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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Are We “Picking” On Obama?- The Barack Obama Omarosa Society (BOOS) – aka How to DEMONIZE Black Women Voters 101

On Sunday I read an article about a speech Michelle Obama gave in SC. This is what the article said:

The core of her message in South Carolina is her argument that Obama, more than Clinton, former North Carolina senator John Edwards or any other presidential candidate, will do more for blacks because he understands them better.SOURCE

I don't do politics on this blog, if you read some of this week's threads about my original post( Michelle Obama Urges Black Women to Vote for Her Husband: Why the Heck Should We?), you will quickly discover why. Shecodes' post and open letter to Barack Obama holds the all time WAOD record for the most comments in a 12 hour period.

This most recent article about Michelle Obama's speech in SC, is the latest in a string of articles by mainstream media that is basically savaging Black women voters. This blog is after all about the negative portrayal of African American women in popular culture. The slander doesn't get any deeper than the ruse that Black women are going to be singlehandedly responsible to keeping a brother out of the White House.

Michelle Obama, 43, is especially challenging other black women, who'll be pivotal in the South Carolina primary. SOURCE

You see mainstream media is setting Black women up to be the villains in the event Barack Obama doesn't win the nomination. Go back and type in Obama and “Black Women” in a Google news search. Don't bother, I did it for y'all!

You see this is the “Political Apprentice” and Barack Obama has been cast as the superbly qualified Kwame and we, “De Ebil Blak Wimmen” are apparently going to reprise the role of Omarosa Manigault-Stalworth-Bently-Louis Vitton.

Except this time, the job that is on the line isn't some raggedy stint as Donald Trump's intern, but the position of the leader of the free world. The ultimate career move, and the “Sistas” are standing in Barack Obamas way.

This ain't no coinky dink. This is yet another version of “Black women are the enemy of Black men.” We hear this garbage from the Hip Hop Industrial Complex all the time. A sista' tryin' to stick a brother for his paper!

THIS “Black women are the enemy” talk is dangerous. I have said it once, I will say it a thousand times. You will mistreat something you view as less than human and you might feel bad about it, but if you view something or someone as your enemy, you will destroy it and not feel bad at all, in fact you will feel good about it.

Now imagine those weren't water balloons and imagine that that was not Omarosa.

I knew I was committing heresy when I wrote what I wrote. You see because I am a Black woman, I am supposed to give my vote away for free. I am not supposed to examine whether a candidate's policy positions are in MY best interest. I am supposed to be appeased by a compelling life story or how awesome I think the candidate's wife or HUSBAND is. I am supposed to be swayed and intoxicated by the melodic sounds coming from the gospel concert the candidate threw and amazed by the candidate's saxophone playing. I am supposed to be hypnotized by the candidate's phony southern accent:

You see, Christian conservatives have the power to veto Supreme court nominations. Immigration advocates get to help draft legislation sitting side by side with congressional leaders. Labor Unions get to basically draft treaties (second in supremacy only to the Constitution), but Black women, we can't ask for too much. We most certainly can't ask that a candidate make the case for why we should vote for them other than the superficial, a gospel concert is enough.

I wasn't just talking about Barack Obama. I was talking about people voting for Hillary because they have a crush on Bill Clinton . Or people Voting for John Edwards because he ran down to New Orleans to do a photo op in front of some hurricane carnage ( UM did he bring some heavy equipment and dump trucks with him? How many blocks of debris did he clear out).

The point I was trying to make was that Black women have entirely too much political power, particularly in SC to not have candidates address their needs and concerns with specificity. Not broad generalizations, but specificity. In making that point I merely asked whether African American women would be better off under an Obama administration as opposed to a Billary, Edwards, Richardson, Kucinich, Dodd, Biden or Mike Gravel Administration.

For asking such a question, we've basically been called Black man hating bitter harpies who are picking on Barack Obama. We have been cast as Barack Obama's Omarosas (BOO!). Treacherous, conniving, underhanded, difficult, angry Black women and out to keep a brother down.

Oh I'm sorry I just thought we were electing the leader of the free world. So sorry that his stances on the issues that at the moment are most important to me are irrelevant to my evaluation of him. Gosh how silly of me. There I go being a feather brained female. There I went thinking I was supposed to be making my decisions based on a candidate's stance on the issues that are important to ME and all along I was supposed to forget what might be in my best interest and substitute my judgment for that of complete and total strangers because of course... They know what best for little ole feather brained me. Fiddle dee dee. *Starts looking for a straw fan and a mint julep*

Well for those of you who have been trying to cast Black women as the Barack Obama's Omarosa Society. BOOS ( yes I am clever. I know), we are about to induct a new member. None other that the the Honorable Rev. Dr. Jesse Jackon, Sr. the Fourth.

Democratic candidates are talking about health care and raising the minimum wage, but they aren't talking about the separate and stark realities facing African Americans. SOURCE

Oh my lord Reverend, you mean to tell me that African Americans have unique concerns that a candidate running for high office might want to address specifically? It just can't be so? What about their compelling biographies, impressive spouses, and precocious children? You mean to tell me black folks are supposed to be concerned about specific issues that are of interest to them? Perish the thought.*takes another sip of the mint julep and waves straw fan furiously*

African Americans have, on average, about half of the good things that whites have, and double the bad things. We have about half the average household income and less than half the household wealth. On the other hand, we're suffering twice the level of unemployment and twice the level of infant mortality (widely accepted as a measure of general health). SOURCE

Perish the thought Rev. We ain't supposed to ask the candidates to address these specific issues, they're too busy mapping out policy and position papers for all those other IMPORTANT democratic constituencies. Never mind this big ole block of Black votes that they need to win in both the primary AND the general election ( anybody ever heard of Ohio?)

African Americans are brutalized by a system of criminal injustice. Young African Americans are more likely to be stopped, more likely to be searched if stopped, more likely to be arrested if searched, more likely to be charged if arrested, more likely to be sentenced to prison if charged, less likely to get early parole if imprisoned. Every study confirms that the discrimination is systemic and ruinous. And yet no candidate speaks to this central reality.

African Americans are more likely to go to overcrowded and underfunded schools, more likely to go without health care, more likely to drop out, less likely to find employment. Those who do work have less access to banks and are more likely to be ripped off by payday lenders, more likely to be stuck with high-interest auto and business loans, and far more likely to be steered to risky mortgages -- even when adjusting for income. And yet, no candidate speaks to this central reality. SOURCE

Hmmm, the temperature in Hell just dropped 30 degrees. It might just freeze on over.

Now, 40 years later, it is no longer acceptable for candidates to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to entrenched discrimination and still expect to reap our votes. SOURCE

So, is the Rev. Jackson a Black man hating feminazi shrew? Are you going to revoke his “Black card” too. Is he going to be blamed for singlehandedly bringing down all of the Democratic candidates for merely suggesting that with as much political power that Black people have the candidates ought to be addressing our issues SPECIFICALLY with more than lip service but actual POLICY? Now black women make up the majority of Black registered voters in this country, tell me again why we shouldn't have our issues addressed by candidates?

Now when the GLBT community was up in arms about Donnie McClurkin, Obama couldn't issue statements and have conference calls soon enough, but Black women apparently are not as important as everybody else. We can't be too demanding. We can't ask for too much in exchange for our votes. We don't deserve to be pandered to like every other group of people and demand tangible results in exchange for our votes. We're second class voters. When they count up the vote totals, our votes apparently only count 2/3 as much as Christian conservatives, members of labor unions, members of the GLBT community, environmentalists, immigration activists or opponents, and any other special interest groups that candidates ROUTINELY pander to and guess what, these folks actually get actual LEGISLATION and BILLIONS of my TAX DOLLARS out of these candidates instead of a $20 gospel concert.

To all the Obama-maniacs that have been frothing in the comments section over merely asking a question, you do your candidate a disservice by saying that we must vote for him because he is Black. A prudent action MIGHT have been to answer Shecode's questions and say. “The senator has spelled out his position on this issue. You can read more about it here.” But no, you weren't concerned about answering her question, only in making sure you noted her disloyalty for merely asking them. You were obsessed with telling a group of Black women that being concerned about violence against women and children, our health, and our personal finances are too trivial for the President of the United States to be bothered with. You were too busy trying to label us with the 'Scarlett “O”' - Not Oprah, Not Obama, Omarosa.

Maybe if Obama started addressing SUBSTANTIVE issues of specific concern to Black women in SC folks wouldn't be wringing their hands over Hillary. Whether you like it or not, a whole lot of black folks remember the Bill Clinton years as a Golden Age of Black America. The country experienced some economic prosperity, everybody owned some dot com stock. Black folks were all up over and through the Clinton administration. Quite frankly, you can say what you want to say about Bill Clinton and his policies, but he has never appear uncomfortable standing in front of Black people and having a conversation. Maybe what people tune in to is Bill Clinton's comfort level with Black folks. What's Obama's? Black folks know Bill Clinton. They don't know Obama... yet.

If he wants their votes then make the case. He's a lawyer! Make the case! Build the case on something other than biography. We aren't trying to hurt him. We're actually trying to help him by pointing out that he ain't gon' win SC on bio. You got to overcome CLINTON, BILL CLINTON and you ain't going to do that with bio, an impressive wife and precocious children.

Hillary has given him more than enough to beat her, but Obama's people think so little of Black women that they would rather focus on style than substance. Fine! Be that way, but PLEASE don't blame Black women and their “animus” towards Black men as one comment stated. If he loses, he loses because he didn't make the case for why Black women would be better off under an Obama candidacy. If he loses, he loses because he ran a crappy campaign. Tell me why he didn't beat back "I Got A Crush on Obama" and say "RESPECT MY WIFE!" Tell me why I know more about his stinky socks and leaving out the butter than I do about his policy positions? Tell me why Michelle, who spent all summer reminding us that her husband was not all that, now wants Black women to entrust our futures to the same man that apparently won't clean up after himself. Don't blame Black women for the polling in SC, blame his campaign strategists.

I didn't say I wouldn't vote for Obama. I just said if I do, I am not going to engage in the FICTION that just because he is a Black man that I am going to be better off under his administration than I would under any other administration.

If I would be better off, then by all means SHOW ME! Show me some policy. Show me some legislation. Show me some concrete acts he's taken in the past other than you like his biography. Show me the list of Black women taking a prominent role on his staff. I am not picking on the man. I was merely responding to yet another news article, setting Black women up as electoral spoilers, that popped up in my news feed.

The truth is that if Obama is in any kind of decent position come mid January, I predict that he is gong to get a HUGE chunk of the Black vote in South Carolina. I don't care WHAT folks are telling reporters in barbershops and beauty shops.It IS going to be hard to walk away from the possibility of having an African American living in the White House.

However, I am SOOOOO sorry that my impertinent questions are arising at an inopportune time, but I didn't bring up the Obama Black woman conundrum, Michelle Obama did!

Who wants next?

To all of those who can't stand the idea of questioning candidate's on their attention to the needs of the African American community, you are going to be VERY DISTRESSED to find out that there is an ENTIRE blog dedicated to Black Accountability. GASP. Oh Yeah, we aren't the only ones who think Black folks need to start holding all politicians accountable. Hat Tip to Francis Holland and the Afrospear Google Group for the heads up on the article.