OBAMA & THE FUTURE OF RACE RELATIONS IN AMERICA
LET THE BLOVIATIONS BEGIN!
WHAT A BLACK MAN'S ELECTION MEANS & DOESN'T MEAN
"Black" By Racist Classification, Obama Enjoyed Benefits Not Available To Most African-Americans
Everyone seems to be focusing on what the neo-Fascist Premier of Italy referred to as Obama's "tan:" As if it had anything much to do with his election, or his future policies & performance as President. Granted, many on the Left are assuming that the new President's African ancestry and hard-scrabble beginnings will translate into a progressive agenda, aggressively pursued. But what's hue got to do with it?
The fact is, Barack Obama is half white. He never knew his African-immigrant father, and he grew up among whites, Asians and Pacific Islanders here in Hawaii, not in the hood or the cotton fields. After initial struggles with his single Mom in Honolulu and Jakarta, little "Barry" was sent to live with his white Kansan grandparents back on Oahu. Gramps was a salesman and Gramma was a bank exec. They sent their grandson to Honolulu's elite Punahou School. The school styles itself the Choate or Exeter of the Pacific, although it is not in their league academically, socially or financially.
Some of Punahou's grads go on to run the State of Hawaii's local businesses and government for their own benefit, the public be damned. Punahou used to be the white prep-school, while Iolani was for Asians, and St. Louis and Kamehameha for "Locals." It costs more than the University of Hawaii, and it is therefore closed to most islanders. It was always meant to perpetuate the local upper classes. A good GPA from Punahou is considered a ticket to Harvard, Princeton or Yale.
This kind of elite education and family support are simply not available to most people anywhere; especially not to poor black children in rural or urban slums. If Obama's success means anything, it is that, by following the exact same path as the children of the white elite, you might have a shot at the brass ring even if you aren't white. It does not address the more abiding, and un-discussed issues of class. These are the issues that people are hoping, or fearing, that Obama will address.
"Socialism" was a shibboleth in the Obama election. Republicans tried to paint him red, but it didn't stick. Socialism, or some limited American form of it, may be the only answer to our issues of class. Economic inequality has mushroomed under a forty-year regime of right-wing "conservative" Republicans and "moderate" DINOs. Real wages continue to shrink, and the already-fading illusion of upward mobility and middle class security has now been shattered by recent developments on Wall Street and in Washington.
The idea that you can make it by simply working hard and playing by the rules has been thrown out the window by corrupt, incompetent bankers and brokers, who are STILL being generously rewarded for cataclysmic failures and deliberate malfeasance. After wrecking the economy with their schemes and scams, and robbing many Americans of their future, they are demanding and getting their usual big bonuses, special perq's and golden parachutes. Instead of going to prison, they are going to Disneyland. On your dime.
Obama has, like Bush, already surrounded himself with the old cronies of the financial mafia. Emmanuel Rahm was, up until recently a director of Fannie Mae, where the big money troubles started. Obama's "new" economic advisers and government appointees come exclusively from Wall Street and Washington, and are familiar faces. The argument will be made that there is no one else who understands the system so well as these "experts," despite all their failures, and prejudices in favor of the rich over the rest of us.
But that just says that the rest of us, including labor lawyers, consumer advocates, union leaders, academic experts, and business mavericks, are all nobodies, not entitled to a place at the table, even though we are the majority, and it is our money that is now being so grossly mismanaged, publicly & privately. "Experts"? A five-year old could guide the economy better by throwing darts at a decision board. But the Punahou boy will not likely give the five year old, or anybody else, a fair shot at that board.
We're supposed to give a new President one hundred days to get himself together and start implementing policy. I say we start that clock on 4 NOV 2008. By mid-February of 2009, we will all know where our new Administration is headed. There may still be time to change its' course at that point, if it seems to be bound for Bush or Clinton territory. That is what we voted against, decisively, in 2000 and 2008: Not a black face on the same old body of lies. What's hue got to do with it?
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