Hat Tip to Mo'Kelly
Obama supporter Cornel West blogged his dissapointment regarding Obama's decision not to attend the King commemoration events in Memphis, a sentiment later co-signed by Tavis Smiley in a radio commentary. I don't generally rant here at the season, but I'm going to depart from SOP today.
West and Tavis both work my nerves with this kind of "blackness" litmus test. Obama is busy running a campaign for the nation's highest office. While it certainly would have been nice if Obama could have attended, that he did not go does not change or affect a damn thing of consequence in the lives of black people.
Tavis and West's reaction is no different than the people jumping on Obama for Wright's comments. Its the same logic. So what would they have us believe? That Obama don't care about black folks because he passed on the King events? Is that what we are going to be doing to the brother from here out, jumping in his grill every time he doesn't show up for some purely symbolic stuff and claim he is distancing himself from black folk for political reasons? Because he doesn't come and genuflect at some civil rights icon as the West and Tavis think he should? Its bull.
Obama has got to take care of business. King is dead and he gon stay dead whether Obama came to lay a wreath or not. Stop hating on the brother over BS that is less important than the herculean task he is trying to accomplish.
If Obama becomes president, I'll appreciate it if he shows up for every negro dinner, event and awards show, that will be real nice. But if he never goes to a one, but spends his time being a damn good president and taking care of business in a way that means I as a citizen can take care of business, I will be perfectly fine with that. As Dyson said at the SOBU, stop hatin on Negroes!
Whether Obama shows up in Memphis is not critical in any way, shape or form to the issues facing black people. It would have been nice for him to go, but whether he was there or not doesn't matter in the big scheme of life. As I read it, they are complaining that Obama is trying to put distance between himself and race issues, coming off the J.Wright controversy. Lets assume they are correct. SO WHAT!? Obama is trying to win an election, one in which he has to overcome the political impediment of being black. If he were running to be president of black america, then I would say it mattered, but he's not. He's running for POTUS. He's got to juggle and manage the impact of racial dynamics on his campaign, like it or not.
This idiotic idea that he must put his blackness front and center every damn day as apparently West and Tavis would prefer is just plain stupid. The brother can't escape the race perceptions of his actions and never will from white people and black people. Just because he is currently the most prominent black man in America and poised to make history does not mean that he has to sign on for every symbolic black event or thing in order to demonstrate his negro bona fides again and again.
He's got to get the damn job. Tavis and West bitching because he didn't come to the cultural equivalent of a really big Negro chicken dinner is just frikkin stupid. These are the same guys who sat around at the SOBU talking up and down about accountability (see my political videos). Is this the kind of BS they want to hold him accountable for, that he didn't come to the big Negro chicken dinner? When they talked about accountability, I thought we were talking about policies and practices, the rule of law, educational investments, stuff like that. But it seems like what they want to hold him accountable for is proving his blackness by genuflecting before the sacred cows of the civil rights establishment. Thats the kind of BS thinking that produces a moribund NAACP that doesn't get why representing rapists at Dunbar Village is wrong, or an Urban League that puts out a compact with America thats little more than a wishlist of government programs and says squat about what black people will do to solve their own problems.
This brother is playing for the history books and their big accountability, finger wagging, stern voice of disapproval is because he didn't come to the big chicken dinner? Thats house negro thinking and they should both get their heads out of their ass.