Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Is Obama black enough???

Or the question that should be asked is what does that even mean?

I'm not sure if I can tell you. It's as much as state of mind as it is skin color. When it comes up in politics, it's more of a smear. It's really can be a smear when this is thrown between say two black competitors particularly one who may want to keep what ever power & influence they got.

Still now we come to Sen. Obama. These questions are coming up. We see this question in newspaper columns now. I have attempted to address this issue on my blog a few times since he has announced forming his exploratory committee for President.

I want to share with you one important quote when this pops up in your mind this is one reason why "being black enough" comes up in politics. This quote is from Timuel Black in an interview with CBS 2 News...

Saying he's not black enough, is an attempt to discredit him among blacks because that may be the base that they want.
That's not to say this is the only reason but it is one reason. I was looking at Capitol Fax Blog this morning and saw that Senate President Emil Jones had something to say about this...

Washington - Seeking to solidify African-American backing for Barack Obama’s presidential bid, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr. told black Democrats meeting here last week they don’t “owe” anyone, alluding to, but not mentioning by name, Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Obama, said Jones, “is our son.”
Here's one important fact that if you believe the news reports that Black-Americans (or African-Americans if you prefer) aren't exactly flocking behind Sen. Obama for President. Makes me wonder how well he did among blacks when he ran for the US Senate back in '04. Either way his entry into the Presidential race and the fact that it is particularly strong seemingly has already made the White House sweepstakes interesting.

8 comments:

Jeff Trigg 4:15 PM  

Thoughtful and interesting post. We still have a long, long way to go, don't we. I'll judge Obama by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. He refused to debate all the candidates on the ballot in '04, he endorsed Daley, Stroger, and Blago and hasn't lifted a finger to fight corruption or stand up for democratic elections. That's all I need to know. Political opportunism is obviously more important to him than character qualities.

Bill Baar 7:28 PM  

I agree. Mostly because of the reflections on America.

But you have to wonder if Obama would maybe rather talk about is blackness instead of Iraq, Iran, Darfur, Social Security, and right on down the list.

Kind of like going to a calculus test and having the option of doing the equations or taking a test based on talking about my feelings, my childhood, so on. Hard choice?

I think Obama Chicago enough a Pol to avoid anything smacking of a hard question if he can.

Bill Baar 7:30 PM  

...and that a candidate talking about their blackness is an easier choice than talking about what they'll do other than instill hope or bring us together is really the momentous thing about Obama.

crash-dev 11:17 AM  

http://obama.senate.gov/press/070130-obama_offers_plan_to_stop_escalation_of_iraq_war_begin_phased_redeployment_of_troops/index.html

http://obama.senate.gov/podcast/

Obama seems pretty ready to talk about the War and his views on it, and how he feels America can be made safer.

crash-dev 4:00 PM  

Policy issues and nobody cares

Anonymous,  6:47 PM  

Obama is not Hawaiian enough.

Jack Lord,  7:16 PM  

Larry Horist had some good commentary over at his blog

Obama is white culturally, and does not know the Black experience, and is not a descendant of slaves.

Anonymous,  9:10 PM  

Obama is white also. So he is the white candidate. He never knew or dealt with Black people until he came to Chicago as an adult to run for office.

His mama who raised him is white. His grandparents who raised him are white. He went to a mostly white elite private Hawaiin high school. He went to elite Ivy League undergrad and law schools, not too many blacks. He lived in a multicultural (but no American Blacks) Muslim Indonesian private school with his Indonesian businessman stepdad. He had a life of privilege and safety and educational opportunity. He was raised by and only around WHITE people. He never had to walk down Stony Island and avoid a gang. He never had to attend class in a Chicago Public School. He never had to get beat up in Bridgeport for being Black. He never had to deal with his own dysfunctional Black people. He never had a business. He never was in the military. Obama had a gifted, privileged, and charmed life. There is no significant struggle nor overcoming hardship or even accomplishment beyond the (significant no doubt) political and academic. But lucky political or even academic is not enough for a President to be and at least not for me. His story is not compelling like that of John McCain as a POW or even John Kerry or even Jack Ryan leaving millions of dollars to teach a poor Black high school (and more academically and business accomplished than Obama)

His family was not from the South as a connection from the "Great Migration" of African Americans from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas. The Strogers are from Arkansas and are part of the Black Catholic elite with the Xavier Louisiana connection. The Jacksons, and Tommy Fuller and Alice Tregay are South Carolina. Many Blacks talk about the Southern experience, church, foods etc. Obama has NO connection to any migrations or foods or churches. There is NO physical, literal, historical or cultural connection Obama has with American Blacks their culture or their history.

Obama's dad was from Africa. He is NOT a descendant of slaves. He does not have the slave experience nor mentality. His dad was a student from Kenya. He never knew his dad. His dad was from Africa not an American Black. He did not know or deal with American Blacks.

Obama does share some Black blood although he is light skinned and could be mistaken for anything and has been.
It seems like an acceptance of racist formulas of one drop of black blood making you black as the identification of Obama as Black. Obama is white.

Obama is articulate in a monologue speech but was mediocre in debates. He can be actually arrogant and abrasive when pushed to the edge as any politician can. But he does not share African American diction (not that he needs to speak Ebonics) but unlike a Harold Washington he does not feel comfortable in both worlds. He does not speak in both worlds. Watch his rythym his dancing his swaying--it is not natural, it is not real, he does not belong, nor does he want to. But he did pimp being Black to get elected and got a Senate seat and if he was the white Junior Senator from Illinois, who did not know his dad, and went to Harvard and spoke well he would be Joe Biden years ago, or any other white Ivy League Senator who could give a good speech. BUT Barack Obama may have some black blood and some tanned skin (many Hispanics and East Indians are "blacker" than him) BUT he is NOT Black and he CERTAINLY is NOT part of the American Black experience, not at all.

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