1/20/09 UPDATE: This is the blog that I originally wrote on 12/23/06 & posted on my Myspace page. It’s interesting to see how certain I was that I was right (love the part where I wrote “Ni**a please!”). Yet, as we can see, I was WRONG (although I was correct about the enhanced expectations he would face if he were elected). This will teach me to be so sure of myself…
This 2008 election will go down in history as not only historic, but one of the most unpredictable. If you had asked me back then, I would’ve sworn that this race would’ve ended up being Hillary Clinton vs. Rudy Giuliani. Not only did I not expect Obama to be the nominee, but I never would’ve guessed that Sen. McCain would’ve made it as far as he did. He deserves credit, as well.
I was considering taking today off, but I figured that Obama’s example means that Black men should be working even harder, not less. So I’m going to work soon (wearing my newest Obama t-shirt), but I’ll be in D.C. in spirit.
Congratulations Barack HUSSEIN Obama!..
Please don’t let us down.
“Iraq Osama” That’s what a guy on one message board said that some folks are thinking when they hear the name Barack Obama. I thought that was pretty funny, and sadly accurate.
I’ve been saying for months now that I seriously doubt that any Black man could get elected President of The United States today, but I know that no Black man with a foreign-sounding name like Barack Obama could get elected.
The question had been around since back when Colin Powell was being considered as a Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidate in 1994. How many people would vote for a Black man? Sure, the POLLS said that he had tons of support, across all racial groups, and people would say that they would vote for a Black candidate, but we all know that how folks answer poll questions doesn’t always match how they really feel.
I mean, most polls would tell you that folks want more wholesome family entertainment on TV, but then they all go watch The Sopranos or Fear Factor. Most folks would tell a poll that pornography is disgusting, yet it’s literally a billion dollar industry, so somebody is watching it.
So, it’s way too easy to say “Sure, I’d vote for ____” if you’re asked by a pollster, but then, when alone in that voting both, how many just won’t check that name? I think Powell had the best shot. But we’ll never really know. Incumbents are hard to beat, especially in a good economy, so if Powell had gotten the Republican nomination in ’94, and then lost the general election to Clinton, we couldn’t have definitively said that it was because he was Black.
Heck, I can’t prove it, of course, but I suspect that the reason that Al Gore lost in 2000 was because of his running mate, Joe Lieberman. I mean, that election was Gore’s for the taking. He was the incumbant Vice President, from an inexplicably popular (despite all the scandals) President, coming off of 8 successful years of an administration with a good economy & a balanced budget. Running against the comparitively inexperienced son of an unpopular ex-President. But he lost. Yeah, they technically won the Popular vote, but not by enough. He should’ve won by such a wide margin that all the trouble in Florida would’ve been irrelevent. But I suspect that Gore lost a significant amount of votes because some folks just would not vote for a Jew. But no one will admit that that’s why they didn’t vote for him…
Blacks have won state-wide offices before but, statistically speaking, it’s very low. Obama is only the 3rd Black elected to the US Senate, and there have been two Black elected governors (& @ least 3 Black Lt. Governors, one of whom later served half a term as governor, but he was appointed, not elected, though it’s possible that there may have been more that I just don’t know about, and am too lazy to look up), in American history. That’s not a lot.
I think that, for many, with Blacks, come all sorts of suspicions. How radical will he be? Will he favor Blacks over Whites when he gets into office? That sort of thing. Sometimes it may be easy to put race out their minds, but Obama’s name makes that nearly impossible. Buh-rock-oh-bah-muh. Nope. Not gonna happen. And before that MSNBC article, I didn’t even know that his middle name was Hussein. HUSSEIN! President Barack Hussein Obama? Ni**a please!
This is why I thought Powell had a better shot, @ least. Because I think that any Black person who ran for President would have to be a Republican, because he would need to be as conservative and non-threatening as possible. Even so, that didn’t help Michael Steele, who ran for Governor of Maryland and had the entire Republican party machine behind him, as well as many prominent Black Democrats in his state, mostly church ministers, endorsing him. And he still lost.
Obama’s campaign will be focused on race constantly. And there will be all sorts of racially ambiguous attacks used against him. Like the campaign add against Harold Ford (who, like Obama, is very light-skinned and well-spoken) when he ran for Senator in ….Tennessee…. this year. The commercial had several “people on the street” saying things about Ford. In the beginning of the add a blonde White woman is shown saying that she met Harold @ the Playboy mansion (Ford, who is single, admits to having attended a Superbowl party @ the Playboy mansion before), then the commercial ends with that same woman looking into the camera and saying “Harold, call me.” & winking.
So, there ya go. Playing right into the old fears of Black men & White women. Ford’s opponent denounced the add, saying that he had nothing to do with it, and the National Republican Committee also asked for it to be pulled. But there are still some that defend that add. I’ve seen a guy on one of those political talk shows, saying that it’s the one’s who are offended by that add who are the real racists, because what difference did it make what color the woman was? Earlier today on some political blog, some guy claimed that that there was nothing racist about that add because Ford is “half-White.” Right. They know exactly what that add meant, they just don’t want to admit it.
And that’s what a Black running for National office will have to deal with. Opponents will do whatever they can to use race against him (or her), & if he tries to call them on it, they’ll just say that he’s being oversensitive about race, which feeds into another stereotype of the “angry Black man” who’s “always crying racism.” So he can’t win.
Heck, & even if he did somehow win, I don’t know how effective he could be, with the intense scrutiny he’ll face. This is why some referred to ….Clinton…. as “The first Black President,” because of the way every single issue of his life was scrutinized &, in some cases, blown out of proportion, & his every move 2nd-guessed. Just multiply that by 12 for a real Black President.
Starting with his Cabinent appointments. The racial make-up will be watched like never before. How many Blacks in his administration? More than Whites? And, if so, why? Was that on purpose? I’ve already seen snide remarks online about Obama making Jesse Jackson Sec. Of State, and Al Sharpton Sec. Of Defense. When it comes to appointing Federal Judges, what color with they be? And If he gets the opportunity to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, then it’ll really be pressure time. If he picks a Black Judge he’ll be immediately asked if race played a part in his decision. And what if he picks more than one. Bush appointed two Whites to the Supreme Court (&, inbetween, nominated another White person), & that wasn’t an issue. But if a Black President nominated 2 Blacks to the Supreme Court, that would be attacked online and on talk radio for months. Affirmative Action, they’d all be screaming…..
Of course, the hardest part is the criticism and expectations he’ll be facing from the Black community. They’ll be upset if he doesn’t have enough Blacks in his cabinet or appoint Black judges. He’ll have to constantly prove that he’s not “selling out.” And the press will be asking him to comment on every single racial issue that comes up. Nobody asked Pres. Bush about Michael Richards’ rant @ The Laugh Factory, but Pres. Obama would’ve been expected to talk about it. Pres. Obama would’ve been asked about the Michael Jackson trial, as well as about Kobe Bryant. Any time any Black rapper made some offensive song, or some Black athlete or celebrity got in trouble or did something stupid, the press would go running to Pres. Obama for a statement. And if he doesn’t respond in the “right” way, as far as some are concerned, he’ll be crucified. And God help him if there’s another major racial incident, like a Rodney King-type riot, or an OJ Simpson trial.
So, I just don’t see this happening, folks. @ the very least, he..
shoud’ve been smart enough to change his name to Barry Howard O’Mally or somthing…
Just my opinion