Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Obama's Sister Souljah's Moments

Original Link: http://wwsword.blogspot.com/2008/06/obamas-sister-souljahs-moments.html

See Kevin Gray's essay, "Obama's had a few too many 'Sister Souljah' moments" is yet one more argument to support Nader's point about Obama "talking white." (Gray managed Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign in South Carolina.)

Shockingly, liberal Democrats so badly want the symbolic achievement of a black candidate that they are changing their politics to fit Obama's campaign strategy. They are aided by the white establishment media characterizing Obama's flip-flopping and, worse, his racism as "pragmatism." As Nader points out, Obama wants to be the white establishment's black candidate. It's a betrayal of progressive liberal values.

Gray notes several instances of Obama's racism:
Addressing a congregation at the Apostolic Church of God, one of Chicago's largest black churches, on Father's Day, Obama said: "Too many fathers are MIA, too many fathers are AWOL, missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men."

Early in the campaign year, Obama used one of the oldest racial stereotypes in a speech to black South Carolina state legislators: "In Chicago, sometimes when I talk to the black chambers of commerce, I say, 'You know what would be a good economic development plan for our community would be if we make sure folks weren't throwing their garbage out of their cars.'" [I didn't know about this one. This is a profoundly racist remark.]

Then, the day before the Texas primary, he let loose again, in a predominantly black venue: "Y'all have Popeyes out in Beaumont? I know some of y'all, you got that cold Popeyes out for breakfast. I know. That's why y'all laughing. ... You can't do that. Children have to have proper nutrition. That affects also how they study, how they learn in school."
Gray asks "How would people respond if Sen. John McCain threw out stereotypes like these?" Oh boy, woudl they ever crawl all over him. And don't tell me it's because McCain is white and Obama is black. Anybody using these stereotypes is uttering racist speech.

Gray then notes "Obama's disgraceful treatment of Muslim Americans" and told me something of which I was unaware. It turns out that Obama told Representative Keith Ellison - who was sworn into office on a copy of the Qu'ran - that he could not speak for Obama at a mosque. Ellison is doubly angry because Obama has never apologized for this blatant act of Islamophobia. Remember, Obama, although appearing at churches and synagogues, refuses to appear at a mosque. Even if he does at this point, it's should be too late for fair-minded people.

Gray rightly chastises Obama for treating "blacks as a prop to be scolded" and "Muslim Americans as a prop to be kept under wraps." Gray concludes, "This kind of behavior simply won't do for the man who wants to be the first black president."

Indeed, which is why, at this point, I do not plan to vote for Obama. As much as voting against Republicans is a useful strategy, and one that I have advocated before, there is a limit, and that limit is reached when the Democratic candidate will possibly hurt the people I care about more than the Republican candidate. As I said in a comment to a establishment media blog, if Obama intends to govern differently than he campaigns, then he is a liar. Some have suggested that he trashes blacks because he wants to win office and then once in office he will government on the left. In other words, he doesn't mean the things he says, he's just playing white people. Others have implied this by saying, "Well of course he has to say these things or else he won't get election." You know what? I don't want Obama to be elected if he has to talk this way in order to have a chance. I want him to at least not trash black people on his way to the White House - and it too late for him not to do this. If he were to lose on the basis of solidarity with blacks and other downtrodden peoples, then at least he would go down raising the profile of racism in America. On the other hand, if he intends to govern in the way he campaigns, then his election will be counterproductive to the progressive movement in a fundamental way that's arguably more dangerous that if McCain is president. McCain won't be able to screw over black America in the same way Obama will screw them over. McCain's racism will be obvious and resisted. Obama's racism will be rationalizes on account of the fact that he's a black man. He's the white establishments black man on the inside and that makes him extremely hazardous to the health of black America. Moreover, he's a sexist heel whose machinations deprived the best qualified candidate from being nominated.

Democrats, if they really cared about civil rights, should have picked Hillary. Of course, the convention isn't until late August and Democrats can still pick Hillary, who will win the presidency and govern in a way that doesn't harm the interests of oppressed minority groups, in part because she won't have anything to prove to white people. Democrats can win back my vote. But Democrats won't do it. They have their minds set on having a black man as a candidate. Whether its throwing a bone to black people to insure black support well into the future or throwing the election because the power elite has decided that it's not yet time for Democrats to run the executive, Democratic elites have made a terrible decision if winning the White House with some commitment to progressive values is important to them.

So, today, I am of the mind to vote for Ralph Nader. I visited his web page and I agree with his positions. I agree with his assessment of Obama. I agree with his spirit of reform. On principle, Nader is my man. I can't sacrifice principle to a stragegy of keeping Republicans out of the White House if it means the Democrats is as bad as the Republican. And, in any case, Obama won't win anyway, so it's not like my voting for Nader elects McCain.

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