Monday, August 11, 2008

Why The Black Community Is Willing to Give Obama A Pass

AverageBro had this post about that posing the question as to whether or not blacks are giving Obama a pass or even if there is a way to pressure him into representing blacks. I'll let that post stand on its own instead of excerpting it. Let me offer my two cents.

I remember during Obama's 2004 race for the US Senate, I was watching a cable access program featuring primarily a pair of black men in some Afrocentric costumes. One was outright talking about whether or not it was better to elect the conservative black Republican Alan Keyes instead of Barack Obama. This discussion probably should have turned a person on their head hearing this.

That discussion probably should dispell some notions. Perhaps one of those notions being that perhaps not all blacks trust one of their own to represent them. Even if this individual was willing to vote for Keyes many won't because let's face it Keyes is not a likeable fellow.

That being said, in some respects I listened and I considered it. At that time it was easy for me to say Barack isn't black. The rationale was that he was actually of African descent and he was bi-racial. Although to be sure if he was an American Black and he was bi-racial I'd look at Obama differently than I had at the time.

Today I look at him differently it doesn't matter to me where his genealogy leads, but more his record as a politician. To me it seems very thin for a guy who has been in politics since 1997. Still his race is playing a role in this election. It's unfortunate for a man who seemed to campaign by transcending his own race.

So let's look at this post:
I think it first begs the question as to whether or not this country is ready for a black man to be president, and I think it’s clear that the answer is no. This country is merely ready for a president, who happens to be black. This is what Michael Eric Dyson in his book Is Bill Cosby Right? calls “incidentally black” is evidenced when he said, “I’ve said publicly that I do not subscribe to the notion that the painfully slow response of FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security was racially-based. The ineptitude was color-blind….I see no evidence of active malice, but I see a continuation of passive indifference on the part of our government towards the least of these.”

Moreover, for the record, it was Hillary Clinton, or should I say, That Woman, who publicly called for the resignation, or firing, of then FEMA head Michael Brown.

The more national that Obama has become, the more that he has distanced himself from the so-called “black events.” Yes, he’s kept a relationship with the NAACP and the National Urban League, but during the primaries, he was quite sure that he stayed away from certain colorized events. I just think that its interesting that we live in a country, and participate in a system that allows for a Sen. John McCain to stand in the pouring Memphis rain amidst hecklers and boos on April 4th, 2008 commemorating the 40 year assassination of Martin Luther King and Barack Obama has to be somewhere in New Mexico talking about illegal immigration so as not to come off as the black candidate.

“Just until he get’s elected” is what most people’s rationale is. I think that’s a cop out and it screams a disengagement of intellectualism. Are we really willing to give him a pass for some issues just because he’s black? I mean, this guy gave up his pastor and his church—is he beholden to himself, or is he only beholden to the system? I think at the end of the day, he’s going to be no better for blacks than Bill Clinton was. It’s not the end of the world, but somehow blacks are really expecting this guy to push us over in the campaign season and then all of a sudden come out for us on some key issues when he gets in office.

Blacks are giving him this pass in the campaign season simply because we want to see someone with our skin color in office. It’s really that simple. We’ve collectively (not necessarily individually) thrown out all forms of criticism and labeled them as hateration: from Rev. Jesse Jackson to Tavis Smiley who was quite clear in The Covenant that we must hold our elected officials accountable regardless of race. (Again, another instance, we gave Obama a pass on the State of the Black Union two years in a row, but if Hillary Clinton hadn’t shown up, then black folks woulda been up in arms.) Newsweek reported in 2007 that Cornel West has told Barack Obama concerning a statement in his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech that “You have to be true to yourself, but I have to be true to myself as well." And this was following West’s remarks at the 2007 SOTBU asking him “what are you willing to sacrifice for.”
What are your thoughts? Is America ready for a president who happens to be a black American? Would Obama be your first choice? Why do you think America is ready for a "black President"?

1 comment:

aaron said...

The media is influencing almost to controlling the thoughts of the electorate especially Black people.They started this whole illogical thought process of "is America ready for a Black president" The only question that relevent to any thought about Obama in the political arena is this."Why is the male dominated eurocentric caucasian power structure (this includes european jews and elites of all races)want the United States to have a black "democratic"candidate and possible president.Youll get a lot more negative possibilities that are realistic than possitive ones based on hope.

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