Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I've been thinking about the big Obama speech since he made it. I thought about it in the context in which most white people perceive what they believe to be the "black experience", and I've thought about it in the context in which I observed what I presumed to be that same experience, spending childhood summers in places such as Compton and Bellflower and Phoenix, sometimes being literally the only white kid for ten or fifteen blocks.

Obama's speech cannot and should not be regarded in any other context but this: the media's interpretation of his speech is complete and utter bullshit, engineered to contrive contention and controversy out of the fairly mundane (yet incendiary if you ask the media rubes) rhetoric of Rev. Wright, especially when contrasted to the widely distributed "you brought this on yourselves" chunder from Falwell and Robertson immediately after 9/11. Funny how nobody bum-rushed the stage to repudiate those jowly motherfuckers. Indeed, the current Republican nominee repudiated his own words to give the commencement address at Falwell's clown college.

Now, Obama's primary mistake may simply lie in the fact that he chose to address Americans as if they were adults on this subject, which many of them most assuredly are not. People laughed at the irascible Archie Bunker back in the day, but what many fail to acknowledge is that a good chunk of 'murka really is Archie Bunker -- unrepentant in their ignorance and bigotry, although more than willing to go through the usual motions to demonstrate that they like the "good ones". This is concurrent with their insistent opinions on wimmins and queers; they know at least one of each that they can put up with, but are still for some reason apprehensive about giving all of them fundamental rights. Funny, that.

You're not really going to win with such people, because they aren't looking to be convinced. Still, Obama needed to stop the artificially induced bleeding, and after mulling over the text for a week, I still think he did very well. But what a certain part of the audience expected, to confirm their prejudices and apprehensions, was for him to give the entire speech in "izzle" talk, and perhaps sport a gold toof and a medallion or two. Maybe Obama can assuage their nonsensical fears by wearing a giant clock around his neck next time, so's everyone knows exactly what time it is.

It's times like these when I remember that motherfuckers get exactly the kind of gubmint they deserve, because they lack the testicular fortitude to stand up on their hind legs and expect -- no, demand -- something better.

1 comment:

woodguy said...

People laughed at Archie Bunker on the outside but identified with him when no one was looking.
Today, they don't care who's looking.