Political strategist and MSNBC commentator Karen Finney arrives at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Pro-Choice America's 2012 Los Angeles Power of Choice Reception in West Hollywood, California

Why is our blackness always up for debate?

Karen Finney, the former deputy press secretary for Hillary Clinton, was announced as the host of a new show on MSNBC, airing on weekends from 4-5 PM EST. As part of the press rollout for the show, MSNBC touted her as the “first African-American spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee.”

Newsbusters’ Tim J. Graham doesn’t believe she fits the description, because she doesn’t look black enough. He tweeted: “MSNBC touting Karen Finney as another African-American host. Would the average viewer be able to guess that? Or is Boehner a shade more tan?”

To prove her melanin count is too low for his taste, Graham followed up with a picture of her and asked his followers to help decide her racial makeup.

The problem is Graham doesn’t get to make that decision. Finney does. And since she identifies as black, it’s deplorable for him to debate that based on his own ignorance. We come in a variety of shades and tones, even “tan.”

His line of questioning reminds me of Soledad O’Brien’s special on how what defines blackness for biracial people: do they self-identify or is their race based on how they are perceived by the outside world? What are your thoughts, Clutchettes?

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  • Don

    Growing up, I’ve seen my people in many shades of colors, and they never had a problem with their blackness or heritage. I think people who focus on shades of color need just stop and give it a rest, whether you’re black or white.

    • joseph jordan

      I agree it’s time to stop, she’s smart and beautiful

  • The Comment

    funny how racist whites and ignorant blacks say the same exact things;

    1. He/She not black enough
    2. Uppity Negro. She think she white.
    3. He/She doesn’t talk black
    4. Black people don’t do that
    5. There are no black stay @ home moms…..

  • Pema

    It’s amazing to me how people on this site believe they can speak for all biracial people, “well they’re only black when it benefits them”, etc. You idiots sound like white racists who try to speak for all black people. I don’t know Finney and I don’t know where she stands on this race issue but if she says she’s black that’s fine with me. I just hope she doesn’t think that she can now speak for all black people. By the way my mother is shades lighter than Finney with light eyes and both of her parents are black…genes are a funny thing. A lot of people on this site just sound hurt and bitter.

    • cupcakes and shiraz

      Pulling the bitter, jealous card is old and outdated. At least try being creative with your insults.

  • Maria O’Connor

    I think that in the past , most bi racial persons, were the result of rape or abuse of power from a white master to a black slave or a domestic worker; so the mixed child assimilated the black culture. Halle Berry, President Obama, Karen Finney were conceived by love; so they are able to function well in both black & white world.

  • harryw45

    She is one honerable and beautiful woman.