October 29, 2012

Is Obama full of crap on race issues?


A new AP poll, using test questions designed to elicit, even if a person consciously claims otherwise, one’s attitude toward other races, shows that racial prejudice hasn’t gotten any better since Obama got elected.
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And that means …

Either our "first post-racial president" is ignorant of this face, or he’s whistling Kumbaya in the dark, or he’ full of shit, or some overlapping mix, when he claims to be a post-racial president.

My take? I'd say 60 percent full of shit/40 percent whistling Kumbaya.

And, this fear of looking like “angry black man” bullshit? First, I’ve not heard White House insiders claim it’s a “driver” for Obama. That’s why I guesstimated the percentages as I have.

Second, even if it were, I don’t think Obama “does” angry that much.

Third, even if he did “do” angry on occasion, he’s not going to lose most independent voters inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, or the more conservative folks inside the Democratic party.

Instead, he’s just going to let tea partiers and more genteel-style old-line GOP racists offer up “I told you so” comments.

So, the 40 percent Kumbaya represents my thought that he does have a “messianic healer/unifier” strain in him. I think that, in turn comes from a mix of childhood development/psychology and deeper personality.
But, the 60 percent full of shit? It’s related to Obama being a post-racial president, in fact, in some sort of internal neoliberal-type reality in his own mind.

And, with that, I think the 60 percent “full of it” is almost entirely politically driven, but the 40 percent is at least partially the real Obama.

More thought on the issue of whether or not Obama has trouble accepting that he isn't a "post-racial" president. Here’s the fired African-American Department of Agriculture employee, Shirley Sherrod:
Sherrod still supports Obama and plans to vote for him. But, as she later wrote, she now worries that a president once thought by many to transcend race was actually “terrified” by it.
That’s a pretty strong statement. I wonder what, in private, some of his Chicago black supporters would say.

Anyway, start from the beginning and read the whole WaPost article. It’s pretty good.

More thought on the issue of whether or not Obama has trouble accepting that he isn't a "post-racial" president. Here’s the fired African-American Department of Agriculture employee, Shirley Sherrod:
Sherrod still supports Obama and plans to vote for him. But, as she later wrote, she now worries that a president once thought by many to transcend race was actually “terrified” by it.
That’s a pretty strong statement. I wonder what, in private, some of his Chicago black supporters would say.

Yes, Obama has “upbraided” black critics like Cornel West. But, has he been even 10-20 percent open to their criticisms?

As for West, the encounter left him speechless, “cool on the outside but burning inside,” he said.
Thin skinned, perhaps?

Also, perhaps reinforcing Obama’s self-perception as messianic, plus everybody’s take on him now as idealistic but very non-confrontational, is this:
Clayborne Carson, the Stanford University historian tapped by King’s widow to archive and study King’s papers, said Obama seems to relate most closely to King’s earlier approaches, when he focused on more universal themes and tried not to alienate whites. King took greater risks later in his life, Carson said, launching the Poor People’s Campaign and opposing the Vietnam War.
“What we’re seeing is [Obama] likes the early King, which was about coalition-building and the idealistic things he talks about in the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech,” Carson said. “But the later King, where he begins to realize that you have to confront the realities of American society and you can’t just wish them away, that’s where they differ.”
And, Obama isn’t going to change.

Anyway, start from the beginning and read thewhole WaPost article. It’s pretty good.

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