Sunday, January 27, 2008

Tiger, Not Obama, is a Uniter

I've been pondering the "who said what first" concerning the Clinton-Obama "race issue," so rapaciously analyzed and supposedly the basis of a new balkanization of the black-white divide. I've come to the conclusion that Senator Obama made race an issue because he called out Hillary Clinton, after hearing by a third party that she said that "it took a President to get it done" to turn the Civil Rights Act passage into law. During the weekend of Dr. Martin Luther King's celebration of birth. Senator Clinton, speaking in the South, had the audacity to be so rude as to not give the man credit. C'mon.... Barack. C'mon..... lawyer?

I was disappointed in Barack for stooping to playing a race card, because I wanted to believe that he really could transcend race, even though I wasn't a supporter (I didn't agree with his health care plan, and, frankly, didn't want a neophyte in such an important office during the most troubling time in our nation's history since Pearl Harbor Day, and the Civil War before that). But I watched him, wondering if -- hey, maybe America really has changed? Maybe someone can be accepted by the content of his character? But my hopes were dashed by his singling out the female Senator. Now, I believe it is O'Bama's character that is in question.

Senator Obama walks a tight-rope of being biracial, like Bob Marley, an icon that allows both black and white people to embrace him as one of their own. To "take sides," destroys the privilege of being a "uniter," (he makes multiracial Tiger Woods seem more Presidential) and to do it over such a meaningless tidbit of speech was disingenuous on his part. I want to believe in Camelot -- but Kennedy's Camelot also used underhanded tactics such as stuffing ballot boxes to get into office. This was one of those Kennedy-esque type chess moves, almost carefully laying in wait. "A brother" who transcends race is a brother to everybody, so to call out a colleague as racist was a low blow, especially considering the popular records of the Clintons' support for black America (Truthfully, I'm not aware of any support per se -- it just seems as though they feel at home with Black Americans, which is tantamount now, to being Mother Theresa). Clinton put many people of color in office, but he also shied away from them when the going got tough for them (Cisneros, Joycelyn Elders, Brown, all left worse off than when they entered (especially Brown, who gave life to the Democratic Party).

I don't know enough about history (especially while I'm living it), but playing it nice rarely gets you in office nowadays. People want a fighter, with virility, and strength and machismo. And Bill Clinton has a lot of that; but in defense of the Clintons -- where was the hue and cry and the chatter after Obama's wife made references to a woman's need to clean her own house or something to that effect (which had the [unintended?] effect of injecting the campaign with mention of Bill Clinton's infidelities). Why did they hold back on that one, so sensitive they are about issues of race. And the fact that a Senator's wife can take his spot if he dies, suggests that wives and husbands are fair game in U.S. politics.

It's almost comical to see the media talking about themselves, asking each other for permission to not be called "bigot" in making a statement about race. And there's the rub: the media are people, too. But they are a monolithic people owned by a couple of people. And they can win and lose a war, or win or lose a political race of their choosing, by choosing to air or not to air. Below is a link to an interesting take on the question, on Joe Scarborough's show, "Morning Joe," which Newsbusters called "unconventional," but I agree with Craig Crawford and said the same in my last blog, blaming CNN (I couldn't find the tongue-lashing that Tucker got ("get a life, Tucker" ) from a Black Congresswoman (I'll find the name when I have the time). Basically, what Senator Clinton said could have been a line in a newspaper but they turned it into the first salvo in a new, more civil war.

This is different. Unlike in the case of Dr. Phil's wife, for whom I have a healthy dose of "why is she in the picture?", Ms. Hillary Clinton has been on the sidelines, studying, earning the right, as a two-time popular Senator to be legitimately called a politician. She has the right to be a President. And I guess, Senator Obama does too, because he's been in office for two years.... but go Johnny Go. It might happen, in spite of my non-vote.

But I digress. Back to my story. In my humble opinion, Senator Obama hoodwinked us all -- he's a real brother, after all. And everybody who thinks that he was dissed, is going to rally around him -- engulfing the nation in a racial divide not seen since the 1970's -- but this one is polite, which is a good thing. I'm one of those Americans who does not trust politicians or magicians. They both profess they can perform miracles and all we realize is that they performed a deft slight of hand. I'd really have to see someone levitate by sitting under them and looking above me to believe in that kind of magic. So, I'm a skeptic. But I also believe that those of us who are skeptics are also hopeless romantics -- I really want to believe in Santa Claus (even at my age). I want to believe that this land is my land and your land from California to the....[that's all I know].. from the Redwoood Forests, etc. Well, this land thing, it's not ours, per se. The people who owned it are in camps called reservations-("We'll give you alcohol and casinos, just stop whining."). Black America -- we'll elect Obama. Now, shut up about rights - there's your friggin' reparations.

Obama burst my bubble. I wasn't rooting for him, even though part of me really wants to -- but my skepticism hit me square in the face and announced to me last week - any political race in America is about color, even when there's no one of color around. That's a statement in and of itself. And the only way that can change is for the media to not be so shamefully hoodwinked and manipulated so as to destroy relations between blacks and whites just when all of us were starting to become believers in the American Dream.

Lincoln, Kennedy and LBJ, may you all three rest in peace - you did do a good job, and you did what it took, like Senator Clinton said. That's why Mr. Obama emulates you. But just like Kennedy -- Obama, we hardly know ya. Maybe the Senator's stage debut really was a false start. He's not a uniter. He's a divider. Al Sharpton, come back. Run for office. Tell it like it really is, now that we have just another brotha running.

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