I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone wrote a piece like questioned Obama’s blackness. What surprises me mildly is that the person is Debra Dickerson. Here’s a small snippet from a review of Dickerson’s first book entitled (oddly enough) The End of Blackness:
From Publishers Weekly
In order to make progress possible, blacks have to give up on the past-that’s the core argument of this inflammatory, cogently written book. Dickerson, a lawyer and journalist, continues the examination of black self-reliance that she introduced in her first book, An American Story. This time, however, she leaves her own experiences out of it and focuses on breaking down racial myths, social concepts and prejudices with the help of statistics and citations by such figures as W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass and James Baldwin. Racism, according to the author, “is compounded by black cooperation and by fruitless black jousts with intransigence, while winnable victories are ignored because they do not center on whites and because they are unglamorous.” Dismissing Afrocentrism as “self-eliminative and isolationist,” Dickerson encourages blacks to focus on their own talents and ignore the expectations of whites and other blacks.
So let me get this straight. We need to end blackness…but at the same time talk about Obama like a dog because he isn’t black?
I’m rubbing my head too. Particularly because compared to both Edwards (the best candidate on paper as far as his stances on poverty and inequality), and Clinton….he seems pretty black to me. His wife and kids also.
Those of us who consider ourselves opinion makers–even if we’re only talking about the people who read our blogs/emails, take our classes, or talk to us at the barbershop–to cut this type of talk off at the pass.
I also just read that Harold Ford was placed in charge of the DLC. Tom Schaller attacks Ford and the DLC noting that it is woefully out of step. DLC Vice-President Al Kilgore rips Schaller saying basically he doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about. In my own opinion the DLC is at least as responsible for the rightward lurch of the Democratic Party. Not only has it incessantly chased a center that has increasingly moved rightward, its leaders have been fairly straightforward about the need of the DNC to divorce itself from black people.
Now in one way the appointment of Ford represents an attempt to move away from that past. But Ford himself is no liberal, not even on racial issues. Yes his stance on energy is one I agree with. And he also supports withdrawal from Iraq. But at the same time he supported the bankruptcy bill, a variety of regressive policies on abortion, and yes on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. I may be cherry picking…in the interest of transparency check for yourself. The DLC is situated to keep the DNC triangulating. And that’s the last thing we need.