Would African Americans Still Support Obama...

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Flashy, Jun 3, 2008.

  1. Flashy

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    If he were a moderate or even liberal Republican?

    I am mainly interested in the views of our african american colleagues and friends here, but anyone can contribute obviously.


    The reason i ask, is that the African-American community is notoriously and overwhelmingly not supportive of conservative African American politicians, be the REpublican or even independent.

    I would like to go further...normally, mixed race half white/half black people are marginalized, by both whites and blacks and have a very hard time gaining acceptance with a large portion of the respective communities.

    Whenever a conservative african american is involved either as republican or independent, that person is usually scorned by probably 90% of the african american electorate...(in many cases, that person is also subjected to a lot of very nasty rhetoric, such as "uncle Tom", sellout, etc.)

    So my question is this...if Obama was more conservative, or Republican, would the same 90% be calling him a "sellout" or "Uncle Tom" or half-white etc. ?


    Why is everyone in the media and in the populace at large, calling him an "African American candidate?" He is in fact, half African American.

    So my question to the African American community, is does it not seem strange, that an obviously intelligent and talented man like Obama, who was conceived by a Black Father who abandoned him, yet whose is from the white mother whose body he grew in and who bore him, breastfed him and nurtured him, and the white family who essentially cared for and raised him early in life who helped teach him the important values of decency as well as diversity that he has preached so well and honestly, should only be referred to as an "African American"?

    IS this just another evidence of divisiveness over race?

    I hear black people (and many white people) enthusiastically talking about this "african american" man running for president...

    Would the same people be talking enthusiastically about this "african american" man running for PResident if his views were more conservative?

    Would the african american community be as accepting of him as an "African american"?


    I am just curious, since I have never seen this level of support by the African American community for an african american candidate since Jesse Jackson back in whenever it was, 84 or 88.

    I understand African Americans are very proud of him, as well they should be...but shouldn't there also be some acknowledgement of the very real other half his humanity, his body and his soul, that these folks so admire?

    The main African American family member in his life, his father, abandoned him. He was raised by a white mother and white grandparents and is half white. His stepfather was Indonesian.

    How exactly is he more "African American"?


    i am just curious as i think it is
    1. A tad ignorant of the facts that this very bright and popular man, is in fact, part of both races, not simply one.

    2. A tad unfair, that many African Americans seem to be "OK" with ignoring that very real and in fact much larger part of his early life because he appeals to him, but would likely disparage him if his views were less compatible with theirs.


    So please, what do you think about these main issues?

    -Are african americans overlooking his "whiteness" and just embracing his "blackness"?
    -Are they ignoring that really the only contribution of his african american father to his life, was that of being a sperm donor, and for better or worse, he was raised primarily by white people (and one indonesian man for a few years)?
    -Are african americans (and others) unfairly calling him "African American" When he is clearly half african american?
    -Would african americans treat his racial makeup and upbrigning in a different way if his views were less aligned with their own? Would be still be considered a true "african american" by many of them?



    This is something I have found utterly perplexing ever since i first became aware of him a couple years back.

    Not only that...a poster in another thread said that "One drop of black blood makes you black because black blood was so strong" (roughly stated from my memory)...which i thought was rather interesting...since technically speaking, Obama does not have a single drop of black blood in him. The one sperm that fertilized the egg, in fact, contains no blood nor does the egg.

    Every human beings blood is created by their body.

    "When a human being is conceived the DNA material of the biological parents are mixed together and creates a new DNA." Stating that blood comes from one specific parent will be the same as stating that a lung, heart or the brain come from one specific parent...Blood is created by each individual and does not come from neither the father nor the mother.

    so how exactly is this reconciled?

    By appearance? By Political Views? Skin COlor?

    There are many biracial (specifically black and white) who do not look African American at all.

    take this fellow...Manchester United Legend Ryan Giggs

    His mother is white/Welsh, his father his British of African Descent.

    http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/05_01/RyanGiggs_468x717.jpg

    http://static.liputanbola.com/200712/img_giggs-10.jpg


    If he were american, would african americans consider him "African AMerican", "Half African American" or "White"?


    This is a very sticky issue, and please understand it is not meant to stir up any feelings, but i find it a genuinely puzzling/intriguing/bizarre/ scenario not just for Obama but for all peoples...

    but obviously, in this specific thread, related to African Americans visions of Obama.

    Thanks...have at it :smile:
     
    #1 Flashy, Jun 3, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2008
  2. Notaguru2

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    Let me save the readers from your wall of text that they would have to parse to get to what you're saying; I paraphrase...

    Since African-Americans are voting for Obama because he is black, does that mean you'd vote for him even if he were a conservative?

    It's about ideology not color, dumb-ass.
     
  3. B_jacknapier

    B_jacknapier New Member

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    I think it's about both, notaguru.
     
  4. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Since the Bush family has driven it into our minds that Republicans are hicks (and hicks are generally racist, thus Republicans are racist), a black Republican candidate would confuse most people. But Abraham Lincoln served his first term of Presidency as a Republican, so obviously white power isn't a cornerstone of the party.
     
  5. Flashy

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    Dumb-ass?

    Interesting.

    The wall of text, was a well thought out, polite, and important topic.

    Your "dumb ass" comment belies your own persona and adequately reflects it.

    You also, of course did not bother to answer the question, which is less about politics, and more about who or what a human being is.


    so basically, you are saying if his ideology was different, you would consider him an "uncle tom"? Or not really fully african-american?

    no need to respond...you pretty much made your opinions known already.

    thanks for the rational response.
     
  6. Notaguru2

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    Ok, so maybe I hope its not about color. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Sure, there will be some, but to generalize that they all vote based on color would be a mis-characterization.
     
  7. Flashy

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    yes, but he was essentially republican (northern union) for his year before being killed.

    But the Republican party of those days, had a much different constituency, and it was the Democrats who were utterly evil and racist in the south up until the 60s...then they all became republicans, and the moderate republicans left the GOP.

    So white power doesn;t really have anything to do with it. The Democratic Party was the party of Southern "White Power" up through the 60s, and most of the awful governors of those southern states who supported segregation, were in fact, Democrats...(and then later during the Nixon southern strategy, IIRC, there was a seismic shift, and those arch-conservatives and bigots like Helms and Thurmond, left the democratic party to become republican.)
     
  8. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Well there you go, that just further proves that racism and white empowerment aren't ideals of the parties or political affiliations, just of certain representatives within them. It's just that the average person sees it as such because of those racist party members. If our public schools went into more detail about this sort of thing, rather than spending half of every history class recounting the key points of World War 2 (no disrespect intended, but there are other points in American history to be made aware of), then people could vote for a black Republican. At the very least, even if they don't draw the conclusion that racism isn't a party cornerstone, they'd see it as the start of the shift back to a racist democratic committee.
     
  9. HyperHulk

    HyperHulk New Member

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    Unfortunately Flashy, you had a bit too much in your OP. So many things to respond to. There are a couple I'll take on.

    I note what you mean about Obama being referred to as African-American, although he ironically may be more African (through his father) and American (through his mother) than many AAs in the US. If the term fits anyone, it fits him.

    Obama is a remarkable man. Yes, he was raised "white" but he's managed to still honor his blackness as much as his whiteness--his otherness as a whole. He has never separated himself from the AA community--he's embraced it, as he's embraced all communities. Obama has taken a global view to communities and this is what is appealing to people. He's able to relate to virtually everyone and people can relate to him. As long as he isn't refuting his African heritage, the AA community will embrace him (unlike say Clarence Thomas) and as long as he's not bashing the white community, he will appeal to many white people (unlike Al Sharpton).

    As for the conservative aspect, I think you can look to Colin Powell. Colin Powell could have won a presidency. He would have received support from many AAs because he would have been as moderate as Bill Clinton evolved to be.

    AAs want an intelligent, caring representative who doesn't ignore them or treat with the disrespect. Powell easily fits this. AAs won't support (en masse) individuals who will make their life worse (why a Clarence Thomas would never be supported). So it's not so much about the party, it's a bit more about the character. Obama's character, like Powell's shines.
     
  10. Flashy

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    I understand that, but please try and stay to the original topic...this is not it.

    The discussion is centered on how Obama and others are perceived for who they are, based on their racial content and their communities.

    I understand it, but this is less about politics, and more about identity.

    thanks
     
  11. Lex

    Lex
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    I can think of manly conservative African Americans that I like (to various degrees). Colin Powell comes to mind.

    It's about the total package. I don't blindly support any one person for any one reason on any one topic.
     
  12. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    Well to bring it back around then, given the education system we have in place, most people wouldn't see him as a "real black man" if he ran as a Conservative/Republican. (That's essentially what I was getting at, that it wouldn't be an issue if our education system were better.) Hell, people made the same accusation of Obama when he announced his plan to run for the candidacy in his home state rather than in Atlanta. It's a sad fact but still the truth that many black people, or atleast the most outspoken among them, would not identify with him as their racial brethren and thus would not be swayed by his color or perhaps even pushed away by the combination of such with his affiliation.
     
  13. HyperHulk

    HyperHulk New Member

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    Flashy, I'll try to share a little bit more with you on this.

    For many AAs, Obama is a bit of a conflict because he's not the typical AA. The one thing missing from him is his relationship to slavery that many AAs born in the US deal with. Nevertheless, as an AA living in the US he would have experienced what any other AA experienced. His experience growing up around mostly "white" people isn't that different than many multi-racial AAs or AAs who live in white communities. So for many AAs, he's not the perfect representative, but he's close enough and the best shot. So yes, he'll be co-opted and his African aspect will be emphasized because that's the part the other AAs can relate to and point their children to. If he becomes president, AAs will be able to say that anything, anything is truly possible--make it happen. Do you remember the Cosby show? Well, thousands of AA children grew up dreaming of being a lawyer and doctor because they saw it on tv. Just imagine how this will open the minds of many AA children? That's what AAs are hoping for. Obama won't change the world per se, but it's a step in changing perceptions and possibilities and every little bit helps.

    Also, I'll be candid to say that Obama helped himself by having an AA wife. Unlike many successful AA men in the public eye, he didn't get a white wife unlike say Tiger Woods). I think this helps him more than anything and it can't be quantified. If Obama had a white wife he would lose the support of more AAs than anything connected to his father being African or that Obama was raised by white parents. For many AAs, Obama is genuine.
     
  14. HyperHulk

    HyperHulk New Member

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    Like I wrote earlier, I think Colin Powell would have defied the conventional wisdom. Powell would have gotten the support of most AAs, even the extreme ones. No one doubted his character or his love of other AAs. Everyone thinks that AAs are so liberal, but that's not necessarily true. Many AAs can be quite conservative. What they care about is who cares about them? Democrats have managed to send a message, we care about you and we listen to you. The Republican message seems to be, we don't need you and we think you're draining us. Powell never transmitted that message. AAs would have trusted Powell. The problem is, he didn't want the madness of a campaign and he's a rare bird, like Obama.

    If Powell ran against Obama now, Powell would win in a landslide and I think he would get a majority of the AA support.
     
  15. Flashy

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    I appreciate your thoughts...

    but also, you did not really address the bi-racial aspect, that many people are not addressing about him.

    is it really fair to say that this man is an african american (in the american sense of the word) but not half-african american and half-white?

    meaning, even if they agree with his policies, if this man was all-white...would african americans be nearly as excited by him? They probably would have voted for Hillary if Barack was just some regular white politician.

    As such, does the excitement of the AA community, especially in the repeated claims by them, by white Obama supporters and the media by and large of having an "AA presidential candidate" overshadow the fact, that this intelligent man, is in fact, not an "AA presidential candidate" but indeed an "AA and White presidential candidate"?

    Are the AA community overlooking the fact that this man, who by many is considered brilliant and revolutionary, is in fact not the product of the best of the AA community, but in fact, the product of the best of the AA AND white community together?

    I mention this point, because it seems that many african americans overlook this point when it comes to many successfull and brilliant bi-racial people, such as Bob MArley, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz, Halle Berry (not Tiger Woods, because he is multi-racial) Lisa Bonet, Mario Van Peebles, Earth Kitt,

    atheltes like Derek Jeter, Jason Kidd, franco Harris, Rod Woodson, James Blake

    and important and hugely influential people like

    Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Walter White,

    and many many others



    aren't these folks the best of both our races?(and others like native americans in those cases etc.) Not just African Americans?



     
  16. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Yes.

    I think Black Americans are supportive of those they feel to still be in touch with them - not necessarily their political stance.

    Also, what most do not realize is many Black communities are overwhelmingly conservative. While it is more convenient to take note of the communities in major metropolitan areas (NY, ATL, DC, CA) - go to the 'burbs, South, and Midwest and you will find staunch conservative, Black communities.
     
  17. sargon20

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    Ever heard of Alan Keyes? No support at all from african-americans.
     
  18. D_Thoraxis_Biggulp

    D_Thoraxis_Biggulp New Member

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    The may be true about Powell, but it's been an extremely slow process with the Conservative spotlight resting more often on the Bush family. Until the Bushes are out of the spotlight, a large number of black people (perhaps not the majority but still several of them) will continue to see the Republicans as the White Man Party, despite Powell's affiliation and best efforts. More of the black population, I believe, would need to be convinced otherwise before a black Republican candidate could count on an influentially strong backing from their racial community.
     
  19. HyperHulk

    HyperHulk New Member

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    I don't think the AA community is ignoring any of this but for many AAs, I think this taken as a given. AAs don't get caught up so much in the whole, what percentage of black are you? The reason is simple, many AAs in the US are multi-ethnic. If you go back far enough in someone's family tree, you'll find either a native-american or white person. AAs know this. Also, AAs are educated and grow up in a predominately white society--so to a degree, we AAs have some aspect of "whiteness" in them. So none of this really bothers AAs about Obama. The only sticking point is that the African part of him occurred outside the US, but still he grew up in the US and went through what many went through and he came out of it still tied to the AA community. He has responded to issues that affect AAs and he married an AA woman. He's embraced the totality of who he is--that's remarkable.

    AAs don't have any problem with Obama's ethnicity. The more perplexing question for me is why more white people don't see and relate to Obama's whiteness--why do they just see the skin?
     
  20. Flashy

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    True...but does that make him fully african american? If they love the African part of him, they have to accept and love the white part of him as well...that means recognizing and acknowledging he is not "AA" but is AA and white.

    JMO
     
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