Obama Isn't Black?? Part 3

Imani Perry raises some good points in a recent Afro-Netizen article:

I don’t believe the authenticity problem lies with African Americans. The authenticity problem lies with white Americans. The real question is: Why have White pundits, journalists and newscasters been so eager to comment on Obama’s being biracial and the son of an immigrant, rather than his history of civil rights activism or his long time involvement in African American social and political communities? Does it reveal a desire, among whites, that he not be authentically black (whatever that means), but somehow “different?”

The fixation on Obama as “different” appears to be an effort to exceptionalize him. He is seen as acceptable, in part, because he is considered to be unlike other African Americans, and in particular, African American men, who have been so widely commented upon as a “social problem” in the most prestigious news media in recent months. Joe Biden got in trouble for saying what many Americans are thinking, and that is a much bigger problem than a foot in the mouth.

While there is no particular tradition of African Americans being suspicious of immigrant political activists and leaders, there is a long tradition of African Americans being suspicious of Black leaders who seem to be eagerly touted by Whites as the “next best thing.” Why, we wonder, do people who seem to hold animosity for us as a group, make an exception for this individual?

Good question... Why is Obama being treated as if he is the second coming?

I'm still not drinking the Kool-Aid...


Paul Hue said...

So which is it Nadir? Are honkies treating Obama as the "next big thing" or as "not really black"?

uptownseteve said...

Right on Nadir.

I keep hearing all these rightwing clowns claiming that African-Americans have this 'problem' with Obama because he's not "authentically black".

That is GARBAGE.

Obama represented a predominately black district in Chicago as an IL state senator and he got 90% of the black vote in Illinois when he ran for US Senator.

So it's not black folks who have a problem with Obama.

Obama is not very different than most American blacks. He has a mixed race background. So do I.

My great grandfather was a South Carolina redneck. My great grandmother was a Catawba Indian.

Racists still call me nigger.

The thing here is that Obama does not have the air of "negritude" that Jackson, Sharpton or other nationally known blacks have.

You hear it from whites all the time. You heard it about Colin Powell.

"He just doesn't seem black".

"He's not the usual black"

And of course in America, the "less" black an African-American appears or comes off, the more palatable they are to many whites.

Nadir said...

Why can't it be both? Perhaps he is the next big thing because they feel he is something other than Black.

What is the old saying about Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and Tiger Woods? They "transcend" Blackness.

This apparently gives some white folks a reason to like them without having to feel guilty about digging a Black guy.

I've heard that statement before too. "You're not like other Black guys." What exactly does that mean? I don't think I'm like anyone, but what does it mean to say I'm somehow "better" or "different" from other Black men? What does that say about Black men in general and what does that say about the speaker's perception of me and my Black brothers?

Paul Hue said...

Black people also tell honkies that they like, "you're not like other crackers." This is just people behaving normally and non-racistly, in my opinion.

The polls show a much weaker approval for Obama among blacks compared to the two times when Jesse ran strong in the primary, and this is the first time that a black candidate has polled so strong overall. So these pundits are blabbering about attempting to explain these numbers: a black candidate polling less than Jesse among blacks, but better than Jessee ever did with demos as a whole.

The righties latched onto this because some black politicos did say some things about Obama not really being black. The righties are very tuned into racist behavior by black lefties because black lefties are always calling white righties racist. That is why the righties became interested in this topic; they did not invent it. Black lefties did.

Nadir said...

Oh, c'mon, Paul! It's TWO YEARS before the election!! Nobody knows who this guy is.

And you didn't read the comment from the original post:

"...there is a long tradition of African Americans being suspicious of Black leaders who seem to be eagerly touted by Whites as the “next best thing.” Why, we wonder, do people who seem to hold animosity for us as a group, make an exception for this individual?"

Most people don't know who Obama is, and we don't appreciate white folks telling us who we should and should not like. Jesse Jackson was well known and well respected by Blacks before he ran. The same cannot be said for Obama.

I personally don't trust him. But I admit I don't know a lot about him, but what I know, I don't like.

But no, you're wrong. White folks are the ones making Obama the Messiah. They make a big deal about his background because that's the story, not whether he would make a good president or not.

He is a good-looking, non-threatening Black dude who is "clean" and "articulate". That doesn't make him "electable" and it doesn't make him a serious candidate.

Black folks have been going out of our way to say, "We are not going to give this guy a pass because he is Black." Deborah Dickerson and others who say he isn't Black are just trying to get headlines by saying some outrageous nonsense.

As Imani pointed out, there was never a question about Marcus Garvey's Blackness or Louis Farrakhan's Blackness or Stokely Carmichael's Blackness though they are all immigrants. No one questions Tiger Woods' Blackness except him. Many people question Clarence Thomas' Blackness, and that has nothing to do with his parents.

But none of this is the point. Why is this guys so popular? He hasn't done anything yet.

Nadir said...


Why do you keep censoring Uptown Steve's posts?

Paul Hue said...

I am rejecting Steve's posts which I consider to be personally ugly.

Paul Hue said...

Hmm. You're making some of the same criticisms that the righties are making of him.

I have no problem with an inexperienced guy being president. Unlike JFK and Bush II, who both lacked any accomplishments of their own (or only had minor ones), Obama is a self-made man. Yet lefties love JFK (righties love that he lowered taxes), and righties love (or used to love) Bush II.

If the US is as racist as you believe, and whites will have a significant problem voting for a negro, aren't the righties pushing the "not black enough" point making it easier for evil racist honkies to vote for him?

I think that the political-minded democrats are loving Obama because of all the superficial reasons that people like that will like candidates; most Americans I believe (or at least a big fraction of them) vote for theses sorts of superficial reasons. Such people will like Hillary, but they will also like Obama; a good fraction appear to like Obama much more.

Some honkey candidates have obtained such attention before, such as JFK; Obama's just the first black guy. When JFK had this sort of attention, people talked about the novelty of his catholicism; now Obama's getting some of the same sort of attention for being black.