RUSH: I want to give you some excerpts from this piece at Salon.com by Deborah J. Dickerson: “Colorblind: Barack Obama would be the great black hope in the next presidential race — if he were actually black.” She starts by saying: “I am confident that I have held out longer than any other pundit to weigh in on both the phenomenon that is Barack Obama and the question of whether race will trump gender as America looks toward election 2008.” It doesn’t matter. The 2008 is the Guilt Election. Make no mistake about it. “I had irritably avoided columnizing on these crucial topics … for several, somewhat unorthodox, reasons. First, because the Clinton-Obama stand-off has been more than well-covered — and in an overly simplistic, insubstantial, annoyingly celebritized way. (Horrors, Obama smokes! But isn’t he hot in his swim trunks?) I was waiting for the discussion to get serious and, at last, it has.
“Finally, we’re asking the tough questions; instead of just crowing that he’s raised $20 million, we’re starting to wonder where it came from and what will be asked for in return for that much sugar. Why is the supposedly eco-friendly New Age senator supporting coal, however liquefied, as a way to wean ourselves off foreign oil?” By the way, make a note. This is beginning to irritate me, the Democrats and reducing our dependence on foreign oil and the domestic policies they enact are going to ensure that our dependence on foreign oil will only increase. Anyway, “I had also held off from writing about Obama because the tsunami of attention and adulation this son of a Kenyan goat herder has had to navigate is just too much, too soon. One would think learning to be a senator might keep a person occupied for a while.” Anyway… “For me, it was a trick question in a game I refused to play.
“Since the issue was always framed as a battle between gender and race (read: non-whiteness — the question is moot when all the players are white), I didn’t have the heart (or the stomach) to point out the obvious: Obama isn’t black. ‘Black,’ in our political and social reality, means those descended from West African slaves. Voluntary immigrants of African descent … are just that, voluntary immigrants of African descent with markedly different outlooks on the role of race in their lives and in politics. At a minimum, it can’t be assumed that a Nigerian cabdriver and a third-generation Harlemite have more in common than the fact a cop won’t bother to make the distinction. They’re both ‘black’ as a matter of skin color and DNA, but only the Harlemite, for better or worse, is politically and culturally black, as we use the term. We know a great deal about black people.
“We know next to nothing about immigrants of African descent… Whites, on the other hand…” and this is the key. “Whites, on the other hand, are engaged in a paroxysm of self-congratulation; [Barack] is the equivalent of [your] ‘black friend.’ Swooning over nice, safe Obama means you aren’t a racist. I honestly can’t look without feeling pity, and indeed mercy, at whites’ need for absolution. Well, Deborah, it’s all about collective guilt permeating our society. “For all our sakes, it seemed (again) best not to point out the obvious: You’re not embracing a black man, a descendant of slaves. You’re replacing the black man with an immigrant of recent African descent of whom you can approve without feeling either guilty or frightened. If he were Ronald Washington from Detroit, even with the same r?sum?, he wouldn’t be getting this kind of love.
Washington would have to earn it, not just show promise of it, and even then whites would remain wary…. Since [Obama] had no part in our racial history, he is free of it. And once he’s opened the door to even an awkward embrace of candidates of color for the highest offices, the door will stay open. A side door, but an open door. Yet until Obama survives the scourging he’s about to receive from Hillary Clinton (God help him if he really did lie about his Muslim background) and the electoral process, no candidate of color will ever be taken seriously,” until he survives this. “Clinton isn’t about to leave the stage in the name of racial progress, and the pundit class has only just begun to take apart the senator’s record, associates and bank accounts. Still, this is progress. A non-black on the down low about his non-blackness is about to get what blacks have always asked for: to be judged on his merits. So let’s all just pretend that we’ve really overcome.”
Well! Obviously there’s some disquietness out there among some in the media that Obama is getting all this adulation and praise for having crossed the barrier when he has not. It’s her words that I just read to you. He’s not black. I haven’t been writing about first black candidate, because he’s not black. Which, again, I swear I’m losing my ability to know. Obama is not black, but Bill Clinton was “the first black president,” and at the same time, Clarence Thomas and Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell and Condoleezza Rice are not black, and now Salon says Obama isn’t black. So you see, black is just like feminism in a sense. It’s not about skin color or sex; it’s about liberalism and how best to advance it. That’s why Obama isn’t black. He doesn’t fit the template, just doesn’t fit.