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With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

 It's easy for us to expect people in positions of power to act responsibly with that power, using it for the greater good.  At its core, this concept goes to the heart of our moral and philosophical beliefs about what is right and who has the ability to know and act on it.  When it comes to ideas of community, most of us tend to believe that a leader has a responsibility to help the community to which we perceive they belong.  Obama was criticized for not emphasizing "Black issues" in his presidential campaign, and even worse are Black Republicans, viewed as traitors to their inherent community interests.  Amongst our friends, we might be surprised and disappointed when a gay friend refuses to advocate marriage equality, or even when a woman identifies as pro-life.  

We have these notions of community that bind and restrict even the most personal of choices, for people at all levels of power.  I have been questioned multiple times for my involvement in the Asian-American community, by people who think my time would be better served advocating for Black interests instead.  What it comes down to is where I feel appreciated and accepted...but there is also the possibility that "Wherever you place your effort and dedication, positive reciprocation springs forth."  If I were to make "The Obama choice" and dive into the Black community, using my skills to navigate the cultural landscape and fight to become a true part of it, I do have reason to believe that I would also feel satisfied and fulfilled with a sense of purpose.  

That brings me to the "Tiger Woods choice" of avoiding conversations of race and community and just playing golf.  In a way, I empathize with Tiger because I don't like to be "tied down" to any one cultural identity.  There seems to be a certain amount of freedom that comes with being multiracial (even more with being racially ambiguous) because you can float around in the space outside of the exclusive racial circles and sample each one throughout your life if you choose.  But as we discussed in class, this "floating" sensation is rather lonely, and I believe I project this loneliness on powerful people like Tiger Woods.  Because the moment he uses his podium on the world stage to speak about race, he becomes less "marketable" to the world, he alienates himself from certain groups who like to claim him and paint him their own color.  So I personally would have liked to see him open up a dialogue about race in this country when he had the chance, but I am not very disappointed in his choice not to--I understand.

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