Black Bloggers Debate Obama's Victory
by Manic Lawyer, Fri Nov 07, 2008 at 07:15:40 AM EST
What does the election of President Barack Obama mean to Black bloggers? Rickyrah of Jack and Jill Politics expressed it today through "The Imagery of Tuesday", because sometimes words are not enough to capture what we feel and what we feel has happened.
Would White people ACTUALLY vote for a Black man for President?
I said I didn't know the answer to the question, but I just wanted to know the answer. That this country was facing a moment of truth about itself. It was fast approaching the instance where the mythology of America was going to meet reality, and it was going to have to decide.
And, it did. Jack and Jill Politics
African American Political Pundit surveyed over half a dozen afrosphere bloggers, quoting their most salient points.
Although no observation can grasp all of the meaning of this victory, one thing is certain about the portrayal of Black men, women and children in the American media henceforth. Where in the past we have complained, and rightfully so, that we were mostly portrayed as sports figures or criminals, troubled youth or pregnant teens, Barack Obama has become the most salient and visible, lasting and persistent representative of Black maleness on television, in magazines, on the Internet, and in our daily conversations.
Negative Black portrayals will come and go, but Barack Obama will remain as the essence of the highest achievement of Blacks and whites, particularly with an effective and admirable service as president. Because habits are hard to break, the news may continue to seek out and portray one Black criminal, on Black teen pregnancy in every broadcast, but it will also have one Black male president. And an admirable Black first family. So, by winning the presidency, Barack Obama has compelled the media to radically change its portrayal of Blacks, if only because the bad portrayals will now have to be balanced with the excellent ones.
Now, the media will not always portray Obama positively. (See The Color-Aroused Stereotyping of Barack Obama Begins in Earnest) But they cannot ignore the support he has among Blacks, to the extent that we constantly express it. When we gripe, they will report our griping as evidence that Obama is losing the support of his base, and then others will feel freer to ignore him as he fights for the policies that made us elect him in the first place.
Another observation: I have been a student of the relationship between the whitosphere and the afrosphere for some time. In the whitosphere, white bloggers felt free to ignore Black bloggers because we were a discreet minority, while they, the majority, were those whose opinions really mattered. Now, they will have to admit (1) that Black people, including Barack Obama, won the presidency in a tidle wave for the Democratic Party; and (2) Black bloggers are at least as likely to understand and correctly interpret President Obama as are white ones. Visits to my blog have doubled since the election of President Obama.
And I feel personally vindicated. Those who said electing a Black president would make no difference have changed their minds, at least enough to do everything in their power to see Barack Obama elected. Black American voted 97% for Obama, proving that diversity on the Democratic ticket increases both Black turnout and Black loyalty to the Democratic Party. (Obama should remember this as he chooses his chief spokespeople on issues like the economy, foreign policy, health care, regulation of banks, insurance companies and health providers, and urban policy.)
And white bloggers who insisted I was talking nonsense when I advocated the end of the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency will now have to admit that, ultimately, the end of the 43-term white monopoly of the presidency was the only option Democrats had to win the presidency from Republicans. I was not hallucinating or showing bias, as many white (and even some Black bloggers) suggested. (See comments to my DailyKos diary entitled "Ending the White Male Monopoly of the Presidency: White Insistence on Perpetuating the 43-Consecutive Terms Exclusively White Male Presidency is the Epitome of Monopolistic "Identity Politics" I was stating a simple fact. It was "time to end the 43-term white male monopoly of the presidency," and everything around us, including Barack Obama AND John McCain, ultimately convinced us that was true.