You'd think I of, all people, would be sympathetic to Michael Steele's effort to bring some slanguage to the GOP. You know how I do--if at least a third of my readers, at any given time, aren't headed to google then I'm doing something wrong. I've got no problem with speaking in native tongues to foreigners. My beef is simple--From citing ancient rappers, to shouting out "urban-suburban hip-hop settings," Michael Steele is abusing the language I love. The last straw is below where Steele tells Neil Cavuto, "I'm always open for everything, baby."
Dear Michael. For the black in all of us. Please stop now. Talk like a regular human being and stop trying to teach the dun language. You are not prepared.
Yet Obama maintained a distant relationship with the caucus when he was
its only Senate member from 2004-08. That dynamic was on display early
in the Democratic presidential primary, when many senior caucus members
initially backed Hillary Rodham Clinton even as Obama quickly became viable as a candidate.
Really? CBC members actually acting like politicians is evidence of "distance?" A quick note of recall:
As America prepares for a string of primaries and caucuses to determine
who will be its next Democratic and Republican nominees for president,
the majority of the 42-member Congressional Black Caucus who have
chosen to endorse in the race is split 15-15 between CBC member
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
I can't see why that would have been shocking. Put differently, how many members of the CBC would have supported Jesse Jackson Jr. or Harold Ford, had they been running against Clinton? What is the specific evidence of this distance between Obama and the CBC? Look I have my issues with the Caucus (especially over backing Bobby Rush in the Burris flap), but where is the story here? Where is the actual beef?
Not a particularly smart idea to fly into L.A. and then back out on the same day. I feel like I'm walking in mud. Anyway, some good entertainment for a fraked up day. Sorry we're getting started so late boys and girls. Will try got keep it moving.
With great respect for Megan, and much love, I think it's worth revisiting our debate from a few months back. You can read our banter, here, here and here. I stand by this essential argument:
You don't say. Obama was the next Kennedy. Then he became the next
McGovern. Or was that the next Stevenson? Now he's the next FDR. And
Jindal is the next him--because he's, you know, swarthy. The thing
about Obama that people, apparently, still don't get is that thus far
he has proved himself a damn good politician. He is not simply the
eloquent black dude who won--although he's that too. He's the dude who
reinvented campaign fundraising, who pioneered the use of social
networking, who won Virginia and North Carolina, who ended 50 plus 1.
Put simply: Hazy appeals to precedent are teh lamesauce. Jindal may well recover, and may well ultimately be the man. But it won't be because he was the next anything. It'll be because he's found what works for Bobby.
Folks blogging will be light today as I'm headed West. We'll resume Thursday--assuming I've recovered from what I expect to be a punishing Red Eye back. Talk amongst yourself. Let's hear about that State Of The Union. Heh, and Jindal's "response." Yes I know, liberal haughtiness. Har, har, har! Alright, gotta catch a flight folks.
MF Doom, Pete Nice, and MC Serch--the dancing-est white boy you've ever seen. Is it a mistake that he's Jewish? OK, that was ignorant. No, here's ignorant--All the white kids at our school who hung out with black people were simply called 3rd Bass. I don't know if that's an insult or not.
Anyway, "Gasface" is great, and from a time when it was cool to smile. Makes me think of that great Rae line? "Could it be, and would it be, that we was babies\Catchin, rabies, niggers seem to act crazy..."
I spent Sunday at Abyssinia Baptist Church. It may have been the most "African-American" service I'd ever seen--emphasis on both halves of the hyphen. The service began with the choir singing "Lift Every Voice" and ended with them singing "We Shall Overcome." There was this weird inversion of the past--plenty of whites in attendance, and some Asian cats also. But virtually all of them were seated up top in the balcony, and I was left thinking about the days when blacks had to sit in the balcony for movies and plays. This wasn't intentional, but the the bottom rows filled up fairly quick with regulars, and the top was all that was left.
There was the most beautiful choral music, I mean the sort of choral music that made me wish Primo or Rza were sitting next to me digging for samples. Forgive my fumbling here, I did not come up in the church so words may fail here. What I want to say is the music sounded very Westernized, the sort an ignoramus, like me, would expect to see white folks singing. But it was beautiful, and in fact had been authored by a black woman, "Non Nobis Domine" was the piece, I think.
Butts ripped shop of course. He's an awesome preacher. Maybe there's hope for a heathen like me, yet. But much of the sermon was fixated on Rupert Murdoch and last week's cartoon. And then yesterday, I was in D.C. for a panel at the Aspen Institute, and many of the questions revolved around the Post cartoon, the New Yorker cartoon, and Eric Holder's "nation of cowards" quote. The questions in the air seemed to be, who should be offended and how much? I, mostly, defended the New Yorker, saying I thought the cover was pretty bad, but evidence of a plot was wanting. I didn't really defend the Post, so much as I couldn't find my way into the offensive.
Perhaps I shouldn't address this--for whatever reason bad cartoons just don't boil the blood around these parts. Still, I kept thinking about it, and it hit me when I saw this video below. John McCain tries to knife Obama at yesterday's event. It's not that raising the cost of the helicopter is illegitimate. But that stupid, passive-aggressive grin comes over him just as he delivers the line. We've all seen that grin before--it's usually paired with a "my friends." But later for that, watch Obama's response. Classy. Cool. And funny. He's not concerned with whether McCain is trying to knife him or not. He's beyond it. I think there is a serious lesson for black folks in the manner in which Obama handles opposition--the legitimate opposition, but especially the illegitimate opposition.
More than any black public figure in recent memory, Obama understands the problems with a strategy premised on taking offense. It's not that Obama never takes umbrage, it's that he's careful about what and when he takes umbrage. I don't really know what the line is. But I know taking offense at calling the stimulus bill a spending bill hits people in a way that, say, taking offense at Michael Steele wouldn't.
There a certain sect of the American commentariat which believes black people complain about the country too much. Usually this same sect spends their time complaining about the country even more. I'm not down with that. But I think all of us should think hard about what we take offense, why, and what good ultimately comes of it. Apologies, I guess. I'm not sure that cartoons are worth our time. But governors denying unemployment benefits to tax-payers, in order to build some political cred, certainly is.
The board's marathon eight-hour debate session lasted until 2 A.M.,
when Jealous was finally selected by a vote of 34-21. Grumpy board
members shuffled out of the meeting to air their objections to the
press -- a marked contrast from just two years prior, when the newly
elected Gordon strolled triumphantly into a room full of reporters.
Many of the board members' complaints -- that Jealous was
inexperienced, dismissive of established leaders like Al Sharpton and
Jesse Jackson, or simply not an active enough member of the NAACP --
were published by NNPA columnist George Curry who, despite being
Jealous' longtime friend and colleague, disagreed with the board's
decision. In a column he wrote about the increasing number of biracial
blacks in leadership positions, Curry obliquely referenced Jealous'
light skin tone, recalling a time when access to social gatherings of
the black elite was often dependent on whether or not one was "light,
bright, and damn near white."
Bond says that the issue also came up in private. During a
closed-door meeting of the presidential search committee, one member
questioned whether the light-skinned Jealous was a good choice for the
voice of the NAACP. Bond was incensed. ("It would be beneath us to
consider it," he says.) The next meeting, he brought in a copy of Time
magazine from 1938 featuring famed NAACP leader Walter White, who was
light enough to pass as white. The subject was never brought up again.
Still the old, stupid demons haunt us--or maybe haunt just them.
Matt points us to Jessica's awesome post on "hook-up culture." Never has a phrase more deserved air quotes. I'll leave the gender politicking to my betters. Here's what I know--Every five years, or so, newspapers discover some cultural trend like this, seemingly expressly concocted to scare the crap out of people. Of course said cultural trend is usually just humans being humans, but rebranded.
The idea that twenty years ago, people weren't having one night stands, or that young people today simply never go out on dates, again, simply doesn't smell right. It amazes me that people buy this claptrap. I deeply suspect that at the bottom of it all lay the sexual insecurities of people who wish they'd been a little more carefree in college. I strongly suspect that they don't resent hook-up culture--they resent that they didn't get hooked-up. Wouldn't be the first time. Hell if I knew in college, what I know about the opposite sex now, I'd have been Denzeling fools. Alright probably not. Wait, what was I saying?