Pop Goes the Race-Neutral Campaign!

Barack Obama’s strategy to win the White House was to run a “race-neutral” campaign in a society that is anything but neutral on race. The very premise — that race neutrality is possible in a nation built on white supremacy — demanded the systematic practice of the most profound race-factual denial, which is ultimately indistinguishable from rank dishonesty. From the moment Obama told the 2004 Democratic National Convention that “there is no white America, there is no black America,” it was inevitable that the candidate would one day declare the vast body of black opinion illegitimate.

That day came on Tuesday, April 29, when a battered and truly bitter Barack Obama made his final, irrevocable break with his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose televised Black Liberation Theology tour de force the preceding Friday, Sunday and Monday had laid bare the contradictions of Obama’s hopeless racial “neutrality.” It was the masterful preacher and seasoned political creature Wright – not the racists who had endlessly looped chopped snippets of the reverend’s past sermons together in an attempt to make him appear crazed – who forced Obama to choose in the push and pull of black and white American worldviews. Obama was made to register his preference for the white racist version of truth over Rev. Wright’s, whose rejection of Euro-American mythology reflects prevailing African American perceptions, past and present.

Obama was less than eloquent. “All it was is a bunch of rants that aren’t grounded in truth,” said Sen. Obama, low-rating Rev. Wright’s remarks at the National Press Club, in Washington, the morning before. Rev. Wright had become a “caricature” of himself, said the wounded candidate – another way of calling the minister a clown.

Under questioning from reporters in Winston Salem, North Carolina, Obama swore up and down that he had never before, in 16 years as a member of Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ congregation, observed his pastor behave in such a way. The declaration rang patently false, as even a red-state Republican white evangelical observer would have recognized Wright’s Press Club performance as that of veteran pulpit-master with a vast repertoire of church-pleasing moves and grooves to draw upon, all of them honed over decades for the entertainment of his parishioners – including Obama. But the senator was intent on giving the impression that Rev. Wright was – unbeknownst to Obama – a Jekyll and Hyde character, whose statements “were not only divisive and destructive, but I believe that they end up giving comfort to those who prey on hate.”

An amazingly Bush-like turn of phrase! The man who married Barack and Michelle and baptized their children is now rhetorically linked to Osama bin Laden or the Ku Klux Klan.

Clearly, this is what panic looks and sounds like when Obama’s flimsy tissues of “race neutrality” are stripped away. He berates Rev. Wright and other black voices for self-centeredness in failing to strike a balance between African American grievances and whatever ails white people. “When you start focusing so much on the historically oppressed,” said Obama, “we lose sight of the plight of others.” Obama is desperate to convince these “others” that he rejects anything that smacks of an Afro-centric worldview, as represented by Rev. Wright. “What became clear to me was that he was presenting a world view that contradicts what I am and what I stand for.”

Rev. Wright succeeded in drawing a line in the sand, whether that was his intention or not, daring Obama to take his stand on one side or the other. Race “neutrality” – an impossibility in the actually existing United States – went out the window as Obama in extremis positioned himself at the political/historical fault line alongside the defenders of the Alamo and American Manifest Destiny. As dictated by the logic of power, Obama furiously maneuvered toward “white space,” shamelessly taking cover in a kind of populist white patriotism that has always branded black grievances as selfish, even dangerous distractions from the larger national mission. Rev. Wright’s “rantings” amounted to “a complete disregard for what the American people are going through,” said Obama. “What mattered to him was him commanding center stage.”

Obama had belabored the same theme in his Philadelphia speech on race, a few weeks earlier – a widely applauded piece of oratory that was at root an exercise in moral equivalence that equated white and Black grievances in the U.S., as if history and gross power discrepancies did not exist. Obama is as quick as any smug corporate commentator to dismiss as the ravings of extremists and those who “prey on hate” the very idea that U.S. imperialism is an historical and current fact. Chickens cannot possibly come home to roost in terroristic revenge as a response to American crimes against humanity, since “good” nations by definition are incapable of such crimes. It is beyond the pale to contemplate that the United States has Dr. Deaths on its covert payrolls dealing in ghastly biological warfare – the AIDS genesis theory.

In order for his race-neutral strategy to appear sane, Obama must constantly paint a picture of an America that does not exist. This cannot be accomplished without mangling the truth, assaulting the truth-tellers, and misrepresenting America’s past and present.

Since Obama’s candidacy is predicated on minimizing the pervasiveness of racism in American life, it is necessary that he cast doubt on the legitimacy of those with race-based grievances. Otherwise, he would be morally compelled to abandon his neutrality and side with the oppressed minority. Thus, he announces in Selma, Alabama that Blacks “have already come 90 percent of the way” to equality – a non-truth by virtually any measurement. He says the “incompetence was color-blind” in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, thereby deracializing all that occurred in New Orleans from the moment the winds died down to this very second. He claims that 1980s Ronald Reagan voters had understandable grievances due to “the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s,” in the process cleansing the Reagan victory of any racist content.

Race neutrality requires that Barack Obama become a cleanup boy for racists, historically and in the present day. At the same time, Obama is driven to loathe most those people and facts that might lead to divisiveness. America’s worst enemies are not the racists, but those who point out the facts of racism, as Obama explained in mid-March in Philadelphia:

Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems – two wars, a terrorist threat, a falling economy, a chronic health care crisis and potentially devastating climate change; problems that are neither black or white or Latino or Asian, but rather problems that confront us all.

Rev. Wright and his ilk, by this reasoning, are Public Enemy Number One, standing in the way of the racial harmony that is the natural order of things in Obama’s mythical America.

Ironically, in practice, race-neutrality also requires that Obama disarm himself in the face of racist attacks. “If I lose,” he told reporters with a straight face, “it would not be because of race. It would be because of mistakes I made along the campaign trail.”

Perhaps it is fitting that, having absolved American racists of all manner of crimes against others, Obama also holds them blameless for their assaults on himself. That’s his prerogative, as long as he’s the only one being assaulted. But Obama was also trailed over the long weekend by the ghost of Sean Bell, whose death in a 50-shot New York City police fusillade was held blameless by a white judge. Many African Americans anxiously awaited Obama’s reaction to the three police officers’ acquittals on all charges. “We’re a nation of laws, so we respect the verdict that came down,” said Obama, when asked about the case by reporters in Indiana. “Resorting to violence to express displeasure over a verdict is something that is completely unacceptable and is counterproductive.” That was it.

Hillary Clinton, aware that the Sean Bell verdict was an outrage to Black America, issued a prepared statement:

This tragedy has deeply saddened New Yorkers – and all Americans. My thoughts are with Nicole and her children and the rest of Sean’s family during this difficult time. The court has given its verdict, and now we await the conclusion of a Department of Justice civil rights investigation. We must also embrace this opportunity to take steps – in our communities, in our law enforcement agencies, and in our government – to make sure this does not happen again.

It is difficult not to conclude that Obama distanced himself from the facts of the acquittal – except to counsel against violence and urge folks to “respect” the verdict, whatever that means – while Clinton had the sense to prepare a statement that sounded sensitive to black anger and on top of developments in the story. The Sean Bell police and judicial atrocity revealed with horrific clarity that black life continues to be systematically devalued by police in the United States, even when the officers involved are of African descent, as were two of the three shooters in the Bell case. The New York verdict shows that black lives are devalued by all actors in American society, including black actors: the essence of institutional racism.

Institutional racism is alien to Barack Obama’s version of the nation, a fantasy place where racial oppression has never been so endemic to the political culture as to overshadow the “promise” of America. In Obama’s public vision, his Democratic caucus victory in 98 percent white Iowa, which began the cascade of Obama wins, proves that the U.S. is ready for profound racial “change.” Left unnoted is the fact that Iowa incarcerates African Americans at 13 times the frequency that it locks up whites, the worst record in the nation.

For people like Rev. Jeremiah Wright, mass black incarceration and slavery are seamlessly linked, part of the continuity of racial oppression in the U.S. Most African Americans see the world the way Rev. Wright does – that’s why he’s among the five top rated preacher-speakers in black America. This black American world view, excruciatingly aware of the nation’s origins in genocide and slavery, is wholly incompatible with the American mythology championed by Barack Obama. When the two meet, they are mutually repellant.

The relationship between Rev. Wright and Sen. Obama has undergone “great damage,” says Obama, understatedly. But the break was inevitable and is no tragedy, because it reveals the incompatibility of Obama’s adapted world view with the body of knowledge amassed by African Americans since before the landing of the Mayflower. The truth is always a revelation.

Glen Ford is Executive Editor of Black Agenda Report, where this article first appeared. He can be contacted at: Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com. Read other articles by Glen, or visit Glen's website.

21 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Don Hawkins said on May 1st, 2008 at 5:26am #

    Glen very good. The other night on one of the news shows someone said that Wright’s speech was a freakshow. I hope someone but myself see’s the insanity in that statement.

  2. Lloyd Rowsey said on May 1st, 2008 at 6:23am #

    Ford writes above, “Obama is as quick as any smug corporate commentator to dismiss as the ravings of extremists and those who ‘prey on hate’ the very idea that U.S. imperialism is an historical and current fact.”

    In a similar vein, Chalmers Johnson in The Sorrows of Empire wrote on page on page 28:

    “The simplest definition of imperialism is the domination and exploitation of weaker states by stronger ones. Numerous sorrows follow from this ancient and easily observable phenomenon. Inperialism is, for example, the root cause of one of the worst maladies inflicted by civilization on the rest of the world — namely racism. Following which, Chalmers, quotes David Abernathy, an authority on European Imperialism: ‘It was but a short mental leap for people of superior power to infer that they were superior in intellect, morality, and civilization as well. The superiority complex served as a rationalization for colonial rule and, by reducing qualms over the rightness of dominating other people, was empowering in its own right.’ (Citing The Dynamics of Global Dominance: European Overseas Empires, 1414-1980, p382.)

    Maybe not as quickly, Glen, but eventually and with incalculably far more deleterious consequence under the circumstances. Because Obama’s very temporizing on Rev. Wright has already disappeared down the “black hole” of this country’s corporate reporting.

  3. evie said on May 1st, 2008 at 11:41am #

    Watching Obama’s latest response to Wright I winced and cringed. It reminded me of my childhood in a segregated south where black men in the presence of a white man were forced to drop their heads, hat in hand, shuffle, ‘yassuh boss.’

    I see-sawed between feeling pity for Obama to a passionate desire to smash his face. Eeek, I haven’t wanted to smash a pol in the face since Bush’s first term.

    While I can agree with Wright and Obama on a point or two here and there – personally, I wouldn’t give two shits for either one of them – both have oversized egos and are out first and foremost for themselves and personal glory. Both are smug and pandering to their audiences. Both are slick players, and would throw their own momma under a bus for vanity and gain.

    I guess black America can divide camps into the Crazy Angry Uncle Jerry or the Stepin Fetchit Obama.

    Besides, everyone knows AIDS was created by the government for homosexuals.

  4. Edwin Pell said on May 1st, 2008 at 12:17pm #

    If Obama can not control his ego-manic pastor how will he control the ego-manic generals of the war department? The Clintons know how to kill the opposition and McCain just knows nothing. “God damn America” well it looks like that is the case.

  5. Deadbeat said on May 1st, 2008 at 1:05pm #

    Obama’s capitulation was a pathetic sight to see. Rev. Wright displayed honor and courage and defiance. He didn’t pander to the media nor played their game. His response to the reporters lame-ass question especially on the Farrakhan was excellent when he liked it to when Ted Koppel demanded Madella to repudiate Castro.

    Obama may only temporarily survive this episode. His blaming Wright for what was a Clintonite and media smear campaign exposed not only a flaw but a weakness that will be exploited by the right in the fall should he be the nominee. It also show how the elites can make Obama BEND to their will and whose interests he’ll jettison as well.

    Rev. Wright was not completely right in his analysis. This episode was not just an attack on the Black Church. It was an attack on the Black political traditions of struggle for equality and justice. Obama could have crafted a response and counterattack but chose to throw that tradition overboard with his denunciation of Rev. Wright.

    What’s also revealing was the excuses and defensiveness of Obama’s supporters. White supporters are claiming that AfAm’s are being too “devisive” while his black supporters are participating in the blame game of Wright. AfAm’s better be careful here because they are being set up for the rhetorical dismissal of their legitimate grievances.

    It has been the advance of those grievance that has PROGRESSED this country not its suppression.

  6. Don Hawkins said on May 1st, 2008 at 1:42pm #

    What we see and hear is not real. In a way it is real but the way it is said makes the insanity Ok. To be real is wrong being real is no fun unless the insanity is happening to you. Wright was good I saw the last speech. That was real he acted human was not afraid to let himself out. What we see not just from Obama or the rest that is not real but controlled nonsense. In many way’s has nothing to do with anything real or what needs to be done just controlled nonsense. There are a few problems facing the human race right now and unless we get real they will take us all into a reality that will be very real. In Israel how they clean up after an attack almost like it didn’t happen well I am starting to see that now with the media here in the States first stages. It will work for awhile as I am sure still trying to hold on to the nonsense posing as real while all along is non reality, fantasy land. Well I feel better.

  7. HR said on May 1st, 2008 at 2:16pm #

    It has amazed me from the beginning how working-class people could flock to any of the three corporate candidates vying for the position of chief servant to the wealthy. Not one of them has offered anything but vague promises of change, while clearly being in favor of perpetuating the status quo (keeping the ripoff health insurance companies in business, continuing to maintain a horridly oversized military for maintenance and expansion of empire, joining in the nationalist chant against Iran, and on and on. These candidates do not give a damn about you!

    Wake up. You DO have real choices: Nader and McKinney, either of whom is electable … if you just place your mark opposite their names, or write them in if elite-favoring election laws in your jurisdiction keep their names off the ballot. Quit buying into the corporate-sponsored propaganda mantra of unelectability. It is just a damned lie. Think for yourselves, for once.

  8. Don Hawkins said on May 1st, 2008 at 2:35pm #

    Heck I had so much fun with that last one how about this. The people who come into my bait shop are real and all different. I try never to judge as it makes me crazy. Some who come in are farmers some very poor some young some old and on and on. Wright said that many times in his speech there not wrong or unreal just different. There not less than or wrong just different. Now let’s get real ever now and then I get somebody from out of town big SUV probably live in a city and have this way of thinking that makes me act in a certain way. They look at me like I am less than in the old day’s we called that frog perspective have you ever looked up to a frog. Superior in the way they look at the World there not very nice. Now when someone play’s this game with me I play and let them do there thing and after they leave my shop I just say to myself thank you God for giving me a mind. This is fun. Now Rev. Wright I guess lives in a big house and it is on a golf course that’s different. For me to live in a house that big on a golf course no matter how much money I had would not happen. You know people hitting golf balls into your house having to join the club and all that just not for me. But if that is what you want to do is Ok just different. Now what I hear on TV from the Candidates is nonsense but if that is there way Ok just different. I disagree with that thinking but just different. The talk I hear on TV about Rev. Wright is almost like he is the antichrist again I find that different. I’ll bet if I ever met Rev. Wright I would probably get along with him and have a good conversation, different. Let me finish with unless we get real about some problems facing us all in the coming years different doesn’t begin to explain it.

  9. Don Hawkins said on May 1st, 2008 at 3:39pm #

    Are you sitting down?
    Few Americans know it, but for almost a year now, Congress has been bickering over whether and how to renew the investment tax credit to stimulate investment in solar energy and the production tax credit to encourage investment in wind energy. The bickering has been so poisonous that when Congress passed the 2007 energy bill last December, it failed to extend any stimulus for wind and solar energy production. Oil and gas kept all their credits, but those for wind and solar have been left to expire this December. I am not making this up. At a time when we should be throwing everything into clean power innovation, we are squabbling over pennies.

    These credits are critical because they ensure that if oil prices slip back down again – which often happens – investments in wind and solar would still be profitable. That’s how you launch a new energy technology and help it achieve scale, so it can compete without subsidies.

    The Democrats wanted the wind and solar credits to be paid for by taking away tax credits from the oil industry. President Bush said he would veto that. Neither side would back down, and Mr. Bush – showing not one iota of leadership – refused to get all the adults together in a room and work out a compromise. Stalemate. Meanwhile, Germany has a 20-year solar incentive program; Japan 12 years. Ours, at best, run two years. The New York Times

    By Juliet Eilperin
    The Washington Post

    Thursday 01 May 2008

    White House officials for more than a year have blocked a rule aimed at protecting endangered North Atlantic right whales by challenging the findings of government scientists, according to documents obtained by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    The documents, which were mailed to the environmental group by an unidentified National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration official, illuminate a struggle that has raged between the White House and NOAA for more than a year. In February 2007, NOAA issued a final rule aimed at slowing ships traversing some East Coast waters to 10 knots or less during parts of the year to protect the right whales, but the White House has blocked the rule from taking effect.

    North Atlantic right whales, whose surviving population numbers fewer than 400, are one of the most endangered species on Earth, and scientists have warned that the loss of just one more pregnant female could doom the species. Some shipping companies have opposed the NOAA proposal, saying slowing their vessels will cost the industry money.

    The documents, which House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) released yesterday, show that the White House Council of Economic Advisers and Vice President Cheney’s office repeatedly questioned whether the rule was needed. Waxman, who sent a letter to the White House asking for an explanation, said the exchange “appears to be the latest instance of the White House ignoring scientists and other experts.

    Now does anybody find this different? What do this people have against whales or for that matter the human race. They certainly are different. Thank you God for giving me a mind.

  10. bozhidar balkas said on May 1st, 2008 at 4:53pm #

    thre may be at least 10 americas:
    1. the one that actually governs; probably 5-10mn richest amers.
    2.in betwn the richest and the midle class
    3. middle class
    4.working class
    5. most women
    7. blacks. 8. indigenes. 9. hobos. 10. migrants. 11. prisoners.
    guess which class will win each and every election?
    as some one has said, Those who control symbols (money, flag, etc.) will control u and no amount of revolution will change that.
    so, he added, what’s needed is that our rulers be enlightned.
    switzerland appears far more democratic than US/canada/UK an d the rest.
    that’s why it stays out of the UN; the den of thiefs. thank u. sorry abt these bad news.

  11. Jerry D. Rose said on May 1st, 2008 at 5:24pm #

    When I heard Obama “distancing” not only himself but the black community from Wright’s views, I wondered about that “thunderous” ovation that met his speech at the NAACP. Don’t those folks represent something in the black community? What reactions are most black people (those who don’t travel in Obama’s elite circle) going to have to seeing their legitimate grievances put down in this humiliating fashion? Is it worth it to have “one of their own” as President when that “one” is as insensitive to black feelings as to make the quoted Obama statement about the Sean Bell case which justified the judicial decision and counseled led the black folks to be good little children and behave themselves (which reaction drove Al Sharpton, for one, up a wall).? Has Obama thrown his loyal black constituency under the bus along with Wright? Clearly there’s an element in the black bourgeoisie crowd which fawns on any crumbs of “success” of white talking and acting blacks, but how about those innumerable blacks who can’t get a job or have a family member in prison: how are they going to react to “Reverend” Obama’s law and order sermon or his “sociological” assessment that that blacks have almost reached equality with whites? Questions, questions, and only some of them will be answered in next Tuesday’s primaries, especially in North Carolina, with its very substanial proportion of black voters.

  12. Deadbeat said on May 1st, 2008 at 8:21pm #

    Wake up. You DO have real choices: Nader and McKinney, either of whom is electable

    Please. Nader and McKinney are not “electable” and will not win. That’s just fantasy and dishonest. There was a change in 2004 for the left to BUILD upon Nader’s 2000 run especially with the fresh energy of the anti-war movement. What did the left do? The abandon Nader and dismantled the anti-war movement to support whom? Anybody But Bush; Safe State David Cobb; and indirectly pro-war John Kerry.

    There needs to be a coalescing of the left and labor. That’s not going to happen this year so working people are probably better off going for lesser evil or get engaged in local activity. There is really no working class energy in the U.S.

  13. Jerry D. Rose said on May 2nd, 2008 at 2:28am #

    Re: Deadbeat’s “fantasy and dishonesty” of thinking that Nader or McKinney could possibly win the presidency. I said it before, a couple of days ago in fact in a comment in a long string of comments to one of the innumerable odes to Barack Obama in John Buell’s article in Common Dreams. (I think you can’t BUY an anti-Obama article on that site). This in response to another nay-sayer about the sad “necessity” of resigning ourselves to a “lesser evil” presidential choice (one who rather obviously so rated Hillary Clinton). So to repeat myself (slightly amended):

    ““Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.” Heywood

    And, aye, there’s the rub, the lack of a “willing heart” when it comes to the American electorate. “It’s impossible,” it’s “sad but reality,” “what can we do about it?” etc. etc….an endless string of what Sartre calls the “bad faith” statements by means of which we evade our moral responsibility to exercise our freedom of action. (A long ago activist, C. Wright Mills, called these counsels of despair “crackpot realism,” the very kind of ideas that help our “power elite” to continue to exercise its dominance over us.

    Of course it’s impossible that, say, Cynthia McKinney could be elected President of the United States; but impossible as well that people would ever fly in airplanes or split atoms to produce nuclear energy. History is a litany of impossible things that have come to pass, with the “willing hearts” of those with the courage to do the impossible. Life itself, yours and mine, my friend, is a miracle of its own, and miracles constantly happen. (My car has a bumper sticker from the UCC to which Jeremiah Wright and I both belong: “Grace Happens.” )

    Dennis Kucinich used to ask: “Can I be elected?” and respond to his own question: “I can be elected if you vote for me,” and with that same willing heart I’m going to vote for that person who I think should be President, even while all the “can’t do” whiners whimper and settle for their “lesser evil candidates.” I’ve been there and done that and I’m 74 years old and don’t want to close out my final days living in that state of resigned despair. You call me a dreamer…I’m not the only one.

  14. Rich Griffin said on May 2nd, 2008 at 5:44am #

    It doesn’t matter if McKinney or Nader are electable. Vote for them anyway, for your own ethics and wisdom. Obama in particular will set us back decades, which is why Clinton is the better choice – we can continue to strive for progressive ideals if she’s President (or McCain, unfortunately), but Obama is somehow seen as the voice of progressivism. Dissidents need to dissent; vote third party.

  15. HR said on May 2nd, 2008 at 9:27am #

    Deadbeat, the only dishonesty is from those who continue to toe the line laid down by those whose main goal is to preserve the current state of affairs here in the U.S. People refusing to think for themselves, choosing instead to buy into those lies and vote for the perceived lesser evil — all the while telling themselves they have analyzed the situation thoroughly and on their own — is what makes it impossible for Nader or McKinney to get elected.

  16. Gregory Walker said on May 2nd, 2008 at 11:47am #

    This is my first time visiting this site and I must say I am impresed by the progressive thought. I think that this article makes strong points. But I also believe that the truth is never convenient. I believe that Obama is progressive in his thinking. His delivery has to be tailored for mainstream America. “We all like sausage, but we dont want to know how it’s made!”

  17. Max Shields said on May 2nd, 2008 at 6:54pm #

    Gregory Walker,

    Welcome. I’ve just spent a couple of hours (over a couple of days) on Truthdig.

    There, the commentors are saving the world by voting for Obama.

    Many of these people were Kucinich supporters and then swung over to Obama. Their either mindless – that is regardless of what you point out; i.e., facts about Obama’s political origins and connections – they just ignore and claim that Jim Hightower, Cornell West (anybody figure what this guys talking about?), Michael Moore, and Tommy Haydan have all given the thumbs up to Obama. Ipso facto, who can argue with that!!!

    Most of this is what they call being “pragmatic”. It’s a tough go with them. Pragmatics is the Dem code for shut your mouth while we rule; ala ’06 Dem standard remark for why they couldn’t get a binding timeline to get out of Iraq.

    DV is refreshing. It’s progressive though varied in opinions (an occasional zionist will drop in to say that Palestinians deserve what they’re getting – but they make the rounds everywhere just to keep racism alive).

    So, yea, great site with posters who provide insight and frequently provide detail source references.

  18. Max Shields said on May 2nd, 2008 at 7:09pm #

    Just one thing Gregory, what exactly is progressive about Obama?

    I couldn’t get an answer over at Truthdig. Maybe you can help.

  19. Mike McNiven said on May 3rd, 2008 at 12:30pm #

    “race neutral” when some races are more “equal” than others, shows lack of integrity!

    campaigning and voting for Ms.McKinney and Mr.Nader are the best that can be done!

  20. JColquitt said on May 5th, 2008 at 10:24am #

    While the critique of Obama’s campaign is clearly correct, I would also like to read an article to be written that is equally provactive that exposes white liberalism who, because of white priviledge, can assert themselves by addressing racial injustice. Clearly, a white person is not be held to the same standard as a black man trying to become president who does not live in the world of white priviledge. Remember, Hillary said after a debate “its about time that a women became president or something to that effect.” Could Obama have asserted at the same time or anytime “its about time we had a black man as president!” NO. Realistically, his candidacy would have been over–plain and simple. Much like in the professional world, one can talk gender justice, but in America one cannot talk about racial justice and become president.

  21. Max Shields said on May 5th, 2008 at 6:57pm #


    Your argument for Obama is baseless. Whatever his color his station is not that of the people you’re comparing him to. This is a class-based/moneyed society. You’re comparison is simply outlandish and not based in the reality of his circumstances.

    In fact, using poor African Americans as a way to garner Obama support is intellectually dishonest.