Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fear Of A Black President

There's a scene in the Chris Rock movie 'Head of State' in which he's running for president and his character Alderman Mays Gilliam is poised to win the White House. It comes down in a tight race to California deciding it. The pundits say it, and a flood of screaming, panic-stricken suburban whites rush out of their cookie cutter homes and flood onto the streets heading as fast as they can to the nearest polling place in order to keep a Black man from occupying the highest office in the land.

That scene was playing in my mind as I watched the results from the West Virginia primary last night and heard the distressing news that 22% of the people in exit polling there openly admitted race was a factor in casting their ballots. The actual numbers were probably double that.

Yes, there is fear out there of Sen. Barack Obama and his family moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The lunatic fringe and the Freepers have been screaming for months online they need to do something to stop the n----r from winning this race. It manifested itself in the primary results in West Virginia last night. The same fears were stoked and exploited in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Indiana and various other states. The Republicans will be ready to race bait all the way to November 4 and test drove their message in North Carolina. The Faux News nattering negativity nabobs stoked the Rev. Wright controversy. When Hillary was about to be finished off she played the race card to the point where I wondered if she was running for KKK Grand Wizard instead of the presidency.

As a hardworking, college educated African-American I'm pissed about how the positive campaign we had on the Democratic primary side degenerated. It was obvious Hillary couldn't beat him with a positive campaign, so her new campaign team started running plays from the GOP race-baiting side of the political playbook. We can only hope and pray that the 'kitchen sink' strategy they employed doesn't come back to haunt us in November.

So what are y'all 'scurred' of working class White America? Are you cowering in your centuries old fear that everything your ancestors have done to my people will be revisited upon you? Are you being fed the lies by right-wing talk radio and Faux News that Barack is 'too liberal', 'lacks experience', 'speaks well but no substance', 'he's an undercover Muslim' and all the other past, present and future bullshyt that will be thrown at him by GOP spinmeisters? Are you believing the fallacious bull that if this country elects an African-American, they'll have less respect for us?

Hell, we've got rock bottom respect levels in the world thanks to the unqualified pseudo-Texan dumb ass y'all voted overwhelmingly for twice. The rest of the world thinks of Barack Obama as an improvement.

White working class America. fire up your braincells and stop falling for the okey-doke. This is probably the best candidate we've had in a generation and he happens to be a mixed race person. He came from nothing to the verge of being president. He is the American Dream that your right-wing pundits are always exhorting my people to believe in until it benefits us, then y'all have a problem with it.

Barack Obama has your economic interests at heart moreso than the parade of GOP idiots that have sold you out to the have-mores over the last 40 years, bamboozled you into voting for them and against your own economic interests because you fell for the 'Guns, God and Gays' 'family values' rhetoric.

I just want to ask one question. In that entire 40 years you've been voting for Republicans, has it put more money in your pocket?

Let's fast forward to the glorious day when a new chapter in American history will commence on January 20, 2009. Barack Obama will raise his right hand at 12:01 PM EST on that day, his lovely wife Michelle will hold the Bible (not the Koran) with his lovely daughters standing there watching their father take the oath of office as president of the United States.

On that day the sky won't fall, no fire and brimstone will rain down upon Washington DC and the subsequent inaugural parade will be the bomb. Four years from now when it's time to reelect him for his second term, your pockets are fat with cash from the tax cut you'll get, your kids are healthier because they'll have health care, and you'll be safer because we ain't running around the planet pissing people off, you'll wonder in 2012 what you were so scared of.


Jackie said...

Brilliantly said!

The fear is so real also because many of these racist know that if the shoe were on the other foot and they got the chance for "revenge" they'd be counting the seconds to get the power. History has shown that black Americans do not use power for revenge, so calm the heck down.

Another fear is that Obama may make possible what many whites, racist or not, consider their worst nighmare, an even playing field. Competing equally without the white advantages scares the hell out of them.

Polar said...

I think the election of Barack Obama this fall, coupled with a successful Obama presidency, would signal the end of racism as a accepted societal practice, much as JFK's election made anti-Catholicism obsolete to most people. Not all people, of course - there will remain some rockheaded bigots - but they will become ever more rare with time.

Monica Roberts said...

E-mailed to me from Shari:
I agree with your posting 100%, for what it's worth.

Someone in the campaign some time ago said that Senator Clinton
felt as though she was running not against another candidate but
against a movement.

The people who support him are hard working, educated people.
The people who support Senator Clinton are hard working,
uneducated people.

I would love to see a brilliant and eloquent individual in the
White House.

For a change.

This country is in such a dire need for hopeful change.

Hugs, Shari

Cass said...

I think what they're scared of is:
1) A black president- Yeah, this scares lots of folks because if you look at places where Hillary wins big, you'll see (for the most part) they are places where people rarely meet black folk, and if they do, it's usually from a distance in some other city. For many of these white folks, seeing a person of color is such a rarity that the first few they see sets the tone for their perception. Problem is, most folks go around when it's daytime, and most folks (white or of color) are either working or sleeping before their next shift (late shift workers like I once was). If you see someone who is not, odds are they're unemployed. So, these underexposed people go past 5 blocks of nothing but unemployed white people and ignore them, but they see one black guy who's on the streets and suddenly "All those black folks are lazy".

Problem for people of color is that most people won't ascribe negative traits and stereotypes to their own group, so that only leaves it for everyone else-- and unfortunately, the line is true: "If you do things right, no one won't know you did anything at all." Only time these types of folks notice anything is when a person of color screws up.

2) A smart president- I don't even mean in raw smarts; we've had some smart mo's picking up their mail at 1600 Pennsylvania. No, I'm talking about smart, but principled. People look away when I say this, but I think G.W. Bush is probably a damn genius; he knows exactly what to do and what to say to exploit, extract and destroy everything he seeks to and never get in a lick of trouble. Clinton could've never gotten away with any of this. He's been playing the US like it's Grand Theft Auto 4.

What we need now, is a smart president who has (at minimum) a kernel of human decency. Obama has that spark of decency by the truckloads. But this scares folks, because to be decent, to be true to a cause of humanity... you have to do some things that might hurt.

Look, I hate getting shots. But if I got bitten by a snake, and poison was rushing through my blood, you bet your behind I'd show mine to the nearest doctor with the medicine I need to survive. But a few people out there are too scared of the shot to save themselves. We might have to see some change, we might have to get a little uncomfortable for a little while, but it's better than the alternative: Driving off a damn cliff.
3) Saying no to a woman president- Lots of people are worried if we shoot Hillary down now, it'll be another 232 years before we see another serious woman contender. Of course, these folks are probably not that bright and sexist in their own way in not believing that there are other women out there who can do the trick.

That's just my opinion though. Take what you will, but think on what you take.

Monica Roberts said...

Interesting thoughts that i don't disagree with.

In terms of the fear you spoke with about Hillary, we have a different dynamic driving aAfrican-Americans which EBONY magazine commented on.

As much as Obama's message has talked about hope, African-Afericans are afraid to make the emotional investment in the possibility of an African-American president.

We're afraid that if we do, we'll either see him assassinated, or fall agonizingly short of the prize and we'll have to wait decades before another African-American gets this close again.