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Blackazoid’s Greatest Enemy

By Jesse Taylor
Tuesday, July 22, 2008 20:37 EDT
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imageCould it be…himself?????

CNN decides to investigate the possible impact that the Greatest Black Superhero On Earth will have on the black community. Because they’re in the midst of studying the black community in America, the obvious thing to do is to consider how Barack Obama will make white people feel.

But there are others who warn that an Obama presidency could hurt African-Americans. They say that an Obama victory could cause white Americans to ignore entrenched racial divisions while claiming that America has reached the racial Promised Land.

Paul Street, author of the forthcoming book, “Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics,” says Obama risks becoming an Oval Office version of talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. She and former Secretary of State Colin Powell are African-American figures whose popularity allows some white Americans to congratulate themselves for not being racist, he says

“They’re cited as proof that racism is no longer a significant barrier to black advancement and interracial equality,” says Street.

“This isn’t new. Go to the 19th century and Southern aristocrats would point to a certain African-American landowner who was doing well to prove that whites are not racist.”

Barack Obama did not face the Two-Headed Tunisian Tiger to be felled by mere “Oprahfication”. The conqueror of the lost city of Blacklantis is not to succumb to the pleasures of abating “white guilt”!

Street’s commentary is actually right on – racists and those who fear they’re racist often grab on to My Black Friend™ to prove that they’re not racist, ignoring the fact that racism is a systematic form of oppression and prejudice, not simply refusing to let the landscaper get a drink of water.

Unfortunately, that’s about as good as it gets. CNN’s airing a two-night special starting tomorrow called Black in America. To show you how seriously they’re taking this, they’ve got a promo video up showing an interview with Chris Tucker. Because the best way to show progress in Black America is to interview a guy who’s worked exactly three times in the past ten years. Detective Carter shall lead the way!

By the standard of what’s about to come next, that interview looks like Sidney Poitier and Cornel West discussing the works of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Yet there are a few political commentators who warn African-Americans that an Obama victory could be twisted to suppress the push for racial equality. Most of these commentators are African-American but they also include white, Latino and conservative pundits.

These commentators say that there is a subliminal appeal to Obama’s presidential candidacy that has been ignored. Obama doesn’t just represent change — he represents atonement for America’s ugly racial past for others, they say.

Steve Sailer, a columnist for The American Conservative magazine, wrote last year that some whites who support Obama aren’t driven primarily by a desire for change.

They want something else Obama offers them — “White Guilt Repellent,” he wrote.

“So many whites want to be able to say, ‘I’m not one of them, those bad whites. … Hey, I voted for a black guy for president,’ ” Sailer wrote.

Sailer cited another reason why many whites want Obama as president:

“They hope that when a black finally moves into the White House, it will prove to African-Americans, once and for all, that white animus isn’t the cause of their troubles. All blacks have to do is to act like President Obama – and their problems will be over.”

CNN just let a white supremacist concern troll black America.

Someone who’s called Barack Obama a wigger. Someone who is a regular writer for white supremacist group VDARE. Someone who believes that African-Americans have poorer native judgment than whites and were too untrustworthy and shortsighted to get out of New Orleans prior to Katrina.

Fuck your stupid fucking faces, CNN.

They, do, however, counter Sailer by offering up a black commentator:

Glen Ford, executive editor of the online journal blackagendareport.com, offered some white Americans a free solution to the race problem: “Millions of whites came to believe Obama could solve the ‘race problem’ by his mere presence, at no cost to their own notions of skin privilege,” Ford wrote in an essay in January.

CNN?

Fuck.

You.

Stupid.

Motherfuckers.

Ford was not “offering a solution” to White America. He was criticizing a racist power structure that lets those with an inherent privilege hide their bias and privilege by embracing simple tokens. I don’t know what conclusion I’m supposed to draw when a white supremacist gets to speak virtually unmolested by editorial comment while a black commentator’s words get grossly misinterpreted in direct response, but it’s sure as shit not a good one.

The rest of the article concerns itself with, I shit you not, the bad things an Obama presidency allegedly is and will do to the black community in America. And that’s it. This is the sort of article that would appear in a late-50s copy of National Review, penned by William F. Buckley and with a few more smarmy uses of the word “Negro” in conjunction with the word “problem”, not the sort of thing you expect from an organization that hires several black anchors and commentators in the year 2008. In an article about how Barack Obama will make uncomfortable waves in the notion of white privilege, the author in question spends the entire time reinforcing that privilege.

You can contact CNN if you’re as full of the same black-driven inferiority rage that I am. Well, if you can figure out how to work the internet.

Blackazoid would have us do no less.

Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor
Jesse Taylor is an attorney and blogger from the great state of Ohio. He founded Pandagon in July, 2002, and has also served on the campaign and in the administration of former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. He focuses on politics, race, law and pop culture, as well as the odd personal digression when the mood strikes.
 
 
 
 
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