “the new guard” represented by Obama. But to me, the Jackson incident is emblematic of a different issue. Namely, the anxiety that different racial or ethnic groups — especially blacks and whites — are feeling about whether Obama has their best interests at heart.

Check out Carmen’s take and feel free to leave a comment.