Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Obama Bargain

Read the following article and respond (referencing class discussion and/or BDSMN is always smiled upon):


Robert said...

I felt that this article came off as very rude. I know that this is an opinoin and the author is entitled to it, but as I read it I could defidently feel a distain for Barrack Obama. One thing, just about the article, that struck me was how the author constantly refferd to Barrack as "Mr. Obama." Most articles I read about the election refer to him as senator, and so just calling him "Mr." seemed like they were ignoring his title. As far as what the author was saying, the notion that Barrack is where he is because he is black may be justified because his message of change wouldn't come across as strongly if he was an old white guy. However using the term "bargaining" when talking about how his race affects his. campain just seems insensitive

Natasha Gabbay said...

I definitely agree with Robert that this article is far from subtle in its dislike of Obama. The claim Steele makes about Obama's campaign being based on the fact that his position would give whites the chance "to experience racial innocence" was something I had never considered. While I found a lot of the article interesting, for the most part I found it obnoxious and even somewhat ignorant at times. Perhaps the most frustrating part of the article for me was when Steele started claiming that Obama's environment is his identity:
"nothing could be more dangerous to Mr. Obama's political aspirations than the revelation that he, the son of a white woman, sat Sunday after Sunday -- for 20 years -- in an Afrocentric, black nationalist church in which his own mother, not to mention other whites, could never feel comfortable...How does one "transcend" race in this church? The fact is that Barack Obama has fellow-traveled with a hate-filled, anti-American black nationalism all his adult life, failing to stand and challenge an ideology that would have no place for his own mother. And what portent of presidential judgment is it to have exposed his two daughters for their entire lives to what is, at the very least, a subtext of anti-white vitriol?
Steele has no problem saying that because Obama attended the church of a man who is an "anti-American black nationalist," he is automatically a supporter of that ideology. I found this claim completely superficial. In Blood Done Sign My Name, Tim Tyson's family lives in a part of the country where African Americans are looked at as inferior beings. But, it would be unreasonable to claim that because his family lives and befriends the people of that society, that his family MUST share those beliefs. I think that Steele's view on people having similar beliefs by association is an oversimplified generalization.

Noah said...

I agree with Robert in that the author of this article did very little to hide his bias against Obama. But what I kept coming back to was the first quote in the article in which Geraldine Ferraro said that "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position", and then the article goes on to say that those who vote for a black president would feel like their redeeming themselves and making up for America's "tortured racial past". This connects to what we had been talking about in class about OJ Simpson and how we felt that he was not convicted because it would make up for our past. I forget who had said it, but they joked that the jury had thought "we'll let them win one", and I think this would same general thought process. If they elected a black president, it would make up for our past.

Lexa said...

I definitely agree with all of the above comments that the author does nothing to hide her racial bias. However, I think that the article's purpose is to show her feelings about the subject and how she thinks that merit, not race, religion or anything else, is the only appropriate way to achieve the presidency. Shelby Steele believes that the only reason whites support Obama is because he is "the opportunity to document their deliverance from the shames of their forbearers." In other words, a black man becoming president would essentially free white Americans from theguilt that accompanies former slavery. This need for forgiveness is directly addressed by Tim Tyson in Blood Done Sign My Name. He talks about how "we want to transcend our history without actually confronting it" (Tyson 318). Electing Obama as president would be the perfect way for Americans to feel liberated from the shameful chains of slavery. The whites would be putting their future into an African American's hands, allowing him to run the country, an event that would have been unthinkable during the times of slavery and even during the times of the Civil Rights Movement.

But, although they would be showing their extreme support of an African American, there is no confrontation of the past appearing in the votes of these Americans. Sure, Obama would be the president of the United States, a once slavery-corrupted nation, but does that mean the Americans are ready to be forgiven? Have they taken all the necessary steps in order to obtain true forgiveness?

By describing Obama as a "bargainer," Steele suggests that he "[made] the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism." Again, the confrontation of the past is absent in this promise. As Tim Tyson would probably say, there would be no acknowledgment of "the historical truth about how African Americans finally won their freedom" (318). All of the riots and lynchings and murders that blacks were put through would be overlooked by Obama's ascendancy to becoming president. People would think that Obama becoming president would wash away all of this bad history and they would never have to think about it again, becoming incidents of those who try to overcome their past without reflecting upon it.

Mac said...

I agree also agree with Lexa because although I also thought that the article was rude and offensive to Obama, I think that the author just wanted to express her feeling about the upcoming nomination. I think that it might have been smarter for the author to try to conceal her bias a little more, but I am not writing for the Wall Street Journal.
Like Robert said, I was very interested as to why the author kept referring to Obama as Mr. and not Senator which really pissed me off. I understand if she is no willing to state the he is a good canidate for president, but she should at least call him by his proper title and some him the respect the he rightfully deserves. Although i did not agree with all of authors statements, I think that she had some valid point and i agree that if Obama was a white man, he might not be in the position that he is in today.

PimpMasterFlex said...

Although this article was indeed a little rough on Obama (as has been heavily stated in prior comments), I think we should try and look past this fact when considering the truths and facts associated with what the author of the article is saying. The author mentions how his "actual policy positions are little more than Democratic Party boilerplate and hardly a tick different from Hillary's positions. He espouses no galvanizing political idea. He is unable to say what he means by "change" or "hope" or "the future." And he has failed to say how he would actually be a "unifier." By the evidence of his slight political record (130 "present" votes in the Illinois state legislature, little achievement in the U.S. Senate) Barack Obama stacks up as something of a mediocrity." Even though Hillary Clinton has had much more experience then Barack, he still is deemed the favorite in this Democratic nomination race.
I also feel this article is a little unfair to Barack in the sense that the author believes Barack holds a major force that has pulled him forward in the race and that "this force is about race and nothing else." This is a little short sighted in my opinion because it turns a blind eye to all of Barack's accomplishments.

Ian Phillips said...

I found this article to be a somewhat accurate portrayal of racial politics in America yet a total misinterpretation of Obama's campaign. It was in a way embodying the problem it said America so badly has. The author seems to believe that Obama wouldn't have a chance if he were White. The author is trying to say the race shouldn't matter but by making this statement about Obama she is pretty much saying that race should determine one's character.
This article reminds me of a discussion we had in class concerning BDSMN and race. People now tend to side with Blacks w/o hearing the other side as a way to make up for over 400 years of racism. Simply sympathizing with Blacks and letting them have their way won't solve the problem. The only way to solve the problem of racism is to not let skin color be a factor of judgment whatsoever. So who cares if Obama is black or not? It shouldn't be the guiding force of his campaign. I'd vote for Obama. I would if he was Black or White.

derek kahn zwyer said...

Hey, Derek here.
I found this article very interesting and I was surprised just how much it related to our class discussions. I remember we were talking about the Duke lacrosse case and how everyone turned it into a racial issue. The writer of the Obama article is doing the exact same thing here. I disagree with many of the article's opinions, and especially with the fact that it even exists because I, as i've said in class, am very fed up with people focusing on each others race/gender/religion. However, i did find a few things interesting. The first was when he talked about Obama's political history and how his democratic position was "hardly a tick different from Hillary's positions". I have always thought this; when I would watch debates between them (i even fell asleep once), it seemed that they were trying too hard to find minor differences in opinion.
A second thing i enjoyed reading and could understand and relate to is when the author said: "Because he is black, there is a sense that profound questions stand to be resolved in the unfolding of his political destiny." I totally agree with this, because if you turn on a news network all you hear about is how so many people are worried that America isn't ready for a black president, and that everyone is wondering if the country would elect a black president. It seems that everyone is so interested in how he can do politically regarding the fact that he is black .
I was admittedly a little bit confused with the statement regarding how Obama's campaign relies on 'the manipulation of white guilt'. In my opinion, if Barrack Obama talked all about racism and how it is ridiculous that there has never been a black president, THAT would be manipulation. However, unlike the write of this article, Barrack does not make it about his race, so I feel like he isn't trying to get votes based on his race. If I was Barrack Obama (which I'm not...just imagine though) I would much prefer votes based on my political platform rather than my race, so I would not try to guilt people into voting for me.
In conclusion, I very much enjoyed reading this article because it appeared that the author had a very well thought out opinion that he or she (Shelby? sorry...) was more than ready to put into words. Thanks for reading

Shannon Walsh said...

Ok, so this article actually made me really angry for a number of reasons. First of all, I just can't get over the fact that this woman had the nerve to say things such as: "Mr. Obama's extraordinary dash to the forefront of American politics is less a measure of the man than of the hunger in white America for racial innocence." WHAT!? I think this is absurd. First of all, Obama is not a stupid man- he campaigns well, works hard at what he does, and is honest- this has nothing whatsoever to do with his race. Secondly, and this is something I don't beleive anyone brought up, I personally don't think Americans (not me, just Americans on the whole) care whether they are forgiven for what has happened racially in the past. The thought never crossed my mind, nor has it crossed the mind of any person I have talked to. I don't think Americans today are concerned with whether or not they are forgiven; I think that most white Americans do not blame themselves for the hardships blacks had to deal with in the past, and therefore they are not looking for forgiveness from anyone. And the statement, "Mr. Obama's run at the presidency is based more on the manipulation of white guilt than on substance" (is not only the exact same thing Shelby said above) but just proves that she has no proof to support this idea. Where is she getting the idea that whites are looking to be rid of their guilt from? I mean, yes she's definitley put her opinion in there- but where is the proof?

Alan said...

Describing Obama's campaign as a "bargain" is really saying that his run for presidency is a sort of bargain between whites and blacks. Like others have said before me, whites may be voting for Obama to try and make up for centuries of racism and let blacks "win one" (like the OJ Simpson concept discussed in class). This essentially is the bargain, as whites will vote for Obama if blacks in return forgive them for past discrimination. Obviously, this is impossible as little "sorry"s here and there can not possible make up for the immense suffering of African-Americans. This is ultimately unfair for Obama as he is subject to this "bargain," and in Steele's opinion is being judged on his race rather than his political credentials. Many readers of this article will be upset with Steele's opinions of Obama, but the real opinion to be upset with is that of the white voters who are part of "The Obama Bargain."

Casey said...

first on a political note one serious area of concern that I would like to point out is one that conservatives and Clinton supporters alike enjoy saying about Obama. McCain is a war vet,Clinton has over "30 years" of "experience" (?)and Barack Obama has only been in the senate for a few years.

In the upcoming election most Americans are in agreement that the country needs to be turned in a radically different direction, so frankly the quantity of a candidate's experience does nothing to show me that they will be the person who can provide the needed change in this country. I feel that fair, sensible, and smart judgment is the more important trait we should be looking for in the next Presidential Candidate and not someone we want to have a beer with or who, based off years of work experience, we would trust to build our house. So when it comes to judgment, who is the only candidate who made the wise decision to not vote for the war in Iraq? Obama.

Regarding race in the article I would like to point out that the author of this article, Shelby Steele, is an African American male (and self proclaimed black conservative)

does your knowledge of Steele's race and gender affect the way you view his comments at all?

Jenny said...

I agree with the statement above. the author seems to have a very clear view of what they believe but seems to think that that is the only possibility for the reason that Barrack Obama in in the campaign. The article says that "Mr. Obama's extraordinary dash to the forefront of American politics is less a measure of the man than of the hunger in white America for racial innocence." Very interesting, but very misleading and demeaning toward Obama. The author seems to make the arguement that his campgain is quote
"less a measure of a man",does this mean that what he stands for and what he believes is worthless to that fact that "white America" is "hungry" for their innocence? like how Natasha said that the authors views seemed oversimplified generalizations i could not agree more. does this article suggest that every white American is trying to redeem themselves for the past? like how Alan said with the OJ Simpson ok you got this now can we forget about he past and move on? Also like how Robert said using the term "bargain" when talking about how his race affects his campaign seems insensitive i think that i goes further and suggests that if he wins he does not only deserve it but its not what America actually wants. bargaining is a compromise, giving up something for something else in return...i wouldn't call what the teens at Roland-Grise Junior High, both black and white, had to go through, both being pushed into a situation not exactly asked for(262). But really..bargain? in america we dont bargain, we vote, and we vote for personal reasons and this authors personal views are harsh and misguiding, twisting and manipulating the situation into forcing Barrack to play the race card when he might not have asked for it. it goes to show this countries obsession over race and forcing people into creating identities and sides they did not choose for themselves. could not we say that Hillary is playing the female card? and men might be saying..he lets get them one..they deserve it, too? but wheres the article about the middle age white woman playing the female card? wheres that bargain?

mike said...

i think it's kind of funny how we read one conservative article all year, and suddenly everybody's up in arms. id like to take a crack at why this article seems to offend so many people on this blog.
first off, casey pointed out that that Steele is a "self proclaimed black conservative." the sad reality is that no such individual exists in either US classes, and it would probably be pretty tough to find one in westport at all. whether we choose to see it or not, we live in a white liberal town, with white liberal voters, and with a white liberal press. im not suprised that people feel a little shellshocked when theyre exposed to an opinion from a black republican.
im gonna pick on shannon's opinion about americans not caring about being forgiven. its not that we dont care, its that we cant possibly rectify the horrible atrocities weve commited in the past 300 years. after we killed and exiled every native american we came across, we tried to make up for it by putting them in some shoddy reservations. after enslaving blacks for hundreds of years, we started affirmative action to that a few extra black students got a chance at a college education. what im getting at is that theres no way that we can fix the scar that weve left on entire races of people. its not that we dont care, its just that a little extra cash or a black president isnt going to make it all go away.
not to get too off task, Id like to point out that i dont completely agree with all the author's points in this article. to say that obama is doing well exclusively because of his race would be a complete oversymplification of his platform. he's a decent politician, hes a smart guy, and hes a breath of fresh air after hundreds of years of political monotony. THere's plenty of reasons to vote him other than race. he seems to expect the worst of voters today.
I was particularly suprised by the connection he made between al sharpton and obama. Unlike al sharpton, obama is black AND qualified. what makes obama different from sharpton is that he's not just "that black candidate." he's about politics first, blackness second. People who voted for al sharpton were the same people who wanted oj simpson acquited; blackness first, justice and politics second. obama's appeal to white people isnt that hes black, its that they trust him to run the country for four of the most difficult years in world history.

Cameron said...

So I guess I'm going to be the first person to go against the grain here, but I agree with almost everything that this author said. And, by the way, lime Casey said, this author is half black, half white, and male, so in other words very similar to Obama. Also, like Casey said, does this change your view of the column? Did you assume that they were white, and thus a racist because he was speaking out against a black candidate? This is extremely similar to what Steele says in his column, that whites in this day and age have a problem with saying almost anything against someone of a different race then us, and I think this is mostly due to the "white guilt" that Steele discusses. Anyway, as a side note, this is an op-ed piece, so you're allowed to be biased, and also, this is America, so the author could have called Obama a smelly butt head and it wouldn't have made any difference, but that's aside the point. First off, I would like to talk about Natasha’s comment that Tim Tyson’s experience is similar to Obama’s in his racist church. Tyson was growing up in a certain area, not a member of a church organization that he donated to, like Obama. It’s simply unrealistic to compare Tyson to Obama in this instance. Natasha says that “Steele has no problem saying that because Obama attended the church of a man who is an "anti-American black nationalist," he is automatically a supporter of that ideology” Obviously, he supports the ideology. We’re talking about a church here, not a place or region where you grow up. And about the whole church deal. Obama has attended this church for twenty years, where the pastor has said that AIDS was created by the government to ruin the black community. He also believes that we had 9/11 coming to us. Obama has attended this church under his own free will, and donated to this organization, which is frankly extremely racist and offends me to no end. And this man claims to be a blank screen? Someone who can unite people? What? Also, Michelle Obama, Barracks wife, has said that she is not proud of America. This is going to be the wife of our president? I also disagree with Natasha when she claims that she had never thought of “racial innocence” being created by Obama. It’s probably only because it is so self conscious, so I can’t blame her. Even for me, it is hard to speak poorly of a black man, simply because he is black, and blacks have almost achieved a sense of holiness, being untouchable by word, thought or deed. Tim Tyson’s Oxford is almost the opposite of today. O.J. Simpson, an obviously guilty man, is acquitted of murder, simply for being a black man. (Note: This is my opinion, not backed up by fact. Sorry, that’s just life). Also, I think that Obama has a rhetoric flaw, while Tyson does not. Using words like “hope” and not explaining what they mean is kind of goofy, which Obama has done. Tyson specifically states that he believes that an utterly equal society is the great hope, but what does Obama mean? He hasn’t said. In another point, I think this entire election is a case of identity politics gone rabid. Clinton and Obama have almost identical beliefs. Granted, Hillary does waffle a bit and Obama squirms when put under scrutiny about his beliefs, but they still remain about the same. However, I honestly can’t really say that they are exactly the same because the media has focused so much attention on the races and sexes of the candidates that the issues are being completely ignored. Come on, where’s the beef? If I where Tyson, I would probably be upset about this election and what it’s turned into. Tyson wants an equal society, not a society where a candidate gets a vote just because he is black. If we only focus on the fact that Obama is black and Hillary is a women, we’re not being color blind, which is the ultimate goal. We are still being bigots, but we don’t notice because it’s under the guise of being progressive. What have we achieved when we elect someone simply because of their race and not because of their issues.

Laura said...

I feel that this article really showed me a different view of the campaign going on. Could people really be supporting Obama because they feel that by supporting a black it gave them “racial innocence”? I feel that a quote that really sums up the article and sticks out in my mind is, “And whites love this bargain—and feel affection for the bargainer – because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence.” I think that it is interesting that people could just be supporting Obama because of his race (and isn’t that racist in and of itself?) Furthermore, I think this article goes to prove how the nation is not presented an issue where everyone can collectively confront history (or racism), as the other discussion blog had said. People are forced to look at Obama from a presidential stand point and I’m sure the issue of race has crossed the majority of people in our country. The article goes on to say, “This is how Obama has turned his blackness into his great political advantage” I feel that the idea that race is being used as a bargaining tool for presidential candidates shows how race is still such a big part of our country and racism is still so current in our society today. It will be interesting to see if this article really proves to be true and are white people really supporting/voting for Obama because of his race?

Jordan said...

First off I just want to say that as most people have said, this article came on very strongly to me and left me pretty angry at some of the points that the author brought up. One point that really stuck out to me is when the author said, "because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence." She said this when she was talking about how blacks can wear a mask. I really don't agree with this statement because I don't think that when discussing racial issues that whites are the ones who should be portrayed as the people who "live under a constant threat". I think that without a doubt, the African Americans, or any other minority in question are the ones who are under a constant threat. Why should we "feel sorry" for whites because things they say might make them seem racist when the blacks are the ones who are experiencing the pain and cruelty of living in a society where they are still discriminated against?

Also, to continue with that previous quote, I don't think that the majority of Senator Obama's fans ae in favor of him because they think that voting for him will grant them racial innocence. I don' t think that most people say, "oh I'll vote for Obama because if I vote for a black person all of my past racial sins will be atoned." I also don;t agree with what the author was saying continuosly throughout the article, that if Obama was a white man he wouldn't be this far in the election. If the country was really striving for racial equality, then this statement would be completely false. In my opinion, Obama should be seen for his ideas and actions that he plans to take as president, not because he's black and we should vote for him because we feel bad and we want to show all the Black people that we're not racist. If we are voting for someone solely because they are black, aren't we still being just as racist?

Maanvi said...

I was left really puzzled by this article. Shelby Steele thinks that by voting for Obama, whites will no longer feel guilty for the past. Whites whom he calls "bargainers" now have an "opportunity to experience racial innocence." I don’t think so. To me, this would mean that suddenly they do not have an ounce of racism in their blood. That can’t be. Just because a white voted for Obama it will not change their mind set. Are they going to think differently of the neighborhood next to them that is dominantly black? Steele’s point just doesn’t make sense. In Connecticut, Obama won as many white votes as Clinton, and in California he won more white votes than Clinton ( So, apparently, all those white people were racist before they voted for Obama, are not racist now, and only voted for Obama because they wanted racial innocence. Once again, I don’t think so. How is that possible? Three-fourths of them probably don’t even feel the need for forgiveness. Three-fourths of them probably aren’t even bluntly racist, a little maybe, but that is our subconscious! No one needs forgiveness, I think people just want change. But Steele thinks that as Tyson said, whites are trying to transcend racism without confronting it, and he thinks Obama is playing along. When Casey brought up that Shelby Steele was half black and half white I was really surprised. It confuses me because one would think that Steele would support Obama. They have a common background. But I think that because Steele thinks Obama is purposely getting the "bargainers" vote, he can not respect him. It just shows how much race is looked at in our country, but I really don’t think that a majority of America would vote for Obama to run their country just because they want innocence.

Ali said...

The author of this article has, in my opinion, a very narrow mind and sees what he wants to see - which, ironically, he criticizes Obama's supporters for doing. He describes Obama as someone who would be nowhere without his sole identity of a black man. He states that Obama is where he is today because whites see him as a non-threatening individual who won't make them feel guilty for past racial wrongs. Even Bill Clinton tried to be belittle Obama's successes by comparing him to Jesse Jackson after Jackson won the South Carolina primary. Steele states in the article, "If we see the real man, his contradictions and bents of character, he will be ruined as an icon, as a "blank screen" (Steele, The Obama Bargain). The author discusses how people fill in this "blank screen" of Obama with visions of who they want to see - a black man who will assuage their guilt; a black man who will "end inferiority" of all blacks.
Contrary to the author's statement about how Obama isn't doing anything and that he doesn't have any true plans, Obama has developed detailed policy positions involving how he would solve issues such as healthcare and taxes in this country. "He is unable to say what he means by "change" or "hope" or "the future." And he has failed to say how he would actually be a "unifier"' (Steele). The author believes these are empty words, but he has come up with detailed proposals.
Overall, this author makes it seem like Obama was just a black guy off the street that ran for President - he's a smart guy and I don't think the author can get past his belief that his skin color makes him what he is.

Meg said...

I agree with what Ali said about how "this author makes it seem like Obama was just a black guy off the street that ran for President - [but] he's a smart guy". You have to be both smart and successful in order to even consider running for president, and since Obama is doing so well, he obviously isn't just some random black man who decided to use his race to promote himself as a presidential candidate. While it may have, at some point, helped Obama appeal to more people, the racist mindset (and one of white superiority) still lives on in America and so there are probably equally as many ways in which being black has hindered him - or at least made things harder for him - as it has helped him. In the Race in America article "A Limited Partnership", Timothy Cobb speaks to this point when he says "When things were good, being black made them better; when things were not so good, it made them worse". I think the author comes off as rather naive when he says that Obama is simply using his race for his benefit because, while it clearly works for him in some ways, there are many other ways in which it works against him. And as the above quote states, his race works for him in extremes. Things that go well really help, but when things go poorly, they get a lot worse because of his race.
However I don't see the article as being quite as rude as some other people did. Although everyone may not share the same opinion as this author, he too is entitled to his own opinion, just as all of us are. Also I can understand why, if he feels this way about Obama, he would want to get his opinion out into the open. Deciding who the next president will be is a big decision and one that will affect Americans for at least the next couple of years, so I can understand why, if he feels this strongly that Obama is not a good candidate, he would want to get his opinion out in the open. I don't want to speak for anyone, but I also think that people wouldn't be as offended by this authors opinion if they agreed with it. But in any event - to each his own.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

I think that in order to say that Barack Obama wouldn't be where he was without his race, you also need to ask whether Hilary would be where she was if she was a man. They are both running as political minorities who have never been president in the history of the United States. I think that you would find that Hilary's gender is just as much of an advantage for her as Obama's race. I think that we would find that neither of them would be where they were without their accomplishments and power. As Meg said, you need to be smart and successful to run for president, which both candidates are. Additionally, neither of them would be this far without the good policies which Americans think are best for the country.
I think that race may have been more of a factor if it was Barack Obama against a white man for the democratic nominee, but, with the opponent being another political minority, i don't know how you can think race is the reason that he is where he is.

Lexi said...

As many above me have said, I was angered by the initial paragraph that opened the article. Right from the start, Steele overtly shows her bias against Obama and unreasonably argues that race is an unfair advantage in politics. She makes it seem like Obama is at fault for using his "blackness" as a running factor. It cannot be ignored that Obama is a black man running for president- ignoring his racial status would be just as harmful to his campagin as promoting it. As Steele puts it, "It is undeniable that something extremely powerful in the body politic, a force quite apart from the man himself, has pulled Obama forward. This force is about race and nothing else." Basically, Steele believes that if Obama were not black, he would be nowhere near as close to becoming president as he is now. It annoys me how she blatantly puts it as "undeniable" that there is "some other force" pulling him towards being a promising canidate. How is it undeniable? What proof has she given us, as readers, that some "other force" has pulled Obama towards the election? Just because he is black, doesn't mean he is not an influetial canidate or important politician. As I said before, what does Steele expect Obama to do? Ignore the fact that he is black and ignore its potential to help him in the election? Hilary uses her status as a woman to her advantage just as McCain might do the same with this cliche rich, white, Christian status.

Aaron said...

I may get a few people angry with this response, so let me first say that Barrack Obama is a talented man. He is a good writer, smart, charming, articulate, and confident. He is a talented politician and a likeable guy. It is totally unfair to say that if Obama was white he would be some bum living on the street. I do believe though, that he uses race to his advantage at times and in some cases it does help him.

As discussed in the other blog about BDSMN, in this country, whites have done horrible crimes to blacks. Today, many people try and make up for that by being extra nice to black people or saying that white people are all spoiled and terrible. In the O.J. Simpson trial, many people beleive that people were trying to make up for the Rodney King incident and all the atrocities done to blacks. I'm not saying it is necessarily true, but there is a possibility that some people are voting for Obama becuase he is black. Race could be aiding him a little bit.

On the flip side, race in some ways is hurting Obama. There are those who question his allegiance or think he is a Muslim terrorist or something like that. Also, Obama's pastor has made very controversial comments that have hurt him. While race is aiding him, in some respects it is hurting him.

Everyone is crushing the author for saying that Barrack Obama is in his present opsition because of race. While it is not completely true, he is using race to his advantage, and it has helped him to a certain extent. It helps him stick out to people and seem appealing. People who want change in this country may like him because he is black and will bring a change in that regard rather than with policies and things of that nature. Race has definitely helped Obama.