Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fear Of A Black President.

I think we can all agree that McCain didn't pull off the Kill Move in last night's debate, so this baby is officially over. Barring some unfortunate case of Negro Luck, Barack Hussein Obama is about to become the first black President in the history of the United States. Naturally, in a country so polarized by party affiliation (among other things), a lot of people aren't going to be very happy about this. Sometimes I wonder exactly why.

If the shoe were on the other foot and my candidate of choice was staring at a 14 point deficit and he hadn't bothered to even mention the term "Keating Five", I might be a bit antsy. Would I be so peeved at the prospect of a DaddyMac/Palin Presidency that I take to the streets rockin' a Sarah Palin Is A C*** t-shirt? Uhhh, prolly not. Reality is, the country's effed the eff up. It can't get that much worse.

I mean, seriously, what's Obama gonna do? Pal around with terrorists on the South Lawn? Paint the White House Black? Make "Life Every Voice" the new national anthem? Reparations? Reverse slavery? Get back at Whitey? Air Force One on dubbs? Seriously, what's the worst that could happen, and does this "worst" really look much worse than 2000-2008?

I suspect the animus being spouted by many McCain supporters is little more than some sort of early onset sour grapes. They want their guy to win, it doesn't look like he's going to, and they're preemptively bracing themselves for November 5th.

Then again, it's quite possible that the prospect of a Prez who "doesn't look like those other guys on the dollar bills" scares some people sh*tless. I suppose I could understand this on some level. Whites are used to seeing Black men running a football. A country? Uh, not so much. Study after study has proven that the average white has no close Black friends, and little insight into Black life in America beyond stereotypes. So, the thought of a Black man with his finger on the button might be scary.

Or so says this woman from the Home Of Caron Butler, sunny Racine, WI.

A Wisconsin mother is furious that her tax dollars helped buy a middle-school textbook that includes a passage from Barack Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention -- but has no mention of John McCain.

The woman, who spoke to on the condition of anonymity because she feared business reprisals, became upset after her 13-year-old son told her his advanced English class in Racine, Wis., had read about Barack Obama in a textbook, "McDougal Littell Literature, Grade 8."

The textbook, published by an arm of Houghton Mifflin Company, focuses on a portion of Obama's 1995 autobiography, "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance," in which Obama writes about a month-long visit by his Kenyan father when he was 10 and living in Hawaii.

The 20-page section, which kicks off with a student discussion of "What Makes You Proud?" ends with a portion of Obama's speech, "Out of Many, One," at the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, and a photo of him there, surrounded by Obama placards.

The mother said any mention of Obama should have included passages from other politicians, such as McCain.

"McCain is a prisoner of war -- that's a story in itself," she said. "Or Dick Cheney's wife has written children's stories. Was that in any of their books?"

But she said she'd prefer not to see any politicians in the English text.

"As a taxpayer, we're paying for these books, and there should not be a story about Obama in this book right now and there should not be a story about McCain in this book," she said.

Obama's passage appears in the textbook along with noted authors and thinkers, including Maya Angelou, Isaac Asimov and Emily Dickinson, according to, which is the online educational supplement to the book.
So, one parent out of thousands in this school system finds fault with the Obama section of a textbook, and the internet is goin' nuts. Man, what a freakin' country.

This woman apparently overlooks a few items.

1) The school system is 49% minority.
2) Obama's speech was historic.
3) She's an idiot.
4) Obama was fresh and newsworthy in 04'. McCain hasn't been either since 64'.
5) She's an idiot.

There is no story about McCain, because he hadn't done anything of note in 2004 except make it to the Senate and fail to gain his party's nomination. Sure, the PoW story is notable, but only to an extent. Yes it's pure American heroism, but it's also lost in the larger historical context of the Vietnam War.

Obama's speech was historic. You can debate the extent of just how much. No, he wasn't the first black keynote speaker. Even Harold Ford did that much. But the speech is widely regarded as perhaps one of the best ever, and in a roundabout way, it is largely responsible for catapulting Obama towards his current trajectory.

It is modern history, and given the racial makeup of the school system, it is entirely relevant.

Still, I wonder what's at the root of this woman's discontentment. Is she worried that her child will read the textbook and discover that Obama is an actual human being? That he might become enlightened about a culture other than his own? What's really the problem with this?

In grade school, I learned about Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci until I was light in the head. For years, it was constantly drilled into us that these guys were important in forming the world as is today. Black folks? Not so much. We were pretty much relegated to slaves and MLK. Period. There was no middle ground. So it's little surprise that some people have difficulty wrapping their minds around a black guy being The Man, when their worldviews more or less have been shaped with the image of us being purely subservient.

Of course I'm old (mid 30's), and I realize things have changed. Many public school systems (like AverageMentee's) have updated their approach to include a more comprehensive account of the contributions of all people of color to this country and the world. But part of me wonders how much this lack of understanding that's practically ingrained in our educational systems feeds into the anti-Obama sentiment we're seeing play itself out today amongst people of my thirtysomething generation and older.

So, I guess that's just one more superficial reason why I'm pulling for an Obama Presidency. Rewriting history is one thing, but watching it be written is yet another.[1]

Question: What's truly the worst that can happen with an Obama Presidency? How do you think the failure of the American public school system to present any version of history other than one dominated by Whites manifests itself down the road?

Mom Angered to Find Obama Speech in Son's Middle-School English Text [FoxNews]

[1] I sure hope that makes sense.

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