Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama Disses Paterson: Beware the Negro In Sheep's Clothing

So word on the street is there's blood in the water. Obama wants New York Governor David Paterson to not seek reelection. Interesting. Some speculate it has to do with his bungling over appointing, er not appointing Caroline Kennedy to the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Clinton. Hmm - who cares? The economy is still in the toilet and many states have Govs that are acting like fools right now or have ruined their state's infrastructure. Take one Mark Sanford. Take one Arnold Schwarzenegger. I don't see Obama asking them to go away. Oh yeah I'm supposed to dismiss them because they're Republicans. Does that mean I'm also supposed to ignore the fact that Paterson is African-American? He's not half-African and half-white like our president. He's not a post-racial crossover politician either. He's part of the bonafied black elite in fact. His family is well-established along with the Dinkins, the Suttons and many others. So am I expected to ignore the blatant disrespect the Obama administration (or is it the "Rahm & David Show") have shown by PUBLICLY doing this? I don't think so. Two wrongs don't make it right.

The decision to ask Mr. Paterson to step aside was proposed by political advisers to Mr. Obama, but approved by the president himself, one of the administration officials said. The president’s request was conveyed to Mr. Paterson by Representative Gregory W. Meeks, a Queens Democrat, who has developed a strong relationship with the Obama administration, they said.

The move against a sitting Democratic governor represents an extraordinary intervention into a state political race by the president, and is a delicate one, given that Mr. Paterson is one of only two African-American governors in the nation. So Obama couldn't pick up a phone to speak to the Gov directly?

Do I think Paterson did a great job while in office? Not necessarily. I've already written about why I thought Leecia Eve or Crystal Peoples should have been appointed instead of Gillibrand and how I think he back-stabbed Eve to get the Lt. Governorship to begin with. So he can't be that slow or dumb. I was also not impressed by his whining about racism as the motivation behind his public ridicule instead of accepting it was his mediocrity. Ok maybe he is.

The lack of care in handling this messy situation by Obama is what has my hackles raised. He takes the time out to call Kanye West, he defends Skippy Gates, he rewards his other rivals/defiers with high-ranking positions in his administration but he can't say squat about the racial animus, the plight of black women around the world or any number of things that have a negative impact on the meek of the earth but he can focus on this?

I realize since Rudy Guiliani has expressed interest in running for Gov the Democrats do need to neutralize him. I am personally so sick of him claiming special powers and a superior skill set because he was at Ground Zero during the September 11th attacks. It was complete ineptitude and lack of preparation for disasters that had him stuck there in the first place. Anyhoo...I will always associate him with a 400% rent increase, mass evictions, the death of club kid culture and the killing of the uniqueness of the "old" NYC so I have no partiality when it comes to my disdain for the former Mayor. That and taking credit for the Dinkins plan to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement. Ugh!

This latest move by Obama gives me the creeps. If he wanted to humiliate Paterson this very public chastisement should do that. It has the air of a personal beef and Obama thinks it's okay to treat Paterson poorly in retaliation but rewarded Hillary Clinton with the Secretary of State position?!!! SMH. What of the unforeseen ramifications of such an action? While it's true that blacks are not a monolith and not in lockstep with each other on every issue this is still a bad look. Obama is very calculated and cautious in his moves. He's trying to deny he's black right now so this obvious lack of faith gesture is especially galling to me. Yet I already hear the deniers discussing how he "needs" to do this because of blah blah blah.

It's a betrayal plain and simple. Oh wait...I retract that. It can't be a betrayal because Obama is not a real ally of blacks to begin with. Not the collective anyway. I could mention that black voters are a fickle bunch who don't exercise any discretion or build coalitions to wield power effectively. I could mention too many focus on pulling a lever or punching a hole during a national election and remain silent and uninvolved the remainder of the time. I could mention too many have treated this president as some sort of prized calf where any criticism is taken as an invitation to fight. There's a huge lack of discernment in effect. He's not going to hitch himself to a wagon that could very well fall off the side of a cliff. Yet it's still a slap in the face with the relative ease by which Obama abandons those blacks who are not "useful" to him but says nothing of the blatant disrespect heaped upon him by the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Dobbs, etc.

Just when I think I'm possibly being extra harsh and not a political realist or lack enough skill in domination theory and am letting an emotional reaction take over Obama does something like this. I wonder what else is down the pipe for when your senior advisors are all white men cut from the same cloth that leaves out any diversity in perspective or concern about a entire voting group. This becomes a full circle conversation about why black women who want full lives need to divest. Again, it's up to the black collective to get it together because in many respects this president will be more inclined to do even less than his predecessors (so the majority is out of luck for any number of reasons).

The Emperor Has No Clothes and I for one am getting sick of seeing him showing his a** in public.

Bookmark and Share


A. Marie said...

This is the first time I've felt compelled to comment on your blog. (I've been reading on and off for for about 3-4 months).

I am an African-American woman, and I cannot understand why anyone still expects loyalty from Black men because of their race. When I voted for President Obama, I wasn't expecting him to be "my" President... or even to be a "Black" President. He is the president of the United States- not the president of Black America.


This is not to say that Black America is not important, but what I've noticed in my 21 years on this earth is a decline in the Black American voter block's political clout. It doesn't take an astute observation to see that the refusal of the Civil Rights Movement "Old Guard" to pass the baton (at the top) and the failure to acknowledge (at the bottom):

- the inequitable distribution of resources in school districts with lower tax-brackets
-sub-par education,
-juvenile delinquency,
-the hypersexualization of our youth...)
-the high rates of STDs, and AIDS, particularly among young Black women (and secondarily, men)

These undermine whatever unity the "Black community" ever had. Not to mention that there are class differences that stratify African-Americans further and factor in immigration- you have West Indians, Africans, Black Europeans... for whom most of the problems I listed above do not apply.

A narrow definition of what it means to be African-American/ Black American is most of why I respectfully cannot agree with your views.


I disagree with some of the things the President has said and done... but none of it surprises or offends me. The Administration's denial of race as a factor in the opposition was avoiding an inevitable debate... it was also the politically expedient thing to do. The rainbow coalition of enemies is a testament of the possibilities of bipartisanship and the avoidance of any discussion of race pertinent to the presidency is mostly to avoid alienating further the Republicans.

The Republicans espouse ideologies that under the surface are racist. Their policies have historically criminalized and under-educated youth of color, men of color, condemned women of color's reproductive choices, while protecting the interests of (mostly white) poperty owners, wealth-holders and business owners. All under the guise of patriotism- but really it is the burgeoning tide of ultranationalism and the fear of the death knells of white supremacy. (stating the obvious?)

So really... none of this surprises me or shocks me. I expected no loyalty from the President. He's a politician- everything he does is calculated for the purposes of political expediency.

This might make me a cynic, but *meh*

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

A. Marie: Welcome and thanks for de-lurking. You said: I cannot understand why anyone still expects loyalty from Black men because of their race.

Well that's the 1Trillion Dollar Quandry. As soon as the majority of blacks STOP looking to elevate black men to Messiah status and stop making excuses for those that engage in all sorts of foul behavior in every other scenario things will improve across the board.

As for Obama he knew he was getting support from an increasing majority of blacks due to his spoken words about being in alliance with them. His actions are another story. While I agree that he is the president of the US he has no problem meeting the needs of those groups who are organized and come to the table with a list of demands. It's a reciprocal relationship. That's not the case with the black voting collective. There's nothing wrong with expecting something in return for one's support. Why is it that only certain blacks make this ridiculous argument?

I'm already aware the black community is dead but that doesn't mean I'm going to refrain from speaking on these issues and the blatant hypocrisy at play here. I also mention solutions so this isn't just a rant. It's good that you don't "expect" anything as opposed to blindly assuming you'll get something from this president. The danger in that I feel is that leaves the administration open to do things that will further set the collective back that a white politician wouldn't have been able to get away with because so many DO assume loyalty based on Obama's DNA..and might I add male privilege. It's very dangerous indeed.

A. Marie said...

I respect that. After I posted that comment, I re-read your blog post.

You stated my point very clearly- if we wish to be heard and taken seriously, we need to stop waiting for these "old guard" former-Civil Rights Movement leaders to lend our opinions legitimacy. What happened to organizing our communities and lobbying within the political system against the injustices members of our race face? I have to admit, Pres. Obama had a point when he urged people to go out into their communities and give back instead of siting back and waiting for appointed leaders to do the work.

I don't see enough of that. But I try to do my part by working with youth in my community (Oakland) to impress upon them that anti-intellectualism, materialism, etc are holding them back from their full potential. I'm not saying that EVERYONE should do what I do, but I do hope that more people do step up and use their talents and time to uplift their communities.

At this point, Pres. Obama has my support because rooting for his failure would only be detrimental to me- as an American citizen.

Unknown said...

Paterson is unlikely to win, what's the big deal?

Citizen Ojo said...

I guess Obama's "denial of racism" is starting to wear on some folks. I have said this before and I'll say this again. Black Folks and White Folks are not ready for a black president. White folks aren't ready for what it means (i.e. what it means to have a black man as leader of the u.s.) Black folks aren't ready for what it means (i.e. because he can't be the person that we really need him to be.) I question the black folks around Obama for not helping him in some of his decision making. I'm biased and I perfer to see more blacks that have HBCU educations helping Obama. The black folks from Ivy League Schools have a history of assimilating too much for my taste (like I said I'm biased) I think if he had some black folks around him who have their ear to the streets (so to speak) they would know how to handle the Patterson situation and they would have never let the Van Jones thing get that far. As always good post.

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

A. Marie: No we don't want "failure" for the president. It's just that "success" has not been defined - nor has who gets to determine what that success will look like been firmly established.

Kellen: Whether Paterson wins or loses is a separate issue. If it such a foregone conclusion he would lose then the president didn't need to insert himself in the mix the way it has been reported. Paterson could have failed on his own. Now it looks as if Obama is actively rooting for it. Yet he can't be bothered to speak out on numerous ills and atrocities that actually have greater negative impact.

Citizen Ojo: You may be right. I definitely think many blacks are not using their thinking caps when it comes to their public behavior in the age of Obama.