The Visibility of Barack Obama

Dr. Fields

Dr. Bruce L. Fields1 of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School writes in the latest Themelios Journal2 about Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy as it relates to his racial identity and who people actually see.

In his article, Barack Obama: The Quandary of “Selective Invisibility”3 Dr. Fields touches on what is visible about Obama and what needs to be invisible about him and his appeal.

A major tension in walking the thin red line between the camps is that invisibility before either orientation may put Obama on a collision course with what it means to be an African American man, one who is affected and shaped by African American traditions and experience in the United States. For the sake both of brevity and for comparison in this piece, I will focus on one essential element of the African American experience: a rather conservative biblical tradition.

Conservatives and “Invisibility”

Conservatives may be bothered by some of senator Obama’s positions such as his understanding of the nature of interpreting the Constitution…

Liberals and “Invisibility”

Liberals prefer a two-way program of selective invisibility. When it is regarded as gaining a political advantage, they want people to remember that Barack Obama is an African American.

Read the whole thing.

(HT: JT)


  1. 1.Dr. Fields Bio page
  2. 2.Themelios Journal 33-2
  3. 3.Barack Obama: The Quandary of “Selective Invisibility”
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