Mitt Romney and the Politics of 'Passing'

Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Marcia Alesan Dawkins writes at the Huffington Post that she's not surprised Romney campaign has been plagued by accusations of "passing," or representing himself as a member of a different social group from the one to which he belongs.


Most recently, Saturday Night Live aired a skit called "Road to the White House," in which Romney was accused of passing and "claiming to be interested in things we know he's not interested in." Topics ran the gamut from sports and geography to cat neutering, piercing, diabetes, and Judaism. Romney's insincerity embarrassed himself and those around him. When his falsification and concealment became too much for audiences to bear, they shouted out, "We don't believe you!"

The SNL skit comes on the heels of Hugh Atkins's viral video "Will the Real Mitt Romney Please Stand Up?" In this video politicians and pundits admit that nobody knows who Mitt Romney is and so they call for some sincerity from the candidate and his campaign. In just under three minutes, the video mashes up carefully selected snippets of Romney and others and transforms them into a cover of Eminem's 2000 classic, "The Real Slim Shady."

Before these videos emerged one of Romney's personas did come out of the closet. His name? Mexican Mitt. In a two-minute video Mexican Mitt casts himself as a member of the "Juan percent" out to be the first "Latino President" of the United States. Although Mexican Mitt raps about who he is and what he's all about he appears only in the form of a human shadow. This image suggests that the "Real Romney," Mexican or otherwise, is really the full manifestation of unmeasured and unseen identities in a society brimming with secrets. What's more, Romney's shadow implies that a space exists between lights and shadows, between fiction and reality, and between black and white.

Read Marcia Alesan Dawkins' entire piece at the Huffington Post.