Well, at least not over his recent controversial comments (maybe just the other stuff):

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he’s “blacker than Barack Obama,” and tells Esquire magazine that the “strength of the truth in America” will one day vindicate him.

The governor, who was impeached after being accused of trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by President Obama, says most of the people in politics are “full of s*** and phonies, but I was real.”

Blagojevich tells the magazine that Obama was “catapulted in on hope can change, what we hope the guy is…

“What the f***? Everything he’s saying’s on the teleprompter. I’m blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up,” he says.

Look, Blago is saying something interesting here, something of note in an increasingly desegregated & multi-cultural America. When you really look at Barack Obama’s background, one must recall that he was raised by white people in a state with not such a strong tradition of African-American culture. Barack Obama’s racial identity is somewhat constructed rather than cultural. Blago’s own experiences point to someone who grew up immersed in black urban culture  with a corresponding comfort with black people that probably helped him become governor of IL once upon a time.

I reject the whole notion of Blago as being from the ghetto or more black or more down with the brown than Obama or whatever he’s implying. There’s no litmus test for blackness. American society teaches you over time that you are black and “different” if you look a certain way, no matter who raised you or where you were raised. And there is no African-American monolith — we are poor, middle class and rich. We are light, brown & dark. We are tall & we are short. We live in the burbs and in the barrio.

I think what Blago said was a poor premise and a poor choice of words. He’s right that it was stupid, stupid, stupid. But I got no beef because African-American culture is bigger than black. When rap is more popular with white suburban teens than black ones and Oprah is equally or even more popular with white people than blacks, well, things are not always so…black and white, are they?

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