What is Your Perspective on "The McCain Campaign" or "Obama Drama?"
Like most people that I know I am also fascinated by the presidential campaign that is currently underway. Obama and McCain, Palin and Biden, Democrats and Republicans (where are the other political parties?), debates and polls, MSNBC and Fox News, do we receive any of them without a spin?
While some of the above I can’t begin to engage or unpack, I may have insight into some aspects of Barack Obama’s reality at a level that most of my local readership may not have even considered. For example, people want to paint him with a broad brush stroke because of some of his prior affiliations, more specifically, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. I find this quite intriguing and relate it to some aspects of my life and my thirst for knowledge of self. As an African American who struggled with finding images of myself in the media and accurate depictions of my history within U.S. history, I was deeply angered when I discovered a history of Jim Crow, Negro Peonage, the Convict Lease System, the failing of the Freedman’s Bureau, the nadir of race relations, and an unbridled legacy of lynching that further added to an understanding of an unjust justice system. Obama, as a bi-racial person, very well may have been introduced to many of these details through the educational system instead of through any type of oral history as he was evolving, especially since his father was African and probably didn’t have much experience with American racism. Like many bi-racial people, Obama may have gone after an understanding of, or context for his blackness within the context of American society with a fervor, somewhat overcompensating for a lack of acceptance by many black folk because he simply wasn’t black enough for them. Oddly enough though, as we are still finding today, he is too dark for many non-blacks.
Many people are taken aback by Obama’s affiliation with his infamous pastor. However, like Malcolm X’s thoughts on Black Intelligence (concisely articulated in the Spike Lee film) that challenged a hegemonic perspective on Black folk defending themselves from American hypocrisy cloaked as American democracy, it very well could be the case that Obama had a young inquiring mind that was attempting to understand a culture he just didn’t know. However, in American society if you are a member of the underclass you must accept the ongoing legacy of American hypocrisy quietly or you are adamantly painted as a radical. What a joke. How is it that various White Americans could be voted into governorships and senate seats over and over again, but socially conscious Black Americans must whisper their observations about America as a flawed country or they are painted as unpatriotic? Sadly, because I am writing this in an attempt to challenge thought, I now flirt with the reality of being painted with similar broad strokes. Understanding that many people can’t de-center themselves long enough to process this dimension of the American reality, perhaps I should stop. I don’t think so! Instead, let me end with a couple of other things for you to consider.
I am very much a fan of Hillary Clinton and am one of those that would have enjoyed seeing her on the ticket with Obama. I am disappointed that Sarah Palin didn’t recognize what her continued veiled suggestion that certain types of Americans are more American than others actually said about her. I am thoroughly intrigued by the possibility that McCain “may have” committed the most sexist of acts by choosing a running mate primarily for her gender only. And yes, I am concerned that Obama is so overtly fixated about not playing the race card that he has chosen, albeit strategically, to avoid some opportunities to challenge his opponent in ways that are very real.
While there is something intriguing, perhaps even troubling about the fact that Obama’s campaign finances have enabled him to put a down payment on the presidency, it is none the less also a statement about how invested American citizens actually are in his endeavor to change our country. Just as intriguing though is the fact that while McCain wants to take Obama to task for taking advantage of the campaign financing, I hope McCain recognizes the unearned advantages that he has simply by being born White. Yes, Obama has probably lost as many votes simply because of his being born biracial (but looking Black) as McCain may have lost due to Obama’s campaign financing far exceeding McCain’s.
What are your thoughts on the McCain campaign or Obama drama?