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Who's afraid of Obama being a black man? [View All]

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Sparkly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 07:34 PM
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Who's afraid of Obama being a black man?
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Barack Hussein Obama is a black man. Is that scary to read?

Supposedly, the fear here is that it's scary to other people. Paradoxically, it seems the fear of their fear has a lot of Democrats nervous. But racists aren't a big constituency among Democratic voters; they likely wouldn't vote for ANY Democrat. We lost that vote a long time ago (and much as I believe in a big tent, that's a good riddance).

This primary season can create a lot of constructive thought and discussion on race and gender, and I think it'd be good to get clear on some of these issues.

1. The idea of "injecting race into the race" or "making him the black candidate." Race is in the race, and he is the black candidate. I think what's meant by this is "racISM," and marginalizing or dismissing Obama based on his being a black candidate. That's an important distinction. There shouldn't be any discomfort about the fact that race is in the race (as is gender) and that he is a black candidate -- one who's come further than any other in our history, who has minorities excited and voting for him in huge numbers, and who may be the next president. Not only should there be no discomfort, it should be celebrated, proudly.

2. The name "Hussein" as a smear. Saying the name is not a smear, it's a fact. I think what's feared here is the implication of something sinister from the name Hussein. Again, that's an important distinction. There shouldn't be any discomfort about the name Hussein itself. It's a fine name with positive meaning. There's no reason for Democrats to act like there's something to be ashamed of or hidden.

3. The color of his skin, and his facial features. The hysteria over "making him blacker," supposedly widening his nose into something that looks (gasp!) "more African American" and "messing with his lower lip" is absurd to me!! Who on earth, persuaded to vote for him, would change their mind after seeing something that made him look "blacker?" Is there a threshold for blackness, beyond which it's unacceptable? I understand there are racists -- they aren't voting for him anyway. I also understand that darkening photos is a technique for making an image seem sinister -- but that's not the claim here. I'm not hearing complaints about "sinister," I'm hearing complaints having to do with race. (Need I point out that "black" and "sinister" aren't the same thing?)

4. The photo of Obama in traditional Somali dress. It was treated as though somebody leaked a secret hidden photo or photoshopped it to create something damning. Again, let's be clear that it's not the attire or the photo that are the problem. If there was something false that was being said, with the photo as false evidence, then the problem is about whatever false was being said. Let's not act as though there's something shameful about the photo or the visit or the clothing. There isn't.

5. Finally, on being Muslim. The fact is he's NOT Muslim, so it's a lie that should be corrected. But it's only damning as an implication tied to smears that he could be a closet terrorist or something. That is the issue. So while the facts about his religion should be corrected, the notion that he's anti-American is what needs to be fought against. "Muslim" is not synonymous with "terrorist" and we shouldn't act as though it were.

So, I don't think we need to protect Obama from the facts of his identity and experience.

The uncomfortable question is: Who is really nervous and afraid of Obama being a black man? Because it seems, far too often, that it's people who are on his side.

(I know the very subject makes people nervous and defensive, so I'm going out on a limb here. Not the first time. Flame if you must!)
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  -Who's afraid of Obama being a black man? Sparkly  Mar-06-08 07:34 PM   #0 
  - Today my wife heard a democrat say he would not vote for Obama  Lint Head   Mar-06-08 07:38 PM   #1 
  - Yes, it is. nt  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 07:38 PM   #3 
  - wow. no words.  ourbluenation   Mar-06-08 07:39 PM   #4 
  - Very good points and you mirror my reation to many of those things.  saracat   Mar-06-08 07:38 PM   #2 
  - Do you think that some folks don't think that a woman can be Commander in Chief?  sueragingroz   Mar-06-08 07:39 PM   #5 
  - Yes, I think some folks don't (and some folks do).  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 07:42 PM   # 
  - I think the RW Smear Machine has taken too much oxyRush  realpolitik   Mar-06-08 07:40 PM   #6 
  - those idiots in Ohio 20% said RACE was more important in there vote  bigdarryl   Mar-06-08 07:40 PM   #7 
  - Which idiots in Ohio?  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 07:43 PM   #10 
  - See my post below. nt  Kahuna   Mar-06-08 08:11 PM   #15 
  - The idiots in Ohio and Texas said that Obama was more electable..  Kahuna   Mar-06-08 08:10 PM   #14 
  - no, people on his side are tired of anything racial being used to diminish the abilities  islandmkl   Mar-06-08 07:41 PM   #8 
  - wait a minute  woolldog   Mar-06-08 07:45 PM   #11 
  - i'm from kansas...i wasn't alluding to anything like that...  islandmkl   Mar-06-08 07:50 PM   #13 
  - That's being against RACISM.  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 07:45 PM   #12 
  - Only if I decided to go gay for him  latinolatteliberal   Mar-06-08 07:42 PM   #9 
  - I'm more afraid of McCain being an old white guy  NotGonnaTakeIt   Mar-06-08 08:11 PM   #16 
  - I'm more afraid of McCain being an old white guy  NotGonnaTakeIt   Mar-06-08 08:13 PM   #17 
  - Sorry, but I think your post is classic victim-blaming  thecatburgler   Mar-06-08 08:15 PM   #18 
  - ?!  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 08:17 PM   #19 
  - I tell people he is 50% white........n/t  Historic NY   Mar-06-08 08:59 PM   #20 
  - Oh, I'm not afraid  varelse   Mar-06-08 09:19 PM   #21 
  - Again, that's racism.  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 09:28 PM   #24 
  - 20 years ago I remember my parents being afraid of minorities "taking power."  Lisa0825   Mar-06-08 09:26 PM   #22 
  - Agree  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 09:27 PM   #23 
  - I'm voting for  chitty   Mar-06-08 09:33 PM   #25 
  - As a Black woman (of mixed race), your Op is wrong on  FrenchieCat   Mar-06-08 09:34 PM   #26 
  - Clearly, the OP means well  thecatburgler   Mar-06-08 09:50 PM   #27 
  - The op doesn't necessarily mean well.......  FrenchieCat   Mar-06-08 10:04 PM   #28 
  - Wow.  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 10:11 PM   #31 
  - I didn't say "don't get offended by baiting."  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 10:10 PM   #30 
  - I'm sorry you feel that way.  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 10:09 PM   #29 
     - "it is part of who he is", And?  FrenchieCat   Mar-06-08 10:19 PM   #34 
        - Why are you afraid of talking about it, Frenchie?  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 10:29 PM   #35 
  - It's a good thing. Obama will force this country to confront its racial demons.  kwenu   Mar-06-08 10:16 PM   #32 
     - That's why breaking glass ceilings is more than just symbolic.  Sparkly   Mar-06-08 10:18 PM   #33 

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