Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama II vs The United States Of America.

Something finally occurred to me this weekend as I was perusing the Sunday morning talk shows.

On Whatever Fox New's Show With Chris Wallace Is Called, they spent 55 minutes talking smack about Barack Obama and how his trip to Europe was arrogant[1], premature, patronizing and a threat to American security. They called his historic speech in Berlin a massive photo-op, and even made a point that the last person to pull those sorts of crowds in Germany was a pretty sinister guy himself. Oh, and they capped the show off by spending 5 minutes grovelling about how John McCain didn't get any press all week and how the media was in the tank for Obama.

Ditto on The Chris Matthews Show, which was one big Obama lovefest. Same for Meet The Press, which actually had Obama as a guest. I didn't even bother watching The McLaughlin Group.

The past couple of months have taught me something about John McCain. Nobody is talking about him, because nobody cares about him. He brings no new ideas to the table. He is not exciting. You'd be hard pressed to convince me that he's going to change my life for the better in any significant fashion.

Besides, the guy flips more than Dominique Dawes. There was affirmative action. The King holiday. FISA. Courting evangelicals. Privatization of Social Security. Bush's tax cuts. Offshore drilling. Abortion. Campaign finance reform. Gay adoption. Torture. Bob Jones University. Ethanol. The Confederate flag. Defense spending. The estate tax.

But this guy's supposed to be a firm, disciplined leader, huh? I dunno, but he sorta kinda seems like an empty-suited opportunist to me.

Dirk Nowitzki is a Maverick. Jerry Stackhouse is a Maverick. Jason Kidd is a Maverick.

John McCain ain't no Maverick.

That said, it's clear from anyone listening to talk radio, watching the news, or simply overhearing any level of Conservative discourse that this year's race isn't about getting their guy into office, it's about keeping that potentially evil Beige Negro out.

That's right folks. Barack Hussein Obama II[2] ain't running against John Sidney McCain III.

Nope, Barack Hussein Obama II is running against the United States Of America.

He's running against Ron Artest. Bobby Brown. Terrell Owens. Sharpe James. Malcolm X. DMX. Louis Farrakhan. Latrell Sprewell. Willie Horton. Eldridge Cleaver. Rae Carruth. John Brown. Nat Turner. Dennis Rodman. Ray Lewis. Bobby Cutts. William Jefferson. John Allen Muhammad. Marion Barry. Ray Nagin. Bill Campbell. Kimbo Slice. Bigger Thomas. Isaiah Thomas. Larry Davis. Wayne Williams. Robert Kelly. Marcus Garvey. Jesse Jackson. Clifford Harris. Stokley Carmichael. Jeremiah Wright. Chad Johnson. OJ Simpson. Al Sharpton. Mike Tyson. Darryl Strawberry. Michael Vick. The random mailroom Negro who stole that iPod. That random Negro suspect on last night's 6 o'clock news.[3]

In short, he's running against America's preconceived notions of what and who a black man should, and should not be.

I firmly do not believe that this is a country full of racists. I just don't. Have I experienced racist treatment in my thirtysome years? Absolutely. But more often than not, I've simply experienced cultural ignorance. The sort of cultural ignorance that makes others skeptical of you the moment they see your face. The sort of cultural ignorance that follows you around the store. The sort of cultural ignorance that makes you have to work twice as hard to get half as far. The sort of cultural ignorance that assumes you got where you did in life simply because you're Black, which as any Black person knows, is the dumbest sh*t ever uttered.

Are some people withholding their support from Obama because they're racist? Sure, but these folks are likely in a very small minority. Many of them simply can't wrap their minds around giving a Black man The Most Important Gig Evar™ because of the same cultural ignorance. The sort of cultural ignorance that assumes a Black man with a funny name must be secretly evil. The sort of cultural ignorance that takes an educated Black man who came from humble beginnings and somehow reduces him to a stereotypical elitist. The sort of cultural ignorance that assumes a Black man can't possibly be smart enough for such a gig. The sort of cultural ignorance that somehow paints this Black man as a racist by proxy because of something his pastor said out of context a decade ago. The sort of cultural ignorance that will emphatically not disappear between now and November 4th.

This is all very true, and all very sad.

I wish Barack Obama the best. I have, and will continue to support him financially, on this blog, and as a volunteer. But until we as a country can be honest and forthright about our history of skepticism towards people of color in general, and Black people specifically, even an Obama victory won't mean anything symbolically.

It will simply mean America made the right choice on November 4th. Not that we're somehow beyond the wrong choices of the past.

Question: Do you agree that Obama is more or less running against the historical stereotypes of Black men? Is there any single thing he can do between now and November to minimize the effect of this?

McCain’s flourishing flip-flop list [CarpetbaggerReport]

McCain Sets a New Record: 10 Flip-Flops in Two Weeks [Crooks and Liars]

Master List of McCain Flip Flops [Mugsy's Rap Sheet]

[1] Could someone please explain to White America the difference between arrogance and swagger?!? Arrogance in smug condescension that screams "I'm better than you!". Swagger is simply the quiet inner belief that you're the sh*t, despite what dem' haters might say. A Black man in America can't survive without some healthy level of swag, and I don't mean the kind that comes wrapped in pink furs and crispy Air Force Ones. Obama isn't arrogant. Obama drips swagger. Arrogance = Bad. Swag = Good. Nuff' said.

[2] I thought the general rules of naming ettiquette said you could only become a II once you had a boy child who was a III. Otherwise, you're just a Jr. for life. At least that's what I was told/read. I didn't formally become a II until AverageToddler (a III) was born. I was a Jr. till that point. What's with Obama just discarding decorum like that? Is this a Kenyan thing? Anyone care to explain?

[3] Did I forget anyone? You tell me and I'll add em'. AverageSis gets props for half of that list.

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