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Yukio
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Post Number: 1729
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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 01:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Blackness of Obama
by Kimberly Jade Norwood, JD

I recently read several articles, written by black authors, questioning Senator Obamaís blackness. The argument appears to be that since Senator Obama is not the descendant of West Africans forcibly brought to this country in chains, he doesnít get to claim blackness. Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates wrote on February 1 that it doesnít matter to these writers that Senator Obama actually has Black African blood running through his veins. It does not matter that he identifies with being Black. It doesnít matter that he is married to a Black woman. It does not matter that he attends a Black church. It does not matter that he lives a culturally black experience. It does not matter that he canít catch a cab in New York City to save his black ass. It does not matter that he is a proud and vocal champion for change in policies and practices that negatively impact Black America. None of that matters! Apparently the test for blackness now is being a descendant of West African slaves and only West African slaves.

I just want to point out two ironies:

Irony #1: Remember Tiger Woods? When he refused to label himself Black, many in Black America were visibly upset. "How dare he" was the cry heard in the Black community after community. His father is Black so that was enough to demand that he claim his blackness.

Now, we have Obama, who also has a Black father. Indeed, Obamaís father is really Black! You donít get more authentic than Black African blood! He wants to claim his blackness but some of us are saying no!

We are upset with Tiger for not claiming his blackness, upset with Obama for claiming his. Huh?

Irony #2: Ok, now the test is whether one is a descendant of West African slaves. Excuse me? Are you sure you want that test? If thatís the test then others you have traditionally excluded, like Clarence Thomas, like Ward Connerly, like Condoleezza Rice get in.

Oh no, what we really mean is descendant of West African slaves and you think and live a certain way. Then, and only then, are you really Black.

This is so pathetic that is it laughable. And it is further proof that we donít need anyone else tearing us down. We do a pretty good job ourselves.

I have a great idea. Black youth are drowning. Between the dangerous lifestyle practices, drop-out rates in high schools and painfully low grade proficiency levels Black youth are facing some very serious challenges that need massive and nationwide attention. Instead of pulling others down why donít we pull these Black youth up?

Kimberly Jade Norwood, JD, is a Professor of Law & Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies at Washington University School of Law.

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Abm
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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 01:50 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I am really SUSPICIOUS of just how MANY African Americans are concerned about Obama apparently (I say apparently because we all know his MOTHER could have a Black ancestor no one knows anything about) not having an American slave ancestor.
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Cynique
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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 02:30 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

What I'm suspicious of is a writer who tells blacks what they are thinking in order to make her argument. It's hard to have it both ways with Obama. We can't say that it doesn't matter that his black heritage is different from ours and then embrace him because he's one of our own. Ultimately blacks have to support him for reasons other than his race so he'd better assume his stance as a liberal and start focusing on some issues that relate to black American problems
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 05:08 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Damn Cynique:

That's reasoned, balanced and logical.

But can Obama walk the walk?
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Tonya
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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 05:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

And what's killing me about this whole debate is, in the minds of many, it's his AFRICAN ancestry - not his WHITE blood/ancestry - that disqualifies him from being Black enough. So if Barack's father had only one drop of Black American slave blood because his parents were members of The Blue Vain Society who descended from freed mulatto ex-slaves, and Barackís mother still was a white woman, Barack Obama would THEN be BLACKER and therefore Black enough??
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Yukio
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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 08:30 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

tonya, I agree. but that fact of the matter is, many african americans, or should I say black Americans, and africans do not get along. also, it is more than his ancestry, it is a question of his loyalty to traditional african american issues. Again, i agree with you and parts of the above article, but being african itself is not really the issue.
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Nels
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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 10:19 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yukio --

"it is a question of his loyalty to traditional african american issues."

Who cares about his loyalty. I'm looking for someone who can stop the next $200 billion of my hard-earned tax money from being sent to Iraq and wasted on a bunch of religiously-inverted lunatics.

p.s., He doesn't owe black America a "dime".

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Latina_wi
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Post Number: 94
Registered: 08-2006

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Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 11:32 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I always got the impression that Obama was viewed as a 'black' man but whose father was an ACTUAL african (therefore, different from the african-americans who are just african descendants).

And where does Powell fit in? He isn't african-american either (but he is descendant from west africans brought to the americas).

If this bi-racial man wants to claim his black side then why the heck can't he? Who is anyone to say he shouldn't?
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Yukio
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 12:32 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Nels: I agree with you, but the thread is about Obama's "black" authenticity not economics.

latina_wi: I think the article addresses your questions. socalled race is not the issue, it is heritage. Powell is a descendant of slaves, and he was raised here during jim crow so this gives him a kind of credibility that Obama can't get because of his age and ancestry.
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Doberman23
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 08:30 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

the woman that wrote that article is no different from the idiots who always complain about complextion issues on here all the time. plain and simple if you're black in america you are black. when a cop gives another a cop a description they don't sit there and say we have a jamacian, haitian, or ethiopean looking suspect, and when racists white folk get together they don't sit there and seperate.
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Tonya
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Post Number: 4361
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 09:49 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


quote:

...that fact of the matter is, many african americans, or should I say black Americans, and africans do not get along.




That's the part I find most foolish because no matter where they are, Blacks share the same experiences... where ever you go... the Black experience is ALWAYS similar, unless, of course, as study after study continue to STRESS, they are the experiences of Blk ppl with LESS African Blood. Only when Black ppl are less African in appearance are their experiences likely to be less similar to "traditional" African americans'. ...and there's tons of data to support this.



quote:

also, it is more than his ancestry, it is a question of his loyalty to traditional african american issues.




ANYBODY can be LOYAL to African-Americans and their issues ANYBODY. Your statement only makes sense if your argument is that ANYDODY, regardless of race and/or color, can be Black. And we know thatís not your argument. This talk about whoís Black and whoís not keeps getting more and more ILLOGICAL.
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Abm
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 10:00 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

These Black polemics of Barak Obama are so bizarre they're wholly LAUGHABLE.

As if the profoundly WHITE John McCain and Hillary Clinton are going to be more understanding and supportive of the concerns and causes of African Americans than Obama.
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Tonya
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 11:07 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I know this isn't what you said, Abm, I'm not trying to twist your words...but Barack Obama can be as concerned about Black causes as he wanna be.

The question is what can he do about them?

I'm looking for the candidate who's most serious about Education (#1) poverty (#2) and employment (#3). Because I KNOW nil one of them--including the Blackest among them--can do a damn thing about "Black causes."
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Abm
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 11:53 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tonya,

Obama can do a hell of a lot MORE for the issues of Black foks as the PRESIDENT than he can as a Senator. That there's for DAYAMSURE, baby.

Look. We had EIGHT years of Clintonism. And I DEFY you to cite much of ANYTHING Bill & Hill did that directly, materially improved the interests/position of Black foks.

And now we're suppose to help elect Bill's WIFE, the chick who everyone say DICTATED much of what he did/didn't do while he was in office?

The same chick who voted to fund/support this hellacious Iraq war? A war she STILL refuse to condemn?


Come on, babe. Let's think logically here for a sec: How the HELL can we do jacksh*t about your precious Education, Poverty, Employment and the like when we're mired in a war (that Hillary Clinton SUPPORTS) that will suck TRILLIONS of bucks from ALL of us for more than a decade?
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Cynique
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 01:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Obama can't cater to special interests unless he can get his bills through Congress, no easy feat. As a Democratic senator from Illinois, he might very well be more effective in addressing black needs And did he or did he not vote for the war in Iraq??
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Ntfs_encryption
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 02:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The entire argument is pathetic and lacking in any real meaning or substance. It it was written to appeal those with nefarious race issues and those who obsessively dwell on skin color and race vice real issues such as the individuals ideas, accomplishments, leadership abilities, resourcefulness, intelligence, ingenuity and the ability to inspire and motivate. The latter are the qualities that make successful and effective leaders. Not skin color or race. When has skin color or race ever made someone a good leader or successful policy maker??



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Abm
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 02:20 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ntfs: "When has skin color or race ever made someone a good leader or successful policy maker??"


Do you mean THAT one with respect to all the WHITE Anglo-Saxon (with the exception of Kennedy) Protestant men who've been elected president since the inception of this country, Kemosabee?
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 02:28 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Obama is a Judas Goat.

He's got to be or he'd never gotten in.
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Ntfs_encryption
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 05:03 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Do you mean THAT one with respect to all the WHITE Anglo-Saxon (with the exception of Kennedy) Protestant men who've been elected president since the inception of this country, Kemosabee?"

It applies to everyone bro. It's the individuals personal qualities and characteristics that make the leader. Not the race or skin color. As you well know, we've had poor, mediocre and outstanding leaders and tree shakers -in all colors and races. No race has a patent or exclusivity on leadership.

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Yukio
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 05:12 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

no it doesn't...before the civil war...the majority if not all of the presidents were slaveholders. And thereafter, tantamount to presidence's ascendance was for them not to do anything for black people...
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Abm
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 05:17 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ntfs,

My point is this, bruh: Given what we've had to endure from OTHER mofo's running thang, how can we in good conscious be hypercritical of a Black man's(or woman's) leadership qualities?

I mean, it's been my observation that it's really almost impossible to measure how effective a person will be as a leader UNTIL he or she is conferred the position.

I just want to be clear we don't overscrutinize a the abilities of someone simply because he's Black and we want to effect some fallacious notions of making some 'fair' assessment of how good one would be.

Because Bill Clinton was probably as qualified a person to ever be elected president. He's brilliant, had ever necessary credential and political experience. But, bottomline, he was mostly horseshyt as a Commander In Chief. Because were he NOT such, Al Gore, NOT George W. Bush, would be President of the United States.
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Ntfs_encryption
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Username: Ntfs_encryption

Post Number: 1792
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Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 06:22 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"My point is this, bruh: Given what we've had to endure from OTHER mofo's running thang, how can we in good conscious be hypercritical of a Black man's(or woman's) leadership qualities?"

You can't. You can only hope and pray (depending if you are a supporter or hater) they fulfil their obligations and responsibilities in an acceptable and hopefully outstanding manner.

"I mean, it's been my observation that it's really almost impossible to measure how effective a person will be as a leader UNTIL he or she is conferred the position."

Exactly! Any other line of thinking is to the contrary of reality. The person must be given the opportunity to perform their job in order to be effectively judged or evaluated properly.

"Because Bill Clinton was probably as qualified a person to ever be elected president. He's brilliant, had ever necessary credential and political experience."

Very true. The man is a scholar and genius compared to that stumbling goober in the White House now.

" But, bottomline, he was mostly horseshyt as a Commander In Chief."

Yep! Clinton was much more conservative than many people believe. But as a CIC -he sucked!! I thought he was very weak with military matters and he was loathed by those in uniform. This was his glaring weakness to me.

"Because were he NOT such, Al Gore, NOT George W. Bush, would be President of the United States."

Good point. And Al Gore was still elected by the popular vote!


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