Right Wing News:
The Atlantic: Ta-Nehisi Coates:
I went back and watched the entire video of their appearance on Tavis’s show, and then thought some on it. There is a tendency to react to this sort of thing out of anger, and I kinda was angry when I first started watching. But the more I listened, the more I calmed down, as I saw what really seemed to be at work. I didn’t hear a single policy disagreement in the entire interview. Not one. What I did hear was a general complaint that Obama isn’t claiming his blackness–historically or politically. That sort of talk makes me cringe, if only because it’s so open to interpretation and can easily slide into a sort of lazy equivalence between lefty politics and blackness. Barack Obama could have stood up and quoted Boooker T. Washington or George Schuyler and yet, I don’t think that’s what his critics are talking about.
The specific charge seems to be essentially that Obama–for political reasons–neglected to mention Martin Luther King by name (“the preacher from Georgia” being demeaning”), that he didn’t mention Katrina, that he was–in Malveaux’s words–”white-washing” his speech so as not to offend good white folk. Hmmm. I took the “preacher from Georgia” riff as poetic use of understatement. MLK’s significance is such these days that, in America, he is the air, the symbol of purity that ideologues of all stripes reach for to launder their cause. But, hey, I love poetry, and I’m an Obama fan, so maybe I see too much. That said, it seems to me that an attempt at white-wash which mentions “the preacher from Georgia” and references the March on Washington, is a sorry effort indeed. Are we to believe that Obama’s folks, think that white voters–fresh off a week of having history drummed into them–are going to somehow miss these references? If this is the Obama campaign’s idea of hoodwinking white folks, they should all be fired.
Angry Asian guy(9/1/08):
Check out this great clip of Konrad Ng, Barack Obama’s brother-in-law, getting some attention on The Colbert Report. Colbert’s stark analysis of Obama’s moment at the DNC was foiled:
Philadelphia Daily News: Fatimah Ali(9/2/08):
If McCain wins, look for a full-fledged race and class war, fueled by a deflated and depressed country, soaring crime, homelessness – and hopelessness!
Right Wing News:
It’s hard not to notice that even though Barack Obama initially claimed to be a post-racial candidate, his supporters obviously see his race as the primary selling point of his candidacy.
Setting aside the fact that had it not been for black voters voting for him just because he’s black, he could have never received his party nomination, racism is a constant refrain from Obama’s supporters. They’ve tried to make just about any and every criticism of him imaginable off limits because of race and worse yet, they’ve tried to portray his candidacy as defining one for the country; whether America is a racist country or not depends on whether we overlook the fact that Obama is too inexperienced to be President and elect him anyway.
National Review Online(8/30/08):
Like her husband, who has been known to talk about the importance of fatherhood, Michelle doesn’t go far enough. I presume that’s because even if she wanted to, she couldn’t: The party wouldn’t let her. It’s the reason, I assume, that Barack Obama can’t bring himself to do a full-on Bill Cosby and challenge men — and black men specifically, who need to hear it, because he can — to be responsible fathers. He could talk passionately, opening up about what it was like to grow up without one.
National Review: Abigail Thernstrom & Stephan Thernstrom(8/29/08):
On which side of the chasm between white and black perceptions does Obama stand? He’ll finesse the question, and take it off the table — if possible — before November 4. Nevertheless, it’s a ticking bomb that, if ignored, could deepen the already deep black alienation. Or, alternatively, if he signs on to the views of the Congressional Black Caucus, civil-rights groups, and most black voters, his grand racial alliance is likely to crumble.
Here’s a question, for instance, that could put him in a bit of a bind: Does he believe in reparations for slavery, one of Jesse Jackson’s principal demands in his presidential races in 1984 and 1988? In one of the early Democratic debates he flatly rejected the idea. More recently, though, he has been characteristically slippery, and has left the door at least a bit open.
His views on racially preferential affirmative action, the death penalty, ballots for convicted felons, and other race-related questions are also far from clear, but they all spell possible trouble ahead. He has spoken vaguely of restructuring affirmative action to make it available to economically disadvantaged whites, but is firmly opposed to anti-preference measures like California’s Proposition 209, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, and the similar measures on the ballot in Colorado, Nebraska, and Oklahoma in November. At best, this amounts to a replay of Bill Clinton’s fake “mend it, don’t end it” policies. He does not overtly oppose the death penalty, as a majority of African Americans do, but in Illinois he worked to “reform” its administration to make it a dead letter in practice.
Does he see schools and housing as still “segregated” (a frequently reiterated NAACP charge), and if so, what policies does he propose to address these problems? Does he think whites today are unwilling to vote for black candidates because of racial prejudice (despite the millions of whites who casts their ballots for him), and that gerrymandered safe black districts are still needed to give African Americans political representation?