Imani Perry raises some good points in a recent Afro-Netizen article:
Good question... Why is Obama being treated as if he is the second coming?
I don’t believe the authenticity problem lies with African Americans. The authenticity problem lies with white Americans. The real question is: Why have White pundits, journalists and newscasters been so eager to comment on Obama’s being biracial and the son of an immigrant, rather than his history of civil rights activism or his long time involvement in African American social and political communities? Does it reveal a desire, among whites, that he not be authentically black (whatever that means), but somehow “different?”
The fixation on Obama as “different” appears to be an effort to exceptionalize him. He is seen as acceptable, in part, because he is considered to be unlike other African Americans, and in particular, African American men, who have been so widely commented upon as a “social problem” in the most prestigious news media in recent months. Joe Biden got in trouble for saying what many Americans are thinking, and that is a much bigger problem than a foot in the mouth.
While there is no particular tradition of African Americans being suspicious of immigrant political activists and leaders, there is a long tradition of African Americans being suspicious of Black leaders who seem to be eagerly touted by Whites as the “next best thing.” Why, we wonder, do people who seem to hold animosity for us as a group, make an exception for this individual?
I'm still not drinking the Kool-Aid...