The Washington Post's Jonathan Capehart
performs a remarkable rhetorical double-lutz to connect Barack Obama with--wait for
it--Ricky Martin. In this self-aware stretch of an analogy, Capehart cites MSNBC.com's comical headline reporting the president's decision to identify as black on the U.S. census: "It's official: Obama is black." Capehart gives a laugh and a shrug:
Obama could have
checked multiple boxes on the Census form. And that would have been
just fine. After all, he is the son of a black Kenyan father and white
Kansan mother, who struggled with his identity in his youth. That he
checked "Black, African Am., or Negro" shows a man long comfortable
with who he is. Now, had he checked "White," all hell would have broken
So what does this have to do with Ricky Martin? Obama
marking "black" on his census form is roughly equivalent to pop star
Ricky Martin coming out of the closet
last week: neither bit of news is very surprising. As Capehart puts it:
What do President Obama and singer Ricky Martin have in common? Both men made announcements last week that fall into the category of "Yeah, and?"
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