Obama's race speech

By the way - I feel I should make some mention of yesterday's speech on race by Barack Obama (which you can watch or read). I'm personally of the opinion that yesterday's speech may have won him the primary. We'll see if the buzz keeps up.

Shelby commented:

I personally think Obama had the nomination locked up anyway, but I really, truly enjoyed this speech. It's so refreshing--groundbreaking, even--to just have someone cut through all the bullshit and call a spade a spade.

 I personally loved the pundits that doubted that Obama had a racist grandmother because, after all, she raised him. Well I don't know about you, but I certainly have a racist grandmother. Kevin also has a racist grandmother. I have extended family who have made racist remarks to the point where I don't intend to visit them with our (future) Chinese daughter for anything other than a cordial drop-in. So I'm not really sure why it's hard to believe that Obama has a racist grandmother.

 Seriously--put everyone in a room and say, "Raise your hand if you have a racist grandparent." Hmmmm--that's what I'm talking about.

on Thu Mar 20 02:21:03 2008

David commented:

So I read your comments through, and then I went back and said to myself 'wait - can you say 'call a spade a spade' in this discussion?' So I went hunting, and found a terrific page that notes they eytmology of the phrase (which is ancient greek in origin), and the fact that despite its innocuous origins there are people who think the language is problematic, thus making it problematic even though it isn't problematic. Ow my head.

I feel pretty confident I could find some racist grandparents in my tree, though I wouldn't have to go that far. But family is family, etc. and to be fair, I'm sure the pundits making the comments live some pretty sheltered lives.

on Thu Mar 20 07:26:45 2008

sasha commented:
I think we should reinstate "call a fig a fig".
on Thu Mar 20 08:34:51 2008

Lisa Dugdale commented:

I, unfortunately, think that the the speech might have stemmed the tide away from Obama, but not stopped it (though I myself thought it was excellent). Here's one analysis.

If you go looking on some mainstream political blogs (Time, Newsweek, etc.), you'll find all sorts of depressing comments along the lines of 'I supported him before, but I can't support anybody who would go to a church where the Pastor made such racist/anti-American/radical statements'. Generally said in a way that it's clear the real problem is with the racial aspects of what Wright said, and fact that the commenter has been reminded that Obama isn't white, and might be too different from them to identify with any longer. While most Americans don't like to think of themselves as racist (probably the grandmas too!) the segregation of most of America means that many people have no context for what Wright was saying, and thus it doesn't matter how Obama responds as long as he is tied in their mind with Wright. 

on Thu Mar 20 14:49:53 2008

Shelby commented:

Whew! I certainly will never use the "spade a spade" analogy again! Yikes! I agree with Sasha--from now on I'm talking about figs.

 What I meant by that comment was that I was glad to see him tackle the issue in such a headstrong way. I was very glad to see him acknowledge (conveniently overlooked by most pundits) that there are a lot of white people who feel like they're being punished (denied jobs, discriminated against, etc.) for sins like slavery that they never committed.  I've never seen a prominent black leader (like Jesse Jackson, for example), do anything to acknowledge that it's not just about The Man holding the black folks down, but that Whitey has legitimate feelings as well (even if they're misguided).

 I'm tired of this Wright issue. I don't know how Obama could have more plainly said that he condemned those remarks. I'd love to dig and see what other presidents' pastors have had to say. Like Bush for example--oh wait, that "Christian" president doesn't even go to church.

Perhaps I'm oversensitive as we are also members of a UCC church. But I think you're right, Lisa, in that this whole Wright thing is simply an outlet and focal point for the greater issue of race. It's easier to say "I won't vote for him because his pastor made ugly comments" than to say "I won't vote for him because he's black and I don't want a black president," since everyone knows that saying something like that means you're a racist.

And you're quite right in that Granny doesn't in any way consider herself to be racist (denies the label quite vehemently, in fact). She strongly thinks that niggers should not be discriminated against in hiring--as soon as they stop being lazy and living off of welfare and get a job. *headdesk* 

Look Dave, I'm writing a blog post in the middle of your blog post *blush*. 

on Thu Mar 20 15:43:07 2008

Nikki commented:
I, too, am in support of bringing back the fig terminology... the fig has been shunned and ignored and overlooked far too often in our society... and as someone who planted a fig tree just yesterday (something my grandmother would never have done, btw), well, it only makes sense. So not only do I agree with Sasha, I agree with the sentiments already expressed by Lisa and Shelby. I've had a blog in draft about this for a few days, and once the folks have packed up and left, I may actually get to finish it... or not.
on Sun Mar 23 08:51:11 2008

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