This is the comment she sent and my response is below. I have left her "half white man's mouth" reference alone because it is just obviously crass:
Ridwan, I have a question for you.
This is the first thing I see when visiting your blog:
"There is only one race, the human race."
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (1924-1978)
Why is that message unpalatable when it comes out of a half white man's mouth? (Obama)
Obama is not Robert Sobukwe by any stretch of the imagination. When Sobukwe said that there was “only one race” he was standing against the spurious claim by white supremacists that Black people are inferior humans.
Obama’s "speech on race" is a calculated part of his presidential campaign and it comes at a time when he was forced to speak to Pastor Wright’s comments. Up to this point he has fastidiously avoided race in his campaign. In fact, his campaign was definitvely race-less, or rather race-neutered.
Sobukwe, in contrast, did not run for office in terms where he needed whiteness to accept his racial otherness or sanction his notions about race unity.
When Sobukwe made the argument that whites were not superior to Blacks it was part of his lifelong struggle against white supremacy. Unlike Obama, he was not just acquiescing to white domination and its race rules.
Nowhere in Sobukwe’s life or thinking will you find the kind of liberal Obama nonsense that says we can’t be stuck on race so let’s move on.
Sobukwe knew that race was a construction but he also knew that the system of oppression and privilege built around it is real.
He recognized that the consequence of race was racism and not just a convenient misunderstanding like Obama argues.
If Obama was more honest with his white supporters he would tell them that Pastor Wright’s words are hardly uncommon in Black and Other communities.
Obama would also tell whites that most Blacks despise the arrogance and ascendance of whiteness.
And he would tell them that Blacks and Others do not appreciate the sanctimonious motioning that whites do when their privileges are at stake, or when their version of history, and reality, is confronted.
What Obama would not do is to make "step-and-fetch" excuses for whiteness.
To address racism in the US and globally we need more than the duplicitous liberal nonsense that Obama represents.
We have to begin, as Sobukwe did, by confronting whiteness head-on. We can't, for example, just pretend that America represents a just society while its prisons and ghettos are full of Blacks and Others.
But Obama is not about unsettling whiteness.
He is, afterall, a client of whiteness. He cannot ask tough structural questions about race and racism in America; questions that would interrogate whiteness about its structural relationship to Indian genocide and Black slavery, for example.
Asking these questions would be too divisive for Obama.
In fact, if he wanted to end his love affair with whiteness right now all he would have to do is say that America needs to address the question of reparations for Black slavery.
You know all hell would break loose among his supporters.
Sobukwe's revolutionary example stands against this paper-thin politicking. He was not a mere agent of whiteness but a revolutionary that understood how liberals like Obama are among the most duplicitous of players in race politics.
The apartheid government and its voters found Sobukwe so threatening that they kept him imprisoned and under house arrest for most of his political life.
This is in stark contrast to Obama who depends on white people to validate his existence, and the other way around.
See Angryindian's post entitled "Obama Race Speech: Making White People Feel Safer by Telling Them it is Not Only Their Fault."
As I read through Angryindian's post I thought again how Obama has made it OK for white folk to just be ignorant and indignant about race and racism. He has turned the average closet bigot into a flagrant racist.
Angryindian develops a more complex argument when he says:
Not that my analysis nor the deconstructions of my brothers and sisters observing this minstrel show will mean much outside of the African community. We do not own major media. We do not even own the creative expression packaged and marketed around the world for the direct benefit of the White businessmen who own and jealously guard the means of production. Our opinions, when it comes to critiquing the colonialist government and society that claims dominance over us, are limited not just by our lack of access to technology, but the reluctance Whites have in listening and reading to voices that do not reinforce their sense of entitlement and authority over the entire world. It is the proverbial sea in which we all swim. White makes right, no matter what the circumstances.
No doubt brother!