Viewing entries tagged
Black America

OK, Obama Needs To Have A Press Conference On All Things Black

cross-posted to Jack & Jill Politics This past week, Obama has faced increasing pressure and media coverage around his stances on "black issues." Recall the following: Obama is going to be asked to comment (as a black man) on every issue possibly related to black folks, and he'll be asked to address (as a black man) all possible stances of black people across the country. He can't avoid it, so I say embrace it. Obama needs to have one marathon press conference in which the conflict-driven media personalities who play journalists on TV can get their ignorance and fears addressed out in the open. Obama needs to have a "Press Conference On All Things Black" What tough questions would the potential first black president of the United States be forced to address? Oh there are so many legitimate concerns out there. Here's a partial list.
  • What do you have to say to the white Senator whose job you took thanks to affirmative action and reverse racism?
  • Do you know what a re-up is?
  • Many black people believe whites are blue-eyed devils. I'll take your silence as agreement.
  • Please complete the following popular music lyrics: "the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire. we don't need no water, let the ______ ______"
  • Have you ever looked at a white woman?
  • The year is 1983. Prince or Michael Jackson?
  • Was justice served in the R. Kelly verdict?
  • Have you ever urinated on a teenage girl and video taped it?
  • Where is the tape, Senator?
  • Senator? The tape.
  • Several prominent African-American leaders are on the record opposing Lunchables. Do you support that position?
  • Can you please share the exact date on which you'll initiate the program of White Slavery? I think the American People deserve to know.
  • Hip Hop artist Nas recently referred to your former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as a "great f--king coon." How strongly do you agree with this statement?
  • When was the last time you had sex with Lil Kim?
  • Self-described community activist and liberation scholar Baba Chaka Jawanza Afrika has called for the elimination of the white race and the appointment of a black caliphate to govern Earth. Will you return his $7.43 campaign donation and reject and denounce him in person?
  • Jovaunte Stephens of Atlanta, GA is scheduled for a probation hearing tomorrow. He insists he didn't do shit wrong. Did he?
  • How come black people can't swim?
  • Considering your biracial background, is it safe to assume you have an above average length penis for a white man, but a below average length penis for a black man?
  • Where is Tupac? Seriously.
What other newsworthy questions do you think Obama should be forced to answer?

My Op Ed In The Independent Of London On Obama And Black America

cross-posted to Jack and Jill Politics Wednesday morning I got a call from the UK asking if I would write an editorial about the significance of Barack Obama's nomination in Black America. I find it hard to resist that crisp British accent and made room to compose my thoughts. The piece has been published in print and online under the title Baratunde Thurston: I used to be cynical about my country. No longer... Not quite the headline I'd have chosen, but pretty accurate. In the piece,  I share a story for the first time from my experience with the Obama campaign in Dallas and write about the power and limits of symbolism. Here's an excerpt
Despite our sacrifices – fighting in wars and paying taxes – we are constantly reminded we're not full members of the club. Yet, Barack Obama made me feel American. He has, and this is really quite annoying, made me care enough to get more involved. His early opposition to the war, the grass-roots nature of his campaign, and his habit of speaking in grammatically correct sentences have all helped. His very composition from white Kansan and black African parents tells a story that is authentically American. Beyond him, however, the reaction of the American people best demonstrates Obama's impact. For black America, the defining moment occurred on 3 January, when Obama won in overwhelmingly white Iowa. It was a sign that things in this country were changing. Although Obama is the nominee, the path ahead won't be easy. People still ask, "Is America ready for a black president?" That's the wrong question. America has never been "ready" to extend its ideals to all of its citizens without being pushed. Was America "ready" for emancipation or women's suffrage or Simon Cowell? No, but we've got them now and in two of those three cases, we are much better for it.
Check out the full editorial at their fancy British website!