Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obama's Racism Gets A Free Pass From MSM..

While they continue to harp over Ron Paul's 20+ year old newsletters link.:

MainStream Media Won’t Ask Obama Those Nasty Paul-Type Questions. But Shelby Steele Could!

By Steve Sailer

This month, we've seen the mainstream and opinion media avert their maidenly eyes in horror from a few paleolibertarian un-PC wisecracks disrespecting race rioters etc. that once appeared in GOP candidate Ron Paul's decade-and-a-half old newsletters.

But, in contrast to the diligence with which archives containing Paul's dusty newsletters have been scoured for shocking witticisms, a man with a far greater chance of being President, has been given almost a free pass:

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).

Practically no one in the press even bothered to read closely Obama’s illuminating 1995 autobiography Dreams from My Father. For example, although Obama devotes most of pages 274-295 of Dreams to his first meetings with the man who would become his "spiritual advisor," Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., the candidate's intense 20-year relationship with this memorable gentleman only began to draw even modest attention last week.

In 1999-2000, the MSM failed to explain adequately who George W. Bush really was. In 2008, it's failing again with most of the candidates.

I've focused on Obama, not out of any particular bias for or against him, but because he is both more interesting and more misunderstood than the typical White House aspirant.

Too many whites treat Obama as a blank slate upon which to project their hopes. George Will, for instance, is infatuated with Obama because he fantasizes that the half-black half-white Obama is "transcending" race, that the candidate shares Will's emotions:

"Obama seems to understand America's race fatigue, the unbearable boredom occasioned by today's stale politics generally and by the perfunctory theatrics of race especially."[Misreading Obama's Identity, December 30, 2007]

But Will, like so many white commentators, just hasn't noticed that the apt subtitle of Dreams from My Father is— A Story of Race and Inheritance. Race and inheritance—geddit?

Ironically, Will's hope for a man bored by race is more embodied in Obama's estranged half-white half-brother Mark, a Stanford graduate in physics, whose preference for Shakespeare and Beethoven over the culture of the Kenya where he was born, on Obama’s account, perturbed the future presidential candidate, who had nothing further to do with him.

Only A Bound Man, the perceptive but mostly ignored book about Obama by conservative literary critic Shelby Steele—who likewise has a black father and white mother—explains who Obama really is. (See my Washington Times review of Steele's book here.)

Remarkably, much of Obama's campaign image—the "postracial" man, the God-fearing Christian, etc.—is debunked in Obama's own books. Indeed, Obama's potential Achilles heel is that he has such a gift for self-expression combined with so much introspective self-absorption that he can't help revealing himself to the few who invest the effort to read carefully his polished and subtle, but also fussy and enervating. prose.

The bottom line: Obama's 1995 memoir reveals a preppie from Hawaii obsessed with the same question that 62,000 mostly turgid articles have asked about him: Is Obama black enough?

(Why Obama being "black enough" would be in the interest of the 7/8ths of the electorate that isn't black has never been explained—but that's hardly surprising because the MSM hasn't even entertained it as a question).

This question has tormented Obama since he was a child. The psychological trauma helps make him a more interesting personality to contemplate than, say, his now-vanquished rival Bill Richardson, the New Mexico governor. Richardson’s unusual life story (raised in Mexico City, with three grandparents being Mexican and the other a wealthy WASP) would seem to be at least as relevant as Obama's famously exotic background. Yet, nobody paid Richardson who is now out of the race, any attention. That’s partly because Americans find Hispanics less interesting than blacks—and partly because Richardson is a hack, while Obama is something more refined and unusual.

Unfortunately, Obama's actual politics aren't terribly unusual. As Steele points out, "For Obama, liberalism is blackness." To be black enough is tied up in Obama's mind with being liberal enough. As someone raised by whites far from the black mainstream, Obama lacks the freedom to be politically unorthodox enjoyed by men of such iconic blackness as James Brown and Wilt Chamberlain, both of whom endorsed Richard Nixon in 1972.

Also, it's not clear that having a fascinatingly convoluted psyche, such as Nixon had, makes you a better President than having a straightforward one, such as Dwight Eisenhower had.

Still, what does it profit a pundit to explain to the world who the would-be President really is? In recent weeks, Obama's supporters have, with much effectiveness, denounced virtually any criticism of their candidate as "racially insensitive."

Thus CBS News claimed on January 11, 2008:

"Racial Tensions Roil Democratic Race
"Comments from Clintons on Obama, MLK Jr., Have Infuriated Some African Americans

"A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, her husband, and her supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the presidential primary as the candidates head south to heavily African-American South Carolina. The comments, which ranged from the New York senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement—an aide later said she misspoke —to Bill Clinton dismissing Sen. Barack Obama’s image in the media as a "fairy tale"—generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television."


Anonymous said...

*Yawm* like a motherfucker...

JEM said...

Certainly the best coverage I've seen on this subject anywhere. Thank you.