Sunday, March 23, 2008

African-American Washington Post Writer Urges Obama to "Show Them Your White Side."

Here is a very funny article that makes a very good point: Barack Obama needs to find a way to connect with white voters who are getting screwed by the huge corporations that run our society. He calls such voters the "aw hell no" block.

Here is a quote from the article:

So it's official. Sen. Barack Obama is black enough. Now it's time for him to switch gears. Okay, maybe not Obama himself -- he does a good job of appearing to be above the political and racial fray, as his speech last week proved again -- but his supporters. They need to start pushing the idea of how white he is.

Yes, that's right: Barack Obama is as white as he is black. The one-drop rule is not a genetic law or a social fact; it is a construct of this country's racist imagination. For Pete's sake, he's a distant cousin of Dick Cheney's. We need to start stressing the idea that his universal appeal is partly due to his being white, like all the presidents before him.

I know, I know. For a while the big issue was Obama's blackness. But the King (Jesse Jackson) and the Prime Minister (Al Sharpton) of black people announced he'd passed the test. Of course, it took a gang of white people in Iowa voting for him before they felt comfortable anointing him, but it happened. All of a sudden, Bill Clinton looked less like a gumbo of James Brown, John Coltrane and Magic Johnson and more like a potluck dinner of Tom Jones, Kenny G and Larry Bird.

Of course, Obama is aware of the need to find a way to connect with white voters of the AHN block. That is one reason why he stressed that he could no more abandon his minister than he could his white grandmother for saying racist things. So he is well aware of the need to make that connection.

So maybe, as the writer of the article, Bomani Armah, says that is really Obama's supporters who need to start stressing his "white side" to undecided voters. Armah goes on to list some things that Obama can do, and they are pretty funny, but they all make the point that voters vote for candidates who they can relate to, and that relating is more important to getting their vote then policy.

No comments: