Obama’s grandmother

Sage McLaughlin writes:

To follow up on recent comments: Obama’s entire attitude toward his grandmother’s anxieties is vile in its solipsism and self-pity. The whole episode, in fact, only proved that she is capable of doing what he clearly is not—transcending race, or at least putting it in its proper perspective. I wonder if it ever occurred to him that his grandmother, while recognizing harsh racial realities such as the crime and savagery prevalent among young black men in the ghettos, nonetheless viewed Obama himself as an individual, deserving of love, care, and respect. She did for him what his scalawag of a father—like so many black fathers—never even considered doing. And he has the audacity (pardon the term), later in his speech, to offer the fig leaf that of course whites are justifiably tired of having their anxieties attacked as racism! I have yet to see anyone point to this obvious contradiction. The only conclusion that could square all the myriad such contradictions in his speech is that, in Obama’s world, everyone is justified at being angry, everyone is justified in his prejudices, everyone is justified in feeling alienated from everyone else, everyone is justified in spreading their own poison—just so long as Obama is there to scold them for it after the fact. This is a message of hope?

It seems to me that it was Obama’s grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who was able to make the really important distinctions, see the harsh realities of race in America, and yet still understand that we are each imbued with individual dignity and worth, whatever our race. It is Obama himself who has been incapable of “transcending” race, whatever the hell that means, and has even proven his inability to do so—first by feeling a bizarre tribal solidarity with some stranger who harassed his own grandmother simply because the offender was black; and second by holding up her entirely justified fears and anxieties as an excuse for the anti-white hatred of his black racialist pastor. Obama has proved conclusively, to my mind, that he not only can never move beyond race, but that his self-identification as a black man outweighs every other loyalty he might have such as family, fealty to God, or nationality.

Which is reason #1,253,904 why he is completely unsuited to the U.S. presidency. People ask whether America is ready for a black president. I think it’s the wrong question. The real question is whether there is any black man truly ready to be president. On the currently available evidence, and assuming Obama is the best we’ve got, I’m constrained to say “no.”

- end of initial entry -

LA to Sage McLaughlin:


I’m posting this in its own entry.

Sage M. replies:

Thanks. I have been busy lately, but I’ve been stewing about this damnable speech since I first saw it. Pardon my language, but I’m more than a little perturbed at the scale of the swindle this man is attempting, and at his apparent success with people who ought to know better (e.g., Charles Murray).

Adela Gereth writes:

I agree that Sage’s comments were superb.

Thank you for posting them separately. As good as most of the comments you post are, these really merit their own entry.

Dimitri K. writes:

I am not going to whitewash Obama, but it seems to me that the latest wave of conservatives’ criticism of that man is missing one point: a man will always seek to resemble his biological father. No one can substitute for biological parents. Whatever bad was Obama’s father, and whatever good was his grandma, he has no choice but follow his father’s path. There is a Russian proverb: Doesn’t matter how you feed the wolf, he wants to run to the forest. And it is not the wolf’s guilt. It’s how this world is made. But some people seem to have forgotten that, and now they are disappointed.

LA replies:

I have never criticized Obama for making his identity black. I’ve said before, young Barack had to be something, and the world obviously wouldn’t let him be white, and this left being black. And I agree with you that conservative critics of Obama have gone overboard in even holding Obama’s acquired black identity against him.

What’s objectionable is the type of black identity he acquired.

Sam H. writes:

Obama’s grandmother may be, in his own estimation, a closet racist who really he ought to denounce (but cannot denounce because of his filial obligations), but she sure is good enough to use as a prop in his TV-ad appealing to the white voters of Pennsylvania:

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 21, 2008 01:49 PM | Send

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