Contributed by: filbert Tuesday, March 25 2008 @ 12:48 PM CST
In Shelby Steele’s brilliantly insightful book about Barack Obama — “A Bound Man” — it is painfully clear that Obama was one of those people seeking a racial identity that he had never really experienced in growing up in a white world. He was trying to become a convert to blackness, as it were — and, like many converts, he went overboard.
Nor has Obama changed in recent years. His voting record in the U.S. Senate is the furthest left of any Senator. There is a remarkable consistency in what Barack Obama has done over the years, despite inconsistencies in what he says.
The irony is that Obama’s sudden rise politically to the level of being the leading contender for his party’s presidential nomination has required him to project an entirely different persona, that of a post-racial leader who can heal divisiveness and bring us all together.
The ease with which he has accomplished this chameleon-like change, and entranced both white and black Democrats, is a tribute to the man’s talent and a warning about his reliability.
There is no evidence that Obama ever sought to educate himself on the views of people on the other end of the political spectrum, much less reach out to them. He reached out from the left to the far left. That’s bringing us all together?
Is “divisiveness” defined as disagreeing with the agenda of the left? Who on the left was ever called divisive by Obama before that became politically necessary in order to respond to revelations about Jeremiah Wright?
If you don’t know who Thomas Sowell is, you should[*2] .
Obama appears to me to be in the “silver-tongued orator” class of politician. Now that in and of itself is not necessarily enough to raise too many alarm bells. After all, politicians are supposed to be able to communicate. The trouble is with what is being communicated. Words floating through the air can give one impression. Those same words, written and read, can give another. The problem with listening is that it happens in real time. You don’t have the opportunity to think deeply about the words you’re hearing, as the flow of language continues to wash over you. Only later, perhaps, if you’re the kind of person who is naturally skeptical but also open, do you wonder about what was said.
(By the way, the combination of naturally skeptical and also open to new ideas is, or used to be, the hallmark trait of an enlightened mind. Perhaps one day it will be so again.”
As Sowell indicates, what Obama says is largely a soothing, “can’t we all get along” sort of talk. If you’re inclined to Believe, then you’ll sit and nod your head in agreement as the pleasant words wash over you. Change. Hope. But based on Obama’s grandmother comment and his non-disavowal disavowal of his former religious leader and mentor, I wonder if Obama’s mindset is still locked into the judgment of a person’s character based on the color of their skin. That’s precisely the opposite of what Martin Luther King so eloquently spoke of, where it was the character that mattered, not the color.
Until enough people, black and white, can get beyond the melanin content in someone’s skin, the issue of race will never go away. Some of Obama’s words seem to move us towards that goal. But it’s not his words which are of concern, it’s his actions.