January 10, 2008

5 Reasons for blacks Not so support Obama

1. His candidacy is being used to claim that racism in America is essentially dead, killing the need for programs such as Affirmative Action and along with it civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. If you Google Obama and Race or if you listen to analyst on News programs, it’s obvious that Obama's strong showing is being used to slam the door on the issue of race in America. Some entities want you to believe a fallacy of composition by suggesting to you that because some whites vote or support Obama that such serves as vouchers for the remainder of whites. Thus, if 20% of voting age white America is willing to vote for Obama, how does that logically imply that the remaining 80% who don’t are not potentially or in fact racist? How does a white person voting for Obama mean that I will not be racially profiled and pulled over by a white cop? How does that mean that I will not get denied a job by the hiring manager of a company, due to the fact that I am black? How does that mean I will not be charged a higher interest rate for a loan than an equally qualified white? How does that mean I will not be followed around and watched at an upscale store? How does that mean that I will not have a noose hung at my office? To suggest that because some whites are not racist it demonstrates that all whites are not racist is as absurd as suggesting that because some whites are racist that all are.

2. There is a high possibility that America will sink into the worst economic recession since the Great Depression in the next 5 years. If there is a black President in office, it will be seen subconsciously or consciously as the fault of the President. There are so many ominous economic signs such as a falling dollar, rising consumer and government debt, trade deficits, the loss of comparative advantage, outsourcing, high oil prices; inflation….the list goes on and on. There is no monetary of fiscal policy which will solve these problems. Our nation simply consumes more than it produces via our borrowing growth far exceeding our income growth. The American economy or GDP needs a downward correction so that consumption falls in line with production and our spending is based upon what we have earned and not what we borrow. Attempting to hold this off via monetary and fiscal policy, especially the former, makes the correction that much worse when it is forced upon us in the form of a deep recession or depression. As a Michigander, I witnessed the Decline of Detroit proper nearly totally blamed on Black leadership, and not the declining fortunes of the Auto Industry that gave it life.

3. His platform of “change” has little substance. Obama is popular because he gives great speeches about a vision for a different America. Yet, he has not explained how he has the power to essentially change the “System”. The only thing that he really has the power to change is the perception that a black people are hindered by race in America and or its corollary that whites in America are racist. Obama has not been asked many tough questions, especially questions with racial overtones. Such questions and his response to those questions will have a seesaw effect. His response will increase his support among blacks, but lower it among whites or increase it among whites but lower it among blacks. The only answer that will have a neutral effect is to avoid answering the question and simply use a slogan such as “Change” or “Working together” or “Getting along”. That way each side can interpret it as getting the other side to see things their way. In reality, however, in a representative republic such as our, the interest or side that will be favored is the majority rule, which is the side of whites.

4. John Edwards is the best choice for the Democrats based upon empirical evidence. Southern white males have been the formula for defeating the “Southern Strength” of the Republican Party. Johnson, Carter and Clinton were the only democrats to win office since Kennedy. Politics changed drastically after the Civil Rights laws were passed in the 60’s and many Southern whites left the Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party as a result of democratic support for desegregation. Every since then, it has taken a Southern white male Democrat to win the presidency. Also, the best candidate for Democrats should be in sync with the Democratic candidate that Republicans despise the most, which is Clinton. I cannot help but use the analogy of how much Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were hated by whites in their time. The blacks that whites hated and feared the most were the blacks that were the best for our struggle. It may be true, following the same reasoning, that the Democrat most hated by Republicans is the Democrat best for liberals.

5. It’s easier for a white person in power to do the right thing towards blacks than it will be for a black person to do so. Unfortunately, it is often the case that when a black person is elevated to a position of power from a predominantly white source, they become harder on blacks. It maybe the case that they do not want to appear that they are showing favoritism towards blacks when their position of power is by virtue of whites. They may subconsciously feel that they must not only represent the white way of thinking, but must over compensate to demonstrate that way of thinking. They don’t want to risk alienating or angering the hand that is feeding their political viability. Consequently, a black person put in power by the white majority can often be the least likely to fight for policies that help the black masses. It’s tempting to fantasize that a black candidate can sneak into office by telling whites what they want to hear and then get into office and become a zealous advocate of black causes. However, there are to many checks and balances for that and power is so addictive that the office holder will not want to risk it, lest they or their party not be reelected.


At 5:39 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Noah and Faheem.
First of all, I loved your post on "Fruits of a Poison Tree" on land ownership. I fully agree with what you said, but I was hoping you could mention some sources, so that I could find out more. I am researching land use policies for my dissertation.

Yet, it pangs me to read that you aren't supporting Obama. You make some fair points, but only #3 is a real criticism. If we followed your logic on the other points (#1, #4 and #5 in particular), no black man or woman should ever be elected!

On #5, surely, Obama would have a progressive administration of many races that would respond vigorously to the needs of the black community, and as per #2, I don't think the risk of him being blamed for a potential recession is worth denying a perfectly qualified man, such as he, the presidency.

As for #3, I think you might consider his efforts to change "the system," if you like, of lobbying. He has already written and passed legislation that forces lobbyists to disclose bundles of donations that they use to gain undue influence over politicians, and has limited their ability to pay for politicians to travel. This is changing the system! Special interests will now have to overlap more with constituent interests or politicians will be scandalized out of office. This will help blacks, especially in urban districts.

Finally, I agree with Obama that, aside from segregation, few issues in this country are unique to black people and therefore it makes sense to build coalitions with white people, like myself, who support universal health care, better inner city schools, more affordable housing in the suburbs through zoning reform, worker re-training programs to help laid off manufacturing workers, and policies to support small businesses in cities.

Alas, I am a middle class white Anglo-Saxon, so I appreciate Obama's message of unity more that you might, given the malicious way my people have treated yours, which I deeply regret.

best regards,

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Nmaginate said...

Jonathan, please explain why we have yet to arrive at "better inner city schools" since many many people espouse this faux (read: fake) humanism idea of "nothing unique to blacks."

Is this not "unique" to African Americans as it relates to the appeal of Obama's "message of unity" with Anglo-Saxons such as yourself:

"...the malicious way my people have treated yours..."

I mean, who has treated "your" people (Anglo-Saxons) in a malicious way here in the USofA?

How come all the "unity" loving Anglo-Saxons haven't made traction on the issues you mentioned that are supposedly not "unique" to Blacks?

More importantly (and this exposes the faux humanism as misguided, at best, and a fraud, at worst)... where on the priority scale have these issues been for "unity" loving, "unity" seeking Anglo-Saxons?

I'd argue they have been the TOP priority for African Americans when, by even your implicit admission, they have hardly been primary concerns for Anglo-Saxons; hence, the presumed need or quest for "unity" on that issue by Obama, etc.

The moral to this story is: It's the PRIORITY that makes issues "unique" to African Americans, in this case. There is a difference in urgency involved and, to use my Jewish friend's observation, not acknowledging that is what's called "2nd Order Racism."

The signature proclamation of the Segregation Era was:

The Negro Has No Rights That A White Man Is Bound To Respect.

This faux humanism put fresh paint on that idea and essentially says:

Black people have no issues that whites are bound to address unless and until whites also have those same issues and sense of urgency in terms of the need to resolve said issues now.

What this does is have the same effect that was an intentional part of what's viewed as affirmative action law: whites will receive the lion share of the benefits yet still claim it was done for and in the name of "helping" Blacks.

That's what's behind this unity stuff. In effect it's all about:

"You can't do anything for your people unless you do it for our people. Your issues are not unique.

At 7:46 PM, Blogger Vitorrio Brooks said...

First of all, comment 3 is easily negated by the truth: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1704117,00.html
Obama has led a brillant career, and has more years in office than Hillary.

The rest of this post is such a sad crock of sh!+, that I hardly know where to begin. Self hating comes to mind, when I read this article.

It's beyond self hatred, it's simply the meanderings of an insecure, paranoid African American.

I think you need a hug.

At 4:45 AM, Blogger the poet Shazza said...

Hummmm, I have to re-read this a few times before I comment. Food for thought on both sides of the arguement.

Considering the Obama is a "multicultualist" Liberal, his Vision is inclusively GLOBAL and appealing to those who vote Vision over Substance (Reagan, Bush Sr. and Jr ran on Vision).

I have more I'd like to write BUT this is a comment post so I'll just say, I'll comment more later because this is Food for Thought.

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read Obama's Site. He has substance, and plans that are very specific. if you disagree with his plans, thats your business. but reducing him to clever speeches and likability is the same thing that happens to me over and over working in a predominately white work environment. I come up with a brilliant idea, and my energy and support for the idea gets lost on how well i sounded presenting it, and how everyone just loves to listen to me. Even though my good friend presented the same idea later and it was implemented without much discussion.

The thing that fuels my hopes as a Black Man even further is that even though so many people are selling Obama short, he is still handling business. When he wins, lets see if people actually get on board and work with him. Its funny, the only road blocks that people can identify for him, won't be roadblocks if they work with him. and he's the only candidate welcoming disagreement as a means to make better legislation.

Lastly, Obama spent quite a bit of time explaining his ideas and plans early on to audiences who didn't really give it much thought. but when he started driving home his philosophy, his morals, his want to change how things are done in Washington, everyone started listening, and all of a sudden, he lacks substance. he is hopeful, naive, "but he looks good and can give a good speech," who doesn't understand how to play the game. Please feel free to make that argument, because a lot of people will jump on board understanding that voting for him will be voting for someone who doesn't "look" like Washington.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

DEAR Noah The African and Fehem:

TIME FOR A "SELF BREAST EXAM" 7 years into the Obama Presidency.

NOT with regard to Obama but in reference to the "We Are In The White House Negros".

As AFRICAN bodies float lifeless in the Mediterranean after the "Humanitarian Mission" in Libya and as the "War Of Rendition" in Yemen where US weapons and aircraft are killing African migrants - WHY ARE THERE NO BLACK AMERICAN PROGRESSIVE PROTESTS to demand that the US GOVERNMENT stop disrupting the 'Land Of Our Ancestors'?

At 8:18 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

@Constructive Feedback As you have done for upwards of fifteen years, you continue to ask question that you can and should ask yourself. The Progressives are not protesting the killing of Continental Africans because they are fighting for Black Lives here in America, but you don't seem that busy so I want you to lead the protest you believe is not happening and being ignored.

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