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BENEATH THE SPIN * ERIC L. WATTREE

Self-Hatred Running Rampant Among Black People

As a Black man who is old enough to remember the courageously focused and determined lives of both Malcolm and Martin Luther King and their gruesome and untimely deaths, and educated enough to be cognizant of the painful sacrifices that generations of Black people have endured to make this, Barack Obama's moment–our moment--in history possible, I simply cannot find the words to adequately express my feelings of deep frustration and disgust towards the young brothers who heckled Sen. Obama during his St. Petersburg speech. For the very first time in my life, words completely fail me, but I now have a much better understanding of why the penalty for treason is so severe.

Perhaps this example of mindless idiocy will give other Black people pause, however. Perhaps it will help those who tend to nitpick Sen. Obama to death to recognize that they, just like the hecklers in St. Petersburg, are mounting a meaningless assault on all of the hopes, dreams, and prayers whispered by millions of Black people from the day we first set foot on American soil..

It is for precisely that reason that the hecklers have undoubtedly earned themselves a footnote in history. Considering the Black experience in America, their thoughtless irresponsibility will certainly stand out as one of the most stupid acts of self-mutilation in the history of mankind. But unfortunately, in the process they've managed to also taint the more thoughtful Black people in our community, since posterity will undoubtedly point to their ignorance as a prime example of why Black people, as a whole, have found it such an arduous struggle to rise above what has unfortunately become our station, at the very bottom of this society.

It's easy to indulge in hyperbole, however. One should always substantiate one's assertions, so allow me to take a moment to build a simple scenario as proof of the St. Petersburg stupidity:

If you're about to be lynched, and a brother comes to your rescue, what kind of fool would stop his rescuer just as he's taking the rope away from around your neck, to say, "Wait a minute. I want to ask you a question before you touch this rope--why haven't you spoken out with more vigor in support of Affirmative Action?" Needless to say, such an act would represent the height of stupidity, but that's exactly what the St. Petersburg hecklers, and to a lesser extent, many other Black, self-haters are doing during this election–and unnecessarily, at least, in the case in St. Petersburg, since there was going to be a question and answer period after the speech anyway.

I simply can't believe how stupid and shortsighted some of our people are proving themselves to be. It goes beyond stupid--it's a national embarrassment to every Black person with a brain. And in many cases, these are highly educated Black people. I began to suspect that we had a problem when Dr. Cornel West acted a fool on Tavis Smiley's "State of Black America" broadcast, on the very day that Sen. Obama declared his intent to seek the presidency.

I'll never forget it. Just hours after this young Black man declared his candidacy for President of the United States, in the shadow of the statehouse that was once occupied by Lincoln, and being wildly cheered by Blacks, Whites, young, old, rich, poor, Jew and gentile, I turned to Tavis' broadcast, hailed as "The State of Black America." Then with my eyes still damp with emotion, the very first thing I see is Dr. Cornel West ranting about Obama, and pointing out that he wasn't impressed. He suggested that Black people should be asking Obama, "How deep is your love for your people" and Where is your money coming from?" Then he went on to suggest that people associated with Sen. Obama didn't warrant our trust.

But what was most instructive about his comments was what he didn't say. He, nor Jesse Jackson on FOX news, nor the St. Petersburg hecklers, had one critical word to say about McCain, or any of the hordes of Republican politicians that's been cutting our throats for the past seven years–and I've never even heard it rumored that Jesse thought Bush should be castrated.

So at this point it has become abundantly clear that we have a serious problem in the Black community, and we need to confront it in a head-on, and brutally forthright manner. The problem is glaringly clear, and now, undeniable. Many of us suffer from a severe case of self-hatred, that we tend to cloak in petty grievances that have nothing to do with reality.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that Black people become unquestioning zombies in support of everything that Obama does, after all, he is a politician, and ALL politicians need to be kept on a short rein. In fact, I am still, highly critical, and highly disturbed by Obama's weak-kneed support of the recent FISA legislation. But in that case we're talking about his support for modifying the United States Constitution and diminishing our right to privacy. Everyone should speak out in protest on such issues. I cut off my monthly financial contribution to his campaign in response to that act. So I'm not an adherent of blind devotion, but I do believe in adhering to common sense–and common sense dictates that you don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

But in the case of the St. Petersburg hecklers, and many other Black nitpickers, some are trying to hold Obama hostage to their narrow, self-centered agenda, and others are flat-out trying to sabotage his effort because they seem to believe that Obama's national influence and celebrity tends to diminish their accomplishments and standing in the community. That's not only sick, selfish, and self-defeating, but it's Naderian in its stupidity. What sense does it make to say, if you don't give me everything I want, I'm going to help the efforts of your opponent, who will assuredly give me nothing? The only possible way of defining such a stance is self-hatred, and gross stupidity.

The St Petersburg hecklers provided McCain with the best moment he's had during this election. McCain couldn't have paid for better publicity if he had hired those brothers–and anyone old enough to remember "Cointelpro" will recognize that's not beyond the scope of possibility. Thus, the behavior of those brothers, and the banner they held up before the world might as well have said,

"DOWN WITH BLACK PEOPLE. WE'RE TOO STUPID TO EMBRACE LIBERATION."

Eric L. Wattree
wattree@blogspot.com

Originally posted to Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:15 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i agree (6+ / 0-)

    i can't help wondering if we are not being introduced to another type of republican troll/heckler. similar to the PUMA trolls.  kind of an agent provacateur-lite.

    heckler trolls have been unleashed to cause dissension and to sully the unity of 98% of African American support....

    it would not be the first time.....please consider this...

    •  I agree. (6+ / 0-)

      I mentioned that possibility in the diary.

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:25:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong. This has nothing to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, majcmb1, JFinNe, foufou

      do with Rove.  The "hecklers" are members of Uhuru.

      An organization that has been around for some time.

      Do a search and see other comments that have been made here with background and details.

      Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:49:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Uhuru (4+ / 0-)

        Before people go off all half cocked using words they don't understand and falling into the fear trap ... Uhuru is nothing but a socialist movement.  It's kind of like MoveOn.org for socialists.  And no one has shown anything that I've seen that has made these kids a member of any organized effort.

        And if they are proud and involved enough to organize ... let's not approach it like they're some sort of terrorists, which is precisely what paranoid thinking can insinuate.

        •  a socialist movement (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jabney, Deoliver47

          hardly....real socialists engage in self-criticism, research thoroughly their positions, and engage in tactical, strategic actions....if these young men were being emotional....which they may have been...it is one thing....if they were put up to this, urged to do it by others....it is another....time will tell

          peace and justice

          by vmm918 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:16:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree they are not (0+ / 0-)

            "socialists" from an informed perspective.  They call themselves "African socialists" - but are essentially cultural nationalists.

            Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:25:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  like Karenga? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Deoliver47

              peace and justice

              by vmm918 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:28:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But Wattree (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shanikka, majcmb1, JFinNe, winterbanyan, foufou

                this group thinks it is following some of the ideology of Malcolm. As for Cornell West - self-appointed academic of the new black left - that's a whole nother story.  

                Why not do a thoughtful diary about why certain elements of the black community  don't vote - or don't support "the system".  

                They are a minority.  As someone else pointed out here - there is no one black community.

                Granted a majority of black folks vote Dem - and have since the 60's, after folks got the right to vote without getting killed (speaking of the south)  but  
                there are leftists and rightists who still opt out of the Democratic Party - for a variety of reasons.

                To boil it all down to self-hate is simplistic - though there are elements of that - but a more reasoned analysis would be more helpful.  Fanon discusses this quite well.  

                Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

                by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:41:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Cornel West, to his credit... (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Chi, majcmb1, Deoliver47, foufou

                  ... has changed his stance on Obama's candidacy and has acknowledged his initial position was one based on ignorance brought forth by cynicism.

                  He fully supports Obama now and has for some time; when he spoke at Howard this past winter he admitted this and that he sat down with Obama and aired what he thought to be his grievances and that discussion showed him that Obama was not what he thought him to be and that Obama's positions on social justice issues largely aligned with his own.

                  IMO, these young men were not far from where Cornel West was; they, unlike Dr. West, however, could not just call Obama up and  have a face to face, one on one meeting. Whether they come to support him as Dr. West has is moot; Obama wins whether they do or not because in the tete a tete he had with them at that Florida town hall, Obama showed that he was at least willing to hear those who disagreed, even if they could only agree to disagree... which is something we have not seen in the last 7+ years.

                  Obama allowed then the chance to air their grievance and then responded to it... because, unlike his opponent, he is not afraid to face dissent....

                  •  I stand corrected (0+ / 0-)

                    am not a Corny fan. Nor fan of Skip Gates or Manning Marable.  But that is a long story.

                    Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

                    by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:29:10 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Suspicion (0+ / 0-)

                    I imagine that some initial suspicion and skepticism among Black leaders and activists isn't surprising.  Judging from comments I've overheard, I think there were some folks who suspected that Obama was sort of a "black face" in front of what was really a White political machine.  It's understandable if you think about it.  I think there's been so much disappointment and feelings of being abused, ignored, and despised within the Black community that it must have been difficult to trust that Obama's potential is for real.  "What's the catch?", must have been the thought going through the heads of a lot of Black Americans.  Perhaps that's the source of Wests' initial distrust as well.

                    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -Ghandi

                    by Triscula on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:07:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Deoliver47, (0+ / 0-)

                  You said,

                  "Why not do a thoughtful diary about why certain elements of the black community  don't vote - or don't support "the system".

                  You are quite right. That would make for an interesting diary, but everyone approaches issues from their own perspective.  I tend to approah issues from a more behavioral perspective.  I'm more interested in the impact that current behavior has on current politics.  But I have a friend who is a historian, and he, like you seem to be, is drawn towards placing my observations in historical perspective.  

                  I think both are needed and valid approaches.  But unless there is an immediate need, I leave history to the historians.  My interest, history notwithstanding, is commenting on whether or not one's current behavior makes sense.

                  But it you decide to write a diary from a historical perspective, I would love to read it. I'm always open to new knowlege, and having my observations placed in context.

                  You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

                  by Wattree on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 08:21:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Mamalama? (0+ / 0-)

                oops Maulana  - you probably know what I think about Karenga.

                There are many cultural nationalists who aren't from the Karenga branch.  

                This group actually has different roots.  

                Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

                by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:45:22 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, (0+ / 0-)

                  Dr. Karenga and I are stablemates in the Opinion Section of the Los Angeles Sentinel.  We're also both products of the political environment of Los Angeles (Watts) during the 60s.  

                  While I read his column every week, I can't seem to get a fix on his political philosophy. To me, it seems that he just seems to be steeped in a sort of African spiritual philosophy.

                  If you have further information, please enlighten me.

                  You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

                  by Wattree on Wed Aug 06, 2008 at 10:15:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Uhuru isn't a terrorist group. (9+ / 0-)

          The Uhuru Movement, headquartered just a few blocks from where I lived for a time, is not a terrorist group.  It's a Black Socialist group, and most of their efforts have been focused on ending police brutality in black neighborhoods, advocating for better public health care, and similar issues.

          I've interviewed Uhuru leaders, and while I rarely agree with their tactics, and I don't support their fully socialist agenda, I do end up agreeing with them on many of the issues they raise, especially with regard to the plight of young black males, who are statistically more likely to go to prison than to college.

          These were the issues those young men were pressing for in the St. Petersburg town hall.  Should they have heckled?  Should everyone else have cheered?  While I probably wouldn't have chosen their tactics to get a hearing, they did get a hearing - Obama promised them an opportunity to ask a question during the Q&A after his remarks, and he kept that promise - and they deserved one.

          Should Obama make the plight of young black males a central issue in his campaign?  Electorally, that would be suicidal.  But does that mean young black males should just sit silently, wait to be stopped for "driving while black," and never raise their voices in protest?  No, it doesn't.

          I just don't see self-hatred in how these young men behaved.  Had they continued to heckle and disrupt Obama's speech after he promised them a question, I would feel differently.  But once he'd promised to hear them out during the Q&A, they sat quietly and waited their turn.

          They wanted to be heard.

          They deserved to be heard.

          And they were heard.

          •  Agree. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shanikka, majcmb1, NCrissieB

            They have focused on police brutality and the inequeties of the criminal justice system.  

            They call themselves "socialists" which is their right,  ( I don't agree) but I think the diarist is making a mountain out of a mole-hill.  

            I think Barack handled it very well.  

            There are Republicans don't agree with McCain, and won't vote for him.  There are white folks who don't vote - period.  Is that "self-hate"?  Nope.

            What % of Americans actually do vote?  

            Only 54 percent of eligible voters cast their ballots during the last four decades of presidential elections.
            According to Washington Post "Those who bemoan a decline in American civic society point to the drop in turnout from 55.2 percent in 1972, when 18-year-olds were granted the right to vote, to the low point of 48.9 percent in 1996. But that's looking at the total voting-age population, which includes lots of people who aren't eligible to vote -- namely, noncitizens and convicted felons. These ineligible populations have increased dramatically over the past three decades, from about 2 percent of the voting-age population in 1972 to 10 percent today.

            When you take them out of the equation, the post-1972 "decline" vanishes. Turnout rates among those eligible to vote have averaged 55.3 percent in presidential elections and 39.4 percent in midterm elections for the past three decades. There has been variation, of course, with turnout as low as 51.7 percent in 1996 and rebounding to 60.3 percent by 2004. Turnout in the most recent election, in fact, is on a par with the low-60 percent turnout rates of the 1950s and '60s." (McDonald, Michael, 29 Oct 2006)

            http://wiki.answers.com/...

            Obama's strategy to increase the turnout - and to register voters is a good one.  Will he win over black leftists - yes - some of them.  Will he get hard-core nationalists to change - probably not.  

            But to make a big deal about this is to me - a tempest in a teapot.  

            Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:00:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  These kids were spotted at the beginning of the (0+ / 0-)

          event with the Uhuru protesters. Several people knew of them and saw them with the Uhurus.

          "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" -George Washington

          by House on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:19:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Here's my diary from last week (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foufou

      As a St. Petersburg resident, we know an Uhuru talking point when hearing one.

      And Kudos diary writer, I would accompany you for the reading of this right in front of the Uhuru office here in St. Pete.

      "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" -George Washington

      by House on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:16:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  something to think about... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ballerina X, Pariah Dog, princss6

    What sense does it make to say, if you don't give me everything I want, I'm going to help the efforts of your opponent, who will assuredly give me nothing?

    "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

    by Pandoras Box on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:25:03 AM PDT

  •  It's not us Black women (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deoliver47, mdmslle, Muzikal203, karesse

    It's the bruthas.

    Don't lump us all in with those nutballs.

    ;p

    FOS

    "Let us find that common stake we all have in one another, and let our politics reflect that spirit as well. " Barack Obama:A More Perfect Union

    by WeBetterWinThisTime on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:25:03 AM PDT

  •  i wondered if they were plants (3+ / 0-)

    but regardless i would suggest that every group has members of its community who are radicals.

    As a black woman with a level head, i see no reason to wring my hands about these radicals and their insistence on down-the-line support of their agenda any more than I should about any far left radical grop who feel Obama is not adhering to their narrow-minded agenda.

    I don't see this as a "problem" in the black community. I'm fact I woudl argue that there is really no such thing as "black community" - any group is only made up of individuals...there's no way to think collectively or solve individual psychoses as a community...it can only be addressed on a person-by-person basis.

    And so, I'm encouraged that there is still overwhelming individual enthusiastic support among African American and that we are NOT subject to fringe groups like this.

    Give Em Hell!! OBAMA 08

    by mdmslle on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:27:18 AM PDT

    •  They were not plants. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JFinNe

      They are "African socialists", anti-capitalist, and are against the 2 party system in America.

      They see no difference between Obama or McCain - they are even against Nelson Mandela.

      Do I agree with them - no.

      Have they been around for quite some time - yes.

      I agree with you that our community is not monolithic - we have a far right wing of Republican conservatives, and this group - Uhuru is part of the far left - though not Marxist - they are cultural nationalists.  

      Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:02:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Delete this Diary!!!!!!! (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    MA Voter, catty
    Hidden by:
    elliott
  •  I don't care WHAT those hecklers have to say (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, elliott, gchaucer2, gramofsam1

    apparently they were on the radio in Atlanta talking about how they don't vote. They are idiots. They went to confront the man about his record, and didn't know anything about his record. I don't suffer fools gladly.

    They better be happy it was Obama, McCain't would have had them arrested.  

    Why does God love Barack Obama?

    ~Jon Stewart commenting on the oil spill/hurricane that caused McC[ompl]ain to cancel visit to oil rig.

    by Muzikal203 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:37:32 AM PDT

    •  I also (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, PBen, Pandoras Box, gchaucer2

      have a low threshole for bullshit--that's why I get in trouble every time I put pen to paper.  Truth, at least as I see it, is often outside the realm of political correctness--and I think that's a serious problem in this country.  

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:43:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Amazing, so they don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, princss6

      vote and yet think they have something relevant to say in the political process or any legislation that touches their lives?  Buffoons.

      I am white, but my impression was that these guys are no different from clueless white folks.  Obama will be President for all Americans and I resent him having to speak as if he is representing only one group.  His leadership will have an impact on all of us.

      My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:56:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hecklers (0+ / 0-)

    I have to wonder why those young black men that were heckling Obama are characterized by you as "mindless idiocy." If these men feel that Obama is not paying attention to their concerns, they have a right to voice their opinions.

    •  That wasn't heckling (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kronos Blue, Deoliver47

      Heckling is booing and hissing.

      That was "demonstrating."

    •  That is true, however, (0+ / 0-)

      but along with rights, should come some measure of common sense--and I didn't think they used any.

      If they help McCain to win, how many of their issues do you think he's going to address?

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:46:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Should not be your concern. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        majcmb1, Detroit Mark, JFinNe

        I feel that if people have concerns, they should voice them regardless of electoral politics. In this case, I didn't sense anything but legitimate concern, and regardless of whether their concern was warranted or not, they did exactly what any man should do, they spoke up.

        I can't knock them for expressing themselves. We need more of that, and Obama handled it all just fine, as we all expected him to.

        •  If one doesn't exercise his/her (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          princss6

          right to vote -- hard fought for by generations whose demonstrations were acts of courage -- then I think you are not credible.  

          My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

          by gchaucer2 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:01:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Voting? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JFinNe

            Many blacks have not voted, and I don't blame them at all. They really haven't had a reason to vote. For too long the black vote has been about some white guy getting into power, rather than blacks voting in favor of their own interests.

            Now that blacks are asking questions, and becoming involved in the process, you see that as a bad thing? I see that as a change for the better, the beginning of hope for black people.

            The questions of those men, warranted or not, I'll bet they vote for Obama, not because he's black, but because he gave them the time of day to give them a voice.

    •  Sounds like they aren't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, princss6

      paying attention to their own concerns since they admit to not voting.  If they think that is some sort of protest -- then they are mindless idiots.

      My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:58:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As reported in last week's diary on same subject (3+ / 0-)

    the three young men adhere to an organized (and it does have a name) point of view and were not 'plants'.  Some did wonder how they managed to get tickets to be seated behind Obama and how they managed to smuggle in their sign.

    Actually, I thought the incident worked very much in Obama's favor and that he handled it with grace and patience.  

    "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

    by JFinNe on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:43:50 AM PDT

    •  'an organized point of view' (0+ / 0-)

      does not preclude plants...in fact, it supports the idea of plants...

      peace and justice

      by vmm918 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:45:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How do you know that (0+ / 0-)

      plants aren't in the organization itself--you know, like in the Black Panther Party?

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:49:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I was a Panther - and a founder of the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JFinNe, SlackwareGrrl

        Young Lords Party and in AIM - I teach courses on the history of the left of the 60's and 70's.

        Your diary is incorrect - does not give a context, and has little analysis.  

        You can disagree with where they are coming from - as I do - but at least learn some history.

        Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

        by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:05:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i was also a panther (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deoliver47

          and i know the work of agents provacateurs.....i dont think these young men are acting alone...

          peace and justice

          by vmm918 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:12:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nice to meet you. (0+ / 0-)

            They aren't pigs - sigh.  I wish it was that simple. They are followers of Joe Waller.

            You know as well as I do that this issue has been debated since Malcolm talked about "the ballot or the bullet."  

            They are a combo of ideas from the old RNA (Republic of New Africa) with some add-ons from an imperfect understanding of Nkrumah's African-socialism.

            Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

            by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:16:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  and who is shaping their minds??? (0+ / 0-)

              who is really behind them....who is really behind the "new black panthers"...come on bro...you know what i'm talkin bout...

              peace and justice

              by vmm918 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:19:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, you could speculate ... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deoliver47

                ... or you could talk to people who are familiar with them (Deoliver seems to be, I am also), or you could come to south St. Petersburg and talk to some for yourself.

              •  I'm female. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                princss6

                And the "New Black Panthers" are a group of assholes,
                with little influence in our community.  They are legends in their own minds.  I ignore them.

                Malik Zulu Shabazz (Paris Lee) is a clone of Louis Farrakhan, heir to Khalid Abdul Muhammad, and though they are a loud and vocal fringe element - doubtful they will have any impact on the election.  

                Sigh.  

                They have a smaller membership than the Posse Comitatus, Aryan Nation , the Militia movement, the KKK - and other elements of the racist white right.  

                Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

                by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:24:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  I'm discussing (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skymutt

          behavior, and mindset here.  When someone does something that I consider stupid, I don't care about his historical background--all I'm interested in is his behavior.

          I'm approaching this issue from my perspective. If you feel the need to view this issue for a historical perspective, you should do so, and I'll be happy to read it, because I'm always open to be enlightened.  But you can go all the way back to the to the Ice age, and I doubt very seriously that you'll be able to come up with facts that will justify stupid behavior.

          You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

          by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:34:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  here's that diary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      majcmb1

      "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" -George Washington

      by House on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:21:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They were young folks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, JFinNe, Deoliver47

    who had a right to speak.

    Obama let them speak.

    There was nothing wrong with that exchange in my opinion.  It's the system we set up for ourselves.

    It was the system at work, as opposed to a system stifled by an oppressive bush regime.

    You may not have liked what they did or said, I didn't either ... but in my opinion it was their right to speak to power.  And Barack showed his metal by permitting them to speak, and then effectively addressing their concerns.  In turn ... they may not have liked his answers.

    But again ... well, you know where I'm going.

    •  It's not their right to speak that I'm arguing (0+ / 0-)

      against.  I'm arguing the stupidity of lending comfort to the enemy, by attacking a friend. Nader tried to justify the same mindset, and he did more to hurt his cause than anyone short of Bush and Cheney themselves.

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 04:56:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You contradict yourself (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JFinNe, Deoliver47

        If you believe speaking when one has a right to speak "lends comfort to the enemy" you are a victim of the classic thinking flaw.

        It says that:

        A) Obama is big enough to handle it, and
        B) We need to hand wring because a system that was designed precisely to work this way and has for 212 years needs us to micromanage it or else the sky will fall.

        If these kids had been violent, or went on some sort of false information campaign against Obama, we might be having a different conversation.  All they did was ask questions (which to me were irrelevent since Obama was already doing what they accused him of not doing) ... and then stated they didn't intend to vote for him.

        Not exactly a basis for treason charges.

        •  Should have read "not big enough to handle it" nt (0+ / 0-)
        •  The fact is, (0+ / 0-)

          Unless they are conservatives, or into watching people starve, they're undermining their own efforts.

          This is world-class politics that we're dealing with here, and whether you like it or not, politics involves knowing what to say, and when to say it.

          These people are insisting that Obama cut his own throat, and that's plain stupid. But of course, in a sense you're correct, since in America, we have every right to be stupid.  

          You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

          by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:13:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The enemy is not into comfort. (0+ / 0-)

        The enemy is into power.  By not being repressive, Obama is challenging their reliance on physical force.  (When only a few people are ejected or sent to a free-speech zone it may no look like physical force is being used, but such singling out and segregation" of the mal-contents actually sends a strong message that intimidates the rest.  A repressive regime can't possibly restrain the whole population.  That's why it's necessary to resort to making examples of a sub-group--bearded folk, long-hairs, people without proper ID).

        How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

        by hannah on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:36:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You make the assumption that... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        majcmb1, JFinNe

        ... Obama was, in their minds, a "friend". Given their disillusionment with the American two-party system, they see no major party candidate as their friend and did not believe them to speak to their issues.

        Whether they were wrong or not is neither here nor there.

        I submit it took the exchange they had with Obama to show them that they may have to recalibrate their perspective to allow for the fact that every suit isn't a sellout. He could have reacted to their interruption in the way they expected and had the secret service give them the bum's rush out of there but instead, he defused their protest by giving them a seat at the table so to speak and allowing them to speak and then responding to them.

        Compare that to McCain's "proactive" removal of the only black credentialed reporter at his campaign function last friday...

  •  I agree with you on this, by running for POTUS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pwrmac5, David Kroning

    alone Barack he is addressing Black issues.  He has also put his life and family on the line by running.  He has to travel a much finer and delicate line by running, than if he was White Candidate.  

    I was upset with Tavis, Cornell, Ludicris, Rev. Wright, Jesse Jackson, for doing some of the things they did or said.  Tavis was upset for not coming to one of his events, because he couldn't attend, but Michelle offered to go, but that wasn't good enough for Tavis.  Jesse for going on Fox News and to be so stupid to say what he said in a studio at Fox, he should have known better.  Ludicris for coming out with a rap song with some vile words, Why now?  Rev. Wright for not thinking that sermon would get out and become contraversial to allot of people.  I didn't have a problem with the Sermon itself because it was true, but in the eyes of allot people I can see where it was offending.  

    Unfortunately, we live in a time where the Media just plain sucks and they should have taken some serious thought about How the spin machines would portray this.

    Your right also, Why aren't they protesting John McCain????

  •  Obama is gonna get 99 percent of the black vote (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deoliver47

    don't sweat it Wattree.

    Try as you might, you cannot spell HOPE with the letters GOP.

    by David Kroning on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:02:48 AM PDT

  •  Those young men (4+ / 0-)

    represented themselves -- not all African Americans.  I have no problem with dissent -- and Obama handled them brilliantly.  I do have a problem with people who don't vote but demand attention by politicians.

    My faith in the Constitution is whole, it is complete, it is total. Barbara Jordan 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:04:56 AM PDT

    •  Maybe they aren't citizens so can't vote? (0+ / 0-)

      Not to say they were/are 'illegals',  but here as resident workers (from Somali?)

      "Man's life's a vapor Full of woe. He cuts a caper, Down he goes. Down de down de down he goes.

      by JFinNe on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:07:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are citizens. (5+ / 0-)

        Many of the younger members of Uhuru are college students.

        Unfortunately many of them are caught up in a romantic notion of revolutionary change that has no pragmatic reality.

        Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

        by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:12:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Precisely! (4+ / 0-)

          They're still "caught up in a romantic notion of revolutionary change that has no pragmatic reality" because they haven't seen any other tactic work in their community.  As it happens, I think there are better ways to effect the changes they hope for, and I agree that the tactics of the Uhuru Movement will not effect those changes on a wider scale.

          But their rabble-rousing has worked locally, in getting public attention after (otherwise buried) incidents of police brutality, and they were in large measure responsible for the SPPD's changes in police tactics - some more widely and consistently applied than others - in south St. Petersburg.

    •  The notion (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kdrivel, Deoliver47

      that you surrender your right to representation because you don't vote is unenlightened, a red herring -- hogwash, in other words.

      You may not like that someone who doesn't vote, or even has NEVER voted --- still has a right to an opionion, and a right to access of all of the United States Consititution.

      But like it or not ... we all do.

  •  I wish more in our community can read this post (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    House, skymutt, vmm918

     How often we, as black people, tend to shoot ourselves in the foot when we see someone doing well and find every little excuse to tear them down. "You're not black enough...you're acting white...where's my money...I ain't all about that."

      Like you I don't follow Obama blindly cause I have a couple of issues I disagree with him on (FISA one of them), but I figure those are arguments I can press him on another day. The bigger picture is to put a competent leader in the White House and end the tyranny which holds Washington D.C. at the present.

    "Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes..." --Tears for Fears (Seeds of Love)

    by Abacab on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:07:12 AM PDT

  •  This is a good rewrite (0+ / 0-)

    of the last Diary you wrote on this incident.   You even had another diarist write a response to that -- did you see it?  I will go look for the link.

    Last time you told me I could not handle the truth.   I think I can, but you present your argument here much more clearly than before and now I see what you are trying to say and its clear you are not trolling for trouble as I thought before.

    Mommy always told me there were no real monsters, but there are -- Newt.

    by fearisthemindkiller on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:20:30 AM PDT

  •  I know absolutely nothing about the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    majcmb1

    incident you refer to, but let me respond to your essay.
    There is no reason to expect black people to be any smarter, cultured, self-restrained or modest than white people.  The behavior of some people is an embarrassment, but all you or I can control is our own behavior.
    We  would all like to be able to control other people's behavior.  In part, that's because when other people agree with us, it let's us think we're right (validates our position).  And people like to be right.  
    Being able to control other people's behavior is what motivates the injunction to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," arising out of the assumption that most behavior is responsive to some sort of external prompt--like a light switch.
    The reality, I would argue, is that humans aren't like that.  Much, if not all, of their behavior is internally directed, often according to some program that's in our DNA (think of the musically gifted child of tone-deaf parents).
    So, the conservative position and belief in leaders who provide everyone with marching orders is based on wishful thinking.  Indeed, the whole leadership shtick is nothing more than a good excuse for avoiding individual responsibility for individual acts.  
    That's what Republicans offer--a grand bargain:  "be obedient and follow orders and you'll never have to be wrong again."  It appeals to people who, for some reason, have an almost desperate need not to make mistakes and to be always in the right.  (The religious right differs from the secular right only in pledging obedience to religious law, making the adherents of Islam very similar).
    Obviously, if the promise of always being right is all it takes to generate an obedient population, those who want to rule can do it on the cheap.  That's one reason why Republican politicians can always promise that government (controlling the population) can cost less.  The other reason is because their definition of "limited government" refers to the responsibilities of the agents of government.  They don't expect to be responsible for anything but keeping order, providing security.  The notion that people organize themselves into groups for the purpose of dealing with the vagaries of man and nature doesn't enter into their calculations.  
    From the conservative perspective, the sole purpose of government is to act like a brake on volatile human behavior. And to reward the most subservient by doling out access to the natural resource base--i.e. what we recognize as cronyism and consider corrupt is the conservative model of what the role of government ought to be.  And, indeed, until the middle of the last century when the accountability of public officials and the clamour for human rights errupted, that's how our federal and state government largely worked.  Public officials were elected or appointed to hand out benefits to their supporters  (think of fishing rights, water rights, grazing rights, rights of way, etc.) and, effectively, maintain a social hierarchy--some people with rights and others not.

    This, my friend, is the apple cart the African American clamour for civil/equal rights upset.  How impudent!  Worse still, they motivated all kinds of other people (think women and disabled and children) to insist on being treated right.  And some African Americans resent that others seem to have gotten more benefit out of the movement than they.

    And Barack Obama is, in a sense, a parvenu.  He's a first-generation African American who's taking advantage of what others have achieved.  And, he's admitted it.  That's to his credit.  That some African Americans aren't satisfied or feel left out or not sufficiently appreciated for what their struggle has achieved, may just be a consequence of their not having paid close enough attention.  On the other hand, they may just be jealous.  Jealousy, like the other characteristics I mentioned to start, is not an emotion that's related to the color of one's skin.

    Nobody's perfect.  But that's not a reason for self-hatred and I don't think that's what you're seeing.  Self-hatred is depressing and more likely to result in in-action, that an obnoxious rant.  Most people, when they make a nuisance of themselves are seeking attention because they consider themselves important and don't want to be ignored.

    Does McCain consider black people who make a fuss obnoxious?  No doubt.  But then I'd argue that McCain considers all people who don't agree with him obnoxious.  That's a prejudice that's not going to be reversed by however many people prove themselves submissive.  Indeed, I'd argue that McCain is into power, just like the Bush/Cheney gang and people who are into power can never get enough.  Which is why HHS is making security measures more restrictive, as we speak.

    What's different about the current regime is that instead of visiting restrictive measures on just one under-class, they're being visited on everyone but the ruling elite.  It's almost as if there were a determination that "if you all want to be equal, you can all be equally deprived."  And it's those equally deprived who have said "enough" and are rallying to the Democratic side.  Can they be repressed?  Not likely.  But, there may be an effort and it may get nasty if the people at DARPA have their way.  The old order has been in push-back mode for four decades and may not give up gladly.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:21:50 AM PDT

  •  Invalidation (0+ / 0-)

    My theory is that that especially black men, but black people in our culture were horribly traumatized and then continually invalidated. The symptoms of a chronically invalidating environment are as follows:

    1. emotional disregulations: emotions are not validated and recognized so regulation of emotions is not taught or role modeled, results in mood swings.
    1. interpersonal chaos: When mood swings are present from total shut down to over emotional displays this affects relationships and makes them difficult. Also fear can become heightened but people have a hard time accurately assessing the validity of the fear and sometimes don't protect themselves from what they should and are fearful of things that are not validly dangerous.
    1. impulse regulation: in an attempt to regulate mood and feelings impulse problems result. Drugs, alcohol, food addictions, shopping, sex, gambling can develop and become compulsive.
    1. cognitive disregulation: when a person is unable to trust themselves, personal experiences, inner values and feelings, an dependence on external cues develops. A person in this situation uses structure, black and white thinking, group identification, peers and structures to validate self.
    1. self disregulation: a pervasive sense of emptiness. A disconnection with purpose or self value. And an over dependence on how others define them or see them.

    The cure is validation of true/valid strengths. THe difficulty is that many people in the black community have been wounded and then raised by the wounded, passing on this inner invalidation. First the USA need to validate the truth about slavery and the depth of the injury to the african american people. The USA needs to validate the true injury caused by violence. Some black families have internalized power and control and feel that the only way to raise good kids is to use power over, because of all the horrible temptations that result for invalidation. We can teach the skills for self validation. We can teach emotion regulation, interpersonal effectiveness, wise mind, and distress tolerance. These skills would go a long way to fixing the problem.

    People don't get divorced because they didn't learn geography, but they do end up living a more pervasively chaotic life without the skills of self validation and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence CAN be taught. It's not like I.Q. But the first step is that the U.S needs to admit the true damage done by slavery.

    I have worked with trauma survivors and domestic violence for 18 years. What black families went through was "Trauma" and just like we now know that war vets pass their ptsd to families for generations to come after war, so to, the trauma of slavery!

    The greatest gift you can contribute to the goal of world peace is to heal.

    by wavpeac on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:24:51 AM PDT

    •  So, what do you think happened to (0+ / 0-)

      George W. Bush to produce the same symptoms?

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:40:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Same thing...invalidation rich kids and beautiful (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hannah

        people. Interestingly enough there is a group of people who have these symptoms who have never had ANY trauma. What is theorized is that being overly rich and overly coddled produces the same invalidation. When a child does not struggle and is not forced to develop effective coping to challenges in life it does the same thing as being overwhelmed by trauma...(underwhelmed). The child does not develop realistic and valid coping mechanisms for life. The message when someone is rich or super beautiful is that other care take and do it for them which sends the signal "you can't do it by yourself".

        This dynamic plagues whites and blacks...Israeli's and palestinians, canadians and french canadians. It's about trauma but it's mostly about having an invalid sense of self that is promotes by being surrounded by cognitive distortions about who we really are in the world. The best info we have about ourselves comes from our valid experiences.

        Rich folks never know if someone likes them for who they are and they often (not always...some rich folks provide plenty of challenges for their children) are not forced to learn the same skills that many of us do. They are automatically popular. Are automatically promoted in school. Are given passes and jobs created not by their own skill but by parents and caretakers.

        Some opportunity is a good thing, but it turns out there is no substitute for good old fashioned hard work. It's not just a black thing but can be applied to many scenarios in the world to explain some of the problems we see. Terrorism has a lot to do with invalidation.

        The greatest gift you can contribute to the goal of world peace is to heal.

        by wavpeac on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 07:05:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is strange. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't agree. I believe there is jealousy and envy and ignorance right now.  No one has to vote for or like Obama for his color.  Obama should not be supported because of his color.  Obama just happens to be a great candidate.  A shining star.  A real leader for these real times.

    Old time jealousy, and no grasp of real history or civics, because it's not really taught in school anymore are contributing to whatever black backlash Obama is facing, but self hatred is not running rampant around the black people I know.  That's just not true.

    As individual as you are, one is still at risk of being judged by the company they keep.

    by publicv on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:29:05 AM PDT

    •  Of all of the murders (0+ / 0-)

      that are committed against Blacks across this country every year, when was the last time you heard that the perpetrator was wearing a sheet? And think about the situation on your job--do Blacks seem to respond more positively to White bosses or Black bosses?  And in the inverse--who do Black bosses treat better, White employees or Black ones? Think about it.

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:23:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  These are social constructs that need to (0+ / 0-)

        be addressed.  Everything starts in youth. Guidance, environment and opportunity are what help make behavior.  Older generations pass down to younger generations, old attitudes and beliefs.  Then there are school, then laws.  

        Black people live in bunches together in close confines sometimes.  Hence black on black crime.  it's where you're at, not inherent.  Lack of opportunity, certain environment and inept guidance can cause something like this.

        You demand respect, because you are human and worthy of respect in any color area of the world, but if you don't know you can demand respect becuse of improper guidance, environment and never having the opportunity then you tend to try to rule where you feel most comfortable, because after all Everyone wants to rule the world.

        As individual as you are, one is still at risk of being judged by the company they keep.

        by publicv on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:49:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I grant your points, Wattree and thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NCrissieB

    for the diary. This is an additional way of looking at it, which comes from Family Systems Theory: A member of the family (and I mean "family" very broadly, more like "group" in this situation) is becoming very successful in such a way that it could help the whole family. Even though the historical meaning of this family member's success in the wider society is stunning, some people in the family feel hurt. Some feel jealous. Some feel left out. Some may feel threatened emotionally. Some even feel betrayed.

    Members of families (all families) usually have a mistaken idea that everyone in the family thinks about the family exactly the same way. This change -- the fact that Obama is so successful in the wider world -- is very disruptive to the different ideas the members of family have about themselves and the family. For some people, it might even feel like it threatens the very existence of the family.

    It doesnn't threaten the family's physical existence but it does mean the family members will have to start thinking about themselves and their family differently, which is a long process which can be very painful but also good especially if the ultimate result is better for the family members (or at for least the family members' descendents).

    McCain = Permanent war for Oil profits. Make oil irrelevant!

    by lecsmith on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:29:35 AM PDT

    •  I agree with everything you said, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lecsmith

      I just wish they'd save their reflections until AFTER the election.

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:47:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And Obama is "adopted," don't forget. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shanikka, lecsmith, JFinNe, Deoliver47

      I'm using that term very guardedly, but please remember that Barack Obama is not completely "part of the family," in that he didn't grow up simmered in lingering racism and in lingering resentment to that racism.  If you read his books, a large part of his life quest, especially in adolescence and early adulthood, was trying to figure out whether and where he fit into African-American "family."

      This is not a "he's not black enough" argument.  Far from it.  Rather, it's a "he didn't grow up steeped in Jim Crow" argument.  Obama doesn't, at his core, have that deep-seeded resentment that many blacks (very justifiably!) feel, because he didn't have that childhood.

      The way he responded to these young men was spot on, in my opinion.  He asked them to be respectful during his opening remarks - and they were - and then he answered their questions during the Q&A, even if their questions did not really address his own record or history.

      The bottom line:  Obama gave them respect, and by doing that he was an excellent role model for all of us.

      •  I liked the way he responded as well. And it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Deoliver47, NCrissieB

        was doubly good because it was a role model of how he could respond to African Americans AND it was a model to the wider society of how a mature and self-confident leader will respond to someone who challenges him. (Bush and McCain do not let challengers into their events. That is a sign of weakness, not strength.)

        McCain = Permanent war for Oil profits. Make oil irrelevant!

        by lecsmith on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:06:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good diary. I would also like to recommend (0+ / 0-)

    Losing the Race: Self-sabotage in Black America by John McWhorter.  It provides an excellent synopsis on separatism, anti-intellectualism, and victimology that plague the Black community.

    "It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams." Peter Boyd

    by realitybytes on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 05:55:49 AM PDT

  •  Simple answer. Stop idolizing "black leadership." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Deoliver47

    I never watch Tavis' gathering. Its a waste of time. All I ever see is bluster and one-upmanship with a bunch of self proclaimed black leaders trying to outdo each other with their oratory. They never agree on anything, they just play to the crowd and try to see who can throw out the biggest applause line. If you really want to know why black America is in such a confused and self loathing state, just look at the people Tavis showcases every year.

    If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, your name must be Barack Obama.

    by eclecticbrotha on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:15:43 AM PDT

    •  Though I don't agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, majcmb1

      that the black community is in a state of self-loathing, I do agree with you that the self-appointed "black leadership" is a joke - most are anointed by the TM.

      That goes for the "black pundits" we see daily on the tube - most of whom are self-serving opportunists.

      The majority of black Americans who vote - have shown clearly that they know who will do the best for not just our community, but for America as a whole.  

      I'm also happy to see the latest polling data among Latino/Hispanic Americans (also not a monolithic block) are now supporting Obama.

       

      Anthropologists for human diversity; opposing McCain perversity

      by Denise Oliver Velez on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 06:53:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

      BENEATH THE SPIN    • ERIC L. WATTREE

      THE 2008 STATE OF THE BLACK UNION

      I had the pleasure of watching Tavis Smiley’s entire  production of the "2008 State of the Black Union" on CSPAN last week–and as usual, it was quite entertaining.  But while I throughly enjoyed the show, I failed to see the urgency of having Senator Barack Obama in attendance.  I could see it if the scholars, politicians, and community leaders in attendance were actually involved in a sober discussion of the Black condition and ways to move the community forward, but that wasn’t what it was at all.  What it generally turns out to be–and it was true to form this year–is a cross between the Def Philosophy Jam, an infomercial for Tavis Smiley Enterprises, and a Southern revival meeting ("Say amen, Black folk").  That’s not the appropriate venue for a man who’s trying to convince America that he’s a serious contender for President of ALL of the United States. So I don’t blame Obama a bit for not attending.

      Admittedly, every year there are serious people with serious things to say in attendance, but every year there are also a host of people in attendance who are flamboyant, grandiloquent, and simply love to hear themselves talk.  There were moments in this year’s proceedings, for example, that sounded more like a mack-man’s convention than anything else.  While I enjoyed it, I also enjoy Thelonious Monk, but there are literally millions of voters across this land who share neither my taste in music, nor my understanding of the polyrhythmic pronouncements of Michael Eric Dyson, no matter how profound the underlying message.  Thus, Senator Obama had to ask himself a very serious question–Do I want to be elected president, or simply hold up a raised fist for Black America?  How would you answer that?    

      You know it's time to go to war when you're prepared to see your own love one become one of its first victims. Eric L. Wattree, Sr.

      by Wattree on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 09:24:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good analysis (0+ / 0-)

        Admittedly, every year there are serious people with serious things to say in attendance, but every year there are also a host of people in attendance who are flamboyant, grandiloquent, and simply love to hear themselves talk.

        I couldn't have said it better.

        If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, your name must be Barack Obama.

        by eclecticbrotha on Tue Aug 05, 2008 at 12:52:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Soon As (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kdrivel

    You explain what Barack Obama has to do with Black people's liberation (your word, not mine), I'll embrace it, since I'm all for our liberation but am not going to equate ephemeral symbols with deep spiritual meaning to us collectively (and that's what a Black president is) with our freedom.  Unless you believe a symbol to be liberating, and if you do it would be good to hear why (and not just because of the myth that Black folks didn't know how to believe in ourselves until Barack Obama came along.)  

    Personally, I do think self-hatred is running rampant amongst some of us, that we ask nothing of this politician who manages to have something publicly specific to celebrate, overtly, about every other ethnicity than ours.  We have asked absolutely nothing of this man politically, we Black people, as a condition of our votes.  Not only that, we diss those who do, being cognizent of the fact that it is only before someone is elected President that voters have any control over them.  

    In the case of the so-called "hecklers", frankly Barack Obama has a lot more respect for them as Black people with a valid opinion than you appear to present in this diary.  He at least heard them out, and did not diss them, as they held up a banner asking the perfectly legitimate question:  "What about the Black community?".  (Unless there is some other incident I haven't read about yet; you haven't provided any diary links). He did not call them "self-hating" or "ignorant" or anything else.  He said that he was trying to address their issues, and had spoken out, even if not in the manner they would have preferred.

    And that was a response I can respect, from Barack Obama.  One I actually felt did value the voices of our community, even if they disagreed with his own.  Something that too many of his supporters are trying to silence in the name of 'not tearing the brother down.'

  •  I call it the Nader Complex (0+ / 0-)

    But what was most instructive about his comments was what he didn't say. He, nor Jesse Jackson on FOX news, nor the St. Petersburg hecklers, had one critical word to say about McCain, or any of the hordes of Republican politicians that's been cutting our throats for the past seven years–and I've never even heard it rumored that Jesse thought Bush should be castrated

    Nader supporters acted this way as well.  Not saying Al Gore wasn't at times frustrating in his campaign.  

    •  I Do Not Subscribe to the Idea (0+ / 0-)

      That every criticism of Obama must be rhetorically "balanced" with criticism of McCain to be valid.  Nor do I subscribe to the idea that invoking the silencing spectre of "Naderite" or some variant as you do here is a valid response to legitimate criticisms folks don't want to deal with on the merits.

      That's how Freepers think and respond to legitimate criticism, IMO, always pointing out "Well, what about HIM????"  I thought we on the left were better than that when it came to defending ideas, frankly.

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