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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Left-Handed Endorsement/Compliment From Some?

Leonce Gaiter
Hosannas Spiked With Contempt

What does it say when those who have held you in open contempt lavish sweet praise on one who vies for your allegiance and claims to speak for you? That's the question I find myself asking in regard to Barack Obama. In the Guardian, writer Gary Younge quoted Hardball host Chris Matthews saying, "I don't think you can find a better opening-gate, starting-gate personality than Obama as a black candidate. I can't think of a better one. No history of Jim Crow, no history of anger, no history of slavery. All the bad stuff in our history ain't there with this guy."

Let's review: "No history of Jim Crow. No history of anger, no history of slavery..." No history of "all the bad stuff."

According to the line of thinking put forward by Matthews, for a significant number of people, the fact that Obama has a white mother, a Kenyan father and no cultural relationship to the sons and daughters of African slaves save voluntary ones makes his blackness no more than a genetic quirk of the skin. Obama lets them feel "colorblind" because his color is not attached to their shame--their historical, legally sanctioned viciousness toward black men and women. When we black Americans mention it, we're accused of conjuring "white guilt." Statements such as Matthews', however, suggest that we don't need to conjure it. People are so busy projecting it onto us that they obviate the need.

Andrew Sullivan, who to this day defends his endorsement of "The Bell Curve" and its theories of black genetic inferiority as a "speaking truth to power," is another Obama fan. He wrote a wet, sloppy kiss to the candidate in the Atlantic entitled, "Why Obama Matters." In it, he claims that Obama, in classic "Magic Negro" form, will heal the divisions in America, and in the world at large.

"What does he offer?" Sullivan asked. "First and foremost: his face," was the answer.


Let's be clear (White) people: This not addressing all White people. This is clearly addressing those who offer left-handed compliments and endorsements for Obama. If you're not guilty of it, do not take offense to this article. If you do take offense, oh well.

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