Things You Notice and the Same Things You Don't

Sometimes, when I become friends with someone who is a bit different from me, I notice the difference first, but slowly I forget that it's there. Like when you're friends with someone of a different race from you, you might notice it when you meet them, but slowly it just starts to become a part of them in your mind, but not the most important part. (I think we're all a little bit racist, but we shouldn't be afraid of that, as long as we're trying to be good to each other.)

Anyway, I think that's how the public has been with Barack Obama. At first, he was The Black Candidate. And now he's just the candidate who might win.

Lately, I've gotten into the habit of listening to Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, for the sole reason that she's on at Zelma's nap time. I realize this gives me a totally scewed view of the world, but it's news, at least. It's interesting. Today though, I think Amy Goodman went totally off the deep end. She introduced the segment as being "A Debate About Barack Obama." Then she introduced three people who were going to talk about Barack Obama. And all three of them were black men.

So, I've got to wonder, does Amy Goodman think that the only people who could possibly understand Obama are black men, like Obama? And if so, what is she smoking? In addition to the three black men she interviewed, she also had a few sound bites of people talking about Obama--- sound bites of Jessie Jackson and Colon Powell. This seems to me to be the journalistic equivalent of a teacher like me picking out the only black kid in a class and saying, "So what's it like to deal with the legacy of slavery?" While the rest of the class stares at them. It's just messed up.


  1. Yes, that is a rather skewed view that Democracy Now is giving. I happen to like Obama, not that I like any of the candidates much. But he's okay. And I am neither black or a there you go! ;)

  2. Yeah, who knew? That's what they say, anyway. And I hear Hillary Rodham Clinton is actually a woman, too!

  3. Your comments about Obama are similar to those of William Falk, editor-in-chief of The Week and one of my favorite writers. Here's his editorial on the subject:
    "At a Christmas party I attended a year ago, the crowd gathered around the sliced ham started buzzing about Barack Obama. A guest said he’d heard Obama speak and was blown away; he had a spark, a charisma, that he hadn’t seen in a presidential candidate since the Kennedys. Yes, several other guests chimed in, Obama really might give Hillary Clinton a run for her money. All of these admirers, as it happens, were white. Three of the guests in that room were black, each of them men over 50, and as they listened to the talk that Obama had a real chance to be president, they exchanged knowing smiles, and shook their heads. “Never happen,” said one of the men, a corporate executive who had lived through the ordeal of the civil-rights years. Whites, he said, might admire Obama, but in the privacy of the voting booth, most of them would not pull the lever for a black man—not for president.

    "Was he right? We’re just two primaries into a long election season, and while Clinton’s gender is quite evidently a factor, Obama’s race, thus far, is not. Her victory in New Hampshire was not the product of a last-minute stampede of ostensible Obama supporters; polls showed him with about 36 percent of the vote in a very white state, which is what he received. It’s not that anyone, Obama included, has forgotten that he’s black; but he’s running as a candidate who’s black, not as a black candidate. Voters are judging him by his ideas, his experience, and yes, by the content of his character. It’s a turning point many thought they’d never see, but whether Obama wins or loses, it has come."

  4. I hope he wins. And I hope they don't kill him.

  5. I think it's funny that everyone is making such a big deal out of his being black, because personally, someone like me is a hell of a lot more likely to vote for a black man than an white man. Just to make a statement, you see. It's not like he is some kind of neo-conservative. I wouldn't, for instance, vote for Huckabee if he were black- but I wouldn't vote for him, anyway.
    I think the democrats showed a lot of diversity this time around, with Clinton (a woman), Obama (a black man), and Richardson (a Hispanic man) all vying for president. Thing is, I like Obama best, anyway. Consider this my official endorsement. (As if anyone cares about my endorsement!)

  6. I'm sure Obama will be very happy to have your endorsement, Gina!