Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Deja vu all over again

When Andrew Sullivan called Barack Obama's defense of his relations with Jeremiah Wright "the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime ... a speech we have all been waiting for a generation" he might more accurately called it 'a speech we have all been waiting to hear again in this generation." Nearly 40 years ago, almost to week, Robert F. Kennedy extemporaneously made an eerily similar speech with almost identical themes before a crowd in Indianapolis. The day was April 4, 1968. The situation was the run-up to the Democratic Convention. The occasion was the breaking news of Martin Luther King's assassination.




The saddest and most striking thing about Kennedy's speech is how similar its themes are to what Sullivan called "a speech we have all been waiting for for a generation." It's almost as if a needle had been taken off a track on a vinyl record and seamlessly spliced with the tracking laser on a CD. Today the sound recording is better. The video is in more vivid color. But the current cast resembles the original only in parody. Where RFK was eulogizing Martin Luther King, Barack Obama was talking about Jeremiah Wright. The words are the similar but different; and the times congruent at points but in altogether changed circumstances.

Here's RFK's Indianapolis speech. Perhaps we have improved over the Bourbons, of whom it was said that they remembered everything and learned nothing. Today we know everything and remember nothing.

Ladies and Gentlemen - I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening. Because...

I have some very sad news for all of you, and I think sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world, and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in.

For those of you who are black - considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible - you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization - black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States, we have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: "Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God."

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.

Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people. Thank you very much.

Memories were short even then. Nothing is so enduring as plausible deniability.

Sirhan had long dealt with anger over Israel's creation in 1948. Sirhan supposedly believed he was deliberately betrayed by Kennedy's support for Israel in the June 1967 Six-Day War, which had begun exactly one year before the assassination. However, the "RFK must die" diary entries started before Kennedy's support of Israel became public knowledge.[citation needed] After his arrest, these journals and diaries were discovered. Most of the entries were incoherent and repetitive, though a single entry obsessed over a desire to kill Kennedy. When confronted with this entry, Sirhan couldn't deny writing them, but rather expressed bafflement.




The Belmont Club is supported largely by donations from its readers.

67 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

Andrew Sullivan has as much credibility as Obama - none.

Barack Hussein Obama is to Martin Luther King as an alley cat is to a lion. Maybe I'm being too generous to Obama. An alley cat wouldn't pimp it's grandmother.

3/19/2008 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger Benj said...

Thanks for posting the speech. It was good to hear Bobby now. Though I wish you'd let your SELF be moved by Barack's moment, rather than passing it off to Sullivan and then leaning on Marx. ("Second time as farce.") Re: "Deja vu all over again" - Aren't you making the same mistake that Obama zeroed in on when he criticized Wright? - Your vision of the past is too static. It matters mucho that it's an African American doing the fire-fighting this time. (And that he's not alone - It was a kick to watch that CNN cat Roland Martin cooly handle Lou - now THERE'S a demagogue - Dobbs and other clueless CNN canters last night...) Matters too that we're no longer talking about actual assassination, but character assassination - much of it self-induced!

In the last Obama thread someone suggested my posts might be "sincere" but lacking in detail. (Now I remember - it was ExDEM who has a real feeling for himself "as someone who is practised in the art of reading closely." Yo - You may have left the Party, ex-Dem - but your Arrogance lives on!) So here are a few more historical details - Though "historical" isn't quite right. Just random bits of dailiness from the past - facts of feeling hardly worthy of being invoked in s post headed by Bobby's response to MLK's martrydom. Still, I sense that there's a familial annecdote that just might speak to those who complain about O's failure to give it up enough to the fear/angers of white Americans. Before you can see where we're at - and why Obama's tone was pitch-perfect and TRUE when he crossed color lines to compare America's race-based grievances - you need to fully comprehend the felt quality of where we once were in the USA. Not back in slavery days or at modern moments of high drama, but on an average day in 1966. A year or two after W's pop voted against the Civil Rights Act...

Late in his life, my pop recalled that History spoke loudest to him one night when he was down South in 66 – “No war, death, passing of a baton, interview with greatness at the White House, afternoon in a hushed library with a volume of Shakespeare marked up by John Keats – nothing ever homed me in so directly on the weight of the past.” What follows is his first attempt to measure up to that moment in the 60s. He was careful not to amp up the experience – it was “not dramatic or overwhelming.” Just a few seconds during his first evening in Mississippi where he was about to participate in that summer tutorial program...As a new arrival from the North he was the night’s beer man, so he headed out with his bunk-mate in the project station wagon...

I see beer signs but, says my bunkmate, we don’t hack around there. I understand naturally. As Yankee visitors we’re not well-regarded by local people and anyway going to Blacktown is a gesture of solidarity with the people we’re trying to help. Who needs this explained?

We turn from a paved road to a dirt one, one-story frame buildings, stores, tin roofs extended over the walks – a gallery effect, sort of. We slip up to the curb, diagonal parking. A black man and woman – his wife? – a woman with a baby in her arms – they’re standing outside the beer parlor. No, they’re looking in the window – they’re watching the TV inside. Not there for the beer, just for the program, baby awake for a bit. They’re pretty involved in the show. I wait a half-second, smiling at storefront communal TV. I climb out, shut the door. The sound surprises them. The black man looks at me. Instantly he steps off the walk into the gutter, pulling the woman’s elbow. She’s with him. – This way of talking about it doesn’t communicate the fact. It splits the act up as though there were stages or a moment of choice or a decision but no, there wasn’t any. This was a single moment of human response or recognition – the black man turns, sees us, moves himself and his wife and child from our path, though they are not in our path. They don’t look up. I feel locked into the deed of moving past them. I’d like to say something. Well look…I’m from out of town, it’s your town, it’s your section. You shouldn’t – You shouldn’t move like that. Nothing to be afraid of. They are merely there, waiting for me to go by. It comes out of the man, a strong projecting abasing current, that they have a sense of themselves as trespassers, guilty, dangerously guilty because a white man has parked his car close to them, a strange white advancing past them toward – really past them? – toward the beer parlor door. Or does he want their place at the window watching a Carol Burnett summer repeat? No turf on this earth is theirs, they are automatically cowed. They have no right to stand or to look. They can’t even inquire – in the honored way people inquire glancingly and deprecatingly about strangers. “Who’s that over there? I wonder who that is?” Not for them to know. This elementary primitive freedom – it’s not there. The child in the mother’s arms – could he or she feel the quick movement, the guilty instinctive fearful motion of retreat? Soak it right into the bones before they’re old enough to utter a word?

3/19/2008 09:03:00 AM  
Blogger South Dakota Lawyer said...

I believe that the most honest speech on race in America was delivered by Bill Cosby at the NAACP meeting on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Brown v.Board of Education.

http://www.mishalov.com/bill-cosby-naacp.html

"It's not what they are doing to you, it's what you are not doing." Cosby identified the dysfunctional aspects of contemporary black culture -- failure in parenting, loss of a sense of embarassment, rejection of sensible values (as being too "white), and embracing the values of the "underclass" (as being more authentically "black").

This speech is honest, brutually honest, and it has been attacked by those with a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of blame, guilt, and "reparations." Until the discussion includes this kind of taboo-free talk, we will never even begin to solve the problems of race.

Obama's speech is another deja vu moment. It attempts to maintain the reigning embargo on honest discussion by keeping the focus on what whites need to do to fix the problem. It all started with slavery and the whites better pony up some serious money before we can move on. And while you are at it, you can buy an indulgence for your own sins by electiing me. Obama can't disown Rev. Wright, not so much because he is part of the black community, but because he can't disown the reparations approach that he, and his wife, and his church community all share.

The proposition that this election is an opportunity to redeem America from its racial history not only suits Obama's amibitions, it keeps the discussion where he and Wright want it. In this regard, the observation that 40 years ago, RFK was saying the same thing, is pretty strong evidence that the embargo on honest talk about race has succeeded, even if fixing the problem has not. Bill Cosby, Clarence Thomas, Shelby Steele, and others similarly situated are not on the invitation list for dinner with the establishment and are not likely to be in my adult lifetime.

3/19/2008 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Obama's speech is a no one cares moment.

I'm supposed to care about Obama's need to excuse his racist mentor? Believe that it's racist for his Granny to be afraid of Black men threatening her on the bus stop for money? Think it's racist for Ferraro to say the obvious, Obama is only where he is because he's black?

Please.

It's been nearly half a century since MLK and RFK were assassinated. No one cares anymore. I don't. I don't feel guilty about long-dead Jim Crow. White racism. Vietnam. Slavery. Etc.

I just don't care. I suspect most Whites, that is the majority of the nation, feel the same.

We get it. Obama is the Angry Black Nationalist Candidate who wants to punish us for being white. And WILL make that happen. We get it, Blacks hate Whites and always will. They hate America too (nearly all of them). Newsweek surveyed Black ministers and all of them felt Wright was correct in God Damn America.

I suspect most Whites (again, that's most Americans) have simply written off Blacks as anti-American, White hating lunatics they'd wish would shut up or go away. To "mother Africa" they venerate so much but never actually want to live there. Or what have you.

There is not going to be any "unity" based on Whites groveling to a minority that hates them and their country. That simply is not going to happen.

And 1968 was forty years ago. It's as close in time to us now as the Stock Market Crash of 1929 was then.

3/19/2008 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Benj said...

Whiskey - I'm well aware I may not belong in this Club - but, after all...it is called "History and History in the Making" - So waht are you doing here...

"O's speech is a No-one cares moment...I don't care." But Whiskey even when you're drunk - "I" don't equal "everyone." You're ready to read black folks out of your country, but you surely don't speak for all white folks. Probably for some Clintonites though...

Here's a story posted yesterday on liberal website...


Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:03:06 AM PDT
When I worked and lived in Virginia, my first immediate supervisor was a wingnut.
But he was an enjoyable wingnut, always ready for a lively debate, a good supervisor, a great announcer, and a good man.

One of the things that sent that experience - of working in that Virginia cluster - into the sour zone was when wingnut boss left. I will not go into the details of that, except to say that I thought it was a Bad Thing. And still do.
Since he left, and since I left Virginia for a more fulfilling job here on Massachusetts' South Coast, we've stayed in constant touch.

We kind of can't resist each other, the debates in email are constant and engaging.
And, we're friends.

In spite of the fact that the intersection of our social and political views basically begins and ends with gun rights.....
or at least that was what I thought until yesterday, after Barack Obama's speech.

At 11:32, I received an email from Walker. There was no text in the body other than his signature.
But the subject line said it all:

"Your man kicked ass today!"

That was it. And that was enough. I grinned so hard I thought my smile was going to meet together in the back of my head and drop the top of it off.

Again, this is a hardcore conservative, a lifelong Republican, although one with whom the Bushies have fallen from grace with. Lot of that around, of course.

This was my reply, short but sweet: (I was under the gun getting ready for my own show, 30 minutes of which may be coming soon to a YouTube near you!)

:)
Yes, he did.
And you should've heard the midday guy right after the speech, too dumb to know he'd punk'd himself:
B: "He blamed Whitey!"
Caller: "He stated a fact."
B: "That's blaming Whitey!"
No shit. I have it on tape somewhere, in case no one believes me.....

What really was unbelievable to ME was the reply I got back from this conservative Republican:

"I heard the same thing from Rush on the way home,, he was babbling on about being a individual and how he didn't like to be bunched with a lot of other people.. The more I listen to that man, the more I think he is just pandering to the poor slobs that believe he is on their side, when actually he is on the side of the very rich and couldn't care less if people get ahead. Once again it's like it was a hundred years ago when the rich stood on the backs of the working man. The interesting part is they don't stay rich unless we spend money,, the days of the steel barron are gone,, if we cut back on buying stuff,, they hurt... we can only effect certain things.. the housing slowdown is one,, and the rich banks that have been run badly and by thieves are hurting,, soon it will be the drug companies because people will not be buying unnecessary stuff just to afford gasoline, and some of the stuff you see advertised as drugs is just a waste,, It's all gonna catch up until things collapse, all except the oil companies,,, then someone will realize that this needs to be nationalized and price gouging is bad. After hurricanes enterprising people would go buy a truckload of 2 hundred dollar generators and sell them for a thousand dollars a piece and make a ton of money. This was made illegal and called price gouging,, why is big oil allowed to do it. I was watching Cavuto and he had Ben Stein on and he was saying it would be a good idea to raise the taxes on the rich, they have it and all they do is play golf all day and probably wouldn't even miss the money. Cavuto nearly had a bird, he was just flabbergasted,, then a couple weeks later there is Ben Stein on Beck after writing a piece in a major paper saying the oil companies deserve a pat on the back for doing such a great job fueling our country.

"someone got to him big time" he was probably threatened that he would never work again, and never be asked back on Cavuto,, it was a radical turnaround.. When is the common man gonna realize that the media isn't telling and won't tell the truth or kill the goose that lays the golden egg. Something is definitely rotten and starting to smell in the media.

Wow. Just....wow.

The times, they are a changin'. We hope.

I had to read that three times to make sure it said what I thought it said....

I had to push buttons for an hour for a guest host who is a newspaper columnist in our coverage area. He describes himself as a "progressive Democrat" yet is a Hillary supporter.

Now I knew he would parse Obama's speech and look for ins to attack him on it, but I never dreamed he'd come across this rough.
On the heels of saying things like "Ater that speech, I might have to vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination," and playing the "guilt-by-association" game for a solid hour, coozing on the conservatives that called, he dared to call himself a "progressive" in my presence.
And I couldn't say anything. it wasn't my show.
I wanted to VOMIT.

During the first break, I said to him, "You know that if, God forbid, somehow Hillary gets the nomination, your allies-of-convenience, the Republicans, aren't going to be your allies anymore. They'll turn on you like the milk you left out overnight. You know that, don't you?"
He just laughed.
An hour later after getting off the board, I was still upset and disgusted.

I was so angry I was shaking. At the end of the show, I turned on the network news and left the control room without a word, and went straight to my office.

And so, where did I go to buck up and try to get over it?
Straight back to that email exchange with less-of-a-wingnut ex-boss:

"Your man kicked ass today."

Thanks. I needed that.

3/19/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger always right said...

I like the only salvation from the "ORIGINAL SIN of our country" is to elect Obama as our next POTUS.

I thought the speech was about how Rev. Wright has been an out right racist?

Nuance!

3/19/2008 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

The speech that Sullivan doesn't want to hear is on youtube. It's done by the Reverend David Manning from a church in Harlem. A virtual black monolith disintegrating.

3/19/2008 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger 2164th said...

peter said...

"Andrew Sullivan has as much credibility as Obama - none."

And Peter is generous.

3/19/2008 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger joe buz said...

Question;
If the Rev. Wright put these two bumper stickers on his benz, in what order would he place them?:

"God Damn America"
"Obama 08"

3/19/2008 11:03:00 AM  
Blogger StratGeo said...

People hear what they want to hear. Those who love Obama hear the speech of a generation, those who fear him hear deflection and obfuscation.

In the interests of full disclosure: I distrust Obama. Among other reasons, I think he is far more a man of the left than he is trying to paint himself, and I think his foreign policy as outlined in his Foreign Affairs article is even more dangerously adventurous than Bush's has been.

That being said, I think Obama wrapped up the nomination with his
speech, but he has not even come close to clearing his
way in the general election.

Personally, I think he needed to confront the
specifics of Wright's statements and take them apart
piece by piece. The USA did not create AIDS. We did
not bring 9/11 on ourselves. There is nothing wrong
with "middleclassness," etc. The specificity of
Wright's wrongs remain out there, and they will
continue to be juxtaposed the the non-specificity of
Obama's rejection, which comes off as a wink-and-a-nod
in the comparison.

These actual comparisons are going to hurt him badly
in the general. Similar to the comparisons with his
opponent. Obama claims to be a uniter, but he has no
unifying resume, while his opponent will have
McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman in
his bona fides. Obama will have the memory of this
non-rejection rejection, while McCain will have the
memory of the dozens of times he has poked
conservatives in the eyes over the years.

I think we just watched a welterweight win the right
to step into the ring with a middleweight, and the
difference in punching power is going to leave him
still standing but too battered to win by November.

3/19/2008 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger j- said...

The speech was meaningless. Obama should've given it this Sunday at his own church, and he should have told them to knock off the Julius Streicher stuff or he would never return. That might have won him the election.

Instead what we get is another rehash of the old "Yeah, but what about you" junk that you can see nightly on any of the lib vs. con talking head shows.

I don't care that his grandma was a racist--does that make two wrongs right? And we're not talking about some long-ago member of the "Reagan coalition" or anything else, tough guy, we're talking about YOUR spiritual guru.

Speaking of "Yeah, but you...", Benj, what does the fact that GHW Bush voted against the Civil Rights act have anything to do with Obama's beliefs?

Further, what does any of your rambling opus have to do with the topic? I don't visit this site daily, but do you always flood the page with such meandering gibberish? I gave up on trying to grock your drift [to use that hipsterish lingo you apparently love] about two paragraphs in--BOTH times.

3/19/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger peterike said...

Ahh poor Benj, getting all in a lather from drinking the tiredest old wine because it comes from a new skin. Obama's speech was nonsense.

A truly honest assessment of race in America from Obama would go something like this.

"While blacks in America were the victims of many historical crimes, the truth is that for the past 50 years the white community has moved steadily away from their previous behavior, and indeed done everything possible to accomodate blacks and make them equal in society. No significant barriers remain to black success, as the careers of my wife and myself clearly demonstrate.

"All doors are open. Indeed, most of those doors are not only open, but they say 'blacks before whites' on them, as blacks have been granted numerous advantages not given to their white counterparts.

"Yet what has been the result of this? A grateful black community taking advantage of these historic opportunities and making something of them? For some, yes. But for far too many, their response has been anger, distrust, and a staggering amount of crime against the white community. To hear those such as Rev. Wright, you would think white mobs were lynching blacks on a daily basis, when in truth blacks and black mobs are robbing, beating, raping and killing whites, hundreds every day, and we hear nothing of it. White children cower in fear in schools in the presence of black children.

"Blacks have turned to drugs and drink in huge numbers. They have turned ignorance into a source of pride. They have abandoned the notion of intact families. They have taken to all of the worst social pathologies and excused them all with shouts of 'whitey made me like this.'

"In sort, blacks have rejected the hand offered in friendship and honesty from a justifiably chastened white community. They have rejected that hand, and spurned their own hopes for success and happiness, preferring to dwell in anger and resentment.

"White racism is virtually gone in America, yet black racism against whites and white society is a rampant evil destroying millions of lives at this very moment. Yet none dare speak of it.

"The black community must stand up and say 'yes, we have failed ourselves. It's no one's fault but our own.'

"The time to reject resentment is now! The time to reject black failure is now! The time to reject black excuse-making is now! The time to reject the disgraceful black so-called leadership that grows fat on black pain and suffering is now!

"Nothing is stopping the full successful assimilation of blacks into American society other than their own sickness of heart and soul. Can we change this in America? Yes, we can! Yes, we can!"

Yeah, it would go something like that. Pity it was just another full of crap "America hasn't accepted us" speech.

3/19/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

No Benj you do not belong to the club.

Afrocentrism hatred of Whites makes Blacks a bunch of marginal, separatist players. Period.

Wealthy White Liberals may rule the roost in San Francisco, but don't in the rest of California much less the suburban and outer suburban places like Temecula and so on.

Ask yourself honestly, how well grievance theater and anti-White pandering plays outside the Black Community? The answer is obvious.

And the plural of anecdote is not data. I can find pro-Ahmadinejad Israeli Jews. Not many, but they are there.

Mr. God Damn America and Rev God Damn America are going down together.

Obama is ALL about RACE now. His race being "owed" something every middle and working class white. Right. That's gonna play well. In a recession/depression.

3/19/2008 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

When I asked in the last thread about whether benj ever watched an advertisement for the Royal Bank of Scotland, there was a reason. Its slogan is “Less Talk, Make It Happen.”

If you want a better society in the future, treat others on the basis of their character. Do not treat others based on the color of their skin, and do not treat others based on how much money they have. It’s that simple. No race hustle is necessary. No race hustle is ever necessary. There’s an old confidence trick of telling a mug that the reason for all of his problems is that he’s got cursed money. Then, the con man tells the sucker to just give him that money and he will take the curse off the money. It is a similar con to offer someone racial redemption in exchange for his vote.

What is Barack Obama going to say to someone who is a victim of a racial attack by a black man, or a boy who is falsely accused of racism and then forced to apologize for something he never said? Telling such a man he is forgiven for crimes he never committed adds salt to his injuries and also disrespects his intelligence.

Barack Obama is not the only man of mixed heritage and he is not the only man with an exotic childhood. He is not the only man whose upbringing does not conform to common stereotypes. The problem is that Barack Obama refuses to acknowledge that he is white no less than he is black. Barack Obama calls himself a black man, yet he never calls himself a white man. Must Barack Obama accept the Jim Crow view of race that one ounce of black blood in one’s veins makes one black? And what’s the big deal about race, anyway? It’s just skin!

A vote for Barack Obama cannot possibly be a vote for national catharsis. Sometimes, catharsis comes not from the big events in life, but from the little ones. Sometimes the word of God comes not in a booming voice but in the faintest of whispers. No political campaign can ever compare to the social power of everyday acts of kindness.

So, whenever one sees how bad the world seems to be and wonders what God is doing to mend it, remember that God has sent someone to mend it. He put you where you are.

3/19/2008 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Jrod said...

I think I missed the part where Obama went from "not being black enough" to being the Great Black Hope.

Indeed, black history is broken in America. That is profoundly sad, but it is also history. Seems to me carrying around the heavy baggage of history would get tiring after a while. If I were carrying that baggage, I'd simply set it down and walk toward the sunrise. But that's just me.

Whiskey's right about California. The liberal phenomena that has found a home mostly in Hollywood and the Bay Area is fairly new from a California history POV--and it doesn't exist too far outside of either place. I haven't done the analysis, but my gut tells me that the proliferation of liberalism in California is directly proportional to the increase non-stop flights from JFK/LGA into SFO/LAX.

3/19/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

The goal of racial politics is to promote the advantage of privilege over merit. Privilege in modern politics is bestowed by favor of preference. That which is preferred, is promoted. Preferential treatment according to the Liberal Progressive social model is granted by favor of political affiliation. Politics being the primary vehicle for social evolution, its not enough to be black (or even female for that matter). To be preferred, one must be a 'correct' black - a Liberal black. Since political beliefs are easier to achieve than actual merit, those that advance in privilege by preference need only say the correct things and be seen to do what is expected. Meanwhile, most persons of true merit have no need of such a model, since it affords them few rewards, and often punishes true achievement. Clarence Thomas and Condoleeza Rice are particularly good examples. By merit alone, both have achieved the pinnacles of their particular professions. They are experts... who just happen to be black. Yet, they are despised for their beliefs and especially for their political affiliations. Barack Obama on the other hand, a Man of little merit, heralded nevertheless for his political charisma, is being propelled by nature of his rhetoric alone to the Nation's highest public office.

The problem with racial politics is that the United States Constitution establishes the principle of merit over privilege. Racial politics is therefore, fundamentally at odds with founding American principles. The Constitution secures the blessings of liberty by promoting an environment of opportunity where individuals are free to achieve (or fail) by choice. Racial Politics, on the other hand, like much of Liberal Progressivism, seeks to replace the rewards of achievement, with the endowed privilege of a new nobility... an Aristocracy of Pull (to borrow a phrase from historical fiction). For vassals of the nobility like Andrew Sullivan, Obama is their perfect Prince... symbolism without substance. Unfortunately, as J.Wright's sermons have suggested, with Obama there is a tremendous degree of mephitical substance, all carefully concealed beneath the seductive symbolism... like anthrax in an easter egg.

As usual 'The Club' has inspired. See also:

http://mysandmen.blogspot.com/2008/03/gospel-madrassa-part-1.html

3/19/2008 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Alexis said:

"Barack Obama is not the only man of mixed heritage and he is not the only man with an exotic childhood. He is not the only man whose upbringing does not conform to common stereotypes. The problem is that Barack Obama refuses to acknowledge that he is white no less than he is black. Barack Obama calls himself a black man, yet he never calls himself a white man. Must Barack Obama accept the Jim Crow view of race that one ounce of black blood in one’s veins makes one black? And what’s the big deal about race, anyway? It’s just skin!"

When I finished that paragraph, I had one of those "THAT'S what I think, I just never said it!" moments...

Nicely summarized, fellow poster.

3/19/2008 01:12:00 PM  
Blogger jeyi said...

Is this dude "Benj", so truly, madly, deeply in love with his purple prose; with the imagined dulcet tones of his radio voice; and with ALL CAPS, maybe the same guy who last week posted somewhere around here twenty pages of revelations about the the Events of 1906 and the machinations of the evil Italians, which explained absolutely everything about everything??

3/19/2008 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Aslam said...

I don't understand how the "Love is all you need" crowd tells itself it is appropriate to lionize resentful victimhood.

Mahatma Gandhi said it very simply -- an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. And yet here is Obama, smoothly rationalizing the deep vitriolic hatred that has been a part of his life for 20 years.

The legacy of slavery is horrific even if it is not Obama's own legacy. But, and this important...if we are to get past that legacy, if we are to achieve closure, if we are to overcome -- it must come from a complete process of forgiveness. Not reparations. Not mutual understanding. Unilateral forgiveness. Of the Gandhian kind.

Unless Blacks forgive the past, they will not escape the debilitating anger that excuses and even celebrates a variety of failures.

America has apologized. Sincerely. Profusely. No sane person can say it hasn't tried to make amends.

So, is there no political leader today who can say "It's well past time to let go of the anger."?

3/19/2008 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger wretchardthecat@hotmail.com said...

Bobby Kennedy's speech was rhetorical masterpiece; the more impressive for having been composed at short notice. But all the hopes he expressed in his speech proved unattainable through the means that he suggested.

And in consequence Obama can lift the Indianpolis ideas practically verbatim 40 years later and be hailed by Andrew Sullivan as the Marvel of the Ages, instead of an eerie Echo from the Past.

The problem with Obama's campaign is that it isn't a post-civil rights program so much as a return to ideas nearly a half century old. But a half-century ago MLK and RFK's ideas were largely untried. Today, despite the experience of the intervening decades, we haven't revised our probabilities.

Obama's defense of Jeremiah Wright's anger, like any defense of Ron Paul's nostrums is sad proof that to some degree both MLK and RFK died in vain. "Barack, I didn't do it for this", writes Roger L. Simon. What the Indianapolis speech suggests to me was that the "moment" was so sweet to some they figured they could dine out on it for all time. 'And they said to one another: behold the dreamer. Let's turn it into a business'.

3/19/2008 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

South Dakota Lawyer: I believe that the most honest speech on race in America was delivered by Bill Cosby at the NAACP meeting on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

Word. I applauded Cosby then and—after reading through his entire speech again—I’ll applaud him now for having more guts than all the Sharptons, Jacksons and other race baiting warlord pimps put together. It is humbling in the extreme to see a honest black man like Cosby struggle to lift White Man’s Burden from white America’s shoulders even as the Liberals try to lash it securely in place.

Alexis: The problem is that Barack Obama refuses to acknowledge that he is white no less than he is black. Barack Obama calls himself a black man, yet he never calls himself a white man. Must Barack Obama accept the Jim Crow view of race that one ounce of black blood in one’s veins makes one black?

Bravo! This really nails the issue squarely. As a mulatto, Obama has a foot in both worlds. Yet, somehow, he is allowed to play the race card with impunity. This goes beyond the usual naked opportunism and enters a realm of blatant hypocrisy.

Jrod: I think I missed the part where Obama went from "not being black enough" to being the Great Black Hope.

That’s because the transition point from abject farce to distinct possibility was allowed to slip past without fanfare by either mass media or the black community. With just the faintest whiff of political power tantalizing their nostrils, suddenly Obama has become a dream candidate whose ascension is a foregone conclusion and merely awaits being sworn into office.

Never mind that the emperor is unclothed by any significant political experience. Disregard how his anti-American rhetoric does not reconcile with claims of being one who promotes unity. Above all, pay close attention to how someone who is so clearly unqualified nonetheless deems himself able to command the world’s greatest superpower. The monumental hubris required for such a leap of—not just faith—but utter presumption simply defies all reason.

Mr. Atos: The goal of racial politics is to promote the advantage of privilege over merit. Privilege in modern politics is bestowed by favor of preference. That which is preferred, is promoted. Preferential treatment according to the Liberal Progressive social model is granted by favor of political affiliation. Politics being the primary vehicle for social evolution, its not enough to be black (or even female for that matter). To be preferred, one must be a 'correct' black - a Liberal black. Since political beliefs are easier to achieve than actual merit, those that advance in privilege by preference need only say the correct things and be seen to do what is expected. Meanwhile, most persons of true merit have no need of such a model, since it affords them few rewards, and often punishes true achievement.

This is one of the finest explanations I’ve seen in writing with respect to liberal elitism, entitlement and favoritism. The entire post is a must read.

Question: Isn't the "Aristocracy of Pull" derived from Ayn Rand?

The foregoing certainly goes a long way towards elucidating how it is possible for a greenhorn tenderfoot like Obama to even be in the running, much less up for nomination. More over, it is a searing indictment of Liberal America’s readiness to substitute style for substance. Worst of all—amidst tightlipped bipartisan refusal to even admit that the West is at war with Islam—we are confronted with the prospect of an entirely untested hand upon the tiller as America attempts to navigate the coming tempest.

3/19/2008 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

Way too many blacks want to view themselves as a single bloc, but they consider it racism when others view them that way.

Blacks (when looked at as a single bloc) are going to remain "downtrodden" until they decide that they want to join our society as full-fledged members.

Until those points are dealt with, racism will continue to be an issue for blacks.

Obama's speech didn't deal with either of them.

3/19/2008 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger sammy small said...

To be preferred, one must be a 'correct' black - a Liberal black.

Exactly. In a discussion with a Lib a year or two back, the issue of blacks and Repubs came up. I offered the example of Michael Steele running for Congress as a Repub. The response I got was "He's not a real Black!"

3/19/2008 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Wretchard,
The way I'd describe it is simple. Mr. Obama gave his "Checkers" speech but time alone will show whether anyone but his toadies were dimwitted enough to buy it. All the same, I rather doubt it. ^_^

Benj,
Your little "Reverend" Jerry Wright chose to wish for America's damnation. He is therefore nothing more than scum and villainy and deserves to be treated accordingly by any decent human being. Anyone who stayed in his congregation after that is nothing more than scum and villainy as well. You may tapdance as you like on behalf of the Obama campaign or any other gang of leftist traitors to America as you please but nothing you say or do will ever alter that. Barrack Hussein Obama's true nature has been put on display. The voters will not forget. Sucks to be Obama! ^_^

Jeyi,
Heh. Quite possibly. More likely he's nothing more than a random hireling of the Obama campaign (Did you notice that he never shows up on any post that *isn't* Obama related? Funny how that works! ^~^). Being paid by the word rate would explain some of his posts. Mind you, I suspect if they pay him at the rate of penny a word then he's probably being overpaid! ^_~

3/19/2008 06:11:00 PM  
Blogger agmartin said...

Jeremiah Wright's anti-American rants just happened to come to the news media's attention at the beginning of the largest gap in the primary season.

Am I the only one who finds the timing to be suspiciously convenient for Mr. Obama?

3/19/2008 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I've been thinking that Benjy is an academic where long long long articles and books are applauded. I'm also thinking he's a beneficiary of Affirmative Action, both in obtaining his education and in attaining whatever position in life he currently is at.

He's certainly an apologist both for the Berkeley perspective of Marxist taking from the rich and giving to the undeserving poor, an unapologetic overly-long writer, an extremely shallow thinker, and both emotionally and personally committed to Obama as a hero.

Oddly enough, though, I cannot see where he has managed to convert anyone to his way of thinking. Or should that be, feeling?

How sad.

3/19/2008 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

.

3/19/2008 06:39:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Here's an essay that benj should analyze:
Lyotardist narrative and socialist realism
Wilhelm S. N. Long
Department of English, Stanford University
1. Burroughs and Foucaultist power relations
“Class is fundamentally a legal fiction,” says Lacan. The feminine/masculine distinction prevalent in Burroughs’s Queer is also evident in Port of Saints. It could be said that an abundance of discourses concerning Lyotardist narrative may be revealed.

The subject is interpolated into a that includes sexuality as a totality. Thus, Marx’s critique of Lyotardist narrative implies that the law is elitist, given that language is equal to culture.

Several theories concerning not, in fact, narrative, but neonarrative exist. But Lacan uses the term ‘Foucaultist power relations’ to denote the difference between art and sexual identity.

In Nova Express, Burroughs affirms socialist realism; in Naked Lunch, although, he analyses presemiotic constructivism. In a sense, the subject is contextualised into a that includes culture as a whole.

2. Realities of collapse
The main theme of Werther’s[1] model of socialist realism is the role of the poet as writer. Foucaultist power relations holds that truth serves to disempower the proletariat. But Debord uses the term ’socialist realism’ to denote a mythopoetical paradox.

In the works of Burroughs, a predominant concept is the distinction between without and within. The premise of the dialectic paradigm of expression suggests that narrative is a product of the masses, but only if Foucaultist power relations is valid; otherwise, we can assume that art is capable of social comment. However, Baudrillard uses the term ’socialist realism’ to denote the defining characteristic, and therefore the failure, of neostructuralist language.

If one examines dialectic theory, one is faced with a choice: either reject Lyotardist narrative or conclude that sexual identity has significance. Any number of desituationisms concerning Lyotardist narrative may be discovered. In a sense, the example of Foucaultist power relations depicted in Burroughs’s Nova Express emerges again in The Soft Machine, although in a more subcultural sense.

The characteristic theme of the works of Burroughs is the common ground between sexuality and society. Marx uses the term ’socialist realism’ to denote a mythopoetical reality. But Wilson[2] states that the works of Burroughs are an example of neomodern feminism.

If one examines Foucaultist power relations, one is faced with a choice: either accept socialist realism or conclude that discourse comes from communication. Sartre’s critique of Lacanist obscurity holds that the collective is part of the rubicon of consciousness, given that culture is interchangeable with narrativity. Thus, the subject is interpolated into a that includes culture as a whole.

The collapse, and some would say the genre, of socialist realism which is a central theme of Burroughs’s Junky is also evident in Nova Express. In a sense, Derrida promotes the use of Foucaultist power relations to challenge capitalism.

Baudrillard uses the term ‘the capitalist paradigm of narrative’ to denote not narrative as such, but subnarrative. Therefore, socialist realism suggests that narrativity is capable of significance.

The subject is contextualised into a that includes truth as a reality. In a sense, an abundance of discourses concerning a self-sufficient paradox exist.

In Queer, Burroughs deconstructs Foucaultist power relations; in Port of Saints he reiterates Lyotardist narrative. It could be said that the subject is interpolated into a that includes culture as a whole.

Marx suggests the use of predialectic narrative to analyse sexual identity. But the example of Foucaultist power relations prevalent in Burroughs’s Nova Express emerges again in Junky, although in a more mythopoetical sense.

If socialist realism holds, we have to choose between Lyotardist narrative and the materialist paradigm of context. In a sense, la Tournier[3] states that the works of Burroughs are reminiscent of Glass.

Derrida uses the term ’socialist realism’ to denote the difference between truth and society. However, the premise of neocapitalist discourse implies that art may be used to entrench sexism.

3. Burroughs and Lyotardist narrative
In the works of Burroughs, a predominant concept is the concept of dialectic consciousness. Sontag promotes the use of Foucaultist power relations to deconstruct outmoded perceptions of language. In a sense, socialist realism suggests that the purpose of the poet is deconstruction.

The main theme of Geoffrey’s[4] model of Lyotardist narrative is the role of the observer as writer. The primary theme of the works of Burroughs is a self-falsifying reality. Thus, the subject is contextualised into a that includes narrativity as a paradox.

“Class is intrinsically meaningless,” says Lacan. The characteristic theme of Hubbard’s[5] analysis of pretextual objectivism is the role of the artist as participant. It could be said that in Port of Saints, Burroughs examines socialist realism; in Naked Lunch, however, he deconstructs Foucaultist power relations.

If one examines Lyotardist narrative, one is faced with a choice: either reject socialist realism or conclude that the Constitution is capable of truth, given that Derrida’s model of cultural narrative is invalid. If socialist realism holds, we have to choose between neotextual deconceptualism and dialectic postsemiotic theory. But Lacan suggests the use of socialist realism to attack and read sexual identity.

The opening/closing distinction intrinsic to Burroughs’s Junky is also evident in The Soft Machine. Therefore, Foucaultist power relations states that consciousness serves to oppress minorities.

Wilson[6] holds that we have to choose between preconceptualist socialism and the structural paradigm of reality. Thus, several sublimations concerning socialist realism may be found.

If Sontagist camp holds, the works of Burroughs are not postmodern. However, Debord uses the term ‘Lyotardist narrative’ to denote not theory, but posttheory.

The subject is interpolated into a that includes reality as a reality. Therefore, Long[7] implies that we have to choose between the capitalist paradigm of consensus and presemioticist narrative.

The premise of Foucaultist power relations suggests that art is capable of significance, but only if reality is equal to truth. However, the primary theme of the works of Burroughs is the role of the observer as artist.

In Queer, Burroughs reiterates dialectic theory; in Junky he analyses Lyotardist narrative. But the main theme of Hanfkopf’s[8] critique of textual neodialectic theory is a mythopoetical totality.

4. Foucaultist power relations and deconstructivist deconstruction
The primary theme of the works of Burroughs is the role of the poet as observer. Lacan uses the term ’socialist realism’ to denote the paradigm, and thus the dialectic, of subcultural consciousness. Thus, if the constructive paradigm of discourse holds, we have to choose between Lyotardist narrative and postcapitalist conceptualism.

“Sexual identity is part of the genre of truth,” says Derrida. Lyotard promotes the use of deconstructivist deconstruction to deconstruct sexism. But Marx uses the term ‘Lyotardist narrative’ to denote a self-justifying paradox.

The main theme of McElwaine’s[9] model of textual precultural theory is not desituationism, but neodesituationism. The subject is contextualised into a that includes art as a whole. Thus, many materialisms concerning the absurdity, and subsequent failure, of material society exist.

The characteristic theme of the works of Burroughs is not, in fact, narrative, but subnarrative. However, the example of deconstructivist deconstruction depicted in Burroughs’s The Soft Machine emerges again in Queer, although in a more neoconceptualist sense.

An abundance of discourses concerning Lyotardist narrative may be discovered. In a sense, Lyotard suggests the use of socialist realism to modify culture.

The primary theme of d’Erlette’s[10] critique of deconstructivist deconstruction is the common ground between society and language. However, in The Soft Machine, Burroughs denies socialist realism; in Naked Lunch, although, he affirms deconstructivist deconstruction.

Baudrillard promotes the use of Lyotardist narrative to attack capitalism. Thus, Geoffrey[11] implies that we have to choose between deconstructivist deconstruction and cultural rationalism.

If socialist realism holds, the works of Madonna are modernistic. But Sontag suggests the use of deconstructivist deconstruction to read and modify sexual identity.

5. Realities of fatal flaw
If one examines Lyotardist narrative, one is faced with a choice: either accept deconstructivist deconstruction or conclude that society, somewhat ironically, has objective value. The characteristic theme of the works of Madonna is not theory, as Lyotardist narrative suggests, but neotheory. It could be said that the subject is interpolated into a that includes sexuality as a paradox.

“Class is fundamentally unattainable,” says Bataille; however, according to Prinn[12] , it is not so much class that is fundamentally unattainable, but rather the collapse of class. The main theme of d’Erlette’s[13] model of Lyotardist narrative is the role of the artist as participant. Thus, Reicher[14] suggests that we have to choose between subcapitalist construction and the modernist paradigm of narrative.

“Society is part of the meaninglessness of consciousness,” says Foucault. Bataille promotes the use of deconstructivist deconstruction to challenge colonialist perceptions of art. It could be said that Sontag’s essay on precultural feminism implies that discourse is a product of the masses.

A number of discourses concerning a mythopoetical whole exist. However, Derrida uses the term ‘Lyotardist narrative’ to denote the collapse, and hence the dialectic, of semioticist society.

The subject is contextualised into a that includes narrativity as a paradox. Therefore, if Lyotardist narrative holds, we have to choose between socialist realism and postdialectic narrative.

Many dematerialisms concerning Lyotardist narrative may be found. In a sense, the premise of deconstructivist deconstruction suggests that sexual identity has significance.

The characteristic theme of the works of Smith is not appropriation, but neoappropriation. But Marx uses the term ’socialist realism’ to denote the defining characteristic, and subsequent failure, of capitalist class.

The absurdity, and eventually the collapse, of prepatriarchialist theory prevalent in Smith’s Dogma is also evident in Mallrats. Thus, Humphrey[15] implies that we have to choose between Lyotardist narrative and deconstructive socialism.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. Werther, P. Q. ed. (1991) The Genre of Narrative: Socialist realism in the works of Burroughs. And/Or Press

2. Wilson, D. Q. P. (1980) Socialist realism and Lyotardist narrative. Yale University Press

3. la Tournier, Z. ed. (1975) Reinventing Realism: Socialist realism, nationalism and subpatriarchial semioticist theory. Panic Button Books

4. Geoffrey, U. O. (1991) Lyotardist narrative in the works of Burroughs. University of North Carolina Press

5. Hubbard, D. I. C. ed. (1987) The Dialectic of Society: Socialist realism in the works of Madonna. Oxford University Press

6. Wilson, S. (1998) Lyotardist narrative and socialist realism. Schlangekraft

7. Long, Z. F. ed. (1987) Contexts of Fatal flaw: Subcultural appropriation, socialist realism and nationalism. Harvard University Press

8. Hanfkopf, T. (1990) Socialist realism and Lyotardist narrative. Schlangekraft

9. McElwaine, P. L. B. ed. (1971) The Burning Door: Socialist realism in the works of Mapplethorpe. Loompanics

10. d’Erlette, Q. (1996) Lyotardist narrative and socialist realism. Panic Button Books

11. Geoffrey, K. B. ed. (1977) Forgetting Foucault: Lyotardist narrative in the works of Madonna. Cambridge University Press

12. Prinn, T. L. G. (1988) Socialist realism in the works of Smith. Loompanics

13. d’Erlette, R. W. ed. (1976) The Stone Sea: Socialist realism, nationalism and Marxist class. University of Illinois Press

14. Reicher, L. (1990) Socialist realism in the works of Gaiman. Harvard University Press

15. Humphrey, A. S. ed. (1971) Reassessing Modernism: Socialist realism and Lyotardist narrative. Yale University Press


What is your opinion on this benj?

3/19/2008 06:47:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Here's another one for you benj. What are your thoughts on this other essay?

The Absurdity of Consciousness: Social realism in the works of Eco
Andreas Drucker
Department of Politics, Cambridge University
L. Francois Werther
Department of Gender Politics, Miskatonic University, Arkham, Mass.
1. Subtextual cultural theory and postconstructivist structuralism
In the works of Eco, a predominant concept is the concept of capitalist sexuality. Derrida suggests the use of postconstructivist structuralism to attack outdated perceptions of society. Thus, Sartre uses the term ’social realism’ to denote the bridge between narrativity and class.

Several theories concerning a neoconceptual totality exist. But the characteristic theme of von Ludwig’s[1] model of the semantic paradigm of discourse is the role of the observer as participant.

Derrida uses the term ‘prestructuralist discourse’ to denote not theory, as Lacan would have it, but neotheory. However, Foucault promotes the use of social realism to analyse culture.

The main theme of the works of Eco is a mythopoetical whole. Therefore, the ground/figure distinction prevalent in Eco’s The Name of the Rose emerges again in Foucault’s Pendulum, although in a more self-supporting sense.

2. Realities of futility
“Society is unattainable,” says Marx. Sartre uses the term ‘Baudrillardist simulation’ to denote the meaninglessness, and some would say the stasis, of textual consciousness. But in The Island of the Day Before, Eco examines social realism; in Foucault’s Pendulum, however, he reiterates subconstructive narrative.

“Society is part of the rubicon of truth,” says Lacan; however, according to Hubbard[2] , it is not so much society that is part of the rubicon of truth, but rather the futility of society. An abundance of constructions concerning postconstructivist structuralism may be discovered. In a sense, Pickett[3] states that we have to choose between prestructuralist discourse and Sartreist existentialism.

Lacan suggests the use of postconstructivist structuralism to challenge hierarchy. It could be said that if posttextual discourse holds, we have to choose between prestructuralist discourse and cultural narrative.

A number of situationisms concerning the role of the writer as reader exist. But postconstructivist structuralism suggests that government is dead.

Lyotard promotes the use of prestructuralist discourse to modify and attack class. It could be said that the characteristic theme of Long’s[4] essay on postconstructivist structuralism is a mythopoetical paradox.

3. Batailleist `powerful communication’ and the precapitalist paradigm of consensus
If one examines the precapitalist paradigm of consensus, one is faced with a choice: either reject dialectic socialism or conclude that sexual identity, perhaps ironically, has objective value. Any number of narratives concerning prestructuralist discourse may be found. In a sense, the primary theme of the works of Fellini is the absurdity, and some would say the meaninglessness, of postcapitalist class.

“Culture is intrinsically unattainable,” says Foucault; however, according to Brophy[5] , it is not so much culture that is intrinsically unattainable, but rather the defining characteristic of culture. Prinn[6] implies that we have to choose between the precapitalist paradigm of consensus and cultural modernism. But if neotextual discourse holds, the works of Fellini are empowering.

Sartre’s critique of the precapitalist paradigm of consensus suggests that narrativity serves to entrench the status quo. It could be said that Debord suggests the use of social realism to challenge hierarchy.

The absurdity, and some would say the defining characteristic, of Sontagist camp intrinsic to Fellini’s 8 1/2 is also evident in La Dolce Vita. In a sense, several situationisms concerning the common ground between class and consciousness exist.

The premise of prestructuralist discourse states that expression must come from communication, given that cultural libertarianism is valid. But Lyotard promotes the use of social realism to read society.

4. Consensuses of genre
In the works of Fellini, a predominant concept is the distinction between creation and destruction. The main theme of Wilson’s[7] analysis of prematerialist theory is a self-justifying whole. However, Sontag’s essay on the precapitalist paradigm of consensus implies that language is capable of deconstruction.

“Consciousness is responsible for capitalism,” says Bataille. A number of discourses concerning social realism may be revealed. It could be said that the subject is contextualised into a precapitalist paradigm of consensus that includes narrativity as a reality.

In Material Girl, Madonna deconstructs cultural theory; in Sex, although, she reiterates prestructuralist discourse. But the subject is interpolated into a precapitalist paradigm of consensus that includes language as a paradox.

The figure/ground distinction which is a central theme of Madonna’s Material Girl emerges again in Erotica, although in a more subtextual sense. It could be said that the premise of social realism holds that art may be used to oppress the Other, but only if reality is distinct from culture.

Several discourses concerning the role of the participant as writer exist. In a sense, McElwaine[8] states that we have to choose between the precapitalist paradigm of consensus and predialectic constructive theory.

5. Madonna and prestructuralist discourse
“Class is part of the meaninglessness of consciousness,” says Sontag; however, according to Long[9] , it is not so much class that is part of the meaninglessness of consciousness, but rather the economy, and subsequent stasis, of class. If social realism holds, the works of Madonna are not postmodern. Thus, Werther[10] implies that we have to choose between prestructuralist discourse and postpatriarchialist dematerialism.

In the works of Pynchon, a predominant concept is the concept of cultural culture. An abundance of narratives concerning social realism may be discovered. In a sense, the characteristic theme of the works of Pynchon is the bridge between society and class.

The primary theme of Pickett’s[11] critique of prestructuralist discourse is the genre, and some would say the defining characteristic, of subdialectic sexual identity. Foucault uses the term ‘the precapitalist paradigm of consensus’ to denote not theory, but pretheory. Thus, many situationisms concerning the rubicon, and therefore the dialectic, of semantic art exist.

The subject is contextualised into a postcapitalist paradigm of discourse that includes reality as a totality. However, Sontag suggests the use of social realism to attack the status quo.

The subject is interpolated into a precapitalist paradigm of consensus that includes language as a whole. Therefore, the main theme of the works of Pynchon is the common ground between sexual identity and class.

If cultural Marxism holds, we have to choose between the precapitalist paradigm of consensus and neomodern narrative. But Lyotard promotes the use of social realism to modify and challenge society.

The subject is contextualised into a that includes truth as a paradox. It could be said that in Mason & Dixon, Pynchon affirms cultural socialism; in V he reiterates prestructuralist discourse.

6. Social realism and Derridaist reading
If one examines prestructuralist discourse, one is faced with a choice: either accept Derridaist reading or conclude that the establishment is capable of truth. Drucker[12] holds that we have to choose between precapitalist discourse and Marxist capitalism. Therefore, any number of narratives concerning Derridaist reading may be revealed.

In the works of Rushdie, a predominant concept is the distinction between creation and destruction. If the dialectic paradigm of context holds, we have to choose between prestructuralist discourse and subtextual deconstruction. But many discourses concerning a self-falsifying reality exist.

The characteristic theme of Pickett’s[13] essay on Derridaist reading is the role of the artist as writer. The example of social realism prevalent in Rushdie’s The Ground Beneath Her Feet is also evident in Satanic Verses. It could be said that the subject is interpolated into a that includes language as a whole.

Derrida suggests the use of prestructuralist discourse to deconstruct sexism. Thus, Buxton[14] suggests that the works of Rushdie are postmodern.

Derridaist reading implies that culture is used to reinforce capitalism. But the subject is contextualised into a that includes narrativity as a reality.

Foucault uses the term ’social realism’ to denote not theory, but pretheory. However, Sontag promotes the use of dialectic discourse to modify sexuality.

The subject is interpolated into a that includes truth as a paradox. Thus, Baudrillard uses the term ‘prestructuralist discourse’ to denote the role of the artist as observer.

7. Narratives of rubicon
If one examines Sartreist absurdity, one is faced with a choice: either reject Derridaist reading or conclude that society has significance. An abundance of desublimations concerning prestructuralist discourse may be found. In a sense, the premise of the postcapitalist paradigm of context suggests that consciousness is capable of significance, given that Lyotard’s model of prestructuralist discourse is invalid.

Bataille uses the term ‘Derridaist reading’ to denote a cultural totality. It could be said that Debord suggests the use of predialectic libertarianism to challenge hierarchy.

The primary theme of the works of Rushdie is the genre, and some would say the rubicon, of capitalist class. Thus, many narratives concerning not, in fact, discourse, but neodiscourse exist.

Sontag uses the term ‘Derridaist reading’ to denote the absurdity of pretextual sexual identity. But Lacan promotes the use of the dialectic paradigm of narrative to deconstruct and read society.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. von Ludwig, I. S. O. ed. (1973) Marxism, social realism and textual subcultural theory. Schlangekraft

2. Hubbard, K. Y. (1996) Semanticist Discourses: Social realism in the works of Eco. Oxford University Press

3. Pickett, R. ed. (1987) Social realism and prestructuralist discourse. Panic Button Books

4. Long, N. K. J. (1975) Deconstructing Expressionism: Prestructuralist discourse in the works of Fellini. O’Reilly & Associates

5. Brophy, D. M. ed. (1991) Social realism, Marxism and cultural subtextual theory. Schlangekraft

6. Prinn, U. (1984) The Narrative of Dialectic: Social realism in the works of Spelling. Yale University Press

7. Wilson, H. Y. ed. (1999) Social realism in the works of Madonna. And/Or Press

8. McElwaine, U. (1983) The Forgotten Fruit: Prestructuralist discourse and social realism. Panic Button Books

9. Long, R. G. B. ed. (1995) Social realism in the works of Lynch. Loompanics

10. Werther, I. L. (1981) Narratives of Futility: Social realism in the works of Pynchon. University of Massachusetts Press

11. Pickett, P. ed. (1979) Social realism in the works of Eco. University of North Carolina Press

12. Drucker, H. F. J. (1993) Forgetting Bataille: Social realism in the works of Rushdie. Schlangekraft

13. Pickett, I. O. ed. (1970) Social realism in the works of Koons. And/Or Press

14. Buxton, W. (1992) Discourses of Paradigm: Social realism and prestructuralist discourse. Oxford University Press


benj, any thoughts?

3/19/2008 06:50:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Dennis Miller was on Fox tonight talking with O Reilly. He said his sense was that O bama's problems of the last 10 days or so have been sufficient to swing the election over to McCain.

I agree

3/19/2008 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger F451-2.0 said...

Alternatively, those of you who find yourself here as a consequence of affirmative action may if you wish deconstruct the thematic elements found within the following fables:

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The Little Red Hen

Who Will Bell the Cat

Outline their interrelationships in terms of process.

I'll expect it on my desk by Thursday next.

3/19/2008 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger oldefogey said...

NahnCee,

If you like Benji, you've got to LOVE Robert.

3/19/2008 08:53:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Obama Merely Changes The Subject

Speaking in Philadelphia, steps away from where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were enacted, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president delivered an address that used the words "race" or "races" 11 times, "racial" or "racially" 15 times, and "racism" or "racist" six times.

But Obama's recent troubles, which this much-hyped speech was supposed to put past him, are not about race relations. They're about one churchman who happens to be black, whose views from the pulpit are repugnant and from whom Obama doesn't seem to have the guts to distance himself.

Reacting to being linked with a bigoted conspiracy theorist by lecturing the nation on race is like disgraced ex-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer responding to his getting caught patronizing an international prostitution ring by giving a speech on the female physique.

The supposed divide between black and white is not the issue here; Obama's longtime association with Jeremiah Wright is.
---
The rest of Obama's speech was spent explaining and rationalizing hate such as Wright's rather than denouncing it. Wright's words "reflect the complexities of race in this country that we've never really worked through," the result of which has been "a cycle of violence, blight and neglect" still haunting America.

The solutions? Expanded government for one, of course.
But while Obama concedes that "the erosion of black families" is "a problem that welfare policies for many years may have worsened," he fails to understand what "Wealth and Poverty" author George Gilder knew back in 1981:

"What actually happened since 1964 was a vast expansion of the welfare rolls that halted in its tracks an ongoing improvement in the lives of the poor, particularly blacks, and left behind . . . a wreckage of broken lives and families worse than the aftermath of slavery."

3/19/2008 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Pat Patterson said...

Benj may have diminished his own argument by claiming that George HW Bush representing the 7th District in Texas voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1968 when the opposite is true. He did vote for the bill, even though in 1964 he had campaigned against Sen. Ralph Yarborough's vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This vote cost Rep. Bush votes in the 1968 election, enough that he thought to make one more run for the Senate at Nixon's urging and lost. Pres. Nixon made up for the bad advice and appointed Bush ambassador to the UN.

It'sd really hard to take anybody seriously that won't check that which can be checked easily.

3/19/2008 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

There is a circle of certain history, that damns whole families to generation after generation of destructive behavior. It is witnessed in the cycle of violence that plagues wife beaters, but it is also seen in the behavior of those who are beaten down. It is not genetic, it is in many cases learned reflexive behavior that as a bias is passed on from one generation to the next. It will not be long before those of an age to stand with Marten Luther King will have passed on, And those who as youngsters watched on the TV recall the events through the memory of adolescence or the inflexible concrete imaginations of childhood.

But the behavior unlike the memory does not fade as readily, will not allow for change easily, will not accept change in others willingly.

A black student of my generation starting school in a segregated building, finishing in an integrated high school, sitting on the bus ride from Washington DC, cool and impassive on the outside, her anger and irritation swelling to a nearly overwhelming fever inside as viewed through the beauty of her eyes, when I asked about an old run down building in the black, excuse me, that would have been the "negro" part of town.
"Thats Washington Carver School"
"Really, I never heard of that one, who goes there?"
"Nobody now, its so old they were going to make it a warehouse but they couldn't cause its too run down."
-- "Wow, when was it used last?"
"Three years ago."
-- "Really? Who would go there?"
"I did"
-- "No really? But you went to the Jr High School?"
"Yeah for one semester."
-- "Really? Did you like it?"
"Are you really expecting me to answer that question? Really?"

I remember the expression on her very pretty and young face was one of disbelieving, anguish and shame all a contorted ebony rage contained by the outline of the school bus window.

My reply at the time...,
"You don't have to get all steamed, I was just asking. Whats the big deal?"

A lot of folks had more of a clue than I did then, and the price of my conversation was not only the scorn of my beautiful black classmate, but the razzing and not so good natured hazing I got for sitting with "that Nigger".

My Bus rides sometimes included other things not so nice to recall, like rocks flying in the windows at sporting contests sometimes followed by spit and lit cigarettes. The venting of anger was not limited to one issue or one color. The kids learned from their mothers and fathers, and their kids learn from them and the prescribed intervention served up a constitutional crisis.

That beautiful black girl, now has children and grand children that may have learned about the stupid white guy that made grandma so mad with his inciting and hate filled questions. Still I feel the blush of embarrassment when I remember her face.

And when I think about it I still feel the sting of my schoolmates calling me nigger lover for wanting to make small talk with a black female. And I have to laugh because I know that her daughter married another clueless white guy fathered by one of my taunting school mates.

The behavior still gets passed down. Where do we go next from here?

3/19/2008 10:12:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

Since Wretch's boys picked up on the cues in his ad hominen attack - Some quick answers - Never been an academic, not African-American, achieved a middle-class income on my 9 - 5 a couple years ago (barely)... Things tight with a fam in NYC - but rent is low and I know how to live cheap...Re: Lacan/Theory - you want jargon - go to Wretch's links - "semiosis"? Whatev... BTW - Look out for Richard Webster's devastating dis of Lacan in FIRST OF THE YEAR: 2008 (which I orignally adapted from a unpublished manuscript in 2004)...PS Just saw Pat Paterson's post - Thanks for the correction but let me add. I did not say Bush voted against 1968 Act - I was clearly referring to 1964 Act. Since you're getting lawyerly on me, here's the sentence: "Not back in slavery days or at modern moments of high drama, but on an average day in 1966. A year or two after W's pop voted against the Civil Rights Act..." Doubt I really lead anyone seriously astray given that you acknowledge Bush waged a racist campaign against Yarborough for voting for 1964 Act. Still, details matter. You're right to call me on it since I brought it up.

Now let's get to what the cat drug in: "What the Indianapolis speech suggests to me was that the "moment" was so sweet to some they figured they could dine out on it for all time. 'And they said to one another: behold the dreamer. Let's turn it into a business'.

No sale. Dis me? Light stuff. But your implication that other folks who were actually engaged (even tangentially) in the 60's Southern Freedom Movement have been distinguished by a readiness to cash in is pretty appalling. Trust me, Wretch - You've never heard of most of them. Nobody knows their names except "local people." (To borrow the title of a good book about the Movement.) And - think about it - if it was such a successful schtick that people have been dining out on it "for all time." - why does Obama's speech, which is certainly in the Movement tradition, seem so fresh/daring to so many folks. (Hell even many conservatives acknowledge it was ballsy and you yourself, in your slippery, cya over-the-top, on-the-one-hand mode allowed the speech might turn out to be historic, even Lincolnesque.) Fact is, the Southern Freedom Movement's mindset is still pretty mysterious to most Americans. The postings here on the subject, for example, have been marked by a degree of, ah, distance from the actions/consciousness of the black and white people who lived inside the Southern iceberg. That's why one Clubber could echo Bill Frist's eulogy for Rosa Parks and suggest she made it happen (Pace Alexis.)...on her own.

It's not that easy to find out about the Movement because the real players tend NOT to talk about it much. That's why I was suprised to see Roger Simon's
"poem." (And not just because it was so lame for a guy who writes punchy prose.) I'll take him at his word that he put his body on the line for the cause. But he is the FIRST white guy or gal I've ever encountered from the Southern Movement who has underscored how much HE/SHE sacrificed. Everyone else I've heard/read focuses on how much they got back from their brothers and sisters...(Honesty check - I'm just recalling that Tom Hayden's memories of Southern violence may have been a tad self-enhancing too.) My hunch is Roger L. Simon's muse indicates he missed something that mattered about the Movement even if he was all up in the moment. On that score, he wouldn't have been the first. I'll close with a passage from the introduction to Wes Hogan's recent history of SNCC which delves into how Movement began to go down slow in the mid-60's(about the the time Simon seems to have arrived? - No, for real, no relation!!!) Hogan's book puts the lie to the notion that Americans have a handle on what happened back in that day...It's still wide open country. Hogan's book hints at where Obama's been and going... You may be thousands of miles behind now, Wretch, but all you need to catch up is an open mind/heart...

Lyndon Johnson's landslide victory in November 1964 did not resonate among either of the contending parties in the Mississippi delta - the hard-line segregationists anchored in the White Citizen's Councils or movement activists...who had built the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Despite some concessions by the President, the movement felt rejected by the regular Democrats. By the time Johnson settled into his new term of office at the beginning of l965, SNCC was no longer riding some burgeoning tide of popular understanding and support. Quite the contrary. The movement turned inward, focused on internal recriminations and, in a remarkably brief time, lost its hard-won momentum... Things began to disintegrate. By the end of the following year, 1966, SNCC had ceased, in any programmatic sense, to exist.

Precisely how this happened has remained, for almost four decades, something of a puzzle. It is as if the civil rights movement became sacred ground, occupying terrain beyond reach, beyond interpretation, beyond analysis. A kind of sanctified mist hovers over this landscape. Doubting any movement pieties appears akin to correcting the grammar of the Gettysburg Address.

The result is profoundly destructive: the act of raising people to sainthood dehumanizes them. As the late historian Herbert Gutman vividly noted, it is not possible to honor people by romanticizing them. Today, forty years after the fact, young people are quietly skeptical of the idealized narrative they are often handed on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, or by Hollywood. Discussion of the movement is seen as just "old folks talking." Even those who don't know or care much about the inaugural dramas of the sit-ins and the apocalyptic freedom rides, or the tension and grandeur of the Selma March, can't grope their way to any sort of genuine historical understanding because they are, like everyone else, trapped within the aura of sainthood.

This is not to say that this book constitutes a dramatic break with tradition, because, simply enough, it begins and lives on this sanctified terrain. It must - and for a very elemental reason: In the 1950s, the rituals of a racial caste system rooted in three hundred years of lived experience persisted in the cities, towns and countryside of America. A scant ten years later those rituals lay shattered. The social relations of black and white Americans fashioned over the better part of three centuries had been consigned to historical oblivion. The ten year achievement was profound; the cost for many people was severe; the long-term meaning still to be acted out on the stages of the nation's history. Nothing is settled. While segregation had been dismantled, the culture of white supremacy endures. Nevertheless, the Movement's rise and fall remains one of the pivotal sequences of American history. Riven with agonizing contradictions, this moment is too rich in tragedy and rebirth to be sanded off, polished and then domesticated under a cacophony of churchly hymns.

What follows, then, proceeds from an undeniable premise: fallible human beings gave this epochal decade the shape it came to have. They did so with resolve, with imagination and while in thrall to grand dreams. They also, on occasion, proceeded in error. At their best moments, it appears they were ahead of where we are today.

It may be time to acknowledge that we cannot go much further up the road until we find a way to be precise about what they knew and what they had not yet learned...

3/19/2008 10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Since it appears that benj isn't going to analyze these two essays that I posted in previous comment posts, can anyone guess how I got them?

3/19/2008 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

Benj,
"But your implication that other folks who were actually engaged (even tangentially) in the 60's Southern Freedom Movement have been distinguished by a readiness to cash in is pretty appalling."

The truth often is, but that does not keep it from being true. ^_^

And none of this has anything to do with the fact that *your* "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright wished damnation upon America nor that Mr. Obama chose him as his campaign's spiritual advisor. Have fun tapdancing around these facts but these facts are still something you cannot hope to evade! A hope for any leftist is a vote against America. :P

3/19/2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger Towering Barbarian said...

And for "A hope for any leftist is a vote against America. :P" let us substitute "A *vote* for any leftist is a vote against America. :P". *^_^*

Although I will say that the less hope leftists like Mr. Hussein Obama and Mrs. Bill Clinton have of getting elected the better off the human race will be! ^_~

3/19/2008 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Why do we have a Martin Luther King Day? No, seriously. If it is wrong to proclaim Martin Luther King as a saintly statue on a granite pedestal, why bother commemorating that day? For that matter, why should it be about him when the civil rights movement was about more than him?

In many Southern states, this day commemorates Martin Luther King and Confederate war dead. In many Western states, this day means nothing more than conformity to the dictates of political correctness. The example of Martin Luther King and his movement means very little in the West. Is a black holiday, a liberal holiday, a socialist holiday, or is it a holiday about civil rights for all American citizens?

What would Martin Luther King Day mean if it weren’t about all American citizens? Is the legacy of Martin Luther King really about creating a three-day holiday in January? There is much moral ambiguity in the establishment of this holiday, for its social meaning is more segregated than church on Sunday. Must Martin Luther King Day become the exclusive province of progressives and civil rights alumni to interpret as they see fit while other Americans are expected to ignore the day or boycott it?

3/19/2008 11:47:00 PM  
Blogger probus said...

benj-- is that why Mr. Obama seems so much more ordinary now-- because he's been 'humanized'?-- i mean, aren't folks just romanticizing him now?-- people were acting like he was the Black Messiah before this whole mess-- his groundswell has broken and it seems to me that he's flailing around trying to find a new tact-- and hey, how about a little respect for the Wretch man?-- dissing him isn't helping u get ur point across and your anger should be aimed at the more outrageous statements by some of the other club memebers on this site-- they're not running interference for Wretch, they're just themselves with their own opinions and reactions-- Regards, probus ps. Robert, no one wants to play-- go home--

3/19/2008 11:50:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

What a waste of time, Robert.

3/19/2008 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

What Barack Obama should be saying, but isn’t.

Imagine if Barack Obama had said the following.


I am black and I’m proud of it. I am white and I’m proud of it. I am American and I’m proud of it. There was a time when America could talk about a colorblind society, a place where character matters and color does not, a land where people are remembered for what is in their heart, not what is in their skin. That time is now. Now is the time to end racial profiling, whether it is by the state police, the college campus, or our federal census. Now is the time to end the last vestiges of legal segregation that exist in our country and free ourselves from the moral quicksand of the politics of division.

Now is a time of war. We, as Americans, are under attack from forces that neither understand nor care about who we are. These terrorists promote their own version of slavery and engage in tortures that make the worst abuses at Abu Ghraib pale by comparison. It would be easy to condemn people for giving in to fear when they support the policies of George W. Bush, just as it would be easy to simply give up the fight and let the terrorists turn the Middle East and eventually the rest of humanity into their own private torture chamber. The road we must take is difficult. The path we must take is hard. Victory cannot be achieved if we give up our will to survive as a nation. We may not all get there together, but we will survive this storm stronger than ever before.

We are one nation, bound together by a common love of liberty where each of us can achieve whatever dreams we want so long as we harm nobody else in the process. It may be tempting to promote a utopian dream for America, but one man’s utopia is another man’s nightmare. In all that we do, we must all remember what it is we fight for, we must all remember we pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor for something greater than ourselves. Freedom is never fully won, for there are tyrants in the making who seek to rob us of our liberty. Ours is not merely a fight against tyrants but a fight against tyranny, and not merely a fight against tyranny but a fight for our freedoms.

So let’s work together to bring about the kind of society and the kind of economy in America that we can be proud of. Let this be not only a fight against the terrorists but a struggle for creating a better future for all Americans and a beacon of enlightenment for the world to see. We can create an economy that no longer subsidizes the terrorists, an economy that deprives them of the money they use for their depravity. We are a nation worthy of this victory, and we must work together to make our victory endure. E pluribus unum. Out of many Americas, we become one. We can do better. Let’s get to work.

3/19/2008 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Happy Time Church
At least they smiled in Wright's Church!

3/20/2008 12:18:00 AM  
Blogger exhelodrvr1 said...

wadeusaf,
"The behavior still gets passed down. Where do we go next from here?"

Blacks need to be willing to forgive whites/the government/the USA for the past. Until they do, they will be held back by their own grudges, because there will always be expectations that more needs to be done to make up for the past.

3/20/2008 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Doug,

That one was a hoot. Obvious racist overtones, but a lot of truth mixed in too. I wonder if Obama is smiling over that one! The first part of the homily had me laughing so hard I had tears in my eyes.

3/20/2008 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Pat Patterson said...

Benj-Did you happen also to notice that George HW Bush wasn't in the Congress until 1966? Which would make voting for the compromise Civil Right Act written by Sen. Everett Dirksen of Illinois impossible. Yet 86% of the Republicans compared to 64% of the Democrats did vote for the 1964 bill.

But is interesting to see SNCC mentioned again even though its embrace of nihilism and violence doomed it to irrelevancy. but at least Bobby Moses' The Algebra Project is still around.

3/20/2008 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

Crossposted from Pajamas Media.

James David Manning, HRC supporter, has some very harsh things to say about black politics in the middle of a sermon in which he viciously attacks Obama. Warning, some of this stuff offends me and might offend other readers too. But there is a rage in it that is crying out in a confused, inarticulate way for conservative values, and to understand the rage the unvarnished language must be examined. From a transcript on Rush's website. I edited out Limbaugh's editorial comments to focus on the purity of Manning's rant.

MANNING: They're pimps and players. Black men, is who they are. Black women are player lovers. That's why you go to the churches that you go to. You're player lovers, rather than people of integrity, people of honor. You are the weakest people on the planet, and you have the audacity to accept affirmative action, which says that you are not as qualified as someone else, and you made it alone. You have accepted affirmative action and grinned and held parties to celebrate when the white man says we'll make a law similar to the Dred Scott decision that says that you are not as qualified as others because of racism and slavery, therefore what is required of the white race is not required of you! And you have applauded affirmative action. You are ignorant, you are despicable through and through!

MANNING: I am the voice crying in the wilderness of planet Earth to the black faces, return and repent, saith the Lord of Hosts of your wicked doings. I got this word from God. It's in my mouth. The future of you African and African-American people is in my mouth! It's not in your hand; it's in my mouth! And I don't have to compromise with not one of you nappy-head people. The Word of God is in my mouth. Your health is in my mouth! Your ability to eat bread is in my mouth. If I don't speak, you don't eat. The Word of God is in my mouth.

MANNING: I'm here to speak the Word of God! I don't have to compromise with you. You've been in this country as slaves for 500 years and you're still marching and complaining that you don't have anything, after 500 years! There must be something deficient about your intellectual strength. There must be something deficient about your God to let you be on the bottom as long as you're on the bottom, and two years from now, Mexicans are going to be running your life and writing your paycheck. If I don't stand up, I'm your last hope. After me, there will be no hope. Farrakhan didn't get it for you. Barack is an emissary of the devil.


Now if that isn't a cry for help from conservative principles I've never heard one!

3/20/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Benj said...

Hi Probus. Never thought Obama = Messiab (and I'm NOT on his staff!) so I may not be the One to answer your question though I'll give it a shot...

But first, I hear you re coming hard at Wretch. I should have given him more for posting the Indianapolis speech. It was a thoughtful link and it got me going (though I think Wretch bears some responsibility for the tight thinking of some of his fans) - I thank him again for his post. (Oh, btw, I'm going to rent the movie that came out last year about Bobby on Good Friday - Heard it uses the film of the speech in a moving scene...) I'm trying to follow Obama's graceful example, but I'm afraid he's taken in the lessons of the Movement better than me...

"One of the great strengths of the civil rights movement had been the utter unpredictability that grew out of its experimental approach to inherited tradition. Within SNCC, this presence necessarily depended upon a genuine tolerance of error. Indeed, it was SNCC's faith in the lessons derived from experience (from failure), its seemingly effortless capacity for improvisation, that most dramatically stamped its style and also its appeal. If SNCC had anything to say about it, the new desegregated America would be generous."

Recall how generous O's speech was not just to Wright, but to Angry White Men and to Geraldine Ferarro. Have to say O doesn't seem more "ordinary" to me now. He's always underscored he's all too human. His memoir - from one angle - can be read as an account of a series of shamings. But after that speech he's now confirmed he's extraordinary politician, not just an original head with a good social imagination. O is the first pol since Bobby who I can see serving as the spokesperson for a interracial Movement that values solidarity over self. O knows who he is and where his politics/ethics come from but I doubt he's entirely sure what domestic policies he'll end up pressing for. That will depend in large part on the Movement he's attempting to nurture. Thus his focus on democratic PROCESS - All that that "nice," moderate, unthrilling good gov stuff re transparency/accountablilty actually goes to the heart of his politics. What he's out to do is create a political context where a genuinely new Left will generate the policy ideas and frameworks to cultivate "social living" - those ideas/policies won't be locked on statism/socialism. (Might be some New Dealish social programs in the mix but you might also recall my posts about worker ownnership etc...) If O gets traction - I bet America is headed toward capitalism with a human face...

Not a notion that will speak to most Clubbers, of course. But he might reach some folks who believe in honor, sacrifice, community (not greed is good). And he'll surely lose some egotists/Leninists/anti-Americans/Islamist "activists" on what now passes for the left...

A line of William Morris's is to the point here...I'm guessing Obama shares Morris's sense of history - probably even knows this quote...

"Men fight and lose the battle, and the thing that they fought for comes about in spite of defeat, and when it comes it turns out not to be what they meant, and other men have to fight for what they meant under another name."

Regards, Probus (and a shoutout to Wade too - enjoyed your last post - though in this neighborhood, not sure you want me in your corner.)

3/20/2008 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger j willie said...

Doug/Fred - Reverend Manning is a world class piece of work. My favorite quote: “I don’t have to compromise with not one of you nappy-headed people!”

3/20/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger mark said...

Contrary to what my momma told me, I guess two wrongs (Euro-Am racism, Afro-Am racism) can indeed make a (W)right.

What inquiring minds want to know, however, is whether Sen. Obama inhaled the sermon smoke or not?

3/20/2008 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

No, but he drank the Kool-Aid.

3/20/2008 12:32:00 PM  
Blogger Cobb said...

just jumping in so that i can get notifications..

peterike's 'honest' comments and generalizations about blackfolks would be an interesting petard to hoist wretchard on were the obama-wright standard to be applied from here on out. of course that's an improper standard because there are racists in every congregation.

i think this thread is a confirmation of what i wrote to victor davis hanson, that a lot of americans are projecting their own racial fantasies onto the obama.

3/20/2008 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger probus said...

mr. benj-- thanks for the thoughtful response-- i'll never forget the day my mom woke me at like 6 am to tell me that Bobby was shot and killed-- we worshiped the Kennedy's, maybe like folks today worship Barry-- we believed that the grand rhetoric coming from the K's would change the world and we never had a clue that their old man was a ruthless gin running prick who ruined a lot of people-- they came from his loins, but they made us believe-- i'm afraid that Mr. O is of a similar mold-- he seems a thoughtful, innocent lad but i worry about where he comes from-- and i don't mean his saintly grandmother and grandfather or his distracted mother-- i think u know what i mean-- i'm just not sure he can be President for all the people with this taint-- to swim with sharks u need to have their same skills or they will always feast on u in the end-- i'm a Republican by the way and am voting for Johnny Mac but i find this a fascinating, enlightening time in this Country if for nothing else than that Mr. Barak has allowed us to FINALLY talk about race face to face and not have to hide behing politically correct bullshit anymore-- Regards, probus

3/20/2008 06:22:00 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Wow, people actually thought I was a post-modernist lefty. Time for me to come clean. I should of put /Sarc tags on those "essays". They were a sarcastic response to benj's drawn out posts. Don't get me wrong, some of what he says make sense though.

I got them from a PoMo essay random generator site. Upon pressing the refresh button, the program on the site randomly generates a flashy yet completely meaningless PoMo Essay, kinda like Obama's speeches. Try it and see.

That program was inspired by the Sokal affair. A real scholar named Dr. Sokal (a physicist) penned a joke essay to Social Text, a publication of one of those phony "scholar" departments ([insert "victim" group here] Studies for example). His essay basically said that the science of physics was a fabrication of the "evil white man's thinking". It was a creation of the white power structure, according to the joke essay. The Social Text editors thought it was real!!!

3/20/2008 09:04:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

THANK YOU, Robert!

Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you!

I plowed through a number of paragraphs, trying valiantly to find a SINGLE sentence that actually made sense.

I've actually had better luck at the demokratische untergrund.

So it's in this instance actually a little bit reassuring to know that drivel (which was frighteningly similar to the REAL academic intestinal contents I've had to grade from some students) was computer generated.

Brrrr.

3/20/2008 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Benj said...

Thank YOU Probus. As you can imagine, I've been on the verge of calling it quits here a couple times. But then there's a connection - and - what the hey - Surprise is your only teacher as per Emerson(?).

I'll probably end up voting for Johnny Mac too if Hillary holds on to the bump in the polls she seems to have got after O's speech. It will hurt if O loses. But, who knows, maybe it would be better if he didn't make it this time. My guess is that AQ and Islamism are likely to become less of a threat as we move forward. I do think we're headed (in fits and starts) toward some of kind of Islamic reformation. (And winning in Iraq WOULD push that program a bit so maybe Johnny M. deserves his shot.) O could use the years to stimulate fresh thinking that might clarify what the Movement he embodies stands for in terms of policies not just processes and personas. He'd have time to encourage thinking about a genuinely new domestic agenda and about the right response to economic globalization as well. (Though, you know, maybe it will all come down to fixing the Labor Relations Act to make it possible for labor to organize again!) He could also utterly distance himself - not from black folks and the Wright stuff - but from white leftists who have NO excuse for their post 9/11 chicks-come-home-roost riffs and disingenuous "Statements of Concern" over the treatment of Islamist wannabe mass murderers.

Your line on Bobby and your mom took me back to couple moments with my pop. He was a tall guy, broad shoulders. Stood real straight so his 6'1 felt like 6'4. Still got an (oedipal) chip on my shoulder from looking up at him. I was on the staircase in our front hall when my pop heard the news that MLK had been shot - I remember how his upper body kind of crumpled, his shoulders/head coming down on his chest, until I suddenly seemed to be looking down at him. A few years later, for some reason, I had to tell him my mom was going to have a mastectomy - Remember a similar kind of caving in as he sat down slow at the kitchen table...

I think I mentioned my pop said back in 04 he thought O would "go all the way." He was relishing the prospect in part because of my son - He knew how helpful it would be for me to be able to point him (and his African mom) to a Brother Man in the White House. But there were other less trivially personal reasons. Back in the 60s my pop used to push back against extremists on the Left (and right) - making the case (again and again) for the uses of the constructive, bridging imagination when all around others were talking up "heightening the contradictions." Even wrote an essay called "America the Unimagining." I remember him mocking himself for trying to press the virtues of feeling yourself inside an Other in an era when the immediate response to the I Have Dream/March on Washington was that church bombing or a little later when someone like Eldridge Cleaver was dissing - not CLarence Thomas! - but Thurgood Marshall as a "Nigger Tom, a bootlicker." In the Age of Islamism, we've all learned (again) there are times when sympathy/civility is out of time. But my pop knew you can't let fascists stop you from fully recognizing the humanity of opponents who aren't out to slaughter you. Obama is the imagination/politician my pop had been waiting for all his life...

One more thought - An Irish friend of mine named Charlie O'Brien. A genius polemicist and probably the sharpest critic of post-9/11 Left came up with a line that struck my pop (who was an awfully sharp argufier himself - though that wasn't his only writerly mode.) My friend's line went like this - "An underdog deserves sympathy; a mad dog deserves a bullet."

Seems like the perfect line for our time. My pop focused on the first half, recognizing America's (occasional) feeling for the underdog was our country's saving grace. The second half of the story, though, didn't come naturally to him. The apple don't fall from the tree. I'm guessing O is probably more of an sympathizer than a soldier too, though I do think he's a lot tougher than you might think. Still, maybe he'll have to wait until the maddest dogs of Islam are gone before he can inspire a new, more sympathetic America...Guess we'll just have to see what happens. (Pace Wretch.) -

PS Robert - Sokal is/was a leftist. His hoax was motivated by his desire to expose theory-mongering academics whose faux-radical gestures deflected attention from actual, ongoing class conflicts in capitalist societies. Doubt Sokal is on your side unless you're a closet Marxist...

3/20/2008 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

One last little niggling question:

If Obama is so focused on race, when is he going to come clean about the responsibility his Muslim forebearers have for enslaving more people than America and all the colonial European nations combined?

Okay, you can all stop laughing now.

No. Seriously. You can stop laughing.

Oh, well. It was worth a try.

3/20/2008 10:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Charles keeps them in stitches:

"This contextual analysis of Wright’s venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new.

It’s the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That’s why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon:

It bathed them in racial guilt, while flattering their intellectual pretensions.
An unbeatable combination.

But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign.

Then answer this, Senator:

If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness?

This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero.

It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright’s rants, but young people as well.

Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?
"

- Krauthammer

3/21/2008 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger Cetera said...

Obama channels Jimmy the Greek:

“The point I was making was not that my grandmother, uh, harbors any racial animosity — she doesn’t — but she is a typical white person who, uh, you know, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know, you know, there’s a reaction that’s been bred into, uh, our experiences that— that don’t go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way.”

Audio is available from 610 Sports Radio in Philly, interview with Angelo Cataldi:
http://www.610wip.com/pages/124537.php

3/21/2008 07:40:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 03/21/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

3/21/2008 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Thanks for that.
---

(It's easy to understand why Barry chose to attend the Church)

...it is impossible to understand why he would expose his children to such evil unless he bought into some of it himself.

3/21/2008 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

And wasn’t it a bit of a cheap shot to take public aim at grandmother, who sacrificed so much for Obama, who served as his surrogate mother during his high school years? If she used racial and ethnic stereotypes, that was wrong.

But the episode about the bus, as related in his book, is hardly a damning indictment of a secret racist. After Obama’s grandmother confessed to having been harassed by an aggressive panhandler, Obama writes:

“He (Obama’s grandfather) turned around and I saw now that he was shaking. ‘It is a big deal. It’s a big deal to me. She’s been bothered by men before. You know why she’s so scared this time? I’ll tell you why. Before you came in she told me the fella was black.’ He whispered the word. ‘That’s the real reason she’s bothered. And I just don’t think that’s right.’
---
His liberal bastard grandfather would not give her a ride to avoid being mugged by a homeless guy who happened to be black.

...that makes Grandma LITERALLY fodder for throwing under the bus!

3/21/2008 07:58:00 AM  
Blogger RonF said...

From the RFK speech:

My favorite poet was Aeschylus.

Imagine a politician expecting to get elected to anything delivering such a line and quoting from a poem these days.

3/21/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Benj said...

O quoted Faulkner - I like the Greeks, but F evocation spot on. Especially in this context. Hard to imagine, say, W. or Hil going there. Mac might with a lOT of help from a speechwriter. The O campaigne definitely lifting the literary level of discourse. Think I mentioned Gergen evoking Fred Douglass's great 4th of July speech...

3/21/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger joe buz said...

Has anyone read Barry's book? We know a little about how he feels about his granny. What does he say about his Pop?

Mr. Krauthammer is getting raged on in the comments section. Quite funny that one ranter doesnt even know what paper he is reading.

3/21/2008 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The American Thinker: Obama's Anger.
---
While I had been fishing my new black friend had been working as a prison psychologist in Missouri, and he was pursuing a higher degree in psychology. He was interested in my story, and after about an hour getting to know each other I asked him point blank why these Vietnamese refugees, with no money, friends, or knowledge of the language could be, within a generation, so successful. I also asked him why it was so difficult to convince young black men to abandon the streets and take advantage of the same kinds of opportunities that the Vietnamese had recently embraced.

His answer, only a few words, not only floored me but became sort of a razor that has allowed me ever since to slice through all of the rhetoric regarding race relations that Democrats shovel our way during election season:

"We're owed and they aren't."

In short, he concluded, "they're hungry and we think we're owed. It's crushing us, and as long as we think we're owed we're going nowhere."

A good test case for this theory is Katrina. Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and assorted white apologists continue to express anger and outrage over the federal response to the Katrina disaster. But where were the Vietnamese "leaders" expressing their "anger?" The Vietnamese comprise a substantial part of the New Orleans population, and yet are absent was any report claiming that the Vietnamese were "owed" anything. This is not to say that the federal response was an adequate one, but we need to take this as a sign that maybe the problem has very little to do with racism and a lot to with a mindset.

The mindset that one is "owed" something in life has not only affected black mobility in business but black mobility in education as well. Remember Ward Churchill?
About fifteen years ago he was my boss...

3/21/2008 03:04:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home


Powered by Blogger