Monday, February 12, 2007

A blackness pondering...

Ugh.

I woke up yesterday with...well, I think it may be Ebola.

Blink.

My eyes hurt and are red...I feel as if I drank two gallons of vegetable oil...and my ears are all clogged feeling.

Sob.

Mmmhmm...this shit is Ebola for sure!

Moving forward whilst drinking tea infused with meds and bundled up on my couch-based area...

A bitch caught Senator Obama's announcement Saturday and the subsequent media frenzy which included a 60 Minutes appearance Sunday.

This bitch has to say that the best media frenzified moment featured the fantabulous Gwen Ifill of PBS on Meet the Press, who responded to a certain Howie Kurtz of Washington Post and Reliable Sources fame when he brought up the "is he black enough for black people" question that seems to be the only challenge the press is willing to throw at Obama 2008.

Ms. Ifill pointed out that the blackness of Senator Obama in connection with his ability to secure the black vote is in large part a media question rather than a black people one.

For the record, black people do not sign a pledge of blackness at birth. There is no Black Week Group Think newsletter that connects us all and lets us know what the fuck we are supposed to be concerned about.

Black voters, like all Americans, are diverse and have a lot of issues we consider before deciding on a candidate. I can only speak for my own ass, but the blackness of a candidate in no way guarantees my vote.

Gasp!

Oh, come on now! A bitch has seen plenty of up from slavery black people who I wouldn't grant the privilege of my vote...Condi Rice comes to mind. I don't agree with her policies or her politics...but I wouldn't question her blackness. Condi is part of that diversity I was talking about and that political pundits ignore to their own peril.

Obama will have to earn votes. He knows that even if the Washington establishment thinks he should have had black votes locked up at birth. He will have to put forth some audacious policy and sell it to everyone, even black folk. Obama was correct in his speech Saturday, it is time to turn the page...on a lot of shit...such as the insulting assumption that black America moves as a herd and gleefully anoints anything black, articulate, crispy and clean as the second coming.

Pause.

Having said that, this is a great example of why black history matters!

Black history would tell those same confused journalists that black America has long been diverse. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington come to mind. Mayhap the Washington press corp could take a moment and read a history book or watch Eyes on the Prize? Then they could get a glimpse of the Civil Rights Movement that was rather than the Civil Rights Movement their intellectually lethargic minds have dreamed up.

Lawd, give me strength!

Honestly, they don't even have to go that far back. When Shirley Chisholm ran for President she was black and a woman...which should have taught folks that a person often is both. She did not receive the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus or a lot of historic black organizations. Feminist groups did not all support her. Oh her supporters were diverse, but they did not include 100% of likely black or women primary voters.

Sigh.

This bitch listened to one political commentator say that the Obama race is the litmus test on how much of our national racial drama America has addressed. He linked Omaba's candidacy with how far we've come and how much progress we've made.

I can't agree with that and honestly find that opinion insulting as hell. Obama deserves to be vetted by the Democratic Party and the masses deserve a President who has been vetted. Gawd knows we've suffered from the lack of real scrutiny in past elections. I honesty don't want people voting for Obama to make some statement of social progress.

The educated vote is the right vote and that shit ain't changed because a brother is now in the race.

This bitch suspects Senator Obama would say the same.

Blink

Oh shit, will a bitch loose her black card now?!?

11 comments:

storm indigo said...

Well, if you lose your black card, mine is going with you. What the hell makes people think that black people are mindless chattle when it comes to voting. Damn, that infuriates me. Putting a black candidate in front of me does not mean I will vote for him, I mean it didn't work for Ken Blackwell's run for governor here in Ohio, and it won't work for Senator Obama. (Blackwell is unfortunate enough to be republican, that did not help him either, but the forecasters thought he was assured a victory. They were wrong)

I look at the issues, weigh the candidate's views, see if it passes my bullshit meter and then vote for the best person.

Imagine that.

Chris said...

I hate to say this, but there are few groups which enforce political orthodoxy on their members more than the black community. The notion that the black community is as politically diverse as, say, the white community is a risible joke. Political deviationism simply isn't allowed, and deviationists are driven into some sort of community exile or shunning within the community: the experience of Clarence Thomas, Rice, and Michael Steele come to mind.

I remember sitting down and watching a recording of Tavis Smiley's "State of the Black Union". It was like watching one of the old Soviet Party Congresses. Everyone was falling all over themselves agreeing with each other.

Tamara said...

ABB, I think you really did portray an accurate picture of the diversity black America. I, too, am thoroughly sick of white folks asking the spurious question, "Is Barack black enough?" Black enough for whom? Black enough for them? Black enough for whites? Oh, they mean black enough for other black people. Guess what, it isn't for white media to ask that question at all. It is for each black person to decide, assuming anyone would ever ask the question in the first place. Certainly, it's not one that ever came to my mind. Why would it come to the mind of anyone else?

LBellatrix said...

Your black card will go the way of my black card...off into oblivion...wave bye-bye...

Another on-point post. I HOPE somebody dares to assume within my earshot that Obama's got the black vote locked up simply because he's (part) black.

In fact, didn't he say as much on 60 Minutes yesterday? That people don't give the black community credit for being sophisticated enough to demand questions of their candidates?

I like Barack. He's got my vote. So far. We've got a long way to go before he comes to my state (which just happens to be IOWA, hee hee)...

Shark-fu said...

Ah now Chris, I'll agree that black people can be harsh when confronted with political difference...but then there's what happens when we get into the polling booth.

And I hesitate to take any Tavis lead forum as an indication of the majority of our beloved minority...he gets on my nerves.

Missouri has seen black political support for stem cell research...and against it. For a ban on gay marriage...and against it. For anti-choice laws...and against them.

Politics is local for us too.

Every voter is charged with a process...an evolution of thought about candidates and issues...and black voters are no different.

Or mayhap the issue is that some black people see ourselves as moving in a herd...find comfort in 'black people do or don't do that' conversations...and fear the very diversity of thought currently manifest with our generation of blackness?

Tell me, did Tavis speak to that...or did he vomit the same stereotypical "all black people are the same...live the same...worship the same...mate the same...and vote the same" shit?

Darkrose said...

Add me to the list of folks who might have my black card revoked. I certainly don't care if Obama doesn't measure up on some mythical Scale of Blackitude (tm). I care about his policies, and what he'd do if he were elected.

I'm glad that you mentioned Condi, because when black folks--and there have been some--started complaining that Obama's not black enough because his great-grandparents weren't slaves, she came to mind as someone who hasn't been good for black, or any other, people. I know which of them I'd rather see in charge.

Disgusted in St. Louis said...

The SCLM is filled with bigots, homophobes, racists and anti-Semites these days. If they aren't bashing Gays they're attacking Hispanics. If they aren't smearing Jews they're deriding Blacks. The right wing smear merchants dominate the airwaves of radio and TV -- Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter, Malkin, Donohue, Buchanan, Ingraham -- all are rewarded with more air time the more hate they spew. Every target of their attack is identified as an homogeneous group that vote, walk, eat, sleep, shit and screw the same.

<sigh>Sorry for the rant, ABB!

They really piss me off.

jane said...

Long time lurker, first time poster.

Don't take it personally. According to the pundits, everyone is a voting block - the hispanic vote, the jew vote, the christian fundamentalist vote, the woman's vote, etc. How do you think hispanics felt at the implication that they were supposed to blindly vote for a guy (W) whose brother (Jeb) married hispanic. How many times did Bush play the vote-for-me-my-brother-married-a-hispanic card? Answer: too many to count.

I read an article at salon.com entitled "Is Obama Black Enough" or something to that effect, that was later written about at NYT. But I thought the author, Debra Dickerson, was black. Not that she speaks for all black people. But maybe it's not white folks that have brought this issue to the forefront. (For the record, I'm white.) I'm just sayin.

Shark-fu said...

Welcome Jane!

Good points too.

As to who brought the issue to the forefront...well, that is complicated.

The black establishment benefits from the notion of a unified black vote...until that unity falls apart at the polls. Which is why they are so quick to attack any threat, be it liberal or conservative.

Media benefits as well...they don't have to think, to study or understand the electorate when America is presented as black or white, gay or straight, rich or poor, educated or not educated, citizens or immigrants and so forth and so on.

But it is the misunderstood who suffer...the unrepresented who struggle to have their needs addressed in a world that still asks whether Obama is Black enough, Richardson is Hispanic enough or Hillary is woman enough.

How about does Obama have a health care policy worth shit? Or does Richardson have a plan to address the conflicts in the Middle East? Oh, and what policy will Hillary put forth that will save Social Security?

Shit, is a bitch angry enough?

I'm nothing if not black enough.

Bruce Dixon said...

Actually I wrote an article a couple weeks ago on his health care policy stands. You can find it here.

Generally, I think we are falling into a trap when we allow all the air to be sucked out of the room with "is he black enough" discussions that focus on his ancestry rather than his politics, which are highly suspect. Jut today Democracy Now has a quote from him saying he will expand the military budget even further if elected. Now that's black like Colin Powell, Ken Blackwell and Condi Rice are black.

Hope you find a cure for that nasty Ebola stuff. Think I may be comin' down with Hansen's disease.

Anonymous said...

Remember Shirley Chisholm?

NancyP