Thursday, December 14, 2006

dear mr. man



what's the matter with the world today?

as 2006 ends, i think a lot about the upcoming year, and what we all have to look forward to: more resolutions to break, closing in on the end of the world, finding out who will succeed 3-6 mafia as academy award winners for best song, etc. etc. i guess i also look forward to hearing about which govenor, senator, [insert other random statesmen here] will declare candidacy for the presidency of the united states. more specifically, maybe barack obama will tell us whether or not he'll run (jesse! run) for president.

things have got to get better

i was heading to my homegirl, maegs' house last friday when i heard a radio piece on "obamamania." stuck in chicago traffic, i listened to the segment on npr's all things considered, and i gotta admit, it's pretty tempting to get excited about illinoize's junior senator from chi city. now, i'm not one to get all crunk in the whip--unless, of course, lil wayne is on the dial--but hearing the brief profile on obama made me wonder: could this dude actually become president?
during the rest of my ride to the southside, i thought about that shit, deeply contemplated (well, maybe not so deeply) the possibility of an obama presidency. (by the way, if i catch the muthafucka who fucked up my whip sunday afternoon, i promise you my pacifism will be compromised.) obama for president? word? what is this that i'm feeling? (the audacity of) hope?

listen, i think it's pretty obvious that i'm a jaded ass muthafucka. so even though i rolled along the kennedy kinda thinking it was possible that enough white people would vote for this dude, at the end of the day, i'm like no. but still, i wanna say a couple of things about all of this.

show me what the leaders say

if obama believed the hype, decided to declare candidacy and didn't win the nomination or the entire race, the whole "it's because he's black," argument wouldn't really hold water. a very simple and obvious counterargument would be that obama has very little experience. now, that could be a good thing. i hear voting for and against bills and stuff gets complicated, and that can be troublesome when trying to run a presidential campaign. i'm sure senator kerry knows this. so, outside of obama maybe fucking a white girl while at harvard, his record can be deemed pretty squeaky clean. regarding the lack of experience, some may say, "well, jfk didn't have much either." halfway intelligent debaters could easily counter that with the fact that jfk was elected senator of massachusetts in 1952; he ran for president in 1960. and before that, he served in the us house of representatives for six years. do the math. additionally, he had a daddy named joe. very succinctly: though a political rock star, obama simply doesn't have the resume.

maybe we should write a letter

a plausible outcome? (rrrr, mike, and i all agree) a gore/obama ticket. if the democrats are gonna win anything, they're gonna need a southerner to counter that yankee. if you don't believe me, go ask lyndon baines johnson.

but i'm not really interested in all that. in fact, in my recent thinking about obama, his inexperience hardly registers on my radar. rather, i'm mostly curious about the theoretical possiblity of obama as president. what are the ramifications of that? would it be one helluva giant step for the race? no, i don't think so... i got a reason for this.

but first...

said dear mr. man, we just don't understand

1. what's in a name? now, some may say that obama is a little too close to osama. yeah, i get that. when i first saw the obama placards in and around chicago i was like, "who is this dude?" yet at the same time, the name could work for him because it doesn't immediately signify some niggafied ancestry. i mean, if one could find an american who has yet to hear about senator obama, and mention his name, i doubt he or she would think he was black. now jesse jackson? that's nig all day, baby.

and now...

2. (and this is my main point.) i think there's a helluva lot to be said about the fact that obama's father, though black, was no american negro. i think that plays a significant role in the way white americans view him. call me a cynic, but i'm not so sure that if obama was an african american (as opposed to being an african[hyphen] american--that's my way of delineating [the progeny of] immigrants from american born), he'd receive the same reception. it seems to me that white folks regard immigrants quite differently than they do african americans, so the fact that obama's father was a kenyan student studying in hawaii is much different from homeboy being a recipient of a scholarship from the united negro college fund. now true, white folks may hate those who have chosen to come to this country. but when it comes to those native sons and daughters whose ancestors were sold or kidnapped, and got a one-way ticket on the transatlantic cruise line? they really hate them. so, in a sense, it doesn't matter whether or not obama lives his life/considers himself an african (no hypen) american. though his wife is from the southside of chicago, though he may very well have been/will be pulled over for driving while black, though he may be a member of a black church, i think there's a curious logic working in the psyches of white americans who might vote for obama (emphasis on might) or at least deem him an acceptable candidate: his daddy was an immigrant, and that makes him different than the others. and i know, just like every other "respectable" black person in american knows: white acceptance is all about being the exception to the rule. the status quo remains in tact. which leads me to a conclusion that both rrrr and i agreed upon during breakfast: there may very well be a person of color elected as president of the united states in my lifetime, but a nig? hell no. in other, more polite terms: in my/our (who knows, rrrr, but that on the lower frequencies i speak for you?) humble opinion, it is highly doubtful that a descendant of slaves will ever be elected as the head of this here us of a.

we ain't that affirmative about your actions until people get paid.

that does not mean, however, that i'd automatically lament and seriously criticize if obama was elected president. it would be fatuous to argue that the only way black people are gonna get anywhere is if a black person--that is, an african american--is running this country. condi rice and clarence uncle thomas are both evidence to the contrary. i'm simply curious about the mania. such excitement for a black man is usually reserved for an athlete... or a lynchee (is that a word?).

i'm sick of exceptions. i'm ready for new rules.

in other news: when/how does an african-american become an african american?

section 1 - the 14th amendment says "no state shall deprive anyperson of life liberty, or property, without due process of law. " mr. man, we want 2 end this letter with 3 words: we tired a-y'all.

more barack: here


language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. language alone is meditation. ~toni morrison

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

who knows but that, indeed. great post.

"i'm sick of exceptions. i'm ready for new rules."

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

l, rrrr

15/12/06 10:33  
Blogger Hollambeeee said...

i love this post...succinctly sums up what i'm thinking of mr. obama...

16/12/06 17:58  
Blogger Lee said...

kinda thinking it was possible that enough white people would vote for this dude, at the end of the day, i'm like no.

Strangely enough (given that I'm whiter than Optic White), I was thinking along the same lines. A vote for Obama is a vote for Dennis Haysbert.

Anyway: I was reminded of your post (and came back to comment) because of this article in the WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/29/AR2006122901740.html

30/12/06 19:58  
Blogger Spook said...

Is Obama even Black? I thought he was Irish and a conservative one at that if you look at his voting record.

31/12/06 14:29  
Blogger Lee said...

Sorry--looks like I broke that link.

Here it is:
Hard core of cool

1/1/07 22:20  

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