Stuff White People Say

November 6, 2008

“Obama for Kanzler”

Filed under: Uncategorized — jwbe @ 11:46 pm
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Obama for Kanzler

When Obama held his speech in Berlin this year, a croud of about 200,000 came to listen. About 80 % or so of Germans would have voted for Obama.

Articles came up, American and German one, with the question: “Where is the European Obama”, and that Europe has a long way to go. German newspapers did a ‘soul search ‘ but all these articles missed one important thing. Black American history and that Obama’s success didn’t come out of nowhere.
Many Black people sacrified their lives and without them, without a people marching and demanding – where would America be today?

Some of the white celebration of Obama appears hysterical, conquering. The same way they misquote MLK that he wanted a colorblind society and the new one that now MLK’s dream has been fulfilled – the white occupation of Black struggle and stealing Black success and to try to make it their own. Black becomes ‘us’ when it fits into the mind-set. Whites abuse successful Black people [in terms of Eurocentrism] to work against Black people.
Whites celebrate their own sickness, I have no other word for it. They celebrate, that in a dehumanizing and deadly system the victims still ‘can make it’ and this is for whites justification enough at it seems, that this system isn’t deadly enough to challenge it. They celebrate the strength of Black people who overcome the obstacles of this system and make it a success of themselves and abuse it as an alleged prove that the system of white supremacy is a meritocracy.

The German media celebrates the “new America” without giving credit to all these people who made Obama possible. Black people. Whites just had to cast their vote.
Black people succeed in America, not because of whites but despite them. Black success doesn’t prove that there is no more racism but that racism can’t stop Black people. Whites don’t know as it seems that also the possibility for them to vote for somebody Black is the success of Black people. Black people who have always demanded that America lives their ‘ideals’.

All this doesn’t mean that I say that PoC in Europe first must start CRMs, but the illustration of Obama’s success as one of America’s is again the illusion of a distorted history and how whites would like to see themselves.

Yes, perhaps, nonetheless, Obama’s victory will make Europeans thinking. About ourself, who we are and where we stand in history and most of all, what we are in terms of racism. Why we can embrace somebody Black, when he is far in the distance in America but we wouldn’t be willing to do the same, if he were of our own nations.

White people, and Germans aren’t different there, have a weird way to blame their own problems on somebody else. Some time ago a mob of about 50 white Germans attacked three Indians (from India). It was also blamed on ‘foreigners don’t integrate’.
In addition, racism only happens in East Germany. Racism is right-wing extremism. The West and non-Neo-Nazis are not racist. End of story.
End of story? Would Germany hold up signs with ‘Özdemir for Kanzler’ [German politician of Turkish descent]. How would Germany react if it was forced to face the own institutional racism without the chance to hide? What would white Germans say, seeing the facade of the “friendly to everyone” Germany falling? Forced to know what living in Germany can be for PoC or non-Germans. Forced to know how hostile Germany can be, still, after WWII and a nation which wants to believe that we cannot forget history so that we don’t repeat this history. We may not be able to forget our history, this part we are forced to remember, but we have found our ways to ignore our disturbing present. Most of all the disturbing silence.

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7 Comments »

  1. Whites don’t know as it seems that also the possibility for them to vote for somebody Black is the success of Black people. Black people who have always demanded that America lives their ‘ideals’.

    Very true. If blacks hadn’t won themselves the right to vote at the hands of a stingy white establishment, neither Obama’s success nor today’s Democratic party would have been possible. According to the exit polls I looked at, a majority of white Americans still voted for McCain, with the major exceptions of under-30s and non- (or non-practicing) Christians. Even white women favored McCain by a hair, never mind the white male Republican voting bloc.

    Comment by space — November 7, 2008 @ 1:23 am | Reply

  2. One of the more disturbing things about the ‘celebration’ of Obama’s election by mainstream America is that it’s being used for cynical political purposes.

    Namely, the Obama election is touted as proof that America is now no longer racist, and that the USA has entered a new era of “post-racial” politics in which racism and White Supremacy are now a thing of the past in our new Post-
    Racial Utopia.

    Essentially, it’s a way for White America to deny or minimize the racism of the present, put it behind them, and salve their own guilty consciences.

    So one has to examine carefully about the underlying motivations that certain people embrace Obama.

    Be careful drinking the Post-Racial Kool-Aid.

    http://www.columbiaspectator.com/node/29449

    Comment by Lxy — November 9, 2008 @ 12:03 pm | Reply

  3. […] readers summed up the narrative making quite well: “One of the more disturbing things about the ‘celebration’ of Obama’s election by mainstream America is that it’s being used for cynical political purposes.  Namely, the Obama […]

    Pingback by “What makes America great is its ability to change” « Stuff White People Say — November 9, 2008 @ 2:03 pm | Reply

  4. >Namely, the Obama election is touted as proof that America is now no longer racist, and that the USA has entered a new era of “post-racial” politics in which racism and White Supremacy are now a thing of the past in our new Post-
    Racial Utopia.

    Essentially, it’s a way for White America to deny or minimize the racism of the present, put it behind them, and salve their own guilty consciences.

    As main-stream white America has always done.

    Comment by jwbe — November 9, 2008 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  5. Powerful post and a powerful question:

    Many Black people sacrified their lives and without them, without a people marching and demanding – where would America be today?

    I also like the two paragraphs that followed that question. What you said expressed the sentiments I had when the reaction to Obama’s victory of some of his most ardent African-American supporters were to feel “pride in their country” (remember Felpa’s idea?) and to credit the country for Obama’s victory. So there is a reason why Whites feel so comfortable with dominating and attempting to “conquer” the narrative… too many Black people, willing consumers of White media and mind manipulation, buy into the same kind of storyline or happen to be fixed in a narrow set of ways to describe events, all of which led me to say:

    Why are we crediting this country for this?? !!!

    We didn’t get the right to vote out of the kindness of this nation’s heart. Whatever changes in American racial attitudes that have occurred have occurred primarily because we forced them to change the same way we pushed this country to honor our right to vote in 1964.

    It’s like people got a case of the Hillaries. She said “it took a president.” Crediting LBJ for the miles MLK marched in his black man shoes is absurd. Just as absurd is crediting this country for doing something that has occurred primarily, if not only, by the force of our collective will as Black people.

    We could have laid down and died a long time ago but we didn’t.

    I have a problem with people crediting this country for our advances. I don’t have a problem with crediting Whites who support/sacrifice but when WE press on, time after time, whether the barrier stands or falls… the credit should be to whom it is due.

    The spirit of our people… the tradition and legacy of our ancestors… Those are the people who deserve the credit and the last thing anyone, even us ourselves, should cheat us out of is the credit for never letting the barriers be an obstacle and never letting this country… this country… break our spirit.

    If there’s one belief… one lesson Dr. King taught and had faith in when he preached non-violence is that… the transformative power [of determined struggle] not only transforms us but the country in the process.

    Like you said, all Whites had to do, all they had to sacrifice (no death threats or threatened violence against them) were their votes. The problem with that and White Americans like Elizabeth “God knows I fought hard for the other side” Hasselbeck is the majority of White Americans did not vote for Barack Obama no matter how much his proposed tax plan — i.e. putting more of their “hard earned money” back in their pockets — was in their economic self-interest.

    Of course, there is the notable exception of White “youth” voters who where the only White demographic group that voted in more for Obama (54%) than for McCain (44%). One of the narratives out there is that Obama is a “generational” change politician. That, obviously, has something to do with it: Obama (along with DNC chair Howard Dean) made a point to include the often less than enthusiastic (on election day) young voters.

    With the following noted about the exit polls from the election:

    Obama won 43 percent of the overall white vote to John McCain’s 55 percent. Jimmy Carter won 47% of the White vote in 1976 while Bill Clinton won 43 percent of the White vote in the three-man race of 1996 which saw Ross Perot skim votes from Clinton and Republican nominee Bob Dole.

    Obama won 41% of the white male vote vs. McCain’s 57%; Obama won 46% of the white female vote vs. McCain’s 53%.

    While Obama’s totals are good, and in some cases even better than some past Democratic nominees, its clear that it’s a bit premature for White Americans to jump on or, more like it, jump ahead of the bandwagon including themselves in the “Yes We Did” category when an apt phrase for most of them in an aging society is “No, They Did Not!”

    Comment by nquest2xl — November 9, 2008 @ 5:36 pm | Reply

  6. what I find truly stunning is, that the McCain/Palin ticket still was so successful among white voters. You hear them talking about Bush and how happy they are when he will leave office but would vote again a warmonger together with a fanatic idiot.
    This should be the question to ask for all those euphoric whites and that this isn’t something to celebrate but something very disturbing.
    In addition there should have been mass rallies lead by white women (because they should have been attracted by Palin, the disappointed HRC-supporting women) in protest against the Republicans to tell these guys that Palin is an insult to every woman who respects herself.

    Comment by jwbe — November 9, 2008 @ 9:54 pm | Reply

  7. Hurrah, that’s what I was searching for, what a information!

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    Comment by Shaun T Focus T25 Review — September 16, 2013 @ 12:35 am | Reply


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