Friday Open Thread: Obama crosses the line on Wright

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“Had the reverend not retired, and had he not acknowledged that what he had said had deeply offended people and were inappropriate and mischaracterized what I believe is the greatness of this country, for all its flaws, then I wouldn’t have felt comfortable staying at the church,” –Barack Obama on The View, Friday morning.

What is he saying? I know he didn’t just do this after people like me, Hell, the whole of the African Diaspora, has come to the defense of his pastor. I need somebody to help me-Now. OMIGAWD. Please, Jesus. Tell me that I didn’t just read this on Huffington Post and TPM. Lord, tell me that this is just a surreal nightmare. What has this all been for if he cannot go the extra mile and continue to defend Dr. Wright while giving whitefolks the “disagreement” that they need to hear? Why did he cross the line, Lord? Why.

I don’t know if I can forgive this tacit acknowledgement that the round the clock, racist smear campaign against Dr. Wright and the Black Church had merit. I am so angry with Barack right now that I don’t know if I can continue my support. Talk to me.

190 thoughts on “Friday Open Thread: Obama crosses the line on Wright

  1. Jo

    I agree w/you SB. I really wish that he would just leave well enough alone on this issue. There is no need to go the extra mile to assuage concerns of people who are NOT going to vote for him in the first place….if that’s what he’s doing.

    Then again, maybe that’s his honest viewpoint and some of us may have had moments like that. However for some reason, I just wish he had kept it to himself. At this point it just seems as if he is caving to demands from (mostly) white Americans who have no concept of the community, camaraderie & comfort that the black church provides.

    Are we expecting too much in a sense? Time will tell on this issue in particular…after all, this is a man that straddles the fence between 2 communities (grew up in one, now identifies with the other). For all his intelligence & eloquence sometimes I really think beneath all that there is a conflicted soul somewhere….

    BTW, great blog; I have been lurking for some time but felt the need to join in on this post🙂

  2. Jessica

    I read this earlier today and had to shut the computer off. It hurts. What the hell did he just do? I do believe that he has just gnawed off his leg to get out of the trap.

    Same old fu*#ing thing! I knew this rainbows, butterflies and unicorns bullshit was too good to be true.

    Back to bitter. F#*k it!

  3. Jessica

    Doesn’t this statement just make you feel like that little feeling- that cautious optimism- the silly idealism and hopefulness was so stupid and naive?

    He moved the country forward one baby step, in a way that I have never seen in my lifetime, and now he has just taken us right back to the all too familiar feeling of paralysis- that nothing will ever change. He didn’t have to do this.

    I hope that he acts quickly. My heart is broken.

  4. Andrea

    I took my second pin off my jacket on the train this morning after seeing this clip on Morning Joe.

    I took the first one off my lapel over a week ago and I stopped sending money. So my jacket is bare. For me…it’s a thin line. That’s how I deal.

    For the past 2 weeks a lot has been going on in my office with me fighting the White Liberal Elites that thought Obama was the Grand Puba of race relations. Ever since this speech my office has gotten extremely uncomfortable for those that already walked on eggshells to come across as Good White People. I can’t even elaborate right now but it gotten so bad in my office between me and my co-workers that I was talking to a reporter yesterday with Racialicious about taping the exchanges we were having because they — the White Liberal Elite — thought I would be against Rev. Wright and that I had to. Hence the “speech” and me defending profusely constitutional rights and fundamental rights of having an attitude, my peers are perplexed because they can’t see how I can be so unreasonable in submitting to what they see of Barack doing in regards to the ills of Rev. Wright.

    That’s why I have not been on your blog as much. My head has been hurting and my chest has been heavy trying not to cut loose at work. I’ve been trying to facilitate without going off now that they want to talk about race — catered to their pre-existing perception.

    I knew this was going to happen. I knew this was going to happen right up to this with him denouncing Rev. Wright. I have watched so many fold for esctasy.

    And yeah…the comments about Jews and Italians are outlandish in context to someone not expecting a Black Man to have an opinion, have a disdainful, controversial opinion, and having an unpopular political opinion. Rev. Wright is part of the equation that is too hard for most to conceive about us because we are drawn so one-dimensionally as caricatures even when we are in pain. So my White Liberal Elite peers are not even understanding the structural make-up and anthropology of our people let alone what are the types of theology we have in our communities. They can’t conceive that Blacks have political preachers trying to educate about history and how his viewpoint relates to foreign policy today.

    Time Magazine had a cover story last year about not enough Americans knowing how the Bible relates to foreign policy, etc.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1601845-1,00.html

  5. Cliff

    “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”
    Mark 8:36

    Andrea, I going to try to dominate you.🙂

    Peep the Stategy,

    I know that Slave Master looks so powerful to you.

    He actually looks like he can still rule you.

    You’re thinking, Damn these people have killed over a half billion of my people, continue killing and locking my people up everyday, have contiued to deny us equal education, equal rights, victimize us with the most savage behavior on the Earth, and I and my Pastor are just supposed to continue to clap our hands, and smile and bow to them, and let them know how much we love it.

    It just kills me to think like them, they must be thinking every slave on the Earth must continue to sing, dance praise the hell on Earth that their Slave Masters produced.

    These people think that they are God themselves.

    I HAVE A MISSION, TO PLAY THE GAME OF MY ENEMY TO LOCK DOWN THE PRESIDENCY, SINCE I KNOW I NEED THEIR VOTES TO GET IN.

    Watch him dance in ring, but he has not been knocked down, and he has not forfeited his soul.

    “YES WE CAN”
    🙂

  6. Chesapeake

    Awe, Mmmmaaannn!!

    When I read the transcript of the View, I knew you were gonna allow us to deal with it here. Just when I’m feeling like I’m ready to go back to work on a prez campaign, Senator Obama stepped and fetched.

    Brotha, I was feeling just what you wrote on the post. I understand the tough spot he was in two weeks ago; but, this guy … ehh … I thought he, for all intents and purposes, said his piece in the speech last week. But, here, today, comes out this tendency to get soft.

    It’s a mystery who’s pulling the strings, Obama or somebody else. Whoever it is, we can probably follow that big, corporate money that’s going to ride him through his term(s) in office. Maybe that meeting with Mayor Blumberg, yesterday? THIS … IS … NOT a good sign of things to come from Obama.

    I have avoided quoting the oft-used proverb on this blog “under the bus.” But, didn’t he just throw one his pastor and counselor, one of the best clergy of this day who has helped many-a-people from urban communities to prestigious educational institutions ….

    I don’t know what Obama has up his sleeves, but I’m “hop[ing]” “he can” do something “we can believe in.” ::sigh:: … woe, the choices.

    Mark 8:36. Ayymen, Andrea!

  7. Andrea

    Cliff,

    You’re still thinking about that? Damn, boy! Down.

    Clearly you have not considered that I know this. Because I am not a simple layman however…I know that most of our young people and weak-minded psuedo players will read it as the method of operation to follow…with them not being as educated or experienced to play this game. This is dangerous. Obama built this with the support and engineering of White Liberals who don’t give a damn about us because Obama has brokered a system for them to feel as if they are paying penance when Obama is the Pope.

    Now back off me!

  8. Chesapeake

    Cliff, those pseudo-powerful money bags ain’t gonna let it go down like that. What you see now are true signs and characteristics. Don’t ignore them thinking that Senator Obama’s outwitting them.

    Besides, Obama has said, paraphrased, that he thinks change will come through working with these folks – that includes oil, HMO, insurers, etc. I’m hoping he can get them to give up a lot to compromise for the greater good; but, the View appearance today is not encouraging. What he said today is not a game to be played unless you’re predisposed. He can’t claim entrapment on this.

  9. Jessica

    Andrea is right. Read Obama’s blog with her words in mind and you will see the truth. Not pretty.

  10. The Big Perspective: The only other alternatives right now are much, much worse. Welcome to “Democracy in America”.

    This story was over for me even before it began. I’m not surprised at what happened with it because I never imagined Obama could be something he was not even pretending to be since at least the 2004 covention speech.

  11. Ernesto,

    Expound on the comment, “I’m not surprised at what happened with it because I never imagined Obama could be somethign he was not even pretending to be.”

  12. imaG

    yall dont get it. F#*k Reverend Wright he screwed Obama, didn’t think about the bigger picture. Rev. Wright is a phony, he was saying hateful things and said he was preaching the word of GOD…that is NOT the word of God….and he said that church, there are many OTHER churches Obama could attend. IF YOU dont like what the pastor is saying YOU DONT attend that church. Still with you Obama, f#*k that nigga wright hes wack and he didn’t want to see you as pres. i keep it real.

    http://www.anythingblack.wordpress.com

  13. First to imaG,

    You don’t have to disrespect Rev. Wright. He’s an acquaintance of the family. He did say some bogus stuff, but he’s a 66 year old man who has more to him than what meets the ear.

    To Cliff,

    I respect your opinion, but I don’t feel the same way.

    To everybody else, including the host Skeptical Bruh…

    I pleaded for Obama to apologize to Wright on my March 14 post, and 2 weeks later, he does the opposite. Other than his dismal track record helping black males, this is another reason that I will never vote for him.

  14. TripLBee

    I’m also disappointed with Barack on this particular issue. Up to this point I think he has done an admirable job of supporting Rev. Wright the man, while rejecting the particular messages that have been aired ad infinitum. That being said, I also think that Barack is under incredible pressure, primarily from racists and bigots. I live in Chicago and have marveled at how gracefully he’s managed this tension. This is the first time in 10 years that I have been disappointed in him in terms of his management of a race-based issue. I am cutting him some slack. If I can’t support him after this single gaffe then I must admit to myself that I’m too cynical to ever support anyone who is in the public spotlight day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. Under this type of scrutiny anyone is going to disappoint from time to time. Barack is still a once in a lifetime presidential candidate and I implore us—blacks, progressives, people of color, people who are tired of the ritual bullshit coming out of Capitol Hill, etc—to suck it up and support this man. He is not perfect. He’s not. But given the intense pressure he’s been under, he’s been better than any viable presidential candidate I’ve ever seen…by far.

  15. TripLBee

    Zack,

    You can vote for whomever you wish, but I have to assume that you don’t live in Chicago or Illinois and are unfamiliar with Barack’s legislative issue. He has consistently introduced progressive criminal justice legislation that has been hugely supportive of black males (and females) caught up in the prison system. He introduced the legislation that created Sheridan Prison. He introduced the expungement legislation. He developed bipartisan support for this legislation. He is also supporting the Second Chance Act on a national level. He has been consistently supportive of low-income males—most of whom are black and brown.

  16. SB…I picked up some bad vibes from the 2004 convention speech and haven’t felt the “greatness of America” platitudes he’s been pitching since then. I understand why he has to do it, but I would prefer an open and above all else HONEST debate about the true state of racial and class divisions that this country is hopelessly fractured by. A large segment of the electorate ain’t ready for that yet, so I understand why he’s boxed in to running this type of campaign. But anyone running on a platform of “change” needs to step up and outline the problems that need to be changed. This is not going to be a painless process if it’s for real. I hate to say it, but I never felt that he was for real in that regard.

    What Rev. Wright said was the truth. There’s no reason for the truth to be controversial unless the nation is run by criminals. These are facts.

    There is no mightier weapon than the truth. It is unbreakable and unbendable. It can be wielded as a hammer or as a surgeon’s knife, as circumstances dictate. It is unacceptable that we should we let the dark side take that away from us.

  17. Greg aka Farrod

    You know, I’m dissappointed as heck too…wish he would’ve left the issue alone. I applaud Rev Wright. I applauded O man for his speech. Sigh…

    I left my church last year because the (female) pastor was very ‘controlling’ and, while in the pulpit, stated that people who didn’t think that they belonged there should leave’. Then her husband, the bishop, followed that up with, ‘I don’t like some of yall, but I love all of ya’ll’.

    That did it for me.

    But I’ve been spottily attending a ‘1st African Church’ here in Atlanta. And I welcome the preaching with a social conscience, rather than the same old, europeanized lies in the ‘Queen James’.

  18. SB, I think this is why Glen Ford and Bruce Dixon, my colleagues over at Black Agenda Report, have been trying to warn us about for the last three years.

    It’s also why I’ve not sipped Obama-aid; I was too ready to sling Hillary under the bus for her own tactics; which was why I was cautiously stepping into Obama’s camp.

    Now, I find myself in No-Where Land; almost.

    I can still vote for Cynthia McKinney.

    Obama gains the White House but loses his soul in the process. Absolute Power corrupts absolutely and I’m afraid Barack Obama has been thoroughly, morally and spiritually corrupted at this point. He will say and do anything to get POTUS, even slinging his Pastor under the bus for personal gain.

    But, God don’t like ugly. After all of this, while Hillary may not get the nod, the DNC is cooking up something to give it to Al Gore and save the party, by making sure neither one of them gets the nomination.

    I love my people. Barack is part of My People, but for this, I don’t know if I can vote for him knowing he’s capable of doing something like this. If he’ll do this, he’ll do anything the “Man” tells him to once he’s in the Oval Office.

    But, then again, he will have done everything asked of him, and walk away with NOTHING. That’s a more fitting punishment, because if he doesn’t have God on his side, nothing he says or does will get him the White House. NOTHING.

    I would have prefered seeing him fight and lose on principle, than cave in and stand for anything.

    I had the AUDACITY TO HOPE, it was all for NOTHING.

  19. imaG

    Naw eff Rev Wright. He failed himself. But the topic is dead, Obama shouldn’t have spoken on it. And just dismissed the question

  20. abe ny

    Slow down…. You’re right in that BO should just move on and not take the bait on this issue. Surely he’s done enough explaining. But lets revisit why we support Barack. We support BO, in part, because he represents our perspective as it resonates with a greater American audience. He’s not running to be the HNIC. He’s running to be president of all America. It’s a fine line- but he has to acknowledge that many Americans are uncomfortable with “God Damn America”. We may not agree and believe Rev. Wright to be a leader and very much loved on the South Side (my home). However, we are blind if we don’t acknowledge that Wright’s words may be hurtful to Americans who at the core may not be racist. Trust me, Rev. Wright hurts deep for for BO’s situation. Be strong- Keep your eye on the prize.

  21. Denise

    I wonder how this would have gone down if Whoopi had posed that question and if he had to look in her face when responding.

    That Babwa posed the question ain’t no coinkydink. LOL

  22. Denise

    p.s.

    I was watching a cable talk show about an evening or so ago and for the life of me, it was as though many of the pro-Obama talking points
    were pulled – verbatim – from this blog. 😉

  23. Sandra

    I hate that Black leaders always have to denounce another Black person white people disapprove.

    Don’t worry, I’m sure Obama and Rev. Wright worked it out. They both understand the bigger picture.

  24. I wonder how this would have gone down if Whoopi had posed that question and if he had to look in her face when responding.

    That Babwa posed the question ain’t no coinkydink. LOL

    Of course it wasn’t, Denise. Of course it wasn’t.

  25. Rick

    “But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, ‘This man was also with him.'”

    “And he denied him, saying Woman, I know him not.” Luke 22:56-57
    ———————————————————-

    Obama’s denial of his Pastor isn’t that different from Peter’s denial. With the Empire bearing down on the Messiah, a woman (probably like Barbara Walters) asked Peter, “aren’t you and Jesus boyz?”

    The options were: likely self preservation vs certain death.

    Peter denied his Pastor. He saved himself.

    Like Peter’s dilemma, Obama’s choice was between self-preservation (i.e., his bid for the presidency stays alive if he denies his pastor, albeit with some negative fallout from “us” and a loss of integrity); or

    Political suicide if he said he would have stayed in the church, or evaded the woman’s question entirely.

    So let’s rewind:
    * Obama fled and choose self preservation.
    * Peter fled and chose self preservation.
    * The rest of the Apostles (not just Peter) fled and chose self preservation.

    My point is not whether Obama was brave. Clearly he was not. Rather, Obama is in good company in the annals of human history…that would include some of us, I suppose.

    I’d bet many people in their lives, at one point or another, have had to choose between self preservation and principle, and they chose the former. I find this is especially true if you work in politics and/or in finance (having been exposed to both fields). If someone says any different, I won’t argue. I’ll just tip my cap and say you are better than me, Obama, St Peter, and all the Apostles who fled when the moment of truth came!

    One last thing: I personally feel that distancing yourself from your pastor publically is not the only way to “deny” your pastor.

    We deny our pastors when the sermons we hear on Sunday get tossed out in exchange for acting a fool on Tuesday, or any other day of the week. Or when our behavior causes shame not just on our pastor and church, but on Christianity more generally. Some of us have a holy ass-whipping coming if that’s the case.

    Hence, there will be no stone throwing from Mr. Rick this evening.

    But to those sinless amongst us, please continue to go ahead…

  26. Cliff

    “I don’t know if I can forgive this tacit acknowledgement that the round the clock, racist smear campaign against Dr. Wright and the Black Church had merit.”
    SB, I understand but,

    http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=251&Itemid=34

    “Barack Obama is the antithesis of Black Power, a man who promises with every word he speaks, with every nuance of phrase and body language, and through his voting record as a U.S. Senator, that he personifies the definitive end of Black organized struggle in the United States – a unilateral surrender to white racism. This is his appeal to the white masses: that they will no longer be challenged to confront history, or to relinquish privilege in the present.”

    Black Agenda Report, I understand but,

    “This is dangerous. Obama built this with the support and engineering of White Liberals who don’t give a damn about us because Obama has brokered a system for them to feel as if they are paying penance when Obama is the Pope.”

    Andrea, I understand but,

    “Cliff, those pseudo-powerful money bags ain’t gonna let it go down like that. What you see now are true signs and characteristics. Don’t ignore them thinking that Senator Obama’s outwitting them.

    Chesapeake, I understand but,

    HE IS JUST PRETENDING TO BE A SELLOUT.🙂

    HE IS OUTWITTING THEM

    “CHANGE WE BELIEVE IN.”
    🙂

  27. I’m still hurt. That hasn’t changed, but maybe it has. Maybe, if we, in the blogosphere, weren’t the only Black folk in America defending Obama on this.

    Maybe, if some of those elected muthafuckers had opened their goddamned mouths over this. Maybe if SOMEONE, SOMEBODY had stepped up to DEFEND Wright, and the Black Church…

    I’m not absolving him of what he did. But, considering that I’m a political junkie, and was watching newsshows 24/7 on this shit, and didn’t see NOBODY outside of Roland Martin, Jamal Simmons, and Joseph Lowery even remotely try and defend Obama and Wright…

    I don’t count Rev. Al and Jesse, cause folks expect them to do everything.

    We got 2 preachers on every frigging block in a Black Neighborhood in the USA, and couldn’t none of them mofos come on the air to defend their fellow preacher Wright?

  28. anony mouse

    The disappointment is a result of your overly idealized vision of the man.

    When he is president he will make far worse compromises, ones that show this to be very mild indeed.

    Even so, he’s the best person available for the job. Abandon him if you want to.

  29. TripLBee,

    Actually…I do live in Chicago. You should have clicked on my name and visited my blog to see so.

    He’s already let me down as a constituent. One program, which is not that well known, and few other pieces of legislation do not prove he is a capable candidate. His heart is to please white Democrat voters. He is only using black males like myself because it is election season. He ignored us up until now.

  30. imaG

    Forget about Obama staying true to Black people…Black people aren’t who got Obama where he is IMO. He’s doing what he has to do. Rev Wright failed Obama. He got nexted. And thats that.

  31. rikyrah,

    I’ve uploaded an 11 minute clip of video and I’ve heard nothing that softens the blow of the initial 53 second clip I had up before.

    This is probably a deal breaker for me. Your words about the black church, as quoted in Booman Tribune, are so powerful and true.

    You wrote, “To disown Wright and Trinity would be to disown the Black Community itself, which is why Obama said in his speech he couldn’t.”

    “He understood that fundamentally about the Black Community, and he understood that political expediency would mean the doubting of the existence of his soul by the Black community.”

    “Obama would never be trusted again by Black folk if he had disowned Wright & Trinity. Even Black folk that don’t go to church understand that you don’t mess with the Black Church – it’s just not done.”

    I cannot find any fault with your reasoning, sweetheart. Why have you?

  32. TripLBee

    Zack,

    Well I also live on the Southside of Chicago. As you must be aware, yours is an opinion not shared by the majority of black males on this side of town. Barack is a hero in this community–among males and females alike…And deservedly so in my opinion.

  33. I’m back to voting for the lesser of two evils. I’m not reconciled to it, for the heart is still broken right now, and it’s still fresh.

  34. sew-wutt

    Obama can’t win for loosing and can’t loose for winning–he is now being criticized for saying I “think” that I would had no longer attended…as opposed to saying I “know” I would had no longer attended the church had Rev. Wright not retired.

  35. Caged Lion

    I will continue to support Obama full bore.

    I see that many of you want him to come out and tell the unvarnished truth to these white folks. What will that accomplish? He will go down in flames, but we will all feel vindicated. Meanwhile, Billary or McCain take the reigns of power.

    Maybe I am just too jaded to believe that any politician that shares my world view and wears them on his sleave can be elected POTUS.

    Maybe I am too practical to condemn Obama’s tactics when I know full well the angle of attack that his enemies will take.

    And maybe I am too strategic minded to miss the long-term picture. To be able to recognize the strategic value of losing a battle, but winning a campaign.

    Many of you are characterizing Obama like Clarence Thomas. Many CT supporters got a helping of disappointment after his confirmation.

    Obama is no Thomas. Give me a break, ya’ll.

    I am not an absolutist with respect to a POTUS candidate. I don’t expect BO to be an outspoken black partisan and win. When has a minority candidate in a multi-ethnic country won by alienating the rest of the electorate?

    As much as I respect Wright, I realize his actions have been a liability to the goal of getting Obama elected, even if I agree with much of what he said.

    Call me when you see Obama really throw us under the bus.

  36. Chesapeake

    I see what the Senator Obama workers are saying, here. The problem for me is not that what Obama did is a sin. I’m not casting any stones for it.

    I also am trying to relate to, and I have an idea what kind of, the spot Obama is in because of Rev. Wright’s soundbites.

    I’m stepping into territory of the opponents, now, but Obama’s been under Rev. Wright for years. Surely, these clips we’re dealing with are not the first ones that could be considered controversial.

    In the equation, Rev. Wright is a constant. His sermons, bible studies, teachings, writings, and bases for counseling are constant. America’s attitude toward race and religion are constant until the force of God changes it. The variables are Obama, the continuum of time and aspirations, and influences other than his pastor and spiritual mentor!

    I agreed with TripLBee on his point in another post here that the intimate relationship breeds loyalty. I admit, I used Trip’s reasoning in support of Obama (no, I didn’t take credit for it). What happened within a week?: Look at the constants and the variables.

    I’ve been consistent about my warnings and criticisms of Obama and my reluctance to take the leap (remember “… Obama can’t do what he says he’s gonna do … He’s soft … not tough enough …”). At the same time I’ve been supportive, defensive, and sympa/empathetic of aspects of Obama and his campaign.

    I respect the Obama workers, and I expect you to defend him, I probably would, too, after shaking off the disappointment. I still lament the choices, but currently I think he is the best choice. BUT, the warning signs are there, and they should not be ignored. Some people have said prophetically: “Follow the money.” One of the benchmarks of Obama’s presidency will depend on how he deals with the biggest interests that got him there. I hope he can negotiate the boundaries.

    Rick, maybe Obama will turn a Peter and the boys, but THIS … IS … NOT a good sign of things to come from his presidency.

  37. Rick

    “Rick, maybe Obama will turn a Peter and the boys, but THIS … IS … NOT a good sign of things to come from his presidency.”

    Chesapeake, as usual, we understand and respect the other’s perspective. I hear what you are saying re: warning signs.

    And I agree one broader question for black americans is how can we (effectively) hold Obama accountible to our interests if he became President on an ongoing basis– noting that he is being pushed and pulled in so many directions besides our own. I think that’s a very important question…

  38. Denise

    “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. ”

    This applies to Hillary, McCain, and Obama. Remember, we’re in a political campaign, folks.

    For what it’s worth, I truly believe that Rev. Wright agreed to fall on the sword for Obama to help get this matter behind him.

  39. Chesapeake

    Rick, true about accountability; but, mainly, on issues and traits like this one, Senator Obama has to hold himself accountable true to himself, and his heart, beliefs, and boundaries. In other words, if he is “playing the game” or “working a strategy” of giving up something for something greater, I believe he should have boundaries set beyond which he will not go and will not allow anyone else to go or enter. That’s part of having integrity.

    I’m not imposing my boundaries on him, but my relationship with my pastor (considering my familiarity with him, and the connection, intimacy, and duration of the relationship) would be one of those boundaries where, if I were him, I’d say to myself “what I said last week is testing my boundaries, and I go no further than that.” But hey, that’s me. Either he has broader boundaries or he busted them for gain, under influence or duress, etc. I pray …!

  40. Tee

    Rick,

    Your posting is absolutely correct. Although I it turned my stomach to hear Obama’s denial of Rev. Wright– I, like all of you, is not privy to the outcome. Only God is. I would imagine that Obama and Rev. Wright has spoken on this issue and has resloved how to handle it moving forward. Maybe Rev. Wright is okay with it all. If we discover, later, that Rev Wright felt abandoned, then I will be a little more heartbroken.

    I do not condone Obama’s denial of Rev. Wright; however, I understand that what is done on the surface isn’t always representative of what is in the heart. As Rick pointed out, the APOSTLES all denied Christ; however Peter was siingled out in the scriptures simply because God had a greater plan for this denial. Jesus knew that Peter’s denial was necessary to the bigger picture. Jesus also knew that Peter would return and build the foundation of His church. We know today that Peter’s denial was the plan of God.

    Let’s not condemn Obama yet. Let the Lord our God handle it all, because quite honestly, the change that Obama references–whether he is aware or not, is already underway. As Rev, Wright pointed out, God will judge this nation. God is not politically correct. He sees everything. God will judge this nation according to His principles (laws) and our actions. The 2008 presidential election, I believe, will help determine this country’s God ordained destiny–for good or for destruction. I am personally for whatever God is for.

  41. citizenwells

    “And the notion that somehow it’s cute or amusing, or a useful diversion, I think, is something that all of us have to recognize is just not the case. We all have First Amendment rights. And I am a constitutional lawyer and strongly believe in free speech, but as a culture, we really have to do some soul-searching to think about what kind of toxic information are we feeding our kids,”

  42. TripLBee

    Caged Lion,

    I am with you 100%. This blog is beginning to read like a freshman poli sci class. As many of us have noted in this blog, this whole Rev. Wright controversy has been manufactured precisely to divide working class whites and blacks in general. It seems to be working well. I would expect as much from working class whites since they are by and large unfamiliar with the rhythms and politics of the black church. I am hugely disappointed that so many black folk are taking this bait and abandoning Obama.

    It is indeed disappointing to see the mainstream media forcing Barack to sacrifice another black man in order to prove his bona fides as an able leader. But this is standard politics in a historic campaign and I think that Barack has gracefully balanced himself on a precarious tightrope, at once expressing his love and respect for the man Rev. Wright while denouncing (not wholly unfairly by the way) some of his messages. What more do we want for God’s sake?

  43. citizenwells

    Obama made this statement in response to Don Imus making the remark, “nappy headed hos.” Obama’s response to Don Imus was reported by ABC News on April 11, 2007. You can read more on my blog.

  44. Had a night’s sleep on it. Still hurt. That won’t change, but I think I had, in the back of my mind, already settled this moment if it came to be. I wrote over a month ago that I didn’t know who the vote for Obama was really for, and had settled that on the list of folks it was for, I wasn’t at the top of the list. I wrote that it was for those who had come before us and those who would come after. It was for my mother, and my less than a week old great niece. It’s still for them.

  45. Andrea

    Taken from last fall’s Wall Street Journal article:

    Whites’ Great Hope?
    Barack Obama and the Dream of a Color-Blind America
    By JONATHAN KAUFMAN
    November 10, 2007

    “In his autobiography, written before he entered politics, Sen. Obama tells the story of his Kenyan father drinking with friends at a bar in Hawaii when a white man objects to being in a bar “next to a n-.”

    “The room fell quiet and people turned to my father, expecting a fight,” Sen. Obama recounts. “Instead, my father stood up, walked over to the man, smiled and proceeded to lecture him about the folly of bigotry, the promise of the American dream, and the universal rights of man.” The white man ends up buying Sen. Obama’s father a round of drinks.”

    Point: Obama wants to heal the racial divide but he does not even have the moral courage his father had to GO THERE. People are rating the speech and the exhibition to give the speech as the highest form of moral courage, but people are not realizing that we/they are offering more platitudes to a benchmark met that is still not the highest achievement that could have been merited from this issue of Rev. Wright.

    Rev. Wright as an issue is so much bigger than Obama’s campaign for the presidency or Obama’s battle over the content of his character. Rev. Wright is a de facto civil rights issue about freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Rev. Wright is a critical issue about the merits of honor and integrity in social relationship constructs and the moral relevance of the country’s character measured. And then to Obama, this is a test about the man he is. He is a compartmentalize man that wants to cheat in order to win.

    That is simply a politician but Obama is reaping the benefits of being denoted a moral leader. Something has got to give and I see here that the people don’t have the moral courage to look at themselves and their low expectations and neediness for scraps to rule their values and virtues.

    I will probably still vote for him but I no longer will promote him as an ethical visionary. I see that he is a visionary and that vision has me and us as compromised components for his end-game.

    And voting for him is also troubling because that vote will be taken as a vote of approval rather than the vote lost in translation.

    People are not realizing that Barack is not only playing a dangerous game with our betterment long-term but he is playing with the continued default on his daughters’ futures as Black women in this country whereas their father bartered their honor for worldly game. If Obama wins, all of his negotiating will put us in further future danger that he is ill-equipped to deal with.

    He is not even meeting the example of his father in that bar. His father had courage to share but not barter his existence for the comforts of those people who were infringing his fundamental rights. His father could have been hurt or worse, killed. But his father took the risk to engage to teach. He was still not guaranteed a favorable outcome on the risk taken. That…that…is moral courage. Barack has yet to show it.

    He triangulates to get others to move on the chessboard whereas he is not moving — just pivoting to make people think he is moving, growing, accepting challenges, and challenging.

    For him to defend and honor Rev. Wright would have shown me his creed. His creed is morally bankrupt and compromised.

    To whince that you would have left your church if you knew is fallible. He knew. And as much as the intent of the church was misguided in socially productive for the general populace, HE DID NOT TEACH his church how to be. He did not, as the spirited esteemed leader he poses to be, show and lead as the gifted how to be more with their misguided intentions.

    When I was doing Uppity Negro the students at Dillard University had gotten approval from Student Affairs to facilitate the first of (I hoped) many, Uppity Negro College Coalitions at other schools. What they were supposed to do is spread UN virally to other campuses and execute one pilot project at their school to teach others in how to be proactive progressively. I pitched several out-of-the-box ideas and one such was to PROTEST BLACK CHURCHES about such things that have come to the public square now but in a disregarded way.

    I pitched to the kids that they would picket churches SILENTLY as a direct action campaign. I knew it was ambitious but I also knew that the schools and Black society was not dealing with the issue of the failures of the Black Church. Kids were going to HBCUs for the Black Experience that was killing them and teaching them outdated rationales. I knew professors were too archaic and school’s had no mission to reinvigorate Black Churches to learn to adapt as a Best Practice for making the Black Community more interactive and cross-culturally innovative with sub-demographics and the general populace of the country or more, the world. I knew churches were too ceremonial in rituals that had very little relevant value as change agents in society or Black Society but if the students lobbied as modern day Martin Luthers, they would open the mainstream dialogue that kids were not just talking or complaining but simply showing their need for their elders to realize the world was changing and they were still needed — but in a role of adaption to want to lead and teach (or learn) with young people instead of lead non-productive ceremonial rites of very little infrastructural value.

    I told the students they would show up at churches after services started to wait for church to end to have their issues on the steps of the churches. I wanted the kids to use technology but to use it as a lobby for creating the conversations that churches had to adapt and change to changing society and that younger people had a right to request these changes of our outdated churches.

    Well, the students that I pitched it to were scared. And eventhough I told them how it was characteristic of what Frederick Douglass or Dubois would have thought of if they were still around in innovative tactics, they would be helping the churches to learn how to love in disagreement with those that criticized them. The students had the hardest time getting with it because it was radically scary.

    One student in particular told me that she was scared and didn’t want to upset her pastor. And I told her that nothing was going to change until the people who could be in the church and people that go to the churches and say nothing give up their cowardice and lethargy and laziness to have courage to confront themselves.

    They instead asked to facilitate the Voting Rights’ issue that I knew was easier for them, inexperienced with change, could deal with of their powerlessness and me challenging them to rebuke it. Those kids did not really want to be leaders in the sense of what I was challenging of them. They just wanted to be popular and receive accolades. They did not want to maybe fail. No risks.

    Well…the idea was too forward-thinking for Black College students that wanted something one-dimensional and easy that would get them patted on the heads instead of maybe engaged in a battle they would have to fight their way out of of. I found that again, students like Uppity Negro as a t-shirt line idea one-dimensionally but for all that it really was supposed to be in innovation, they were too cowardly and spoiled to sacrifice their comfort to get themselves dirty, maybe piss off Student Affairs, their parents, and some church. They could not see how they could possibly be the ones to go down in history if the variables crossed to make them The Point of making a (The) Point in that Generation X and Generation Y had to stand up and confront adversity instead of trying to triangulate out of it based on the squandered ideals passed onto us as status quo elite ideals.

    The students like the White Liberal Elites I know and work iwth all see their ideals as superior and altruistic in intent when I see all sides compromised and duplicititious in wanting to play victims of circumstance rather than accomplices to fortify and sustain the fraudulent values our present cultures are rooted in. Circumstances stay the same only with those that triangulated getting out of it and ahead to look like superficial leaders.

    I told the kids that they were cardboard and had no heart and no faith in themselves or in mankind. You have to take a chance that your ingenuity will not fail and that mankind may but maybe not, fail you.

    What I see of those students is the same thing I see of Barack. He is convenient and he triangulates very dangerous variables that will affect us all. And those students in college and who are not in their mid-twenties along with my peers in my late thirties will learn that triangulation is the only way to survive and get ahead.

    More and more we invalidate virtues and minimize the important of esteemed ethical values. More and more triangulation becomes acceptable as the fuzzy math composition of what it means to be a leader.

    And we will continue to loop men and women of no courage as peers of mortal men and women that did have it. All of life continues to be cheapened because the calibration of understanding is screwed. Barack will not correct us because he benefits from our equally as corrupt and watered-down expectations.

    We are the whores we were birth-righted to be. Cheap. Frauds.

    So when I hear students say they want to be the next Dr. King or aspiring Black Law students say they want to be the next Thurgood or even Harriet Tubman, I tell them that they only want the ceremonial accolades of the sanization of who they were and what it took to get there. Barack is just like the kids I see and the younger generations who want glory without paying the price and want glory to be given through triangulated value sentiments.

    This is bigger than Barack in that so many will follow his lead in triangulating their values via proxy of signing the checks in our names.

  46. Caged Lion

    I am concerned like many here of a negative pattern of events from the Obama camp. It hasn’t reached the threshold for me yet.

    Also when Obama said in that race speech (among other things) that he could not abandon the black community, his credit went way up.

  47. Denise

    Let me offer a final observation about yesterday’s appearance: some of what we saw yesterday is a reflection on Senator Obama’s inexperience

    A more seasoned pol would have finessed Babwa’s question any number of ways. Like, for starters, flipping her question into an inquiry about her agenda, making her look like a damn fool.

    I can think of at least 2 slick and smart pols – cuz just being slick ain’t nuthin’ but an express pass to federal prison – who could have easily handled the hen house known as “The View”. LOL

  48. Dawn

    In the SAME ‘View’ interview, Senator Obama, AGAIN, defended the full 35 year career of Reverend Wright. He said he told Reverend Wright IN A RECENT CONVERSATION (admitting that he’s spoken to the Reverend in the last few days is in and of itself a bold move) that he is most saddened that the Reverend was being reduced to a false caricature, stating expressly that those sound bites were NOT a reflection of the man, his sermons or the church. But of course that isn’t good enough for the perfected and righteous Black man and woman like SB and Rikyrah respectively.

    Curious, what did the two of you put on the line to defend Reverend Wright?

    Fuck the speech and everything else he has said in its wake in defense of Reverend Wright and the church, right? What matters is the 10 second dissected sound bite from the full answer. Is it me, or are you doing the same thing to Senator Obama that the media has done to Reverend Wright?

    God forgive me, but Pat Buchanan’s diatribe against black ingratitude just came to mind.

    Look in the mirror, Black people!

  49. Akech

    Obama gave a very good speech on the Rev. JEREMIAH Wright issue. He MUST NOW CEASE AND DESIST FROM MAKING ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS ON THE SUBJECT. PERIOD.

    The Black Church has been the bedrock of stability of many in the Black community. If there was no racism in America, there would be no such thing as a Black Church in which most White Churches and White Communities have no clues as to what is being preached. Most Black people who are lucky to escape social and economic problems directed at this community attribute their escape to the Black Church. Jails of America are filled with those black men and women the black preachers have been unable to reach due to barrage of adverse social and economic missiles directed at communities where blacks live.

    There also people making huge profits in the business of private jails. I wonder how many of these jails contractors are of African descent! The government or politicians should not be in the business of controlling what preachers say unless they are trying to bring the religious teachings to their level (corruption).

    The Democratic party has made it its business to court Black vote through its contacts with Black preachers. Rev. Wright may be one of those preachers solicited by the party prior to Mr. Barack Obama coming into presidential political scene! If Rev. Wright was good enough in the past, then the only item that has changed is Obama, an African American man. The subtle messages being sent by those who loathe Mr. Obama highlights the level of discomfort many white Democrats have with Black. This has to overt marginalization of issues affecting them. The Blacks, their votes and their elected members belong to the lowest pecking order in the Democratic Party. The only thing is important is their vote which they now feel can be substituted for by Hispanic vote.

    The Black Community, like the Clinton’s Donors, must assess the benefits of their undying loyalty to (a) Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (b) Democratic Party (c) the so called power brokers in the DNC (d) unelected political attack machines regularly hired by the DNC to highlight those issues they deem necessary for successful campaign outcomes. These four entities DO NOT represent those who go to the polls to cast their votes election after election. They are only engaged in wedge issues like
    (1) Homosexuality
    (2) Abortion
    (3) Racial hatred
    (4) Patriotism
    (5) Pledge of allegiance to the flag or lack of it
    (6) stem cell research
    (7) Morality
    to muddy the political waters so that issues voters cares about most (job security, affordable home without interference from predatory lenders, ability to see a doctor, ability to clothe and educate the children, and ability to finance retirement) are not addressed.

    This method has allowed the four groups to concentrate solely on their personal themes; the themes that have absolutely nothing to do with issues affecting average voters’ bottom line.
    The relationship between Obama and Rev. Wright is not the cause of terrorism in the world and his critics know it!

  50. emil longfellow

    dis damn oreo aint speakin fo dis nigga!obama bes usin us to get what he wants den he trow us away like traash!dat boy wants to be white real bads dont use bes trustin him

  51. Akech

    Those who condemn Rev. Wrights teachings as racist must not be Christians. If they were, they would have read and understood MATHEW 23:1-39.

    If Rev. Wright cannot preach morality, he will be no better than King Henry VIII of England. His critics, many of whom claim to be born again Christians, are hypocrites.

    Thou shalt not kill–>God says you can be a killer by (1) thought (b) word (c) deed—the actual act of murder (d) ommission— failing to stop a murder or genocide.

    If Religious leaders become dubious in teaching the Bible, they must consider themselves failures in their religious work. They cannot use political parties to implement those values they have failed to preach to their flocks on pulpits. Explaining God’s wishes and defending those wishes must be their calling. Aligning with politicians must not be part of that calling!!!

  52. Nquest

    I think Obama didn’t budge a bit on the charges of racism hurled at Rev. Wright but he did hold his head down, daring not to look Mr. & Mrs. Jim Crow eye-to-eye and part of that is because he’s one of those people who believe in that America stuff.

    Ya’ll got to grant him that and that’s something he made clear since 2004, as already aptly noted.

    And, seriously, what did he concede? That he would leave the church if it consistently happened which it can’t since Rev. Wright is retired????

    C’mon, ya’ll… The man never disowned Rev. Wright though we are right to say that Obama disrespected him in a profound way by feeding into the “wacko, radical Black leftist” lynch mob thirty to dismiss Wright as a ‘nut’ Obama would agree should never be taken seriously.

    But Obama didn’t just let that happen quite that way. He disrespected Rev. Wright, IMO, with that generational anger bs. I’m mad as hell about that (in a don’t you tell that lie and feed into caricature, using White folks language… kind of way). Obama did continue to insist on Rev. Wright’s good. He just conceded too much.

    But this is a classic riff in the Black community. Malcolm X’s rhetoric was denounced too and even by a brother, Dr. King, who by every objective measure moved us forward as a people.

    I see Obama as a pragmatist and looking at from that perspective its easy to see how he can see Rev. Wright’s statements as “inflammatory” no matter how true they are. The question for the pragmatist is whether they help get things done. Obama’s answer is that they don’t and we all know White folks have some fragile azz egos.

    So it’s best that we put all that in the appropriate context and perspective.

    Again, Obama didn’t disown Rev. Wright and the Rev. is a big boy. We have to be realistic, IMO. There was no way Obama was going to go this campaign and especially this (non)issue and just be defiant and say “f-ck ya’ll” (like I would), even if he wanted to.

    I’m more upset and find more fault with him conceding that Michelle Obama ‘misspoke.’ That’s probably a man-protect-his-woman thing but, when I think about it all, that’s the thing that bothers me most even though Obama’s never-ending JIM CROW MOMENT with the Rev. Wright remains the breaking point.

    The brother, Obama, had enough dignity to not (completely) disown Rev. Wright… but the fact that he didn’t come to her defense like Bill has Hillary is the biggest thing that makes me question his manhood.

    But then, really, look at what the brother is up against even to be the “lesser of two evils.”

    for what MLK said best… “I’m tired of marching for what should have been mine from birth.”)

  53. TripLBee

    Nquest

    Do you think there’s any chance that MLK actually did disagree with some of Malcolm X’s assertions and that Obama does in fact disagree with some of Rev. Wright’s political positions?

    I consider myself to be progressive and I fundamentally disagree with much of what Malcolm X proposed during the period before he split with Elijah Muhammed. (He became much more of a humanist after his trip to Mecca and his split with the NOI.) And while I agree with much of the reasoning behind Rev. Wright’s well manicured sermon clips, I do get tired of the endless stream of angry creeds coming from some of the leaders in our community. Yes, we’ve had a very bad deal in this country. But equally to the point, things are much better now than they were in the past. More to the point, we are complicit in our own oppression and I think we should spend as much time addressing our own complicity as we do reminding ourselves of our victimization. I have attended Rev. Wright’s church on many occasions and believe that he does more of the former than the latter. In fact I have great respect for the man. But there have been occasions where I’ve felt myself rolling my eyes at what I’ve considered to be wild exaggerations. The larger point is that well intentioned black folks can disagree without being motivated to do so by a hidden political agenda.

  54. Akech

    Blacks must learn how to charter their destiny because nobody will get them out the racist hole they have found themselves in worldwide.

    I do not believe Democrats have answers for them other than taking advantage of their votes! The Republicans do not give a damn about them, at least they are honest about that.

    We cannot remain “YES SIR” people for good and become launch pads from which others, including recent imigrants have their financial successes take off. Many black elites have decided that silence is a gold mine and are willing to do practically anything to quietly do the mining. The only time you hear them raise their voices is when they are attacking one of their own instead of offering advice.

    Why do they hate Farrakhan?
    Why was Malm X killied?
    Why was Martin Luther King murdered despite promoting non-violence?

    Would Democrats be attacking Obama if he was not an Africa American, or have you ever heard of a democratic campaign where threshhold keep on changing on a weekly basis?

  55. Bay

    You know, all of you claiming you’re done with Obama, yall are a bunch of fair weather negroes, for real. I would never have you people as my friends.

    First off, you all conveniently forget that Obama has been defending Wright for the past 2 weeks and that he was defending him the whole first part of that interview on the View. He answers one hypothetical saying he would have left the church, and now you all are calling him a phony white boy. Black people, I swear.

    And I wonder what you all have to say about the fact that Rev. Wright HIMSELF told Obama to leave the church and distance himself from him before he even started running for president. So what does that all mean to you?

    Do you all think that Obama and Wright aren’t sitting on the phone every other night talking about this mess? Get real, people.

    I have to say, y’all militant brothas and sistas need to realize that a lot of white people, ones that don’t have issues with people of color, were offended by what Wright was saying. I didn’t have a problem with with Rev said, you all may not have, but a lot of people did. Barack IS NOT running for president of Black America. And he has to be there to assure his black people AND his white people that he is there for them, period point blank.

    I really don’t see how y’all can hold a single comment that was a answer to a hypthetical question against this man. A lot of yall are no different from a white redneck who was thinking about supporting Obama. Yall were just waiting to jump on any little thing to hang this brotha. Well, now ya got it, so good riddance. This movement doesn’t belong to people like yall anyway.

  56. Hello, I was so proud of Obama for not going there about Dr. Jeremiah Wright. He should have left it alone. I am so pissed off with him for making that stupid move. Dr. Jeremiah Wright did nothing wrong but tell the truth to his church family.

    Those people fill with hate are not going to vote for him any way so, why keep trying to please them. He need to stop trying to include every voter. The ones that believe in him are going to vote for him. I hope he don’t say another word about it.

  57. Bay

    “Curious, what did the two of you put on the line to defend Reverend Wright?

    Fuck the speech and everything else he has said in its wake in defense of Reverend Wright and the church, right? What matters is the 10 second dissected sound bite from the full answer. Is it me, or are you doing the same thing to Senator Obama that the media has done to Reverend Wright?”

    Thank you , Dawn. I’m really disappointed but not suprised at all by the reaction of black folks in this thread. Forget all of the positive and crucify Obama for a HYPOTHETICAL answer to a question posed as a comparison to Don Imus, for Pete’s sake! I really don’t get it. But like I said, these people have been looking, all along, for one little thing to stone this brotha for. Now he’s Clarence Thomas because he said HYPOTHETICALLY that he MIGHT have left the church IF Wright MAY HAVE said RACIST things.

    Give me a damn, break people. I’m not suprised by Skeptical cause he’s just an out there militant brotha who isn’t a true Obama supporter to begin with. But to see folks like Rikyrah talking about being “HURT” over this? HURT? Hurt over a freaking hypothetical question? It’s absolutely unbelieveable how easily black folk will give up on each other.

    I’m damn angry right now and that anger has nothing to do with Obama and everything to do with so called supporters on this board.

  58. TripLBee

    Bay,

    I’ve been participating in this blog for a few months now. When this firestorm erupted over Rev. Wright’s clipped, manicured remarks I saw close minded white people retreat to their corners, and close minded black people do the same. It’s not surprising but it is disappointing. For some inexplicable reason I still hold black folk to a higher standard, though I am continually disappointed by this lofty expectation. Some people just don’t seem to move beyond their own narrow self-interests, whether they are black, white or brown.

  59. Andrea

    Self-interested?

    Narrow self-interests?

    How about for you…linear thinking?

    I used to have these ideas that Harriet would come back and shoot so many of us — misguided and compromised. This shit ain’t about the presidency! And this shit ain’t about him being the President of Black America. This is about someone in brown colored skin doing what he did. It’s bigger than him. There are somethings you just don’t play with in strategizing.

    It’s one thing to listen to Whites want to crack the whip here but when I see self-interested Blacks implying those who are not complicit with this scheme as being self-interested, you are waging an attack in a civil war.

    Narrow-minded?

  60. Bay

    TripleLBee,

    I hold black folks to a higher standard too. This man is walking the ultimate tight rope. All of us black folks who work in “corporate” America know what it’s like to have to walk that tightrope and this man is doing it times a thousand, in the face of the nation, and still does it with class and dignity. And now, after weeks of him defending his pastor, folks here are talking about how “hurt” and “disappointed” and how they “knew he wasn’t real” because of some hypothetical answer he gave a hypothetical BS question that was intended to knock him off the tight rope?! Give me a break! Give me a MF-ing break! Wake up people.

    And I have to state again just cause I want one of these “disappointed” people to comment on it, what say they of the fact that Wright told Obama to leave Trinity and Obama refused? What of the fact that Wright told Obama before this campaign that they needed to part ways? What do they have to say about that. Do black folks really think that Obama is not talking to his pastor? Do we really think that Wright himself is not advising this man he’s been advising for 20 years?

    We fall for the okey-doke too damn quick. And we are ready to call this man a phony and Clarence Thomas because of a damn hypothetical question on the freaking View of all places!

    The fact is, just like some white people, there are black people, many on this board, who have been looking for any LITTLE non issue to crucify Obama for. Well, now they got it. And like I said, good riddance. Because if this has turned you off Obama, you weren’t really down for the movement of change to begin with.

  61. TripLBee

    Bay,

    There are a lot of folks who are looking to be disappointed. Disappointment vindicates the crutch of victimization that some people use. It’s so easy to just complain and complain about “the man” about “Uncle Toms” and all of that other nonsense.

    Obama isn’t perfect, but his ability to navigate these land mines and to stay dignified in the face of it all is amazing. I wish I had his patience and his ability to see through the fog and stay focused on the big picture. As it is I find myself maddened by the inanities spouted on all sides of this raging argument.

  62. Andrea

    Ain’t nobody crucifying his ass?

    And this ain’t no coronation!

    I think Blacks get it twisted as well as Whites that loyalty to someone requires blind submission and agreeance to everything. That’s what White Women are doing of Hillary and we see it’s dsyfunctionality. So why should we adhere to the same dsyfunctionality? That’s why we have such compromised leadership overall in government, business, our communities — EVERYWHERE — and have not had it as a model to be proud of in the past 40 something years as American Idealism (let alone Black Idealism manifested).

    If the people have low expectations disquised as undying loyalty, how can Obama be a better man?

    Like Cornell West has said he reserves the right to criticize him. And for that I understand because you just can’t allow anyone to have free reign to make decisions that may and will harm you because you are afraid or are ill-equipped to not know how to deal with dissension.

    ‘Dissent Is the Highest Form of Patriotism’

    Howard Zinn

    “Never exalt people because they’re in your family; never exalt people because they’re your color; never exalt people because they’re your kinfolk. Exalt them because they’re worthy.”

    Louis Farrakhan

    Don’t hate us because we have the courage to question, demand, recant, and disavow actions and attitudes of someone we support/supported. This is maturity — not a cult following here of those of us who are in touch with our emotions and are not ashamed that we are disappointed.

    We are more valuable to Barack because the lack of questioning and having expectations is what makes a absolute ruler.

  63. Rick

    “I hold black folks to a higher standard too.”

    If that’s the case, and I agree, then maybe we can apply those same lofty standards to ourselves as we address our brothas and sistas here who have a different opinion than ourselves.

    I don’t recall or Rikyrah and SB attacking anyone on our side of the fence. I think pro-Obama supporters can make their points — quite effectively I might add — without employing the use of profanity or putting someone down.

  64. Nquest

    TripLBee

    It was exactly my point to note historic differences and disagreements MLK-Malcolm and now Obama-Wright. Some of those differences where about effect and the rhetoric used for it as well as disagreements in philosophy and politics.

    Ideologically, I lean more towards the Malcolm X – Wright side of the spectrum but I can roll my eyes at bs rhetoric from those who more closely share my political worldview as well as the lofty, snobbish rhetoric of MLK when he waxed paternalistic like his ideas were superior to Malcolm’s. Now, Malcolm had no shortage of disdain for MLK’s rhetoric either and a lot of that had to do with differences in worldview — even the proverbial glass half-full vs. half-empty dichotomies.

    The fact that you say you “get tired of angry screeds” highlights my point. I don’t have the same feeling but I acknowledge how those feelings are in the Black community among people worthy of respect and those who are hardly deserving of it in terms of their views and regard for Black community.

  65. TripLBee

    Nquest,

    I have a hard time defining Malcolm ideologically because he changed so much during his lifetime. I prefer the more humanistic ideology of his later years. As for MLK, I actually found him to be much more radical than Malcolm X, in his actions if not his words. But that’s probably another discussion for another time.

    Also, in the dozen or so times I saw Rev. Wright preach I generally liked his message. He a very impressive person and his church actually practices Jesus’s gospel. (A rarity for a church….) As has been pointed out in this blog, the clips of his sermons that have been running on YouTube intentionally distorted his views.

    Finally, of course I understand why black people are angry. I’m angry myself. But something in me shifted when my first child was born. I don’t want to fill his heart with anger and hatred. I don’t want him to hate white people or anyone else. I want to give him a chance to form his own views and to hopefully have a better, less angry experience than I’ve had.

    I know that people have to vent. It’s healthy to vent. But I think that our community is too angry. And it poisons us. It spills out of us onto the people we love, our neighbors, our schools, and sometimes our churches. I find it debilitating.

  66. madinchicago

    I was extremely saddened by Obama slamming Pastor Wright while saying he is not denouncing him. The statement he made is clear indication that he is denouncing him. Obama should have used his speech to clarify and put those sermons into context. Instead he he agreed with the medias depiction of the sermons which is completely false.

    Here is an article by a white man that has done what Obama should have done…which was to put those sermons in context and not side with the crazy media. I go to Trinity and have had the pleasure of hearing this man speak for over 10 years. I am shocked that Obama would even have the audacity to say he would have left the church. That is a mad slap in Pastor Wright’s face and the entire Trinity congregation.

    http://www.lipmagazine.org/~timwise/NationalLies.html

  67. madinchicago, that’s a great article. I only wish there were more people angry about injustice, rather than being mad at people who are angry about injustice!

  68. Nquest

    TripLBee,

    I find it hard to try to pretend like Malcolm got away from Black Nationalism. It wasn’t Mecca that ultimate “changed” his views towards what you might call “humanism.” Malcolm was a revolutionary in a society where the integrationist King receive social/institutional support. King was primarily a reformist but came to be more and more radicalized as his views changed especially after reflecting on the resistance he faced and the problems with his assumptions about appealing to Whites in a certain way.

    That’s the same kind of approach Obama seeks to take and he can genuinely denounce Rev. Wright’s uncompromising stance because of what he says about “getting beyond” those things to get things done.

    That aside, I have the same feelings about giving my kids “jaded” views but I categorically reject these notions about “anger” and “hate” because I’m more mature than that. And frankly I’m tired of people, any people, Obama included coming with these simplistic reductionist notions that always function to disparage and negatively stigmatize Black people and our humanity up to and including anger what that’s what being expressed.

    One thing Barack has to answer for is how he moved to legitimatize “white resentment” while still stigmatizing Black anger as something negative like Black folk have gone postal or Palestinian on Whites out of uncontrolled anger.

    Oppression is debilitating. It’s the oppression that’s the source of any perceived (or real) anger.

    And that “harder on Black folk” stuff is another form of it. Oppression in this society alone, the suppression of the African, human spirit is enough of a burden without people figuring that it’s something noble for Black folks to carry the burden of being “perfect” (read: compromising and conciliatory) in our interactions with White folk.

    Ain’t nothing noble about subordination and, indeed, that’s that maddening thing… this “big picture”, “moral high ground” rhetoric when the stuff most people point to places a ceilings on the humanity and human aspirations of Black people.

    Now, I felt Obama had to give that speech because he had to both defend his own and Black people collective human dignity. When you examine Obama’s speech and what he had to say about why he felt Rev. Wright’s supposed “angry” view was wrong and counterproductive or “debilitating” (to use your word)… there was nothing Obama said that fit Rev. Wright’s actions.

    I categorically reject people trying to elevate issues of style over substance/action.

    Simply, the logic is sloppy and stigmatizing Black anger in a society that not only deserves it but instead demonizes it all while normalizing white anger and resentment both legitimate and worthy of catering to… well, that’s beyond debilitating. That’s self-imprisonment: putting the range of one’s emotions/cognitions in a box, limiting one’s self.

    If you want to talk about healthy ways to express emotions, I’d suggest that we figure out ways to channel it if not move to eliminate the source of it altogether. Anger is a human emotion. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it. And there’s nothing that says it’s any more self-destructive or debilitating than doing what King noted Ralph Abernathy said about Black folks smiling when they weren’t happy and scratching where they didn’t itch. There’s a thin-line between the “big picture” (which is what??) and even more disappoint.

    I say judge Obama on his merits, don’t project things onto him out of our hopeful aspirations, acknowledge how he is vying for a position as CEO of “the system” but know that in regards to respecting Black folks humanity… him and his run for president isn’t bigger than that.

  69. madinchicago

    A luta Continua!

    Prophets who speak against oppressive rulers and institutionshave always made the masses mad. All the way from the bible (Jeremiah, Amos, Jesus etc.) till today. The media will reduce anyone who speaks truth into raving maniac. Bob marley sang against oppression of black folk from Jamaica to Zimbabwe and the media has reduced his legacy to a weed smoking rastafarian to dilute his message. And in return all the white kids can comfortably wear his gear, smoke weed and sing One Love with any regard for the true meaning of his words and what he stood.

    I am with you and I wish there more people in love with justice.

  70. Nquest

    I only wish there were more people angry about injustice, rather than being mad at people who are angry about injustice!

    Thank you, Ernesto!!

    When people talk about the “bigger picture”… I have to wonder what they really think that is. IMO, Black folk done compromised more than we ever should have to.

  71. TripLBee

    Nquest

    I guess you and I heard Obama’s speech differently. I heard a person trying to start a discussion between groups of people who have tended to hate each other and who generally have no desire to be informed about the others resentments. I think that Obama very clearly articulated why black people are angry. But he also expressed—correctly in my opinion—that staying stuck in the anger is counterproductive. This has been one of his motifs. He also explained white resentment pretty clearly. A white guy who used to work at a steel plant but is now swilling beer at the local tavern as he collects unemployment, may indeed be a racist, but he’s also a victim himself of the system. He’s not in much of a position to do anything about black oppression and probably doesn’t give a damn. He just wants his job back.

    I used to run a school in a black neighborhood in Washington, D.C. At some point in an American history class, I pointed out to one of my more accomplished students who was going on and on about white privilege (all of my students were black) that white people in this country had also been victimized. I informed her about the “no dogs or Irish allowed” posters that draped most places of business in the northeast. I informed her of the housing covenants that barred many Jews from buying houses in certain neighborhoods. I told her about the “English only” laws that were passed in PA in an effort to marginalize a growing German population there. My point to her was not to suggest that the levels of oppression between blacks and whites have been equal, but to dispel her notion that somehow life was magical, easy and effortless for white Americans.

    The majority of white people in this country are also functionaries in a system that benefits a tiny cadre of super wealthy. Their “bondage” so to speak is certainly less dramatic than that experienced by black Americans, but it is just as real. We’ve been pitted against each other in a classic divide and conquer scheme. This same scheme is being extended to the growing ranks of brown people in this country. We can go on and on about how badly black people have been treated in this country, and inaccurately attribute our mistreatment to “white people.” The truth is that we live in an Empire, which will use any lever at its disposal to maintain its hegemony. The sooner that black folks and white folks and brown folks figure this out, the sooner we can dispense with this race hatred.

  72. mcrae76

    Its seems to me that you all have done exactly what you are accusing Obama of. Let the man get into office and see what he does. And please by all means watch what he says all the way through.

    I to was disappointed especially after seeing the full sermons of Pastor Wright but even Pastor Wright retired early because of the controversy in order to get Obama where he needs to be, shouldn’t we?

    Our leaders will not always we do what we want or expect, but I believe that this man is truly blessed beyond measure, perceptive, sincere, honest and truly believes he can change this country or at least get it on the right track. And believe me it will take a biracial man to do it.

    And what has running under the black power flag any way? Be like the Asians, play the game to get where you need to get and the flip the scrip. Cut the man some slack. He has been attack from all sides, he is probably tired and would say anything at this point just to have some peace.

    Obama ’08

  73. “We deny our pastors when the sermons we hear on Sunday get tossed out in exchange for acting a fool on Tuesday, or any other day of the week. Or when our
    behavior causes shame not just on our pastor and church, but on Christianity more generally. Some of us have a holy ass-whipping coming if that’s the case. Hence, there will be no stone throwing from Mr. Rick this evening. But to those sinless amongst us, please continue to go ahead…” Rick

    I agree. So many times, I’ve denied/rejected my pastor, church, and/or God, when I’ve wavered in my faith and taken paths that were completely contradictory to the teachings of my pastor. But thank God that I serve a God of grace, who, yes, holds me accountable, but who also is so gracious, giving me room to learn and to continue to develop into the woman that he designed me to be.

    Like I said on another post on this site… As we live, we learn. This is a learning process for Senator Obama. This is a learning process for us. Does Senator Obama have it all figured out? Nope. Do we have it all figured out? Of course not. Let’s stop trying to act like we hold the bible of righteous truths about everything black in this jacked up society we live in.

    I think that we must be fair. Yes, let’s hold the brotha accountable. But let’s also understand what a tight rope the brotha is demanded to walk on, with us, black folks, watching how he is walking on the rope, questioning if his steps are the steps of a down ass brotha; and with white folks, watching him, and waiting for his ass to fall, because no matter what the hell Barry thinks his mama and granddaddy is, they see him as black.

    It’s so interesting to me that we sometimes charge Obama for not being black enough, and for not standing up for blacks enough. All the while, white folks are standing by, criticizing Senator Obama for being too black, for identifying with black/non-white concerns far too much.

  74. “I wrote that it was for those who had come before us and those who would come after. It was for my mother, and my less than a week old great
    niece.” Rikyrah

    Beautiful and kind.

    Rikyrah, I feel the same way. I want to see Obama win for my 57-year-old mother and 62-year-old fathers sake. Both of them grew up under the terror of Jim Crow. They were little children and were unable to drink out of water fountains that were labelled “whites only.” I want them to see and experience the triumphant moment of witnessing what they thought they would never see in their lifetimes.

    I want Senator Obama to win for my two four-year-old nieces and my six-year-old nephew. How great it will be fore them to know that, yes, racism is alive and well, but it is not an obstacle that can’t be overcome.

    Again, I don’t think Obama’s presidency will solve all of our problems. In fact, I’m sure that his presidency will introduce some new ones. But I think that Senator Obama is the most qualified, out of all those who are running, to do the job. And yes, his race makes this more sweet for me.

    And for all of those who say we shouldn’t just back Obama for his race. I don’t. But if I was, I don’t see it as being so bad. White folks back white folks all the time because their white. Why can’t I, especially now that we have a viable, qualified candidate, do the same thing?

  75. Kofi

    I don’t think this latest comment was that big of a deal. At this time Obama’s message isn’t geared toward winning the general election. He’s still courting the nomination, and that means courting specific states and/or minimizing Clinton gains in said states. As the Clinton campaign has turned the delegate game into a race and fear-baiting game to ramp up their blue-collar base in PA, Obama is forced to retool his message in response. And although the media puts this out there for all of us to see, it clearly (in my mind) is directed toward the PA vote and doing damage to the Clinton lead there.

  76. I am still hurt, but I had to step back and still acknowledge the cauldron Obama is facing. And the Black support he’s getting is minimal – on the air.

  77. Obama IS Jackie Robinson and all that encompasses. I admit that I was holding him to a Black Tax, but I do believe he was wrong. I’m allowed to believe he was wrong. What I’m NOT allowed to do is throw him away for one mistake –

    He’s earned 3 strikes for his success in the campaign so far. And considering that the Mainstream will only give him 1, being Black I must give him 3 – yes, just because he’s Black.

  78. Caged Lion

    Sheila Jackson Lee at odds with constituents

    08:42 PM CDT on Saturday, March 29, 2008

    By Wendell Edwards / 11 News

    Click for raw video of convention-goers booing local Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee

    Click on video for Wendell Edwards’ 11 News report.

    HOUSTON — On the campus of Texas Southern University was a Democratic Senate District convention unlike the others being held across the state.

    Democrats together, but yet still divided over who should be the Democratic presidential nominee.

    And never more was that more apparent than when longtime Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee took the stage.

    A majority of the crowd showed its support for Barack Obama by shouting his name and booing the congresswoman, letting her know what they thought of her allegiance to Hillary Clinton.

    To some, especially Clinton supporters at the convention, the booing came out of nowhere.

    “I was a little surprise there was that kind of activity going on,” said Jeffery, who is a Clinton supporter.

    But for those backing Obama, they said it sent a clear message to the congresswoman from her constituents.

    “For her to standout against the wishes of her district and be a Clinton supporter, I guess pissed off our delegation,” said Obama supporter Phillip.

    For years, Sheila Jackson Lee has been a popular politician in the 18th Congressional district; winning re-election overwhelmingly at least five times since 1995. The district is predominately made of up African American voters.

    “It is always tough to go into the face of adversity,” she admitted to the chorus of boos she received Saturday.

    But could the disfavor from those who support Obama, hurt Jackson Lee?

    “We are somewhat in uncharted waters,” said 11 News political expert Bob Stein. “It simply reflects the fact that Lee is in tough position here.

    “Her district when 90-percent to 10-percent for Obama.”

    For Jackson-Lee though, it is all about keeping her word.

    “What would I be if I went back on my word to an individual that I’ve worked with for more than a decade and sat down talked to me about her vision for America,” said Jackson Lee.

  79. Thanks Caged Lion!

    What a way to give me, a good ol’ Houston girl, a smile this morning.

    So glad that Obama supporters in Houston have been demonstrating in word and deed their support for Senator Obama.

    I don’t live in Jackson Lee’s district. But I was disappointed in her choice to stand with HC and against BO.

    But again, I’ve always said that many people ran to back HC, only because they never considered in a million years that America would have the guts to allow Senator Obama’s candidacy get this far.

  80. I grabbed this over at Field’s blog.

    “1-James McDougal – Clinton’s convicted Whitewater partner died of an apparent heart attack, while in solitary confinement.He was a key witness in Ken Starr’s
    investigation.2 -Mary Mahoney – A former White House intern was murdered July 1997 at a Starbucks Coffee Shop in Georgetown . The murder happened just
    after she was to go public with her story of sexual harassment in the White House.3- Vince Foster – Former White House counselor and colleague of Hillary
    Clinton at Little Rock’s Rose Law firm. Died of a gunshot wound to the head, ruled a suicide.4- Ron Brown – Secretary of Commerce and former DNC Chairman.
    Reported to have died by impact in a plane crash. A pathologist close to the investigation reported that there was a hole in the top of Brown’s skull resembling
    a gunshot wound. At the time of his death Brown was being investigated, and spoke publicly of his willingness to cut a deal with prosecutors. The rest
    of the people on the plane also died. A few days later the air Traffic controller committed suicide.5- C. Victor Raiser II- Raiser, a major player in the
    Clinton fundraising organization died in a private plane crash in July 1992.6-Paul Tulley – Democratic National Committee Political Director found dead
    in a hotel room in Little Rock , September 1992.Described by Clinton as a “Dear friend and trusted advisor”.7-Ed Willey – Clinton fund raiser, found dead
    November,1993 deep in the woods in VA of a gunshot wound to the head. Ruled a suicide. Ed Willey died on the same day his wife Kathleen Willey claimed
    Bill Clinton groped her in the oval office in the White House. Ed Willey was involved in several Clinton fund raising events.8-Jerry Parks -Head of Clinton’s
    gubernatorial security team in Little Rock . Gunned down in his car at a deserted intersection outside Little Rock . Park’s son said his father was building
    a dossier on Clinton . He allegedly threatened to reveal this information. After he died the files were mysteriously removed from his house.9-James Bunch
    – Died from a gunshot suicide. It was reported that he had a “Black Book” of people which contained names of influential people who visited prostitutes
    in Texas and Arkansas.10-James Wilson – Was found dead in May 1993 from an apparent hanging suicide. He was reported to have ties to Whitewater.11-Kathy
    Ferguson- Ex-wife of Arkansas Trooper Danny Ferguson, was found dead in May 1994, in her living room with a gunshot to her head. It was ruled a suicide
    even though there were several packed suit cases, as if she were going somewhere. Danny Ferguson was a co-defendant along with Bill Clinton in the Paula
    Jones lawsuit. Kathy Ferguson was a possible corroborating witness for Paula Jones.12-Bill Shelton – Arkansas State Trooper and fiance of Kathy Ferguson.
    Critical of the suicide ruling of his fiance, he was found dead in June,1994 of a gunshot wound also ruled a suicide at the grave site of his fiance.13-Gandy
    Baugh – Attorney for Clinton’s friend Dan Lassater, died by jumping out a window of a tall building January, 1994.His client was a convicted drug distributor.14-Florence
    Martin – Accountant & sub-contractor for the CIA, was related to the Barry Seal Mena Airport drug smuggling case. He died of three gunshot wounds.15- Suzanne
    Coleman – Reportedly had an affair with Clinton when he was Arkansas Attorney General. Died of a gunshot wound to the back of the head, ruled a suicide.
    Was pregnant at the time of her death.16-Paula Grober – Clinton ‘s speech interpreter for the deaf from 1978until her death December 9, 1992. She died
    in a one car accident.17-Danny Casolaro – Investigative reporter. Investigating Mena Airport and Arkansas Development Finance Authority. He slit his wrists,apparently,
    in the middle of his investigation.18- Paul Wilcher – Attorney investigating corruption at Mena Airport with Casolaro and the 1980 “October Surprise” was
    found dead on a toilet June22, 1993 in his Washington DC apartment. Had delivered a report to Janet Reno 3 weeks before his death.19-Jon Parnell Walker
    – Whitewater investigator for Resolution Trust Corp. Jumped to his death from his Arlington ,Virginia apartment balcony August 15, 1993. He was investigating
    the Morgan Guaranty scandal.20-Barbara Wise – Commerce Department staffer. Worked closely with Ron Brown and John Huang. Cause of death unknown. Died November
    29, 1996. Her bruised, nude body was found locked in her office at the Department of Commerce.21-Charles Meissner -Assistant Secretary of Commerce who
    gave John Huang special security clearance, died shortly thereafter ina small plane crash.22-Dr. Stanley Heard – Chairman of the National Chiropractic
    Health Care Advisory Committee died with his attorney Steve Dickson in a small plane crash. Dr. Heard, in addition to serving on Clinton’s advisory council
    personally treated Clinton’s mother, stepfather and brother.23-Barry Seal -Drug running pilot out of Mena Arkansas, death was no accident.24-Johnny Lawhorn
    Jr. – Mechanic, found a check made out to Bill Clinton in the trunk of a car left at his repair shop. He was found dead after his car had hit a utility
    pole.25-Stanley Huggins – Investigated Madison Guaranty.His death was a purported suicide and his report was never released.26- Hershe ll Friday – Attorney
    and Clinton fundraiser died March 1, 1994when his plane exploded.27-Kevin Ives & Don Henry – Known as “The boys on the track” case. Reports say the boys
    may have stumbled upon the Mena, Arkansas airport drug operation. A controversial case, the initial report of death said,due to falling asleep on railroad
    tracks. Later reports claim the 2 boys had been slain before being placed on the tracks. Many linked to the case died before their testimony could come
    before a Grand Jury.THE FOLLOWING PERSONS HAD INFORMATION ON THEIVES/HENRY CASE:28-Keith Coney – Died when his motorcycle slammed into the back of a truck,
    7/88.29-Keith McMaskle – Died stabbed 113 times, Nov, 1988.30-Gregory Collins – Died from a gunshot wound January1989.31-Jeff Rhodes – He was shot, mutilated
    and found burned in a trash dump in April 1989.33-James Milan – Found decapitated. However, the Coroner ruled his death was due to “natural causes”.34-Jordan
    Kettleson – Was found shot to death in the front seat of his pickup truck in June 1990.35-Richard Winters – A suspect in the Ives / Henry deaths. He was
    killed in a set-up robbery July 1989.THE FOLLOWING CLINTON BODYGUARDS ARE DEAD:36 -Major William S. Barkley Jr.37-Captain Scott J . Reynolds.38-Sgt. Brian
    Hanley. 39-Sgt. Tim Sabel. 40-Major General William Robertson. 41-Col. William Densberger. 42-Col. Robert Kelly. 43-Spec. Gary Rhodes. 44-Steve Willis.
    45-Robert Williams. 46-Conway LeBleu. 47-Todd McKeehan. ”

    Skep, Rikyrah, TPJ, Denise: Do you know if all of that is true? Insight please…

    I ask y’all, because I know y’all be up on your stuff.

  81. Nquest

    TripLBee

    A white guy who used to work at a steel plant but is now swilling beer at the local tavern as he collects unemployment, may indeed be a racist, but he’s also a victim himself of the system. He’s not in much of a position to do anything about black oppression and probably doesn’t give a damn. He just wants his job back.

    And what does the avg. Joe white guy’s victimization have to do with Black people?

    Seriously. Look at that. Look at how you excused racialized white angst (and that’s what it is; note how Obama talked about the “zero sum game” thinking and that’s not Black folks issue).

    Further, Black people certainly aren’t in a position to do anything about the victimization of lower-class Whites. So, in the same way you felt the need to lecture your Black students… Where is this same lecture for White folks?

    See… this silliness is the product of this “harder on Blacks” nonsense.

    You must have missed the subtle but obvious deference:

    “…when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African-American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time…”

    What you missed and apparently don’t seem to understand since you think that, somehow, Black people need to know (as if we don’t and we most certainly do; I’m not a child in one of your classes) that working class Whites are victimized by the same system… what you miss can be observed by posing this question:

    [1] How come working class Whites, who are victimized by the system don’t view the system as the source of their victimization but, instead, feel like it’s “those people” who are trying to take their jobs, their spots on college campuses, etc.?

    Don’t tell me they can’t do anything about Black oppression when they are active participants in it by way of their reaction to affirmative action and buying into race-based, white-skin solidarity vs. class-based solidarity. The white working class has had a number of opportunities over the course of American history to join in solidarity or at least not join in opposition to Black folks’ quest for justice/equality but each time they’ve chose to trade on their whiteness.

    So when you want to talk about the Irish American experience, tell your students about the New York Draft Riots and how the Irish and other White ethnics basically “jumped in” America’s racist “gang” and joined in the oppression party.

    Obama was right to tell a sister whose question about the impact of immigration on black wages/employment was posed in the Nevada debate that playing the immigrant card was “scapegoating” but he used no such language to talk about “white resentment” which we know is always misdirected and aimed at Black people, etc. when Black people direct our angst where it should be… THE GOVERNMENT.

    What the working class White folks can do about black oppression is to stop seeing Black folks aspiration for JUSTICE as something that about taking things away from them. Obama spoke to that when he said:

    opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense.

    But that point is far to subtle when he goes on to say:

    when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African-American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they’re told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

    The question then is:
    WHAT ARE THEY RESENTING?

    That’s not a question of what the source of their frustrations are (“the system”). It’s a question of what they see as the source of their problems and , to turn a phrase, “we have seen the problem (as they see it) and the problem is us.”

    Working class White folks are much more apt to view Black people as a whole and in particular (those competing for jobs; Black crime in places they don’t even live) as the problem. As Rev. Wright sermon’s indicate, Black folk are keen on pointing to how the “GOVERNMENT failed.”

    Now you tell me what that critique has to do with the White working class Joe?

    You obviously don’t know what White Privilege is. It’s a form of White Privilege to have white anger/resentment not only legitimized but placed in the same conversation as “Black anger” without all the paternalistic counseling about how “white resentment” is DEBILITATING and COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. The term “counterproductive” carries a much more negative connotation than “distracted”:

    “Just as black anger often proved counterproductive, so have these white resentments distracted attention from the real culprits of the middle class squeeze…”

    Note how there is no talk about how “white resentment”

    keeps [them] from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition

    And, again, Obama’s reach for that rhetoric doesn’t make sense in the context of taking issue with Rev. Wright. Rev. Wright building up Trinity church and all it’s ministries is a repudiation of Obama’s rhetoric about the “anger” not being productive. Look at what Wright’s church has produced and look at the difference in treatment:

    That anger is not always productive; indeed, all too often it distracts attention from solving real problems; it keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition, and prevents the African-American community from forging the alliances it needs to bring about real change.

    Where is that speech for the White working class and their “resentment” issues?

    What? Only Black people have to take “personal responsibility”? Only Black people have to forge alliances?

    That’s really a trip when people want to say “they are victimized too.” Well, that means their path is no different than ours unless you’re ready to deal with this subject in an honest manner and really get at what the reality is.

    And when you conflate critiques on White Privilege with “race hatred” (your f-cked up idea which is simple as hell and largely inaccurate and inapplicable) and some notion that “ALL” white folks have it easy… then it’s clear you have some simplistic and problematic notions you need to dispense with.

    Black anger of the kind Rev. Wright supposedly expressed isn’t about “race hatred.” Neither was Obama’s speech.

    Obama’s speech was about groups that have rightfully have grievances and reasons to be “angry” because those things aren’t addressed who, because of the “zero sum game” mentality that permeates this society, see each other as the problem. That doesn’t take “race hatred” and there is no history of Black folks have “race hatred” in any way comparable to their White counterparts to even try to play that card.

    It’s a f-cked up, sloppy attempt to draw a moral equivalence when none exists.

    opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense.

    Obama got that right because he attributed that view to White Americans.

    YOU:
    We can go on and on about how badly black people have been treated in this country, and inaccurately attribute our mistreatment to “white people.”

    Rev. Wright said THE GOVERNMENT failed. That you make the government synonymous with “white people” is your problem. That you are historically illiterate and can’t figure out how the “zero sum game” mentality Obama attributed to Whites works towards the actions/reactions of even lower class Whites contributing to and participating in “our mistreatment” is also a problem with the lack of clarity in your thoughts evidence by how stuck you are on simplistic concepts such as “race hatred.”

    Now what did you tell your students about the Draft Riots?

    Who were those people fighting against desegregation of schools?

    Who are those people signing petitions to get rid of affirmative action? Who are those people viewing affirmative action as “race based” but don’t have anywhere near the animus or angst with WHITE women beneficiaries or other white beneficiaries of affirmative action or other instances of “unfairness” (legacy, Jews/Asian quotas, etc.), real or perceived?

  82. Andrea

    Nquest,

    This here what you just wrote is accurate, fair, and balanced. Thank you for taking the time to tear this apart, break it down, and explain.

    I love your guts to not tip-toe around this issue. By showing examples of courage, maybe others will understand that because we criticize Obama it does not mean we are trying to destroy him. I find what you wrote is extensive and a healthy approach to challenge those bloggers here who are too thin-skinned and soft-brained to deal with the fact that Barack has repeated exacted certain offenses we should not by-pass.

    Our continual pathology is to put our pain on the backburner to allow that pain to burn our houses down. The reason my peers have such a hard time understanding what I have been saying and what you have just printing is because of this pathology to paint our demise pretty to deal with it.

    I sincerely appreciate you taking the time becuase I will be sharing this with my wonk and wonkette co-workers tomorrow. It’s not so much that I can’t or have not explained myself. I have been having to gather enough pieces to dismantle their false ideals that Barack is completely dedicated to them and as well us. They are making excuses on their end as well as those here who are making excuses for Barack.

    Barack is insincere with all and that is a moral test of his courage.

    You’ve shown yours.

  83. Denise

    [third attempt to post]

    Angie: thanks for the shout. I don’t know NUTTIN’ ’bout folk getting murdered😆 and …err…ah… Imma keep it that way😀

  84. TripLBee

    Nquest,

    If you read between the lines of your own post you are making my point exactly. Most white people have no power to do anything about black oppression other than acknowledge that it exists and have some empathy for people who in the larger sense are also victims. The same applies to black people who have no power to give Joe White Guy his job back in a power plant, but should want to listen to why he is pissed off (even if some of that anger is misdirected at black people) because they may hear a story with which they are familiar. The point I was trying to make to my students—who were much better versed in the history of black oppression and knew almost nothing about white oppression—was that oppression is neutral to race and gender. Oppression is a strategy used to maintain power and if color or gender or religion or region are the excuses used to maintain hegemony, they are merely strategic. I am not excusing white racism. Neither was Obama. I was merely trying to explain that we are all cogs in the same wheel.

    I’m going to attempt to maintain a dialogue and prefer to exchange ideas rather than invective. I was not condescending to you at all and am sorry that you took it that way. I am merely trying to have a discussion and am perplexed that so many people in here personalize this debate when people air opinions contrary to their own.

  85. Nquest

    Andrea,

    I’m glad my attempt to make sense of all this (like everybody else) is something you find helpful.

    I do, however, have to voice the difference between what I’m saying and what it appears you’re saying. I want to be clear about this:

    [b]1. I am not questioning Barack’s sincerity.
    2. I do not question his blackness.[/b]

    Neither one of those things were my intent and, frankly, I accept Obama for what he is and put all of that in context of what he’s trying to do by running for president. I’ve questioned people trying to castigate Obama because he’s not a “champion” of our cause and I have issues with people questioning his commitment to the Black community. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t question his commitment or “dedication.”

    I like what you said about the “pathology” of putting our issues on the backburner or always trying to see the good in other people to the point of being delusional. I also like what was said about Obama not being perfect and not having all the answers.

    I believe that Obama is a descent, well-meaning Black man, committed to the Black community. I’ve looked at some of the bills he’s pushed in the Senate and he’s done a number of things to recognize positive Black people, preachers and organizations. That’s not including actual policies he has sponsored/co-sponsored like the Predominantly Black Institution Act of 2007.

    Now, let me make this clear, I’m a Black Nationalist in terms of the way I see things but I have no misgivings and, more importantly, no selfishness that makes me hold Obama to the standard of any and everything I want for Black people. IMO, too many people have unrealistic expectations on a Black man attempting to be a figurehead for a nation that will still be under White majority rule when he takes office and throughout his administration.

    Too many of us are projecting our hopes onto him and holding him to our own ideological standards that (1) don’t account for how those ideas, by definition, have to be adjusted in a white majority polity and (2) how Barack Obama is entitled to his difference of opinion.

    I just happen to believe I’m entitled to mine too and when Barack Obama is wrong on issues that are not about a matter of opinion but have to deal with speaking honestly about the way things are vs. the way he hopes they will be and the way he wants to treat them in his pragmatic dreams.

    And that’s how I see it. It’s pragmatic for Obama to put white resentment in the same discussion and on the same plane as so-called Black anger. It’s also disingenuous.

    That’s was one of the things I wanted to point out. And Barack Obama, obviously, isn’t the only Black person who subscribes to that narrative or the pathology you noted. Because that is the case, I don’t understand why people feel like the problems with the way Obama sees things as a reason to question his “dedication” though I feel we have every right to take him to task, question his f-cked up ‘difference in generation’ narrative and everything else.

    But, again, I have to emphasize that he’s not the only Black person who feels that way. And even where he is wrong or where his views are problematic, none of that makes him Ward Connerly. And, with that, we have to look at his record and not take a point where we have differences over the way he sees things and extrapolate on how that means he’s not “dedicated” when that simply isn’t honest either.

    (Okay, enough of these long-winded posts. lol)

  86. Andrea

    Back in 2003 a professor at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County sent me this. (And yes, she is still there part of the History faculty)

    “Dear Andrea,

    I have been thinking about your long letter since it came the other night. You are amazing, Andrea. I came across a quote the other day. It goes like this.

    The inferno of the living is not something that will be, if there is one. It is here, the inferno that we live every day. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first one is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then let them endure, give them space.

    You are that person who doesn’t accept the inferno sitting down. You question life and all that it presents you and that, Andrea, is beautiful. You’re no bigot. What you’ve done in your open, verbal, expressive and honest search has been a gift for me. You have taken me where no Black person has ever gone before. (and I don’t think of you as black either, but at the same time I did because so much of what you were considering and what we were discussing had to do with race. I think it might be easier to be ‘transparent’ as you put it so perfectly in this world if you are white and you’re not forced to consider your skin color all the time). By myself, I would have been too timid, guilty or self-absorbed to take down that brick wall that invisibly exists between blacks and whites. I would never have brought up the topic of race had you not starting about it. I would have been afraid of offending you, of making assumptions, of reducing you only to a black person. But as you talked, I listened and later I thought about what you said. Sometimes I felt I wasn’t much help to you. I didn’t have answers, no insights, but you, Andrea, you changed the way I saw things, opened a world to me. No, not a bigot. Instead you are one of those rare, searching souls who can not just go on, kiss and joke until things have been figured out.

    We whites are a lot of things, bigoted, arrogant, ignorant, intimidated, lazy, self-absorbed, the whole rainbow of emotions. I often feel guilty and inadequate, guilty that me and my family and so many others are comfortable on the backs of a long, long history of exploitation and repression that never seems to end but just takes different forms each decade. And I am a part of that because I let it happen, I don’t do anything really to stop it and the paths many middle class whites taken in life make it easy for us to ignore or overlook or ‘forget’ about the suffering of all those people around us.

    You know, the first boy I ever kissed, in sixth grade, was Charlie Murray, a black boy and he was my boyfriend for three whole days of that fickle elementary school of love. As I’ve grown up, I’ve left my childhood, backyard world where everyone played and kissed everyone and I’ve moved into an increasingly white and elite world(university, then at my job, then in grad school) where I only have to mix with my own kind. All that makes it easy for whites to ignore the rage that is there, that we cause, to pretend it’s ‘their’ problem, or that ‘we’ve done a lot for them’.
    I’m saying, Andrea, I am sorry for my part in your rage and the rage of your friend’s and family and that rage is justified. I have embraced the inferno and made it a part of my life, while you have fought it-until, that is, I met you and started to be included in your thoughts and had the kind of discussion that needs to happen all over the country all the time, if white apathy and black rage didn’t stop those conversations from happening.”

    Now it was not until I showed this old email to my co-workers who are policy wonks, taunting their degrees from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Oxford, and the University of Chicago. As of the rendering of The Speech, they assumed that Rev. Wright was completely wrong to be angry and they implied that he was spouting hate. Well, I had to take my co-workers further to explain to them how I am angry and how I tranquilize it everyday just to maintain “normal” among them and even my Black Communities not knowing how to deal with their pain, their rage, and their fears.

    I felt that Obama did what you inferred in not explaining a fully balanced framework of what we or some of us have gone through. It was not until this past week that my co-workers found out that I have lived through KKK rallies and having Whites to enter and intimidate my families in their own homes within the same time span as when it SEEMED we are were MOVING ON hence ’68. That after being said to them, they were freaked in dismay.

    See…I looked like so many that think Black Rage is self-induced and self-perpetuating only when I showed them that for over a year I have tried to engage them in bridging bridges to deal with race of their esteemed and privileged statuses knowing they are the ones who affect the tone of the country. (Literally).

    So many of the people in my office are the very ones who are designing the frameworks that affect Black Lives and they are close to the Obama campaign and are one, an advisor. And hence my refusal to accept their pleas that I understand how difficult it is for Obama and that I tuck away the years of humiliation, terror, and mind control that has ruled my people down in the Dirty Road South, they told me that he has to do this that way. Again, I show them that Blacks must continually play the part of cultural Mammies to make sure White People are interested in playing fair.

    Well my experience doing Uppity Negro and hence before that in relationships in living with Whites, dated Whites, and having them as friends, I have found that their is no excuse to excuse placating THE EMPIRICAL TRUTH of race and how we, as Blacks play games, that eventually make Whites feel comfortable with us still compartmentalized and fractured.

    I told my co-workers these past two weeks that I know they expected me to be the concilliatory Black who clearly had a charmed life to happen to be in their privileged world because I did not play the part of the Angry Negro. Eventhough they knew a little about Uppity Negro, they assumed I was going to continue to play what looked like the Grateful role at work.

    And when we have some of the most powerful people in the world walking through our offices almost everyday from Bush family members, Senators and their children, Post columnists, WSJ columnists, to wonks and wonkettes from the prestigous think-tanks, Karl Rove, Bono, you name them, I see how absolutely disillusioned my co-workers drunk over what they saw of Obama not lobbying the angry of Blacks clearly so they would understand what it was and how it manifested.

    I had to teach my co-workers that I and nor did Rev. Wright or many of the crazy-acting Blacks on our trains and in our neighborhoods trying to be hateful becuase we are not. We are angry. And we don’t like someone of prominence making claims to diminish our pain and anger because he thinks we should get over it and as my co-workers brokered that, if we just got over it, we would help them along.

    I see cowardice all around.

    So as far as for what I know of living and being raised down South to now float through one of the most powerful organizations in the world, I see that their are a lot of White Liberal Elites taking cue from Obama that Blacks have to carry the whole burden of race.

    Kate Brown, the professor, would have never done that because she took herself their to realize too much of the burden is put on courageous Blacks that risk going there. That is Obama’s test he keeps failing and that failure gives my peers at work making public policy decisions that affect this country and the world a feeling that Obama is going to protect them from the guilt.

    I wish I could disclose where I work and more intimate details of a lot of the hand-wringing I have seen in feeling complete fear of dealing with public campaigns that have intersected our lives in the past year that too draws a different picture of me just having a chip on my shoulder with Whites or Obama. I know that if these very powerful DC White Liberal Elites are banking on not having to deal with (like Bill Clinton said) “all this stuff”, then we are in more trouble than people are suspecting of thinking Barack can handle these people.

  87. Nquest

    TripLBee,

    I was most certainly not making your point. The point I made, since you wanted to argue the point, was that the avg. Joe white public is, indeed, an active participant in our oppression and they most certainly have power to stop doing so.

    There is nothing “in between the lines” of what I said but a repudiation of the nonsense you tried to float. Black people are the avg. Joe’s convenient “scapegoat” and direct their angst in the proper direction.

    The same applies to black people who have no power to give Joe White Guy his job back

    But notice how that was not a part of your condescending “race hatred” narrative.

    “[Black people] should want to listen to why he is pissed off (even if some of that anger is misdirected at black people) because they may hear a story with which they are familiar.”

    FOR WHAT? Your assumption is that Black people don’t listen or don’t already know why they are pissed off and that there is something to be gained from listening to their misdirected angst.

    Don’t try to soften that sh*t up talking about “some” of that anger being misdirected. We’re talking about this race relations context and you trying to equate Black people’s grievances with those of the avg. Joe White which are NOT the same.

    There is no way I’m making the same point you are when I continue to point out concrete distinctions.

    oppression is neutral to race and gender

    Spare me. Talk about reality and save the abstract. The Irish Americans you invoked are “oppressed” in any relevant way today and didn’t have to march in the 60’s for basic civil rights. And why did you fail to mention how the Irish and other white ethnics joined in the American oppression party?

    Don’t leave out nuances and historical examples of oppressions.

    I was merely trying to explain that we are all cogs in the same wheel.

    That point gets muted when Obama’s comments work towards justifying the avg. Joe White’s active participation in Black people’s oppression via their opposition to affirmative action, etc.

    You are preachin’ to the choir with this “cogs in the same wheel.” It’s the avg. Joe White who down through the centuries have failed to get that message.

    I… am perplexed that so many people in here personalize this debate when people air opinions contrary to their own.

    When you reduce things to “race hatred” and insist on painting Black folks ideas in that manner you are personally insulting me. You’re insulting my intelligence with that and you’re insulting me personally when you say if I read between the lines… You’re also insulting my intelligence and Black people’s in general with this “cogs in the same wheel” stuff.

    For some reason you think we need to hear that. Your curious orthodoxy is ahistorical, decontextualized and misplaced.

    Again, the avg. Joe White has had plenty of opportunities to join with Black people in solidarity but each time they have chosen to trade on their whiteness. That’s what the Irish did, etc., etc.

    It’s an insult to think that Black folks need to know that some whites people WERE oppressed.

    Seriously, what are we supposed to be appreciating about some stuff that’s PAST TENSE and irrelevant to the current circumstance where the avg. Joe White is not only failing to see how were are all “cogs” but actively work against measures that attempt to deal with on-going “oppression” Black people, e.g., face in the schoolhouse and in the workplace.

    No, we do not agree and our points are not the same. And to whatever extent (some) Black people don’t appreciate how the avg. Joe White is “a victim too”, you have no intelligent argument that any Black people who don’t know how “we’re all cogs” work towards contributing to White people’s continued victimization.

    The same cannot be said for the avg. Joe White. Both the history and present is full of examples where THEY have taken the “zero sum game” mentality, felt they were/are ENTITLED because they are WHITE (as not-so-quiet as it is kept) and don’t give a f-ck whether Black folks suffer as a consequence of their ACTIONS.

    I ask you some simple questions that work towards infusing this dialog with honesty vs. a contrived, abstract orthodoxy:

    Who are those people signing petitions to get rid of affirmative action? Who are those people viewing affirmative action as “race based” but don’t have anywhere near the animus or angst with WHITE women beneficiaries or other white beneficiaries of affirmative action or other instances of “unfairness” (legacy, Jews/Asian quotas, etc.), real or perceived?

    You can’t tell me White folk don’t have power over their cognitive faculties and their own actions.

    You can’t tell me Jennifer Gratz and a host of “scapegoating” Whites down through history, recent or distant, don’t and didn’t have the power to NOT participate in Black people’s oppression or the “rollback” or denial of civil rights gains.

    You simply can’t debate or discuss this with me. There is no way abstract orthodoxy of kindler, gentler race beliefs can stand up to the factual truth about the REALITY and HISTORY.

    It’s White folks who need this solidarity speech of yours (“we’re all cogs in the same wheel”).

    In the interest of continued dialog, I have but one question:

    [Black people] should want to listen to why he is pissed off (even if some of that anger is misdirected at black people) because they may hear a story with which they are familiar.

    WHY… What is hearing a familiar story going to do?

    Note how I already raised the question:
    Only Black people have to forge alliances?

    The history doesn’t show how Black people have been the problem on that front. We constantly try to reach out for allies but too often the history has shown that our White lower class brothers and sisters have formed an alliance with the elites that oppress us all.

    Did you tell your students that?

    There is plenty of scholarship on this issue. HOPING the avg. Joe White will join other oppressed people in America in an alliance is one thing. Talking (in the abstract) about the strategy of oppression without dealing what how the strategy has worked and how racism, Whiteness and patriotism is part of the strategy and has been since Bacon’s Rebellion… is another.

  88. Nquest

    “…Blacks must continually play the part of cultural Mammies to make sure White People are interested in playing fair.”

    “…we don’t like someone of prominence making claims to diminish our pain and anger because he thinks we should get over it and as my co-workers brokered that, if we just got over it, we would help them along.”

    With those things noted… I will note that we have no disagreements worth quibbling over. I share your sentiment.

    You make a powerful point.

  89. TripLBee

    Nquest,

    You’re right, Irish Americans aren’t oppressed today. Quite frankly, neither am I. I am black and yes I have had to endure lots of racism. I’m still young enough that I still get pulled over by cops from time to time. And sometimes I’m turned away from restaurants probably because of my race. And some white women still clutch their purses and cross the street when they see me coming. These are inconveniences and they do hurt, but the fact remains that I am incredibly privileged, academically, economically and in other ways that impact my life on a day by day basis. Because I’ve been able to attend the best universities, I’ve been admitted to an unofficial club that gives me access to great opportunities and shields me from the harsher aspects of racism that most blacks still endure, and from the economic insecurity under which most white Americans live. From my perch I see lots and lots of people suffering and am wiling to listen to everyones version of why they are suffering if only to tie together the kernels of truth that weave their stories together.

    Even in this context, as an American I am materially privileged beyond the wildest dreams of most of the rest of the world’s citizens. I had that epiphany several years ago when I was teaching in Oakland, CA. I was driving a Vietnamese student home after school and she asked me why the black students were so angry. (She was a student at Castlemont High School in East Oakland which at the time was probably 90% black.) I told her that the students were poor and that their families had endured Jim Crow and that they were angry about these things. She was less than a year out of Vietnam and was surprised at the American definition of poverty. She said that as far as she could see all of the students were well fed, they all lived in apartments, all of them had electricity and running water, and some of their families even had cars. How come they think they are poor? It was a difficult question from someone whose prior experiences were much more in line with what the majority of people in the world experience.

    I don’t know much about you but I am guessing that you are not writing these posts from a shabby apartment in a public housing project. You strike me as someone who has had a formal education. I would venture to guess—though I could certainly be wrong—that you are college educated. If that is the case you are academically ahead of 74% of Americans. It seems to me from the dialogue in this chat, that many of the bloggers here are educated. I am wondering why the folks here feel so oppressed? Is it merely because we are speaking on behalf of the majority of black American who are worse off than us? Or do you seriously believe than you are less advantaged than the millions of white Americans who have been dropped from the roles of American capitalism over the past 30 years?

  90. “Barack is insincere with all and that is a moral test of his courage. You’ve shown yours.” Andrea

    Andrea: With all do respect to Nquest… It doesn’t take too much courage to make comments on a blog. Yes, it takes “some” courage. Because I’m having to utilize some of my courage to make this comment regarding your comments. But trust me, it certainly didn’t take the courage that I have to use to get up every morning and face this harsh cruel world we live in. And it certainly didn’t take the courage that Senator Obama is having to muster to face this white supremace nation in his bid to become the first black POTUS.

    Andrea, you often reference Harriet, and I’ve referenced Nat. Trust me, those heroes in the struggle didn’t jump up and exact their plan for liberation on the fuel of their emotions. They were smart, calculating, careful, prayerful, game players. Making the white man think they were safe negros, while they were some of the most powerful, courageous fighters in the effort to liberate our people. Trust me, if Harriet had jumped up and acted out of her emotions, while that may have been mighty courageous, she would have been dead before any slave was led to freedom. And if Nat had tried to exact his plan before he was ready to move his soldiers on that faithful day, he would have been dead before any of the white enemy fell dead that day. What good would that have done them or us?

    Now, don’t think that I am suggesting that we liken Obama to Harriet and Nat. Time will tell if the brotha is courageous or cowardly as we think he is. But if you think he should insist upon showing us how courageous he is during this primary race, he won’t get any further than Denver.

    Now, for you, that may be alright. But there are some of us that understand that, while Senator Obama has his flaws, he is the most qualified of all of those are running to do the job. I sho’ in the hell don’t want JM to become president. And I would roll under a rock if I had to deal with HC for four years. So, I will support Senator Obama to be president, not because I think he is bold enough to hold up his fist and prove to us how black he is, but because I think he can lead this entire nation as a sound, smart, careful political leader.

    Note to Nquest: I liked all of your comments. Smart and insightful.

    Peace, y’all.

    Blessings,

    Angela

  91. Akech

    The Jewish Community is so hurt by Rev. Wright’s comments that they will have to be offered the VP in order for vote Obama.

    This is what I call the bargaining chips. The Trump Card– “you get my vote, I get something in return”. This must not be a feeble token appointment to placate. It must be a tangible role that can make a difference in the lives of those go to the polls.

    What has the Black vote brought to the Black Community who has been loyal to the Democratic party since don’t know when….?

  92. Nquest

    I am wondering why the folks here feel so oppressed?

    Hmmm… I wondering how after talking about people personalizing things that’s very thing you’ve done as you abandoned your “they are victimized too” rhetoric.

    Hmmm…. “they are victimized” just like who is?

    Simply, keep your comments on the subject or don’t even make them. If you have to “wonder” then it’s clear why you have such a huge disconnect all the way around.

    WEB DuBois was “privileged”…. MLK was privileged… So why the disconnect?

    Those are rhetorical questions posed to help you put your asinine individualism in perspective.

    It seems to me from the dialogue in this chat, that many of the bloggers here are educated.

    And that means what? That we should be grateful like Pat Buchanan told us we should be?

    The very fact that you (1) wanted to float that naive and historically illiterate “we’re all cogs in the same wheel” silliness and (2) prompting this idea that since we all individually aren’t destitute or “disadvantaged” by some curious line of demarcation shows that you have nothing to add to a dialogue but confusion and contradictions.

    How does talking about how educated and privileged we are mesh with that “we are all cogs in the same wheel” rhetoric of yours?

    Why is it that you continue to have these strange equations? First, you reduce the so-called problems in “race relations” down to “race hatred” between Whites and Blacks, e.g. Now, with the same kind of simple-mindedness you’re equating oppression with mere individual economic status.

    Exactly why you think that kind of Pat Buchanan like appeal would be relevant to us much less resonate in this dialogue or how it even connects to what you’ve said before in this “dialogue”… well, those are mysteries to behold.

    Let’s think about this for a moment. Settlers in the early part of (pre)American history were said to have come to North America fleeing religious and political persecution.

    Note how neither of those things relate to an economic or poverty-based view of oppression.

    Indeed, the American Revolution and U.S. Constitution is revered not for any declarations against poverty but for the virtues of freedom espoused.

    I submit that Black people are fully human and views on freedom and oppression ought not be so narrowly defined by some European concept of individualism. In fact, the very church at the center of the controversy, the very church Obama belongs to, upholds a BLACK VALUE SYSTEM that does not measure by this curious poverty index of yours.

    do you seriously believe than you are less advantaged than the millions of white Americans who have been dropped from the roles of American capitalism over the past 30 years?

    Do you seriously believe that is an intelligent question? I seriously believe you have problems getting beyond inane, simplistic, absolutisms.

    I seriously see how you find it too hard to actually engage in a debate/dialogue on this that are actually being discussed all because your preconceived notions, platitudes and cliche-based logic has been challenged.

    It makes no sense to take an individual Black person and say “you are academically/economically ahead of 74% of Americans.” You obviously won’t do that with someone white up to and including the avg. Joe public. For some reason you didn’t compare the white who lost his job at the steel mill to the “millions” of Americans who never had a “good” paying job. You didn’t tell him he was privileged just because on one measure he had it “better” than “millions” of other Americans which he certainly did.

    For some reason nuance and legitimate analysis escapes you. For some reason you didn’t see fit to compare me, my family and my parents with a group of whites in our respective economic classes. For some reason the shelves of literature on the Black/White WEALTH gap escapes you… And that’s just for starters.

    You narrow construction of what is oppression shows that you simply haven’t been listen. I said this earlier:

    “…that “harder on Black folk” stuff is another form of it. Oppression in this society alone, the suppression of the African, human spirit is enough of a burden without people figuring that it’s something noble for Black folks to carry the burden of being “perfect” (read: compromising and conciliatory) in our interactions with White folk.”

    So, it’s clear that I never even began to define oppression as narrowly as you do. So why you drifted into distraction and “change the subject” fallacy, I don’t know.

    I do know that you were trying to push this “cogs in the same wheel” stuff that was the issue at-hand, in terms of who doesn’t know it, who needs to listen to it.

    Let’s dialogue on that, TripLBee and spare me the personal anecdotes.

    From my perch I see lots and lots of people suffering and am wiling to listen to everyones version of why they are suffering if only to tie together the kernels of truth that weave their stories together.

    And after you do that? What happens? And why are you preachin’ that bs (yes, I said it) here?

    The history clearly shows that Black folks don’t have a “willing to work in solidarity with others” problem. That’s where our disagreement lies: speaking in vague, historically challenged idealisms and me talking about the present and historical reality.

    I pointed out, in undeniable terms, how there was no “reading between the lines” as you claimed. Your response?

  93. Andrea

    Angie,

    His rate of measure in Blackness is not what appealed to me and because of that I never saw him Black Like Me or Black like the children I taught in B’More or in DC. I liked Barack for his new ideas of decentralization of the Establishments. I have never voted for a Democrat and hence, I don’t support Black People on G.P. either by default de facto obligations.

    You are looking at my suspicion against Obama as some marker that I am measuring his as failing to be Black enough when what I am measuring of him is that he is not as authentic and of esteemed integrity as so many are offering of him. In this celebrity-addicted culture I have found that most people don’t know how to measure The Content of Character in what is necessary as opposed to “the best case scenario”.

    Obama is running on his character and of a character-based test, I find most arguments by supporters blindly loyal. Most people are giving him more credit of his character for the willful and ambitious visions he has.

    I see now why some argue about him never having proven by example some of these same assertions coming from the Right. We are not being fair to him to offer reduced expectations. This has nothing to do with him being Barack but of him using the advantage of him character as validation that we should not question.

    We have torn apart all pieces of Clinton and hence this is only fair that we judge Barack fairly in not curtailing prejudice of desire to look pass unacceptable candor and judgement.

    Angie…I see that your minimized ideals of merit is not where mine is. But don’t expect me to lower my expectations because your fragile assumptions that I am holding him to a Black Test is relevant.

    I never wanted Obama to play the Black Pageant contestant. This however attracts variables that he could not ignore and we cannot because of inconvenience.

    I really don’t give a fuck about him being President because what we need of leadership of all of our leaders is the moral courage to confront and conquer inconveniences. That has very little to do with him being Black — rather more to him being HUMAN. This is an expectation I would expect of you too and you are not even running for President.

  94. Nquest

    Angie,

    I think you’re missing Andrea’s point though I understand what you’re saying. I’ve made the same point to a lesser degree but I acknowledge how Obama’s reactions almost have to be different and measured just because he’s trying to be the POTUS of ALL Americans.

    That’s all well and good but the core of Andrea’s point is seen in what she said here:

    “…we don’t like someone of prominence making claims to diminish our pain and anger because he thinks we should get over it and as my co-workers brokered that, if we just got over it, we would help them along.”

    It easy to see how some people aren’t buying the idea that Obama is going to change once he gets in the Whitehouse or whatever the Harriet Tubman/Nat Turner analogy was supposed to suggest. And beyond that, given the stance he took which he didn’t have to take (critics need to at least acknowledge that), people are right to be disturbed and upset with how he “diminished our pain and anger” in the same way White folks do on the regular.

    He didn’t have to do that. He didn’t have to lecture about how “counterproductive” Black anger can be. Indeed, I have problems with him using the term all together. Pardon my French, but his Black azz jumps at the chance to say he both “denounce” and “rejects” Min. Farrakhan at HRC’s request but nothing stopped him from characterizing Rev. Wright and his “generation” the way he did.

    It’s a similar argument to the whole Bill Cosby flap. Obama’s language does lend to idea and give aid and comfort to Whites who in one way or another tell African-Americans to “get over it” which really means that “shut up.”

    Note: Obama only said that Black “anger” is “real”; only saying that it exists as a real issue. However, when it came to “white resentment” he used the term “legitimate” to describe it or, more precisely, the basis of those concerns.

    “…to wish away the resentments of white Americans, to label them as misguided or even racist, without recognizing they are grounded in legitimate concerns…”

    The effect of his statements (and perhaps not the literal text of them) work towards saying, “Black are angry over stuff that happened a long time ago and they need to get over it” and “Whites have a legitimate reason to oppose affirmative action, etc.”

    Obama is a Cosby-like person who loves to talk TOUGH LOVE to black folk but speaks in deference to/about Whites. That’s the problem with this.

    I mean, he had no qualms preaching “personal responsibility” to Blacks about how our “anger” is counterproductive AND “keeps us from squarely facing our own complicity in our condition”, etc., etc. — a undeniable “truth” in certain cases — but he gets all funny and wants to withhold the truth or feels like telling the truth is a problem when it comes to Whites. Indeed, it’s something he suggest that shouldn’t be done, presumably, because it’s “divisive.”

    Somehow, it’s okay to disparage Black anger, characterize it as something that’s outmolded or the product of some era we’re no longer in but there’s a problem with telling the truth about “white resentment.” Indeed, Obama said we shouldn’t call it what it is “MISGUIDED” or “racist” because of some funny notion about that not helping things.

    Well, has anybody ever asked (1) how is that in this portion of the narrative there is no contemporary source of Black anger when “white resentment” is deemed both important and relevant because it’s over things Whites are experiencing now as if Blacks don’t have contemporary claims of discrimination for every imagined claim of “reverse discrimination”, etc. AND (2) how it helps to “diminish our pain and anger” and legitimate concerns/anxiety regarding the (flipside of the) same things Obama granted things White folks are angry about that’s “grounded in legitimate concerns.”

    There is stuff in the past and in the present that Black folks want resolved.

    Let me finish by saying one last thing about the way I viewed Obama’s speech:

    IMO, he had to give that speech FOR Black people but his audience was not us. His intended audience for that speech were White people, more than anybody else.

    I think the problem a lot of folks have is how he demeaned Black people (Rev. Wright in particular) in the process.

  95. Ok, I been gone for a minute cause I got a new job at a new station and I been workin my natural behind off.

    I saw the entire interview on the view. I remember personally agreeing with most of what Wright said.

    I would love for him to leave this alone just as much as everyone else. But unlike a lot of peeps he can’t afford to tell the media to F-off. They are clamoring for his response and continue to say its inadequate. And honestly all he can do is respond.

    I don’t like it that he has to, but I know none of us will forget that Barack is a Black Man before a candidate and we always have to go above and beyond to reach an even playing field.

    With that said I also read this statement in context, just like I looked into what Wright said. And I know this place is full of intelligent people that can do the same before passing judgment.

    Context is everything, I am a journalist for a living, and I know exactly how things can be twisted or construed.

    Context is everything.

  96. Nquest

    Alex,

    You’re right, IMO, that has to respond. He most definitely can’t say “f-ck off.” Then the real, “why you uppidity nigra” stuff will jump off.

    I think the thing that got me with his statement on the view is how his ‘strong’ statement about how much he disagrees with Rev. Wright’s views (on America)… the type of rhetoric and tone he uses feeds into and leads to the bloodlust White folks have been “clamoring” for and that’s for Barack to say Wright is a damn nut like they want him to be.

    Obama’s language continues to lend towards that. First is was that old (drunk/crazy) Uncle reference and now its the strong language that says Rev. Wright and, by extension, a whole host of Black people who support him just have a f-cked, wacky, out-in-left field view of their reality and this country. That’s especially problematic when most of this bs comes from Whites who don’t give a damn about him and are against his candidacy.

    IMO, he’s disrespected both Rev. Wright and a significant portion of Black people.

    Most of understand what he has to do Campaigning While Black (and Viable)… The problem lies in how he’s joined in the Rev. Wright mocking and demonizing party.

    I know he hasn’t disowned Rev. Wright and consistently says Rev. has been mischaracterized and their doing a disservice to Rev.’s lifetime of service. Some of us need to acknowledge that more than we have.

    The problem remains, however, in how he shows and voices the kind of “repulsion” at the idea that Rev. Wright would say “God damn America” and not bow at the altar of America’s state religion as if the USA is heaven with sweet, buttered bread and roses.

    IMO, he can publicly disagree with Rev. Wright’s supposedly flawed/jaded view of America but he shouldn’t disparage it in the process. That’s how his statements of late have come across.

    I think most people are upset that he said he would leave the church if that mean old angry, bitter scary Black man kept badmouthing the country Black folks should be grateful to live in.

  97. And I am gonna say one more thing, though I hate to.

    But Obama’s blackness in and of itself had no bearing on my support for him. Otherwise I would have been high on the Sharpton/Mosley band wagon.

    (I was for Edwards back then, don’t ask).

    But there is an underlying theme I see in some of the comments that keep lumping all of us together and destroying the individuality that black people fought hard to receive.

    Am I a part of the community, yes, do I embrace it, yes, do I love it yes, does it define me, no.

    It’s unfair to lump all of these expectations, assumptions, and responsibilities on any one person.

    If we want to treat this as an political issue, or a personal one regarding Barack’s relationship with the pastor than thats fine.

    But don’t make it to be about weather or not Barack is “down” or disowning any group of people. He is speaking for himself as an individual but also one running to be the leader of this country.

    It’s unfair, in my mind anyway for him to be treated as if he is the embodiment of blackness or the struggle, he is an individual. Respect him at least that much.

  98. Nquest,

    I think on the feeling that he has disrespected Black people and has joined and fed into the “white hype” surrounding the tone given to Wrignt’s statements may just be a point we disagree on.

    And thats fine, It’s awesome actually. And it reminds me of a part of the inverview where Barack said he wanted to bring those kinds of people with differing views together. Not to just bicker but to look at our issues and then go from their to get progress.

    That in a nutshell is why I proudly and continually support him.

    I differ on him with things, like taxes (im a fiscal conservative), but out of the candidates we have I want him to get the job.

    And he is a man, that cannot be perfect, not that I am giving him slack but that rather I notice the reality of the situation we live in.

  99. Nquest

    Barack said he wanted to bring those kinds of people with differing views together. Not to just bicker but to look at our issues and then go from their to get progress.

    On that, we agree. He’s a pragmatist that way. He just got some issues when it comes to Black people. And that’s okay. So does Jesse Jackson, Farrakhan, whoever. Obama has some Cosby-like issues. And I’m cool with that. It’s just that he will be taken to task when he f-cks up. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    It’s unfair, in my mind anyway for him to be treated as if he is the embodiment of blackness or the struggle, he is an individual.

    I think Black folk have a lot of unrealistic expectations and try to project their Blackness and their hopes about “advancing the struggle” on Obama in a way that’s beyond unfair. It’s ridiculous in a good but tragic sort of way.

    I think your point about denying Obama his individuality is a good one but I typically have problems with what that means most of the time. The idea is normally used in cases when people try to create space for the kinds of things they personally agree with — e.g. it’s an argument Black political conservatives often used to defend their views without having them subject them to scrutiny.

    Not saying that that’s what you’re doing that…

    So we can say that some Black people feel disrespected and some don’t. The point, to me, is for people to share why they think what they do and to stop denying that there are issues in which there is a Black consensus where the majority opinion is properly grounded and sometimes not so grounded.

    Individuality doesn’t mean a person whose views are outside the Black normal is right and should be respected/treated as so just because they’re an individual entitled to their own opinion. But see… that’s the very thing that’s going on in the Wright controversy.

    White folks want to dismiss him as a loon and want Obama to join in. To the extent that he conceded that he would leave the church “if…”, again, gives credence to White folks witch-hunt.

    In this case, it’s Obama denying Rev. Wright’s individuality all because White folk demand and he’s doing so not on the basis of a “matter of fact” but a matter of opinion on things that White folk appreciate, more than anything.

    Someone said it’s not a big deal especially since all Obama conceded was that he would leave based on a hypothetical situation that’s not bound to happen anyway given Wright’s retirement.

    I basically agree but that doesn’t make it any less disrespectful.

    BTW, none of this impacts how I feel about his candidacy and I don’t expect him to think exactly how I think.

  100. TripLBee

    Nquest,

    In an earlier post I said that I was disturbed by the extent of black anger. I am disturbed by it because it burns beyond its intended borders and harms the people we love and people with whom we have no gripe. I think your posts are the embodiment of the type of anger I am talking about. I haven’t disrespected you in the least, and have gone out of my way to ignore the insults you thrown at me, in an attempt to engage you in a discussion rather than a pissing contest. You and I simply have looked at the same issues and come to different conclusions. Because my conclusions conflict with your own you insult me. Somehow I am historically illiterate, stupid, asinine and not to be taken seriously. Anger is a form of suffering. While–as you point out—it is natural, when it functions beyond its protective purpose it becomes debilitating and dangerous. That you could possibly link my postings in the same vein as Pat Buchanan’s recent rant indicates to me that your anger is trumping your objectivity. Anyway, I was trying to have a discussion with you, not an adolescent brawl. If that’s not possible, I’ll just move on.

  101. GDAWG

    Nquest. Thank you for your clear and thoughtful analysis. I wholeheartedly agree with your insightful declarations. At least now I know I am alone in my clarifications/analysis of some of the problems that continues to besets our community/people.

  102. Tiye

    Instead of getting pissed off at Obama, how about channeling that anger to crusty old Barbara Walters who asked the ridiculous HYPOTHETICAL question about Rev. Wright in the first place?

    I love us, but sometimes we’re our own worse enemy. I can’t believe some of you are ready to “denounce and reject” this man based on a 10 second soundbyte. Did you all actually listen to the entire interview? Obviously not. Instead, you couldn’t get past his answer to a HYPOTHETICAL question to note that he said that it wasn’t fair to judge Rev. Wright based on a 5 second soundbyte. He said that he was NOT going to vet his pastor. Yes, he still calls Rev. Wright “his pastor”! GASP! He said that he still talks to Rev. Wright! SHOCKER!

    Geez, people!

  103. He gave a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. That is a non issue for me. I did question
    his comparison of powerful black anger vs white resentment, but I guess it is legitimate to them (whites) if not us. The speech was intended for the
    majority population, but he also stood by us! It merely touched upon the issue of race in the
    most basic way. Give him a chance; he is still the best the country has to offer at this juncture

  104. TripLBee

    We’re never going to get a president who passes an ideological purity test. Obama has made mistakes in this campaign and he’s going to make more mistakes in his run to the White House. But he’s a damn sight better than any viable presidential candidate in my lifetime. Put it this way, he’s good enough….more than good enough actually.

  105. Nquest

    TripLBee,

    Please…

    You insulted my intelligence and I told you I take that personal. There was nothing for me to observe. You want to focus on the perceived “insults”, etc. because your simplistic notions, insulting Black folks intelligence and mine, were challenged and you were not and are not up to the task.

    Your first insult to my intelligence (and insult to Black people):

    I guess you and I heard Obama’s speech differently. I heard a person trying to start a discussion between groups of people who have tended to hate each other…

    When I responded to your post, you didn’t police your insult — calling Black folks frustration with THE GOVERNMENT and White folks’ resistance and intransigence “hate”. No, you just went on insulting Black folks’ intelligence with more of your idiotic, dismissive and disparaging bs. See…. this was a direct and personal insult to my intelligence:

    If you read between the lines of your own post you are making my point exactly.

    Note how you never produced the lines I was supposed to read between. No, you just wanted a not-so-clever way to repeat your contradicted point-in-deference-to lower-class Whites. You ignored what I said then tried to tell me that I said what I know I didn’t say.

    Then you want to get all offended with these phony pretenses that you were trying to engage in a dialogue instead of the monologue you clearly insisted.

    Yes! Black folks need to know that they aren’t the only people who have ever been oppressed and, by golly, poor White folk are victims to but TripLBee for some reason can’t seem to explain the relevance of all that in forum with intelligent people with more than just surface level knowledge and detached idealisms.

    No! The narrative can’t include nuance or REALITY. Oh but an adult (male) can wax paternalistic while talking to another adult male talking all dismissive not about an in depth discussions he (TripLBee) had with an adult. No, he wanted to flex his teaching anecdotals about how he straightened them Black kids out who needed that lesson because they went on and on about White Privilege.

    Somehow, that was supposed to be relevant to Nquest who Trip had never had any discussions about White Privilege and, come to find out… after all that lecturing, Trip is the one who apparently needs a lesson on the topic.

    But let’s get back to the insult and Trip’s insistence on not engaging in genuine dialogue. Recall “the first insult” noted above. What do you know? When Nquest looks back at what he posted before Trip went there, this is what Nquest said:

    “…I have the same feelings about giving my kids “jaded” views but I categorically reject these notions about “anger” and “hate” because I’m more mature than that. And frankly I’m tired of people, any people, Obama included coming with these simplistic reductionist notions that always function to disparage and negatively stigmatize Black people and our humanity up to and including anger [when] that’s what [is] being expressed.”

    I said that and you went there anyway, TripLBee. You went there anyway because you either have a limited vocabulary and read what I posted or you have a limited vocabulary and you just didn’t give a f-ck.

    Now tell me where my borders are and how this wasn’t a case of you coloring outside the lines of dialogue I attempted to engage you in.

    Now to this:
    You and I simply have looked at the same issues and come to different conclusions.

    No, that’s is simply not true. I have looked at the things you wanted to discuss and questioned your deferential conclusions and lack of analytic depth. There is a difference.

    Once you stated a point of yours, I wrote a response that questioned the naivete, lack of nuance and historical or situational accuracy involved in what you had to say and once I did that you were unable to respond for some reason. Nowhere did you lay out where the differences in our conclusions where. You either restated one of your premises or changed the subject choking up some other problematic underlying assumption that could not withstand scrutiny.

    Let’s be clear on that. Also, I want you to be clear on what my borders are.

    Somehow I am historically illiterate, stupid, asinine and not to be taken seriously.

    I said that about your ideas, not you. And I said nothing about how you were supposed to be taken, seriously or not.

    That you could possibly link my postings in the same vein as Pat Buchanan’s recent rant indicates to me that your anger is trumping your objectivity.

    Dude, it was a rhetorical point which you took all to personal and now you’re ANGRY. Now how ironic is that. You’re the one who said the “how are you oppressed” bs talking about all the opportunities you (we) are afforded.

    You ought to think about that the next time you want to drift away from the subject at hand and get personal with someone you don’t know.

    Anyway, I was trying to have a discussion with you

    No, you simply were not. Stop telling that lie.

    If you were trying to have a discussion/dialogue with me then you would engage my points instead of simply restating yours, ignoring the things I said just so you can get in all things you think about any number of not necessarily related things and subject matter.

    You most certainly were not trying to have a discussion with me when you insulted my intelligence in the way I outlined above. Instead of trying that “if you read between the lines” bs, you should have just been honest and said what you’re saying now: that we see things different.

    It’s important for you to believe that the avg. Joe White “has no power”… I contradicted that with the truth of the matter regarding the actions poor Whites engage in that’s indisputable. Instead of engaging that, you tried to tell me I didn’t know what I was talking about, that I was “making your point” when what??? We’ve come to different conclusions???

    See… you came here with this story and no matter what happened you were going to stick to it. That’s fine. Cool, actually. You see, we can have a difference of opinions and even come to different conclusions but there is no way in hell you’re going to tell me to “read between the lines” just because you need your story to work.

    Don’t let the cognitive dissonance fool you.

    What we’ve come away with is how shallow your perspective is and how you didn’t give f-ck about having a dialogue with me. Otherwise you would have stated things in the way you did…. just so you could tell your story and stick to it.

    You can do that without me and without the facade that you’re engaging in an intellectual exchange when all you got are insults with your curious (mis)characterizations and true-believer orthodoxy that’s not about engaging the reality. Hell, if you wanted to talk about idealisms then you should have let me know from the beginning.

    From my perch I see lots and lots of people suffering and am wiling to listen to everyones version of why they are suffering if only to tie together the kernels of truth that weave their stories together.

    I mean, sure… that sh*t sounds good but what has that got to do with the reality?

    Seriously? When did this become a discussion about “weaving stories together”?? What the hell is that going to do?

    Note: That’s not a conclusion. That’s just a beginning. That’s an underlying assumption or belief of yours not an assessment of the reality.

  106. Nquest

    I did question his comparison of powerful black anger vs white resentment, but I guess it is legitimate to them (whites) if not us.

    For sure, that’s the subtle point he made.

    The speech was intended for the
    majority population, but he also stood by us!

    And that’s a point that can’t be emphasized enough.

    I guess we can cut him some slack for being “harder on black folks” because he loves us so much. lol

  107. I posted the 11min clip on youtube without editing Barack words. I was not hurt or sadden until reading some of the comments posted here. I see Barack’s candidacy as an act of ultimate defiance, which I will continue to support, with the full the knowledge that racism is permanent.

    –Derrick Bell:
    “Black people will never gain full equality in this country. Even those herculean efforts we hail as successful will produce no more than temporary “peaks of progress,” short-lived victories that slide into irrelevance as racial patterns adapt in ways that maintain white dominance. This is hard-to-accept fact that all history verifies. We must acknowledge it, not a sign of submission, but as an act of ultimate defiance”.

  108. Nquest

    On more thing TripLBee, to “dispel” this notion that you wanted a dialogue…

    The clear issue I had with Obama had to do with the questionable comparison of Black anger to White resentment and how Obama (and later, you) *privileged* White resentment in a way that is just flat wrong. I took the idea of the “legitimacy” of White resentment to task. I did that NOT because the avg. Joe White is not a “victim” of the system. No, I did that and highlighting how the White resentment Obama referenced is, in fact, misguided and misdirected.

    I also mentioned how Obama doesn’t mince words when Black people “scapegoat.” In that Nevada debate he was quick, clear and certain to say anti-immigrant rhetoric is “scapegoating” but he didn’t say the sister’s sentiments were “legitimate” and I’ve had discussions where some Black people didn’t like the way Obama responded to the sister’s question because they felt just like the avg. Joe White he alluded to in the great race speech.

    Now I agreed with him then. Blaming (illegal) immigrants for Black unemployment is “scapegoating” in my book. So I hold Obama to that same standard when it comes to his Beloved White Folk.

    What? What happened? His tongue ain’t so quick, his language is not so sharp when it comes to them.

    Now, to the extent that the “flood of immigrants” undermine U.S. wages (as Obama said), that means that Black folks are low-skilled Black workers are “victims” of that flawed immigration impacted employment system. Oh but Obama didn’t put that way. Indeed, he didn’t give a damn about Black folks sensibilities over the issue. (And I call Black people baiting on the immigrant issue racist, too.)

    No, Obama reserves a special language for White folks, grants deferences and says, “the truth be damned” when it comes to White folks misguided/misdirected angst.

    And that’s the thing, Trip… Me saying the avg. White Joe’s angst is misdirected, by definition, acknowledges that he has a legitimate grievance. The only part about it is that it has nothing to do with this race relations context save for noting how them White folks scapegoat Blacks instead of using the power they do have to voice their grievance not with Black people or about what they perceive Black folks doing/taking from them but towards the elites who actually victimize them.

    See… If you wanted to engage in a dialogue and if you ever actually engaged what I said and took the time to grasp what it meant instead of making knee jerk responses flippin’ pages to some script of yours (“Things To Say When Discussing Black Grievance In The Context of Race Relations”)… then you would have never insulted my intelligence with your remedial comments.

    Simply put, we were already past that point — of acknowledging that Whites are “victims” too. I couldn’t or wouldn’t say that they have a misdirected angst if they are not “victims” with a legitimate angst… with someone besides Black folk.

  109. TripLBee

    pe11201

    I agree with you. But I think some of what we’re seeing in this chat is the classic crabs in the barrel syndrome. Fortunately the vast majority of black folk are supporting Barack and are excited about his candidacy. The fact that the majority of the country may also see fit to support this brother seems to be a point of contention for some people. Apparently there is a minority in our community who think that a black man is a race traitor if he doesn’t go out of his way to remind white people of how terrible they are.

    It’s fascinating how these identity politics are playing themselves out in this election. I spend lots of time (probably too much) bouncing around ethnic-specific chat sites to see what folks are saying. Many in the feminist blogs (I’m assuming most of the chatters are white women, though I’m not sure) are saying that Barack is a chauvinist. In Jewish chat sites I’m amazed at the vitriol and many in those sites accuse Barack of being anti-semitic. In some of the mainstream, ie white, chats there is angst about this Rev. Wright stuff, and people are accusing him of being anti-white. In here, a lot of folks are essentially suggesting that he’s an Uncle Tom. It seems that people who are wrapped up in their own particular issue will see what they want to see, hear what they want to hear, but always come to the same pre-determined opinion on things. What’s so remarkable about Barack is that these folks seem to be a minority. I’ve never seen an American leader who has been able to unite so many Americans and maintain his dignity and courage while doing so. I am impressed and inspired by this man.

  110. Stephen Schwartz

    Pandering .. Obama does it too and that is sad. On the other hand, Obama has a real problem. Whe I tell white folks that JW is NOT a bigot and that his peach wascritical of ALL Americans, they do not believe me. Similarly, when I tell them that I have heard Jeremiah Wrights’words and worse from many Black activists and mainstrema m inisters, they do not believe me. Wheh I tell them that without much change in language, similar bitter words are said by other groups who have undergone a horror like slavery, they do not beieve me.

    My guess is that Obama has a ahrd time making it clear that he can understand white outrage, even when that is racist, without calling the mSM for their racism and this hightening the issue.

    To me it is more disturbing that Jeremiah Wright himself is being so quiet. Is he senile? Is he being held some sort of prisoner?

  111. Nquest

    TripLBee,

    Yeah… I don’t take too kindly to having to remediate grown azz people who pretend like they know what they’re talking about and are ready to advance a discussion. I also have some admitted tolerance issues with ignorance. Especially ignorance paraded as (relevant) knowledge.

    I’ll put it like this… Obama has been saying the all too cliche “we all want the same things” since he’s invited the country to a conversation on race. That’s analogous to what you’ve brought to this “dialogue” you and I have had.

    My responses, by way of the analogy, has been akin to saying, “Yes, that may very well be true but our needs differ and we have different views about the rank-order priority for the things we need/want. There are also crisis situations which impact the priority listing. So resolving certain problems, addressing certain needs are, for some, a matter of urgency where it might be closer to the realm of luxury – i.e. something that doesn’t have to be addressed at all.

    It’s shallow thinking to act like cliche’d statements like “we all want the same things” say something meaning and relevant. And, actually, thinking like that which tries to say “we are no different” is harmful because it doesn’t account for the reality where things are different among the subject groups.

  112. Chesapeake

    TripLBee,

    You’re entirely missing the point. Nobody expects Senator Obama to be president of black America, to advance a black agenda, or to “go out of his way to remind people of how terrible they are.” The problem is that on Friday, he went “out of his way” publicly to pull away from Rev. Wright and to appease whomever.

    The Obama workers have argued that he has to “play the game,” “work the strategy,” etc. Others have argued that Rev. Wright may have fallen “on the sword” and consented to the gist of Obama’s remarks. I grant you the arguments.

    I believe Rev. Wright has the kind of character where he would approach Obama and say “do what you gotta do.” He’s a soldier – a man of honor and courage. On the other hand, had Obama been more of a soldier, he may have said “I’ve done it. You have been there for me for (?) years. I went as far as I can go away from you.” One soldier may fall on the sword; but the other soldier will try to prevent that by getting the wounded soldier cover and then getting back into battle.

    From this one series (granted) of events, I see similarities to President Clinton who showed little loyalty to his people and cut them loose at the drop of a dime. Although I’m an opponent of President Bush, I admire his loyalty to his people. He will not let you go down without a fight, and if you lose, he has a cushion to catch your fall. Obama is not a soldier, but as commander-in-chief, I, for one, expect him to exibit some valor.

    This flaw, as I see it, is not fatal to me because the alternatives aren’t good. And I’m not trying to dash the hope that Obama brings. I am, however, keenly aware that his strategies (which will result in much triangulation) limit his abilities to affect the change he promises. We may never know for sure if Obama made this move on his own or whether he was told make the move. For me, either way it was influenced and the result and indication is what it is.

  113. TripLBee

    Chesapeake,

    No, I understand your point. And I don’t necessarily disagree with it. I will say this however, Obama’s interview with Barbara Walters is similar to the Rev. Wright clips in that a 15 second clip is being aired out of context. I watched the 11 minute interview and didn’t find Obama’s comments nearly as offensive as they seem when aired in isolation.

    When Obama gave his speech on race I cringed the first few minutes because I thought that he had finally succumbed to his handlers and was giving a sanitized race speech ala Harold Ford. If that’s all I’d seen of his speech I’d have been hugely disappointed. As it is I think he gave a very good, risky assessment of how the destinies of black and white Americans are “inextricably intertwined” as MLK put it 45 years ago.

  114. Denise

    “Although I’m an opponent of President Bush, I admire his loyalty to his people. He will not let you go down without a fight, and if you lose, he has a cushion to catch your fall…”

    I couldn’t agree more, Chesapeake. I’ll even go here: I’ve had a unique opportunity to work with both Republicans and Democrats and, I have to be honest with you, policy differences aside, I ALWAYS knew where I stood with Republicans. Moreover, they required less from me as person and an employee, and they’ve always left the door open for me to follow up for references, recommendations, etc.

    Don’t believe all the hype. ‘Nuff said.

  115. TripLBee

    Denise & Chesapeake,

    The political reality is that Bush’s loyalty to his base is killing his party. If the Democrats were not engaged in a circular firing squad they would be positioning themselves for a huge win in November. As it is, I still think that Obama will beat McCain and that the Dems will increase their majorities—substantially–in the House and the Senate. Part of the lesson from Bush’s unbending fidelity to a minority base is that the majority gets pissed off and makes them pay. Because Bush can no longer use the threat of terrorism to scare up support from the majority of Americans, he is killing a pretty nice 30 year ride for the Christian right. As someone opposed to the politics of the Christian Right, I am glad that Bush is staying loyal to them because it’s making them less and less relevant.

  116. Denise

    TripleB:

    I think the Bush administration’s lies about the threat in Iraq and government spending policies have played a bigger role in the destruction of the GOP than his pandering to evangelicals.

    That said, I respect your opinion.

    Second, let me clarify that my comment is in no way directed at Senator Obama personally or his relationship with Rev. Wright. I’ve stated, I think the Senator’s comments on Friday reflected issues and positions mutually agreed upon by he and his pastor.

  117. citizenwells

    The Bush Administration did not lie about Iraq. If you wish to get specific, I will address each allegation and respond with facts and not emotion. Visit my blog and you can read the quotes regarding Iraq prior to the beginning of the war.
    “If you are going to tell a lie, tell a big lie.”
    Joeseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister.

  118. TripLBee

    Denise,

    You’re right. Bush’s audacious lies about Iraq and a host of other issues have killed his credibility. But I also think that these lies fed into this “end of times” strategy that he and Rove use to appeal to evangelicals. So the reasons for going into Iraq are many, but I think that part of the calculus also included an appeal to religious fanatics who hate anything Islamic and seem to be lusting for the day when the prophecies of Revelations begin to unfold. Bush’s strategists are pretty clever, but they became so arrogant that they overreached—on Social Security, on the separation of powers, and most obviously on the war in Iraq.

  119. mitchell

    I am really disappointed in most of the posts that I just read. First we all need to realize that the Black church has some serious ISSUES. Our churches embody bigotry, gender issues, and homophobia. We allow our preachers to say “any old thing” and never hold them accountable for their actions. We still see our ministers as the next thing best to God when they are a “human beings” prone to make mistakes, but not forced to aknowledge their mistakes to grow and learn. As a member of Trinity, I realize that the majority of Reverend Wright’s sermons are based in love, but I am sure he now realizes that words can be used against you as well. The words we choose to use have a powerful impact on us and the world.

    Barack has defeneded Reverend Wright as best as he can, but it’s not his job to serve as his spokesperson. This is Reverend wright’s responsibility.

    As a Black man, I am in full support of Barack’s candidacy. At no point, will allow “Religion” to play on my emotions and distract me from the bigger picture. Just remember folks it was religion that distracted some of you in 2004 when you felt the need to vote in a Republican because you were worried about gay marriages. Now many of you are unemployed, about to lose your home, or struggling to put gas in your car. Bottom line gay marriage did not create that issue, but too many of you were bamboozled by religion.

  120. Nquest

    Mitchell,

    I’m disappointed by the unsupported claims of “bigotry.” Now, I take a nuance view towards things like that but, as Obama noted on The View, Rev. Wright encouraged a Black female member of the church to go-through with her wedding and marry her White partner. That doesn’t fit “bigotry” portrait and I’ve yet to see anyone point out an solid or substantive statements of “bigotry” people attribute to Rev. Wright just because the miltancy of his sermons have the effect on people who don’t prefer the language he used.

    If anything, Rev. Wright’s comments were “racist” (internally) against Blacks. Obama had to recognize that and has made his “distancing” all about the “inflammatory” nature of the comments. The only substantive vs. stylistic “disagreement” Obama voiced was over “Americanism” — i.e. the competing view over the racial progress made and, by extension, the prospective of racial progress in the present and future.

    People’s aversion to religion, in general, don’t help with assessing this particular situation unless you (and others) can be specific. People’s emotions on that won’t distract me from the truth and invoking an nondescript “bigger picture” which, by all appearances, misses the issue entirely.

    This is about the institution of the same old Jim Crow rules and that goes beyond Barack Obama and his quest for the presidency.

    Note: I’m in full support of his candidacy too but bs is something that I do not abide no matter who and where it comes from.

    You talk about words… Well, be specific.

    MLK’s good words, words of “love” as a matter of fact, are used against him (his people, whatever color). So, really, let’s be clear about what words Rev. Wright spoke that you or whoever have an issue with and, the important thing… WHY?

    Also, does Trinity have those “gay marriage” issues you indiscriminately attribute to “the Black church”?? I asked because I’ve come across information that doesn’t agree with that depiction.

  121. mitchell

    Nquest ,

    First, we I stated bigotry I was not pointing the finger at Trinity, but the in general the Black church. Far too often, I hear “listen, you take what you need from the sermon and church and toss the rest out.” Well if this is the case with Church and our ministers, why are we not using the same dialogue when it comes to our politicians? So, I am pointing the finger at US (Black folks) to say it’s time to view and discuss religion and its true context. It seems to me that several of you on this board are holding Barack to a standard that your minister nor yourself could obtain.

    And, I never stated I had an issue with Reverend Wright. My issue lies with when you use sesational rhetoric to get your point across it leaves you open to attack. Reverend Wright could have still made his point without saying “God Dam America,” but freedom of speech provides him with this right. As we all know, for every action their is a consquence.

    Also, on gay marriage, Trinity is a very open on this concept. Probably one of the most liberal views of sexuality when compared to other larger Black churches. But, my challenge was not to Trinity, but to ALL Black churches. Barack may be the first candidate to have go through these experience, but in the future several African American candidates will be vetted this way. And, we all know that many Black churches have failed progress. And, if they have progress, the result is more bling than substance.

  122. mitchell

    Nquest ,

    First, when I stated bigotry I was not pointing the finger at Trinity, but in general the Black church. Far too often, I hear “listen, you take what you need from the sermon and church and toss the rest out.” Well if this is the case with Church and our ministers, why are we not using the same dialogue when it comes to our politicians? So, I am pointing the finger at US (Black folks) to say it’s time to view and discuss religion and its true context. Yes, I am. It seems to me that several of you on this board are holding Barack to a standard that your minister nor yourself could obtain.

    And, I never stated I had an issue with Reverend Wright. My issue lies with when you use sesational rhetoric to get your point across it leaves you open to attack. Reverend Wright could have still made his point without saying “God Dam America,” but freedom of speech provides him with this right. As we all know, for every action their is a consquence.

    Also, on gay marriage, Trinity is a very open on this concept. Probably one of the most liberal views of sexuality when compared to other larger Black churches. But, my challenge was not to Trinity, but to ALL Black churches. Barack may be the first candidate to have go through these experiences, but in the future several African American candidates will be vetted this way. And, we all know that many Black churches have failed to progress. And, if they have progress, the result is more bling than substance.

  123. Rob C

    Words, SB, words. The responsive chord Obama seemly struck in you hurt…probably, growing pains. But, snippets are snippets, in context Obama stated two matters excluded in your assessment.

    First, at the beginning of the ‘View’ clip paraphrasing Obama he said…I’m gonna say some things that everyone is not going to agree with…translated that says “SB, chill on what I’ve got to say to these ‘ladies’. Notice that Woopie and the other ‘sister’ were mum. This predicate is important to what followed.

    Second, Obama states very clearly, at the end of the clip that he “is running for President of the US…”, not board trustee of a segregated school district, therefore, his comments collectively must be respected. Further, Obama is walking on fine wire; and for that alone I give him daps.

    Analyzing each phrase of his response, you take issue with, they seem to properly utter in a fashion that detects a truth for either him, you or me. Pragmatically, when the listener wants to hear a correct answer (and these women and white Americans do) and is willing to allow for hindsight, ‘and ifs…’ and projected ‘then X…’ Obama during the ‘View’ gave us one; a view of Obama’s command of language we have to appreciate. I heard a refined and active ‘arm chair’ revolutionary. lol

    SB, here within these pages talking sh*t is easy. Addressing an attack on our person, without making war within the nation when given the public mic is a tough, tough task…but, I hear you.

    Good Job Obama

  124. TripLBee

    Mitchell,

    I agree that the black church, in general, is pretty reactionary. The irony is that Trinity and Rev. Wright are quite progressive. This manufactured crisis is warning to progressive black candidates. They’re going to be torn apart by a press and a media that prefer safer black candidates such as Colin Powell. Contrary to the views of many in this blog, I think the mainstream press is confused about Barack and unable to fit his transracial, trans-socioeconomic appeal into a category that they recognize. As a result, they’re trying to foist him into a box with which they are familiar—the foaming at the mouth black radical. It’s ironic and sad.

  125. Rob C

    TripLBee…and true.

    The Dem party and media has come from “what does Jessie want” to “Oh, my (no, their’s)…No…Oh, God…what to do, what to do, what to do? Please save Us, no, me…no…Oh, Damn!”

    Black ministers and White preachers make babies just like the rest of us…they sin, too and have their own problems…god bless them. However, where is the cadre of ministers stepping up, as a vanguard for Obama and Rev Wright (for themselves) on this attack?

    And, we’re supposed to stake our souls on these hypocrites? I don’t think so…flying sauces flying around, Sumerian Texts on anceint civilations being uncovered and FISA wiretap immunity being patriotically endorsed and promoted; and, the clergy running for cover…makes me feel like Sienfeld, I don’t know what the hell is going on.

    Dear CNN,MSNBC and FOXNEWS…please tell me what church I should allow my child to attend.

  126. Marla K.

    I was frustrated to see the issue of Rev Wright was still so heavy on the minds of people that we are still discussing him as the focus of Sen Obama’s presidential bid. However after having read some of these discussions I am glad to see what I consider a valuable exchange of ideas occurred.

    TripLBee, I truly admire your energy. I appreciate your efforts and in most ways I share your perspective, certainly on Sen Obama’s character and intentions, and the significance of his campaign for African Americans and for all working class and middle income people. In other words, the masses in general certainly appear to be in a position to form a coalition and progress.

    NQuest, I donot understand the goal of the “anger”. I believe I understand better than most why we have a right to be angry but what good is the anger for anger’s sake? Your identifying yourself as a black nationalist was very helpful to me in trying to understand the concerns you express so vehemently. Although I am wholeheartedly committed to the African American community I am also committed to integration and the necessity of coalitions with other disenfranschised people to address the concerns I have for the African American community. I am happy that the time has come that working class whites are building coalitions with us for all of our own good. Often times whites have voted the other way seemingly “just because we were voting for the candidate” we thought would best meet out needs.

    I believe you and I can agree on at least one point without argument. Racism is still so pervasive it is detroying us as a people. Contrary to what Bill Cosby, and even TripLBee may experience or what may appear on the surface, racism remains a sharpe sword against us as blacks, a minority in white supremacy.

    I do not believe that most whites today are hard hearted and intend to contribute to our suffering and demise. They, like Bill Cosby mean us no harm. They are miserably unaware of the devastation caused by this system on our people. I guess you are saying how can that be?

    Although the current American constuct that leads to inequality is primarily an economic one, as TripLBee and NQuest both refer. Many of us, across race, religion and other divisions are out of work that pays a living wage because to many laws have been passed that serves to provide most of the profit from our work to the priviledged few. A part of the this construct is the mindset that we all have that our economy is legitimate and fair. This mindset is facilitated by many of the wealthy and their media.

    I like the example of the question posed to the dem pres candidates in one of the earlier debates regarding interst rate limits for credit card companies. Sen Clinton pointed out that Sen Obama had failed to vote for the 30% limit, claiming he didnot take a position on this important issue. Personally I dont think that 30% is a limit at all. Why should he vote for it?

    We as a nation of various communities participate in this same economy which is now global and the leaders(Reagonomics, Bush I,Clinton,Bush II) of our country are leaving more and more of us out of the equation. The Democratic party has a better strategy than the Republicans to include more people in the economy….so let’s do it!! Ultimately this will be better for everyone …even the rich in the long run.

    Unfortunately as necessary as this is, this does not address all of our problems of race and racism. Because of our history in this country as Sen Obama pointed out, we as a minority have been more direly effected economically. The society does not care to acknowledge the lingering effects of slavery and discrimination on race, less than the current racism. The insidious reemergence of lack of access to quality schools is the elephant in the room with resegregation and a resurgence of a lack of resources in the inner city school districts, especially a lack of critical human resources. Of course poverty and a lack of education leads to an inability to thrive. In recent history the African American community continues to deteriorate through systemic design, including the equally responsible overwhelmimgly dicriminatory criminal justice system. I can not breathe when I think of the juvenile justice system. There is nothing just about it. If nothing else, Pres Obama will be able to select at least two or possibly more judges on the supreme court, as well as encourage, develop and support humane juvenile justice legislation.

    Thank you TripLBee for pointing towards the legislation Sen Obama has sponsored and supported for criminal justice. I am counting on him for juvenile justice.

  127. TripLBee

    Marla K,

    Thank you for your thoughtful post. I want to clarify my earlier remarks. I do not think that racism in irrelevant and it’s obvious that—all other things being equal—-it’s harder to be black in this country. If that point was lost then I should have been more clear. The point I was trying to make is that oppression in this country is rooted in a capitalist hegemony that has used race and gender and religion as wedges, but which ultimately will contrive any strategy to maintain money and power in the hands of a few. As such, there is a minority of black Americans who are effectively more privileged than most white Americans because they have greater access to the levers of this hegemony. I would include myself and Obama and a host of other Ivy-league educated black Americans in this group. I mentioned this not so much to be narcissistic, rather to make the point that black Americans should be concerned with oppression outside outside of our own community.

    That being said, I completely agree that there are specific, critical public systems that have the intention and affect of maintaining racial segregation. Public schools and criminal justice are the most obvious, but I think that access to health care is another. Part of the reason that Obama’s star is rising outside of a black constituency, is that the ill effects of poor school systems and inadequate health care are seeping into the white middle class. it’s gotten so bad that we actually have an opportunity to build coalitions among traditionally acrimonious groups. The nonsense around Rev. Wright represents the old wedge politics fighting against something new and dangerous.

  128. Nquest

    Marla K,

    I think you’ve made some untenable assumptions about what I’ve said especially my full disclosure statement about my Black Nationalist ideological perspective. Long and short, my perspective is not averse to “integration” and it is especially not at odds with coalition building. In fact, I have routinely emphasized the coalition building of another “Black candidate” Rev. Jesse Jackson.

    When he ran for president, he put Appalachia on the map and I’ve always been all for that which is why I “vehemently” disagree with people, Black and White, who try to act like Jesse’s ’84 and ’88 campaigns were something different than what Obama is doing now. Jesse wasn’t running to be the “president of Black America”. One of his enduring themes from one of his DNC speeches was about America’s quilt where he said invoked the necessity of coalition building with the refrain that “your patch isn’t big enough”, as he called various demographic by name, one-by-one.

    Obama used the outline of Jesse’s genius in one of his speeches. Now to some of your specific points.

    NQuest, I donot understand the goal of the “anger”.

    I don’t understand what you’re saying and, more importantly, why you’re saying it. In fact, I don’t think your question makes any sense. Matter of fact, I don’t think it makes any sense to ask “what is the goal of happiness” when, as far as I know, happiness is a goal itself. All I ever said about anger, though, is that it is a human emotion and that I take issue with “white resentment” (which is also “anger”) being PRIVILEGED while Black “anger” is disparaged, demonized and delegitimatized with all the attendant lectures about how it CAN be “counterproductive.” My problem is NO ONE, including you, ever characterizes White resentment in that fashion.

    You didn’t say: I don’t understand the goal of white resentment? Neither did you ask: What good is resentment for resentment sake?

    Whether you intended it or not, you PRIVILEGED white resentment too, by omission if nothing else. For some reason, you didn’t talk about it being a barrier to coalition building — something that seemed implicit in your questioning about [Black] anger… as if I esteemed it as a goal???

    I am happy that the time has come that working class whites are building coalitions with us for all of our own good.

    Marla, all the polling information and media discussion on the voting patterns of various demographic groups tell a different story in terms of this election. From what I’ve heard, it’s working class Whites have yet to join Obama’s rainbow coalition. Indeed, the media repeatedly notes how working/lower class Whites are the ones most receptive to the type of race-baiting that’s happened in this campaign.

    Obama has attracted young, college age Whites and wealthy White liberals, let the media tell it. And that’s not a story that says working class Whites are expressing a desire to join in coalition with Black folk. You’d also have to deal honestly with how they see Obama. Some comments have already been posted here regarding the way Whites see Obama as “post racial.”

    A part of the this construct is the mindset that we all have that our economy is legitimate and fair.

    I believe I spoke to that and, IMO, America’s myths have a tremendous appeal with working class Whites who often voice their opposition to affirmative action, e.g., with the meritocracy myth as a major part of their argument against it.

    I wonder why neither you or TripLBee attempted to answer my questions about the role working/lower class people play in Black folks oppression via opposition to things like AA.

    Which brings me to my closing point… Don’t let my Black Nationalism disclosure fool you. I’m not against coalition building, far from it. Like Obama, I like to think that I’m not an ideologue. I say that because I don’t have any blind allegiance to any one concept. That includes the idea of “coalition building.”

    To sum up my philosophy, I think this old saying fits: if it don’t fit, don’t force it.

    I’m also observing the sentiments and history where other groups have come here and “stepped on us to get ahead.” All kinds of people have benefited from our (civil rights) struggle, including White women. And, since I mentioned AA, I have to note how it’s Black people who take the stigmaticizing hit even when they say white women are the biggest beneficiaries of AA.

    Seems to me that when Black people take a beating, none (or few) of the other groups we seek to build coalitions with ever seem to put themselves on the line to defend the programs and policies that benefit us all. Look at Jena. While there were, indeed, some Whites who played a role… the numbers just weren’t there.

    And that’s another thing… All groups have their self-interest even when they join in solidarity but for some reason it seems like Black people are expected to forego our self-interest or postpone our pursuit of them until we can convince historically disinterested groups to help us.

    Again, I am not an ideologue so I don’t have blind allegiance to the coalition concept nor do I see it as a self-evident virtue. IMO, Black people’s issues are too important to waste time and effort trying to convince other groups to see it as in their interest to join us.

    Whatever case we have to make, whatever movement we have to build… we can do it with or without them.

    That is just so clear to me and it’s my Malcolm X like Black Nationalism that informs my view.

  129. TripLBee

    Working class whites have been the overseers, the cops, the people busting up the picket lines. They’ve been puppets on a string, being pulled up or down, left or right. For their complicity they get crumbs from the true beneficiaries—-wealthy whites. If one thinks there is utility at being angry at someone, it seems more sensible to direct the anger at the appropriate target. Working class white folks have been bamboozled just like everyone else. Being angry at them—a relatively powerless group of folks existing on the edge of poverty—is playing into the hands of their masters.

  130. Rick

    “Although the current American constuct that leads to inequality is primarily an economic one, as TripLBee and NQuest both refer. Many of us, across race, religion and other divisions are out of work that pays a living wage because to many laws have been passed that serves to provide most of the profit from our work to the priviledged few.” — Marla K.

    A little OT…

    Marla K-

    As we speak there is a debate from Washington to Wall Street about the future of financial regulation, which will have an impact on such things as consumer protection which will impact all of us. The Bush plan, as it was announced today, would essentially turn the duties of watching the proverbial hen house to the foxes (the market place itself) — but this time, armed with a knife and fork!!

    I am saying this because Obama is speaking out AGAINST this new White House plan, not everyone is listening. I just came from a blog devoted to economics/finance, but sadly I noticed that many of the people there cared not what his economic position was on this issue, but rather the Rev. Wright affair. That worried me a little.

    I think it was Ernesto or someone else who said a while ago that some of these issues being tossed out there for public consumption are an attempt by the rich to distract the masses while the rich make a power grab. Seeing what the Bush Administration has in mind to essentially deregulate the banking industry, I couldn’t agree more!

    Paul Krugman has an interesting take on what’s going on. if interested, read for yourself here:

    Paul Krugman — “Fake Reform”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/31/opinion/31krugman.html?hp

  131. Nquest

    If one thinks there is utility at being angry at someone, it seems more sensible to direct the anger at the appropriate target.

    It’s good that you framed your comment with “IF” because that’s simply NOT applicable to anything said here about working class whites. Ironically, though, that MISDIRECTED ANGST was the very thing I questioned about Obama’s lack of symmetry in the treatment of Black anger and White (working class) resentment.

    Instead of you ever saying white resentment should be directed at the appropriate target… instead of their misguided/misdirected angst having a consequence on your coalition rhetoric… instead of any of that, you dismiss my historically sound point on how the white working class has collectively responded to attempts to form alliance or simply direct their angst appropriate AND still insisted on blind commitment to seeking solidarity with the White working class despite the history and present active-in-our-oppression White resentment and the white working class’ indifference to coalition building, not to mention any sustained campaigns.

    Working class white folks have been bamboozled just like everyone else.

    Everyone else like whom?

    All the flag waving after 9/11 didn’t “bamboozle” Black folks who were against the Iraq war in numbers the rest of the country had to catch up to.

    Being angry at them—a relatively powerless group of folks existing on the edge of poverty—is playing into the hands of their masters.

    When are you going to preach that mess to White working class people who are the “bamboozled”?? When are you going to put down that previously debunked point and step up your rhetoric game?

    PRIVILEGING working class white folk while chastise Black folk for not going for the Okey Doke and taking on the full burden of changing the society is foolish.

    I’m a believer in “… the people will come.” That is, when you start doing what you feel needs to be done and people see an interest in joining in solidarity with you then that’s a good thing. It’s also a good thing not to subscribe to naive, historically challenged idealisms and just go ahead and do your thing.

  132. Marla K.

    I appreciate you addressing my concerns Nquest.

    I agree with you that most of humanity subcribes in some way to the idea that the Object of Life is Happiness. We all strive for it, it is in itself a goal, if not the goal. So, if you are angry, then you are not happy, at least not about the circumstances of our experience as citizens of the US. Am I right? If so, how do you propose to become happy? You say not necessarily through coalitions with others so what are the other methods of achieving happiness and peace for you regarding the plight of the black community here in the US?

    I am aware that working class whites are reportedly not joining this coalition to elect the most progressive candidate as readily as the more educated, liberal and youthful new voters. However, I dont completely buy into that because of states like Iowa, Wyoming. and Missouri. I believe they are underreported as part of this campaign because their numbers maybe less than the other groups, and because historically they have been most likely to take the bait and divide along racial lines against their own interests, because of racism as you suggest. However, the reason I, like TripLBee are not angry with working class whites is because we do see them as pawns (and victims as well). they donot have the power alone to address our issues. Nor we theirs. But together we can elect the candidates who will most likely meet all of our needs, so we can be happy.

    As we often say and hear others say “racism” requires power. It is many of the laws that have been put in place that I want to be corrected to alter much of the institutionalized racism, (and classism) so I can be happy. Having said this, nevertheless, I am a capitalist who loves America. I want to be allowed to compete. I want my children(although I have no biological children)to be allowed to compete. I say to those trying desperately to hold me amd mine down. I challenge you to a fair competition. Do not be afraid. It’s possible you would have a chance in a fair competition.

  133. Sara

    I’ll be upfront and say that on this matter I am an Obama sympathizer. I suppose I understand the hurt feelings, but at the same time, I think you are all holding him to an impossible standard. I’d like to give an example from my own church going experience within the black Catholic church.

    From birth until Hurricane Katrina I attended the same church in the 9th ward. About 5 years ago our deacon was giving a sermon about God only knows what, rambling at length mostly to himself. Around 20 minutes in he started to condemn the ills he saw in society including children born out of wedlock (and I would like add here that a year prior to this episode the church instituted a policy to ban the baptism of illegitimate children during Sunday Mass in front of the congregation, and instead baptizing them once the congregation had cleared the pews), single mothers, welfare, gay couples, and various other people the deacon found distasteful. His diatribe was lengthy and offensive. I fell into none of the categories the man mentioned, but as I looked around the church I saw more hurt and angry faces than those nodding in approval. This man was clearly not our collective mouthpiece. I’m sure he didn’t speak for the gay couple who attended church every week with their son and sang in the choir, or the scores of unwed mothers who made sure their children were at CCD early each Sunday. I knew the man to be good at heart, kind, and generous, but on that day the only thing to leave his mouth was pure ignorance.

    Its an incident that has stuck with me after so many years. In 2003 I was bewildered as to why our deacon would launch an attack on so many in our congregation, and angered by his language, tone, and demeanor. Yet I did not stop going to church. I thought about it a good deal. But I came to the conclusion that our church was more than just our misguided deacon. We were active in a community, that of my grandparents, that was extremely impoverished. Most of my family attended the church and was active in various ministries. So I chose to stick around in spite of a distasteful episode. Others were too hurt by these episodes and chose to stay away.

    Perhaps Barack should have kept his “What if” thoughts to himself. Personally, I think What If’s are a crock of shit. He should have asked Barbara, “what if the sky was pink?” Hypotheticals are never all that important to me personally. But I don’t feel that he was acquiescing to the MSM and white voters by voicing his “What If” sentiment. I think he was answering honestly. Wright became a symbol for acceptance of the notion of a shared black experience in the black church, but there is also a personal relationship between Obama and his church beyond the symbolic relationship of a politician to the black experience that so many of you feel Obama has betrayed.

  134. Nquest

    Marla,

    I’m going to ignore your attempts to personalize this issue and make it about me, what makes me happy, yada, yada, yada…

    I will start with this, though:

    I, like TripLBee are not angry with working class whites is because we do see them as pawns (and victims as well). they donot have the power alone to address our issues. Nor we theirs.

    Until you got reports from the working class whites you’re talking about how they recognize how they are pawns there is simply nothing you can discuss with me, at least not in an intelligent manner, that makes it worth your time or mine to keep trying to make some point (or whatever you’re doing) by making these none points.

    they donot have the power alone to address our issues.

    If I recall correctly, TripLBee originally said they have no power at all. Then he conceded the point to a degree. I say that to outline the issue you call yourself trying to piggyback. What I said to Trip’s original statement is working class whites have the power to stop participating in our oppression via their resistance to AA, etc. and even their active involvement being against such things. Nothing in Obama’s campaign and among those White voters who support him suggests that those who were against AA, e.g., before this election season have changed their minds on such issues. People vote for politicians they don’t totally agree with all the time. So that makes your attempt to cast the votes Obama received in Iowa, etc. as if it is a sign of White working class people joining in solidarity with Black people vs. with the presidential candidate of their choosing both odd and flawed.

    we do see them as pawns (and victims as well)

    This is another NON-POINT of yours. From what I gather, you play the Jesus role and say of these pawn-victims: “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” You said as much:

    I do not believe that most whites today are hard hearted and intend to contribute to our suffering and demise… They are miserably unaware of the devastation caused by this system on our people.

    So you acknowledge that they are both participant-contributors in the “devastation” and ignorant of the effect of what they contribute to and the system as a whole. One of the funniest questions you asked, which followed your Jesus script, was:

    I guess you are saying how can that be?

    It’s funny because of just how desperate you are to stick to your script. You’re so desperate that you have to ignore what I said that began to speak to “how that can be.”

  135. Nquest

    Now let me make this perfectly clear for both Marla and TripLBee…

    BOTH grant deference to (working class) White folk. The same White people who are “resentful” (read: angry) with Black people for daring to think we should be treated as equals. Instead of dealing with that, both Marla and TripLBee try to flip-the-script and try to make it seem like Black people (or me, in this case) have directed our “anger” towards these miserable, clueless “victims.”

    Nevermind that, again, they misdirect their angst and scapegoat Black folk, first and foremost. Nevermind how Black people make explicit claims, lying blame with THE SYSTEM, THE GOVERNMENT and hardly at working class White folk.

    So, as a consequence to the weakness and the lack of confidence in their own argument, TripLBee and Marla felt compelled to set up a convenient strawman demonizing Black anger directed at White working-class “victims” of the system…. SOMETHING THEY MADE UP… all while excusing White folks who direct their social angst, not at the appropriate source (the elites) but at Black people.

    So, working class Whites can be active, front and center, participants in WHITE BACKLASH but that’s to be ignored and their dishonorable attributes, the way their routinely and more completely direct their anger/resentment at the wrong source, is then attributed to Black people (or me) when we simply observe what are indisputable facts about the White working class.

    So, with Marla and TripLBee… no matter what it is… it’s Black people’s fault and that is nothing but internalized racism or evidence of just what White Privilege is (white folks can do wrong and Black folk get demonized because they point it out) and just how White Supremacy works and some fools can’t tell how they contribute or acquiesce to it.

    Sorry, but that Noble Negro stuff doesn’t hold sway with me.

  136. citizenwells

    Too many generalizations!
    There are no white people and there are no black people. People with similar skin color are not a homogenous group. I have close friends of many shades of skin color. I am talking about friends that are in my house and I am in theirs. These people have a diversity of thoughts and backgrounds. We are Americans and members of the human race. Knock off the race talk!

  137. TripLBee

    There is quite a bit of irony in this chat. We have some in here who are so addicted to victimization that they see “oppressors” underneath every bed and behind every closet door. Well, consider this, as Americans we contribute to the most aggressive system of oppression in the world. If we buy our clothes from a retailer, if we buy food from a grocery store, if we pump gasoline into our cars, then we are supporting a system which indentures people—mostly of color—-around the four corners of the earth. It’s really funny to hear so many people in hear whine and cry about their own victimization, as they sit behind a computer spouting platitudes about their dire straights, while they choose to live and contribute to the world’s most ruthless empire. Give me a @#$%ing break.

  138. RhondaCoca

    Thank You, Nquest. I dont always have the energy to take some people on.

    Let me put this out there. Blacks people have never ever been against coalition building. You guys are sympathizing with working class whites who have very strong resentments towards blacks and black advancement. Truthfully, it has been these working class whites who have been hostile towards blacks for years. I often hear some people talk about white immigrants and what they dealt with in this country. However from growing up in the Bronx and living in Brooklyn, I know better than to think that they have any love for us. I however have not an ounce of anger towards them but I always keep it real.

    Latinos share many of the same issues and concerns as blacks yet they are yet to join the coalition. What excuse are you going to grant them?

    So what some of you guys are trying to say is ridiculous. The whites who are supporting Barack are the more affluent whites, young whites esp. students and blacks. Of course it depends on the state but overall, this has been the case.

    What I also have realized is that he does good in very white states. I believe that many of these whites dont have certain resentments because they have very little contact. Blacks havent moved into their neighborhoods and they dont have to compete with them for anything.

    P.S Citizenwells, thanks for your utopian point of view however race and class are very much issues in America. We cannot act like it doesnt exist.

  139. TripLBee

    Rhonda,

    I don’t think anyone in here is denying the “Archie Bunker” mentality in much of the white working class community. I’m from D.C. and there were definitely working class white neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city that we could not go to without fear of being jumped. I think that most of us who have lived near working class white communities understand the hostility towards blacks that exists in these communities.

    In the few instances where blacks and whites have been able to build coalitions, the impetus has usually been provided by elites in these communities (though poor and working class blacks have sometimes joined those coalitions as well). So I don’t think many of us are disagreeing with your observation of how things are. What I’m saying is that we SHOULD be building coalitions AGAINST the tiny minority of super wealthy elites in this country who pit groups against each other in order to maintain their hegemony.

    I think that Barack has been trying—with varying degrees of success—to remind white working class voters that they are also being screwed in this system, and that they ought to join his movement. Clinton has employed a race-baiting wedge strategy which has been working pretty well since the Ohio, Texas primaries. In this regard she is working to maintain a hegemony that has benefitted her.

    Most Americans are conditioned to retreat to their identity politics corner when they hear the clarion call of race, gender and religious politicking coming out of Clinton’s campaign. At its root, that is what is keeping this Jeremiah Wright nonsense in play. What Obama is trying to do is more genuine and more powerful. But it’s also a hell of a lot more difficult. He is trying to breakdown these old divisions. People who are excited by this possibility—people like me—are willing to forgive Obama some of his stumbles. I think that many of us are also resisting the urge to remind potential participants in this coalition—working class whites for example—of how badly they’ve treated us. We’re not resisting this urge because we’re somehow blind to how white racism works. Rather, we’re trying to do something new and difficult. If we’re really committed to building a broad based coalition that works against the Halliburtons and the Lehman Brothers and the tiny cadre of folks who have turned the federal govt into their personal security squad, then we need patience and forgiveness. If we’re not willing to work through the years and years and years of collective resentments with courage and dignity and forgiveness—-as Barack is trying to do—then nothing will ever change.

  140. Nquest

    We have some in here who are so addicted to victimization that they see “oppressors” underneath every bed and behind every closet door.

    More bs rhetoric. Back away from the hyperbole, Trip. List “every bed” and “every closet” that “some here” have spoken about.

    Well, consider this, as Americans we contribute to the most aggressive system of oppression in the world.

    And the relevance to this conversation is?

    Note: The funny part is how you’re not taking that same line that, as avg. Americans, we are “powerless” and are not part of the “oppression equation” for the countries/economies the USA oppresses/suppresses around the world.

    When you bring tangential bs up make sure it relates and stays consistent with your argument to date. You won’t hear me making any excuses for our American complicity in the oppression of people around the world. And stop projecting your whining mentality just because you’re not equipped or prepared for substantive debate on this issue.

    they choose to live and contribute to the world’s most ruthless empire.

    Once again, notice the PRIVILEGING of White folk by TripLBee. When it comes to (working class) White folk… Oh, they are powerless and, apparently, not responsible for the oppression of others. NOTE how TripLBee never went international, scrambling to try to find something to hang on working class White folk. No. When it comes to them, TripLBee wants them to be blameless “VICTIMS” and had no qualms with seeing them as VICTIMS no matter how much they “contributed to the world’s most ruthless empire.”

    Oh but when it comes to Black folk not subscribing to idiotic, reality aversed MYTHS and untested ideals… Well, just like Black “anger” is deemed as negative while white resentment is made EXCUSABLE… Well, for Black people to be seen as “VICTIMS” that’s a bad thing.

    Review:

    Black folks = victims = bad
    White folks = victims = good

    Black folks + anger = bad/inexcusable/useless
    White folks + anger/resentment = good/excusable/useful

    White Supremacy and the psyche job it’s done on self-loathing Black folks is a mf!!!

    How many more strawmen are you going to create, Trip?

    Note: Black sounding-names, the findings from that study, debunks your PAT BUCHANAN like assessment. That’s one way in which RACE TRUMPS CLASS. Your critique is ever so lack, in depth, in historical grounding and in an accurate assessment of reality. No wonder why you don’t have a clue about what White Privilege and oppression is.

    Again, WEB DuBois and Dr. King were “privileged”, educated, etc., etc. Again, the American Revolution/colonies were NOT based on some kind of POVERTY grievance. Now let me here your response. What else do you have besides some simplistic, Pat Buchanan like logic?

    The last type of Black person who should ever think they have something intelligent to say on race, racism, “race relations” and, by all means, White Privilege (WP) and White Supremacy (WS) are the people who turn around and support WP/WS.

    Granting deference and making excuses for White folks of any class all while placing all kinds of burdens on Black people to do this or do that and to also behave in a manner YOU willingly let White folk get away with…. Well, that’s a sickness. A sickness of the mind.

    TripLBee, you got things twisted. Look at how you PRIVILEGE Whites (and demean Blacks) at every turn. That’s a disease.

    Now get the hell up out of here with that deferential bs!!

  141. Nquest

    What Obama is trying to do is more genuine and more powerful.

    BULLSH*T!! I’ve pointed out how it’s not “genuine” because his PRIVILEGING of white resentment while disparaging Black anger, just like you have, was never honest and therefore not genuine.

    We can say that it dampens white hostility to be conciliatory (and dishonest) like that but the actual response from WORKING CLASS WHITE folks has been what??

    Yeah, that’s right. We’re going to take this out of the realm of MYTHOLOGY and ask you to relate all these platitudes to the reality. Like you said… what he is “trying” to do… as in NOT done and, being honest, HARD TO DO.

    MLK tried to moblize a Poor People’s Campaign… Where were/are the WHITE LEADERS inspiring the White working class to not only get involved but to building lasting coalition on that issue?

    Simply, history and reality is not in your corner but at every turn you place the extra-added burden on Black people to essentially do something for White people.

    The point is: working class White people, when it comes to issues involving “race”, whether perceived or real, have seen it in their self-interest NOT to join in coalition with Black people in any real and substantive way.

    If it don’t fit, don’t force it… and hoist and extra-added burden on Black people. What part of PRIVILEGING Whites and being complicit in WS don’t you understand?

    If we’re not willing to work through the years and years and years of collective resentments with courage and dignity and forgiveness

    There you go with those “IF’s” again. If = conditional. Let that be a clue to you. Ex:

    If working class White folks say, “go get f-cked” to your idea of coalition, then what? Try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try, try again?

    What kind of prescription is that? That approach, under those conditions says:

    “…nothing will ever change.”

    But then, again, with your view which says we, individually, really have nothing to complain about… because we have “opportunities”… Well, I have no idea what “CHANGE” you’re talking about. I’m sorry, it’s hard for me to follow INCOHERENCE.

    Back to the point, the problem with your STRAW MAN is in how you’ve tried to put that “not willing to work through…” off on other people and not yourself when it’s Black anger — “years and years of collective [frustrations]” — that you obviously have no forgiveness for. You disparage it.

    Now that’s a distinctive difference between me, e.g., pointing out how Obama was LYING about White resentment (it is misguided and misdirected) and PRIVILEGING it in the process, if only by disparaging Black anger alone.

    Once again, in this whole “work through” idea of yours you PRIVILEGE White folk. You certainly don’t extend the “forgiving” and tolerance hand towards. No, instead you demean and demonize Black folk while extending an olive branch to White folks.

    That’s some sick sh*t. Not because there’s anything wrong… The sh*t is sick when you consistent treat and view White folks and their anger/resentment, etc. better or more favorably than you do the supposed equivalent behavior/emotions of Black folks.

  142. propagandhi

    “Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven, and you upon the earth; therefore let your words be few.

    “For a dream comes with much business, and a fool’s voice with many words…

    “For in a multitude of dreams there is futility, and ruin in a flood of words.”

    Ecclesiastes 5:1-3, 7

    Hello? Collect call from the bible to J. Wright.

  143. Nquest

    In other words, you have nothing to add. Unable to engage and respond effectively… you continue to post in the remedial – i.e. a constant backward drag on forward flowing dialogue.

    I guess the MLK/WEB DuBois riddle was just too much for you. My bad. I should have told you to make sure you had more tools if you ever thought you were going to carry your weight and add to, not subtract from, this ‘dialogue’ with straw-men, other assorted fallacies and poorly thought out, jingoistic rhetoric.

  144. Nquest

    And we don’t even have to go MLK on it… But maybe you’d say Obama is a merchant of “victimization” because of what he said in his speech. And, matter of fact, his comments on AA would call into question your simplistic Pat Buchanan-esque “opportunities” logic.

    And, really, you do sound like a lot of soundbite critics of Michelle Obama for her supposed anti-American statement. For it was those Pat Buchanan types who were keen on talking about how many “opportunities” she’s had, etc., etc.

    And too think… You took exception to me noting the obviously similarities of your thoughts to Pat’s.

    But back to that “victim status” seeking Obama:

    “…we do need to remind ourselves that so many of the disparities that exist in the African-American community today can be directly traced to inequalities passed on from an earlier generation that suffered under the brutal legacy of slavery and Jim Crow.

    Segregated schools were, and are, inferior schools; we still haven’t fixed them, fifty years after Brown v. Board of Education, and the inferior education they provided, then and now, helps explain the pervasive achievement gap between today’s black and white students.”

    TripLBee, how can Obama ever say something like that. He’s a Harvard grad and presidential candidate. Surely his “opportunities” have been great.

    “Legalized discrimination — where blacks were prevented, often through violence, from owning property, or loans were not granted to African-American business owners, or black homeowners could not access FHA mortgages, or blacks were excluded from unions, or the police force, or fire departments — meant that black families could not amass any meaningful wealth to bequeath to future generations. That history helps explain the wealth and income gap between black and white, and the concentrated pockets of poverty that persists in so many of today’s urban and rural communities.

    A lack of economic opportunity among black men, and the shame and frustration that came from not being able to provide for one’s family, contributed to the erosion of black families — a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened. And the lack of basic services in so many urban black neighborhoods — parks for kids to play in, police walking the beat, regular garbage pick-up and building code enforcement — all helped create a cycle of violence, blight and neglect that continue to haunt us.”

    TripLBee tell Obama how he’s not “oppressed” and how, as Americans, he contributes to “the most aggressive system of oppression in the world.” I mean, he has nothing to complain about, right?

  145. Nquest

    Hello? Collect call from the bible to J. Wright.

    Obama’s speech had a lot of words. I guess he’s getting a direct/collect call from the Bible too.

  146. Andrea

    LOSING THE NARRATIVE
    By Glenn Loury – March 31, 2008, 10:52AM (yesterday)

    “To my mind, commentary about Obama’s ‘race’ speech in the press has been superficial and overtly, unreflectively partisan. (It was a fine speech, to be sure; don’t get me wrong. This guy is not only a brilliant politician, he’s a genuine intellectual. He has integrity. And, he’s brave, to boot.) Yet, as editorial writers rush to call it “the greatest speech on race since King’s 1963 oration…,” I can’t help but notice how they blithely overlook LBJ’s 1965 commencement speech at Howard University which, to my mind and by any serious historical standard, was easily a more important and historic statement. Johnson’s speech was, after all, a statement which had and still has consequences, in terms of major institutional reforms embodied in our nation’s laws and practices, affecting the lives of many millions of people over the span of two generations. (But, then, the Obama enthusiasts have successfully implanted the idea that it is somehow ‘racially insensitive to recall that LBJ’s skills, vision, courage and compassion were absolutely indispensable in bringing about the progress we all take for granted today…)

    It seems to me that this is a defining moment in the discourse on race and justice in America. Clinton once tried to promote a ‘national conversation on race,’ which was well-intended though ineffective. Well, we may be on the threshold of having a very different national conversation on race, thanks to Obama’s brilliant yet troubling speech. That line about how the movement he’s leading — across lines of race, class gender, age and social location, on behalf of the idea that people can work together — must not be made hostage to the past, this goes right to the heart of the matter, in my view. How shall we deal with our unlovely racial past? What claims, if any, does it make on us today? Of course, we ought not to be prisoners of our past. But, as a person deeply concerned for the welfare of black people in this country, I am far from being convinced that Obama’s vision, as set out in his Philadelphia speech, marks out a coherent plan for moving forward on these issues.

    Wright’s error, Obama tells us, is that Wright’s view of America is static, ignoring how things have changed — so much so that one of his own parishioners now stands on the threshold of being elected to the highest office in the land. As a (more or less) angry black man of Jeremiah Wright’s approximate generation (I graduated high school in 1965), and while offering no brief for Wright himself and no defense of the remarks that have created this firestorm, I nevertheless find that argument very patronizing. I know, just as Wright surely knows, that things have changed a great deal. I also know that, as I write this, one million young black men are under the physical control of the state; a third of black children live in poverty, and, the Southside of Chicago, with more than one-half million black residents, is one of the most massive, racially segregated urban enclaves ever to have been created in the history of the modern world… These things are a reflection of social, cultural, economic and political forces deeply enmeshed in the structure of American society. They are not merely the consequence of attitudes embraced by some more or less well-meaning but benighted black and white persons — attitudes which can be thrown-off if only we were to become determined, under the inspiring and inspired leadership of the junior senator from Illinois, to work together to solve our common problems, etc.

    I can’t get past the fact that Obama was negotiating with the American public on behalf of MY people in Philadelphia last week. In the process, he presumed to instruct a generation of angry black men as to how they ought to construe their lives. I am not really sure that Barack Obama has earned the right to do either of those things. How the Senator’s negotiations will ultimately shake out – in terms of American attitudes about the nation’s responsibility to act so as to reduce racial inequality — is something I’m not very confident that anyone can predict. Advocates of the interest of black people have to consider what hand we’ll be left to play, should he be defeated in November. The narrative-defining moves that Obama is making now, in the heat of a political campaign and in the service of his own ambitions, must be critically examined as to what impact they will have on the deep structures of American civic obligation, for generations to come.

    At bottom, what is at stake here is a fight over the American historical narrative. Obama, a self-identifying black man running for the most powerful office on earth, does threaten some aspects of the conventional ‘white’ narrative. But, he also threatens the ‘black’ narrative — and powerfully so. In effect, he wants to put an end to (transcend, move beyond, overcome…) the anger, the disappointment and the subversive critique of America that arises from the painful experience of black people in this country. Yet, the forces behind his rise are NOT grassroots-black-American in origin; they are elite-white-liberal-academic in origin. If he succeeds, there will be far fewer public megaphones for the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons and Cornel Wests of this world, for sure. Many will see that as a good thing. But a great deal more may also be lost including, just to take one example, the notion that the moral legacy for today’s America of the black freedom struggle that played-out in this country during the century after emancipation from slavery – I speak here of Martin Luther King’s (and Fannie Lou Hamer’s, and W.E.B. DuBois’s, and Ida B. Wells’s and Frederick Douglass’s …) moral legacy – should find present-day expression in, among other ways, agitation on behalf of and public expression of sympathy for the dispossessed Palestinians – who are, arguably, among the ‘niggers’ of today’s world, if ever there were any. (We all know that Rev. Wright’s publicly and vociferously expressed sympathies in this regard – his condemnation of America’s support for what he called ‘state terrorism’ in the Middle East – are a central aspect of the political difficulty that Obama now finds himself having to deal with.)

    Speaking for myself, and as a black American man, if forced to choose, I’d rather be “on the right side of history” about such matters, melding the historical narratives of my people with those of the ‘niggers’ in today’s world, than to make solidarity with elites who, for the sake of political expediency, would sweep such matters under the rug (or, worse.) My fear is that, should Obama succeed with his effort to renegotiate the implicit American racial contract, then the prophetic African American voice – which is occasionally strident and necessarily a dissident, outsider’s voice – could be lost to us forever.

    Obama’s speech, quite understandably, glosses over such matters, while desperately (if on occasion disingenuously) trying to reassure the American mainstream. For instance, everything Obama has had to say since this firestorm broke out, on behalf of the humanity, the intelligence and the complexity of his Christian pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, could also have been rightly said on behalf of the despised Muslim imam and reputed anti-Semite, the Hon. Louis Farrakhan – a man who, like Wright, has helped transform for the better many thousands of lives, and who ministers to a huge flock in exactly the same community where the Trinity United Church of Christ is located. It can come as no surprise that the congregation at Trinity favored Farrakhan with an achievement award. After all, the two religious movements are drawing on the same black population there on Chicago’s Southside, and through their respective ministries they are responding to the same sensibilities, attitudes and perceptions which are widely held in that community – the community, I might add, which Barack Obama represented so effectively in the Illinois state legislature for many years.

    Finally, one could argue, with good reason, that the purportedly post-racial Obama candidacy has been hypocritical in its exploitation of a simple-minded racial voting reflex among black Americans. This central fact of the current campaign is only spoken of guardedly, and often goes unnoticed altogether. It is supposed to be an insult to him — and, by extension to blacks as a whole – that he might be seen as a ‘black’ candidate. And yet, it is the fact that so many blacks see him precisely in that way – viewing him through the lens of a politically infantile narcissism – that has allowed him to obtain a winning hand in the delegate count. (This, by the way, is the same narcissistic reflex that installed Clarence Thomas on the US Supreme Court a decade and a half ago. These are very different cases, to be sure; but, it’s the same reflex.) Here we have the ‘post-racial’ candidate who is favored to win the crucial North Carolina primary because he can confidently rely on drawing 90% of the black vote. Can I be the only observer who sees a profound irony in that?

    I believe that deep disillusionment with American political institutions is implicated in all of this. Being “lied-into” an interminable and pointless war has exposed a hollow core. Legitimacy has been cast into doubt. The taint of failure is everywhere — in government and in the press. And, anxiety is everywhere, too — about security, about the economy. George W. Bush has managed to profoundly damage conservatism’s brand. “Liberalism” was long ago discredited — Bill Clinton himself drove a stake through its heart (“the era of big government is over.”) Obama’s post-ideological campaign, by eschewing explicit identification with the great tradition of Democratic progressivism, by trumpeting the ‘transformative leadership’ of Ronald Reagan, etc., only reinforces this tendency. (This is what Hillary Clinton’s futile and seemingly shrill protest over the health care mandates issue is really all about, in my view) And so, Obama and his followers speak of transcending ideology: no more “red states vs. blue states” or left wing vs. right — that’s the old way of thinking, it is said. We need to transcend those categories, to move-on from those old arguments, to seek a new direction, to inaugurate a new generation of leadership, etc. etc. Throughout this campaign he has avoided the responsibility — and he did it again in his ‘race’ speech — of saying directly and explicitly what (beyond “the old ways of Washington politics”) are the nature and dimensions of the failure, and how will what has gone so horribly wrong ever be remedied. Instead, he simply calls for “change.”

    Obama, an African American from the south side of Chicago (sort of), has become the embodiment of this call. The question is, will the deep structures of American power accept a stealthy revolutionary’s ascent to the pinnacle? I doubt it, very seriously. As his life experience and his current political strategy would seem to suggest, he can only succeed by abandoning the critical, skeptical, dissident’s voice which is the truest political expression of the lessons learned by black people over the long centuries of being America’s ‘niggers.’ So, anyway, is how I’m seeing things at the moment.”

    TAKEN FROM: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/
    2008/03/31/losing_the_narrative/

    5th Paragraph Point: “Yet, the forces behind his rise are NOT grassroots-black-American in origin; they are elite-white-liberal-academic in origin.”

  147. historyrepeats2

    okay; after seeing your chain of YouTube sermons, sending them to friends, and wishing I had a church with a Wright, the very next story I saw–11mins later–was an AP piece on the upcoming “View” statement. Like to save my expletives for special occasions: this was the time, & I called Barack a Really BAD name.

    But reading your post, and so many of these responses… could not read thru them all, but tried. Did anyone up there recollect the gospel story about Peter denying Jesus.. three times?? This is why folks love Peter–he is the most human of the apostles. Yes, I am deeply shamed and disappointed in Obama, but the man wants to be elected. And that he DID attend that church & does admire Wright weighs just a bit more w/me than his succumbing to being a Politician on a campaign.

    Any other Presidential Candidate listen to and love a Rev Wright? I’d rather take my chances & see what Obama does when he’s really in charge. (besides, if I didn’t, would have to call Saint Peter a p___y too, & while this white girl hasn’t been to church in a looong time, still remember that Peter–the Denier–was specifically chosen to be the Guy in Charge of the 1st church). There’s a lesson in there somewhere, but am not a rev.

  148. Cliff

    “Blacks must learn how to charter their destiny because nobody will get them out the racist hole they have found themselves in worldwide.
    I do not believe Democrats have answers for them other than taking advantage of their votes! The Republicans do not give a damn about them, at least they are honest about that.
    We cannot remain “YES SIR” people for good and become launch pads from which others, including recent imigrants have their financial successes take off.”

    Okay Akech, I need that oil🙂

    “All of us black folks who work in “corporate” America know what it’s like to have to walk that tightrope and this man is doing it times a thousand, in the face of the nation, and still does it with class and dignity”

    Bay, that’s what I’m talkin bout’.🙂

    “What I’m saying is that we SHOULD be building coalitions AGAINST the tiny minority of super wealthy elites in this country who pit groups against each other in order to maintain their hegemony.”

    Science, TripLBee, Science🙂

    Yes Sir, in South Central L.A. the brothas fire shots at only people who look like themselves (black people), and now that the Hispanics are tearing them a new asshole, maybe they will think about uniting.

    They can’t perform the mental operations of the society like…Nquest

    Black folks = victims = bad
    White folks = victims = good
    Black folks + anger = bad/inexcusable/useless
    White folks + anger/resentment = good/excusable/useful

    Heal our wounds Nquest, Heal em…

    “The last type of Black person who should ever think they have something intelligent to say on race, racism, “race relations” and, by all means, White Privilege (WP) and White Supremacy (WS) are the people who turn around and support WP/WS. ”

    AWWWWWWWW. Good Lookin’ Out🙂

  149. Marla K.

    Good morning Nquest, my original question to you was not posed to you only on a personal level. I ask “you” as a way of attempting to understand the many people you represent. I believe that the points of view shared here on this blog are representative are a larger number of people who also share the view of the person providing their point of view. Many persons on this blog seem to feel the way you do. I want to understand what you all believe is the solution for the African American community, and how do you believe we can attain the solution (to appease your anger)?

    You also said:

    “So, with Marla and TripLBee… no matter what it is… it’s Black people’s fault and that is nothing but internalized racism or evidence of just what White Privilege is (white folks can do wrong and Black folk get demonized because they point it out) and just how White Supremacy works and some fools can’t tell how they contribute or acquiesce to it.”

    This makes it clear that you completely failed to understand the point of my position.

    I do not feel that our circumstances are our fault, and I certainly have not demonised blacks for being angry. Again, I was trying to take your anger a step further to determine how you want your anger to be resolved?

    You seem to suggest I give white working class people a pass for just being angry and not taking steps to address their circumstance other than misguided anger at the black community. This is not true. “If” there were white working class persons stating their case here I would definitely point out to them that their anger is misguided and point them in the same direction I have tried to point your anger and actions……to the wealthy few and the control they have over our government.

    Honestly as a Black Nationalist I expected you to say immediately that the answer is to put our own resources together and go into businesses to support our own communities independently.

    My question remains “How can your anger be appeased?

  150. GDAWG

    Clarification: What Blacks reflect is not ‘anger’ in a real sense, it’s “resentment.” Just as ‘joe white folks’ have or project, resentment. If it was anger in the negative sense its meant to convey, we would be out in the streets burning everything down IMHO. This is not the case. As such, I think by denoting it, our grievances and the lack of full attention to them as resentment, we can further the discussion intelligently. This then would be a good starting point for the discussion. To characterized our grievances as anger with negative connotation it entails is to belittle our real and legitmate grievances. Moreover, then perhaps some of you can then genuflect to our concerns just as easy you genuflect to so called avg joe white person concerns.

  151. TripLBee

    GDAWG,

    I have been attempting to say that it’s more than just black folks who are being victimized in system designed to benefit a handful of super wealthy. We already know that black folks have been victimized. I think we need to build coalitions to challenge the authority of the oligarchy which runs this country and have suggested by way of example that white working class people are our natural allies. White working people are not a monolith. Some of them are too constrained by bigotry to work with people they’ve been taught to hate against people they’ve been taught to emulate. Others, I am sure, are becoming more receptive. I heard something on Pacifica radio yesterday saying that 20% of white Americans make $20,000 a year or less, and are spending at 10% of their incomes on gasoline alone. I think that some of these folks are ripe for coalition building, especially when they hear about the insane profits being made by oil companies. Things are deteriorating horribly in this country for the majority of people and if our collective fingers are all pointed in the same direction, we may give ourselves a chance to do something about it.

    Your comments on black anger are interesting. I think that there’s anger, resentment, frustration…I mean how many of the males in here learned from boyhood to “mean mug it” as we used to call it. How many of us were taught to feed that anger, to look angry, to be intimidating. The roots of this anger are real, but the anger hurts us individually and collectively. Christ, we have young boys out there shooting each other because someone accidentally steps on their shoe or “disrespects” them. It’s got to stop. We’ve got to emphasize love for ourselves over anger. The problem—especially for boys and men—is that anger is so wrapped up in our macho male identity. When you start talking about love you’re all of the sudden a punk. I’m depressed that so many people in our community—men and women, boys and girls—are so angry because I think it hurts us deeply.

  152. Nquest

    I want to understand what you all believe is the solution for the African American community, and how do you believe we can attain the solution (to appease your anger)?

    Marla, stop trying to assign this “anger” thing to me. It really shows a serious weakness of yours.

    Honestly as a Black Nationalist I expected you to say

    See, that’s your problem… YOU’RE ASSUMING… You want me in some box. You need me in some box. That’s why you keep trying to FRAME things in terms of this “anger” you want to attribute to me WITHOUT BASIS.

    Are you just that inept and desperate?

    Don’t say another word to me about “anger” and your fake pose about trying to “understand”… when you grant deference to White folk, indeed to White resentment(anger), with the quickness. Somehow, you can “understand” them and their “anger” or figure their “victims” so discussions about their “anger” isn’t even on the table when that is the very issue (the different treatment of Black and White ‘anger’) that I repeatedly have addressed and told you that’s what is the topic I’m addressing.

    So, the topic isn’t “the solution for the African American community” nor should any topic or discussion in a thread be unless it’s the explicit purpose of the topic. Just because you’ve run into critiques that challenge your sacred, naive, jingoistic myths… don’t try to redirect the topic to “all the things you wanted to know” or whatever the hell your issue is.

    This issue you had was not about “the solution for the African American community”:

    I do not believe that most whites today are hard hearted and intend to contribute to our suffering and demise.

    See, it’s one of the most tired distraction techniques for tired azz people who can hold a discussion on a topic once they’ve exhausted their ability to establish a compelling argument on one or two or so cliche-like ideas they have.

    That’s why you need a box.

    Black “ANGER” = a box
    Black Nationalist = a box

    You want me in that box.
    You need me in that box.

    Because you can’t think outside of boxes — i.e. you can’t actually discuss what’s actually being said. You need a box. A strawman you can attack vs. dealing with what I’ve actually said.

    This makes it clear that you completely failed to understand the point of my position.

    No, it does not. It highlights exactly what you have done in the process of making the argument that included:

    I do not believe that most whites today are hard hearted and intend to contribute to our suffering and demise.

    That’s the issue you wanted to take up with me all while trying to attribute “anger” to me and disparage it in a way you didn’t White resentment. You even treated the fact that Whites “contribute to our suffering and demise” more favorably than you did this “anger” you want to create for me and have to believe I have. Without it, without this assertion that I’m “angry”… YOU HAVE NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT.

    I do not feel that our circumstances are our fault

    CONTEXT!!!

    I was not talking about “our circumstances” nor did you quote me saying that. You quoted me pointing out how both you and TripLBee PRIVILEGE White folks and their anger and make it Black people’s responsibility for overcoming White folks anger issues; hence, making it Black people’s “fault” for not forging multiracial alliance with people who’ve shown no interest in such a coalition. Yes, making it Black people’s “fault” for not seeing working class Whites as HELPLESS “victims” and treating them as such, excusing how , whether intentionally or not, those very same White victims “contribute to our suffering and demise.” No, it’s Black people’s “fault” if “nothing changes” because everybody’s knows Black people are White folks’ Jesus. We’re supposed to “forgive them for they know not what they do.”

    We’re also supposed to take leave of our senses and essentially try to make someone our friend who has never shown any such interest. We’re supposed to make working class Whites build a coalition with us. Coalitions with them is the only solution. <<< That’s your failing argument…

    “If” there were white working class persons stating their case here I would definitely point out to them that their anger is misguided and point them in the same direction I have tried to point your anger and actions

    Who the hell are you to be pointing me somewhere or towards anything? And more importantly, my paternalistic friend, when and where have you established that I am “angry”?

    I have tried to point your anger and actions……to the wealthy few and the control they have over our government.

    There was never any reason for that. It’s working class White folks who have the misdirected angst issues. Not me. Not Black folk. So once again you have NO BASIS for all this blabber.

    My question remains “How can your anger be appeased?

    And your question remains BASELESS!!!

    Lastly… what “case” am I stating here, Marla? Out of all the people who have commented how is that I’m the one “stating a case” (whatever that means).

    Oh and back on what you “expect” me to say… You’d have to have some intellectual integrity and actually pay attention. I know I said:

    Whatever case we have to make, whatever movement we have to build… we can do it with or without them.

    I’m a believer in “… the people will come.” That is, when you start doing what you feel needs to be done and people see an interest in joining in solidarity with you then that’s a good thing.

  153. Nquest

    To characterized our grievances as anger with negative connotation it entails is to belittle our real and legitmate grievances.

    Thank you!

  154. Marla K.

    Again, I will rephrase my question:

    Nquest, GDAWG, my man Cliff(I love you), what do you see as the greatest concerns needing to be addressed to heal the black community’s pain and/or resentment towards white priviledge? How can white priviledge be squared?

    NQuest, I see that you say you are not angry, but your posts reflect anger. The case you seem to be stating is that we are undermining your right(the rights of all angry blacks) to be angry, while we are not undermining the rights of whites to be angry. This you say is my participation( and Sen Obama, TripLBee)in serving white priviledge. This the reason I ask my question of you. Also because you seemed approachable. Obviously you do not have to answer.

    As for who am I to attempt to point anyone in a particular direction? I am someone using this blog to ease my own pain by attempting to be as helpful as possible to the black community and the larger community.

  155. GDAWG

    First, I want to address a matter raised by BO during his ‘race’ speech. In it, he, BO, pointed out the resentment/anger whites felt as it relates to their ‘misperception’ that Blacks recieve the overwhelming majority of governmental sponsored redress such AA, set asides, busing, etc., for me was outrageous and obviously, he was clueless in this regard. Was it deliberate? I dunno.
    I can recall that as a young person in the south on how many of my classmates were “bused” across town to attend our predominately Black schools because they could not attend the local white schools in their own district / region. It was disgusting and demoralizing. Yet, he, BO, could point out the busing of white kids as a legitmate cause of ‘resentment’ for whites mostly working class, who chose to vent their fustrations by attacking Blacks kids. Mind you our busing(Blacks) continued until the early 1970s, well after Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.
    And I do not have to go over the extent of whites benefit from Affirmative Action. But the math is crucial here. If white women have been, and still are, the vast mayority of persons who benefits from these wide array of government programs (title lX, set asides,etc) and most of them go onto marry white men, for the most part, if one is to believe the US census data, then, as such, this would make them, the white community, the greatest beneficiaries, from an economic perspective of AA. And they are resentful?!
    But you know what, I ain’t mad at them. I’m mad at the knitwits who pretend to represent our interest as Americans, in light of these distorted realities. Has anyone heard of a Congressional hearing via the CBC looking into such distorted public views on these matters, for example?
    So an excellent start in addressin / redressing Blacks folks resentment is HONESTY in discussions/debates and a good dose of COURAGE.

  156. GDAWG

    Finally, for those who argue, in an ahistorical vein, when discussing the “modern” or post WWII wealth gap that continues to beset the Black Commuity compared to the majority community, please refer to Ira Katznelson’s book,” When Affirmative Action was White.” Excellent book with good data. Huh. No great protest from the white beneficiaries then, as it is now, except their mis-perception and ill-informed resentment of ‘theBlacks taking it all.’

  157. Nquest

    NQuest, I see that you say you are not angry, but your posts reflect anger.

    Marla, this doesn’t even begin to make sense. Please explain to me how someone you view as “angry”, etc. is also someone you see as “approachable.”

    That’s like a contradiction in terms. And these are not my terms; they are yours:

    The case you seem to be stating is that we are undermining your right(the rights of all angry blacks) to be angry, while we are not undermining the rights of whites to be angry.

    Marla, where did I make that case? I want you to quote every word and every line which you simply can’t do because I know you know you’re making stuff up as you go.

    You just said my posts “reflect anger” not that I was championing the Black people’s “right” to be angry. That’s more stuff that doesn’t make sense.

    And where the hell does this “undermining” concept come from? I made the case that you are one of those people who view so-called Black anger and White anger differently and, in fact, treatment, conceive of and view White anger more favorably than so-called Black anger.

    See there is no way to say I’m making the case for the Black “right to be angry” when I’ve never accepted the term in the first place. I can’t make a case for something I don’t even agree with — i.e. calling it Black “anger.”

    You act like you can’t read:

    To characterized our grievances as anger with negative connotation it entails is to belittle our real and legitmate grievances. – GDAWG

    If anything, I’ve made that case along with making the observation about the double-standards accepted and applied in favor of White ‘resentment’ in that whole coalition context.

    This you say is my participation in serving white priviledge.

    Your awkward phrasing aside, there is no way you can dispute what I said which is simply a solid observation of what you’ve actually done.

    All that aside, what I want to know is: what made it seem like I was “approachable”, my “angry” posts?

  158. TripLBee

    “Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”

    —Samuel Clemens

  159. GDAWG

    NQuest, What is truly despicable and galling for me is that some of these folks will not answer the point by point challenge to their orthodoxy. They would rather throw slings and arrows, that, in effect, obfuscates the issues at hand.
    And these are our so called IVY leaguers?! Or is it the talented tenth!$?

  160. Marla K.

    GDAWG, I appreciate you answering my question. I really am trying to understand a point of view that seems to be different form my own point of view. I also find it disturbing that AA has not served to meet our needs in redressing discrimination in employment, and in fact has benefitted whites more.

    In fact, I have a long list of issues that are caused by racial discrimination and they are still occurring today. I too am disturbed by those who are supposed to be taking action to correct these issues but are not taking corrective actions.

    I really want to dicuss this further GDAWG, but I have to get back to you later tonight.

    TripLBee, Nquest

  161. GDAWG

    As a start, try the book mentioned above. Then examine the enrollment of women in undergraduate and professional schools, say pre-1964 compared to now. Look at SBA backed loans and set aside contracts in city, state, and fed programs. I mean the list is long. Even a Clint Bolick, a white conservative pointed out in the WSJ years ago, during BUSH I, the hypocritical nature of the anti-black affirmative action rollbacks in the 1980s, when the matter of gender AA and set-aside based programs were largely ignored. Hmmm? I wonder why? And even MLK Jr. was a proponent of such programs whereby he wrote that even Greek law mandated some measure of redress for victims state sponsor discrimination or something to that effect. But you will not hear this aspect of his work. Not convenient. Instead all you hear is this colorblind stuff. We are not there yet. Minimal research is all that is required to know these things.

  162. Nquest

    Yes, GDAWG, it’s really sad when people hold onto these orthodox myths and act like they can’t function when those myths are challenged. And the reaction here from TripLBee and Marla is similar to the way people react when their colorblind myths are challenged.

  163. Nquest

    (continuing)

    “Thou shalt not defy the convention.”

    I consider myself admonished. I do have to say this Marla: in your first post you talked about points where you agreed/disagreed with both me and TripLBee. So I don’t understand why your focus then became me and this “anger” you wanted… needed me to have (“angry” but “approachable”) because you had already established how there were points where both my view(s) and TripLBee’s were “different from” your own.

    For some reason, you haven’t engaged TripLBee in an attempt to understand his convoluted/contradictory views which are “different from” your own.

  164. NorthJaycity

    “5th Paragraph Point: “Yet, the forces behind his rise are NOT grassroots-black-American in origin; they are elite-white-liberal-academic in origin.”

    Quite true I think. I’m voting for Obama, but I’m not really thinking about “black” issues specificially. And why should I, I’m white. (nor have I given much thought to asian issues) I do vote for general purposes of everyone in a lot of things, e.g., healthcare, etc.,

    If you think he’s selling you short, don’t vote for him. If you want to vote for someone rightous, vote for Nader.

  165. Cliff

    “I am someone using this blog to ease my own pain by attempting to be as helpful as possible to the black community and the larger community.”

    Me too, MarlaK Me too.🙂

  166. Anon.

    People are going to stop supporting Obama based on a hypothetical situation about his pastor? SERIOUSLY????

    That’s sad.

  167. citizenwells

    Anon.
    It is way deeper and widespread than just a
    Wright connection. Look at the puzzle picture
    emerging from all the many pieces. The picture
    scares me. It should scare all Americans.

  168. […]A third, more nuanced, faction argued that rather than an attempt to contain Soviet aggression, the Cold War was actually initiated by the United States out of irrational fear of the Soviets and out of imperialist ambitions. They saw the bombing of Hiroshima as a bid to intimidate the Soviet Union rather than an effort to end World War II, and the creation of NATO as having triggered the Cold War.[…]

  169. […]Third, each of these wars ended with a Democratic president attempting to create a system of international institutions designed to limit the recurrence of war without directly transferring sovereignty to those institutions. Wilson championed the League of Nations. Roosevelt the United Nations. Bill Clinton, who presided over most of the post-Cold War world, constantly sought international institutions to validate U.S. actions. Thus, when the United Nations refused to sanction the Kosovo War, he designated NATO as an alternative international organization with the right to approve conflict. Indeed, Clinton championed a range of multilateral organizations during the 1990s, including everything from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and later the World Trade Organization. All these presidents were deeply committed to multinational organizations to define permissible and impermissible actions.[…]

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