Do all black people have to stand at attention, smiling and clean shaven, our black suits crisply pressed, our bowties level, as if we are the Nation of Islam?
Nope, can’t do that – an army of silent, well organized, well trained black people mobilizing voters throughout the country might be the wrong image to have on the airwaves this fall. Might look too…too…militant.
All sarcasm aside, I will be the first to say black people in general need to step up their game to get what we want out of America. But if we don't, are we guilty of being race traitors? Of letting our people down? Of letting...gasp...Barack Obama down?If Obama is going to have to apologize for everything an individual black American says or does that is unacceptable to mainstream America, then he needs to quit while he's ahead.
Black Americans are not the nation's Model Minority (see Asian immigrants). We are America's Most Favored Minority, but 99 percent of us couldn't get elected president if you spotted us 250 electoral votes, the same way 99 percent of white Americans have no chance of appealing to a large enough number of voters to be elected.
Ludacris, an Atlanta based rapper, has a new song out that contains a line that has ruffled the feathers of our ever-vigilant news pundits.
"Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant" is the line that has garnered so much attention from the otherwise innocuous rap song by Ludacris titled "Politics".
The "Hillary" in question is of course none other than Hillary Clinton, ex-presidential candidate. This is the same Hillary Clinton who was the subject of a Saturday Night Live skit by comedienne Tina Fey earlier this year that poked fun at Hillary's image as a tough as nails competitor. In her skit, Fey said it point blank -"Hillary is a bitch" - but asserted that "I'm one too", and that "bitch was the new black".
The ever vigilant, pursed lip, pained eye fraternity, their pale faces staring out from our TV's, jumped right on the lyrics of the Ludacris song last night. They will intone with great seriousness over and over during the next few days why Obama's associations are problematic and why the music he has on his iPod should be vetted, as if it contains one of those songs that says "Obama is the Anti-Christ" when it is played backwards.
These are the same pundits who have proclaimed that we are entering a "post-racial" society with the advent of Obama's candidacy, but the way they have responded to what should be a trivial non-event signals they don't really believe what they are saying.
Ludacris has never held himself out to be anything other than a young brother looking to have some fun and make some money. He made his name in Atlanta, first as a radio jock, then as a local rap act who sold tapes out of his trunk. The people who are buying what he's selling, who are mostly young and are mostly white, know what they are getting.
McCain's campaign was half right - we do need to compare apples to apples when it comes to understanding who Obama really is.
Instead of comparing Obama to Paris Hilton, or Brittany Spears, or even Ludacris, why not compare him to other "apples" like himself - people like Ken Chennault of American Express, or Dick Parsons, formerly of Time Warner, or John Thompson, currently at Symantec - chief executive officers of some of America's largest companies, companies that have prospered under competent leadership from the African American men at their helm.