Pew Survey: Most Americans Don't Think Obama Is Actually Black

Image: Pew Survey: Most Americans Don't Think Obama Is Actually Black

Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 10:54 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Four years ago, President Barack Obama ticked off a box in a U.S. Census form that said, "Black, African American, or Negro."

But according to a new poll, a majority of Americans do not think that the first African-American president in the United States is truly black, The Washington Post reports.

A Pew Research Center study found that overall, most Americans — 52 percent — describe the commander in chief as "mixed race," while only 27 percent call him black.

A little more than half the white respondents to the survey, 53 percent, consider Obama to be "mixed race" while only 24 percent of whites say he's black.

A majority of African Americans, 55 percent, say that Obama is black, while only 34 percent think he is of mixed race. Three out of 5 Hispanics, however, think he's of mixed race, while only 23 percent believe he is black.

Obama, who has a Kansas-born white mother and a Kenyan father, won 93 percent of the black vote in 2012 and 95 percent of the black vote in 2008.

According to Pew's Paul Taylor, inter-race marriages are becoming far more common.
He said that 1 in 6 African-American newlyweds "marry out" of their race, as is the case with more than a quarter of Hispanic and Asian newlyweds, as well as 1 in 10 whites.

"Whites are still the largest race group, so even though they 'marry out' at lower rates, they still account for 7 percent of all interracial marriages," Taylor said. "By mid-century, what will we call the children of interracial marriages? Today we aren't even sure what to call our president.

"In many cultures and societies through history, being mixed race — being a 'mutt,' as Obama sometimes calls himself — has meant being an outcast. In today's America … the norms are changing, and the stigma receding."

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