March 22, 2008

Lives Undone by Words of Reconciliation

The words of Barack Obama in Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance, his earlier biography, describing the double bind of racism and the conundrum that blacks find themselves when they express themselves as equal.

I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man's court… by the white man's rules. If the principal, or the coach, or a teacher... wanted to spit in your face, he could, because he had power and you didn't. If he decided not to, if he treated you like a man or came to your defense, it was because he knew that the words you spoke, the clothes you wore, the books you read, your ambitions and desires, were already his. Whatever he decided to do, it was his decision to make, not yours, and because of that fundamental power he held over you, because it preceded and would outlast his individual motives and inclinations, any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning. In fact, you couldn't even be sure that everything you had assumed to be an expression of your black, unfettered self -- the humor, the song, the behind-the-back pass -- had been freely chosen by you. At best, these things were a refuge; at worst, a trap. Following this maddening logic, the only thing you could choose as your own was withdrawal into a smaller and smaller coil of rage, until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your own defeat. And the final irony: Should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. Nigger. (85)

So after Senator Obama’s speech on race, where he thoughtfully brought up the topic, told people what he understood the issue of race to be, offered words to renew efforts of reconciliation and was not willing to demonize his church or his pastor; this was not enough. Even though he had tried to run as a candidate for all people, that was not acceptable to those who thought for him to run, he had to give up his blackness. They are enraged by the fact he didn’t. You could hear the words start to pour out of their mouths; militant, violent, fraud, racist, Islamist, nigger.

You still find many white people wanting to define how one must feel, think and merge into the world. If they say you are race baiting, it must be so, because they are not racist. It doesn't matter if you are not making the argument personal. They claim your experience and tell you that even if you have suffered at the hand of racism, you can not have any pain, because they are not racist. Are you not grateful for the changes, because they or their ancestors weren't slave owners or belonged to the KKK? They are talking to you as if you are inferior. They can not understand that the conversation, itself, is a result of biased thinking. They have defined all knowledge and their words of reconciliation; negate all of your complaints. This will sometimes enrage blacks, because the words also negate their existence. It put blacks outside the American experience and in some nether land of citizenry and humanity.

March 18, 2008

In case you haven't seen or heard the complete speech.

Roland Martin post both the text and youtube video on his blog. Whose speech? Why it is Barack Obama, speaking in Philadelphia, of course.

March 16, 2008

A Soldiers Soliloquy

President Bush Is A Liar And A Coward is a powerful post by a recent veteran, UCrawford, at The Liberty Papers.

March 15, 2008


Here is a blogger who understands how the recent past impacts today's politics.

March 12, 2008

Say What?

Iraqi defense minister dubious on independent security soon

by Thom Shanker
FORT MONROE, Virginia: The Iraqi defense minister said that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on to defend Iraq's borders from external threat until at least 2018.
Here's the story from the International Herald Tribune

It takes an American soldier 16 weeks; 8 weeks of basic training and 8 weeks of combat or specialized training. 16 weeks from taking an oath to deployment for many soldiers during our previous wars. We have been supposedly training soldiers and police officers for 5 years. I realize that this was in extraordinary circumstances, but 5 years and the defense minister wants 4 to 8 more? Now the US is working out a deal that might keep us there, even if the Iraqis get it together.

Shanker goes on to describe Iraq's defense minister Abdul Qadir al-Obaidi reason for his visit here; discussion of an agreement of the military responsibilities between the US and Iraq. The defense minister has a wish list too.

Qadir sketched out a shopping list that included ground vehicles and helicopters, as well as tanks, artillery and armored personnel carriers.

Those, he said, are needed as Iraq moves toward taking full responsibility for its security.

In the years after that, as his nation assumes full control over its defense against foreign threats, Iraq will need additional aircraft, including warplanes and reconnaissance vehicles, he said.

Did the US destroy all the equipment Iraq had and didn't they have a chance to rebuild its military after our first war? They managed to do it after the war with Iran. I'm puzzled. I am beginning to think that the present Iraqi government intends to play at democracy, so that it can suck at the teat of America's Military Industrial Complex.

March 08, 2008

Another Hustle

When the America Civil Rights Institute accomplish what they want, how will it have advanced the cause of liberty. Abolishing affirmative action wont do it, because there is more to equal justice under the law. It will not automatically change anything and is it not going to effect the justice system. Will just saying the words make it so or really wishing hard. Hiring lawyers to take cases for individuals who rights are being abused would advance the cause of liberty. It would seem that would be a better agenda that would serve America better, than to serve some rich white conservatives.

But I guess, then one couldn't be special.

Discombobulated American patriots.

Check out this Lil Sambo site.

My blog may not be blocked yet.

Update: I was informed by blogger that her blog had problems during the extreme weather in her area and this was the reason that her blog was inaccessible from other links.

March 01, 2008


Status of Status of the Art is a medical doctor and during his travels he takes extraordinary pictures. In this post Speakers' Corner captures Status' unique perspective of people. If you follow his link to the complete photo album, you will see others at Speakers' Corner; the pious, the enraged, the stoic and controlled lunacy. These are among other great photos of London. Even though I provide a link on my side bar, I was so impressed with these photos, I wanted to highlight his talent.