Friday, June 06, 2008

Acting White: Obama, The Candidate

The challenge of making assimilation of advancing behaviors a legitimate goal in Black minds cannot be understated. This legitimacy is needed from the earliest age, even before babies say their first word or take their first step. It addresses the paradox that is alive and well in the Black community – the quest to be individual ‘first’, while the group hangs on to behaviors that keep too many near last.

Nowhere is the legitimacy of Black opportunity questioned more than in the ability of the country to elect Black leadership, particularly a head of state. Until this happens there will always be the lingering question of whether it is a forbidden position. If the ultimate dream for a little White boy or girl is the presidency, is it also a bona fide dream for little black boys and girls? Barack Obama’s success as a candidate squarely proposes that America is ready to express the full confidence and reward for ability and hard work, regardless of race. Blacks can no longer claim de facto second class citizenship, and Whites are no longer automatically guilty of hiding a superiority agenda.

Throughout his campaigning there were questions from all sides on whether Obama was Black enough, or too Black for consideration. Many people rightfully challenged the questions themselves, but like it or not, they represent the state of thinking. Race does matter in America, but does it matter enough to elect reduced leadership, with the consequences this brings to our lives? In the end, after all of the politically correct and incorrect airings, Obama showed that he is indeed a Black man of mixed heritage, but not one whose ‘baggage’ precludes representing everyone enthusiastically. It may be that because he was born of two ancestries, one black, one white, he reached a harmony of the two that aides his leadership ability, and just maybe the country's too.

James C. Collier


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oronde ash said...

are we really getting past RACE? i wonered this ten years ago. is RACE a viable discussion in america given the corporatized nature of modern life where the dominant color is green? what happens to BLACKNESS in the 21st century? will it matter?

Duchess Of Austin said...

Racism will be alive and well in America for as long as guys like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are allowed to make a living preaching it.

As long as parts of our language are the exclusive province of one race or another, racism will live, and as long as people of a particular race choose to reject education as "acting" like members of another race.

You want to end racism?

Wash your mouth out with soap and get an education, stop having multiple fatherless children, end the welfare state and bring the black man back into the bosom of his family as the provider, instead of a check from the government, and stop referring to yourself as a hyphenated anything.

Either we are all Americans, working toward the same goals or we are a country forever divided by victimhood.

Obama is, I'm sure, a nice guy, but he's not the Messiah when he chooses to associate himself with radical, america bashing, racists and unrepentant former domestic terrorists who still conspire to bring down our government and replace it with a soviet style socialist junta, and only disassociates himself when it becomes politically expedient to do so.

That's no unifier...that's a politician who will say or do anyting to aquire power and as such, the idea of an Obama presidency scares the crap out of me. If that makes me a racist, then so be it.

macon d said...

duchess, that was a GREAT Bill Cosby imitation! Your satiric skills are clearly beyond compare.

I think racism will be alive and well in this country for as long as it treats most blacks like second-class citizens, which it still does by providing them with subpar health care; incarcerating them at higher rates for longer sentences; denying them loans and jobs at higher rates; brutalizing them via the police for driving while black, walking while back, and jogging white black; offering them second-class educations; subtly instilling in them lower levels of self-confidence and esteem; and refusing to listen to their explanations of these examples and many more of individual and institutional racism.

Your fears about Obama are ridiculous and paranoid. He's a mainstream establishment figure--he wouldn't be where he is if that weren't the case.

Anonymous said...

Sure, Obama is a "mainstream establishment figure", a mainstream Leftist politician. He's the same old thing in a new suit.

Good fodder for Obama posters here. Posters about him reflect this puppy dogs, doves and rainbows feeling. The Obama Utopia.

If Obama can stay pretty clean, do some good things as Senator, and then become Governor of IL, he could be unstoppable in 2012 or 2016. Scary stuff.

I would dearly love to see a Jewish, African-American woman as POTUS. It's not race or gender that makes it for me though. It's political beliefs that matter, and socialism is bad for everybody, (accept those high in government or high-level academia) especially poor people, of all races. Obama is a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist, no thanks.

His 'Change', 'Hope' and 'Progress' mantras are actually somewhat self-mocking. Making your own Obama posters is totally addicting.
I laughed so hard I almost had a breakdown. LOL!

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
befriend a bomber

pushing for change at all costs
sacrifices must be made

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
only feel and hope

please force people to change
change can only be good

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech, then there can be no real freedom.
Make Some Obama Posters NOW!
Appeasement Talk Bothers Appeasers
Help Halt Terrorism Now!


Duchess Of Austin said...

Macon D...that's funny, I thought you did a great immitation of an apologist.

I, personally, don't see racism as the pervasive, all encompassing condition that you do. Sure, there's still racists out there, and you probably won't be able to do much about that, but what you CAN do is quit making escuses for poor decisions.

Tell me, is it racism that makes young black women have babies by young men they wouldn't consider marriage with, and is it racism that causes those babies to start being born when the girls are 15 and 16?

Is it racism that causes guys like 50 cent to be looked up to by young people as role models, instead of REAL role models like Colin Powell and Condi Rice? Or are blacks like Powell and Rice labelled as Uncle Toms in your apologist world? I daresay people like these did not sit by and whine that the whole world is racist and out to get them. They worked within the system and became successful people in SPITE of racim.

Is it racism that causes blacks to not make education an important issue in their homes, sit on the kids at night to do their homework and finish school?

Today, 70% of black babies are born out of that racism too?

Guys like you are the worst kind of apologists and RACISTS because you practice the soft racism of low expectations. If you don't give a kid standards to meet, then they don't work...if blacks would quit trying to blame their cultural bad choices on some amorphous "white man" and put their collective noses to the grindstone, i.e., making getting an education important, not becoming the next R. Kelly or Kobe Bryant, then maybe things would be better for ghetto blacks in the US (and that's really who you're talking about). Middle class blacks have alread shaken the dirt of the 'hood off their shoes and are not looking that racism too?

macon d said...

duchess, your inability to see things beyond the narrow scope of individual choices makes this a fruitless conversation. I guess you just think most blacks are inferior to most whites. Like, genetically. If not, you aren't offering any other explanations for why so many are wasting what you see (quite ridiculously, I think) as a wealth of opportunities.

Colin Powell and Condi Rice are horrible role models for black youth, because while they've succeeded in "the system" (funny how you can suddenly see the system when it comes to them . . .), they haven't done much at all to counter how that system works against black people, and for white people. And why would they? Rice, especially, is a Republican apologist. K West is right--George Bush, like most white Republicans (and like most black ones, for that matter), doesn't like black people.

As the overwhelming majority of social scientists know and have endlessly demonstrated, "Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, or get left behind because you deserve it" is grossly simplistic thinking for how things work in this society. In terms of race, it's the hard bigotry of white America refusing to own up to what it's still doing to black America. But you blind yourself to how all that works to such an extent that I don't think we can really communicate in this forum. We're too far away from each other.

As for the more specific questions you ask, you should read my blog, where I've answered a lot of them. Again, there's not space for that here.

Duchess Of Austin said...

You know what? It's not about changing the system to accomodate YOU it's about changing your ATTITUDE to work within the system we have. Like it or not, we ALL live in America, and there are a wealth of opportunities out there for anybody who wants to take advantage of them.

Maybe it's you that should stop seeing Blacks beyond the narrow scope of your experiences and realize that the world doesn't change to fit you, you change to fit IT.

The pervasive, institutional racism you whine about doesn't exist anymore! If it did, Obama and Hillary Clinton wouldn't have gotten within a MILE of the white house, let alone one of them possibly being ELECTED to it!

You are as free to apply for any job as I am and as free to be rejected for same because we are not QUALIFIED....but in your world, if a black person is rejected for a job, for ANY reason, IT'S RACISM!!! Sorry, but that's bullshit.

People discriminate every day. You say it's racism, I say it's my choice. Are you going to call me a racist because I don't find black men sexually attractive? Guess what...that's discrimination. When you find one person more attractive than another you are discriminating....

macon d said...

duchess, I get the point you're making to the racialized poor: "Let them eat cake." As if they even have any "cake." Your aristocratic moniker is most appropriate.

Duchess Of Austin said...

Nice, but I'm no Marie Antoinette, and just FYI, she never said that. So much for stereotypes, huh? Have you ever read the history of the french revolution or do you rely on what you're told? Have you ever read a history book at all or do you just write off history as the scribblings of "dead white men?"

You and your fellow travelers who believe that everything wrong in the black community can be laid at the door of racism are just as bad as any right wing racists you can name, because you refuse to admit that blacks have had a hand in getting to where they are at in life, and until they take responsibility for their lives and their choices in life (i.e., multiple fatherless children, the bastardization of the nuclear family, rejecting education as "acting white," holding up the worst thugs and glamorizing violence and misogyny in rap lyrics, and a pervasive sense of entitlement without the work ethic to match), your whining about institutional racism will start to pall among the main stream who can actually see the forest for the trees.

Blacks are responsible for their bad life choices. Period. I'm sure racism is alive and well in individual circumstances, but the last time I checked, institutional racism is against the law. It is illegal to discriminate against anybody applying for employment or housing based on race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.

So, in the interest of fairness, please explain exactly where the institutional racism you bleat about is happening?

Is it that a young black man can't get a job because he doesn't speak proper business english? Is it because he goes into the interview woefully unprepared and functionally illiterate because he didn't get an education? Is it the bright gold grill in his mouth? Maybe his pants hanging to his crotch?

I am willing to wager that for every young black man that you can show me who is a victim of your brand of institutional racism, I can show you one who shows up for a job interview properly dressed, speaking business english, worked hard in spite of his peers jeering that he's acting white and got his education, composed a nice resume, and is a fine candidate for said job.

It's all about opportunities and there is not one opportunity to do ANYTHING in these United States that I have or a white man has over anybody of color, including running for President.

You are not doing your fellowman any favors by consistently excusing self destructive behavior as racism. Grow up.