Michael Chabon Endorses Obama B/C He's Black: The Melanin Argument

Categories: Politics


The Chron's Leah Garchik had a cute little snippet about Berkeley author Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) endorsing Barack Obama for president at Saturday's 19th Annual National Kidney Foundation of Northern California Authors Luncheon.

But Garchik omitted the politically incorrect part of Chabon's pitch for the senator.

Some very reliable sources at the event (i.e. my girlfriend, her mom and a family friend) said Chabon rattled off several "rational and intelligent" reasons to vote for Obama. But Chabon, who is a white dude, then confessed that the real reason he's backing Obama is because the Democratic candidate is ... black.

Alright, before you get all outraged, Chabon meant it in a good way--like applying affirmative action principals to the presidency. Of course, a cynic could reduce Chabon's argument to a slogan like: "Fight liberal white guilt--vote Obama in '08!"

Here's how my (slightly) less cynical girlfriend summarized Chabon's argument:

"He said he realizes that having a black president wouldn't solve all the problems facing the black community, but it's something, and it matters. He said a lot of people talk about how Barack would be a good candidate regardless of color, that his being black doesn't really matter (the color blind idea). Chabon thinks that Barack will be a good president BECAUSE of the fact that he is black, that that is an important part of the package that he brings."

(ed note: a facet echoed by the Atlantic Monthly this month)

Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, are raising money for Obama if you want to give to the cause and feel less guilty. -- Will Harper

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