by Warner Todd Huston | September 3, 2010 11:00 am
In the if-a-white-guy-said-it department, a black oriented website called The Atlanta Post is featuring a piece by Yvette Carnell headlined, “Obama’s Achilles Heel: He’s Not African-American,” in which Carnell decides that Obama is failing because he isn’t really black enough to make it all work. Further Carnell asserts that Obama can’t convince African Americans that he is angry enough to be their president.
Aside from the somewhat stilted writing style — Carnell writes as if she’s clumsily attempting literature instead of news/opinion — the piece can really be boiled down into the premise that Obama isn’t militant enough for a real African-American to accept him. He isn’t “a bully,” and he doesn’t look to employ a “David and Goliath” style of governance Carnell says. This all means that American blacks can’t relate to him she posits.
Carnell starts off with a harsh slap at The One saying of his recent Oval Office Iraq War address: “Another Obama address, another failed attempt at messaging by the White House communications team.”
Carnell was mad at Obama for meekly accepting that the war in Iraq went rather well in the end instead of standing by his oft-repeated comments made as a candidate that the war was lost and un-winnable and that the Surge couldn’t work. She was extremely unhappy that Obama seemed to begrudgingly say that George W. Bush did a good job at last. Any hint of niceties toward Bush is obviously an apostasy according to this militant anti-war activist.
As a result Carnell seems to have thrown in the towel on Obama.
The issue is not just that President Obama is unprepared for the present fight that he’s engaged in, but that he’s unprepared for all fights — period. Obama doesn’t use the bully pulpit because he’s not a bully. This is a hard pill for most African Americans to swallow.
It is interesting to see why Carnell thinks that this is “a hard pill to swallow” for African Americans.
White liberals want Obama to fight because it’s the right thing to do. While African-American liberals agree with that premise, we are also goading President Obama to do battle with Republicans because we’ve collectively adopted clashing with despotic regimes as our solemn oath. The spirit of David and Goliath is alive in the African-American experience.
Apparently, as far as Carnell is concerned, all African Americans are somehow supposed to be militant, anti-establishment, haters of the status quo, who will “do battle with Republicans” regardless of the issue. Apparently, everyone should be a New Black Panther Party member battling all comers instead of a dutiful member of the American polity looking to bring peace, prosperity, and equality for all.
It’s a blacks-against-the-world mentality as far as Carnell is concerned and because Obama isn’t as fist-in-the-air militant as she’d like him to be, why he’s failed African Americans completely.
It is also interesting to note her preposterous claim that only African Americans are interested in fighting “despotic regimes.” When many militants such as she have stood up to support Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, other militant Islamic regimes, excused the horrors perpetrated by South American Communists such as Castro and Hugo Chavez, not to mention so often in strong support of homegrown haters such as Louis Farrakhan, it galls to see this woman claim that the activist African American community cares at all about fighting “despotic regimes.”
In fact, the only “despotic regimes” that hate-blinded extremists such as these can see anywhere in the world is when the Republicans get any power in the USA.
In any case, what upsets Carnell is the fact that Obama doesn’t have any real African American experience in his life. She feels that his Kenyan father does not qualify the president as a proper African American. Obama was brought up too white to qualify she claims.
Born to a white mother and a Kenyan father, young Obama’s world view was fashioned in Indonesia and Hawaii through the prism of his mother. There is nothing unseemly about Obama’s upbringing, but it does belie the difficulty inherent in labeling President Obama as African-American.
Even if President Obama’s Kenyan father had been in his life, that wouldn’t have been enough to link Obama to an African-American experience which is uniquely different from that of Africans in the great vastness of the Diaspora. And to say that Obama is connected to the African-American experience by virtue of his Kenyan father is alarmingly simplistic.
Carnell wraps up with one of those paragraphs that would cause outrage if someone with differently hued skin were to have written it.
Our expectation was that Obama would display some of the steeliness so overtly recognizable in the African American persona. But President Obama’s perspective is international, not African American. It is time that the African-American community stops looking for its reflection in President Obama. He may be the first black President, but he’s certainly not the first African-American President.
This was the charge that many liberal elites and those in the African community quietly bandied about in 2007 when Obama was gearing up his run for the White House and it was why many black groups were slow to embrace him. Some had a suspicion that he wasn’t going to be black enough to qualify him as a proper representative of the black community.
But the truth is that activists like Carnell don’t really care about “African Americans” at all. What they care about is continuing the hatemongering of people such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Malik Zulu Shabazz. That Obama isn’t an angry black man looking to hurt whites as much as possible just because they’re white is an apostasy for these activists.
Of course, there is one other reason why people like Carnell need to keep the hate roiling. Without it, people like Carnell are not needed. Keeping their positions as pot-stirrers is far, far more important than helping the advancement of the African American community. After all, without a “good crisis” they don’t have a job.
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