Then Obama became president and I’ve considered the business cards again, because anyone who disagrees with anything he does has to be a racist. I’m tired of it, bored even. Tuning it out as much as possible.
Here is my reality. All human beings are African-American, having evolved in east Africa, then some moved out around the world. Skin color changed to adapt to various climates. The only reason it’s worth mentioning is during medical analysis, where there might be genetic inclinations to some diseases, or when you have to pick someone up at the airport (“I’m tall, black, will be wearing a plaid jacket”), or when you describe a criminal assault when every detail of appearance is important. Other than that, who cares?
Long before I read Zane Grey and wanted to become a cowboy, I wanted to be an Indian. My cousins and I played “cowboys and Indians,” with cap guns and toy bows and arrows. One spring, before we all tanned, I convinced them to let me be the Indian by staining my skin with dandelions.
Unfortunately, from my parents’ perspective, this happened the week before my First Holy Communion. I walked with other second-graders down the church aisle in my beautiful white communion dress and wreath, my bare arms and face streaked with unnatural color. I was a dandelion-American; what’s wrong with that?
Barbara Anderson of Marblehead is president of Citizens for Limited Taxation and a Salem News columnist.