I first read about CNN’s hack piece on the alleged thuggery of black bloggers attacking innocent Captain Save-A-Negro legislators on Jack and Jill Politics and at first I really didn’t think that much of it. The media, often not dealing with minority issues at all unless it involves haphazard Black History Month features, the exploits of prison-prone proto-thugs or Orenthal James Simpson. Therefore the advent of “Barack Obama: junior senator from Illinois who talks pretty,” to “Barack Obama: the man who could be president” has forced a lot of journalists to enroll in a crash course of “The Ways of Black Folks 101.”
I expected there would be a learning curve coupled with the usual shoddy work done on complex subjects in the mass media. The news is more about dramatic narratives, political fictions and celebrity fodder than explaining the nuances behind the telecom immunity fight.
Thinkin’s hard! Let’s just ask why the white bitchy lady is being mean to the cool black guy!
Seeing a journalistic drive-bys where just about every black person with a laptop is thrown into the same bucket with the individuals phoning death threats to Congressman John Lewis is pretty typical. These actions are additional symptoms of the racial syphilis that afflicted the minds of the press years ago.
It was expected that race and gender would be an issue and complex dramas would be simplified, but the poor, besieged black politician meme is start to dull me. More and more the lengthy pieces by CNN and other cable news networks are sounding like the usual fearmongering over “black panic,” the most sensational narrative of black America. Black Panic is that irrational rage that could take over the sensibilities of black folk at any time. It’s that fear the streets will erupt in violence and it will be Nat Turner’s Rebellion all over again.
Only this time, instead of going after symbols of white oppression it will be Crips v. Bloods, writ large, with text messaging.
From the Washington Post:
(Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.) described his defection as more anguishing than his decision to lead the “Bloody Sunday” march in 1965 from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., when he was nearly beaten to death. In a statement issued last week, he explained that he viewed Obama’s campaign as “the beginning of a new movement in American political history” and that he wanted “to be on the side of the people.”
Before his switch, Lewis came under strong pressure from Obama allies in the Congressional Black Caucus, including Reps. Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (Ill.) and Artur Davis (Ala.), and from a burgeoning movement of black bloggers and activists who believe that some of their elders — even a legend like Lewis — have grown too comfortable and out of touch. He also drew a primary challenge from the Rev. Markel Hutchins, an Atlanta activist who attacked Lewis for going against the will of his constituents.
“The attitude is, ‘I’ve been here, I’ve earned this right, leave me alone — I get to do what I want.’ Well, that’s just not true,” said James Rucker, founder of ColorOfChange.org, a 400,000-member group seeking to shake up the African American political status quo.
Rep. Emanuel Clever II (D-Mo.) a Hillary supporter, told the Associated Press that, “African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened, (receiving) nasty letters, phone calls, threats they’ll get an opponent, being called an Uncle Tom.
“This is the politics of the 1950s,” he complained. “A lot of members are experiencing a lot of ugly stuff. They’re not going to talk about it, but it’s happening.”
This fits ever-so-perfectly into the notion of “Sweet Jesus! What will happen if these crazy darkies don’t get their way? They’re attacking their own people for just wanting to practice Democracy by having a choice on who to vote for! By golly there will be RIOTS IN THE STREETS,” they shriek, as if our 22 million population spread sparsely throughout the United States will choose this, of all things, to go Rodney King over.
The media has always had a flair for hyperbole, especially when it comes to Negroes and black-on-black superdelegates violence it was too delicious to pass up. It heightened the fear that not only will this gender/race fight fracture the Democratic Party, but could end us all in some spectacular, violent, 1968-esque punching-Dan-Rather-on-the-convention-floor imbroglio!
From Louisiana Weekly:
House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), the highest ranking Black member of Congress, is warning on the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. that perceived unfairness toward U. S. Sen. Barack Obama in the electoral process could cause a relapse back to voter apathy.
“If we were to fail to nominate Barack at the end of this process and he’s still leading in delegates, then we’ve got a serious problem that will affect the participation of Black people in a big way for the next 40 years,” says Clyburn, who has staunchly declined to publicly endorse either Obama or Sen. Hillary Clinton in order to avoid conflicts in his whip job to unite Democrats behind legislation.
There’s a difference between the end of the world and “the end the Democratic Party getting a pass on their tendency to take the black vote for granted.” But no one can be bothered with the facts. It’s more fun to hear how brave those legislators are to stand up to those pro-black thugs who don’t give a diddly poo as long as you’re backing black … um, we mean Barack. We don’t want to talk about that boring newsy stuff. Let’s just sit in
the newsroom chanting “Fight! Fight! Fight!” over and over.
Reporting on the bullying of black superdelegates for the media is a lot like getting in on some insider information. Like learning what the slang words in Lil Wayne songs mean. Or finding out some blacks don’t care for the term African American. There’s this squeal of delight over of our alleged secrets coming out, of there being some hidden truths in the belief that this particular nuttiness nuevo is the norm. Rather than serious dialog about the real disconnects between black politicians and their constituents the whole debacle has been wrapped in the black and white gifting paper of the racist belief that were simply too batshit insane to lead.
See? When it was just two white men running the worst that could happen is you might get shot, but now that you Negroes have gotten involved you could reignite the mother-fuckin’ Civil War!
That’s why there’s all this pity in the press for the brave individuals standing against the pressure of big pro-Barack black bucks n’ bloggers who have the gall to demand the people they voted into office vote for the candidate who won their districts.
From the Washington Post:
(Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio) is pushing back hard against the kind of pressure that has come down on Rep. John Lewis (Ga.) and other black Democratic superdelegates who are being pressed to back Obama’s candidacy.
“I say shame on anyone who’s engaged in that conduct, to put that kind of pressure on John Lewis,” Tubbs Jones said. “I’m not trying to be a martyr. I think Senator Clinton is the best candidate. And the beauty of the United States of America is you have the right to have your opinion, and I have the right to my opinion.”
“I’m not going to succumb to that kind of pressure,” she added. “If I change my mind, it will be because Senator Clinton said, ‘Stephanie, let’s make a move.’ “
While I don’t advocate the hysterics of some who want to bumrush their way to “hope,” I’m not going cry “oh, poor pitiful Maxine Waters” over it either. John McCain got called everything but a child of God by hardliners in the Republican Party and there are still some who are resolute in not supporting him. And why were they mad at him? He went against their conventional wisdom and voted the opposite of what they wanted.
If you’re going to go against the conventional wisdom of your constituents you can’t cry foul when they get mad at you for not doing what they want you to do. Especially when you brought this grief on yourself by assuming Hillary Clinton would be the nominee back in January of last year.
Rep. John Lewis’ remarks highlight one of the challenges confronting Clinton in a campaign that pits a black man against a woman for a nomination that historically has been the exclusive property of white men.
“You’ve got to represent the wishes of your constituency,” said (Rep. David Scott who switched from Clinton to Obama). “My proper position would be to vote the wishes of my constituents.” The third-term lawmaker represents a district that gave more than 80 percent of its vote to Obama in the Feb. 5 Georgia primary.
In any election where both candidates were white males and neither looked crazy the superdelegates would reluctant to vote against their districts. But since this an election where no one looks crazy and instead looks all historically oppressed minority-like, the fact that a cadre of black legislators hopped on Team Clinton before one vote was cast has become a debate about loyalty rather than logic.
So, pardon me, if I’m not buying into all this “black treason” garbage. I’m about as not mad at black superdelegates for Clinton as I am not mad at white women superdelegates for Obama. Seriously. This is the dumbest load of hooey ever. Oh my word. Democracy is going to destroy the Democratic Party. Everyone clutch yer pearls!
I want people to stay positive and to turn out to vote in the fall, but I’d also like the press to get both sides on the black electoral panic story rather than belaboring the poor politicians. You can oversimplify the tensions of two generations of blacks with the logic of black people vote for the black guy. While that may be the modus operandi for some it does not reflect the view of the all.
Besides, Lord help me, someone might be voting for Barack because his sui generis as the rare black candidate who appeals to both blacks and whites. That he might be smart or interesting or competent. That because there is so little policy difference between him and Clinton that it was much more what happened in South Carolina, real and perceived, that caused the Great Black Revolt against Hillary more so than Barack suddenly became Super Negro.
But that would be responsible. Please. Continue forecasting the Democralpyse.