Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Mon Nov 8 02:28:10 UTC 2010

On Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 1:19 AM, Paul Frank <paulfrank at> wrote:

> identity as a black American

I don't think the you're sufficiently acquainted with society in the
United States, Paul. No one here has to *assert* black identity. All
that one has to do is to claim it. Besides, Obama's phenotype falls so
far within the bounds of what is considered
"colored/Negro/black/African-American" in this country that he would
have had a serious problem trying to *avoid* being painted with the

I don't have any idea what you look like, Paul, but, on any form that
called for the specification of "race," if you checked "Black" or its
bureaucratic equivalent, you'd be black. You could never hope to carry
on a conversation with a native accent in any dialect of American
English? Not a problem. Indeed, that's even better. Just say this,

"My father was a [European national or ethnic-group adjective]. After
my mother died giving birth to me, he went back to [somewhere in
Europe] and took me with him. However, since he had always hoped that,
someday, I could return to my own people, he saw to it that I learned

There you are. In like Flynn.

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
–Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society -

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