This was a bit more complicated with Obama. He self-identified as African-American on the Census and actually did know who his family was in Africa. He actually did know who his father was, even though he spent a great deal of time with his mother and her Indonesian husband (and of course he brought Maya Soetoro-Ng around). So he wasn’t hiding his upbringing with his stepfather nor could he even attempt to hide clear features on his African side. But there’s no escaping that he seemed to be as firmly comfortable on Chicago’s South Side (largely black) as he was in Hawaii. We didn’t ignore that he was biracial. He himself just seemed comfortable in his skin around black folks. Both of his books clearly laid out his background. His “A More Perfect Union” wasn’t alluding to anything; he was telling an entire nation flat-out what his experience was like being biracial and how he was bothered by remarks his own grandmother made. That doesn’t sound like a hint; he was airing out the complications from both sides.

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