Neither of us went to the State of the Black Union forum. Hell, I didn’t even watch it. Does that make me a bad Negro? I’ve watched it before on C-SPAN. I don’t know if it’s because I was inundated with “blackness” as a child so I’ve become immune to these sort of things. How many times have we seen a bunch of elites in the African American community sit around a talk about what we should and should not do, then go home and get jack shit done.
But Smiley’s criticism has also prompted many people to come to Obama’s defense. The talk show host told The Washington Post he has been inundated with angry e-mails and even death threats.
“I have family in Indianapolis. They are harassing my momma, harassing my brother. It’s getting to be crazy,” Smiley told the newspaper.
Despite some disappointment (because it would have been incredibly awesome if he was there), most were understanding and still willing to support him.
Several forum attendees seemed unfazed by Obama’s absence Saturday.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s much of an issue,” said Victor Reed. “I’m standing behind him 100 percent.”
Clinton probably was at the event because “she needs it more than [Obama] right now,” he added.
Another State of the Black Union attendee said many people at the forum wished Obama had come, but understood his reasons for declining the invitation.
“It’s better for his campaign to be in Texas,” said Tiffany Washington.
One thing about black folks, we are incredibly loyal if you do right by us. And in the case of R. Kelly, even wrong. I don’t understand R. Kelly’s support as he’s a pederast. But whatever. Obama is deserving of the loyalty for his work as a civil rights attorney, his work in the predominately black south side of Chicago (where The Snob has some fam, holding it down), and he preemptively won black people over by simply exemplifying the idyllic black male: Smart, handsome, talented, successful and married to a black woman.
No one says it in public, but after he spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention Mama Snob was all jumping with glee because his wife was a black woman. Then she not-so-subtly tried to imply that “an Obama,” that’s the kind of man I needed to bring home to her. It was like when she saw Brian McKnight for the first time and tried to push the crooner off on me. But per “Barack and the black wife,” I know my mother wasn’t the only black person to squeal about this. For a lot of black people, interracial dating is still a devise issue. I know my parents don’t like it, but my sisters and I are indifferent.
That said, with those qualities already in place all he had to do was vouch for programs that would best help the community (universal health care) and give people a chance to be part of history.
So yeah, Tavis. Black folks are giving him a pass on this one. They understand his stealth plan to not get too close to us, lest our “scary” blackness creeps out the white folks. I’m already getting emails about how Obama has Farrakhan on speed dial, which is strange. First, Obama is not a member of the Nation of Islam. Second, does the Final Call even endorse candidates?
I might try to watch some of “The Stat of the Black Union” tonight, but its competing against the Oscars and 60 Minutes for my attention. I don’t miss my “60 Minutes.” The Oscars I can take or leave. I don’t I saw any of the nominated films this year (which is rare), but I might try to catch a seat to see either “There Will Be Blood” or “Sweeny Todd” today. I really like Paul Thomas Anderson. He’s one of my favorite actors and Daniel Day-Lewis is the bomb. I did see “No Counter for Old Men.” It was beautifully shot but lacked the undercurrent of wit and lyricism of their previous film. It was just meh to me. It was no “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” That thing was great.