Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stakes Be High, pt. 6

Well, DeAngelo... last time we locked horns, Hillary Clinton was ahead in the delegate count. She was leading Barack Obama 42 percent to 32 percent in national polls. She was the presumptive presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.

What a difference three weeks makes.

Tonight, Obama split the white vote in Virginia nearly 50-50 with Hillary. He has beaten her in contests from Maine to Washington state. Clearly Obama is the choice of a new generation. (Mmm... Pepsi.)

A black man is the Democratic front-runner for president. He is polling ahead of Republican John McCain nationwide. And dude just won a daggone Grammy!

Now, set all that aside. Already a black man holds one of the most powerful positions in American government. I speak of Congressman Charles Rangel, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Given all that, I have a question for you. (As always, readers are invited to weigh in as well.)
QUESTION #6: Given the rise of Barack Obama in our national politics, isn’t it time – finally – to abandon the tired-ass 1960s black-nationalist rhetoric that says the United States of America is an irredeemable racist country, and that the white man will never loosen his grip on power, and that a Negro can’t catch an even break?

America was worth believing in all along, isn’t that right?

65 comments:

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Aw shit!!! You came out the corner like Aaron Pryor on me.

Barack is most assuredly laying a can of whup ass on Hillary. And you see, she's allowing the pit bull off the porch. His name's Bill. Doin' that same shit he did to Barack that he did to Sista Souljah.

I think Barack is appealing to the men who want nothing to do with Bush but who can't trust a woman to carry it out. Chauvanism

I think Barack is benefitting from folks who want to break the Bush/Clinton dynasty. Cuz they ain't that much difference, except white pig racist-ass Republicans will truly show their fangs when a Democrat is in office.

I'm gonna be honest here and I know it might sound ironic or paradoxical. But fuck Barack.

And that's not coming from someone who's gonna say Barack ain't Black enough because I wouldn't know what that means.

I just know that he's busy crossing over like Michael Jackson did during Thriller. Without the gheri curl and nose jobs, of course.

"It's time for change." I agree it is time for change. But to me, he ain't no different than Colin Powell. Talking the Company line.

Cuz where does his and Hillary's platform REALLY differ?

They're not "For the People" candidates.

They're for the corporations.

And if you think Whitey hoodwinked us with Clarence Thomas, wait until you get a load of Barack.

Examples:

His healthcare program doesn't eliminate the single biggest problem with the system: insurance companies.

The War: He says he opposed the Invasion but he always waits until the last minute to cast his vote to oppose funding that bullshit. True leadership would dictate he lead the vote and say to the Senate, "There! I oppose that shit now follow me."

Leiberman's proposal to characterize the Iran Revolutionary Guard as a "terrorist" organization. Hillary voted for it, just as McCain did. Barack missed the vote. Was he taking a call from Oprah at the time?

On this "shell-game mortgage lending," he ain't staked a position even though nonwhite people are the primary victims of that "Blame the Victim" "sub-prime mortgage" mess.

True leadership dictates he come out and say that my (nonwhite) people are getting fucked by this scam. Let's do more than bail out the banks. Let's help the people upon who the banks depend to get outta this scam. (And yes, he should use the term "scam" because that's what it is).

Barack talks very well. He gives very good speeches. But walking the shit you talk is a whole different level of leadership.

So you ask, can we put this Black nationalist talk aside. That's just a label. I'll gladly discard the label for straight talk and for the people actions.

I don't get fooled by corporatism in Blackface. I don't care how light the face and how smooth the talk is.

Fact remains, he ain't talking Justice. His program is better than Bush's program, but that's a low bar to hurdle.

Talk some Teddy Roosevelt shit. Talk some FDR shit. Talk some Nader shit. Talk some Kucinich shit. Then I MIGHT think we overcame.

Until then, Barack is the post-Black Michael Jackson.

Ding!

Undercover Black Man said...

Damn, D... No ring rust on you!

Talk some Nader shit. Talk some Kucinich shit. Then I MIGHT think we overcame.

Well... if Barack talked that Nader shit and that Kucinich shit, he would get about as close to the Oval Office as Nader and Kucinich did. That is: waving at it from the sidewalk.

We can talk policy, we can talk philosophy... but first let's pause and talk not about Obama but about America.

After tonight, you don't have to tell your son that he can grow up to be president one day. He can see that reality with his own eyes!

Ponder the future of you son. College degree? A certainty. Law school? A possibility. Corporate gig? Entrepreneur? Hey... wherever his talents take him.

Is there anything he'll be impeded from doing... any possibility he can't imagine for himself... based on his color?

Before we get back to Obama, won't you just flat-out acknowledge, DeAngelo, that America has fulfilled its promise to the Negro people?

odocoileus said...

It looks like a new ball game.

The black old guard is about to see their game go real stale real quick.

The Asians and Latinos ain't on board the Obama train.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ The Asians and Latinos ain't on board the Obama train.

Not yet. But everybody loves a winner.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, I love this argument and the way you've been a good sport about it. I think in my next piece I'm going to advocate that Black thugs like Marlo and Avon shake hands when the killing is done. In the middle of the street. If we can't get past the cat-and-mouse murders, let's have some sportsmanship to it, right?

One other tangent, in the first question, I asked about Black drama series. Showtime's Soul Food was an extremely well-written piece. Even better acted. So I tip my hat to those who wrote, acted, and greenlit that project. Well-done piece, Dave. Not Wire intense, but a well-done piece.

Now, back to the fight, I'll admit this much. Young people are Barack in a BIG muthafuckin' way. In white-ass Denver, and on an elitist white college campus, Denver University, I saw nothing but Barack signs. I saw one other sign, Ron Paul. That tells you where the youth are at.

I watched a documentary during my car accidnent recovery about the Weather Underground. Rich white kids fighting the Have More System. They were modern day John Browns. I got emotional thinking about how they forewent their white privilege. One person is even serving a life sentence because of a nigga fuck-up.

I'm not callous. I thought about how that person could've escaped prison life if he would've gone for white privilege. I felt bad for him because our strugglen ain't really his. But he believed in overthrowing white supremacy enough to sacrifice his life for it.

Now, most people reading this might think, "He's a dumb muthafucka to align himself with a losing cause."

But I tell you what. I have more respect for him than Obama. At least, he's not compromising himself to attain greater noteriety.

If Obama is our next president, it's out of less integrity than this Weather Underground white cat who BELIEVED in what he was doing than a brotha who feels it necessay to endear himself to the white masses by saying how much he admired Reagan's vision for bringing America together.

Cuz that's crossing over, which, I guess, is a euphemism for selling out.

Reagan didn't have this country's pursuit of happiness at heart. His mission was to reverse the New Deal and the Good Society. Why? Cuz white folks didn't appreciate how it infringed on their Have More way of living.

Barack wanna show me that he's out to reverse that, to the extent he is, talk that shit.

Leave the fluff for other politicians. Cuz he ain't nothing more than white fluff in Blackface

Ding!

eeaster said...

Obama also won the Hispanic vote in Virginia, for what it's worth. This is so much more complicated than the question leading this discussion.

America is absolutely changing. Way too premature to say this journey we're on is also the destination.

What I see with Obama is that white people want to move beyond race. But their desire to move beyond is certainly not in any consultation with Black people.

When I was in college and a male ho, I wanted to move beyond being called a player, but those extra phone numbers falling out of my pocket didn't help with the women who were on the other side.

Same thing here. Being tired of dealing with race is not the same as accepting the pain of past and present injustice and at the very least acknowledging its existence.

And David, you of all people, being one of the few Black writers out there with serious entry into a certain vaunted world, should know that respecting one of us exceptional Negroes is not a trickle down impact on the race over all. Start at Joe Louis and work your way forward on that point.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Obama also won the Hispanic vote in Virginia, for what it's worth.

Word, Eric? That has got to be the worst piece of news of the night for Team Clinton.

Undercover Black Man said...

Leave the fluff for other politicians. Cuz he ain't nothing more than white fluff in Blackface

The game is the game, DeAngelo. You saying a black man shouldn't even bother playing?

You only respect someone who wants to tear capitalism down?

Undercover Black Man said...

Back on Mr. Easter:

Being tired of dealing with race is not the same as accepting the pain of past and present injustice and at the very least acknowledging its existence.

The generation I see coming up behind me is different. Black culture is their culture. Michael Jordan is their Babe Ruth. Hip-hop is their rock 'n' roll...

And Obama is their Kennedy, it looks like.

And David, you of all people, being one of the few Black writers out there with serious entry into a certain vaunted world, should know that respecting one of us exceptional Negroes is not a trickle down impact on the race over all.

True enough. That's why I say, leave Obama to the side. Charlie Rangel's running Ways and Means! He's on some Rostenkowski shit! A sister is running Hillary's campaign, just like a sister ran Al Gore's. A black man's governor of Massachusetts.

A few have made it to the CEO level of Fortune 500 Land.

Four million black Americans hold a bachelor’s degree. One million hold an advanced degree.

How many "exceptions" must there be before we realize, hey, we won? It's up to us as individuals now to rise... and to promulgate and live by the values that allow us to rise.

dez said...

^ The Asians and Latinos ain't on board the Obama train.

Not yet. But everybody loves a winner.


Not so much one who doesn't acknowledge where he got "Yes we can!" from (even if he got the translation wrong).

Undercover Black Man said...

^ What's the proper translation, dez?

Plus, everyone knows he copped that line from Cesar Chavez.

dez said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S%C3%AD_se_puede

"Yes, it can be done" is the more favored translation. Plus, note that the co-creator of the phrase, Dolores Huerta, supports Hillary Clinton. I'm just sayin' :-)

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Thanks, dez. That's what I like about blogging: I learn stuff.

SJ said...

Obama also won 41% of the Latino vote in Arizona and 53% in Connecticut. This idea that Hispanics won't vote for a black guy is just a tactic by the campaign to portray all Hispanics as people who don't even consider blacks...though it's very far from the truth. Read the latest column by Frank Rich of the NYT.

dez said...

Don't know much about what Hispanics like. I'm all about the Mexican tip, yo.

Mes Deux Cents said...

Hi UBM,

This is a very interesting conversation. Today I saw a BBC report about the Australian government apologizing to the so-called Aboriginal people of that country.

That made me think of all the other people that have received apologies/ reparations; Japanese Americans and Native Americans.

I think at the core of America's race problem with African Americans is that White people don't respect African Americans.

A basic part of respect is acknowledging a wrong done. Until America actually apologizes in a real way, we are not moving forward.

There is no easy out for White America. That is what it wants. Many think voting for Sen. Obama is that easy out.

It's like instead of apologizing to a friend, inviting them out to dinner.

Maybe the friend knows the other person is sorry but dinner is not the same as an actual apology.

And the resentment continues to build, for both parties.

colin said...

I think you can say that the stifling level of bigotry that would make Obama impossible is not there. But Obama is also stunningly good: a political talent on the level of Bill Clinton, Reagan, JFK, maybe better. (You can turn it around and point out that mediocre white people still do way better than they should in politics and elsewhere.) And Obama's had to work really hard to avoid the trap Bill Clinton set for him. Plus while I think he's finally winning people over, a lot of the condescending "experience" arguments I've been hearing sounded like code for race.

Obama is a black politician whose campaign has been aimed squarely at white voters (like me) from the start. Actually at white voters a little bit to my right. He's figured that he can pitch to independents and the rest of us will come along.

The argument to progressives, whatever the term means, is that Obama can generate the kind of turnout that will affect other races, and the Donna Edwards victory in MD tonight might be evidence for that. Whether or not it succeeds, the Obama pitch is not about one guy in the White House, it's about a landslide that will change the dynamics of Congress.

But while the Clarence Thomas bit was a low blow, in a lot of ways deangelo is right. Obama *is* a cautious, centrist politician, and is not going to go off on some quest to eliminate the insurance companies. Capitalism is safe. If he's elected (which looks plausible knockonwood right now) you're gong to see four years of pretty cautious rule, much of it trying to clean up the godawful mess left by Bush plus a nasty financial crisis and recession.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Thanks for joining in, MDC.

But I can't agree that America hasn't tried to make amends. I mean, that's what affirmative action was... a systemized attempt to advantage black folks in college admissions, hiring and promotions, the awarding of contracts... to make up for past racism.

Black people cannot wait for a formal apology -- let alone reparations -- to fulfil their human potential. Meanwhile, I think America has provided the keys to such fulfilment, and many of us are living proof.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks for joining in, Colin.

... a lot of the condescending "experience" arguments I've been hearing sounded like code for race.

Actually, the "experience" argument is the great legitimate argument against Obama. For the longest, I felt in my bones he should've waited eight years... figuring out how Washington works and accomplishing something real in the Senate.

So I don't see that at all as racial code language. You'll know the racial code language when you start hearing it.

But while the Clarence Thomas bit was a low blow...

Real funny line, though!

Michael Fisher said...

Dave. White Supremacy is a global system.

Just 'cause Dave Dinkins was the mayor of New York City didn't prevent Harlem from being "gentrified".

Now as to white folks voting for a black man. Voting is one thing, but moving aside when it comes to taking advantage of the centuries-old affirmative action for white people that's built into the system is a whole other matter.

odocoileus said...

Two sisters treat a white dude in a wheelchair worse than a dog. They might even keep their jobs.

Hey, maybe we have made progress!

Hard to fit this into the usual left wing paradigm of race/gender oppression.

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=73747

http://www.tampabays10.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=73864

If Jesse, Al, or any of the others are worth a damn, they'll be on the next plane to Tampa, demanding that these gals lose their jobs. Fat chance of that happening.

odocoileus said...

But to look on the bright side - I always try to - Stormfront just got a free recruiting video.

cnulan said...

The question you posed conflates too many factors, most importantly - the Black nationalist ethos and the parasitic second and third line inheritors of the civil rights movement who never dared espouse a genuinely Black partisan ethos - but instead pimped the system for personal and political gain.

Baraka got 99 problems and most all of em are drawn from the ranks of the 2nd and 3rd line inheritors.

Anonymous said...

MDC said, "I think at the core of America's race problem with African Americans is that White people don't respect African Americans."

That comment is not really true. White America does indeed, respect Black Americans. Who sells the most records? Who buys most of those CD's? Who represents the largest group in sports and entertainment? (Except Professional Curling.. We're gonna have to work on that)

My question is; Aside from feeling 'better', what will a Black American get from a National apology?

I wonder if an apology will lead to disengagement and a further Balkanization of our different races. Perhaps an end to Affirmative Action and programs like that.

To return to the quote above, maybe White America fears Black America. Is that what MDC wants?

dez said...

Actually, the "experience" argument is the great legitimate argument against Obama. For the longest, I felt in my bones he should've waited eight years... figuring out how Washington works and accomplishing something real in the Senate.


I do wish he'd waited eight (or at least four) more years before he jumped onto the national scene. It will take a lot more than "hope" and "change" and "Yes, we can!" to yank us out of Bush's quagmire, and I don't feel that Obama can do it.

eeaster said...

How many "exceptions" must there be before we realize, hey, we won? It's up to us as individuals now to rise... and to promulgate and live by the values that allow us to rise.

Ah, good point. I think we do realize it. The real questions is how many us exceptions do we need for white peoplel to realize that successful black people are not exceptions, but much more the rule today than ever.

We all have our white friends who love us but consider us different from other Black people, or else they "don't think of us as Black." (Some) White people seem to still have the bizarre capacity to love any number of us in various successful outlets - sports, business ,politics - but still harbor the idea that Blacks are less than competent.

We on the other hand get our glass filled more tan once at a restaurant by a white waiter and we're ecstatic and over-tip like that waiter just resolved race relations.

cnulan said...

Check it out though David, on that 2nd and 3rd line inheritor tip the plot is gettin hella thick!!!!

Submariner said...

Michael, I would refer you and others to this piece by my brother but will reprint a portion below.

Jackson’s endorsement of Obama notwithstanding, the aging civil rights cadre has repudiated Obama because he threatens to cut them out of their cozy deals as intermediaries between the Democratic Party establishment and the black community. But from Black Power’s legacy we have been given Barack Obama, an intelligent, handsome and inspiring politician whose blackness has become a source of his racially transcendent appeal. Yet, when we take a closer look, Obama has all the trappings of a strong, if closeted, race man, complete with a lovely black wife, two beautiful black daughters and membership in a black church that is unabashedly Afrocentric. Until recently, Obama appeared to be more of the leader of a movement than a bona fide presidential candidate. A victory in the Iowa caucuses changed that and the Clinton campaign launched a series of racially coded, but still patently obvious, lines of attack through various proxies that brought up Obama’s substance abuse as a young man, slurred his anti-war record as a “fairy-tale,” and impugned Dr. King’s legacy by asserting that it took Lyndon Johnson to actually pass civil rights legislation. These attacks have successfully served the Clintons’ Machiavellian purposes: to out Barack Obama as a black candidate. They are also reminiscent, in their own way, of the worst kind of racial pandering engaged in by the Democratic Party’s southern wing during the post-Reconstruction era. While certainly not as blatant as Alabama governor George Wallace’s infamous “segregation then, segregation now and segregation forever” statement, the impact of the Clinton campaign’s racial politicking is similar: it casts racial difference as un-American, subversive, and a threat to the very foundations of the nation’s democracy. But, even as it successfully positions Hillary Clinton to win the party’s nomination, this strategy may have crippling long-term repercussions. As black Americans become increasingly aware of the Clinton campaign’s ugly efforts to racially swift boat Obama’s candidacy, there could be a backlash among African American voters come November.

By playing the race card, the Clintons have successfully pivoted the Democratic primary away from substantive political issues (e.g., the war in Iraq) and turned it into a debate over which oppressed group (blacks or women) deserves the nomination. Gloria Steinem’s New York Times op-ed piece, published in the aftermath of Clinton’s loss in Iowa, set the tone for this storyline, arguing that black men had received the right to vote fifty years before white women while conveniently ignoring that most blacks could not exercise that right until 1965 because of racial apartheid in the South. Predictably, as attacks by prominent white politicians and ex-president Bill Clinton on Obama mount, the black community has rallied with the latent sense of nationalism that is always bubbling beneath the surface. For all intents and purposes, Obama has now been outed as a black candidate, the very moniker his entire campaign had successfully avoided. By promoting a robust version of the American Dream, albeit in Technicolor, Obama’s campaign had heretofore avoided that perception.

This need not be the political Achilles heel that many might imagine. After all, contrary to popular opinion, the Black Power Movement fought for bread and butter issues that made an impact on the lives of all Americans, including good public schools, decent housing, healthcare and gainful employment. While activists looked for racially specific solutions to problems rooted in slavery, a variety of multi-ethnic and racial groups looked to the movement as a broad template for social and political justice goals. In this sense, contemporary discussion of multiculturalism and diversity are rooted in the radically democratic ethos of the Black Power era. Obama has recently come under attack for comments suggesting that Ronald Reagan’s presidency reflected a deeper more substantive change in America than Nixon or Clinton. I absolutely concur, even as I vehemently object to the Reagan era’s acceleration of black poverty, incarceration and misery. Reagan’s presidency in many ways represented a counter-revolution to the search for “land, peace, bread, and justice” advocated by the Black Panthers. Obama’s legacy is still unfolding before our eyes. Ironically, the key to achieving the broad, racially transcendent impact that his soaring rhetoric aspires towards may lie in lessons taught by a Black Power Movement whose legacy Obama is unlikely to ever publicly claim.

onefinemess said...

I love these exchanges.
It's such a nice change to see people disagreeing so clearly on a subject on the internet and not turning the whole thing into a giant pissing contest.

I always feel out of my element weighing in on these things. I lived (like most whites) pretty ignorant of race issues until I met my wife in college. But I'm going to try, because it's a good discussion to have.

As for the original question - I'm not sure any country can be truly irredeemable, because everyone dies eventually. Maybe I'm just an optimist (in this one case), but it seems like countries either heal themselves, or split into separate entities after a few generations.

For America specifically, I can see "progress" just within the bounds of my short life. Yes things are still horribly unequal, and even improvement rates are not equal across the color lines, but I still see sparks of "hope". Kids seem to be getting less and less racist brainwashing with every generation.

Of course, this is from my limited point of view above the poverty line. Things are uglier on the other side.

I don't think that whites in America will have a choice about loosing the reins of power - it's just going to happen. I bet they are fighting tooth and nail to hold on now - hell look at Edwards comment about being the only "electable" (read: white male) candidate, and all the sleaze that has already been mentioned that the Clintons have been slinging.

But it's still happening. Obama could win. I hope he does. I think he will. While he may not be anyone's perfect candidate, it's still a step past whiteness. And he's worked for that shit. He's playing the political game with the big boys and coming out ahead. And he's doing it with style. Seriously, he's thrown some mud, but really not much. I'd love for our next president to stand for something honorable.

I would also love for my son to grow up with 8 years of Barack, so he can know from an early age that there is no goal too high.

Sure, someone running on a hard "black" (whatever that means) line wouldn't be able to win this election. Neither would lots of other extremes. See Ron Paul, Green Party, etc. American politics (at least in my lifetime) seems to be all about having your one or two leftist or rightist or whatever views, and then playing to the middle.

Bklyn6 said...

Until very recently if you went to cafepress.com and clicked on a certain link you got this. Folks complained (I did too), so that was changed to this. Now the same link is offering less offensive gear.

I hope my point is obvious.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Damn, Bklyn6... Did you have to shut 'em down before I bought one of those "Tap Dancer" tees? :^(

cuz said...

Just a few notes and observations here on the ground:

My friends and I really want to believe, so we're prepared for anything.

My cousin reported that a lot of young Black men were in the voting lines here in DC. She lives in the H Street area (NE) - still not your white picket fence neighborhood.

Attended a conference about the Trans Atlantic Slave trade last month. Lots of Pan-African and nationalist veterans there. The dialogue has evolved to another level - much broader and deeper. They find this election year very interesting and are watching how it will turn out. Obama didn't seem to hit their nerves in the way it did one participant who felt he wasn't a real African American. Is the Middle Passage the new Mayflower standard? That statement came up. Some people grow up.

More talk from friends who are doing the work, walking the talking, talking the walk. We size up the impact of friends and persons who "say it loud," won't sell-out, my way or the highway. Then they ask "Who's following them" or even "us." No body.

So what now? Let it roll. Collect the data and see what it looks like in 2009 because so far the one truth is no one knows sh*t.

Undercover Black Man said...

Submariner, thank you.

Undercover Black Man said...

Is the Middle Passage the new Mayflower standard?

Deep, Cuz.

Michael Fisher said...

submariner...

"Michael, I would refer you..."

C'est tres bon, sub.

Submariner said...

Merci.

colin said...

On experience:

(1) A lot of the language I hear -- "no experience," "wet behind the ears," "wait his turn" is weirdly dismissive.

(2) That's not to say that you can't make an experience argument about Obama, but it takes some contortion to make HRC come off better. Obama has more time in elective office, has run more races, and has lost a race, which is essential character-building for any politician. The experience HRC has that is unique is being married to a President, but it's hard to know how to think about that, especially because the one assignment she had, she bungled. (http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/11/would-hillary-make-good-president.html)

And nobody slammed Edwards for inexperience, despite having won exactly one election in his life, for a single term as NC Senator. Which he bought with his personal fortune.

(On the practical politics of it, Obama was smart *not* to wait until he had more Senate service in him. Being a governor helps with voters, but anyone who has been in the Senate longer than a few years gets the smell of death about them. How many supporters did Chris Dodd have?)

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

How many times were Colin Powell, Condi Rice and Lieberman represented by *liberals* in blackface without a single peep from black liberals?

And now you're bitching about that?

Impressive.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

submariner, that citation might articulate where I'm coming from on Barack. He's a beneficiary of the struggles of the Black Power and Civil Rights Movement but has made a concious effort to appear, as colin pointed out, a "centrist." That's what got the Clintons over the hump. And he may be out Clintoning them but with a slightly more progressive slant.

E-money, we ain't running from the progress, if you want to call it that, of a Black candidate having broad appeal. My point was that the Black candidate is a good salesman. My criticism is that I'm not sure he's demonstrated much leadership. And for those reasons I don't believe the hype.

Which I think is brilliant, in a perverse way, on Obama's part. He deliberately avoided taking the lead because that makes him a lightening rod. And with the momentum coming out of the last Democratic Convention, he probably figured he could play it down the middle, espouse a message of change, use that Blackstyle when giving speeches, and he could sell his presidency.

I want to clarify to, I don't think he needs to play up being Black or make a Black Power/Civil Rights agenda central to his.

Because as the quote submariner pointed out, a Black Power agenda often spoke of Justice for all. The Civil Rights Movement spoke for Justice for all. The Black Caucus has taken the lead against Bush's many transgressions against the Constitution and federal law. That lead was about Justice for all.

Now white folks are behind Obama because they're getting treated like Black people have always been treated, i.e. the nigga treatment. Black people didn't become niggas until they came over here. And when white people get the nigga treatment, shit is bad. It's real bad.

Who better to sound that pain but a Black man? Especially if he's as good a salesman as Obama is.

The Clintons racial coding ain't nothing new. Bill's played that card against Jesse and Sista Souljah.

cnulan, you're right. People like Obama, Harold Ford, and Deval Patrick are the inheritors of the struggles of the Black Power/Civil Rights Movement.

Dave, I'm not advocating that a candidate has to tear down capitalism. But capitalism with regulation is the shit we got now and the shit we had in 1929. It's a cancer on society. It ain't lifting boats because that greed gets good to these muthafuckas.

I'm for a For the People candidate. I'm for somebody who takes leadership against this bullshit called the Bush Administration.

When has Obama made headlines taking a stance against warrantless wiretapping, the elimination of habeas corpus, record high oil prices, massive foreclosures, high unemployment, NAFTA, outsourcing, rising food prices, alternative energy sources, outing a covert CIA agent, lying to get us into war, withdrawing American forces from Iraq, crumbling infrastructure, and campaign finance?

Gary Hart talked about "New Ideas" in the late 80s but what were the ideas. Barack talks about change. I hope the changes he's talking about will help the working poor and middle class. And not necessarily to enrich corporations who have raped this country under Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush.

Finally, memomachine shut the fuck up with that ridiculous bullshit before I do to you what I did to thordaddy. Or have forgotten that beat-down I gave you over Reagan ending the Cold War?

Ding!

dez said...

I wish Harold Ford Jr. was running. http://haroldfordjr2006.blogspot.com/

Undercover Black Man said...

And when white people get the nigga treatment, shit is bad. It's real bad.


Apropos of that, DeAngelo, you must see this video of a Baltimore police officer in action.

Strange how you never see this sort of thing on "Cops."

Michael Fisher said...

deangelo...

"Now white folks are behind Obama because they're getting treated like Black people have always been treated, i.e. the nigga treatment."

How's that?

cnulan said...

Deangelo got my stuff twisted beyond recognition;

The Black Caucus has taken the lead against Bush's many transgressions against the Constitution and federal law. That lead was about Justice for all.

Which Black Caucus you talkin bout? Fat Albert Wynn and company? Shiiiiiiit...., from what I've seen, the 2nd and 3rd line inheritors comprising the CBC have for the most part been AWOL on any substantive resistance to G-Dub. It's those same busters now lining up like good house kneegrows behind Billary.

cnulan, you're right. People like Obama, Harold Ford, and Deval Patrick are the inheritors of the struggles of the Black Power/Civil Rights Movement.

Not the crew I had in mind, and putting Harold Ford in the same sentence as Obama and Patrick is slanderous. When I think about 2nd line inheritors, I think about the kneegrow municipal "leadership" that has fucked up municipal administration beyond recognition, I'm thinking of the Kwame Kilpatricks and his mama, the Billary supporting members of the CBC, Rev.'s Al and Jesse, and the immense cast of gatekeeping folks who abjectly failed to initiate or sustain any form of economic development whatsoever in the aftermath of the CRM and who act as unwanted broker/agents between the power structure and the masses of Black folks.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Nulan, you would not believe how long it took me to figure out what "CRM" means. I had to get to the absolute bottom of this list.

Coffee time.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

cnulan, I apologize. But the Black Caucus I spoke of ain't the Albert Wynns of the world. Kudos to a For the People candidate, Donna Edwards, for getting that sell-out crook outta office. I'm talking about the usual folks who speak out: John Conyers, Maxine Waters, and Sheila Jackson Lee with the occasional Jesse Jackson, Jr. thrown into the mix.

Gatekeeping Black politicians. That gives me an idea for the next topic of debate. So I'll back off on that for now cnulan.

But I stand by this new generation of Black politicians standing on the shoulders and riding the backs of those who came before them. And Harold Ford DOES belong in the same sentence as Barack and Deval because he's in that same category as bruhs who deliberately transcend their racial identity to achieve crossover status.

fisher, you s'posed to be my road-dog. You went into retirement but now we gotta do some Larry Holmes and Ali shit. And Larry Holmes didn't even want to fight Ali cuz he had a lotta respect for him. Why you doin' this to me, bruh?

Are white folks getting treated as bad as Black folks under this system of white supremacy? No. But my point was that when they start getting treated like niggas, imagine how Black folks are getting treated?

And white people are beginning to feel what it's like to get nigga treatment. When you get scammed out of your home because the bank conveniently forgot or misled you about the fine print, that's some nigga treatment. And it ain't happening just to the trailer park muthafuckas. It's happening to muthafuckas with six figure incomes.

When you lose your job, not because you're performing poorly, but just because there ain't no more Black folks to lay off or fire, that's nigga treatment.

When the best job you can find to replace the one you lost is below your qualifications but is the only you can find, that's nigga treatment.

When information is suppressed from you to keep you from rioting, that's nigga treatment.

Need I go on?

I'm not saying that the fact that white folks are getting the nigga treatment means the system of white supremacy is gone. I'm just saying it's no surprise that white people look to a Black man for solutions because who better knows how to deal with nigga treatment than a Black man?

But then again, we still ain't won nothing so that might not be a good model.

But the point remains.

Ding! to my road-dog.

Michael Fisher said...

Deangelo, white people have always been mistreated by other white people. Worse than even today. (Sheeet. You got ant idea how many tens of thousands of British sailors got shanghaied onto the slavers who plied the Atlantic Ocean and died of horrible diseases and mistreatment?) But they have never been mistreated on the basis of color which is the essence of the system of racism/white supremacy. So, logically, you can't use the mistreatment of white people by other more powerful white people as proof of the perpetuation of racism.

So why are these white folks voting for Obama? Dunno.

But I do know one thing. Without the nationalist impulse which again and again proves to be the dominant impulse among black folk, Obama would not be anywhere near where he is today in delegate count. Black folk en masse have proven that they ain't loyal to "good massa" Clinton but are ready to abandon them "good white folks" for their own in a hot minite. That is exactly the type of behavior that, if consistently pursued, garners political power. Shooot. Even Uncle Tom Rep. Lewis and friends are now forced to rethink their endorsements of Clinton.

Black Nationalist Politics is thereby once again vindicated, Bro.

Submariner said...

Black Nationalist Politics is thereby once again vindicated, Bro.
-Michael Fisher

I agree but I don't want us to intentionally or unintentionally obscure the political astuteness of the populace at large. The voting public has shown a surprising degree of good judgment. While most of the black political leadership aligned with the Clintons and more than a few self-promoters were launching firebombs at Obama, the black electorate was giving overwhelming support to the brother. They were discriminating enough to see beyond the usual tropes. Blacks could have adhered to the same old narrative which says blacks can achieve only with white approval or we could have performed a version of Dave Chappelle's Keepin It Real skit where we adopt a language of brio and an exaggerated confrontational posture in order to be considered authentic. We could have done a Maxine Waters or Charlie Rangel and confuse patronage with power and access with influence. But that is not what happened. The intellectual indolence which plagued us for so long and which black conservatives unskillfully tried to rid us of has slid off our shoulders. Whites have been confronted with a highly qualified compelling figure. The ball is in their court but, so far, they've exceeded my expectations. They've resisted subtle and not so subtle racist codes used to marginalize Obama. This is a real achievement on their part that was unimaginable even ten years ago. No matter what happens to Barack, Black people and the country have won. We have done what Craig Nulan calls expand the library of opportunity.

Michael Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Fisher said...

submariner...

"Whites have been confronted with a highly qualified compelling figure. The ball is in their court but, so far, they've exceeded my expectations. They've resisted subtle and not so subtle racist codes used to marginalize Obama. This is a real achievement on their part that was unimaginable even ten years ago. No matter what happens to Barack, Black people and the country have won. We have done what Craig Nulan calls expand the library of opportunity."


You betta be careful, sub. You're in danger of sounding like this guy.

RC said...

This is a very scary moment for me. I am reading UBM, and CNulan and Fischer and Starnes are all at it again and in fact I find myself agreeing a bit with all of them. Hmmm.
As to the post racist US, I'll wait til after election day to raise my hand about that.
Meanwhile, I have to find time to go run down CNulan's references. C never makes the game easy.
Thanks to all for some neuronic stimulation.
And Starnes: Obama's most recent policy statements {yes he really does make them} are VERY FDR type plans, basically 21st Century New Deal reactivated.
I haven's voted in the primary yet {we vote in June in PR} but as for who should get my vote, on the level of intelligence, political wilyness {yeah I do admire that shit, call me Machiavellian} and basic campaign genius that we may expect more of upon election, I would have to pick Obama. The others do not come close, certainly Hillary does not.
And I should add, I have never seen video of or heard the voice of Obama. It's a Spanish country here and I never watch TV. So for me it is NOT about the Obama-ade, frankly, it is in spite of it.

Undercover Black Man said...

And I should add, I have never seen video of or heard the voice of Obama.

Now that's remarkable, RC. Reminds me of a woman I used to work with who never saw an episode of "The Flintstones"... I just couldn't believe it.

You can get your fill of the sights and sounds of Obama at his campaign's YouTube page.

I have been impressed by the quality of their campaign videos for months now... long before everybody else caught the fever.

One must be impressed by the quality of talent that Obama is drawing to him. And I think that's an asset worth considering. Who, if elected, would truly assemble a governing team of the "best and the brightest"?

Hillary? McCain?

I don't think so.

Undercover Black Man said...

Without the nationalist impulse which again and again proves to be the dominant impulse among black folk, Obama would not be anywhere near where he is today in delegate count.

Fisher, there you go again... not giving white folks credit when it's due.

Before Obama won the Iowa caucus in early January, black bloggers were hardly talking about him! He didn't become the vessel for black folk's hopes and dreams until white folks elevated him towards front-runner status.

The Obamenon is evidence, to me, of the supremacy of the integrationist impulse in black America... not the nationalist impulse.

Barack Obama is not a Black Power candidate. He's not a Black Power politician. He is a walking, talking assimilation of blackness and whiteness... which is all America is anyway.

dez said...

^No offense, but America is not all black & white. There's brown, and red, and yellow...and possibly green, but that's because I had waaay too much to drink :-D

Seriously, I understand the impulse to cast America as a black and white dichotomy, but that winds up eliding all our other problems (such as classism, sexism, and on and on). Not to mention that no one's bitching about Haitian immigrants coming here and stealing their jobs....

Michael Fisher said...
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Michael Fisher said...

Mills...

"Fisher, there you go again... not giving white folks credit when it's due.

Before Obama won the Iowa caucus in early January, black bloggers were hardly talking about him! He didn't become the vessel for black folk's hopes and dreams until white folks elevated him towards front-runner status."


I don't know where in the LA burbs you live, but I am trying to recall if I saw more than three or four white people all day today. And I was out shopping and doin' other shyt out here all day.

The overwhelming majority of Black folks where I live have been talking about and supporting Obama ever since he announced his candidacy. I'm pretty sure that Dwight Hunter (Exodus Mentality) who don't live too far from me can well attest to that.

Now you go out and ask the average black person in our region about the policy differences between Obama and Clinton. This is what you'll get: A blank stare.

And no wonder, given that you need an electron microscope to identify the policy differences between Obama and Clinton.

Black folk, bottom line, are doing what the Irish did for John F.Kennedy, the Italian for LaGuardia, etc: Vote for Obama cause he is one of their own.

That's political power emerging.

As to the "black bloggers". Like who is representative of the day-to-day black community? Craig "Mr. Dopamine" Nulan, ? Michael Cobb "Mr. Leave every Nigger Behind" Bowen? The Afrosphere? Black Prof? Or I?

Pluuuuzzee.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I was in Charlotte, N.C., in January, saw a bunch of in-laws, and they weren't feeling Obama. They were feeling Hillary. That was right around the Iowa caucuses.

As for the blogosphere, you can't tell me you haven't noticed the difference between December and now, Fisher.

If you make me go back through the December archives of 50 black blogs just to make a point, I'll do it, cuz I'm sick like that. But you know what I'm talking about.

That's why John Lewis and the rest of them cats got caught ass-out. Six short weeks ago, none of those Congressional Black Caucus types could've ever imagined that Obama was the horse to bet on.

Now I'm sure they're thinking, if they don't support Obama, and Obama wins 90 percent of the black votes in their districts anyway... those same voters might just sweep their black asses out of office for not supporting him.

I'm just saying, if white folks hadn't gone batshit for Obama first, we wouldn't be talking about him as much as we are. He wouldn't even be in the race any more.

Michael Fisher said...

Mills...

"As for the blogosphere, you can't tell me you haven't noticed the difference between December and now, Fisher"

Sure. Though yours truly had been talking a lil' bit about Obama already in May '07.

"Now I'm sure they're thinking, if they don't support Obama, and Obama wins 90 percent of the black votes in their districts anyway... those same voters might just sweep their black asses out of office for not supporting him."

Of course, that was my point. Them Negroes ran up against the grass-roots black nationalist impulse. As to the "black" blogospeher, even the white folks' ass smoochers like DV, Nulan, and company done changed their tunes.

Life is great.

"I'm just saying, if white folks hadn't gone batshit for Obama first, we wouldn't be talking about him as much as we are. He wouldn't even be in the race any more."

Chicken, egg, egg, chicken. Who was first? Don't forget, Obama started out locally in Chicago and before that.

cnulan said...

as usual, the recess monkey in his compulsive haste to keep my name in his mouth - has missed the fundamental point altogether.

and that, is why he's a has been....,

Michael Fisher said...
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Michael Fisher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Fisher said...

nulan...

"has missed the fundamental point...the imperative to maintain the global rule of dopamine hegemony."

I certainly have and certainly will continue to miss that "fundamental point".


Given all of that estrogen raging throughout your body and in your brain, how did you get rid of your man titties?

As to "has beenism" why do you keep perpetrating the lie that you actually graduated from MIT?

DeAngelo Starnes said...

as opposed to Larry Holmes who beat the shit out of Ali, me and my road dog fly on.

"But they have never been mistreated on the basis of color which is the essence of the system of racism/white supremacy. So, logically, you can't use the mistreatment of white people by other more powerful white people as proof of the perpetuation of racism."

Point taken.

Dave and fisher, I think you both are right on the support for Obama. Fisher is correct in that the grassroots Black folks backed Obama from the outset. I am probably the only Black person I know who wasn't backing Obama. I was for Kucinich because I didn't think Obama demonstrated enough For the People policies. And by "For the People" I ain't relegating it solely to Black people but all in the 99%.

On the other, Dave is correct, too, in that there weren't a lotta Black politicians that came out and professed their support for Obama. I think some of that was calculated because Jesse admitted that while he supported Obama he didn't want to go public with it. You can read between the lines to know why.

If Black politicians had been the first ones out front in support of Obama, how would that have played with the white electorate? He would have been characterized as on "outsider." His candidacy would never had taken off.

It's a given that he's Black but he would've been viewed as a "Black" candidate, i.e. he's for Black people first and everyone else next. That was the perception that killed Jesse's candidacy even though he had a much more progressive "For the People" platform. He was always viewed as a "for the Black people" candidate even when though put the Rainbow Coalition out front. No one saw that, they just saw him as a Black candidate.

Obama has transcended that because he has deliberately left his experience as a Black person in the background.

Because he has achieved this widespread popularity by exing out that experience speaks to white supremacy in that he felt that was necessary in order to achieve mass white acceptance.

And let him win. That racism is gonna come out when he does some shit white people can't stand. Prediction and I'm betting the point spread on that.

Dave, I appreciate the forum. And the commenters and haters, I love y'all too, since we having this "We Shall Overcome" moment.

I just wish my road dog wouldn't stoop to infighting. Save that shit for memomachine, thordaddy, and dragonhorse. Ali's one flaw was the personal way he attacked Joe Frazier when Joe could've ducked him when that's EXACTLY what white America wanted him to do. White America has amnesia cuz they hated Ali for the longest. They hate Larry Holmes, too, because he dissed Rocky Marciano, even though I think Larry had a point.

Kudos to submariner for the insightful commentary and references.

Ding! to whoever wants to squeeze from juice from this dried fruit.

Dave, I'm ready for the next round and will propose the next after my next Wire commentary.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Cool.

Michael Fisher said...

I appreciate your comments and sentiments, D. I certainly agree. Though, who is "infighting"?

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