Monday, March 19, 2007

A Repulsive Obama Editorial in L.A. Times

David Ehrenstein has written an amazingly offensive editorial, in which he charges Senator Barack Obama is popular with voters due to white racism and fear of blacks; he depicts Obama as projecting a sort of Uncle Tom-like personality, replacing the term "Uncle Tom" with "Magic Negro."

Ehrenstein: "...it's clear that Obama also is running for an equally important unelected office, in the province of the popular imagination — the 'Magic Negro.'"

"He's there to assuage white 'guilt'...over the role of slavery and racial segregation in American history, while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest."

Ehrenstein says that "most white Americans...desire...a noble, healing Negro" and continues "as with all Magic Negroes, the less real he seems, the more desirable he becomes. If he were real, white America couldn't project all its fantasies of curative black benevolence on him."

In writing such drivel Ehrenstein reveals himself as the true racist. He is unable to see blacks as individuals capable of achievement on their own terms, while at the same time he portrays whites as a monolithic entity who only engage in groupthink; he believes whites are incapable of being colorblind and only view blacks as groups or "types."

You've got to wonder how writing like this makes it into the L.A. Times in the 21st Century. Unfortunately this says more about the paper than it does about the modern state of race relations.

Tuesday Update: More commentary on this editorial from Captain Ed and Holy Coast.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jim said...

I agree 100% Laura. Well said. His tactic makes it impossible for any black man to be popular without being a race issue. What a loser.

10:19 AM  
Blogger David Ehrenstein said...

Laura your reading skills are not of the first freshness. My rmarks concerned the context in which Senator Obama resides -- one not of his own making -- not the Senator himself.

Please inform your friend Patterico that it's rather rude to ban me from his site and then comment on my work without allowing me a space to respond -- as you have so graciously done.

4:39 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi David,

Thanks for your comments. Dissenting comments are welcome here as long as they're politely stated and free of obscenities (I think Jim, who commented above, will attest to that as we are usually on opposite sides of the political spectrum).

My comments and opinions stand as is. I think the "context" you choose to see is, frankly, slanderous towards those of all races. I will evaluate Senator Obama based on his political views, not his race, and I would venture to guess the vast majority of Americans will do the same. Likewise, Senator Obama is capable of rising or falling based on his record (or lack thereof), not because some monolithic white voting block sees him as a "magic Negro" (ugh). This is 2007, not the 1860s, or even the 1960s.

I'd prefer not to take on the role of go-between between you and other bloggers. Patterico's email address is on his website. :)

Cheers,
Laura

5:34 PM  
Blogger David Ehrenstein said...

Well I evaluate him on his views, not his race, but I would venture to guess the vast majority of Americans don't.

Obama's race is the Elephant in the bedroom of American politics.

5:43 PM  

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