Blogs > HNN > OBAMA ON HOW TO TALK TO WHITE PEOPLE

Mar 19, 2008 2:51 pm


OBAMA ON HOW TO TALK TO WHITE PEOPLE



In the good, old tradition of revolutionaries, Obama hides in plain print. So, before listening to his speech, it's worth while to note the following passages from his autobiography:

On p. 94-95 he describes an effective tactic to deal with White people:

It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied; they were relieved - such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn't seem angry all the time.

Indeed, when he was a community organizer (age 22 prior to going to law school) he happily cooperated with Rafiq, a former gangster turned Nation of Islam. He even believed that Black Nationalism was a good therapy for Blacks. That was also the reason he supported Wright(p. 190-200. For he shares Michelle's sentiments of alienation, came to believe that race should trump everything and it should be anti-white:

. . . :all the black people who, it turned out, shared with me a voice that whispered inside them -"You don't really belong here."

In a sense, then, Rafiq was right when he insisted that, deep down, all blacks were potential Nationalists. The anger was there, bottled up and often turned inward. And . . . I wondered whether, for now at least, Rafiq wasn't also right in preferring that that anger be redirected; whether a black politics that suppressed rage towards white generally, or one that failed to elevate race loyally above all else, was a politics inadequate to the task.

It was a painful thought to consider, as painful now as it has been years ago. it contradicted the morality my mother had taught me, a morality of subtle distinctions- between individuals of goodwill and those who wished me ill, between active malice and ignorance of indifference. I has a personal stake in that moral framework; I'd discovered that I couldn't escape it if I tried. And yet perhaps it was a framework that blacks in this country could no longer afford; perhaps it weakened black resolve, encouraged confusion within the ranks. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and for many blacks, times were chronically desperate. If nationalism could create a strong and effective insularity, deliver on its promise of self respect, then the hurt it might cause well-meaning whites, of the inner turmoil it caused people like me, would be of little consequence.

If nationalism could deliver. As it turned out, questions of effectiveness, and not sentiment, cause most of my quarrels with Rafiq.

In other words, Barack was willing to sacrifice his mother and his grandparents on the alter of black nationalism. His sentiments were in lime with those of Rafiq, the Nation of Islam activist. That is the reason he chose a black nationalist church run by"Reverend Wright" who explained to him (p.284):

"Life's not safe for a black man in this country, Barack. Never has been. Probably never will be."

Sorry, guys, but there is nothing post racial about Barack. He has merely learned that it is advantegous to convince whites that he is.




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sascha matuszak - 3/19/2008

Just as the Chinese find it hard to understand why Tibetans protest in the streets 50 years after "Liberation," so you too fail to understand the dynamics of being black in America. Black Nationalism is not a movement of secession or violent action toward whites as much as it is a tool for Blacks to feel proud and strong in a society where they began as slaves and still feel themselves to be alienated.

It is necessary for any candidate willing to represent the nation to understand the dynamics of the core constituents in this nation, one of them being Black people. Obama, through men like Rafiq (consider the possibility that Rafiq is trying to change his life) and Wright learns to understand the very limit of Black thought. Only through this learning process is he able to find a middle way between the whites who fear blacks and blacks who resent whites.

"Sorry, guys, but there is nothing post racial about Barack. He has merely learned that it is advantegous to convince whites that he is."

What you consider scheming and dangerous I consider to be mediation.