July 24, 2009

As the day goes on, the angrier I get

Salvidor Dali. Crucifixion or Corpus Hypercubicus.1954
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA.

This morning a white blogger whom I know and a white co-worker were upset over the President's words. I guess many white people were offended or felt embarrassed. This afternoon the President had smoothed over his words.

12 hours they were upset. You know I been upset by racism since I was four. Sixty years and when I have a tendency to forget, there is always something, someone or some incident to remind me.

There was nothing to smooth over. Apparently they didn't understand that the president qualified his statement or the difference between an adverb and a adjective. This is not Jim Crow or slavery where we always, in fear of harsh repercussions, had to make sure white folks were never slighted or even slightly offended.

Black folks are often told that we are way too sensitive. White folks should practice what they preach.


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Being Black did seem to be an automatic disqualification, but then why did someone need to write an entire book arguing what should have been patently obvious? Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell came to my mind and I remembered that he could have run for president in 1992 as a war hero. But Colin Powell was Ronald Reagan’s protégé and got a special pass on the race question. Black conservatives like Justice Thomas, Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell were careful to disassociate themselves from liberal thinkers and activists like Jesse Jackson, who lost, as expected, the 1984 and 1988 Democratic primaries. Ultimately, Colin Powell, in spite of all his honors, declined to run for president. His wife Alma feared for his safety. Common sense said that a candidate like Obama, for numerous insurmountable reasons, didn't stand a chance of winning the Democratic primary, let alone a general election in which 10% of the electorate is African American and Republicans controlled the White House for 20 of the preceding 28 years. But I decided that Obama's chances merited a closer examination. In it, I would bring to bear my gambling skills.

Anonymous said...

So far you are the only blogger that has mentioned the simple fact that Pres. Obama was using an adverb instead of an adjective (I'm assuming you meant when he used the word "stupidly"). I've also listened to many newscasts and almost began to talk to my TV, which is never a good sign, reminding them of that simple difference in choice of words. Maybe it would take a Cronkite to notice. At least you did, obviously carefully listening to each word. Thanks

Hathor said...

I have seen some a few comments which have mentioned the difference. I guess they get drowned out by other peripheral issues.

I noticed that the headlines have constantly used "stupid". I don't have cable or watch much news.

Lynn Gazis-Sax said...

I finally listened to the Youtube of it, to make sure I wasn't missing anything, and - I'm actually surprised by the degree to which Obama was being his nuanced self. After seeing how many people were pissed off about it, I was expecting him to have said something angrier, and less qualified.

Emil said...

Yip, the focus seemed to be mainly on the peripheral issues. Sad, and a lesson to be learned on how people listen to what they want to hear.

If black people are considered to be "too sensitive," maybe white people are "too insensitive." I find many of "my kind" have no understanding whatsoever of the sensitivity of eon-long oppression.

jeanie oliver said...

I, like one of your other commentors, had to go to youtube to listen more carefully. I am not amazed by the pundits; as you know I live in the rural south where I was only one to vote for Obama in a 50 mile radius! Well, I take that back, my parents and husband did, too. But you get my drift! I have enjoyed catching back up with you here as I am stuck in the house because of another heat wave.

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Anonymous said...

The PotUS should NEVER have commented about the arrest of a single American by local law enforcement.

That was obtuse.

He denigrates the office by his actions.

I voted for Mr. Obama - he needs to not act as on his individual agenda while using the gravity of the office to which I gave him access in matters that are not of the state - that's fascism.

-American Voter

Hathor said...

American Voter,

He denigrates the office by his actions.

I suppose you were not living in the 70's.

Anonymous said...


1) This is no longer the 70's, so your statement is invalid.

2) Even if EVERY president had done this from Washington to Bush - President Obama's actions still denigrate the office, just as they all would have.

Your bias is showing - be proud if it (I guess)...

- American Voter

Hathor said...

American Voter,
Unlike many bloggers, I don't profess to be a journalist and when something isn't my opinion I try to provide a citation.

In other words why would you expect this post to be unbiased?

ZIRGAR said...

As a white guy, I can tell you that there are plenty of white people who talk about racist matters and spew outright racist crap behind closed doors when there is no non-white person in the room (big shock, right?), and they look for any excuse to accuse non-whites of being racist. Ironically, for hundreds of years blacks were harassed, tortured or even killed if they complained about anything, much less a racist comment, but now white people have suddenly developed such thin skin over any issue they see as anti-white that they can't handle it? I think they really undermine genuine issues of bigotry by being so knee-jerk over these things. They just can't hear any of the words for the black man speaking them. It's sad.

Assistant.to.Daniel.B said...

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Dear readers and webmasters,

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Navas S.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

- 4th Amendment to the The Constitution of the United States of America