The other day Cornell West
decided to stir up some shit:
Challenging the president’s progressive credentials in that Truthdig interview, West slammed the president as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats. And now he has become head of the American killing machine and is proud of it.” And then there was this:
“I think my dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men,” West said. “It’s understandable. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. . . . When he meets an independent black brother, it is frightening.”
“Obama, coming out of Kansas influence, white, loving grandparents, coming out of Hawaii and Indonesia, when he meets these independent black folk who have a history of slavery, Jim Crow, Jane Crow and so on, he is very apprehensive,” West said. “He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination. It is understandable.”
at WaPo responds by practically calling West a birther:
What West said is no less offensive, harmful and wrong than what Dinesh D’Souza said — with an assist from Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee — about a presumable anti-colonial and un-American mind-set possessed by Obama. Whereas these folks tried to deny the president his citizenship, West is trying to deny him his inherent blackness. By indulging in the “Obama-as-other” narrative, West is no better than a birther. By making petty complaints in that Truthdig interview about the lack of returned phone calls and not getting Inauguration tickets, West is no different than Gingrich in 1995 , when his displeasure over his seat on Air Force One led to a government shutdown.
At an opening reception for the new Washington offices of the National Action Network last night, the Rev. Al Sharpton addressed all this without mentioning West by name. “[I]f you’re trying to achieve something you’re strategic,” he said. “If you’re just trying to play to get some cheap applause then you just vent, holler, scream and go back home.”
Sharpton urged African Americans to hold Obama accountable but not in a way that undermines him. “I’ve seen this movie before,” he said. “We had the first black mayor of New York, David Dinkins. And we got mad every time he went to a non-black event and we pouted until some of us didn’t vote, he lost and we got eight years of Giuliani.” He went on to say, “We fought to have a real president,” Sharpton told me. “We want him accountable, but we don’t want him to be accountable to us any differently than anyone else so that it’d be used against him and us.”
Let’s get one thing straight – Barack Obama is biracial. On his mother’s side he is descended from white Europeans. He was raised in Indonesia by his mother and in Hawaii by his maternal grandparents who had originally come from Kansas. From the age of ten until today he has lived a life of privilege, attending a fancy prep school and then receiving an Ivy League education. He occasionally rubbed elbows with members of the black community, but her has never really been a part of it.
Obama’s father was from Kenya, Africa. Other than contributing some genetic material, Barack Obama Sr.’s primary contribution to his son’s upbringing was the effect caused by his absence. From a social and cultural standpoint, Barack Obama Jr. has lived lived most of his life in the upper echelons of “white” America.
Obama has less connection to “black” America than the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Will Smith’s character was transplanted from the inner city of Philadelphia to an elite suburb in Southern California. Obama first got acquainted with the South Side of Chicago after he graduated from Columbia. He was then in his twenties.
Obama never lived in an inner city ghetto. He worked in Chicago’s South Side as part of his job as community organizer, but he lived in Hyde Park near the University of Chicago. Growing up he had no relatives that had come from the segregated South or the inner cities of the North. Virtually all the black men and women he has known as friends and colleagues during his lifetime are educated professionals, like his wife, Michelle.
I think West nails it with the term “a white man with black skin.” So what exactly is Capehart referring to when he talks about Obama’s “inherent blackness?” Is he suggesting that our President is a good dancer with a large penis?”
Do black Americans owe Obama any special loyalty? Was Al Sharpton’s comment about not undermining Obama based on his party affiliation, his alleged political ideology or simply on the color of his skin?
If Obama’s father had been an Australian Aborigine or come from India or the Philippines he could easily have darker skin than he does now. But would he still be considered “black?”
It’s ironic that the election of the first “post-racial” POTUS has created so much racial tension. The color of Obama’s skin was never an issue for me. I usually don’t even think about Obama’s race unless someone else brings it up. Unfortunately, it gets brought up frequently, usually by some Obot accusing Obama’s opponents and/or critics of racism.
Now it seems that even black people can’t criticize Obama without being labeled racist.
Racism is the belief that one race is superior to the others. Racism is a thought crime and it is only one of the social ills opposed by the Civil Rights movement. Racial discrimination on the other hand, is where you treat people differently based on their race. That edges into the soft bigotry of low expectations.
Back in 2007-2008 we were assured by Obama’s Fucking Assholes that the rookie senator from Illinois was not only a superior candidate to Hillary but he was an exceptional human being in every single aspect.
We were told that Obama was smarter than everyone else on Earth – combined. He was a Lightworker, a political Jedi master and was so cool he could stop global warming all by himself. He would unify us and bring balance to the Force.
The media and the Democratic leadership stampeded into action, trying to declare him as the nominee immediately after the Iowa caucuses. This caused some unpleasantness when that racist Clinton bitch refused to quit running and kept winning primaries long after she had lost.
Hillary even had the unmitigated gall to take a slight lead in the popular vote while eking out a virtual tie in pledged delegates. This forced the Rules and Bylaws committee to reassign some of her delegates to Obama in order to maintain his lead.
Okay, I’m being a little facetious but they really laid that shit about how wonderful he was on thick and heavy. And anyone who tried to point out Obama was a mediocre (at best) candidate and was inferior to Hillary was called a racist.
After Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball he didn’t accuse the umpires of racism every time he disagreed with a call. Robinson was a superior player and proved that the color of his skin didn’t matter.
Obama is an inferior player and it has been obvious for a long time that to many of his supporters the color of his skin is the only thing that matters.
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