It's about our community and our spirituality!

Too Racist For Our Own Good

Last week Senator Barack Obama lost to Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party primary contest in Kentucky. Ms. Clinton won sixty five percent of the vote while Mr. Obama received only a piddling thirty percent. But that’s better than the twenty five percent or so that he was able to gain in West Virginia last week.

An exit poll of the people who voted for Ms. Clinton revealed that more than forty two percent would vote for Senator John McCain if Mr. Obama won the nomination and another twenty three percent would simply stay at home. Interviews with some of these voters were displayed on CNN and you could hear a variety of reasons why these people wouldn’t vote for Barack Obama. People in Kentucky claimed that they didn’t know anything about him or what he stood for. There must be a ton of caves and a lot of rocks keeping people in Kentucky from educating themselves. But then again, the uneducated, white working class is Ms. Clinton’s core constituency. Another interviewee said that he was suspicious of Mr. Obama’s Muslim connections and his affiliation with the Christian Reverend Jeremiah Wright. However, another interviewer was very candid and said that he couldn’t see a black man as President. In my opinion, what the interviewer should have said was that he didn’t want to see a black man as the President.

The last seven years have been a dismal time for the majority of the populace of this country. Economics are seriously screwed. Status in the global community has plummeted. We are embroiled in two wars that have connotations of perpetuity. The American constitution has been trampled by the executive branch of government. Gas prices have tripled since George Bush took office. We can’t even fly across the country without surrendering our rights at the airport. A Republican President with a Republican controlled Congress has rubberstamped every single piece of legislation Mr. Bush wanted. So many of our constitutional rights have been compromised with executive orders marketed to the public as giving government the tools necessary to keep us safe. Our image as the leader of the free world, the entire world, has been seriously tarnished.

Mr. McCain has promised the American people that he will continue the war in Iraq and in Afghanistan. He has promised that he would reduce government oversight of the privately held institutions that have led to the housing crisis. While most economist say that there should have been someone watching what these institutions were doing, Mr. McCain says that he doesn’t want anyone to control the greed of the handful of people who control these high wealth, low morals organizations. There will be no suing for peace under John McCain’s presidency. The key to diplomacy is essentially to unilaterally bomb our adversaries into submission. The judges that Mr. McCain wants to appoint to the bench will be along the lines of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia is the justice that said on a 60 Minutes interview with Lesley Stahl that racial slavery is constitutional simply because our founding fathers exercised this particularly devastating form of slavery when the constitution was written. The subjugation of black people is constitutional in America. This is the justice who says that the constitution does not guarantee protection from a painful state sponsored death. This is the justice that says torture is acceptable as long as it is not in the form of punishment. I find more justices of this ilk seriously scary as an example of what I can expect from Mr. McCain as President.

A lot of people should see the writing on the wall. The nation is going to hell in a hand basket. Compassionate conservatism is seriously kicking our collective ass. But so many people are so racist that they would be willing to vote against their own interest just to keep a black man from obtaining the highest office in our land. And considering the other contenders for the presidency, this black man just might be the best candidate available despite his flaws. It is a fair bet that Mr. Obama would be a refreshing change after all the damage that our Republican executive leadership has done.

People don’t trust the black candidate. He says he is not a Muslim. But if you don’t trust a man who you condemn for his affiliation with a Christian pastor that has caused him political headaches to say that he is a Christian and not a Muslim then it becomes pretty obvious you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If people in this country don’t want to see a black man as President so strongly that they don’t protect their interests, if they are so willing to cutoff their nose to spite their face, then we truly deserve whatever may come of our national collective shortsightedness.

In typical double standard fashion many people point to Barack Obama and ask why he didn’t or couldn’t win over people so racist that they would prefer to go broke and do without than give a black man a chance to be President. Knowing Mr. Obama is facing people’s ingrained, hostile racial prejudice against black people, some people point and ask the question why he can’t win these people over. I would offer a guess because he is black.

Instead of asking the question how we as a nation combat the problem of racial discrimination, a problem way too many of us continue to tolerate and allow to flourish, we perceive it to be a personal problem of Mr. Obama’s character. We expect Mr. Obama to bend over backwards and convince people who would be more likely to string him up from the nearest tree than to vote for this man to be their President. It reinforces the presumption that racism is a personal problem instead of a social problem. It reinforces the notion that all he has to do is work harder to convince these people that even though he is black he will do his best to be the best President these people ever had. And no matter how hard he works, for some people, white as well as black, he just can’t bend back far enough.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Life, Racism, Thoughts


  1. Thanks for posting the article, was certainly a great read!

    Comment by Jamie Holts | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Reply

  2. Good stuff, BPM. One thought, though. You said:

    “A Republican president with a Republican controlled congress has rubberstamped every single piece of legislation Mr. Bush wanted.”

    If I’m not mistaken, the Congress has been in Donkey (Democrat) control since 2006.

    Of course, the current American version of the Democratic Party is the same as the current American version of the Republican Party, so perhaps you were making a Freudian slip?

    It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the American South remains un-convinced of the equality of Black folks. And I would consider West Virginia part of the American South. I know the state pretty well, I spent 4 years there as a college student.

    They love the N-word in WV. It’s a staple of conversation.

    But ultimately what concerns me is the idea that Obama is fit to be our POTUS — as he clearly is not, because he is little more than a cafe-au-lait face on the Bush-Cheney agenda.

    Comment by Micah Pyre | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the feedback Micah Pyre,

    Actually the rubberstamp got the boot when the Congress went Democratic. Ever since there has been more or less some kind of compromise to get legislation passed. But I have to admit that the current version of the Democratic Party has been so impotent you would be hard pressed to tell the difference.

    The differences between Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama are much wider than the differences between Mr. Bush and Mr. McCain. And Ms. Clinton’s character is such that I find her integrity horrendous. She says one thing and flips and does another. I know every politician does it but she appears to take it to warp-5. I have to admit that I would vote for her before I would vote for Mr. McCain though.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Reply

  4. I don’t know, I would be seriously hard press to vote for Clinton. I feel it is damned if you do, damned if you don’t. I would HATE to see McCain in the White house as well.

    I thought that Clinton might be someone I could trust, but seeing all the race card playing she has done, she has lost my respect forever. Also, I think that Obama could care less about the black community and he does a good job of letting us know it. Yet, he seems to be the better candidate. It is no different than the way we have always had to choose between this white or that white for president in the past.

    He says that he understands the black community and I have no doubt that he doesn’t but, it is pretty obvious that he wants to play ball in the white boys court now. Becoming president is the ultimate in assimilation. You have to really be towing the line for this racist nation to let you get that far to the top.

    Great post.

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the feedback theblacksentinel,

    I understand how you feel completely. I started out as more of a John Edwards supporter. When he dropped out I was ambivalent about Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama. Initially I started to leaning towards Ms. Clinton. But during the focus on Jeremiah Wright, Ms. Clinton never passed an opportunity to bring the Reverend Wright and Mr. Obama relationship to the media. I grew to hate her for those tacky moves. After Mr. Obama made his speech I started to warm up to Mr. Obama. But then he does absolutely nothing to embrace the black community while pandoring to the white community. Right now I am leaning to Mr. Obama simply because of the Clintons’ willingness to play the race card. Because Mr. Obama is black and there has been so much racial prejudice thrown into this race, as a black man I am naturally compelled to take offense at the attacks against the black candidate. But honestly, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Damned if it’s Ms. Clinton, damned if its Mr. Obama. And you can go to hell if its Mr. McCain!


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Reply

  6. “It reinforces the presumption that racism is a personal problem instead of a social problem.”

    Yes, there is a great article by Bruce Dixon over at the Black Agenda Report about how the constant attention given to these racist voters by the media distracts Americans from the pervasive institutionalized racism. He says that racism is looked at as “bad behavior” rather than a serious social and institutional problem. Interesting!

    I am happy that you are leaning in Obama’s court. I have been a supporter since last year despite reservations. As of right now, I believe that he is the best choice over Clinton and McCain. Clinton is my senator. She lives two blocks from my parents. I met her at a college meeting. We spoke face to face, I never liked her. She is not a genuine person and I think that she will become the democratic Bush. She will lie and deceive! It will be the Clinton double headed monster of deception! I trust Obama. I don’t like what he had to say about Wright and it showed a large aspect of why I was skeptical of him yet I am willing to look beyond it for the sake of this country!! No more Clintons, Bushes or a McBush! We need a fresh face and I believe that Obama is a fresh face!

    Comment by Rhondacoca | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Reply

  7. Thanks for the feedback Rhondacoca,

    I have to confess that the only reason I’m leaning towards Mr. Obama is that the other candidates are so god awful. The more I see Ms. Clinton the more I can’t stand to look at her. The way she played the race card in West Virginia and Kentucky was disgusting. But the way Barack Obama continues to distance himself from the black community is really shameful. All things considered I do believe he is the best candidate.


    PS – There is a new post over in the AfroSphere you might find interesting.

    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Wednesday, May 28, 2008 | Reply

  8. If I might, I’d like to suggest something for all who are reading and commenting. And it is this.

    The choice of McCain, Obama or Clinton is really only one of symbolism.

    McCain represents atonement for Vietnam, specifically for the POWs and MIAs who never came back, or came back wounded physically or mentally. McCain’s whole political career is based on his former POW status. He trades on the lingering hatred of his “gook” captors, and allows Americans to vent their latent racism. We need not examine the quality of his politics — they are obnoxious in most every corner.

    Clinton represents a comic “liberal” Valhalla in which we get our first woman President. Never mind that the first woman PM of Great Britain was Maggie Thatcher, who was more troglodyte than Ronald Reagan. Besides, we all know that Hillary Clinton is 110% ambition, 2% substance, 0.001% principle. She stands for nothing of meaning, aside from American Imperialism and the primacy of Wall Street and the big financial services industry.

    Obama represents a phony “liberal” Valhalla in which we get our first Black President. But look at how Obama treats the subject of race in America — he pretends it’s not an issue, and he publicly denounces the biggest moral influence in his life, a brilliant outspoken Black preacher named Jeremiah Wright. I’d like to hear how this is any sort of victory for Black folks. To me it looks like victory for Jim Crow and Dred Scott.

    Why do people continue to act and argue as if these 3 phonies are our only choices? There are others we can vote for, if voting is what we feel we should do. And there is the other avenue of ignoring the whole game, and working to set up a government that actually listens to the people — a parallel government, perhaps, or maybe even a wholesale change in which we utterly reject the existing one.

    Ignoring the fake choice of Clinton-McCain-Obama takes some existential courage. Most of us were raised to believe that voting in America is a powerful act of democratic citizenship. But you really have to ignore the chicanery of the voting process with a very child-like naivete to arrive at the conclusion which continues to maintain that voting matters.

    What about Diebold? Florida? Polling place intimidation? Ballot manipulation? Lobbyist control? Electoral college?

    Sure, it’s scary to imagine that our government is corrupted beyond repair, and that voting helps continue the corruption. But we’re at the point where that is going to be the proper choice. If you don’t make it now, you’ll be inclined to make it at some point in the next 15 years… either in the 2012 POTUS election, or the 2016 one. It will become obvious that the whole process is a sham, and that nobody ordained by our “news” media is likely to care one whit about the concerns of any individual American who isn’t a billionaire like Bill Gates.

    Perhaps nobody will agree with me on this take I’m offering. But if you’re reading this, and you’re inclined to disagree, I’d appreciate it if one or more of you would offer some cogent thoughts on why I’m wrong.

    Comment by Micah Pyre | Thursday, May 29, 2008 | Reply

  9. Goddamn good feedback Micah Pyre!

    Excellent summarization of the candidates! Excellent commentary of the status of the voting process! I know that I cannot disagree with you any. I would be interested to see anyone who can and what they would have to say. Thanks again!


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, May 29, 2008 | Reply

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