OBAMA ON HIS NOT "TYPICAL WHITE" GRANDPARENTS
I took her into the other room and asked her what happened.
"A man asked me for money yesterday. While I was waiting for the bus."
Her lips pursed with irritation."He was very aggressive, Barry. Very aggressive. I gave him a dollar and he kept asking. If the bus hadn't come, I think he might have hit me over the head."
It is to justify his refusal to give her a ride that his grandfather reveals that the man was Black implying that that added to her concern. Is she prone to exaggeration? Not according to Barry/Barack. Unlike, his grandfather, she was not (21):
She's wise that way, my grandmother, suspicious of overwrought sentiments or overblown claims, content with common sense. Which is why I tend to trust her account of events.
So, why did he choose in this case to accept his grandfather's version of the events? Would his grandmother not be as scared if an aggressive white man had accosted her?
Does he have any reason to believe she was a"typical" prejudiced"white person?" No. The opposite is true. Unlike Barack himself, his grandparents were active anti-racist. So much so, that they had difficulty fitting into Texas' racist society of the early 1960s.
. . . At a bank where she worked, Toot (his grandmother's nickname)made the acquaintance of the janitor, a tall and dignified black World War II vet she remembers only as Mr. Reed. While the two of them chatted in the hallways one day, a secretary in the office stormed up and hissed that Tood should never, ever," call no nigger 'Mister.'" Not long afterworlds, Toot would find Mr. Reed in a corner of the building weeping quietly to himself. . . .
They (grandparents) decided Toot would keep calling Mr. Reed"Mister," . . . . Grams began to decline invitations from coworkers to go out for a beer, telling them he had to get home to keep the wife happy.
He goes on to tell a story about his 11 year old mother who played in the front yard with a young Black girl. Neighborhood Children gathered outside the picket fence shouting:"Nigger lover!" and"Dirty Yankee!" The grandmother tried to get them into the house. The grandfather went further:
Gramps was beside himself when he heard what had happened. He interrogated my mother, wrote down names. The next day he took the morning off from work to visit the school principal. He personally called the parents of some of the offending children to give them a piece of his mind.
No, his grandfather did not say that he could no more disown racist whites than disown the white community. The grandmother, he dismisses as a"typical white (racist) person" explained their attitudes thus:
Your grandfather and I just figured we should treat people decently, Bar. That's all."
It seems that she succeeded in raising a color blind daughter but not a color blind grandson. Obama said his grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, is"glued to CNN"’ and follows the campaign closely, even though severe osteoporosis prevents her campaigning. I can only imagine how defeated his dismissal of her as a"typical white person" must make her feel. She may be grateful, her husband is no longer alive and forced to see himself dismissed as a typical white racist.
For Obama on biracialism click here
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E. Simon - 3/24/2008
That they have lighter skin pigmentation, that they produce less melanin, that they are more likely to get skin cancer, wrinkle and sunburn...
That they are more likely to get cataracts...
That they are less likely to get sickle cell disease, and more likely to get malaria...
That they are less likely to get rickets...
That they might harbor unproductive feelings toward other groups, white or "non-white"...
The next time I remind my white grandmother about wearing sunscreen or
sunglasses, or about protecting herself from tropical-borne illness should she leave the country - I'll remember to keep the fact that I did so on the down-low so that she won't feel "thrown under the bus" about it. After all, I wouldn't want her to feel as degraded as it must feel to be reminded of being "typical".
Ralph E. Luker - 3/24/2008
Did you come up with the "throw grandmother under the bus" line on your own or is it something you read somewhere else? Do you use quotation marks when parroting other propaganda lines?
Daniel McGuire - 3/24/2008
Come off it! Klinghoffer isn't claiming that Barack's grandmother is pure, just that when he puts her down as a "typical white person" he is wildly inaccurate.
What kind of person throws his own grandmother under the bus for political gain?
Daniel McGuire - 3/24/2008
I don't know what you're complaining about. That quote is right there on the link (I added the brackets):
The Dunhams [Barack's maternal grandparents] weren't happy. Stanley Ann's [Barrack's mother] prospective father-in-law was furious. He wrote the Dunhams "this long, nasty letter saying that he didn't approve of the marriage," Obama recounted his mother telling him in "Dreams." "He didn't want the Obama blood sullied by a white woman."
E. Simon - 3/23/2008
is an example of a false either/or dichotomy. Either one harbors no problematic feelings on the basis of race, or they are an active racist. Surely racial reconciliation/justice "heroes" such as Barack's grandparents don't merely have impulses that strongly overpower less productive or less ethical ones, they must also be psychologically "pure" in the area of race. At least, according to Dr. Klinghoffer, that is.
Methinks Ms. Klinghoffer's black and white world doesn't allow for grays when it comes to grandmothers either. Either the grandmother was perfect or she was horrible. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as "splitting" when they see it exhibitted in the patient population most prone to doing it: Those with Borderline Personality Disorders.
Paul Burich - 3/23/2008
She's probably weeping silently.
Ralph E. Luker - 3/23/2008
Do you often make up a quotation and cite a source where it does not appear?
Lew Waters - 3/23/2008
Just when did Barack become Black? From most everything I've read, he enjoyed a very White upbringing with loving grandparents who never mistreated him or looked down upon him.
Contrast that with the letter sent to his grandparents from Kenya when his Mom and Dad married stating "He didn't want the Obama blood sullied by a white woman."
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