The Oprah and Obama show in South Carolina

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The last leg of the Oprah and Obama show will be held today in South Carolina and I am going to gauge the reaction of black folk to this huge celebrity spectacle.  Pray for me, my car is need of service but I just can’t stay away.   I watched animatedly the reaction in Iowa and was amazed by the response.  18,000+ thousand in Des Moines alone.  The horrible weather today in Iowa ain’t nothin to sneeze at.  The event in South Carolina will surely rival that as the biggest crowd of the campaign.    Oprah is a tremendous draw and sistahs hold her in higher esteem than they do Hillary.    We shall see if it does the trick.

Addendum:  I am still writing a post about this experience and trying to fully account for everything that happened.  Stay tuned.

38 thoughts on “The Oprah and Obama show in South Carolina

  1. I think the main problem Obama has against Clinton is that so many folks know Bill and like him. Being (relatively) new on the scene, Obama hasn’t been marked as an enemy of the republicans since 1992, and thus, doesn’t have that longstanding history.

    But honestly, I don’t expect anyone but the most avid of Oprah fans to vote just because she tells them to. This is just a good way for folks to get to see him, learn about him, and make a decision about his issues. Once he’s held up to the same status as Hillary, which one will be the better leader?

    Either way, I’m pretty happy now. Whatever people think about him, be it as he’s a “safe negro” or “too inexperienced,” I was in Harlem to see him (and to see Cornel West introduce him, as well as Chris Rock). I like what he brings to the table. I voted for Hillary in 2006 for senator.

    I think there’s something about growing up a minority in this country, whether or not you have a history of slavery, you still see the deficiency in the equality, the way people view you when they first come across you on the street. Whatever your background is, having that understanding that there’s a way to go, I think that’s a very very important set of experiences to bring to the table when you’re leading this country. If you see what people who don’t have a feel for that, people whose daddies and husbands have been president already, then I think your sense of entitlement makes it impossible to see the real suffering that the average American faces.

    His being a Harvard law graduate and Constitutional professor doesn’t hurt either, as a lack of understanding of where the executive branch has to be checked and balanced, as well as illegal overreach of wiretapping and disenfranchisement of voters sure plagued the last entitled administration.

  2. azuthnk

    I respect Oprah, especially for the way in which she has used her tv show and her celebrity to bring attention to worth issues — so naturally, for people like myself, it is only natural that her support of Obama would bring my attention to him, to see just who and what he is about. From what i’ve seen of Mr. Obama, he seems a breath of fresh air in a stale political arena. At least we have candidates to THINK about with Obama (and Hillary), because they seem to be bringing a sincerity, which has been sorely lacking with other politicians.
    The thing I often think about, however, is that most times when this country or a U.S. city is in turmoil or disarray, the “cleanup” people tend to be Black folks. I think of places like Detroit, and other major cities –like when they became down-trodden or financially bankrupt, then that seemed the only time a Black mayor was elected — and they had such horrible situations to handle. This is what I hate for Obama to have to do — to clean up this horrible, horrible mess that the present administration has brought the country into. “Protective” is what you might call me, but I hate to have him fight through all that scum!! It’s just so overwhelming …. Nevertheless, I, like others who will vote need to THINK HARD and with wisdom, who will be the best to run this country–and appoint judges, etc. It’s a very serious decision we must all make.

  3. IET

    I think its warranted to question if Sen Obama is the real deal or just another Clarence Thomas. I do. Nevertheless, I like him and will be supporting him in his run for the white because I don’t believe he’s a sell out. I don’t feel that he’s trying to be validated by whites. If he’s going to be president, he’ll need to lead not just the Black community but the whole country and bring us together. None of the other candidates can do that like he can nor do they have a history of bringing groups that traditionally have bin pitted against each other to work together. He’s a black man that is attempting to become the next POTUS! I think the biggest critique against him from the Black community is that he’s not pro-black enough. And he isn’t. But there’s a reason for that. He’s Black, and has internalized his blackness but isn’t constricted by it. I believe that instead of being president just for the Black community he’ll be the first president of America that understands that we are a multicultural society and will work not only for our community but for the country as a whole. We can heal the country far better by focusing on more than just our community. In fact, healing this country entails helping Black people as well as all people of color. No other candidate is likely to do that like he can. You feel me?

    Is America ready? To be honest I don’t know if our community is ready yet alone the rest of the country. But if we continue to assume that things will never change then they never will. I’m fully aware that white people might not vote for him, and if they do, one of them might murder his ass. But we shouldn’t be guided by fears. We should tread cautiously, but with conviction. Yeah that’s safe and he’s no Al sharpton, but that’s exactly why he’ll win. He’s not Pro-Black but that doesn’t make him a likely sell out. That makes him a Black man doing whats best for the our community as well as the country because he sees that we all have common interests. I’ll vote for him acknowledging that once in office he may sell out our community (power corrupts). I just don’t believe he will.

  4. Look, if he gets the nom over the Borg Queen, I will vote for him. Until then, he has to earn my vote during the primaries, and right not, he doesn’t have it, for obvious reasons I’ve posted on here and at my own blog.

    And while I’m not hating on Oprah, having her attached to him can only clean up his connection to Donnie McClurkin, while improving his standing with Black people overall.

  5. lucia Akech

    Can somebody explain to “a Jane nobody like me” what standing the Clintons have with the Black community which make them more attractive than Barack Obama?

    IET has just mentioned above that “I think the main problem Obama has against Clinton is that so many folks know Bill and like him”. Can s(he) elaborate on how knowing and liking Bill has benefited Black community and how that benefit will be enhanced by his wife presidency?

    I am not interestesd in how many Black people held positions in Bill Clinton’s administration, I would Hilary supportes in the Black community identify the tangible benefits advanced to the community during the 8 years of Clinton’s administration or through the people (Blacks) he appointed.

    Black votes must mean something, not just token appointments. Currently, there numerous brilliant African American college graduates who have been taken to the cleaners by student loan bandits who, intentionally, loaded them with debts which will render the American drean of home ownership a dream that may never be realized. These bandits are currently on Hillary’s band wagon. Additionally, the subprime bandits only targeted minorities and the results are damaging. When these “above the law” bandits habitually pray on a community which is predominantly Blacks, can someone let me know what I may be missing with respect to Clinton’s popularity with the Black community.

    Black community must stop being “king makers” with no benifits to show for their efforts.

  6. Oprah is a very important celebrity with massive “crossover appeal” and quite masterful at marketing. So this can only help Obama. How much remains to be seen, but this kind of “branding” could make an impact in a multi-candidate field.

  7. Lucia, Bill Clinton was a disaster to the entire Democratic base; unions, African-Americans, even enviros. He did nothing in the first term except pass NAFTA with help of Republican votes in Congress, which led to the 1994 election debacle. After which he tacked even further to the right. Bill was the consummate shyster and his wife is even worse. The sad thing is he gets to be made out to be some kind of liberal hero by the corporate media, who can only contrast him with the knuckle-dragging Paleoconservatives and Old Confederates that make up the modern Republican Party. If this is the only choice we get in 2008, then it’s time for a radical revision to this lame old script.

  8. Befree

    This is my take…white America doesn’t want anything to do with Oprah if it has something to do with helping African Americans…period. Whites have already shown Oprah in small ways that they won’t support her when she’s supporting African Americans..that’s part of the reasons many things she does for AA are rarely talked about..it makes white Americans uncomfortable. Africa is a different story. Every once in a white Oprah miscalculates the “affection” white Americans have for her..and this Obama thing maybe another one.

    Perfect example: Beloved..white Americans did NOT go see that movie and they aren’t gonna see the Great Debaters. She admits the movie bombed. White Americans like to see white people make it. Yes, they will read her book club books with mostly white authors because they like to hear, read and think about themselves.

    They like seeing her as the “race-less” figure and seeing her with Obama reminds them she’s black. IMO. When her white fans see her with Obama they are going to be turned off. Yes thousands will show up to see her, but that’s as far as it goes. White people may “love” them some Oprah, but not that much.

    The Oprah effect is solely trying to get the white woman vote from Hilary and I don’t see white woman living their “white sister” because Oprah told them to, but she can try.

    Whether whites admit it or not they will see Oprah endorsement of Obama as a “racial motive” and they will resent it. It’s doesn’t matter if he is the Senator of her state…she’s black+ he’s black=Black

    In their minds “Oprah is a champion for women and she turned her back on possibly the first (white)woman president”. Their saying ” Hey I don’t mind watching you take a road trip with Gayle, but O your are taking it too far, stay in your place”.

    Oprah says all the time woman can change the world and white women are going to think she was just blowing smoke up their behinds by endorsing Obama.

    But hey that’s my take..I could be wrong.

  9. IET

    I didn’t say that lucia Akech, it was vertigo! I agree with you! The Clinton Administration triangulated with the Black community but we love him anyway!

  10. Ernesto, I was working in the Feds during the Clinton Administration, and personally had a ringside seat as he helped usher in legislation that virtually dismantled the labor unions, NAFTA, environmentalists and everything, including the Adarand decision which began Ward Connerly’s ascent as a House Negro, and the challenges to Affirmative Action and Civil Rights. Having said that, I’m still trying to figure out how Clinton became the metamorphically “first Black President” with all of this shyt on his record?

    And who’s to say Hillary is going to be different? She and Clinton are a team, a highly political team, and all of their fortunes are tied to being said political team. Meet the new boss…same as the old boss.

    Obama has to do better and hitching up with Oprah is a good start, finally.

  11. IET

    Bill Clinton was the first “Black President” because he was a womanizer, smoked weed (but didnt inhale) and played the saxophone. Its funny how people seem to only think of Black people in that lens.

  12. earlrstonebridge

    I predicted Obama would probably be the front-runner in the 08 elections; what I didn’t anticipate was the Oprah factor. Nor did I really believe that Hillary would run. This is not the right time in history, considering the threats that face the nation at this time.

  13. Michael

    IET… it was blacks who dubbed him the “first black prez” not whites, so let’s rephrase your question: “why did blacks blindly accept Clinton crown him”. And its well known how many blacks were in his cabinet…not many. Bill Clinton was indeed a disaster by many counts as several of you have already pointed out.

    However, I would challenge you to understand that Obama needs white votes to get in office. And ignoring Befree’s racist BS about whites, many like him and just need to see what he is about. This is what Oprah is doing a wonderful job of. I don’t think the general population is naive enough to vote for a person just because some TV personality wants them to (well, the country did elect clinton, so my assumption could be in error🙂 I think IET nailed it, this puts him in the limelight so people can check him out and thats a good thing for all of us. And he’s needs a broad based appeal to win anything. I’m hoping he is the real deal and can give the Borg a run for her money.

    But I have to say, I’, still utterly confused on why blacks are only considering DNC candidates when not a one has done a thing for the community throughout history. Food for thought

  14. OT: Michael Vick sentenced to 23 months in prison.

    PRISON y’all.

    Say what you want about cruelty to animals, but you know damn well Brett Favre wouldn’t be doing prison time over this.

  15. Michael,
    Actually 7 black men and women served in Bill Clinton’s cabinet:
    *Alexis Herman – Sec. of Labor
    *Mike Espy – Sec. of Agriculture
    *Ron Brown – Sec of Commerce
    *Hazel O’Leary – Sec. of Energy
    *Rodney Slater – Sec. of Transportation
    *Jesse Brown – Sec. of Veterans Affairs
    *Togo West – Sec. of Veterans

    Very interesting take Befree. But black people didn’t go see Beloved, either. It was a downer, and nobody saw it twice. Oprah’s audience gets whiter every year, and her low opinion of the predominantly black Chicago Public School system hasn’t moved her to do much in the way of outreach ala the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. White women are her target demographic. Ditto for Obama. They’re a match made in heaven. I hope they’re very happy together.

    SB, do not drink the koolaid.

  16. Cliff

    OT: Michael Vick sentenced to 23 months in prison.
    PRISON y’all.

    “Say what you want about cruelty to animals, but you know damn well Brett Favre wouldn’t be doing prison time over this.”

    YES Ernesto!

    “You need to apologize to the millions of people who look up to you” -Judge Henry E. Hudson

    I think you all knew this moment was coming. You had to know, You definitely had to know….

    LOAD…

    LOCK…

    FIIIIIIIRE!!!!!!!!!!

    Prove: The square root of White Supremacy is irrational.

    Assume: Square Root (White Supremacy) is Rational

    Assumption 1.Black People in North America have never been through middle passage, slavery (300 years), with 100 years of lynchings, 50-60 years of lack of the ability to vote, police brutality, firemen brutality.

    Assumption 2. Black People in North America have received “liberty and justice for all,” and justice in all civil and criminal cases in the American judicial system.

    Assumption 3. Black People in North America have been given equal opportunities though Education, Employment, Athletics and society.

    Assumption 4. Black People in North America in the past 100 years have never had to let the smell of their burning bodies transcend in the nostrils of white lynch mobs for crimes that they did not commit.

    Assumption 5. Black People in North America do not have millions of men and women incarcerated in prisons and pennetenaries across the nation.

    Assumption 6. Black People in North America have the freedom to practice religion and politics.

    Assumption 7. Black People in North America, such as Michael Vick has the freedom to be a shining example of a black quarterback in the NFL. He has the rights to be equally as good as his white counterparts. The life of “one dog” does not equal the lives of 4,000 black men and women. Dogs such as German Shepherds were never used to kill, torture black people during any civil rights protest, because by Assumption (1), slavery never existed.

    Assumption 8. Some dogs in North America have died by electrocution, drowning or hanging, and Black People in North America have never had that happen them, not even in the past 100 years.

    Assumption 9. Black People in North America, such as Marion Jones has the right to have her people be psychologically inspired to have a black woman remain a champion, and to keep her gold medals, because she would never be entrapped in a conspiracy to destroy black champions, because by Assumption (3) she is safe to practice freely as an Athlete.

    Assumption 10. Black People in North America have never been considered in a formula of 1 black man or woman equaling 3/5ths of a human, and never have been considered 1/4000th of a dog.

    Assumption 11. Black People in North America have never been have never had millions upon millions their women raped or maimed, or tortured, drowned or hanged in the past 455 years, ever.

    12. Black People in North America do not have to go through waves of systemic terrorism today, such police brutality, rapes, murder, torture, racism, infection of disease, unemployment, psychological or emotional trauma, lack of education, lack of freedom, lack of equality, lack of liberty, according to
    Assumptions 1-6.

    * CONTRADICTION
    ASSUMPTIONS (1-12)

    The square root of White Supremacy is irrational.

    Q.E.D.

  17. Rikyrah:

    Wonder how Rangel and the rest of the CBC that’s endorsed the Borg Queen are feeling nowadays? I told you the CBC as a whole (save for Barbara, Maxine and a couple of others) are pissed at Obama because he didn’t roll up into the Caucus and become “their boy”. For that, I respect Obama’s willingness to be independent of them – but not much else.

    Still, he’s a better choice than the Borg Queen – I’ve seen a couple of good discussions on Oprah and her relationship with whites and blacks – I just hope her presence helps Obama rather than overwhelm him, cause that’s all the Borg Queen needs is a toehold to get back in this thing, when Obama has her on the ropes.

    And House Negro Andy Young had to apologize for his “Bill Clinton is blacker than Barack Obama” comment because the white folks got mad, especially when Young said Clinton dated more sistas than Obama did.

    The fact is, Obama is married to a sista and Clinton isn’t. ‘Nuff said.

    I wish MLK could come back from the dead and start bitch-slapping those who rode with him and are using his death to pimp their own agendas (Jesse, Andy and Vernon Jordan…)

  18. TPJ,

    I have been teasing, since the beginning, that while I have seen the ‘ Kool-Aid’ drinkers w/regards to OBama, I am not one of them. I have since decided that I have found my own Kool-Aid w/regards to Obama.

    I can’t take it. I can’t take anymore of these patently absurd Lawn Jockey, Handkerchief Head moments from our so-called ‘Elders’. We’ve waited long enough for them to hand over the baton.

    Obama isn’t perfect; I know that. I’m fully aware of his flaws. But, it’s time for us to make our own mistakes and accomplishments. Young and his ilk have been so patently pathetic in their reasoning as to why they can’t support Obama, they show their hand. Just admit that you’re a damn Lawn Jockey (thanks for dropping that over at J&J, btw), and get it over with, instead of pretending that you have actual policy issues with Obama.

    we’ve waited long enough for the baton to be passed. Folks don’t seem to want to pass it gracefully. It must now be snatched and grabbed. And, I’m going to tell you that something has been lost, because we have too many organizations that are personality-driven, instead of being purpose-driven. Purpose driven organizations can withstand changes in leadership; purpose driven organizations are those who prepare their organizations for the next generation. We have organization upon organization led by folks who literally DIE without preparing someone to lead the next set of battles. Young and nearly all of them have totally dropped the ball. They have to be put out to pasture.

  19. Denise

    I already know what time it is, so I will also pass on the Koolaid for now. Hand me a roll of tin foil and some popcorn instead. 😉

    However, I’m not hater; kudos on the events! Good job!

  20. Well, said, Rikyrah. And if the elders are afraid of how the young’uns are going to do with the legacy, they should be willing to teach as opposed to trying to hoard everything.

    This reminds me of Black Pastors – they will hang on and even have to be dragged into the pulpit in a wheelchair with an oxygen mask on, just to still be called “Pastor” and everyone knows his last good sermon was 20 years ago. When he dies, the Church gets into upheaval as the naked quest for power ensues. Souls are lost and lives destroyed; not to mention people walking away from Jesus because He’s being misrepresented by these clowns.

    What happens in the Church is the same thing happening in the Civil Rights movement. Jesse and Andy are still stuck like Chuck in the 1960s and 1970s – and refuse to hand over that baton like good leaders.

    I bet if MLK had survived, the first thing he would have done would have been to train his successors, because being shot would have been a second time in his life he had to face his own mortality (the first was when that crazy woman stabbed him with an ink pen in Chicago around 1958).

    Put them out to pasture and if necessary, take them down like you would an old horse with an injury that it cannot recover from.

  21. Lucia Ekech

    Many African/Black Americans are highly educated and very well versed in those issues affecting us and our offspring as a group. A number of Blacks have worked so hard to have their voices heard not only USA, but also in many corners of the word at large. Many Black leaders paid the ultimate price so that voice or vote could mean something.

    The question is, why are these voices so muted that we do not seem to address those issues critical to the education and financial stability of our children? Its known the Republican don’t give a damn about our votes unless they want to sabotage them. Democrats seem to want them merely to defeat the Republicans or for some lame duck token appointments to those who can sing their tunes.

    Two cases at the core of my argument are:
    1-The warehousing of minority kids in the FOSTER CARE SYSTEM:

    New Times recently published a piece about the multi-million dollars Foster Care System in which minority children are being warehoused by agencies whose main motive for having these kids is the $$ sign attached it. One would hope that the children placed into this system can have a shot at the future due to the big bucks being poured into it. Unfortunately, this may not be the case. The majority of these warehoused kids do end up in another financially lucrative warehousing systems called jails as soon as they old enough to go there. That is, if they do not end up dead somewhere before landing in jails.

    Please read the link below and draw your own conclusion:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/nyregion/07foster.html

    OR Google the words

    “In Foster Care Review, Vows of Help and Vigilance”

    There is also a piece from Charles Rangel of New York: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/News.asp?FormMode=release&ID=550

    2-The No Child left Behind Myth:
    This became Neil Bush’s CASH COW. You must milk the cow to get this cash and there were many COWs to be milked with respect to the No Child Left Behind. However, to get to that cow, the education of minority children became vital. The face of this cow was nicknamed “Curriculum on Wheels”. When something is on wheels, There is a chance it may not be immobile for long. The possibility of this cow folding up by the end of W’s presidential reign is very likely.

    http://www.bobcesca.com/blog-archives/2006/03/neil_bushs_cash_cow.html

    There are Investors involved in the scheme, most notably, the ones from the Arabian Peninsula. http://www.tpmmuckraker.com/archives/000181.php

    Does anybody knows any Black child who may have benefited from this COW? Apparently, the COW has come under some sort investigation!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/07/washington/07neil.html?fta=y

    It is amazing how fast some blacks voices would move to condemn and resurrect the careers of people like “Imus and Dog, the bounty hunter” whenever they show their overt contempt for people of color. There are also many powerful people in this country who have very unique ways of marginalizing the community. Most of the time they use our own flesh and blood to inflict the damage. The cases mentioned above are two of the many areas where the Black community is being screwed. In my opinion, these are the areas where we should stand firm together and defend our children because a people incapable of defending its youths is as good as extinct!

    Why is there a deafening silence within the Black community while billions of cities, States and Federal dollars are being collected on the our backs for services that are either not delivered or not beneficial to us, our children or their future?

    After 2006 elections, a number of elected Black officials were given very influential positions in the congress. Most of these Black members are now tied up in the investigation of many scandals totally unrelated to the financial hammering of young Black people by student loans or subprime lending bandits. These bandits have hit many in the Black community where it hurts most. Could this scandal investigation assignments to the black representatives be just another method of making sure they do attend to issues affecting the Black communities?

  22. Lucia Akech

    To RIKYRAH and Political Junkie;

    The people you are refering to have egoes so huge that the younger generation must have the guts to boot them out. The world is changing so rapidly that the old methods of doing business by these folks must come to some conclusion. They need can play advisory roles, period.

    I have seen the damage these old methods are inflicting on the African continent where leaders, too old to remember their names, are hanging on power at the destruction of the continent and its youths.
    These African leaders would sit down to negatiate deals with foreigners young enough to be their grand children! Most of the time, they hand over the continents raw materials for peanuts while poverty and disease are maiming the rest of its population!

  23. And House Negro Andy Young had to apologize for his “Bill Clinton is blacker than Barack Obama” comment because the white folks got mad, especially when Young said Clinton dated more sistas than Obama did.

    TPJ,

    Didn’t know he apologized for clowning like this. Of course, he couldn’t apologize because he had insulted BLACK women in general. Do you know how utterly ridiculous it was to watch the likes of Tucker Carlson and Mort Zuckerman actually discuss this?

    Handkerchief Head.

  24. Denise

    Andy Young’s comments were an offensive and disgraceful attempt to pander to his audience. Fortunately, his comments went on blast and the rest is history. Good job!

    That said, I ain’t quite ready to raze the whole house simply because it’s old and some of the doors are unhinged.

    Andrew Young got checked and apologized. More importantly, he – and everyone else with access to a microphone – hopefully got the message to think very carefully before speaking.

    New media accountability works. Let us keep it that way!

    On a related note, I’ve got a real strong suspicion that we’re not going to like what happens when the leadership pendulum, currently stagnating with the old guard, swings all the way in the direction of our “new school” black leadership. Civic engagement and oversight is more important than ever.

    Don’t sleep, y’all.

  25. On a related note, I’ve got a real strong suspicion that we’re not going to like what happens when the leadership pendulum, currently stagnating with the old guard, swings all the way in the direction of our “new school” black leadership. Civic engagement and oversight is more important than ever.

    Don’t sleep, y’all.

    Nobody’s sleeping. Damn skippy that we need to be engaged. NOT being engaged is how we got stuck with what we got now. So, I have no problem being engaged.

  26. Denise

    Exactly, Rikyrah. It never hurts to say it. Civic engagement and oversight ARE more important than ever. 😆

    This Watson business is classic “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” foolishness! NEGRO, PLEASE!

  27. You think so… They have said that the african american women is going to be the deciding factor in this election and I feel african american women will leave more towards hilary than barack. Oprah has no clout in the young urban african american community. Yes we have respect for her and what she has been able to do as a black women but we dont relate to her. look at her audience… it is predominantly white. I do not feel Barack at all will get a bigger black woman vote by having Oprah on the campaign trail. I would really just like to know what he stands for… I am confused everytime I hear him speak. i still dont really feel like I know him… and if he doesnt tackle that, then it will be his reason for not winning… regardless of what people know about hillary they know bill and will go with what’s familiar over the black man.

  28. Denise

    This is a day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad…

    (thanks, RenaissanceBlackWoman) :: thumbs up ::

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