Originally Posted by gypsy
the examples you cite were engagements that intended to be and WERE ALL ABOUT RACE!!
Although you make a good case as an impassioned believer in your cause, you can't make that decision for Baroma. And frankly, i suspect that if the focus of his campaign were elevating this "context" out of proportion with his other qualities, it would seem forced or reaching for something that isn't among the more important issues the American public and voters are most focused on... at least on the front end of choosing a president.
Last edited by HailBop; 08-25-2008 at 03:32 AM.
I'ts been a patriotic election year for me. This election cycle a woman, a mormon, and a black man all ran a legitimate candidacy for president. I think that says a lot how America has matured into a country that is getting closer to living up to the ideas presented in the Deceleration of Independence and Constitution.
Even if Obama doesn't get the big one, at least we know that a black man or woman can run for president and be treated as a serious candidate. If nothing else that's a blockbuster moment in this country's history. Congrats to us, us Americans may be slow but we'll get their eventually.
If Obama does get it it's going to be huge. It's going to be huge because it'll show the rest of the world that hey we may be the most fucked up major industrial nation in the world but we're learning. We still got yo-yo's in parts of the country that give a flying damn about the confederacy but hey we're learning. It shows that despite our faults we are capable of becoming better then thevision of 1776.
Final note on race. Went to Hannah's over the weekend and on the dance floor was a white man dressed in stereotypical southern entire. Plad shirt, trucker cap, jeans, the whole shebang. He was slow dancing with a lovely black woman and nobody paid it any mind. No violence, no pointing, not even a smiling nod of "that's nice". I think it's entirely possible that the next generation will look at my generation and shake their heads saying "Man those old guys were just weird about the whole race thing."
It would make me very happy.
celestial dung is on the money.
and just for the record, race isn't my "cause." it's something i've been fascinated by for a long time, as an american interested in american culture, but apart from, you know, reading toni morrison and listening to public enemy i can't claim any great devotion to it from an activist standpoint. i just think that in a year when we might elect a black president, thereby upending 220 years of american history etc etc, it is a completely reasonable and logical thing to talk about. i realize this is not a universally shared opinion.
anyway, i'd love to talk more -- and you just know that's true -- but now i'm off to watch a day's worth of tennis at flushing meadows. (tennis oddly isn't on the list of stuff white people like, even though it should be. barack obama is, though.)
a letter written in a dream that is answered much too soon
One of our columnists, Vince Williams, has been writing about Obama off and on since he first started his rise. He's due for at least one more installment before the general, but reading the last three entries in order of their writing (top to bottom here) is somewhat illuminating.
This also makes me think of the two of us hanging out at the AAN convention in Portland two summers ago and discussing the then-nutty/kookoo idea that Obama might be in the running for the nomination. Anyway, here you go:
if you think obama's race doesn't matter, you probably haven't been called a nigger before.
guess what? it matters a lot. to a lot of people. deal with it.
I think gypsy is trolling a bit, though maybe it's just on a subconscious level...
The fact that Obama is black (or at least half-black) is not a small deal. If elected, he breaks a barrier that until now seemed unthinkable, for different reasons for different people. That's a big deal. The fact that he's black also means that polling data leading up to the election will be unusually squirrely, because some people won't admit even anonymously that they wouldn't vote for a black man, and others won't admit that they would.
Still, the overriding message of gypsy's trolling greatly diminishes Mr. Obama. The comment about a man from Columbia U with his skills being less than unusual, but being a black man from Columbia U is what makes him a big deal is really not true. That's a bit of the old back-handed compliment of remarking about a black person saying "he's so articulate," as though it's a surprising thing that he has mastered the concept of subject-verb agreement. Obama is an orator of the caliber of FDR or JFK. This guy, whether you like him or not, is different. To attribute his ability to stand out merely to his race is to misunderstand what's going on in this election. JFK didn't generate a buzz in 1960 because he was Catholic; he generated a buzz because of who he was, and the kind of leadership he represented.
If Obama were running for President as a black candidate on a civil-rights platform, then sure, it would be all about race. As it turns out, however, Obama only talks about race when others make a big deal out of it and force him to respond. Obama is not the black candidate. He is the candidate who happens to be black, and for once, that's not a cliche.