Obama's race problem
by bruh21, Thu Jan 17, 2008 at 02:19:50 PM EST
I've had an instructive conversation today with Piuma about race. At first, I assumed merely didn't understand the definition of 'magic negro' when referencing it as a rightwing term.
In fact, I was corrected as to my thinking by the following comment:
"Try actually listening for once. I understand it is a perception of what blacks think whites are thinking. It is a perception of racial bias which relies on stereotyping. It is a form of racial bias itself which takes a cinematic device for the "unexpected stranger" (see Pasolini's Teorama) and imposes it on social interaction without merit. Perceived racism is not always accurate, nor ultimately helpful.
It has been used by the right wing, Limbaugh etc. , to belittle Liberals and others who seek to break down the institutional barriers of racism, and has been used specifically against Obama as being just white enough for white America to embrace, a safe black man, which really seeks put forward just the opposite thought in his listeners and continue racism in this country."
If this is how some white voters supporting Obama thinks, then his coalition is going to face a problem when African Americans come to terms with your thoughts on race. The key words here are "Perceived racism." Not real mind you, perceived.
One of the continuing issues when addressing racism in modern America is the belittling of African Americans as overly sensitive and perceiving racism that's not there. I call this the anything-but-race theory.
Let me be clear- sometimes racism doesn't happen, but sometimes it does. What was the context of which I received this statement by Piuma? I was referencing this diary that I wrote about a subclass (not all, but a subclass) of Obama voters who seemed to ascribe to the 'magic negro' theory. That Obama isn't like those other blacks.
This was discussed here:
My diary actually grew out of a discussion over at D kos in which a white Obama supporter in response to her father's fear over Obama being black basically told him that Obama isn't like those other blacks. It's classic magic negro.
That diary is here:
As result of my pointing out these attitudes of some supports Piuma wrote this along the thread:
I think you should take this diary down. It is tremendously disrespectful. That's the nice word for it. You've hit a new low. I'm surprised.
by Piuma "
What was the direspect? No idea. I specified I was talking abouta subset of Obama voters and my concerns over how they view race. This brings up my core point- calling acts of racism - "percieved."
What's perceived here? The question becomes do you see this as racism where someone defends Obama for not being like other blacks. More importantly, how fruitful is it to reduce it to 'percieved' as a response to a question, not about all, but a subset. Notice he never gets into the merits or the issue at hand. He simply violently dismisses it without ever having the discussion. Whether it is true or not- we never get to because he never asks.
If this is the viewer of race that some have its a destructive one.This is destructive because earnest evaluation of race that will improve the lives of the group rather than simply elected one from the group requires actually listening and weighing what is being said. If this is the attitude that some of his supporters have on race, it will make the lives of blacks worse, not better.Update [2008-1-17 19:36:7 by bruh21]: As if in reply to my queries, an Obama supporter restores my faith that this isn't about sweeping race under the rug: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/17/181454/945/831/438531