Barack Obama

From The Telegraph:

Remnickstort_1645687f In mid-October 2008, when it looked like the presidency might really be within Barack Obama’s grasp, some campaign workers resorted to desperate last-minute tactics. Faced with a prospective voter in Nevada who said she didn’t trust black people, a young Obama volunteer replied: “One thing you have to remember is that Obama, he’s half white and he was raised by his white mother. So his views are more white than black really.”

At the time, it seemed profoundly depressing that such means of persuasion were necessary. After all, those views had been used by people on the other side of the racial divide, too – “just because you are our colour doesn’t make you our kind”, the civil rights activist Al Sharpton had said. Now, perhaps, it’s possible to see that sentiment as an important part of who Obama is: not just the first African American president of the United States but, as David Remnick puts it in The Bridge, “the first President who reflect[s] the variousness of American life”, a “shape-shifter” who had to “fashion an identity in a prolonged and complicated way”.

More here.