From: dianne hunter [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Subject: ?Obama" "invisible"
Jonathan, what do you think makes Obama an "invisible man"?
On Jul 30, 2008, at 8:15 PM, Murray Schwartz wrote:
> From: jonathan schiff [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
> Subject: Obama
> Some thoughts on Obama:
> Norm mentions Obama's desire to bring people together. An
> interesting example of this is the way Obama invokes famous works of
> African American literature in Dreams From My Father. He tries to
> bring some of his literary forefathers (e.g. Ellison and Dubois)
> into dialogue with eachother in his memoir.
> Obama appears to be an example of what we used to call a right-
> brained personality, although I guess contemporary neroscience would
> find this term to be reductive. Obama is poetic, left-handed, and
> not well-organized (he mentioned in one debate that he can't
> remember where he places paperwork if his aides give it to him well
> in advance of when he needs it). I think Reagan shared these traits.
> You can tell in Dreams From My Father and elsewhere that there's
> much about the world he's angry about (that's one reason I like
> him), but he tries to hide this anger under a cool, calm, and
> collected demeanor. This demeanor is perhaps a way of countering
> the stereotype of the angry black man, the stereotype that arose
> after the Civil War when whites wanted to stir up people's fears so
> that Jim Crow laws would be enacted. In the part of Dreams From My
> Father detailing his adolescence, Obama mentions something about how
> a black man can get away with more when he stays cool and polite.
> One could posit, then, that part of Obama's identity results from a
> process of DISidentification. (I hope I've used that term correctly).
> However, Obama remains an "invisible man," as Ellison might have put
> it, so many on the right are eager to paint him as an un-American,
> uppity n____r. The un-American charge is well-known, and the
> uppity n__r slur can be seen in the attempts to portray him as
> arrogant and ignorant. Obama gets labeled arrogant and ignorant
> when he does things that white politicians do with impunity. McCain
> went on a very similar overseas tour as Obama, yet we didn't hear
> all these accusations then that he was ignorant and trying to puff
> himself up.
> Still, if people like Sarkozy and his ex-wife, with their Jewish
> ancestry, got so far in France, I guess Obama can reach the highest
> level in the U.S.
> --Jonathan Schiff