Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Wright is Wrong Says Obama

Presidential Candidate Barack Obama told the world a few minutes ago that he is "outraged" by Rev. Jeremiah Wright's speech to the National Press Club.

I found it hard to watch Obama. He uncharacteristically stuggled for words as he distanced himself from the man he recently, and famously, defended by saying "I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother."

What a crock.

Obama will sell any aspect of his mediated Blackness if it will quell the fears of white voters who stand between him and the presidency.

I find it telling that Obama said that "(t)here's been great damage" in his relationship with Wright.

Huh?

This is a man who postures his campaign around the often repeated assertion that he seeks commonality and not division.

Are we to understand that his self-described "spiritual guide", the very man who married him and baptized his children, has so offended his political sensibilities that he must be caste aside?

Is Wright, like Minister Louis Farrakhan, too Black and real to fit into the white induced sensibilities that define the substance of Obama and his delusional integrationism.

I believe so.

What we are seeing is Obama jigging to the expectations of whiteness yet again.

What he essentially did today was to warn Black America, in the person of Wright, that it cannot offend whiteness if it wants to be admitted to the integrationist American 'dream'.

Whiteness in these terms is the dominant default value that cannot be overridden, ever.

And so Wright is every Black man, woman, and child in America. The message from Obama is to behave accordingly.

This is not a credible message because Obama is not a credible candidate drawn from struggle.

He is, as I have repeatedly said, a duplicitous ass-kissing sell-out and Wright is right to call him into question, whether by intent or not.

There is, afterall, nothing that Rev. Wright said that has not been repeated in Black households, and others, all over the US and the rest of the world.

That Obama is now "outraged" has more to do with his ambitions than with his acceptance that there is a vibrant struggle critique of whiteness and its related excesses in Black churches and Black life.

But that aside, it is interesting to see how Obama is falling from grace precisely because whites can't really elect a Black man to the White House even though so many want to believe they can.

Nonsense.

This Obama trip has been about whiteness and its indulgences. It felt good for long enough to act like race and racism, and its persistent place in America, was transcended in the personhood of Obama.

That trip is now over. Whites have sufficiently proven to themselves that they can embace the right kind of Black man and still not spoil their whiteness and their interests in racism.

And all the while a whole grip of people of colour bought this delusional sh*t. Some still do.

But these good folk will again know that America is all about whiteness and its unavoidable racism, period.

And Obama will find out that he can't overcome the colour of his skin, and its history, despite his white grandma.

Onward!

19 comments:

Dione said...

Such a chameleon shape shifter!
Does he have a Cherokee grandma too??

You know what the wort part of this is? McCaine is going to win, g-damit!!!

Dione :)

Shus li said...

Of course Obama is going to excuse himself from Wright; Wright is making statements that rock the great white boat of the U.S. Wright, who is probably kidding himself, states that Obama only distanced himself from the what the MEDIA presented. This is from part 2 of the National Press Club interview on youtube:

"He didn't distance himself. He had to distance himself because he's a politician..from what the media said I had said, which was anti-American. He never heard the rest of the sermon."

This may be the only delusional thing I've heard Wright say so far.

There is but one choice for the 2008 presidential office: The candidate who is most supportive and most representative of the power structure. It could be a "Black" man like Obama, but only if he could be perceived as 100% pro status quo. It is like there is only one entity running for office, but that entity has now comes in three different flavors.

You would not believe some of the mass emails I've received that have said Obama is a radical Muslim. Obama, because of his positioning, not because of his White grandmother, is too White to be Black. He is, apparently, judging from the email I received, too Black to be White.

I do not in any way state that the U.S. is anything but racist from its blood foundation on up. However, this thing about throwing in one's White ancestry is disturbing to me and it hurts me, frankly. You seem to be saying, correct me if I am wrong, that that is part of the reason Obama is too White to be really Black.

(By the way, Rev. Wright does not appear to be any darker in hue than Obama - so skin color is not so much the issue here as is veracity and speaking "truth to power".)

As you know, I am of Native American/European descent. I am, by lineage, 3/8 Native American. My skin is pale. Also, I've served patients whose skin was hardly any darker than mine, and who were nonetheless well accepted by their African-American community.

A question I would like to ask you is, do you think that my partial European ancestry and pale skin make me automatically more pro power structure than, say, a reservation-raised, dark-skinned Lakota who waves a U.S. flag and goes to foreign lands to kill other dark people? I see these guys marching out the U.S. flag at powwows and bragging about their conquests at the behest of the occupying forces of this land. It seems that I am far less White than that, if we are labeling support of the the current power structure as "Whiteness."

Also I wonder how others with an expanded world view feel about being painted with a broad brush stroke of EITHER White OR Black. I think it's more complicated than that.

It doesn't seem to me that a world view that is other than White is tied up part and parcel to having dark skin. But then, that is something I will never know.

Peace to you,

Shusli

Ridwan said...

Shusli thank you for your comment here. You raise important issues, some of which, I have addressed before (that which relates to race and biology and Obama).

It matters very little to me that Obama is of mixed parentage. The man says he is mixed and he identifies with some Black issues.

I do not want to advance the view that Obama is too white to be Black.

I have not said that in this post.

Blackness and whiteness are adversarial sets of politics. In the politics of Black consciousness you cannot be a little white and a little Black.

I raised some of this issue in the South African context in a called "Who is Black in South Africa?"

The post came up when a man who identifies as "ethnic Black" contested my Blackness.

He pointed out that only Africans are Black. I am an Indian or a coloured.

I disabused him of that infantile notion by pointing out that any reference to biology and skin colour is merely symptomatic of race.

Race is not biological and Obama's white family is hardly why I see him as a sell-out.

I think it also important to note that my reference to his grandma is a nod to the one drop rule that has been used by the American system to define who is white and who is not.

Obama is not white, despite his grandma is to be appreciated within the contexts of the history of race in the US.

If there is one important point that I have pursued throughout my posts on Obama is that he does not represent Black consciousness and its politics.

He is an integrationist and that to me is a submission to the power of whiteness (which is not defined by white skin but is an ideological construct and history).

In my head Obama is an agent of whiteness even where he can't be a permanent part of it.

The Wright issue shows that he can't escape being held responsible for Black folk even where McCain, for example, is not being called on to explain Robertson or Paisley's abusive comments.

My analysis of race on this blog, then, is not fixated on phenotypes. My measure is politics.

Skin colour is an American hang-up and its emotional baggage is peculiar to the race-system that runs America.

I hope you can see me here :0)

Peace and struggle to you sista.

Ridwan

Peace to you,
Ridwan

Ridwan said...

Dione thanks for your comment. I don't think that Obama used his grandmother to lighten his Black side.

But in the American system of race his grandma on the white side has nontheless been an asset he has highlighted.

He has chosen to keep the Africans, and Muslims, who are his family on his father's side quite outside of his campaign.

And now Wright is out too.

But he is not claiming Indian heritage.

But Bill Clinton does, and he claims it to be a measure of Cherokee.

Having said that, I believe that Obama is way less despicable than Hillary Clinton on the issues that relate to Israel and Palestine, for example.

Obama is no friend to Palestineans but he is not Hillary by any stretch.

Also, Obama is hardly going around lying about his experience.

I think it a weak measure of Hillary's character that she has lied about her role in Ireland and Kosovo, for example.

Still, like Shusli says these three are hardly going to change the system.

I would not vote for Hillary or McCain because I would not want to be responsible for putting another warmongerer in office.

I would not vote for Obama because he is a sell-out who is an agent for whiteness and its politics.

Peace to you,
Ridwan

Dade said...

Hi, Ridwan and all.

I'm very disappointed by Obama's statements and his surrender. For my part, I think Rev. Wright offered up a stiff quaff of truth. It's condescending of the pathetic media that they play up the gut level bigoted reactions of the American hoi polloi.

Nonetheless, I'm still behind Obama. This disappointing incident is merely bowing to a practical reality of American politics today.

And besides, Barack is all we've got.

Dade

Ridwan said...

Dade you are absolutely right. Obama is being made to apologize for Wright, this is racist in my view.

He is not responsible for Wright.

Why is McCain not asked to do the same with Robertson and Paisley?

McCain has said that Paisley is his "spiritual advisor" too.

Still, Obama did what he did because it is the nature of his politics.

I am saddened, my brother, that this is the best choice the democrats could dredge up.

As it stands, Dione has it right in my view, McCain is about to be the president.

So sad!

Thanks for your comment Dade.

Best wishes and peace to you.

Ridwan

Dione said...

A Cherokee grandmother,is a native American joke, referring to white people, who like to say there are indigenous, when they are not, or probably not.

So,I was being sarcastic ;) because Obama is a sellout. He is shape shifting and hiding a lot. I understand why he is doing it, but I tend to loose respect for that too.

The one drop rule always applies itself within the context of blackness and racism. I really do believe that Obama sees himself as a black man first, with also a white heritage, not that uncommon within the history of this nation,,, slavery....
In fact, it actually wouldn't surprise me if Obama did have Native American blood, many African American people do, but I was just playing devil's advocate as usual. I really like to think outside the box, and Americans voting in this election need to do their best, in thinking about these things in all directions, and thinking for themselves.

Personally, all three candidates will be the same murderous kind. I keep saying it, they are all the same. Pick the candidate that knows how to work the system, so that if they actually do try and reform this system, then they will be able to do so. Obama doesn't have that experience, or those connections. Hillary and McCaine do.
If you had to pick one, of those two, ask yourself who would kill more? and why? Think about their agendas.

Atleast when McCaine wins, he probably won't be able to do a second term, not even with crack and viagra, lol

He is still not my choice, but I do voice my opinion, that I'm voting for Hillary.

Ask yourself, which candidate is the most different. Make a list, and take it from there.

Kashea said...

The biggest mistake that Obama has eer made in his campaign is to further distance himself from Wright despite the fact that he knows that most of what Wright has said is true. I do not beleive everything Wright has said, particulalrly his comments that an attack on him is an attack on the Black church, he localized his statement way too mcuh. It is an attack on anything Black with an opinion to share. His statements are not uncommon talk amongst Black folk, and for Obama to be outraged by this is almost seen as trying to distance himself from Black America and to keep white America in his back pocket which I've noticed has somewhat blown up in his face due to the amount of whites that have come to terms and have agreed with with what his has said about America. Obama threw Wright under the bus. Then got into the bus and drove over him. This much is true.

Wright, however, gives me great unease with some of his statements. He claims not to be a political figure yet he doesn't mind the media attention given to him like he was a political figure. He lives in America and he should know better than anybody the moment they talk about politics or political issues, especially after four interviews in a matter of 24 hours, becomes a political figure and the fact that he did this knowing that Obama woudl face a political backlash no matter what he said leaves me to beleive there were political intentions behind his public statements. It seems almost as if he was seeking vengence against Obama. Obama sold him up shits creek, he swam back and pulled Obama in with him. Wright knows that when it comes to Blackness, you are guilty buy associations even if you arent associated. Wright was correct with much of what he said despite the mainstream American ideal, but he knows that from the moment he was posted on youtube, anything he did would make Obama looks bad infront of his white constituents and oppennents and Obama can't win without that and he wats to win more than anything even if that means shedding his blackness like a snake sheds its skin. But back to Wright

A man of the cloth who really is a man of the cloth would not call any interviews, talk politics and then claim not to be a politician. He would have went back to the chrch, have soemone record what he was going to say and go back to his regular preaching of the gospel. He has fully taken advantage of his newly found infamy and is living by the statement "There is no such thing as bad publicity." No matter what, this past week will nly be beneficial to Hilarry and Mccain Willie Lynch must be dancing is his grave.

Ridwan said...

*Dione thanks for your reply. We will have to disagree on how to choose a candidate.

I know that some white folks use Indian heritage to excuse their history. I have met a whole lot of them in my two decades in the US.

But Obama is not white and the stereotype does not fit him.

**Kashea it is good to hear from you brother. I can relate to Rev. Wright and agree that he must have known this fallout would have happened.

Wright may be sore about Obama, I mean they been 'tight' for 20 years.

But it must be said that this would have to happen to Obama, Farrakhan was too easy. But Wright is too close and we saw how that went down.

Also, being Black is a political condition. When he raises his voice it does not make him a politician.

I agree with him, Obama is the politician mostly because he is inside of the political system.

I am always amused by folks who ask me what my Ph.D. is in and when I say "political science" they say "oh you want to be a politician!"

Ummm no :0)

Wright is not a politician just because he is commenting on issues that is about Obama.

Peace to both of you.
Ridwan

Dione said...

How would I know? You haven't admitted to whom you would pick, assuming you HAD to vote. ;)

Now, I'm not saying you need to admit it :) but I am saying, that I'm being honest......

I know who you would pick anyways :) because my women's intuition is that good, it's a finely tuned radar, heh..

Seriously, it's one hell of a hard choice, and not a choice really. We need to insist upon better candidates in the next election, and we need to stop buying cars un till they are made to run more efficiently!!

Have a good day,

your devil's advocate

Dione

Dione said...

In thinking more about the election, I am scared when I think about McCain in office, but I guess I should be more scared if I were an Iraqi citizen.

So,now i'm thinking about those choices again tonight in a different way. If he is my last choice, whom do I vote for that would hurt him the most?

Just some more thoughts, in Oregon

Peace

bb_aisha said...

Wright is so right. Obama once supported the palestinian issue but quickly changed his mind when Jewish backers bankrolled his entry into canidate for american Pres.

But yet..he's a better choice than Clinton & McCain. lesser of two evils..

Mojalefa said...

Ridwan, Heita! after not visiting for a long time!

In a white dominated world, the unwritten law is that for blacks to be successful, they must "...stretch their arms wide in welcoming the rest of humanity, while turning their backs away from their own people..."

I forget a South African revolutionary of the Unity Movement of SA who observed and made these remarks in respect of the ANC.

The ANC would not accommodate the suggestion that domestic workers could be incorporated in the struggle against apartheid and made use of optimally.

Apparently the ANC then did not have any room for them but the black elite and white liberal mentors.

As you can see HERE (http://www.writewhatwemust.blogspot.com/) the law clearly appears to prevail even today!

If Obama's convictions are driven by a quest for the white liberal endorsement, then his attitude is best explained by the unwritten law of white supremacy.

Under the prevailing political and economic mood in the US, he will win the presidential nomination and the November elections.

Then he will have to serve his masters.

Consequently, we will see no change in the US race relations or economic conditions of the black and indigenous people.

He would be rewriting South Africa's post-apartheid chapter.

Dione said...

Hello:
Here is an article that discusses Clinton's new lead with voters, and how Obama's alliances with Rev. Jeremiah Right is hurting his numbers with voters, yet
he is now picking up Super delegates.
This new shift in math is interesting, it's a yahoo article, but it also does have links to other interesting pages.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080502/ap_on_el_pr/campaign_rdp

Ridwan said...

Hello Dione. Thanks for your comments and the link.

I think we should all be worried about McCain.

In 2004 when we marched in the streets of PDX against the war machine many good people seemed really dumbfounded by the brutality of the US.

I remember thinking that a big part of not getting America is the assumption that it is a democracy.

It is not.

I would never vote there under any circumstance.

Iraq and Palestine are too large in my consciousness.

All three candidates represent what I detest about America's weighty arrogance and brutality in world affairs.

Peace,
Ridwan

Ridwan said...

bb_aisha thank you kindly for your comment.

I worry about Obama's duplicity and over-eagerness to dispense with principle to play the political game.

Well, worry may be overstating what I personally feel :0)

My interest in his campaign is more about race relations than any fervent belief that he can win.

I do not believe that he can win.

So I should say that I worry about McCain. More pain and brutality to come.

Peace to you,
Ridwan

Ridwan said...

Hello Mojalefa. It is indeed good to hear from you again.

Thanks for weighing in here. I absolutely agree with your assessment.

I think you are referring to Neville Alexander of the Unity Movement in South Africa.

Over the last few months folks here must have grown tired of my references to whiteness and Obama.

I think it important that, as you have written, to note that Obama represents a furthering of whiteness and its domination.

There can be no mediation of whiteness, it cannot be reformed precisely because it is a system and ideology that advances on brutal supremacy.

Brother I do not think that Obama can win.

There are too many whites who will not vote for him. If he gets the nomination the republican gloves will come off.

But even if he 'wins' so much will have been lost in terms of Black and Indian struggle in the US.

Obama saddens me because his non-racial nonsense is really a purposeful restatement of white domination.

Glen Ford has written that Obama lies to white America for the purpose of winning its support.

I am afraid it is as simple as that even if Obama believes his nonsense.

Anyway, please keep stopping by and thanks for the link.

Peace,
Ridwan

Professor Zero said...

There are still significant differences between Obama and McCain and this is why it is a good idea to vote for Obama. Not because he fits one's ideals or because he is going to fix anything. But it'll be less bad. Get very lefty locally and vote 'realistically' at the presidential level - except at the times you truly can't stand it and just have to vote third party, which I comprehend since
it happens to me (I'm thinking McKinney for the general election already, and trying to resist).

Ridwan said...

PZ thanks for your comment. I disagree.

Revolutions are built on principles and not on compromises like Obama.

I cannot live with a man who thinks it is OK to champion Israel over the millions of Palestineans who are suffering in the Gaza and in the other occupied areas.

I know that there are a lot of liberals, most of them white, who claim to care about human rights but are selectively blind to what Obama represents in true struggle.

This is why, like Biko, I do not trust liberal politics and liberals.

Nontheless, I still do not believe that Obama can win. In fact, and Obama nomination will mean that McCain will win.

Sorry to be blunt, but I am not feeling Obama and the contrived racist crap that he represents in America.

How can I?

Peace to you PZ,
Ridwan