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The transformation of black America - Jason Lindquist
Idle ramblings of an idle mind
The transformation of black America
That I'm a moderately-old fan of Barack Obama is old news. That I find fuel in literate, elegant speech is old news. So it shouldn't be any great surprise that I've carried a sense through this primary season that we're experiencing a turning point in history. I suppose that's obvious, too, given the "black man/white woman frontrunners" situation. But it goes further than that. If Obama is the Democratic nominee, that's historic. If he wins the Presidency in November, it will be an irrevocable change in the state and environment of black people in America.

Look at this week's events. Jeremiah Wright gets up in front of a crowd and displays damned near every stereotype we know of the angry black community leader. (The US government is behind AIDS? Please...) He's no neophyte, he knows exactly what it's doing, and you can't question that his intent is to attack Obama for not standing tall for him. His prior objectionable comments were not made in this context, there was some room for debate as to why he made them. (Was he making a point? Trying to fire up a crowd?) These were not. These were prepared and measured. This was all the justification needed for Obama to cut Wright loose. Then he calls for calm and peace in the aftermath of the Sean Bell verdict in New York. That drew Al Sharpton into the fray. Obama is not playing the same old game many black politicians have played for years. He is not playing their game of victimhood--indeed, he rejects it. There's a poster over on TPM Cafe that sees it. Andrew Sullivan sees it too. Even Rush Limbaugh sees it.

What it means, for a black candidate to occupy the highest elected office in the land, is that the (white) Man didn't succeed in keeping him down. The game of paranoid racial victimization will be an empty shell, and those who cling to it will be left behind as the rest of the nation moves on. Not that all ills will be cured overnight. But the game and its rules will have changed. That's very much the kind of world I'd like to live in. And soon.
6 comments or Leave a comment
jessbunbun From: jessbunbun Date: April 30th, 2008 01:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Dude, you linked to Limbaugh!
jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: April 30th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know, I know, I feel dirty, but if even a clown like that sees the truth of something... you know?
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 30th, 2008 05:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Billary - Obama - McCain...

Obama represents change, and a generational handoff... and this is why he should be the Dem nominee and the eventual president.

billary is a regression back to the neo-liberal centrist politics of bill - hey remember how it was... yeah, it was good, get on your knees and serve the oval office.

McCain - old school Goldwater GOP guy... if someone is going to push the button, he will... Dr. Strangelove here we come, if anything, to limit the time we need to spend in Iraq - after all, oil is still oil - lead suits and all.

Don't get me wrong, I respect his many years in POW, but if he was that good, how did he get there in the first place. Shot down once, shot down again?

All are useful idiots for the powers that be. I would have preferred a Edwards/Huckabee race myself.

anything is better than worst.president.ever...

jlindquist From: jlindquist Date: April 30th, 2008 02:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Billary - Obama - McCain...

I don't know about McCain being an old-school Goldwater type. That doesn't feel correct, the way he's out courting religious zealots, and talking about reform while hanging out with lobbyists on the campaign bus. I used to respect him, I would've given a lot of thought to voting for him over Kerry in '04 if that would have happened. But not now. He really does appear to be 4-8 years of the status quo. Talk about sellouts and disappointments...

Hillary... Jesus... the arrogance over there. The willingness to lie and spin, to abandon principles all in the name of winning office. All the crap opponents used to talk about Bill being just mad for power is all apparently true about Hillary. I don't like that cliche term "Billary", but they are indeed a package deal. I look at how she's running right now, and I have to honestly ask, was it really this bad when Bill was in office?
jessbunbun From: jessbunbun Date: April 30th, 2008 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Billary - Obama - McCain...

Bill would bend the truth, but at least he was competent and usually hired competent people as well. Wall St. lobbyist were there to be sure, but the rising economy (in the 90s) had wage gains in almost all demographics.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 8th, 2008 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)

well done

well done, brother
6 comments or Leave a comment