THE BLOG
02/18/2008 12:03 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Mr. Obama: I Now Pronounce You - Unlabeled

Dear Mr. Obama,

I purchased one of those online ministerial certificates, so I feel I have the moral authority to hence-forth call you Caucasian. So, now that you are officially white, will you stop calling yourself black!

See the stinkin-thinkin in that? My point is this labeling of a person's skin tone has to stop. Labeling is an epidemic in America. Even the apple I ate this morning has a label with a serial number taped on it. You, Mr. Obama are just as much a reflection of both melaninally challenged sides. I know there's pressure to be the first this or that. If we must put a label on you, how about honest, intelligent and fearless -- capable of taking on those who've committed the velvet coup we now find ourselves living with.

Tell us the truth. We can take it now. Our eyes have been opened, and we now understand unreal expectations lead to unrepentant liars. Imagine a man who cannot be labeled Black or White. This will take some help from the press. We have become addicted to labels in order to avoid complexities. The press has got to realize there are inappropriate labels and questions. John F Kennedy took massive amounts of pain killers. He must have fought that addition. He hurt his back fighting a war. No one labeled him a drug addict. FDR was also in constant pain and surely needed help for that. Both presidents were not grilled on these issues because being human and having pain did not appear to keep them from their presidential duties. The press had manners then. Watergate changed all that, and the Bush legacy of suspicion and lies destroyed any trust that had been rebuilt. If we expect candidates to be free of human flaws, we will get candidates who admit to smoking marijuana but do not admit to inhaling. I crave the truth without slant.

We lighter people know soul when we see it, and even though you apparently can't dance, we can tell you've got soul. I am not committed to voting for you as of yet, but I am forever grateful you have shown the world what kind of man you are. You have seen this country from the perspectives of both light and dark -- dark and light. Not too many people learn the wisdom that view of the world provides. You've seen the diabolical thinking from both angles of dysfunction, and you know that no race is innocent. Racism cuts both ways and you know that better than anyone. If you believe those with certain melanin levels won't vote for you unless you call yourself theirs...bad on them. They could make you lose a presidential election. Label that self destructive.

So you have managed to navigate that bi-racially slippery slope. I know someone who tried it, and failed. The expectations from both sides were too intense and he burned up in the conflict...completely losing himself. You, however, forged ahead. Damn, that took courage. You have learned to maneuver the white world and the black world with grace and you had the moxie to survive. It can be a mind molesting ordeal, but you have apparently figured it out. Label that rare.

Americans are always crying racism and by the time I was a 13-year-old living in the south, I had seen enough racial hatred to last me a lifetime. Racism cuts every which way and always has. While covering the Los Angeles riots, running down a Compton sidewalk just a block from where Reginald Denny was assaulted by a group of angry kids, I heard someone yell, "Sweet thing, get yourself in this house!" I turned and saw a woman waving her hand toward her front door. "Oh God really, thank you." I said, wide-eyed and full of fear. Shaking her grandmotherly head she said, "Honey those kids are out of control." Now she was pulling my arm toward her house. "Is this over that Rodney King thing?" she asked me "Yes ma'am it sure is, among other things." When an angel takes your hand you don't make mental note of melanin levels.

But, Obama, you know good and bad come in all shades, and I am proud of a country that could create the likes of you -- the son every mother would love to have. Americans have witnessed so much evil since 9/11. We are now labeled across most of the world as cruel, lying bullies. Others use the label fascists. I try to keep my eyes open in this country I hold so dear, and you give me courage to push past the disillusionment and deliver a big reverent BRAVO! So, Black America -- call me what you will, lighter Americans helped create this man too. Peel away the labels and let's all set him free to just be a man.