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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:45 PM
Original message
I completely understand what Michelle Obama was saying
Edited on Wed Feb-20-08 10:19 PM by EffieBlack
And I think that most black Americans do.

Most African Americans, by accident of our birth and heritage, have a duality that is difficult - although not impossible - to understand if you haven't walked in our shoes. We are so much a part of this country. Our ancestors BUILT this country from the ground up - with no pay, no credit, no reward. Despite this, our people had to fight for every crumb they managed to get. They were abused, denigrated, told by our own government - to whom we paid full taxes and whose laws we, too, were required to obey - that we were not worthy, that we were not valued, that we were not entitled to equal protection under the law. We worked our fingers to the bone, we cleaned white folks homes and took care of white folks babies, performed the most menial and backbreaking work, only to be spat upon, denied opportunities that most white people took for granted, beaten for looking the wrong way, humiliated at every turn, and lynched for just trying to vote. We fought voluntarily, heroically and nobly in every war this country engaged in, putting our lives on the line for the freedom of people around the world, while we returned home to continued degradation and worse (since a big "prize" for our home-grown terrorists was to lynch a Negro in uniform).

Despite this, we continued to love and fight our country, pay our taxes, raise decent children, put our hands over our hearts for the Pledge of Allegiance, and get down on our knees every night to pray that one day the only home we know would one day see the light.

Don't people realize how much we WANT to be proud of our country, how wonderful it would be for us, too, to get all misty-eyed and shivery at the sight of the flag or the sound of the National Anthem? Our lack of pride in the country was not an act of defiance but rooted in the deepest and most wretched disappointment caused by the fact that the country we love continued to behave so badly - to us and to so much of the rest of the world.

Throughout my life, I have envied white folks who get to feel this way - it must be nice to be able to take credit for and feel proud about all of the good things this country has accomplished without having to take responsibility for or feel shame for the ugly underside of those accomplishments. It must be nice to be able to puff out one's chest with pride over the heroism of the Revolutionary Warriors, yet feel no guilt over slavery. It must be nice to feel a sense of greatness thanks to the Founding Fathers' innovative Constitution, yet remain completely disconnected to those same Founding Fathers' gross hypocrisy on the issue of human bondage and freedom. It must be nice to brag about our "democracy" while ignoring the inconvenient fact that hundreds of thousands of our own people are abused, disenfranchised, and abused.

But for many of us, those conflicting principles can't be separated. And that's painful.

I WANT to be proud of this country. And there are things about this country of which I'm proud. But every time I start to feel good about those things, something, someone ALWAYS creeps up to remind me that we're not quite there yet. And I feel very sad.

It's hard to feel proud of a country that I'm consistently told "isn't ready to elect a black president." Not much to be proud of there. If that's true, we should all be ashamed.

And it's also painful - and very frustrating - to have people tell us how "grateful" we should feel to this country for the stutter-start attempts it has made to rectify its wrongdoing. It's annoying as all get-out to be told that because we worked our ass off to achieve some measure of success - success that is almost always more difficult for us to attain because of the obstacles that continue to be placed in our path - we should be thankful and delighted that we had the opportunity to attain what others take for granted. Hell, this country should be grateful to US for putting up with it for this long. But that's not going to happen, so we can get past that. But please spare me the lectures (Pat Buchanan) on why we should be proud and the attacks on us because we have the temerity to not be grateful that America finally got around to "giving" us our rights - rights that should have been ours from the very inception of this nation.

So when I see Barack Obama win primary after primary after primary, I DO feel proud of the people - black, white and others - who are making that happen. And the more it happens, the closer I'm coming to feeling proud of the country, since it may just be possible that there are enough Americans who are doing the right thing that it means this country IS taking two steps forward for every one step backward. And that feels really good.

I understand EXACTLY what Michelle Obama was saying. And I'm certain that many, many African Americans feel just the way she does.

Instead of trashing her, it would be nice if people made the effort to better understand what she was saying, why she said it and why her comment is not a condemnation of the country but actually a tremendous gift - since, although, America has not yet fully earned our pride, it may actually be taking an important step toward the reconciliation that could give us a real reason to feel proud of this country. Rather than criticizing us for not being sufficiently "proud" of it, this country should be enormously grateful for our patience, steadfastness, commitment and generosity of spirit that may, once again, offer an opportunity to redeem itself.

Mr. President, I heard you say Friday that you had questions for voters, particularly African-American voters. And you aksed the question: Did the Democratic Party take us for granted? Well, I have raised questions. But let me answer your question.

You said the Republican Party was the party of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. It is true that Mr. Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, after which there was a commitment to give 40 acres and a mule. That's where the argument, to this day, of reparations starts. We never got the 40 acres. We went all the way to Herbert Hoover, and we never got the 40 acres.

We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us.

Mr. President, you said would we have more leverage if both parties got our votes, but we didn't come this far playing political games. It was those that earned our vote that got our vote. We got the Civil Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the Voting Rights Act under a Democrat. We got the right to organize under Democrats.

Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age. Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham . . .

As you know, we lost Ray {Charles} a few weeks ago, but I sat there that morning and listened to Ray sing {America the Beautiful} through those speakers, "Oh beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains' majesty across the fruited plain."

And it occurred to me as I heard Ray singing, that Ray wasn't singing about what he knew, 'cause Ray had been blind since he was a child. He hadn't seen many purple mountains. He hadn't seen many fruited plains. He was singing about what he believed to be.

Mr. President, we love America, not because of all of us have seen the beauty all the time. But we believed if we kept on working, if we kept on marching, if we kept on voting, if we kept on believing, we would make America beautiful for everybody.

Starting November, let's make America beautiful again.

Thank you. And God bless you.

Rev. Al Sharpton, Democratic National Convention, July 23, 2004

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Omega3 Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. that's the difference b/t not-ready-for-primetime Obamanation and any other seasoned political team
if it's how they feel or not it doesn't matter, it'll just be a RW talking point and smear opportunity come summertime. They are not ready for it and it will hurt the Dem party down the road. She should've never said that, especially in todays terror environment. More proof that the Dems are "america-haters"
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yes - we should only have EXPERIENCED politicians who can withstand RW attacks. Like John Kerry
This has nothing to do with being "ready for primetime."

How sad that you've completely missed my point but instead used my comment as an opportunity for Obama-bashing.

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Omega3 Donating Member (412 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. ok, substitute notreadyforprimetime for experienced, either way she should have not said that, how
completely sad that you have blinders on.
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. And Elizabeth Edward shouldn't have said some of the things she said. And Bill Clinton DEFINITELY
shouldn't have said some of the things he said.

In other words, spouses - especially intelligent ones - sometimes say things that cause their mates some difficulty on the campaign trail. (Unless you're Cindy McCain or Laura Bush and just stand around grinning). It happens and it doesn't have anything to do with experience. And, notwithstanding the drama that some are trying to make of it, Michelle Obama's comments weren't earth shattering - and, frankly, they weren't nearly as offensive as comments that Edwards or Clinton made. Moreover, I doubt that anyone who is either truly or ostensibly offended by what Michelle said were planning to vote Democratic anyway since the "I'm so proud 2b be an Amurkin" crowd wouldn't think of voting for either Hillary or Barack or that race-traitor John Edwards.

When it comes to the political impact, it's a mountain out of a molehill. But it is very sad how so many people on our own side don't even bother to try to understand where she was coming from.
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LittleClarkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #23
41. Yes, I do so wish we had Stepford wives and husbands standing next to our candidates
Indeed, Elizabeth has been out of line. Bill has been out of line. Teresa Kerry was occasionally out of line. So what else is new. Outspoken folks occasionally get themselves in trouble. Whatchagonna do unless you would rather these people acted like phonies and just, as you say, stood there grinning.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
11. And poor little hilary..all she does
is cause distractions because that's all she has. Low class clintons are made of straw and red herrings who have become the political campaign of Hansel and Gretel who are rabidly searching the ground for crumbs.

Good luck with your crumbs.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
47. Sounds like RW Wacko talking points to me.
Part of that fake patriotism BS that is used to make everyone express their devotion to dear leader.
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griffi94 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. i can't speak to the issue of being a black american
because i'm not black...but regardless....obama is running for president of the usa....that would be all americans...and if his wife can't figure out why what she said offended lots of people maybe he should consider a bit more time in the senate before taking on the job....my family has been oilfield trash for 3 generations....we don't even get noticed for being black....we keep on workin and tryin to get by.......what she said was offensive to plenty of the people i know....
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #3
17. How does Michelle Obama being proud of this country for the first time
offend you and your family?
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griffi94 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. if she's just now been proud of america
well she's not trying very hard....america isn't just the fucking government...it's the people....and for the first time in her adult life she's proud.....bullshit......cheap fucking rhetoric meant to inflame the listeners.......what about the first responders that ran into the towers to help other people knowing they would probly die themselves.....that spirit alone is enough to be proud of.....and she tries to cheapen that by tying it to some political stunt....
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Yes - America is partly the people - people with attitudes like yours are part of the reason
that other people have trouble feeling unfettered pride in this country.

It's really sad - but, oh, so telling - that you seem to believe that YOUR opinion of this country is the ONLY appropriate opinion and that any expression of a viewpoint that differs from yours is some kind of "cheap political stunt." Your attitude is EXACTLY the kind of narrow-minded, jingoistic, George W. Bush swaggering, flag lapel pin wearing, yellow ribbon magnet approach that makes Americans look ridiculous.
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goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #17
58. EffieBlack, I'm Black and I agree with you ~ seems some can't
possibly imagine what it feels like to be African American.

That's why I love the OBAMA's message so much ~ THEY don't see red states and blue states, THEY see America.

I've seen Michelle Obama speak and believe me, and you know this too, she is a LUCKY Black American. If she didn't love America she sure wouldn't be working 24/7 to make it a better place.

Rodney King said it best, "Can't We All Get Along?" Especially those that in their "Democratic" heart can't see the vision of a Black President but can see the beauty of a Woman President... I can see the beauty of both.

Many of my friends almost cry when OBAMA wins another state because as much as they want to believe in "America" they are so afraid that his color will hold him back ~ yes hold him back from letting the world see what AMERICA is really about ~

It is sad to see that on a progressive board, there are still those that make not one ounce of a try to understand what you have said with such eloquence.

:patriot:

God Bless America!
God Bless Michelle Obama for having to put up with such "misunderstanding" of her message.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:55 PM
Response to Reply #3
26. Wouldn't you be proud
if this country finally woke up to the good sense that intelligence and competence doesn't come with a silver spoon??
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Redstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
40. another white guy....who presumes to speak for....black people....
Redstone
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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. America has been great for her
--Princeton University
--Harvard Law
--Wife of U.S. Senator
--Works as an executive
--Family made $2.6 million in two years
--Husband a pop culture icon and now the front runner for the Democratic nomination

None of the above was enough for her?
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goldcanyonaz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Amazing, huh?
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mth44sc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. perhaps not
when your concern is how your country is fairing more than your concern is how you might be fairing.

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griffi94 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #8
15. then she should have joined
the peace corps....
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. You do understand the difference between love/appreciation and pride?
Edited on Wed Feb-20-08 10:07 PM by EffieBlack
Yes, Michelle has personally had a good life. Does that mean she is supposed to be "proud" of America?

If those personal successes are a basis for being proud of America, can that be negated by other things - such as poverty, the Iraq War, racism, children going hungry, tax breaks for the rich, voter disenfranchisement, the cradle-to-prison pipeline, etc.? Or do only the good things count?
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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. If the Obamas want to run against patriotism then I say go for it!
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. If you want to buy the age-old, but false, assumption
that patriotism = pride and nothing more, then YOU should go for it. I'm sure McCain and the "America: Love It or Leave It" crowd will appreciate your support
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
48. Using the word "Patriotism" in this fashion is what corrupts it.
I find the hijacking of patriotism beyond offensive.

And I am proud of the United State of America when we do good things and embarrassed when we do bad things and unfortunately, there has been a lot to be embarrassed of lately, including how the word patriotism is thrown around to demean people.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #48
63. Well then, if at some point in the past you found something about which to be proud of...
... then you're a couple of steps more "patriotic" than the next first lady.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #10
60. My ancestors were coal miners.
My father ran away from an abusive home at 11, lived in hobo camps through the depression, was shot in the head in Belgium in 1944, came home to work for subsistence wages as a carpenter. He died from asbestosis as a result of working in navy shipyards.

I graduated from high school, but couldn't go to college due to financial and geographic reasons. I have a child with autism who gets only the most rudimentary therapy through his school district.

Since having been laid off a management position in 2003, I've worked the odd jobs that I can find that are consistent with being a stay-at-home dad to my youngest (day cares don't take children with autism).

Nevertheless, despite having many reasons to not feel that way, I am proud of my country. Perhaps it's irrational.

I find distressing being told by the next first lady (who is the same age as my wife) that, despite being given a Harvard and Princeton education, that she isn't.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #60
70. you are conflating unrelated things
You've had a hard life, very hard indeed.

But, you have NEVER been discriminated against because of your color, and had the deck stacked against you from the beginning regardless of your personal circumstances. You had individually bad circumstances, very bad.

Michelle came from very poor circumstances, and done very well, but this has nothing to do with pride in one's country.

The reason many African-Americans are not proud of their country is because of the way that they have been treated as a race over the past 389 years since they first landed here as slaves. In many cases they are still separate and unequal. What is there to be proud in a country that still tolerates this?
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. She had opportunity and ability. She made the most of it. She is the american success story.
"this is the first time I've every been proud of my country" comes off as, at best, ungrateful.

By and large, I'm living a life of my choosing. I don't see my personal circumstance as bad. Granted, there is room for improvement, particularly in the services that are available to my son, but I know many who have it much, much worse. Despite that, I'd be surprised to hear any of them say that they've never been proud of their country either.

I'm just saying that her comments sound tin eared to this working class person. As a princeton-educated lawyer, I would have expected both a better perspective on the success she's had and better language skills.
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. you missed my point
Black people often don't have equality of opportunity, and many African-Americans still believe that a black candidate can't get elected president.

Calling Michele Obama's life the classic American success story is incorrect, because that success story has been denied African-Americans, until very, very recently. Her story is historically new.

Why should anyone take pride in a success game stacked against them? When and if Obama gets elected will be a symbol that it is no longer stacked, but the verdict isn't in, yet.
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RememberWellstone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
21. Oops.
Poor girl...she has suffered greatly.
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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. In no other country could she have achieved all of this
For all the love European nations get in much of the blogosphere they have a terrible record when it comes to racial minorities. Can you imagine a Barack Obama in the Netherlands, Italy, or France? Exactly.
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:21 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. You can't possibly be serious
Michelle Obama and other blacks are supposed to be GRATEFUL that several hundred years after blacks were brought to these shores, enslaves, abused, degraded, forced to build the country but denied the fruits of their labor, 160 years after the Supreme Court ruled that blacks had no rights which whites were bound to respect, 150 years after the 15th Amendment, 120 years after the Supreme Court sanctioned state-imposed discrimination, 40 years after the Voting Rights Act a brilliant, accomplished black man is in a position that hundreds of white men of varying backgrounds (and sometimes no) talents, skills and experience have been in and taken for granted for hundreds of years - and is STILL not sure if "America is ready" for him?

Do you realize how offensive it is to be told that we should be PROUD of a country because it seems that there may be a possibility that it has finally gotten around to this point? Or that black folk should be GRATEFUL that we are doing better in America than we would be doing in another country? Would you ever even think of saying, "Can you imagine a George Bush or John Edwards in the Netherlands, Italy, or France?"

FYI, The Netherlands, Italy and France do not have the history of racial discrimination, oppression and violence that America has. None of those countries was built on the backs of forced African labor. None of those countries has anything close to the numbers of blacks that America has nor have blacks been as integral in the birth, formation and development of any of those countries. Your analogy is not only insulting, it's ridiculous.

And while you're extolling the virtues of the fact that Barack Obama is on the cusp of a Democratic presidential nomination, his emergence does not mean that all of America's racial and other societal ills have suddenly been cured. Obama, a member of the Dr. DuBois' "Talented Tenth" is a remarkable leader, an outstanding role model - but he is not representative of the condition of most black Americans. This country STILL has a problem with race and poverty and class that Barack Obama's success will not by itself eliminate. He would be the first person to tell you that.

So, please, spare me the lectures about how much better blacks in America are doing than blacks in some country in Europe. We're not in some country in Europe. We're in the United States. And trying to divert attention from the continuing glaring equality gaps that still plague this nation by saying, "Don't worry about catching up with white folks. Just be grateful that you're doing better than the black people in Amsterdam."

You know, I used to be amazed at people who would say that, "The poorest Negro kid in the South was better off than the kid in South Africa." So what! We are not in South Africa. We are here."
--Thurgood Marshall, November 18, 1978
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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. Where do I sign up for trading with the powerful Ivy League millionaire Obamas?
Edited on Wed Feb-20-08 11:31 PM by jackson_dem
As to affirmative action, I support it. That is a separate issue to patriotism. I know I, as a minority, am glad I can achieve things in America that I couldn't elsewhere. Again, if the Obama camp wants to run on a "America sucks--unless you vote for the savior!" platform go for it!
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chascarrillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. I really don't know how to respond to this.
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #30
33. Just file it away
and bring it out the next time someone complains about how Affirmative Action is so unfair to white men.

What a great comeback argument to say, "American white men are doing better than white men in Uganda." That should shut down the argument but quick, dontcha think?

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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. You are obssessed with race. I was talking about the social and economic strcuture as well
Every thread you post has to do with race. The combination of economic, social mobility in America is unparalleled in any other country for racial minority. I am very PROUD of that! There is more economic upwards mobility in some other countries, thanks to what the rethugs have done in the last three decades, but nowhere else is there as much mobility available for racial minorities. Uganda? How much economic mobility is there in that country (hint: little. When you look at the total picture the US comes out best for minorities)? Do you know Michelle Obama's background and where she has risen from?
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #36
43. It's nice that you are so proud of how racial minorities are doing in America
You have every right to feel proud about whatever you choose. Just as others of us have every right NOT to feel proud about the fact that at this point in our history, we are still playing catch up in a country that we were instrumental in building - and have to put up with, among other things, lectures about how we should just be grateful that we're doing better than minorities in other countries.

Tell you what. I won't tell you you're wrong, or unpatriotic or stupid for feeling the way you do. It would be nice if you showed the same respect to people who see things differently than you do.
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jackson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:45 AM
Response to Reply #43
45. Fine for EffieBlack but for Michelle Obama to say the same is quite different
Who wouldn't trade positions with her?
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #45
46. I'll bet there are a whole lot of people who wouldn't trade places with her
But that's not the point.

How does the fact that she's done well in her life translate into a requirement that she be PROUD of this country? Lots of people have done well financially, socially, etc., but that doesn't mean that they are happy with the direction the country is taking. The country is going to hell in a handbasket and the mere fact that some people are making money does NOT equate to a requirement that everyone must be proud.

Martin Luther King came from a very comfortable middle class family - they were among the most well-to-do black families in the country. Do you think HE was proud of America?

Michele Obama expressed something that many of us feel. I am still at a loss as to why you have such a difficult time understanding that and why you are so incredibly judgmental about anyone who sees things differently than you do. As I said, if you are proud of this country, more power to you. Everyone doesn't feel the same way you do. It does not mean that they are wrong. They just disagree with you. Why is that so difficult for you to accept?
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JohnnyLib2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
5. Great post.
I recommended it with the hope that DUers will read-and-think. Think about the different backgrounds from which we come. Think about what generations before our own experienced. And think about what an incredible moment in time we have right now. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #5
24. Thanks!
Let's hope.
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ruggerson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Great post Effie
I loved that speech of Sharptons. I liked it better than Barack's speech. It moved me immensely and I've been a big fan of Sharpton's ever since. That was the single best moment at the 04 convention.
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griffi94 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. maybe obama can plagiarize it
:rofl:
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chascarrillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:05 PM
Response to Original message
13. Thanks, Effie.
Great post.
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:10 PM
Response to Original message
16. I think people are still missing a key piece of her statement :
Edited on Wed Feb-20-08 10:10 PM by MadMaddie
"During my adult life....." Michelle Obama is 43 years old, 1 year older than myself.

So if we are considered adults at 18 years of age that means that for the last 25 years Michelle Obama, myself and many of you have lived under an oppressive, often religiously fanatical Right wing.

How many of you can say you have been proud about the the last 25 years of America?
-Corruption
-Sex Scandals
-Enron
-Stolen Elections
-Voter intimidation
-Coruption of the Supreme Court
-Criminal Activity by the White House
-Rich getting tax cuts
-Wounded military getting shafted out of benefits
-School shootings...

Tell me who the hell would be proud of this?

We can be proud that the United States even with all of the bullshit there is always the potential to improve the mess that we are in.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:13 PM
Response to Original message
18. I agree. She's handling it properly now, too, to ameliorate the absurd allegations.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
25. I'm white, I know
and I'm sad that our country still has their head far enough up their ass that we can't tell the truth of it. I'm really proud of our country too, for both choosing hope, and being willing to choose it "even though" it comes from a black man. It's a very proud time to be an American and it's too bad a bunch of fucked up dickwads would rather play politics than praise the moment.
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bluedawg12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Run on your strength not on your weakness.
If they want to win a GE.

He talks about hope and empowerment and he gets votes.
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
31. So sad but so telling that, rather than trying to understand a different point of view
so many people feel perfectly entitled to judge other people's feelings, insist that her perspective is wrong, and then lecture us about the RIGHT way to view this matter.

How arrogant and narrow-minded. Must be nice to have such an overblown sense of entitlement.
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susanr516 Donating Member (823 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
32. What a beautiful post
I am ashamed to say I really didn't understand Ms. Obama's comment. Thank you for explaining it in such a touching way. As my kids say, YOU ROCK!
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. Thanks - that's very sweet.
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BenDavid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:40 PM
Response to Original message
37. NO! Michelle Obama played the race card again:
"What we have learned over this year is that hope is making a comeback. It is making a comeback. And let me tell you something -- for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment. I've seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues, and it's made me proud."

What she said is the 2008 version of racial code.

In the first sentence "hope is making a comeback" = Barack is winning.

She mistakenly spoke the truth by saying "not just" because Barack is winning.

This message is code to blacks to say, if they don't nominate Barack, its' the same old Democratic Party taking blacks for granted.

The message to whites is that "for the first time", I don't think you're a racist nation. It's clear this is contigent on Barack winning.

For those out there who doubt that this is racial code, give an alternative explanation.

I know the racial games that are played each election cycle. This is shameful in 2008, that such a powerful group would emotionally blackmail voters and politicians into accepting someone so unqualified.

I want any Obama supporter to name a white person who has a chance to do what Obama's has done. Go throughout history, use a current example, whatever. Find someone who has a similar story and has the chance to become president.

The closest example I can give is: John Edwards.But he never had a chance.

http://www.mydd.com:80/story/2008/2/19/82614/9703
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noiretextatique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #37
53. you are intent on spreading this message
i'll grant you that. my only comment for now:
there has never been any presidential bid in this country where the race card was not played.
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Psyop Samurai Donating Member (873 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:15 PM
Response to Reply #37
55. Why are you perpetrating deliberate, obvious fraud? .nt
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calmblueocean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Feb-20-08 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
38. Effie, you've filled in the missing piece. You're awesome.
In Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis, she wrote:

My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my Blackness than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really dont belong.

She also wrote that white professors and students saw her as Black first and a student second.

Even after going to Princeton, graduating from Harvard, and making $300,000 a year, she still felt that same sense of detachment from this country. Nothing, not the heights of success, could erase her feelings of being on the outside looking in, until she watched her husband campaign for president, and tens of thousands of people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds came together to support him. All of that has made the promise of America *real* to her in a way that mere status symbols couldn't even begin to.

I have been wondering if African-Americans in general have been having the same sort of experience. Seeing themselves as not just sitting on the sidelines in a presidential race, but finally in the game, controlling it, at the center in a way they've never been before. I think so many people underestimate the power of having a black man as one of the two mainstream candidates struggling for the presidency. To break a streak of white men 232 years long, to earn the most powerful office on Earth by the voluntary choice of its 300 million citizens... there are people alive who remember when a black man couldn't even use the same bathroom as a white man, and now there may be a black man in the White House. If it happens, it will be the most tangible, powerful embodiment of Dr. King's dream we've yet experienced. It will bond us as a nation.

I wonder how many other African-Americans are out there, watching, hoping, participating in the election and feeling the same way -- feeling included, feeling hopeful, feeling unified, feeling important, feeling proud of America in ways they never have before. I get it.
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EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:12 AM
Response to Reply #38
39. I'm so glad you get it! And yes - I think many, many of us feel that way
You really nailed it!

Thanks for sharing those quotes. She speaks for many - including me.
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NJObamaWoman Donating Member (572 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:17 AM
Response to Original message
42. Jamal You Can Become Anything You Want To Be...BUT United States President!!!


Come on people ask ANY black person you know, that before Obama's run did they ever tell their children that they can become anything they want to be...even POTUS and truly believe it? MO is right in her statement. This same topic came up in my family and they said that they thought they will NEVER see a black person in the white house. Ask that question to a black friend and I think people might be shocked as hell.

So yeah the McCain family and most white people can say to their child that they can become anything they want to be but for many black parents that isn't their reality. Michelle Obama was just keeping it real which many Americans don't like. Barack will give good speeches about hope and inspire people but he is also going to keep it real.

I agree with your post. Michelle Obama is being hit because she doesn't agree with many white people and their belief that America is the best nation ever. Screw America. I live in the world and I don't want to see one world considered the greatest over the other. Its like "Oh yeah we in America should all live in Mansions, exploit other countries so we can get their resources and plant our vacation homes there" etc.

Some American attitudes are truly sickening to me. What I don't get is that NO ONE on this board has said anything about MO's Newsweek article. People want to bring up how she went to ivy league schools. So what? That means she never faced racism there? If you believe that than your an idiot. Its stated plain as day in that article what MO went through. I know about this because my uncle went to Princeton a decade before and always talked about the racial struggle. That as a black man...most of the blacks had to study together even if they didn't like each other because they had to prove that they were equal to whites there. They were considered stupid and not special enough for the white kids there.But see Bill O, Cindy McCain, and some of the people here bash this woman because they FEAR this woman. They don't understand how this woman doesn't fall in line. She isn't white privileged. Look at all the surveys conducted about black people. To be black in America you are loud, fat, on welfare, and other negative attributes. Black=Bad, White=Good :(

As a black woman I'm disgusted really. Cindy McCain is the stereotypical white woman who has had everything and then some. How DARE she comes down on Michelle Obama because IMHO Cindy is not fit to wipe Mrs. Obama shoes. Michelle went to the hood to do work while at Princeton to help teach local school kids. Meanwhile Cindy just drives pass it with her BMW.

MO was right to say what she did. She doesn't have those rose colored glasses on like most politicians do. HELLO go to the inner city people. Women prostituting themselves, babies making babies, HIV and Aids running high, and at the end of the day racism still exist. If it didn't than no one would have said or questioned whether a black man can win the white house. People want to talk about the past few years well lets talk about it. What about the black guy and friends who were shot outside a club in NY. Or the African guy who was raped with a plunger by WHITE cops. Racial profiling anyone? The black guy who was dragged off the back of his truck in texas?

All I have to say is STFU people. MO has more class than all the people who are bashing her on this topic. I think people can bash her all they want to on other topics but to call her unpatriotic is a slap to her, her black family, her ancestors who were probably slaves here in America who helped to build this nation and the black community IMHO.
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Whisp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:34 AM
Response to Original message
44. thankyou, Effie.
wonderful post.
sad to see some just don't get it.

but many do.
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Roxy66 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:54 AM
Response to Original message
49. I understood it, as an American....I watched it on C-Span and she
moved to tears. She is a wonderful woman
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dailykoff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:59 AM
Response to Original message
50. I completely understand what she was saying
and I'm white. I felt that when Obama won Iowa, also when Kerry won it. Haven't been following that closely but apologies were absolutely unnecessary IMHO.
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NOLALady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 03:14 AM
Response to Original message
51. Great Post.
Thank You.
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my2sense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 03:31 AM
Response to Original message
52. Excellent Post - Do You Have a Blog?
Effie,

Thank you for putting into words what I've been feeling since this "incident". Black folk look at America through a different set of lenses based upon our experience and historical & currents fact that we still have not attained a feeling of ownership in this country.

Again, this is an awesome post. If you have a blog, please send me a message with the link!
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Psyop Samurai Donating Member (873 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
54. The pathological liars and deniers don't deserve your explanation...
How you manage the grace to present it is beyond me.

And I'm white, or at least used to be.

I don't follow the tit-for-tat campaign nonsense, and am only a reluctant, late Obama supporter, but this was obviously a completely innocuous statement by Ms. Obama. That any self-professed Democrat would seek to twist it around is an abomination.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
56. There is NO reason to be proud of an accident of birth
None. I don't get misty-eyed at the flag or at the National Anthem. I detest rah-rah bullshit and always have. No flag-waving crap for me. We are decidedly NOT the best country EVER or whatever it is these idiots say.

I am not proud of this country, certainly not right now and not for things it has done in the past. I am not proud to be an American. I'd leave in a heartbeat, given the right opportunity. I consider myself a citizen of the world more than anything because, we are stuck on this rock for the foreseeable future.

There is nothing wrong with what Michelle Obama said. It's not her fault the right-wing gets their knickers in a twist because somebody isn't "patriotic" enough for their taste. Theirs is an unthinking, unquestioning patriotism. The kind that gets people killed. Not for me, thanks.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 12:53 PM
Response to Original message
57. Well I liked what she said
And while it is hard for me to put into words, it was the first time I bought her as authentic. She was speaking of the political system, not the people, clearly. Obviuosly.


Effie, you are a wonderful writer.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
59. There are others who "completely understand" too, but they reached a different understanding.
The understanding they got from what she said was that, prior to her husband winning an election, she found no reason to take pride in her country.

At best, this seems like an unbelievably tone-deaf way to express whatever it was she did mean.

I think it is reasonable to prefer a candidate who not only "wants" to be proud of their country, but is proud of it (and its people). To the degree that Ms Obama's statements may reflect the views of the candidate, it concerns me as well.

If Ms Obama meant to say what Al Sharpton did say, then she should have chosen words which didn't mean the exact opposite.
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hfojvt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
61. good post, and nice closer by Sharpton
But I am still not ready to give anybody 40 acres. For one thing, I only have 5.5 acres myself.
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ShortnFiery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
62. Well put Effie.
:applause: :hi:
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 03:11 PM
Response to Original message
64. I have no problem with what she said...
even without the context (and a very good one) that you gave. I have a serious aversion to bullshit "patriotism" politics. I think this thing has been blown incredibly out of proporation and find the harping on it lame.
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BigDDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 03:30 PM
Response to Original message
65. Take this to the general election and let us know
how that works out.
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calico1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 03:52 PM
Response to Reply #65
66. The thing is there is an election at stake.
What any private person says is one thing but if you or your spouse are running for the highest office of the land then a statement like this can be twisted and used against you. I think some people aren't making the distinction. No matter how heartfelt her statement was, it doesn't matter come the general election. Ask Kerry when he said "I was for the war before I was against it." How did that work out for him? People need to understand how stuff like this can hurt a candidate. The fact is the media can run with it and the average person will only get the twisted version.
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Adams Wulff Donating Member (658 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
67. Thank you, Effie.
K&R

I thought I understood Michelle's remark, but after reading your post, I realize that I didn't understand as much as I thought.

Great post all the way around.
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grace0418 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
68. Great post!
I'm a euromutt but I still understand where you are coming from. I'm not especially proud of America, what have we done to be proud of lately? Our Constitution is pretty cool, but not if it doesn't apply to ALL Americans regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or creed. And not if it get trashed at the whim of some RW fucks.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-21-08 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
69. Couldn't help but think of Jackie Robinson
http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/persecution/p...

Endurance is not a small achievement, and Jackie Robinson knew better than anyone else that he deserved the accolades that have now come his way. But he never forgot, nor stopped reminding others, that he earned those accolades only because of the reality of racism. Robinson knew that racism was destructive of ones dignity and peace. Great souls can overcome the damage. Robinson was not one such; he endured it, he even thrived in spite of it, but he never escaped the mark it left upon him.

Until his death, he criticized baseball for the lack of black managers and administrators. He was so convinced that he always remained a black man living in a white world that he would not sing the American national anthem or salute the American flag.

They will sing the anthem and fly the flag for Jackie on April 15. Robinson deserves his celebration, but after the gauzy feel-good tributes are over on Sunday, it would be good and truthful to remember the reality of what racism does, and that in Jackie Robinsons case, the damage done lasted long after his first game 60 years ago.

http://afgen.com/jackie_robinson.html
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