Tuesday, January 08, 2008

You can't ask me that, I'm black

I always hesitate to quote anything from Christopher Hitchens because it doesn't matter if he spouting things that make the right mad or the left mad, he seems to me to be a perfectly horrible human being.

But he is saying some things about this Obamamania that few would dare:

Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is the current beneficiary of a tsunami of drool. He sometimes claims credit on behalf of all Americans regardless of race, color, creed, blah blah blah, though his recent speeches appear also to claim a victory for blackness while his supporters—most especially the white ones—sob happily that at last we can have an African-American chief executive. Off to the side, snarling with barely concealed rage, are the Clinton machine-minders, who, having failed to ignite the same kind of identity excitement with an aging and resentful female, are perhaps wishing that they had made more of her errant husband having already been "our first black president."

Or perhaps not. Isn't there something pathetic and embarrassing about this emphasis on shade? And why is a man with a white mother considered to be "black," anyway? Is it for this that we fought so hard to get over Plessy v. Ferguson?

I want to inject something here about Obama's mother being white as well. Remember, Obama wasn't raised by his black father. He was raised by his white mother and white grandparents. You may have heard about Obama's controversial church, if not, then check out it's mission statement:

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

You see, I'm thinking Obama's Mom wouldn't be invited to the Church picnic.

Hitchens mentions this also, and being someone who hasn't found a church, faith, or religion he couldn't bash, he's pretty harsh with this as well:

I have been droning on for months about how Mitt Romney needs to answer questions about the flat-out racist background of his own church, and about how Huckabee has shown in public that he does not even understand the first thing about a theory—the crucial theory of evolution by natural selection—in which he claims not to believe. Many Democrats are with me on this, but they go completely quiet when Sen. Obama chooses to give his allegiance to a crackpot church with a decidedly ethnic character.

I believe it was candidate George Bush who spoke at Bob Jones University, where they had a ban on interracial dating, that caused such an uproar in 2000. Will the media be as offended by this? Imagine if Bush had been a member of a Church that claimed to be "unashamedly white." What a difference a candidate makes. It makes me wonder about the media and their reaction to Obama. Will he be immune to the usual interrogations and questions about his associations because of his blackness?

If so, then I'm afraid we really haven't come as far as we had hoped.