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January 15, 2009


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I like to think that no one uses humor more often than myself to engage an issue or to think about serious topics from alternative perspectives. But, for a while at least, I would love to be serious about my government. I would like to respect my President, to be his partner in the face of challenging times. It has been, going back to Lewinsky, a very long time since I have felt anything approaching pride about the person working in the Oval Office.

I have no doubt that PE Obama can take the humor and I very much believe he is the type of man that can laugh along with it. That being said, I would prefer we save the jokes. I do not want to boil a man who I have put a lot of hopes and dreams to the color of his skin or the most convenient stereotype for the sake of a cheap laugh.

jelani c.

I agree completely. But there's a difference between wanting people pass up the cheap joke and believing that such humor is somehow damaging to us and/or PE Obama.


You're right. Damaging? Certainly not.

I would just like us all, and by us I quite literally mean everyone, to be better. Just for a while. I was so proud of my country in November. I want it to last for as long as possible. It was a novel sensation.


I once heard John Hope Franklin speak at Duke, on the question of Blacks having to be twice as competent or successful in order to succeed. He (to my surprise) pointed out how deeply racist--as in internalized racism--that concept was. One student should not have to bear the weight of his entire race every waking moment of his public life--it isnt what is asked of White students, and it shouldnt be what is asked of us.

And I dont think that undermines the individual drive of a student to excel, either--dont work your behind off to get an A so you dont embarrass your race, do it so you dont disappoint yourself or your family. Big difference there.

Same goes for any claims over the next four years about embarrassing the President. He speaks for all Americans, not just Blacks. Let's say it, and lets mean it.


This woman is sending outraged e-mails over this nonsense? I can think of three young Black men being shot that would warrant a lot more outrage than free barbeque on the White House Lawn. However if there was mention of chitterlings then all bets are off.


1. The fact that she uses the word 'swagger' really discredits the letter to me.
2. Next, this attitude of 'racism is caused because of the way Blacks act' isn't just prevalent among the Negro elite. I've found people from nearly socioeconomic bracket spouting some version of this 'truth'. I still think this is some brand of internal racism no matter who says it, but when it does come from one of the upper-upper class Blacks it seems to burn (get me angry) a LITTLE bit more.
3. Finally, wouldn't this be a great time in our history if we could finally hedge away from the fear that if one Black does something one it reflects (badly) upon all of us. But if we do that right now, would we also have to not look at Barack Obama as the "personification" of the greatness of the race?


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