Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Black Anger and White Resentment: Obama and the "Race" for the White House
I don't really want to nit pick Obama's speech in an attempt to poke holes in his sincerity or analyze his message, however I did only read the speech and did not watch or listen to it. I only read it because I wanted to hear the words in my mind and not through my ears, in other words I wasn't interested in the flowery deliverance. To me Obama speeches are like your favorite band that never switches it up for some variance, he definitely sticks with a rhythm and frankly it grates on my nerves. I will never vote for Obama. Not because of this current fiasco, but because of his politics and nothing more. However my take I will give and here it is.
The speech was well written. That being said I was disappointed that Obama threw white Grandma under the bus and tried to save black "uncle". He states "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother -- a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe". I thought that sucked. White Grandma and his mentioning of her was unnecessary and in very poor judgement. She will forever be the racist white grandma of Barack Obama. Not cool.
Also, I am not a big fan of the "denounce" trend from so many in the media. Everybody has to be a "denouncer". Sean Hannity is the KING of reading a quote to an unsuspecting guest and then following up the comment with "denounce it, denounce it!". I don't get the whole "say it sucked! say it sucked!" this is a band-aid to the crap people spew from their mouths. Is the denounce plug some sort of public outcry? So they denounce it, who cares. We weren't born on pancake day (heads full of batter) Americans can tell when someone says something whacked, but feel free to alert us of the phrases that need to be "denounced" formally and then we can get back to our regularly scheduled programs of brain trash. So now Obama has denounced Reverend Wright, strenuously denounced, affirmatively denounced, absolutely denounced and unequivocally denounced his mental burps and farts in church. But Obama, he said that white people created AIDS for the sole purpose of infecting black people to kill all of them, "Yep I know Nikki, but next week his sermon will be about Jesus and helping people and we can do that churchy stuff next week".
I did like the line "It requires all Americans to realize that your dreams do not have to come at the expense of my dreams". This is essentially the message he was trying to give. I believe him to be sincere in wanting to Unite America. But, must we insist in "guilting" white people into supporting a half black/half white man? Are Hillary supporters racist because they prefer her over Obama? No. His "new blood" approach is getting old. He is also a politician with an agenda and a pandering rhetoric that is bought by his supporters. Other democrats that choose Hillary are no smarter, no more racist, no less a stupid democrat (just kidding don't freak out) because they prefer her over Obama. Obama has played the victim as he admonished many black people in his speech NOT to do. Every comment about race is immediately pounced upon and dissected as a big "OH NO racism!" and it always played out in his favor. He even mentioned Geraldine Ferarro in his speech. She was taking us back to the days of slavery with her comment. I highly doubt that the Don Imus's and Geraldine Ferarro's of the world are sending us back to pre-civil right decades because of their comments about race. Get real please.
He does mention political correctness, he says "anger over welfare and affirmative action helped forge the Reagan Coalition. Politicians routinely exploited fears of crime for their own electoral ends. Talk show hosts and conservative commentators built entire careers unmasking bogus claims of racism while dismissing legitimate discussions of racial injustice and inequality as mere political correctness or reverse racism". OK I am conservative and this doesn't feel so comfy to me. Political correctness has to take some blame in the ridiculous hyper-sensitivity by so many minorities. It says "you should be offended". It gave license to be a victim. And I have issues with the term "reverse racism". Racism is racism whether you are black, white, pink or purple. Why is it reversed if it isn't a person of color. Intellectualizing race terminology was an appeasing effort by the academia elite in my lay opinion, and it sucks.
Obama gave a good speech that fell very short of easing any tension. He walked a fine line and fell to one side. To me he should have spoken to white people. White people were the ones that were fired upon. Instead he lectured about the plight of black people and the frustrations that still exist. He touched briefly on how things have changed but spent most of the time reassuring his black base that he indeed felt their pain. Whites were a second thought and we need to be more understanding. Perhaps this is true. So take it in the chute, gut it up and tolerate some white hatred. I am not sure this speech helped him. I suspect it did not. But he will still win the nomination and McCain will win the General. Like my friend Maria said "A black man for president? I’m not going to say, never. But it’s NOT going to happen in 2008. Why? Race is too STICKY an ISSUE in America. It’s still a TABOO topic." She was right and example exhibit A is right in front of our faces.