I saw this article yesterday, and it’s just bugging the hell out of me. The more I think about it, the more it bugs me. I have the same question running through my head.
Just what does being “ready for a black President” mean?
I assume, since no one is asking, that we are ready for an articulate President. Barack Obama is certainly that. I know, there was that kerfufflette over his use of the word “wasted” in regards to the deaths of soldiers, but I don’t think that was inarticulate. I think it was spot-on. The people who demanded his apology were largely those who put feelings over facts.
No one is asking if we’re ready for a “clean” President, either. That’s just assumed, although it wouldn’t matter with our current President since no one who would even think of criticising him can get within sniffing distance.
For that matter, no one is asking if we’re ready for a President who’s a woman, a midget, or a world-famous yodeling hobo. Unfortunately, no one is asking if we’re ready for an honest President, either.
But back to the question at hand. Americans, especially in politics, trip all over each other to show that they aren’t racists and won’t tolerate it in others. They publicly jeer at the likes of Mel Gibson and Michael Richards. Yet, this question about our readiness to elect an intelligent, articulate, and most importantly, CLEAN man is considered a sensible one because he’s black.
And it comes from CNN. You know, the liberal media.
Well, I think I know what it means. It means that all the tsk tsking about racism is so much fluffly window dressing. It means that for mainstream America, which is comprised of all races, skin color still matters. It’s that simple.
The very existence of such a question not only reveals, but legitimizes the racism that America likes to pretend it has left behind. I honestly do not see a difference between the actual question “Is America ready for a black President?” and the hypothetical question “Why should we elect a darkie *?” The former question is merely more polite.
The rest of the article isn’t much better. We are to believe that it isn’t a question for white people, but for the black community. They are supposedly unsold on Barack Obama for two reasons. First, white people like him, so they are wary and untrusting.
That really sounds like crap. White people are squarely in his camp? Is that why there have been numerous attempts to malign his name by putting it right next to Osama bin Laden’s? Of course, no one comes out and says “They’re in cahoots!” They just put the two names close together and let people make their subconscious connections. What about the crap about how he was educated? As O’Tim recently pointed out, it worked, even though it was retracted the next day. These things didn’t come from the Rainbow Coalition. Besides, if black people don’t like a black man because white people like him, that is still racist. It also fails to explain why black people didn’t flock to Al Sharpton, whose support among white voters was scant at best.
The other reason is that, as the son of an interracial and intercontinental couple who was educated abroad and in Hawaii, he isn’t in touch with black America. He isn’t “black enough.”
Okay. Let’s digest this. America isn’t ready for a black President because the candidate isn’t black enough. That’s like saying that a diabetic can’t have a doughnut because it isn’t doused with molasses.
And exactly who IS in touch with the “black American experience?” Hillary? Come on. Bush? He’s in touch with the “black American millionaire experience.” Jackson, Sharpton, and Mosely-Braun may be, but they’ve had their shot. Were they also “not black enough”, or were they “too black?” How black is “just right?”
I’m hoping, against hope most likely, that people will see though this. I hope that white voters won’t look at this and think ” I won’t vote for him becuase his own people aren’t going to.” I hope that black voters won’t look at this and think” My people don’t support him? Then why should I?”
I hope, against hope most likely, that the election won’t be about personality. George Bush was elected in 2000 largely because he was the candidate that people would prefer to have over for Memorial Day barbecue. Look where that method of “thinking” got us.
I hope against hope that America’s issues – security, the war, health care, education, crime – can make a showing in this next election. Any articulate, intelligent, and of course, clean individual can address those things, regardless of his – or her– skin color.
(* I purposely used an antiquated slur so that I could make my point without anyone mistaking me for part of the problem. Any negative term for extremely tan, highly rhythmic people will work here.)