Race: October 2007 Archives

I'm trying to figure out if aboriginal Australians count as black. I'm not asking if Australians call them black. Australians call people from India black. Aborigines are actually more closely related to Asians than they are to Africans, so even though some Australians, including other aborigines, are happy to use the word 'black' to refer to them, it doesn't tell us if aborigines are black in terms of what Americans mean by the term. I want to know if the word 'black' as it is used in the United States (or perhaps Canada, the U.K., or other places) includes aboriginal Australians among the group it refers to. (In case it turns out that people from different geographical locations would respond differently, it would be nice to know where you're from if you're going to leave a comment.)

Clearly Black Person

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In response to a question a couple days ago about whether he expects to be Swift-Boated, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama said the following:
I have no doubt there will be some of that — trying to make me into this foreign, odd, clearly black person and to scare people," he said. "When people try to Swift Boat you, you have to respond forcefully, you have to respond immediately and you have to respond truthfully. ... We are prepared for whatever they will throw at us.
I know what I think he means by "clearly black person", and I know what I think he's trying to say. I'm curious what other people think, though. Can you paraphrase what you think he's saying? I'm not so interested at this point in whether this is accurate, appropriate, insulting, or offensive. (If what he's saying is what I think he's saying, it's possible that it's all four.) I'm simply curious what people think he means. What exactly was he trying to say?

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