It can be dangerous to read the news drinking coffee: you never know when an urge to facepalm can cause to spill scalding hot coffee all over yourself.
Lorne Michaels told the New York Times on Wednesday that Jay Pharoah, a featured player for two years who is entering his first as a cast member, will be taking over the role from Fred Armisen, who has played the president since the 2008 election.
“Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own,” Michaels told the Times. “I just thought it might be time to shake it up.”
Armisen’s Obama has never risen to the beloved heights of, say, Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton or Will Ferrell’s George W. Bush. Moreover, when he was chosen for the part in 2008, people immediately pointed out that the first African-American president was not actually being played by a black man on “SNL.” By promoting the 24-year-old Pharoah, who is black, the show solves that issue.
I can’t disagree more.
Barack Obama is born from a white mother and a black father. Physically, he is as white as he is black.
Psychologically, there no quick answer, but the fact that he has been mostly raised by his mother and his white as linen grandparents from Kansas can’t make me conclude he is predominantly black.
Of course, when he sees himself in the mirror, Barack Obama might be seeing what the most of us do: a black man. But it tells most about us than it does about him.