Political Positions

James L. Taylor: Why Michelle Obama is "Fair Game"

Political Positions

In an unscientific News & Views poll, 83 percent of respondents said Michelle Obama does not need an image makeover.

The premise for the poll question: Criticism and outright attacks on Michelle Obama for being, as her detractors say, unpatriotic, race-conscious, and abrasive.

In this week's installment of Political Positions, James Lance Taylor offers a historic perspective. His piece is titled The UnAmerican Americans: Or, Why Michelle Obama is "Fair Game."

Taylor is associate professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and president-elect of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists.

At the turn of the 20th century, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote of a concept widely discussed in contemporary intellectual and campus circles as "double consciousness," the sense of reconciling "two warring ideals" of being of African and American descent in a patriotically racist society that made these dichotomies the litmuses of who belongs to America and to whom America belongs.

This academic concept fits Barack Obama more than Michelle and traditional "African Americans" like her, whose ancestry is traceable to the slavery epoch, nine decades of enforced segregation, and the post-Civil Rights desperation of urban, rural, and suburban ghettos in Chicago and throughout the country.



Michelle and Barack Obama
Michelle and Barack Obama embrace during an election day speech at the end of the 2008 Democratic Party primaries.

Emmanuel Dunand, AFP/Getty Images


Harold Cruse would later suggest that Du Bois's idea was autobiographical and did not apply to desperately poor, peasant, and working-class African Americans in the post-bellum South, whose daily experience prevented them from having the convenience of "double consciousness." They knew who they were and what they had been in American society. For middle-class and affluent African Americans — as the Obama's now are — this idea yielded a sense of "twoness" concerning being in America but not of America.

Years later, Cornel West took the double consciousness construct and clarified that its major shortcoming was the failure to realize that the earliest Europeans who came to America were as alien to the land as were the Africans. Early American whites were "incomplete" Europeans and as much "bastards" of the American continent as the first Negroes.

Both populations were alien to the land, their first and most enduring contact occurred during slavery. In his book Prophesy Deliverance, Cornel West explains, "Black Americans labored rather under the burden of a triple crisis of self-recognition. Their cultural predicament was comprised of African appearance and unconscious cultural mores, involuntary displacement to America without American status, and American alienation from the European ethos complicated through domination by incompletely European Americans."

Many of these groups were finally assimilated in the United States, after centuries of being pariah in Europe (e.g., Jews, Poles, Irish, Turks, Southern Italians), with Black Americans' un-Americanness representing the standard of their eventual acceptance in the United States. Black Americans went from being pariah to stigmata.

The ideas that Michelle and Barack Obama are somehow unpatriotic, Muslim, anti-American racist Christians — who are anti-Islam — refuse to wear the lapel flag, to pledge allegiance to it with hand over heart, and are just recently "really proud" of their country, "terrorist fist" bumpers who secretly wear Islamic Somali traditional clothing, wrote angry undergraduate papers, might be assassinated between now and the Democratic National Convention like Bobby Kennedy in 1968, and can be a Harvard-educated married "baby mama," are all rooted in a history of "American alienation" that plays well in the strange world of American politics.

In the present, if Barack Obama suffers from double-consciousness because of his very unique racial experience in Hawaii and Kansas, Michelle Obama's world in the political turbulence of the 1960s through the 1980s "crack" era in Southside Chicago disabused her of any such confusion. It is this clarity in Mrs. Obama that has led some media and other critics to suggest "she simmers with undigested racial anger." This has been the caricature of urban Black America since the 1960s.

Some think of Black Americans' nationalist traditions — from Garveyism to Afrocentrism — as representing the "African" side of the equation and its "American" side represented by the social and political ambitions of integrationism embodied in Martin Luther King, Jr., and the NAACP.

I do not support this notion primarily because Black Americans, who are among the land's oldest Americans, arrived in America with the Spanish by more than a century before all other Europeans, including the British Pilgrims, who came in 1620, one year after the first Black indentured servants arrived in Jamestown, Virginia.

With the exception of the indigenous peoples, the various native populations (Mexican and Native Americans), the Africans' presence in the Americas profoundly influenced America life. There has seemingly always been a tug-of-war between these competing orientations among American Blacks.

David Walker, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, and yes, Jeremiah Wright, Jr., reflect one orientation and Bayard Rustin, James Baldwin, King, Jesse Jackson, and Barack Obama represent the others. To be sure, there is a great deal of overlap between these tendencies and there is plausibly a third strata that includes many individuals who harbor elements of both, such as King between 1965-1968, Ella Baker, Maxine Waters, Michelle Obama, and a majority of ordinary African American people.

Like Harlem, Chicago remains a vital center of "political" Black nationalism, the sort that catapulted Louis Farrakhan from Chicago to the fore of Black politics in the 1980s and 1990s and imposed itself on Jackson's presidential campaigns in a manner similar to the way that Jeremiah Wright, Jr., has in the Obama campaign.

But there is a difference in "political" Black nationalism and latent feelings of group solidarity among individual African Americans that is akin to the differences between "political" conservatism of Republicans and Southern and rural Democrats that targets say, gay rights, and the conservative attitudes people may hold about homosexuality in general. The "political" is often parasitic of peoples' ordinary dispositions.

Michelle Obama represents the latter.

That Barack Obama does not have a slavery ancestry in the United States makes his potential Democratic nomination and election amenable to the ridiculous claim and much desired goal of American society and culture having become "post-racial," on the cheap. A chorus of denial, no acknowledgment, no injury, "what happened to your people didn't happen to you," "get over it," "stop being a victim," "we voted for Obama." Is this a concession that everything before the Obama campaign was "racial"?

Does this mean that the prisons have been opened and Black Americans are no longer vulgarly overrepresented in them? Does it mean that public education has been eradicated? Does it mean that the ghettos of America are filled with all groups? Does it mean that Hurricane Katrina was a post-racial event?

If history is instructive, there is a potential scenario where race and racism will become more, not less salient if Obama is elected. Every major precedent in American race relations, has been followed by the rise of reactionary forces; after abolition ("southern redemption," Jim Crow, and lynching), after Jack Johnson (the Mann Act and lynching); after Joe Louis and Jackie Robinson (Jim Crow strengthened as status quo); after Brown v. Board of Education ("Southern Resistance" and lynching of Emmitt Till); after the "I Have A Dream" March on Washington (bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham); after the Civil Rights movement (race conservative backlash and the Reagan Revolution).

Whatever "post-racial" means, this ostensibly "new" state of things, where many whites are now "comfortable" voting for a "black candidate" for President has occurred in some people's minds despite the fact that African Americans organized a civil rights movement in order to vote for competing white male candidates, beginning two centuries ago. It is the absence of a complaint against the American state and society that has inspired his eighteen million, mostly liberal and moderate white Democratic supporters to vote for him since the Iowa Caucus. The absence of this complaint has made him, not a Jesse Jackson, not an Al Sharpton. And no single development facilitated this more than Jeremiah Wright's Black rage.

Nothing was more "anti-American" in the 1960s than for African Americans in search of an alternative national and spiritual identity to renounce their Christian names and to adopt African and Islamic names such as Kweisi, Kwame, Ahmad, Khadijah, Shabazz, Ayesha, Hakim, Muhammad Ali, Karim, Jamal, Amiri Baraka and so forth in protest. Barack Obama's very unWestern, UnAmerican given name would be a "political act" if he were a "traditional" African American whose ancestry was rooted in the long complaint against slavery and racism. More than the rest of us, Civil Rights and Black Power veterans must be shaking their heads over the possibility that the first African American major-party nominee and possible President, is named Barack Hussein Obama.

His name, no matter how odd or "funny," as he likes to call it, is forgivable because his story is not traceable to a Southern plantation as is the case of Michelle Obama and most American Black people. No doubt Colin, Condoleezza, Eldrick "Tiger" Woods, Oprah, and other uniquely named American Black people are able to achieve "success" and high social, political, and media status supported by the American white majority.

But their respective successes, (or even former UN Secretary General Secretary Kofi Anan's) are tempered by the fact that their achievements in comparison to what Obama is on the verge of, are relative to what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of State, the UN Secretary, a great golfer, or a billionaire talk-show host is to the Office of the President of the United States of America.

In fact, they are the default exceptions that demonstrate the rule. The point is not whether Black people with odd names can achieve success in America, it is about a legacy. It speaks to the fact that there is no "unfinished" racial business evident in Obama's story as there is in the humble, working-class origins of Michelle Obama's. She, more so than Barack Obama, embodies the very contested "racial contract" in America that Obama's book says "America had already begun to weary of over forty years ago." Barack Obama represents the new America, Michelle Obama represents segments of traditional Black America; she embodies an "unforgivable blackness."

Like most Americans, Obama has had his hardships growing up as he has said, "without a race," without a father, without a sense of community. Whatever personal alienation he may have felt growing up part African, part American, part abandoned by his African father, part Hawaiian, and part Kansan, no one in his ancestry was ever subject to the Supreme Court's Dred Scott ruling as were all Black people in the United States; none were subject to Jim Crow; and none lived in an American ghetto. But Michelle Obama on the other hand would be the first American with a slavery ancestry to occupy the White House; minus the slaveholding presidents.

That her comments, "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country," could be used to question her patriotism by fraudulent blogs, cable news programs, and print media despite the fact that the adverb "really" actually heightens her sense of pre-existent pride in the country, is made possible in a place where Black Americans' patriotism has been trumped by the very fact of their blackness. Michelle Obama represents parts of Black America in ways that Obama cannot; and that is her original political sin. If Obama's Black "half" is forgivable, his better half Michelle's is not.

— James Lance Taylor

James L. Taylor: Before Hillary Clinton Became White

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

I agree with many of James Taylor's article. I believe Michelle Obama is only open to critism because of patriarchy. Anyone whom is not male and especially not white will be the brunt of slander, jokes, etc. The world continues to share a lop sided history without a herstory. The History being told is one which focuses on white male accomplishments through out the world. When women are mentioned in History (text books)it is usually how she was oppressed. Check out any history book and you will find this. It is unfortunate that even african americans are sleeping on the real issues of gender oppression world wide. One of the last statements in Mr. Taylor's post mentions the "orginal sin" which continues to support the oppression of women linking them to lies of patriarchy. I am waiting on anyone with the public's ear to point to patriarch as the real source of this issue on slandering Michelle Obama. I would like anyone to read "The Great Cosmic Mother" by Monica Sjoo and Barbara Mor or "The Chalice and the Blade" by Riane Eisler and then discuss what is going on with the media, academia, etc. and how this continued patriarchal posture has us all bamboozed! Our systems are set up to degrade and demean women. Why should anyone be surprised when it actually happens!

Sent by Annsih KesMaa Serud | 9:15 PM | 6-25-2008

If you were to say "today I am really proud of my country" it would then be fraudulent to question your patriotism.

The problem is not the adverb "really", it is the "for the first time".

When you use a phrase such as that, fair or not, you set yourself up for the tar and feathers regardless of the adverb that follows.

Sent by Zip | 9:42 PM | 6-25-2008

Oh please! How long do we need to dissect the blackness of an individual? Just because you can't trace Barack Obama's ancestry to a southern plantation doesn't make his experience with injustice less authentic.

This is feeding into the perceptions of over a year ago about Obama's blackness or lack thereof. Here we are, with him as the presumptive Democratic nominee and the perceptions continue. And to imply Michelle's experience is still involved the racial contract with America while her husband isn't is preposterous. She went to Princeton and Harvard, she was a post civil rights child. It's a generation thing; just like their children will not experience the racial tensions (to the same degree) of their parents.

So what Obama's ancestry never experienced Jim Crow? Does civil wars, colonizations, or apatheid seem less horrible?

Could it be the Republicans attacking Michelle are just not used to the brand of strong, educated and assertive woman she is? Just like they did with Hillary Rodham Clinton when her husband was running for President. The difference between these two is the 24/7 media coverage and YouTube generation for more ammunition to be on the attack.

But what do I know? According to this piece, my blackness is "forgivable."

Sent by Moji | 11:36 PM | 6-25-2008

So very, very true.
My big question these days is who will defend Michelle?
Certainly not the traditional feminist...Talking about the white ones. But why not the civil rightest?
Already this is the best of times to be living.
But, i am concerned about what the essay cites concerning the Blacklashes that are sure to come. Then it will be the worst of times.

Sent by audiodramatist | 12:38 AM | 6-26-2008

Such politically correct nice-nellyism is only to be expected of American politics. The truth is that Mrs. Obama spoke for MANY of us with those words.

The country that supported (remember, this is a democracy) a futile war of aggression in Iraq, voted for Dubya (twice, no less!) and has consistently thumbed its nose at the concept of getting with the program and becoming part of the world community?

Yeah, I've not been very proud of my country recently, either. I wouldn't say this was the *first* time I've been proud of it - I was proud of it as a six-year-old, I think, when I was completely ignorant. But I don't really think that counts for much.

A grassroots movement finally giving a black person a shot at the Presidency? Now THAT'S something to be proud of my country for.

Sent by Kasreyn | 9:34 AM | 6-26-2008

Taylor is right again. I do wish that he would give more attention to the role(s)that gender plays in this process, but I think the larger point is accurate. Michelle is a brilliant woman who actually mentored Obama before they got married. But it is not her "womanness" that is the source of suspicion. Generally, women are not viewed as an "unpatriotic" group as women, but there is a long history of blacks being viewed as disloyal. This is why Jeremiah Wright and the mostly female membership of Trinity United Church of Christ are viewed as treasonous. I do not see this as an argument that "Obama is not Black enough." It is suggesting that Obama and Michelle come to this moment representing very different Black experiences in America. Colonialism, civil war, and apartheid did not happen here so you are actually making Taylor's point that various forms of oppression are rooted in specific histories and they therefore have different meaning in those contexts. For instance, as much as NYPD victims Amadou Diallo or Adam Luima were African and Haitian, their initial victimization was carried out in relation to black Americans' long history of being criminalized. As immigrants, whether they meet with oppression here, the point is that slavery and segregation remind the collective white memory of what the "Negro" American represents here. It reminds white people what their ancestors carried out on their behalf in the U.S. A Haitian, Jamaican, or African can experience oppression in America precisely because of the pre-existing relationship to which Taylor refers. Immigrant blacks--and their children like Obama--do not invoke white guilt or indict them as do black people on Southside Chicago or in the 9th Ward of New Orleans.

Sent by massai | 11:50 AM | 6-26-2008

There were so many twist, turns and tangential elements that I didn't see a central point at the end. What's the final point? That Barack & Michele are different for each other? Or that Michelle is the 'unforgivable' part. Or that we should expect & prepare for a backlash? Or all of the above?

Regarding the former: The piece seemed (not intentional) to separate them; sort of an intramural distinctions; as though Barack is given an honorary membership to some perceived club just because of Michelle. Or that Michelle makes him an honorary Black or completes his Blackness? That he was this raw talent that Michelle molded & guided big-mama style into this amazing character and had it not been for her he'd still be squandering around somewhere lost? To that I laughingly say, please! It's self-serving & convenient but most of all insultingly alludes to the sentiment of Black man as boy till 'mama female' as girl-friend or wife gets her hands on him. Chances are they both would have been successful even if they hadn't met.
But isn't it as plausible that Barack's life and background (which strangely seems to be framed as inadequate) influenced Michelle as much as hers influenced him? That it was an equal exchange whereby both became better as a result? Just by the surface it seems to work for them. I mean she could have gone for a 'traditional African-American' man right? So obviously she with all her savvy, smarts & background (with those special lens) didn't see any inadequacies or (in)authenticities in him?
And I don't think they sit around playing this emotionally insecure oneupsmanship about whose background is the most valid and has the greater influence or is most victimized and of course the ultimate end for those who entertain these sorts of argument is...who should have more control. They don't play that game (a lesson many should learn) so why should we play it for them?
THE QUOTES: 'no one in his ancestry was ever subject to the Supreme Court's Dred Scott ruling as were all Black people in the United States; none were subject to Jim Crow; and none lived in an American ghetto.'
'Michelle Obama represents parts of Black America in ways that Obama cannot; and that is her original political sin. If Obama's Black "half" is forgivable, his better half Michelle's is not.'
AND THEREFORE WHAT?
This nit-picking about someone's background with a: 'well but he didn't...' or 'he isn't...', seems pointless, I mean where do you go with that? NOWHERE but into a sort of sticky sludge or gooey maze where there's, loose conjectures, speculations and nothing constructive and no metaphors for living...only you tell'ms, amens then dead-ends.
Unforgivable? Original sin? That's their premise and it's one I personally don't entertain.
Backlash? And...so what should I do...go buy duct-tape, survival gear, start shaking in my boots? I mean how does on address that outside of continuing on?
Michelle is in the public and expected fair game. Who defends Michelle? No one! If you really believe in her strength then you'd believe that she can handle it! The slime, big money, racist republican/conservative machine will DO WHAT THEY ALWAYS DO; use, race, gender, orientation, flags, distort truth, WHATEVER they think will work.
Please it's not about her! Her color or her gender it's about THEIR unscrupulousness!
It's not because she's Black it's because THEY are power hungry and will use anything to win!
AND THEY COUNT ON PEOPLE BEING OFFENDED, DISTRACTED, ETC., ANYTHING TO GET INSIDE THEIR OPPONNENTS HEADS TO GET THEM OFF GAME AND OFF MESSAGE. And many of you play right along, buy right into it as REACTIONARIES!

Just drive forward as always, in spite of the resistance/backlash. This is nothing new; those who are always on the wrong side of history always kick & scream the entire journey. We just have to beat them as always! Those who know history know that our young country has always marched towards its ideals despite the drag & resistance.

'the litmuses of who belongs to America and to whom America belongs.'

Who entertains such nonsense? Playing the 'other mans' game!

Sent by Jon J | 3:16 PM | 6-26-2008

Can I just say to give it up for Jon J! I normally think I'm a lone voice in the wilderness with all these degrees of blackness crap . . .it's nice to know a few think it's about time we left this subject behind.

Sent by Moji | 7:05 PM | 6-26-2008

Jon, seems you miss the point that is crystal clear. Michelle Obama's patriotism is questioned because Black peoples' patriotism has always been in doubt. The sin of slavery, for which this society never apologized or even made a monument, is deeply rooted in the social distance between white and black. Michelle and Wright gave Obama access to a black experience in ways that he did not experience prior to embracing them. As I see the rather sophisticated argument being made, the attacks on Michelle are all less about the Obamas and more about what she, as a descendant of the slaves represents historically in the white mind. You mention the REPUBLICANS, but so far it is the DEMOCRATS who have played the race game so far. This is bigger than the Republicans, it is about unreconciled history. About making peace with a horrid past, so that we can all move forward toward a positive future. To attack the Obama's patriotism, to highlight Jeremiah Wright, to mention Jesse and Al, is to say the type of Negro we can support, is one who DOES NOT REMIND US of what we have been. The prisons and fact that it has taken more than 200 years to find a black man that white people would vote for, for president lets you know that RACE has been the litmus of "who belongs to America and to whom America belongs." That is what Dred Scott argued. That te founers never intended for blacks to be citizens and black people have no rights that whites should have to regard. No confusion here. The analysis is deep.

Sent by razor | 10:09 PM | 6-26-2008

Razor, 'cyrstal clear?

'Michelle Obama's patriotism is questioned because Black peoples' patriotism has always been in doubt.'

WHO DOUBTS IT? DO YOU? NOT ME, ONLY THOSE WHO BUY INTO SOMEONE ELSES FRAMING. OR WILLING PARTICIPATES OF THE 'OTHER MANS' GAME!

The sin of slavery, for which this society never apologized or even made a monument, is deeply rooted in the social distance between white and black.

AND THEREFORE WHAT? MAKE THE CONNECTION TO PRACTICLE USEFULL PURPOSEFULL METHAPHORS.

Michelle and Wright gave Obama access to a black experience in ways that he did not experience prior to embracing them.

COMPLETE NONSENSE. BLACK IS WHAT BLACK IS. THERE IS NO ONE BLACK EXPERIENCE UNLESS ONE CANNOT FATHOM LIFE OUTSIDE A REPRESSION/OPPRESSION FRAMEWORK. IF ONE HAS THE ABILITY TO IMAGINE LIFE OUTSIDE THAT IMPOSED FRAMEWORK (IF ONE IS FREE, NOT AFRAID TO BE FREE, AS IT WERE) THEN YOU'LL SEE THAT WE ARE MORE THAN POLITICAL ABSTRACTIONS...REDUCED TO SIMPLIST PARABLE FIGURES ONLY RELEVENT IN A GRANDER ARGUMENT!

As I see the rather sophisticated argument being made, the attacks on Michelle are all less about the Obamas and more about what she, as a descendant of the slaves represents historically in the white mind.

SOSHPISTICATED? :) OK, SURE! REDUCTIONISM, SIMPLICITY...WHAT WHITE MIND? IS THIS SOME STAR TREK EPISODE WHERE THE WHITE MIND IS EMBODIDED IN ONE ENTITY? 'THE WHITE MIND' :)

ANYWAY, MANY ARE TOO PREOCCUPIED WITH SOMETHING THAT DOES NOT EXIST...'THE WHITE MIND' IS A FICTION, (CONSTRUCT) THERE IS NO SUCH THING...THAT'S WHAT I MEAN BY REACTIONARIES. AGAIN, SO WHERE DO YOU GO WITH THE ABOVE COMMENT? DO YOU GET INSIDE 'THE WHITE MIND' TO CHANGE IT? DO YOU EXPECT SOME GRAND MOMENT WHERE THE WHITE MIND ALL OF A SUDDEN GETS IT, COMES TO ITS SENSES, THEN APOLOGIZES? DO YOU REEEALLY NEED AN APOLOGY? WHY? GET 'DEEP' INTO THAT WHY!

You mention the REPUBLICANS, but so far it is the DEMOCRATS who have played the race game so far. This is bigger than the Republicans, it is about unreconciled history. About making peace with a horrid past, so that we can all move forward toward a positive future.

PLEASE I DON'T NEED THE 'WHITE MIND' TO 'MAKE PEACE' I MAKE MY OWN PEACE AND DON'T RELY ON THE 'WHITE MIND' THERE IS NO UNRECONCILED HISTORY THAT I SIT AROUND CONCERNED ABOUT. YOU ARE GRANTING WAAAY TOO MUCH TO 'THE WHITE MIND'. ARE YOU SERIOUS?

To attack the Obama's patriotism, to highlight Jeremiah Wright, to mention Jesse and Al, is to say the type of Negro we can support, is one who DOES NOT REMIND US of what we have been. The prisons and fact that it has taken more than 200 years to find a black man that white people would vote for, for president lets you know that RACE has been the litmus of "who belongs to America and to whom America belongs."

HUH? AMERICA BELONGS TO ME AND I BELONG TO AMERICA, I DON'T TAKE A LITMUS TEST I JUST EMBRACE & CLAIM. BUT AGAIN, WITH THAT 'DEEP' & 'SOPHISTICATED' ARGUMENT WHERE DO YOU GO? WHO IS IT DIRECTED AT AND WHAT'S YOUR DESIRED RESULT? VENTING ONLY, WITH NO METHAPHORS FOR LIVING, PRAGMATIC PRACTICES..POLITICAL, PROGRAMMATICALLY OR POLICY?

That is what Dred Scott argued. That te founers never intended for blacks to be citizens and black people have no rights that whites should have to regard. No confusion here. The analysis is deep.

FACT IS THAT 'THE WHITE MIND' IS SO FAR UP INSIDE YOUR HEAD AND THOSE OF YOUR ILK THAT IN ALL OF YOUR 'DEEP & SOPHISTICATED ANALYSIS YOU SEEM TO MISS CENTRAL ISSUES. MEANING, THAT YOU SITE DRED SCOTT MAYBE WHAT YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON IS DRED, HIS SPIRIT, HIS HUMANITY, HIS COURAGE...THE FACT THAT HIS ACT WAS TRULY AMERICAN! INSTEAD OF WHAT 'THEY' INTENDED OR ARGUED OR WOULDN'T GRANT HIM. HIS ACT IS A CRYSTAL CLEAR METHAPHOR FOR LIVING.

SO YOU ARE RIGHT THERE IS NO CONFUSION, WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT IS INSECURE EMOTIONAL NEEDY VENTING ABOUT WHAT 'THEY' THINK, FEEL ABOUT US. WHAT 'THEY' INTENDED, HOW THEY REGARD US & OUR RIGHTS! IT'S ALL A SOCIAL CONTRUCT THAT'S NOT VERY DEEP AT ALL, IT DECONSTRUCTS AND REDUCES A VERY COMPLEXED NARRATIVE TO SIMPLISTIC NOTIONS DERIVED BY SOCIAL SCIENCE ACADEMIANS WHO HAVE BECOME TO RELY SO HEAVILY ON SOCIAL SCIENCES THAT THEY HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT REAL LIFE IS ALL ABOUT, WHAT UNIVERSAL TRUISM, HUMAN MOTIVATION IS ABOUT. WHAT MOTIVATED DRED, WHERE DID HE MUSTER THE COURAGE & NERVE, THAT'S THE SORT OF THING THAT SHOULD FEED & SUSTAIN!

PEACE, APOLOGY, UNRECONCILED HISTORY, WHAT THE FOUNDERS INTENDED, WHAT 'THE WHITE MIND' THINKS, ORIGINAL SIN, ETC., ETC., ETC.,
DO YOU ACCEPT THAT NOTION, THAT YOU ARE A SIN?

SORRY I'M JUST NOT FEELING THE NEED FOR THIS THERAPUTIC ARGUMENTS OR 'DEEP' 'SOPHISTICATED' ANALYSIS IN ORDER TO FEEL WHOLE, AMERICAN OR FREE.

IF JACK JOHNSON CAN LIVE 'AS IF' AT THE TURN OF THE 20TH CENTURY ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, THEN I CERTAINLY CAN IN 2008.

Sent by JON J | 3:31 PM | 6-27-2008

Ok, Jon J, I see you are really getting exercised over this. You seem to be one of these post-civil rights era coat-tailers who is proudly individual. Reductionism? you have reduced 400 years to your personal resolve. Abstract? what to do with the information? What is "Yes We Can" but an abstract concept that hopefully inspires people to act, to organize, to do? You say I,I,I,I but you do not once say "we or us," which suggests a typical rugged individualism that Black people, in the real world, do not embrace. You focus on YOUR reading of the realities confronting people--the statistical fact of dis-proportionate incarceration rates (700,000 males 300,000 females)among 12% of the TOTAL population, which means the other 88% make up the remaining 1 million of the 2 million people in U.S. prisons. Is this too heady? Raway, Angola, San Quentin do not exist; in your selfish world of 1. You talk about how YOU choose to respond. Individualism is inconsistent with how most non-Europeans see the world. Africans, Asians, Native Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, and even some segments of women think of the "we," not me--as you apparently do. You, o caped one, super-individual who personally tackles 400 years of other peoples' REALLY LIVED experiences, with a simple rant or two. Do you even see your own inconsistency when in both rants you mention the phrase "the OTHER MAN'S GAME" is this code for "THE WHITE MAN'S GAME"? If not, who is the other man? If so, you concede that there is a "typical"--to use Obama's language--mindset among whites which both YOU and the article refer to. Who is the other man, man? Or is the "Other" man, suddenly not white? You also blabber:

PLEASE I DON'T NEED THE 'WHITE MIND' TO 'MAKE PEACE' I MAKE MY OWN PEACE AND DON'T RELY ON THE 'WHITE MIND' THERE IS NO UNRECONCILED HISTORY THAT I SIT AROUND CONCERNED ABOUT. YOU ARE GRANTING WAAAY TOO MUCH TO 'THE WHITE MIND'. ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Well, once again, o, single one, there are tens of millions of Black people who are alive, like Wright, like my father, like Farrakhan who were burned by racism and professionally stunted by the MATERIAL effects of racism, who are alive. You are a hip-hopper. Typically, you think it all began in 1995 with TUPAC. But there was a there, there, before and millions of Black people are hurt--not so inclined to bounce back from what you apparently have no experience with--and would be as powerfully healed by a national apology as would be the election of Barack. BTW, if apologies don't matter, why do they exist? Why is there a vibrant reparations movement among not elite blacks? Why is John Conyers sponsoring the bill? Is this policy? Or abstraction and reductionism? You who reduces the total black response to how YOU respond. Why, Jon J, has Australia apologized to the aborigine? Why has New Zealand apolgized to the first nations? Why did John Paul apologize to the Jews? Why does Germany pay billions in reparations? Why has every CIVILIZED nation on the planet acknowledged their offenses against minorities but the U.S. and why is it irrelevant to you? And how is your individualistic "MIND" which rejects the outter world not analogous to the collective "white mind"? If you can choose to reject what the "other [white]man" thinks, isn't that a MINDset? And if you can think "A" about a thing, cannot others, as individuals or groups, have a "mind"? Your thinking is chock full of narcissistic denial of what has existed because you have NO SENSE of history. You want to start with 2008 as year one, well, good for YOU. But for the rest of us, solidarity does matter. Ask a Jew, and Mexican, and Irishman in Boston or Chicago on St. Patty's Day, ask a white female Hillary supporter if there is a collective mind. Why did black voters collectively abandon the Clintons for Obama if there is NO WHITE MIND or BLACK MIND? Why have millions of anonymous white females opposed Obama if there is no such thing?

PLEASE I DON'T NEED THE 'WHITE MIND' TO 'MAKE PEACE' I MAKE MY OWN PEACE AND DON'T RELY ON THE 'WHITE MIND' THERE IS NO UNRECONCILED HISTORY THAT I SIT AROUND CONCERNED ABOUT. YOU ARE GRANTING WAAAY TOO MUCH TO 'THE WHITE MIND'. ARE YOU SERIOUS?

You seem so superior to the REST of us who are not able to REDUCE the larger issue to a selfish, narcissistic, individualism. If only us poor ghetto folk could think like you, all of our problems would go away. Are YOU serious?

In your loftiness, you make no sense:

AND THEREFORE WHAT? MAKE THE CONNECTION TO PRACTICLE USEFULL PURPOSEFULL METHAPHORS.

What, prey tell, is a "practical useful purposeful metaphor"? Aren't metaphors analogies drawn from reality? Hmmmm. Practical and metaphor are close to oxymoron, like jumbo-shrimp.

Where, prey tell, is anyone questioning Obama's Black experience? I agree. Black is Black. But by acknowledging such, are you not conceding that Black is not white; that there are discrete boundaries that exist? Is a Mexican different from Puerto Rican? If not, why the flags, why the dialects? why the foodstuff differences?

you wrote:

COMPLETE NONSENSE. BLACK IS WHAT BLACK IS. THERE IS NO ONE BLACK EXPERIENCE UNLESS ONE CANNOT FATHOM LIFE OUTSIDE A REPRESSION/OPPRESSION FRAMEWORK. IF ONE HAS THE ABILITY TO IMAGINE LIFE OUTSIDE THAT IMPOSED FRAMEWORK (IF ONE IS FREE, NOT AFRAID TO BE FREE, AS IT WERE) THEN YOU'LL SEE THAT WE ARE MORE THAN POLITICAL ABSTRACTIONS...REDUCED TO SIMPLIST PARABLE FIGURES ONLY RELEVENT IN A GRANDER ARGUMENT!

Now, I do not think of the black experience so negatively. I see that black folk have affirmative connections beyond reacting to racism. As do gay men for other gay men or disabled people do for other disabled people. What is the imposed repression/oppression framework (but your own abstract language) and another concession that there is a "white mind" that imposes on others?

Next:
PLEASE I DON'T NEED THE 'WHITE MIND' TO 'MAKE PEACE' I MAKE MY OWN PEACE AND DON'T RELY ON THE 'WHITE MIND' THERE IS NO UNRECONCILED HISTORY THAT I SIT AROUND CONCERNED ABOUT. YOU ARE GRANTING WAAAY TOO MUCH TO 'THE WHITE MIND'. ARE YOU SERIOUS?
Count the "I's, my's owm's here.

What did Dred Scott do? He filed a law suit for his freedom from the collective WHITE MIND that he was less than human and property.

DO YOU SEE YET that your own word betray you?

"social construct"? Is this concrete? Is this tangible? Where can i purchase a social construct? This again, shows that you are guilty of your OWN accusations. Isn't society itself socially and racially constructed? What is worse, race as pseudo and false construct, or a society that is racially constructed?

No I am not a sin. But the "White mind" in Genesis 9 and 10 taught for four centuries that Blackness was a sin. But why would that bother YOU, all you gotta do is say, "I decide" whether I am a sin. The fact that christians and jews taught the slaves that they were the result of the Curse of Ham--is an abstraction. No one was enslaved, no one was raped. And Jesus being white, in your world, is irrelevant. It is not PRACTICAL, despite its intagible, psychological harm to black self-steem.

You wrote:

SORRY I'M JUST NOT FEELING THE NEED FOR THIS THERAPUTIC ARGUMENTS OR 'DEEP' 'SOPHISTICATED' ANALYSIS IN ORDER TO FEEL WHOLE, AMERICAN OR FREE.

Wow, can't wait til the rest of us little negroes get to where YOU are. Du Bois was an idiot for making up such an idea as "double consciousness." Cause, all along, we habd Jon J to teach us to be single minded; to feel "whole, American or free." There are no drive-bys, it is an abstraction. Whole negroes like you don't do such. There is no degraded stripper culture, whole negroes don't strip. There are no failed inner city schools, no families in crisis. These are ALL made up in my mind. Black people are FREE, like YOU. Jon J, without you, where would African Americans be?

Jack Johnson escaped America. Went to Europe, canada, Cuba--came home to prison for MARRYING A WHITE WOMEN and taking her across state borders. He ended up poor, broke, desolate and in Chicago--where the Obamas call home. AS IF what? AS if he were "Whole, American, and free"? Are you f'n kidding me?

Sent by razor | 10:10 PM | 6-27-2008

Jon, J: p.s. check NPR's website:

The Tavis Smiley Show, December 16, 2004 ?? Jack Johnson was America's first black heavyweight boxing champion. NPR's Tavis Smiley talks with Geoffrey Ward about Ward's book Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, a biography about the boxer, and with filmmaker Ken Burns, who produced a documentary based on Ward's book.

Sent by razor | 10:13 PM | 6-27-2008

Razor,

laughing :)

but first, i own the jack johnson unforgiveable Blackness, thanks.

Ok, Jon J, I see you are really getting exercised over this.

AND OF COURSE YOU'RE NOT. :)

You seem to be one of these post-civil rights era coat-tailers who is proudly individual.

WRONG ON THE FIRST ACCOUNT...SO THE PREMISE GETS OFF TRACK IMMEDIATELY..BUT CORRECT ON THE SECOND, RUGGEDLY PROUD INDIVIDUAL, YOU MAKE IT SOUND LIKE THERE'S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT? YES, THE MISFIRE IS THAT AMERICA IS & HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL. NOW I KNOW IN YOUR SIMPLY WORLD THAT WORD INDIVIDUAL CONJURES UP SPOOKY STUFF BUT IT IS A TOTALLY DIFFERENT WORD FROM SELFISH, SELF-CENTERED BUT I'M SURE YOU EQUATE THEM.

Reductionism? you have reduced 400 years to your personal resolve. Abstract?

YES, REDUCTIONISM AS SOMEONE SAID, THOSE OF YOUR ILK SEEM MORE IMPRESSED BY PROPAGANDA DESIGNED TO DENY YOUR OWN HUMANITY THAN BY BLACK ACTUALITY THAT MOTIVATES & SUSTAINS.

what to do with the information? What is "Yes We Can" but an abstract concept that hopefully inspires people to act, to organize, to do?

'YES WE CAN' IS AN ABTRACTIONS, HUMAN BEINGS ARE NOT.

You say I,I,I,I but you do not once say "we or us," which suggests a typical rugged individualism that Black people, in the real world, do not embrace.

I ONLY SPEAK FOR ME, NOT ARROGANTLY FOR ALL BLACKS, WHO I (THERE'S THAT WORD AGAIN) TRUST CAN SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES & ARTICULATE THEIR OWN REALITY. BUT YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN THAT CAPACITY SO YOU DO IT YOURSELF..SPEAK FOR THEM.

AND AS YOU ATTEMPT TO ISOLATE ME..TYPICAL STRATEGY OF THE INSECURE WHO'S EMOTIONAL NEED FOR SUPPORT IS EXTREME. I'LL SAY YOU ARE NOWHERE NEAR THE REAL WORLD BUT STUCK IN A CONSTRUCT.

You focus on YOUR reading of the realities confronting people--the statistical fact of dis-proportionate incarceration rates (700,000 males 300,000 females)among 12% of the TOTAL population, which means the other 88% make up the remaining 1 million of the 2 million people in U.S. prisons. Is this too heady?

DON'T THINK I COMMENTED ON STATS AT ALL. NOT TOO HEADY, BUT YOU SEEM TO THINK YOU ARE...WITH THE USE OF 'DEEP' & 'SOPHISTICATED' BUT AGAIN WITH THE INABILITY TO HANDLE A DIFFERENT VIEW POINT AS THOUGH MY REALITY..YOU KNOW WITH ALL THOSE I, I, I, ISN'T REAL UNLESS IT FITS THAT CONSTRUCT YOU ARE UNABLE TO THINK BEYOND.

HERE'S SOMETHING 'HEADY' FOR YOU: WHEN YOU SITE THOSE STATS YOU ONLY FUNCTION AS A PARTICIPANT IN THE PROCESS OF DEGRADATION BY ANY MEANS. BLACKS DON'T NEED THE GRAND-DRAGON WHO WOULD ALSO SITE THOSE STATS, BECAUSE WE HAVE YOU. BUT EVEN AFTER YOU SITE THOSE STATS YOU OFFER NOTHING ELSE?

Raway, Angola, San Quentin do not exist; in your selfish world of 1. You talk about how YOU choose to respond.

THE EXIST ON THE PERIPHERY, BUT I'M NOT PREOCCUPIED WITH THEM. WORLD OF 1 :) YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MY WORLD, WHICH IS FULL OF MORE THAN 1. AND HOW I...I...I, CHOOSE TO RESPOND IS THE ONLY THING I CAN CONTROL. BUT DON'T REMEMBER SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT HOW I RESPOND TO THE ABOVE? DID I SAY ANYTHING ABOUT PRISONS..OR INCARCERATION?

Individualism is inconsistent with how most non-Europeans see the world. Africans, Asians, Native Americans, Latinos, Hispanics, and even some segments of women think of the "we," not me--as you apparently do.

NEITHER HERE NOR THERE, I DON'T CARE HOW CONSISTENT MY THINKING IS WITH THE REST OF THE NON-EUROPEAN WORLD. BUT YOU REALIZE THAT USING THE TERM 'NON' MEANS THE NEGATIVE OF EUROPEAN. YEP, YOU'VE BOUGHT RIGHT INTO IT.

You, o caped one, super-individual who personally tackles 400 years of other peoples' REALLY LIVED experiences, with a simple rant or two.

HUH? :)

Do you even see your own inconsistency when in both rants you mention the phrase "the OTHER MAN'S GAME" is this code for "THE WHITE MAN'S GAME"?

NO I SIMPLY INDULGE YOU IN YOUR TYPE OF ALL INCLUSIVE RHETORIC..YOU KNOW TRYINIG TO SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE.

If not, who is the other man? If so, you concede that there is a "typical"--to use Obama's language--mindset among whites which both YOU and the article refer to.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE 'TYPICAL MINDSET AMONG WHITE IS. I'M ONLY CONCERNED WITH THE WHITE PERSON IN FRONT OF ME AT ANY GIVEN TIME.
AND TO THE EXTENT THAT I 'CONCEDE' THAT THERE IS A 'OTHER MAN'S GAME' HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW I RESPOND TO IT, GIVE IT CREDENCE, ETC.

Well, once again, o, single one, there are tens of millions of Black people who are alive, like Wright, like my father, like Farrakhan who were burned by racism and professionally stunted by the MATERIAL effects of racism, who are alive.

YES AND? I DON'T SPEAK FOR THEM, ONLY LISTEN WHEN THEY ARTICULATE THEIR EXPERIENCE AND THEIR REALITY. BUT WHAT I GET FROM THEM IS LESS ABOUT THE DISAPPOINTMENT, BUT THE RESOLVE AND THEIR HUMANITY IN THE FACE OF WHAT THEY EXPERIENCED.

You are a hip-hopper. Typically, you think it all began in 1995 with TUPAC.

WRONG, SO WHAT UNDERLINES YOUR ENTIRE PREMISE IS FLAWED.

But there was a there, there, before and millions of Black people are hurt--not so inclined to bounce back from what you apparently have no experience with--and would be as powerfully healed by a national apology as would be the election of Barack.

YES, THERE WAS A THERE AND I TRACE MY LINEAGE BACK TO 1847 THE BIRTH OF MY GREAT GRANDFATHER, KNOW HOW MUCH HE WAS SOLD FOR IN 1863, ETC. BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU KNOW WHAT MILLIONS WANT AND THE EFFECTS IT WOULD HAVE? AN APOLOGY THEN IT'S ALL FORGOTTEN? JUST LIKE THAT?

BTW, if apologies don't matter, why do they exist?

APOLOGIES ARE ALWAYS ABOUT THE PERSON APOLOGIZING, THEY NEED TO HEAL, COME TO TERMS WITH WHAT THEY DID. RARELY IS IT EVER ABOUT THE VICTIM. AN EASY OUT!

Why is there a vibrant reparations movement among not elite blacks? Why is John Conyers sponsoring the bill? Is this policy? Or abstraction and reductionism?

A TOTAL WASTE OF POLITICAL CLOUT AND HAS NO WAY IN HELL OF HAPPENING. AMERICA AIN'T WRITING ANY CHECKS. AND IF SO ONLY THOSE WHO COULD TRACE THEIR FAMILY DIRECTLY BACK TO SLAVERY. AND YOU REALIZE THIS WOULD BE PAID FOR BY TAX PAYERS. WOULD BLACKS BE TAX EXEMPTED? OR WOULD THOSE BLACKS WHO COULDN'T TRACE THEIR FAMILY BACK TO SLAVERY THEN END UP PAYING OTHER BLACKS? AND SINCE THE MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WHO CAN TRACE THEIR ANCESTORY BACK TO AFRICA ARE NEWSFLASH: WHITE! WHAT DOES THAT DO? MORE THAN LIKELY CONYERS KNOWS THIS BUT PUTS IT THROUGH FOR HISTORICAL RECORD. TALK ABOUT REAL WORLD, REPARATIONS IS A FANTASY.

You who reduces the total black response to how YOU respond.

AND YOU ENCOMPASS THE TOTAL BLACK RESPONSE SIMPLY IN PAIN..ONLY IN A REPRESSION/OPPRESSION FRAMEWORK, STOPING AT THE STALE CATAGORY OF RACE AS THE ONLY THING THAT INFORMS ONES IDENTITY.
REDUCTIONISM!

Why, Jon J, has Australia apologized to the aborigine? Why has New Zealand apolgized to the first nations? Why did John Paul apologize to the Jews? Why does Germany pay billions in reparations? Why has every CIVILIZED nation on the planet acknowledged their offenses against minorities but the U.S. and why is it irrelevant to you?

ALREADY TOLD YOU WHAT I THINK ABOUT REPARATIONS, AND DON'T WANT NOT EXPECTING AN APOLOGY. AND MINORITY IS ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE NOTHING-TERMS. ONLY MEANS POLITICAL NOT IDENTITY. UNLESS YOU ACCEPT (BUY INTO) THAT FRAME?

And how is your individualistic "MIND" which rejects the outter world not analogous to the collective "white mind"?

'REJECTS OUTTER WORLD'?? SPECULATION, WRONG, INACCURATE...YOU KEEP UNDERLYING YOUR PREMISE? I LOVE THE OUTTER WORLD ESPECIALLY WHEN I'M OUT OF THE COUNTRY.

If you can choose to reject what the "other [white]man" thinks, isn't that a MINDset?

MY MINDSET NOT ALL

Your thinking is chock full of narcissistic denial of what has existed because you have NO SENSE of history.

MY THINKING IS DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND I CHOOSE TO RESPOND DIFFERENTLY TO A GIVE SET OF SITUATIONS OR EVIDENCE (HISTORY) AND IN YOUR NARCISSISM YOU CAN'T ACCEPT THAT BECAUSE YOU THINK YOUR THOUGHTS ARE AT THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING AND EVERY OTHER BLACK MUST THINK LIKE YOU. EMOTIONALLY YOU NEED TO THINK LIKE THAT. NARCISSISTIC, INDEED! I SPEAK FOR ME, YOU SPEAK FOR MILLIONS OF BLACK AND I'M NARCISSISTIC? :)

You want to start with 2008 as year one, well, good for YOU. But for the rest of us, solidarity does matter.

NARCISSISTIC (AND ARROGANT) TO SPEAK FOR THE 'REST OF US' ISN'T IT ? LAUGHING... :)

Why did black voters collectively abandon the Clintons for Obama if there is NO WHITE MIND or BLACK MIND?

WHEN BLACK VOTERS COLLECTIVELY, LIKE BLACKS HAVE ALWAYS DONE SUPPORTED CLINTON, GORE, KERRY OR ANY DEMOCRAT WAS THAT A BLACK MINDSET FOR A WHITE MINDSET???

Why have millions of anonymous white females opposed Obama if there is no such thing?

WELL, BECAUSE MILLIONS MORE HAVE NOT!

You seem so superior to the REST of us who are not able to REDUCE the larger issue to a selfish, narcissistic, individualism.

NO ONLY YOU SUPERIOR TO YOU :) BUT YOU KEEP SAYING US, ASSUMING YOU SPEAK FOR ALL THE 'REST OF US' HOW OF COURSE HAVE TO BE IN CONJUNCTION WITH YOU. NOW THAT'S SELF-CENTERED.

If only us poor ghetto folk could think like you, all of our problems would go away. Are YOU serious?

ACTUALLY SINCE I DIDN'T SAY THAT..THOSE ARE YOUR THOUGHTS :)

BUT SINCE IN THE REAL WORLD ONLY 1 IN 5 BLACKS LIVE IN THE 'GHETTO' YOUR 'REST OF US' IS NOT AT LARGE AS YOU THINK. BUT YOU BUY INTO STEROTYPES ABOUT BLACKS...EQUATING BLACK WITH GHETTO. NOW THERE'S A MISREADING OF HISTORY, SINCE 'GHETTO' ONLY REFERS TO ABOUT 40YRS OF THE 400YR HISTORY YOU HAVE SUCH A GRASP OF..BUT IN YOUR HEAD NOW THE DOMINATE THEME (AND IT ISN'T EVEN REAL SINCE IT'S 1 IN 5!) BUT I DON'T KNOW WHAT ANY GIVEN INDIVIDUAL NEEDS TO ALLEVIATE THEIR PROBLEMS.

(GHETTO, ANOTHER IMPOSED INACCURATE TERM THAT YOU SLURP UP) SEE I USED THE TERM 'GHETTO' TO INDULGE FOR THE SAKE OF DEBATE BUT DON'T ACCEPT.. LIKE 'OTHER MAN'S GAME'.)

In your loftiness, you make no sense.

IN YOUR INSECURITY YOU MIX & MATCH OUT OF CONTEXT, WITH GRAND ALL INCLUSIVE INACCURATE ASSUMPTIONS. YOU HAVE PROCEEDED THISENTIRE TIME WITH WRONG ASSUMPTION AFTTER ASSUMPTION..BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT RESPONDING TO ACTUALITY BUT A 'MIND-SET' YOU PROJECT! BECAUSE YOU'VE ACCEPTED THE PROPAGANDA MEANT TO DENY YOUR HUMANITY, STUFF THAT BLACK ANCESTORS NEVER FELL FOR, IT'S ALL UP INSIDE YOUR HEAD.

What, prey tell, is a "practical useful purposeful metaphor"? Aren't metaphors analogies drawn from reality? Hmmmm.

NO NOT NECESSARILY, ACTUALLY METAPHORS CAN BE DRAWN FROM FICTION, MYTH, FOLKLORE, STORY-TELLING.

Practical and metaphor are close to oxymoron, like jumbo-shrimp.

METAPHORS THAT ONE CAN PUT INTO PRACTICAL USE..GET IT? JUMBO-SHRIMP IS A TERM USED IN RESTAURANTS. NO ONE LOOKS IN THE OCEAN AND SEE 'JUMBO-SHRIMP.

Where, prey tell, is anyone questioning Obama's Black experience?

IT'S BEEN HAPPENING THIS ENTIRE ELECTION FROM MANY WHITES & BLACKS.

But by acknowledging such, are you not conceding that Black is not white; that there are discrete boundaries that exist?

WELL IT'D BE HARD TO HAVE A CONVERSATION IF I DIDN'T USE THE CURRENT LEXICON TO INDULGE. BUT NO THERE IS NO REAL BIOLOGICAL DEFINITION OF BLACK & WHITE. AND THERE ARE BOUNDARIES, REAL & IMAGINED ALL OVER BTWN & AMONG WHITES AND BLACKS. IF YOU FILL A FOOTBALL STADIUM WITH BLACKS AREN'T THERE BOUNDARIES?

Is a Mexican different from Puerto Rican?
RAZOR, THOSE ARE COUNTRIES...NATIONALITY DIFFERENCES. THERE IS NO EQUIVELANT BLACK COUNTRY OR WHITE COUNTRY? POOR ANALOGY...BUT WHEN YOU MIX & MATCH FALSE PREMISES THINGS GET FOGGY.

If not, why the flags, why the dialects? why the foodstuff differences?

CULTURE NOT COLOR OR RACE!

Now, I do not think of the black experience so negatively. I see that black folk have affirmative connections beyond reacting to racism.

WELL FINALLY YOU GET AROUND TO WHAT YOU LIKE ABOUT BLACK INSTEAD OF SITING ALL THE SOCIAL SCIENCE STATS LIMITED TO THE STALE CATEGORY OF RACE

What is the imposed repression/oppression framework (but your own abstract language) and another concession that there is a "white mind" that imposes on others?

MEANING THINKING ONLY IN REPRESSION/OPPRESSION FRAME...LIMITED TO THE DIALECT OF REPRESSION & OPPRESSION AND AGAIN, WORDS, LANGUAGE CAN BE ABSTRACT...NOT PEOPLE! AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES AN AREA OF STUDY WHICH IMPOSED THIS FRAME.

Count the "I's, my's owm's here.

AHH, YES, SINCE I'M SPEAKING FOR ME AND NOT MILLIONS OF BLACKS. NOT ASSUMING MILLIONS OF BLACKS WHO I DON'T KNOW SHARE MY THOUGHTS. GRANTING THEM THEIR HUMANITY ENOUGH NOT TO WRONGLY ASSUME WHAT THEY THINK.

What did Dred Scott do? He filed a law suit for his freedom from the collective WHITE MIND that he was less than human and property.

NO DRED SCOTT FILED A LAW SUIT FOR HIS OWN FAMILIES FREEDOM FROM AN INDIVIDUAL OWNER (NOT FROM A MINDSET)...JUST HIM & HIS FAMILY...THAT DARN RUGGED INDIVIDUAL...JUST WHO DOES HE THINK HE IS (USING YOUR LOGIC). AND BY THE WAY THE BASIS OF HIS ARGUMENT WAS THE CONSTITUTION. HOW IRONIC THAT HE'D USE 'WHITE MIND' CONCOCTION TO FREE HIMSELF AND ALSO HE WANTED TO BE FREE HERE IN AMERICA, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE HE WANTED TO GO TO AFRICA..HMMMM!

DO YOU SEE YET that your own word betray you?

NO YOUR EMOTIONS CLOUD YOUR REASONING.

"social construct"? Is this concrete? Is this tangible? Where can i purchase a social construct?

YOU ALREADY HAVE, YOU'VE BOUGHT INTO IT.

Isn't society itself socially and racially constructed?

NO IT ISN'T

What is worse, race as pseudo and false construct, or a society that is racially constructed?

THE FACT THAT YOU BUY INTO IT AND IT INFORMS YOUR ENTIRE BEING!

But the "White mind" in Genesis 9 and 10 taught for four centuries that Blackness was a sin.

A CONSTRUCT (BLACK AS SIN) THAT ISN'T REALITY (BLACK ISN'T A SIN)...SEE?

But why would that bother YOU, all you gotta do is say, "I decide" whether I am a sin. The fact that christians and jews taught the slaves that they were the result of the Curse of Ham--is an abstraction. No one was enslaved, no one was raped. And Jesus being white, in your world, is irrelevant.

IT'S ALL IRRELEVANT BECAUSE I DON'T DO RELIGION. BUT THE PERSON JESUS DID EXIST AND HE WASN'T WHITE. THERE WAS NO FREAKING CONCEPT OF WHITE AT THAT TIME MAN...DAMN! PERFECT EXAMPLE...SEE THIS IS THE SORT OF MISREADING, MISINTERPRETING...MIX & MATCH THAT LEADS TO FOGGY THINKING.

It is not PRACTICAL, despite its intagible, psychological harm to black self-steem.

WILL YOU STOP REFERRING TO BLACK PEOPLE AS DAMAGED GOODS! SEE THIS IS WHAT IRKS ME WITH YOUR TYPE OF THINKING.

Wow, can't wait til the rest of us little negroes get to where YOU are.

YOU KEEP ALLUDING TO SOME TEAM YOU HAVE...THIS 'REST OF US'? AND I CAN'T WAIT EITHER...THAT WE AGREE ON! THEN WE CAN GET ON WITH THE BUSINESS OF 'SOLVING THE PROBLEMS'.

Du Bois was an idiot for making up such an idea as "double consciousness." Cause, all along, we habd Jon J to teach us to be single minded; to feel "whole, American or free."

WELL YOU KNOW, WHAT CAN I SAY...DUBOIS DIDN'T HAVE THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING ME SO??? BUT WHOLE, AMERICAN & FREE ISN'T NECESSARILY SINGLE-MINDED BUT IT IS PREFERABLE & MORE FUNCTIONAL THAN 'psychological harm to black self-steem'

There are no drive-bys, it is an abstraction.

MIX & MATCH, BAD REFERENCE..THE FIRST TIME DRIVE-BYS HAS BEEN BROUGHT UP.

Whole negroes like you don't do such.

CORRECT, SO DON'T YOU THINK IT'S BETTER TO EMBRACE THE WHOLENESS, INSTEAD OF psychological harm to black self-steem.

There is no degraded stripper culture, whole negroes don't strip.

IF A CONSENTING ADULT PERSON DECIDES TO STRIP FOR ANOTHER CONSENTING ADULT...IT'S NOT 'DEGRADATION'. I DON'T NARCISSISTICALLY JUDGE THEM!

There are no failed inner city schools, no families in crisis. These are ALL made up in my mind. Black people are FREE, like YOU.

FREEDOM DOESN'T GUARANTEE THAT ONE DOESN'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH STRIFE..THAT'S UNIVERSAL. BUT ALL THOSE IN THE 'FAILED SCHOOLS ARE FREE...FREE TO FIX THEIR SCHOOLS, FREE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. FAMILIES ARE FREE TO ATTACK AND SOLVE THEIR PROBLEMS.

Jon J, without you, where would African Americans be?

THE NUMBERS WOULD BE ONE LESS? I HAVE NOT PUT MYSELF UP AS SPEAKING FOR ALL AFRICAN-AMERICANS. YOU SPEAK FOR 'THE REST OF US' MILLIONS, WHAT WOULD THEY DO WITHOUT YOU?

Jack Johnson escaped America. Went to Europe, canada, Cuba--came home to prison for MARRYING A WHITE WOMEN and taking her across state borders. He ended up poor, broke, desolate and in Chicago--where the Obamas call home.

JACK JOHNSON LIVED A GLORIOUS LIFE. FULL OF ADVENTURE, UPS & DOWNS, ETC. DO YOU THINK FREE MEANS WITHOUT TRAGEDY..STRIFE, HARDSHIPS? YOU KNOW DESPITE WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM, HE LIVED MORE IN ONE YEAR THAN MOST OTHERS (WHITE OR BLACK) AT THAT TIME LIVED IN A LIFETIME.

AS IF what? AS if he were "Whole, American, and free"? Are you f'n kidding me?

YES, AS IF HE COULD DO ANYTHING IN THE WORLD HE WANTED TO...AND THAT GOT HIM PLACES THOSE WITH LESS COURAGE OR THOSE WHO HAVE BOUGHT INTO THEIR psychological HARM WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD THE NERVE TO DO.

EMBRACING THE psychological harm to black self-steem IDEA DOESN'T ALLEVIATE DRIVE-BYS, POOR SCHOOLS, FAILED FAMILIES. THOSE LABEL AS PSYCHOLOGICALLY DAMAGED RARELY PERFORM HEROIC ACTS.

YOU SHOULD LEAVE PAINTING & PORTRAYING BLACKS AS DAMAGED GOODS TO THE GRAND-DRAGON. HIGHLIGHTING BLACKS AS PSYCHOLOGICALLY DAMAGED GOODS IN PAIN WHO NEED HEALING SERVES THE RACIST. IT DOESN'T SERVE BLACK PEOPLE. IT'S NOT THE STUFF OF STRONG HEALTHY CAPABLE PEOPLE BUT BENEFICIARIES IN NEED OF A CAUSE.

PSYCHOLOGICALLY DAMAGED SCARRED PEOPLE WHO NEED HEALING DOESN'T LEAD TO REPARATIONS OR AN APOLOGY..OR FREEDOM...IT IS USED AS FURTHER EVIDENCE & REASONING BY THOSE SO INCLINED, THAT BLACKS ARE NOT WHOLE AND TO DENY FULL CITIZENSHIP..IT BECOMES THE BASIS FOR WHY 'THEY ARE DIFFERENT' AND WHY 'THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS, ACCESS, ETC..AND BECOMES THE BASIS FOR FURTHER DISCRIMINATION, ETC. YOU THINK THIS DAMAGED GOODS, PAIN & HEALING IDEA WILL LEAD TO REPARATIONS, AN APOLOGY, ETC. AND IT WON'T.

BLACKS WENT THROUGH 360 OF THOSE 400YRS NOT BUYING INTO THEMSELVES AS DAMAGED GOODS..BELIEVING IN STRONG FAMILIES, EDUCATION, ETC...BUT ENTER THE SOCIAL SCIENCE, FREUDIAN (WHITE MINDSET?) DERIVED STUFF ABOUT PSYCHOLOGICAL SCARS & DAMAGE...AND ONCE IT WAS EMBRACED...WE GOT SELF-DESTRUCTIVE ETHOS..THE DRIVE-BYS, PRISON CULTURE GONE MAINSTREAM, ETC. BEFORE 40YRS AGO THE DECADENT EXISTED BUT ON THE FRINGE, UNDERGROUND, NOT THE MAINSTREAM OF BLACK LIFE, NOW IT'S FRONT & CENTER IN FAR TOO MANY PLACES. BUT ONCE YOU ACCEPT THE I'M DAMAGED GOODS LABEL, THEN THAT'S WHAT YOU ACCEPT. OR AS YOU WOULD HAVE IT A MINDSET EMERGES.

Sent by JON J | 9:40 PM | 6-28-2008

Wow...

Sent by James Taylor - The Assumptions | 10:46 AM | 7-10-2008

From one James Taylor to another....

You make a great argument. But I think you are missing something. The United States needs help. Any energy given to anything other than HOW this help is visioned by a candidate is wasting your energy. We are six trillion dollars in debt! Isn't it more important to ask candidates what they plan to do about this? More so, how they plan to manage our debtors...they are controlling the office. Ever tried to manage a mortgage company loan? Same gig...just 7 trillion dollars heavier!

Beyond race, culture, bias and disposition are human beings that collectively owe six trillion dollars. The 2008 Federal budget office reported out of 2.3 trillion dollars...1.3 trillion is allocated to our protection! By contrast the total U.S. food consumption last year was 540 billion dollars. If we weren't all so afraid...we could feed the entire country. I would like to hear the candidate's view on this misuse of our wealth...wouldn't you?

Do you care which mouth, which dialect or body this comes from? If you do, then this defines you...not them.

Keep up the good work ole boy...I enjoy your writing. -James T.

Sent by James Taylor - The Assumptions | 11:02 AM | 7-10-2008

About