Sunday, December 9, 2007

Shelby Steele on Hillary Clinton: ‘In many ways, she’s blacker than Barack Obama is.’

That’s right, people. Shelby Steele, a black man of supposed high intellect, declared – on national TV! – that Hillary is “blacker than Barack Obama.”

He said it Friday afternoon on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” He was a guest alongside Michael Eric Dyson.

You know I got that audio. You know that, right? Click here. The clip begins with Prof. Dyson talking about the impact of Oprah Winfrey’s support of Sen. Obama.

(The complete 10-minute segment is downloadable as an iTunes podcast. Move quickly if you want it. It’ll be gone by Monday night.)

Coincidentally (or not??), none other than Andrew Young – former U.N. ambassador, former mayor of Atlanta – is quoted in an Associated Press story (hyped today on the Drudge Report) as saying that “Bill [Clinton] is every bit as black as Barack.”

Young added: “He's probably gone with more black women than Barack.” His audience laughed, and Andy Young was quick to say, “I’m clowning.”

Now... if I was conspiracy-minded, I might say it’s no coincidence that, on this weekend when Oprah’s stump-speaking on Obama’s behalf is the biggest political news in the country... along come two prominent Negroes to publicly question Obama’s “blackness” (to the presumed benefit of Clinton).

Weird thing about that is, as Shelby Steele also said on “Hardball,” Obama’s strength is among white voters. So who thinks it’ll turn off them white voters to be reminded that Barack Obama doesn’t fit their stereotype of “blackness”?

Perhaps the string-pullers are thinking: “Well damn, if black voters get fired up behind Obama too, we’ve really got problems. Let’s at least nip that one in the bud.”

Or, heck, maybe it was all just some random shit that happened...

UPDATE (12/09/07): A clarification: Andrew Young evidently made his remarks back in September, though they just came to light yesterday. Anyway, let’s roll the videotape:


Bob McCarty Writes said...

Democrat Barack Obama hopes to capitalize on the so-called "Oprah Effect" which, according to a Bloomberg writer, is known to "transform books, beauty products and foods into sales blockbusters." Unfortunately, I predict it may have the opposite effect and result in the Illinois senator's presidential aspirations being left in A Million Little Pieces.

Forgive me for the reference to James Frey's famously fabricated memoir. But with polls showing Hillary Clinton at her lowest point since announcing her candidacy and the Iowa Caucuses less than 30 days out, I predict the Clinton political machine is on the verge of striking Obama. And striking hard.

Just days before families across the nation -- especially in Iowa and New Hampshire -- begin gathering for Christmas, I expect the machine to kick into high gear, serving up a buffet of dirty little secrets to its lapdogs in the mainstream news media.

By the time the Iowa Caucuses are held Jan. 3, those dirty little secrets unearthed by Hillary's folks -- whatever they turn out to be and regardless of whether or not they bear a shred of truth -- will have raised "reasonable doubt" in the minds of the jury (a.k.a., "Iowa voters"). As a result, Hillary will win Iowa.

That victory will, of course, be heralded by the likes of CNN, the Daily Kos and the Washington Post as a precursor of things to come in the Democratic primaries. Six months and several dirty little secrets later, Hillary will have the nomination wrapped up.

And that's where the 'A Million Little Pieces' reference returns to the picture.

Remember the media frenzy that surrounded Frey's return appearance on Oprah's couch. She sat him down and, in front of millions of viewers and a studio audience full of scowling faces, chewed him out for failing to live up to her expectations. After all, Frey's book was an Oprah's Book Club selection.

The same thing is going to happen to Obama.

The man Oprah had anointed as the first black president of the United States even before the first vote was cast will be verbally flogged for having lost the Democratic Party nomination and, as a result, brought much shame and humiliation to the O.
All hail Oprah!

dnA said...


I posted on this at Too Sense. You'll be shocked to know that Shelby Steele once described people who judged blackness according to such arbitrary terms as "totalitarian."

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Yo, Barack has been a disappointment as a Black candidate. That's for sure.

And no, I ain't saying he's gotta come out like Jesse or Sharpton. And I ain't one to say he ain't Black enough either.

But he ain't demonstrated no leadership. He's played the same game as Hillary - lick your finger and hold it to the wind - only she's better at it than him.

And why is he playing that game?

If a muthafucka ain't gonna vote for him cuz he's Black, he ain't never gonna get that vote.

Stop doing the Michael Jackson-crossover and be you. Talk some shit. Lead on an important issue.

This muthafucka ain't came up with an innovative issue yet. He's too busy pandering.

Now, if he wants to do sista Oprah's money proud, he'd start talking some shit. And not this waiting until the last minute to vote against Iraq war funding shit. Not missing the vote on whether Iran's Revolutionary Guard is a "terrorist" group. Not saying some shit like "We don't know what the situation will be in Iraq in 2013. So I ..." If you win, you'll be the commander-in-chief! You dictate what the situation in Iraq will be in 2013!

Grow some balls because I'd hate to see Oprah be out there like that with you dropping the ball, Barack.

Kucinich is my guy. At least until, Nader gets in the race.

Barack has some Clarence Thomas qualities to him. Neutered affirmative action baby making the rest of us look bad.

Yeah, I said it!

Abe said...

Steele seems to have something against Obama. Read John Mcwhorter's recent New York Sun column titled "The Great Hope." Even Mcwhorter--who esteems Steele--is kind of taken aback by Steele's fixation with Obama's racial image.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

BTW, I wanna say this out loud. Fuck Shelby "Self-Hatred" Steele! When did he become the judge of Blackness - whatever that is.

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing that Bill Clinton was our first black president during his term. Where did that originate? I always assumed it was said jokingly, but now that it's being trotted out again and used against Obama, I'm wondering if the people who said it were serious.

BTW, my sis is from Illinois and thinks Obama ran too soon. He's not politically experienced enough to be president. He should have waited, IMHO.

rikyrah said...

I debated someone on Jack and Jill about Dyson's response. I told the poster that I had no problem with Dyson's response. I am no Dyson lover, but I understood that moment. I sympathized. There are times when you have to decide: either it's the APPEARANCE of the dispassionate professional...or...YOU'RE GONNA BE A FOOL. No in between. Dyson chose the former, and I'm not mad at him. After all, the cameras were on, and he doesn't want to be seen as the ' emotional Black person', cause we know how that works out.

But, it was definitely a WTF moment. And, I had to ask, between Andy Young's Handkerchief Head moment, and this...are these now Clinton talking points about Obama? I'm just enough of a conspiracy theorist to believe so.Thanks for the clarification about when Young's remarks were done. Doesn't make him any less of a Handkerchief Head for saying it, but I guess that does kill the tinfoil hat.

Thanks for the link. I've been waiting for the official transcript to come up tomorrow, because I definitely want to post about it.

Steele and his ilk have lost their damn minds. Obama has done ALL THE OPPOSITE CHOICES OF THEM...and, is, in less than a month is the Iowa Caucus, and he is in a serious horserace with the most formidable Democratic Machine in a quarter century.

He did it by working WITH POOR BLACK PEOPLE, marrying a VISIBLY BLACK WOMAN, and looking out for BLACK ISSUES legislatively. Black folk aren't repulsed by him....

Steele and his ilk done lost their damn minds.

Anonymous said...

So Shelby Steele's working for the Clinton campaign now? Lawdamercy! Interesting that he and those he represents are apparently more afraid of Oprah's power than the Clintons'.

SJ said...

DeAngelo, I totally agree with you. Obama has been disappointing...he is mostly rhetoric. He has been playing the political game yet he has convinced people that he is an outsider inside Washington politics. His advisers are all washington insiders (and a lot of former Clinton advisers too).

And I'm with you about Kucinich. Guy is genuine, has the best plans on just about everything. But, the guy doesn't really have a chance, so I hope all this Obama-Hillary bickering allows Joe Biden to step up and shine. Because that guy is all about action.

Anonymous said...

This is a very disturbing look into what went wrong with traditional civil rights leadership. Appearance took over the substantive. And in one swoop Shelby Steele has completely erased whatever credibility he may have possessed.

As for Kucinich, he is full of it. If he was for real he would've run as an independent or socialist. The United States is a capitalist country. As such the interests of the state are subordinate to those of capital. This is what Lou Dobbs and others refuse to acknowledge. Both parties, however, accept this fact.

Capitalism is promiscuous by definition. It doesn't care about the national interest, patriotism, or human rights. It is possible for the American state to reassert itself, but in order to do so you need a reformer from the inside or a cataclysm of the type that Craig Nulan and others predict.

Anonymous said...

As to who is and is not "black, blacker, blackest {despite melanin quotient}" and as to who is ballsier, I haven't formed an opinion and probably won't.
Here is my observation from a place removed from the USA. Yeah, I don't live there in the States and I cannot vote there.
I offer the view from afar.
The US Ship of State and the US Economy {the US Economy at present is based on what? Home refinancing is over and that leaves?} is way past the point of no return.
The electorate should be looking at NOT who will be steering that Ship of State in January 2009, NOT who will be getting the US Citizens into the lifeboats, NOT who we would want to be hanging out and telling jokes while the lifeboats bob around and no rescuers come, BUT IN FACT who among all of those people running for office could show the electorate {and also those folks that don't bother to vote anymore} how to swim in very cold water, avoid sharks, jump on an ice floe and kill a polar bear for lunch.
No one seems to be running on that platform, although the Republicans do seem to be trying to beat their chests and act macho most of the time, that is not the same thing as managing a total disaster.
It's a very grim day, US Citizens, and the day is now. January 2009 is not going to be the dawn of any new and wonderful day.
Start thinking that way and you might get a better idea who ought to be elected.
Best to skip over the petty nonsense that election season trickery revels in.
It's sink or swim, my fellow citizens.
OK, disclaimer: I swam before Reagan even ran for office and I'm not coming back anytime soon.
Not that there is anything right about that. It's very sad.

Michael Fisher said...

What the fuck is wrong with Andy? Soul train line defines blackness? How about KC of KC and the Sunshine Band for "Black" President? Or Elvis for that matter? (oh, yeah THAT mofo is dead)

Anonymous said...


I wonder what he'd say about Michael Steele.


DeAngelo Starnes said...

sj, thanks for the props.

sub, that's some helluva food for thought re: capitalism. Might have to latch onto that in the next round of Stakes Be High.

Come on, Barack! Oprah's working her ass off!

Anonymous said...

here we go again another show of self hate we as black people still havent learn to love ourselves whatever masta say love we love you never addressed an issue soul train come on i feel you just doing what you told whats your name boy