Brownskinned People Won't Tarnish Presidency




I was underwhelmed by the speakers leading up to the speech by Michelle Obama earlier tonight, so I went upstairs to tool around the internet for a minute. After about fifteen minutes of web surfing, I was about to get up from my chair when I saw the words "Obama assasination plot" on the screen. I figured it was one of the ones from the spring, but when I pulled up Google to see what was going on, I froze - the time stamp on the first article said "38 minutes ago".

By the time I had gathered enough information - namely, that Obama had not been in any immediate danger, and the two three men had been arrested - I went back to the basement, where Michelle Obama had already launched into her opening night speech. Her delivery was superb, the imagery crisp, the language simple but powerful, the narrative that we are all at least a little familiar with rewoven into an even more compelling story about her life than the ones I'd already heard. Why the punditocracy would have expected anything less, I said to myself, as they tepidly praised her effort, was beyond me.

Maybe it was the fact that I had had one foot anchored in reality by the news update I'd read that kept me from accepting a lot of the reasons the CNN pundits were giving for the extraordinary length the Obama family seemed to be going to in order to show America that they were "alright". That they could be "comfortable" with them. That this highly choreographed forty five minute extravaganza had been put together for the sole purpose of "reassuring" mainstream America that these brownskinned people wouldn't tarnish the office of the presidency.

Why, I asked S., didn't one of the brighter pundits like Jeff Toobin look squarely into the camera and simply tell the American public who were watching that black people who live the type of high profile lives like the Obamas are experts at explaining who they are to white Americans because they've been doing it all their lives? Why couldn't one of them have played devil's advocate and asked the real question - what is wrong with our nation when people are uneasy at the thought of members of the "Well Scrubbed Negro Club" holding positions of power and influence?

I was bewildered when Obama appeared on a large TV monitor over the stage when Michelle got through with her speech - why was he in the living room of a nondescript family in St. Louis, Missouri ? Where they the winners of one of the those fundraising contests at www.barackobama.com ? But then the Google search I'd done earlier came back to me, and I was kind of glad - actually, I was thankful that Barack had not been in Denver.

If this post doesn't make a lot of sense, it is because I am still flustered over the idea that high powered rifles could have been trained on Obama Thursday night by the two three men in custody. And I'm pretty damn upset about the thought that these people will probably not be the last to try.

But the worst thing about the evening, the thing that gets me hotter than anything else, is the fact that even though the Obamas are just like any other successful American family, its the color of their skin that makes all the difference, a darker tint that is the cause of all the anxiety and unrest, as if the color of a car makes it run faster, or drive differently, or break down more often.

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3 comments:

freemanpress said...

I was underwhelmed by her speech also. I thought she was on script and I guess for the sake of the audience couldn't be warmer.

The shooting plot is why they have to convince whites that they are alright. If they don't spend as much time on making them feel relaxed then if they can't stop him by voting they will stop him another way.

This whole election is showing white people the thing they have been denying for all these years. That they are prejudiced and racist and they know that element is in their race but they won't admit to it.

Anonymous said...

I thought Michelle's delivery was impeccable. I almost cried seeing them on the stage, because this is something many of us could only have imagined.

You are right Brown Man to point out, Michelle and Barack Obama have been NEEDLESSLY explaining themselves all of their lives, when clearly their polished images, strict moral code, and family upbringing prove that they are candidates to get the job done.

Query, though? Colin Powell and Condeleeza Rice didn't catch half of the slack as Obama. Why is this? Are we only entitled to one or two African American leaders per decade? or is it because African Americans actually like Obama more than the former leaders? or is it because they (mainstream society) will only allow us to get close but not actually gain the most powerful position in the country?

-your little cousin, C.C. Esq.

Anonymous said...

just as with the obama/clinton "controversy" that continues unabated in the media, where there is controversy only in the minds of a small minority, the "controversy" over the color of the obamas' skin will continue because it is all that conservatives and the media have as a wedge to distract from the real issues which we should be considering now.

i would have liked to have seen the republican charges of "elitist" and "exotic" strangled in their beds but all i had heard about senator and mrs. obama's families before this was that they both had parents and a brief path-crossing with an online story about obama's "homeless" brother, which i didn't bother reading -- remember billy carter?

unless a relative was, oh, say, convicted of felonies and built an enormous fortune on protected criminal activity (cindy mccain's father --
http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/content/printVersion/167059), i personally don't feel the need to "vet" them -- it's the candidate that concerns me.

but after monday night, i not only want to vote for senator obama, i want his family to adopt me!

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