Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Acting White: Blacks Must Get On The Bus

First there was anticipation, then euphoria, and now the sobering reality. Yes, little black boys can grow up to be president, too, but will they? Or will Obama be another story of the lone wolf?

Some red-state faithful claim that blacks voted for Obama in record numbers based merely on his race. I don’t doubt this claim, nor am I swayed by it. What may seem trivial to some is everything to others. Those black voters grabbed a chance to option their skin color into the fabric, the culture, of America - something desperately needed. It may seem too racial, but for so many blacks lugging around two-century-old battle wounds, it was necessary in their struggle to feel like they belong. On the other hand, many non-blacks voted for Obama precisely because of the opposite. They see and hear beyond his complexion and their own, to realize someone who inspires them. This too is good.

Now here’s the rub. With Obama’s election, the day of reckoning for blacks is close-at-hand. At that time, counter, or oppositional behaviors either get the boot or my worse fear is realized, the black underclass becomes a permanent fixture in America. With Obama, blacks are witnessing a role model for the ages. Call it acting white, acting right, or simply taking care of business, he has given himself no choice but to slug his way through the problems of this country, with every available tool at his disposal. He asked for it. Voters gave it to him. Obama is now the man.

He will undoubtedly approach his tasks the way he was taught at Harvard, but more so the way he learned at his white grandmother’s kitchen table. He will not point to the past. He will not look for concessions of preparation, performance, or result. There will be no executive order excusing lateness or blaming whites. Call it Night at the Apollo, or the White House, there is no difference. Screw-up, get the hook.

Obama can do no more than hope that blacks get on the bus, through the 'yes we can' door he’s opened, while he mounts an attack on the weightier problems of hundreds of millions of Americans - getting the Dream off life-support.

James C. Collier


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Mark Presco said...

Thanks James, I’m going to accept this statement:

“Some red-state faithful claim that blacks voted for Obama in record numbers based merely on his race. I don’t doubt this claim, nor am I swayed by it.”

as acknowledgment that the prediction I made that the black vote will be entirely racist was true. See: Acting White: The Elephant Lives!

And for the reason I said it was true, that everyone is a racist who wants their own race in power:

“Those black voters grabbed a chance to option their skin color into the fabric, the culture, of America - something desperately needed.”

For the record, some numbers:

Race: Obama/McCain
White Americans: 43/55
Black Americans: 95/4

And once again that same old tired excuse that past injustice justifies black racism and underperformance:

“It may seem too racial, but for so many blacks lugging around two-century-old battle wounds, it was necessary in their struggle to feel like they belong.”

However. I do hope that you are right. That Obama’s election means that we will never have to listen to this excuse again.

Anonymous said...

With all respect, Mr. Collier, I think you're delusional on this issue. People don't change, and the black underclass isn't going to act any less "thug" just because B. Hussein Obama is the prez. Blacks have plenty of role models already, mostly white but some black too, so they've already had lots of opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I did not vote for Sen. Obama, but I thoroughly agree with your statements, Mr. Collier. I have been a public school educator for close to 30 years and I would be delighted to see your stated hopes come to pass.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a lot to presume that Black people voted for Obama just because he is Black. I guarantee that if Hilary Clinton had been the nominee, she would have won a similar proportion of the Black vote.

African Americans rarely vote for the Republican party, for a variety a reasons, not the least of which is that the Republican party rarely supports affirmative action, increased aid to students, a higher minumum wage, and other issues that are close to the hears of U.S. Black people.

James C. Collier said...

BOC: I agree with you, but my emphasis was on the 'in record numbers' distinction. Obama got a significant bump in first-time and exceptional black voters, and I see no need to apologize for these people. To deny the validity of their motivations is wrong, just as it is also wrong to say that whites voted for Obama only because of 'white guilt'.

James C. Collier said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark Presco said...

You can’t ignore how Obama got the nomination. Here are some numbers from the primaries:

Mississippi: 90% of the black vote 33% of the white vote.
North Carolina: 91% of the black vote.
South Carolina: 78% of the black vote 24% of the white vote.
Wisconsin: 91% of the black vote.
Ohio: 87% of the black vote.
Pennsylvania: 90% of the black vote

Black women voted race rather than gender and Clinton didn’t get the loyalty the black community is said to have for them. Race trumped all.

Anonymous said...

In keeping on topic: Even though Obama serves as inspiration for Black Americans, he works for ALL AMERICANS. That means that we as a people along with all our problems are no more a priority for Obama than those people and problems of other races.

Remember the words of Amos Wilson from the Blueprint for Black Power

"state politics is of secondary importance to the Black community. Black politics and activism without the Black ownership of and control over primary forms and bases of power such as property, wealth, organization, etc., is the recipe for Black political and non-political powerlessness.

Increases in homelessness, poverty, unemployment, criminality and violence in the Black community; disorganization of the traditional Black family, inadequacies in education, increases in health problems of all types, and a host of other social and political ills have all attended increases in the number of Black elected and appointed officials. That is, the more elected and appointed Black politicians, the more social-economic problems the Black community has suffered"

Anonymous said...

I think that the black race is lagging behind and they have always have mentors, Barack is on the list of many great achievers, there are doctors lawyers and a whole genre of successful and accomplished black Americans

The majority of them will not make a change because the ignorance is already embedded in their chromosomes and in their minds ,

My pessimism stems from history and what I see on a daily basis in society

AAW said...

Thanks for the excellent post. I've been saying it for months that if Barack gets elected, he won't be the President of just the black race but of the United States. So it is left to blacks to take on the responsibility of their own lives.

Jackie said...

Brilliant post!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness, Acting White? That's in the same category as Good Hair... This article is so ridiculous, I won't waste my time to comment except to say that this article is ridiculous...

Anonymous said...

Yes, I too believe that the blacks who are responsible for African Americans' terrible reputation are not going to change because Obama in in office. I am of course talking about the uneducated, lawless, rude, and coarse masses that populate the most downtrodden sectors of America's cities. These people have not failed to achieve or empower themselves because they didn't have role models. They're bound to their ghetto nightmare and the equally disturbing mindset which keeps them there because above all else, they have been bred to be there. Generations of failure, neglect, ignorance, absentee parenting in an environment of financial poverty and rampant crime has given these people no other options. They are ill-suited for financial and social evolution, and should have been naturally selected out our society long ago. Barack Obama can't change that. Most likely he will try with social programs that are doomed to fail. But nothing will change. The Poor will always be with us.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree with this. Someone said that blacks must take responsibility for their own life. I cant tell you how many Blacks I see jumpin up and down and saying that now that Obama is President he will save us. There is nothing to be saved from but yourself. He is not going to reinstate Welfare, he's not going to let highschool drop out kids off the hook, he's not going to send blacks a check in the mail for being black, and he's not going to celebrate Kwanzaa instead of Christmas. This president is as much a BLACK president as Bush is a saint.

Anonymous said...

People keep saying that the record number of blacks are why Obama won, but the Black population comprises less than 13% of the American population, so clearly we must look more at the remainder of America. And other successful persons will never become the role model that Obama is because you can't have a higher more prestigious and respected office than him on earth. He is the PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!!