Critical Analysis Essay

  • Uncategorized

CriticalAnalysis EssayThearticle “WhyObama should not have Checked `Black` on His Census Form” waswritten by Elizabeth Chang, and appears on the “Blair Reader”.From a general view of the article, Chang purposes to bring toattention the need to identify with one’s heritage as it is, butnot according to what others think. She states that if people letsociety determine what they were, then the chances of changing thesociety would be very minimal. The author presents the materialclearly, accurately and in an orderly manner by first citing theevent that president Obama filled a form and then proceeding to giveher arguments and views concerning the act. Basically,the article highlights the 2010 census with a special focus onPresident Obama’s racial option when filling out his census form.It was brought to the attention of Americans that out of the manyoptions available for answering to Question 9, the President optedfor African-American. According to Chang, this did not augur wellwith most, owing to the fact that Obama was given birth to by a whitemother and a black father, after which he was raised in a whitefamily by his mother and grandmother. In addition to this, thefederal government had heeded the wishes of the multicultural societyin 2000 by allowing individuals to tick more than one boxaccordingly. In this regard, by identifying himself as only black(African-American), President Obama denied his white heritage.Asstated, Chang hopes to bring to attention the need for people toembrace themselves as they are, irrespective of what the societythinks, as well the importance of heritage and roots. To accomplishthe purpose, she has strongly used the power of persuasion to appealto her audience’s reasoning and emotions (Wallace and Wray 37). Shestrongly stirred emotions by introducing the factor of Obama’supbringing and family background. By claiming to only belong to theblack community, he disowns the white mother who gave birth to himand raised him and the grandparents who brought him up. The articlealso introduces the aspect of Obama’s half-sister, a multiracial,though of a different racial mix. By doing this, the author evokesemotions that would deter any individual against such action.Changmakes use of factual material to persuade the reader to do the rightthing when she introduces the issue of filling out the formaccurately. “Whyelse are we doing it? If everyone puts down on the form how they&quotidentified,&quot I don`t know what kind of count we`d wind upwith, but clearly it would not reflect the racial makeup of theUnited States” (Chang,330).Thisstatement makes the reader feel obliged to do the right thingirrespective of their feelings, opinion, and status of mind. Despitethis, the article fails to show the reader that it is crucial toweigh between obligation and personal feelings. When an individual istreated as black, despite being biracial, they tend to identify morewith the black race, especially if they are made to feel inferiorabout being black. To a certain extent, Obama was justified when hefilled in the African-American option because he needed to identifyhimself with the race that is considered most inferior in the country(Roberts and Baker, “Asked to declare his race, Obama checks‘black’”). This could be considered as his personal way oflifting them up to a respectable position, showing that being blackdid not stop him from becoming the president of the most powerfulnation in the world. The author might have put this factor intoperspective, as opposed to bashing him about his choices. Ifanything, Obama could be considered black. The article is one sidedand only discusses the negative influences that Obama’s action mayhave caused. It is crucial to view this from a different angle andevaluate whether there is a certain population that might havebenefited from this. Works Cited

Chang,Elizabeth. WhyObama should not have Checked `Black` on His Census Form.” TheBlair Reader, editedby LaurieG. Kirszner and StephenR. Mandell, Pearson Education, 2013, p. 330

Roberts,Sam and Baker, Peter. “Asked to declare his race, Obama checks“black”. NewYork Times, 2ndApril 2010 17thAugust 2016

Wallace,Mike and Wray, Alison. CriticalReading and Writing for Postgraduates. SAGE,2011. Print.

Close Menu