Saturday, July 20, 2013

Deconstructing Barack Obama's Soul-Searching Press Conference

With perhaps a weekend of exciting headlines ahead, including the possible capture of NSA leaker Snowden, as the US struggles to deal with "bash mobs" and clueless citizens wonder if there will be race riots called up by the old guardians of racism..., Saturday morning leaves us wondering what the POTUS was trying to accomplish with his hastily called impromptu press gathering where he discussed the aftermath of the verict in the George Zimmerman case. I was mystified, after reading his book, how Obama could arrive at a belief that "Trayon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." By that did he mean he wished Trayvon could have existed in this mortal coil in a manner or fashion akin to the way Obama came up? And the racial profiling Obama claims to have experienced - could that have happened when he was a college student?

 “Intelligence is intuitive; you needn't learn to love. Unless you've been taught to fear and hate.” ― Saul Williams

Obama's friday media appearance leaves more questions than answers, and in my opinion, a more direct statement urging peace between Americans of all colors would have been a wonderful close to his talk. I also find it curious that in a Google Trends search, "Obama" ranks #12. I once read an anrticle where the author tried to explain that Barack Obama is not a typical black, not a typical white, not a typical mixed-race child, not a typical American. I would urge everyone to get a copy of Obama's book and read it - you will discover a fascinating fellow and you may get closer to understanding his unique perspective on politics, justice and the world. Just a few excerpts follow.

If you would like a PDF copy, email me and I will send it to you as an e-mail attachment.

Here is what Obama wrote in his book, "Dreams from my father,":

I can't even hold up my experience as being somehow representative of the black American experience ("After all, you don't come from an underprivileged background," a Manhattan publisher helpfully points out to me); indeed, learning to accept that particular truth-that I can embrace my black brothers and sisters, whether in this country or in Africa, 

And here is a possible indicator via Obama-nostalgia, where he would like to see Americans:

Even the trauma of bank failures and farm foreclosures seemed romantic when spun through the loom of my grandparents' memories, a time when hardship, the great leveler that had brought people closer together, was shared by all.

His perception that people were watching him in stores and locking their car doors as he passed by certainly aren't reflected by another childhood memory:

For my grandfather, race wasn't something you really needed to worry about anymore; 

And then there is his school education:

As the summer drew to a close, I became increasingly restless to start school. My main concern was finding companions my own age; but for my grandparents, my admission into Punahou Academy heralded the start of something grand, an elevation in the family status that they took great pains to let everyone know. Started by missionaries in 1841, Punahou had grown into a prestigious prep school, an incubator for island elites. Its reputation had helped sway my mother in her decision to send me back to the States: It hadn't been easy to get me in, my grandparents

During High School, Obama experienced normal teen angst about dating and looks to which he wondered if race factored in. He realized early that walking in two American worlds was difficult and he seemed comfortable in neither.

Perhaps if we had been living in New York or L.A., I would have been quicker to pick up the rules of the high-stake game we were playing. As it was, I learned to slip back and forth between my black and white
worlds, understanding that each possessed its own language and customs and structures of meaning, convinced that with a bit of translation on my part the two worlds would eventually cohere. Still, the feeling
that something wasn't quite right stayed with me, a warning that sounded whenever a white girl mentioned
in the middle of conversation how much she liked Stevie Wonder; or when a woman in the supermarket
asked me if I played basketball; or when the school principal told me I was cool. I did like Stevie Wonder, I
did love basketball, and I tried my best to be cool at all times. So why did such comments always set me on
edge? There was a trick there somewhere, although what the trick was, who was doing the tricking, and who was being tricked, eluded my conscious grasp.

Full text and video of Obama's speech

You may want to check out another article posted here on my blog (Friday, July 19, 2013) entitled America has no functioning democracy... just Google that term or go to my blog's homepage. I am not including a direct link lest this blog and post be penalized by Google's search algorithm.

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