Sunday, January 21, 2007

Barack's "Cultural Learning Of America"

Barack Obama's new book is titled the "Audacity of Hope", and you have got to respect a guy who at only 44 years old is the only African American in that exclusive club of 100 known as the United States Senate. And who has declared himself ready to run and be elected to the most powerful position on earth. That's a man who dares to hope, and who obviously worked hard to get where he is and live out his dream. Now I have never lived in Illinois, and I am not familiar with Illinois politics, so until Obama burst on the national scene in his run for the U.S. Senate, I knew nothing about the man or his politics. What little I know about him now I like. Because, after all, he did and still does, oppose the use of force in Iraq. And I know that he has to be pretty smart, because he edited the Harvard Law Review which is no easy feat.

But this is not so much about Obama and his politics; no, it's more about America and hers. First, if I were advising Obama, I would strongly advise him to understand the political reality he faces, and not to get drunk off the rock star treatment certain segments of white America have been showering on him. In other words, as my man Chuck D used to say: "don't believe the hype". I know all about the sold out tour in New Hampshire, and all the favorable press he has been getting; with Oprah, of all people, leading the charge. But he better be careful, because this is still America. And trust me, as I heard one journalist say: "America ain't ready to play 'jungle fever' with it's Presidency". Colin thought about it for a minute, but where is he now? He aint running for President that's for sure. Colin knew the polls weren't a true reflection of how white Americans felt.

I am no big fan of Juan Williams, but he made a very good point when asked on the Fake News Network if Obama had a better chance than Hillary to be elected President. His answer was an honest one, which impressed me. He told the moderator, Chris Wallace, that Hillary had a better chance because America is more ready for a white female being its leader than an African American. Another member of the discussion panel, Brit Hume, quickly jumped in and said that Obama has a chance of winning because he is black. That the only reason he is getting this star treatment is because he is a black man, and if he were white he would be just another Senator running for President. Folks, it's exactly because most white men in this country think like Mr. Hume that Obama won't win. Brit, here is a news flash for you: of course the guy is different, his mother is white and his father is African-not African American, but African- for crying out loud! I think that makes him a little different than most Americans. So his story is an unusual one. But Brit, typical of the white male anger always brewing under the surface, chooses not to see it that way. No, he prefers to compare Obama to another white male, as if there can ever be a fair comparison between the two races at this point in our history.

But this is what Obama will face, and in Brit Hume's case it was subtle, but as his campaign heats up, the subtleties will leave, and true feelings will start to come out. Its already started on the FAKE NEWS NETWORK, and it will only get worse. Now I know Obama might be looking at things like the one recent Newsweek poll which said that 93% of white Americans would support a black President. Well Barack, I have one name for you: Tom Bradley. Yes folks, in the 1982 Governor's race in California, whites told pollsters they were voting for Bradley, but when they got in the voting booth, they couldn't do it. Happened to Doug Wilder in Virginia too. He thought he had a double digit lead going into election day but in the end he barely won. Why, because again, white folks just couldn't pull the trigger. And that was for Governor, not President.

Then of course, there is the other no slavery in his background issue which liberal and conservative whites have been putting out there. Apparently this makes him attractive to whites because they have no guilt when dealing with him, so as a result, he transcends race. Huh? That has got to be the most disingenuous and most intellectually lazy argument of all. And I have heard many whites make this point as if it has some merit. It has none. For the record, Obama's fathers ancestors might not have been enslaved in America, but trust me, I am guessing that as an African, his ancestors and his country were effected by the slave trade just like any descendant of slaves who were born in America. And Obama, by living in America, suffered and continues to suffer from the same stigma from slavery that all other black people in this country suffer from. This attempt to separate him from other black people whose ancestors can trace their roots to the North American slave trade is ludicrous, and it's something I hope that the good Senator does not fall for.

Barack, a little word to the wise from the field: It's good to be a unifier and try to transcend the racial issues that divides us. But don't get it twisted and lose sight of the realities in modern day America, cause we ain't there yet. You still have lots of unifying to do.

But still, I respect you, and I would never discourage a person of color for aspiring to hold the highest office in the land. Hey, even if you lose, you might bolster voter registration among minorities and young people, and that's always a good thing.

So good luck Barack, as you continue your tour of America, and your quest for the White House. I think you will find your experience very interesting, and you will learn so much along the way about your fellow Americans. When you do start learning some ugly truths though, don't say I didn't try to warn you.


Anonymous said...

I like Barak, but I don't think this is the time for him to run for President. All the reasons you state are valid ones. I would like to see him with a key position in the next White House, though. This would allow him time to gain some valuable experience.

As for the attitudes of most white American voters, it's really sad. They would willingly vote for a white man (Bush) who screwed up the country not once, but twice. But if a person of color came along who just might be able to fix some of this mess, they'd come up with all kinds of excuses not to support him/her.

meera bowman-johnson said...

I don't think Obama's beleiving the hype, just riding the waves. America might not be ready yet (can't you just picture the "liberals" at the polls like "!"), but I'm glad he's there.

I hate that he and Hillary and the first – sorry, I forget the name – Latino candidate have to all run at once, but I guess that's how it will go this time.

Either way, he'll get my vote.

Anonymous said...

I feel you field. It is hard not to be cynical about it. But the truth is...He is every bit as qualified as Hillary or anyone else.

Let the man run...let us see how it plays out. The easy way out is to not run.

I say run your Ass off, BO, MAKE them choose someone else. Make them live with the results.

Em said...

Hey...just discovered this Blog. As the son and brother to white Jazz musicians (who are all Union members) I consider myself an honarary field negro.

But Obama woon't is unelectable for two main reasons: 1) He's black, but add to this 2) He's a democrat.

The south and all the other fascist red states know where their bread is buttered. I think that MAYBE a Black republican who was obvioously "tough on terrorists" and who is obviously plugged into the old-boy network of military contractors, navy and army bases, and red-state handouts could possibly get elected.

Obama has two strikes that together make him unelectable by that horrid mass of illiterate hillbillies that now run our country>

Tasha said...

From what I've read and seen of Barack, I like him. I truly don't know very much about his politics. I think he understands the depth and complexity involved with him running for president, and is not simply enjoying the "rockstar treatment". I hope that's the case anyway. I do belive that he has what it takes to win. I'm interested to seee how this will play out for '08.

Unknown said...

I just discovered this site. I have to say I like it...I will lurk a bit more before making anymore comments.

But good job brutha, I am a Fields negro, well it's my last name not negro of course but field(s)lol

Anonymous said...

go team barack! immature response I know but there is something about him that I find refreshing. That may not be enough to win the Presidency and look at Hilary, she looks like she is ruthless so he has a tough fight ahead of him.

field negro said...

Welcome to the fields creativedtv, and em. I welcome all points of views, and I love to learn from people.

As you can see, there are some pretty thoughtfull posters here,so you guys should feel right at home.


Christopher Chambers said...

I'm torn, Field. I think you've been infected by my cynicism. I think alot of Obama's pie in the sky hope machine stuff is like pixie dust on the American public and it will be hard for a huge chunk to brush off. Many white female/soccer moms will buy into and badger their hubbies into it. There was even a high level GOP Christian evangelical who invited Obama to speak and defended him vehemently to his cohorts.

Now, it's that Fox News 40% that's troublesome, true. These are the same people who see no problem with the idiot Virgil Goode attacking Keith Ellison, or other such right wing trogs. Obama doesn't have a shot with them anyway.

The key is that there is a critical mass of hokey white folks who can tip the primaries to Obama as Hillary and Edwards fight over the remnants. I think thatmass will translate into the same support in the general election. Head to head against Rudy G. or Mitt Romney, he can win. McClain, no. And all he has to do is keep up is okey dokey message of hope stuff.

C-dell said...

Hello field negro. My father told me about your blog it is a very good blog. I like the ways you made your arguement. Many people argue that Black and White people can't exist solely. You Simply acknowlege the fact that racial tension exist. I hope that he gets the office. I also know that being a black man the road will a lot tougher. I am very interested to see how it all plays out.

I very much like your blog. I would like to welcome you to the Rouge Gallery. It means that I will link you. If you object just tell me and I will remove it.

Anonymous said...

I'm supporting Obama because I don't think he's any less qualified than anyone else running. Taking his TOTAL elected governmental office experience, he has more than Clinton AND Edwards and by the time of the primaries in 2008, will totally have more than Dubya had when he ran.

I believe he should run because folks in those red states need to see someone Black stand before them seriously stuming for the Presidency.

Will he win?

I doubt it.

But, for me, that's not the point.

WE - the USA - not Black America, but ALL America - need to see this Black man run for President.

His run wouldn't be necessary right now if Colin Powell had run in 2000.

I will NOT vote for Hillay Clinton. I'll vote Green Party before I vote for her.

Brian said...

Ditto Field...

You summed that up pretty well.

I like Obama's message.
But I don't think the rest of America is ready to hear it and embrace it.

And you are exactly right about that Poll you mentioned. That kind of poll becomes skewed because no one wants to be seen as a "racist". So they give the response that is the least confrontational... But as you say.... when they get in the voting booth, they won't vote for a Black candidate.

Another problem with Obama is that as a black candidate... it will be impossible to win any Southern States.

Democrats will have to get at least 1 or 2 Southern States to get a solid victory. There are a couple of Southern States that are close to flipping Democratic in 2008. But a Black candidate makes that impossible.

Anonymous said...

I apologize in advance if this rains on anyone's parade. First, there is no chance at all that Mr. Obama can win. I think he knows it as well as most of us. I think he knows that he would be a dead president within weeks of the election. I can't even see them waiting until he is sworn in to send out the snipers.

I would guess that he is actually angling towards a possible Vice Presidency run at this point. A good showing in the primaries would make him almost a lock, no matter who gets the Presidential nod. I predict that he will be the least likely to ruffle any of the other candidates feathers especially Hillary, Edwards, or Richardson. He'll be the guy everybody likes and anybody could use and for sure capture that Black vote. He might even live through a Vice Presidential run.

Here's the part that's going to get you twisted. None of it matters. While I can respect Obama the man, I expect no different from Obama the politician than I expect from any onther politician. It is simply naive to believe that there will be some magical mystical miraculous change in the politics of Capitalism that is practiced in this country. Obama knows that to stay in power he has to keep the right people, the people with money happy. He isn't running a grass roots race, he is parlaying with the rich and powerful. If he is not already a tool of the special interest, he is setting himself up to be one.

That's the ugly truth of this thing we call democracy in America. In the words of the Wu, "Cash Rules Everything Around Me" As long the masses of us can be distracted into ingoring that basic fundamental fact about power there is little chance that we will take steps that can actually cause a change. So they will keep us focused on the inconsequential things, like the possibility of the first woman, Balck or Latino president, or Obama's middle name. It's all misdirection.

Free your mind.

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