From Dreams of My Father:
'I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites.'
Let me break it down for you. Note the word "advertise." Then note the word "race." And of course "whites."
Advertise: The first thing to realize is that (up to age 12/13) Obama must have ADVERTISED himself as a proud descendant of "whites." No doubt he did that because of a clear preference he had for such an identification at that time. I do doubt that he stopped advertisements because of his suspicion that "I was ingratiating myself to whites." While adolescent boys age 12 and 13 do often experiment with new identities, but most likely Obama was content with his "white" identification until he discovered the political expediency of playing into race. It is likely Obma "threw off the shackles of 'white' bondage" while writing his book because it pleased his new coterie of friends and political supporters and liberation theologists, some of whom were 'white."
It is indeed unfortunate that Obama, like many others, views the world in terms of black and white. Aren't we all of mixed race? Is there a "white" world? A "black" world? I've never met or read of anyone who was all of any single "race."
My mother was born in Italy, has a French maiden name, and is sort of beige in color. My father's people have curly, dark hair and other features of the type that, in long ago textbooks, was called "negroid." I am sure that, in both cases, the characteristics derive from Moorish and French invasions or travel throughout Italy.
Should I stop advertising my family African-ness or French-ness because of a suspicion that I am ingratiating myself to "blacks" or "Frenchies"? Maybe when I write my book, I will speak of a new consciousness achieved at age 12, wherein I made complete and full contact with my Italian-ness.