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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Jabbar on Obama

posted by on March 26 at 15:48 PM

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna start filing lovey-dovey Obama posts, but Kareem’s getting to me.

Over on Abdul Jabbar’s blog (!)—which is a little too on-message about everything— “Big Lew” (Google it, kids) has been posting some interesting stuff on Obama. (Jabbar has endorsed Obama and made a subtle appearance in the Black Eyed Peas promo video.)

In his post on the Rev. Wright controversy, Jabbar expands Obama’s controversial point about understanding the context of Wright’s anger. Of course, Obama used that as a savvy pivot to serve his campaign and talk about turning the page.

Jabbar—who talks about Rodney King … and DNA testing … and Emmett Till!—uses it to get all like uppity.

The vitriol in the Rev. Wright’s words is a direct result of what he sees when he reviews … the history of this country. This is not to say that there has been no progress made in those situations, but sadly that progress has been too often slow and grudgingly acquired. Because of the nature of the problems, which in many cases were started in the 19th century, Americans in this day and age have to pay for issues that they didn’t cause and shouldn’t have to fix. But nonetheless we are stuck with the tab.

Re: On message. Here’s Jabbar’s e-mail Q&A with Obama, which does end with this great tidbit:

Finally, I mentioned to him that I’ve seen several pictures of him playing basketball. He told me that basketball was a passion for him throughout his lifetime and should he get to reside in the White House there would absolutely be a hoop on the White House grounds.

RSS icon Comments


Sweet. It would be nice to get some real sports back at the White House, instead of the lame golf they do now.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 26, 2008 3:51 PM

When Obama is president, he needs to have George Clinton paint the White House black. Just a piece of it, maybe in the back. They can paint over it after a while. But just let George, and any other P-Funk all-star do it. That'd be cool.

Posted by JC | March 26, 2008 3:58 PM

i found an interesting POV about the wright/obama incident here, via slate:

one of my favorite points from this piece on the disconnect b/w whites and black in america:
“Two thirds of whites believe that blacks have achieved or will soon achieve racial equality. Nearly eighty percent of blacks believe that racial justice for blacks will not be achieved either in their lifetime or at all in the U.S.”

this whole experience has made me realize that many whites are still woefully ignorant about the black experience in america.

Posted by kydavi | March 26, 2008 4:10 PM

Josh, I don't think anybody is begrudging Wright his vitriol. I think some of us wish he were just a little cra-ZA-zy. Or that at least certain prez candidates would have better judgment in picking pastors...

Posted by fluteprof | March 26, 2008 4:11 PM

The irony, of course, is that Obama picked that church/pastor on purpose ... on political purpose ... to get some cred in his state Senate district where he was seen as too white.

Posted by Josh Feit | March 26, 2008 4:14 PM

Go Bruins!

Posted by DOUG. | March 26, 2008 4:16 PM

"Uppity?" I suppose we're all supposed to say thank you for not dropping any more N bombs.

Posted by elenchos | March 26, 2008 4:25 PM

@4- I've said it before: some of Wright's positions are divisive and false, others have just been deliberately misrepresented by the media (an out-of context soundbite is so much more sensational than balanced and thoroughly researched portrait). There's a lot of good work Wright has done that goes along with the bad.

In addition to being disgusted by her willingness to make such an ad hominem attack on a fellow Democrat, I'm surprised Clinton and her followers are willing to make this argument considering her own spiritual advisor is rather questionable. You haven't done much reading on the Fellowship (also sometimes called the Family), have you? I would have preferred to leave the candidates religious convictions and personal lives alone, but if one's personal faith is such an integral part of their qualification for President, are you sure you're comfortable with the spiritual choices of your own preferred candidate?

Posted by Beguine | March 26, 2008 4:27 PM

Oh, elenchos...

I flagged it with a "like" to send up a flare for slower readers that I was making fun of the "uppity" thing. Oh well.

Posted by Josh Feit | March 26, 2008 4:29 PM

I'm just jealous because I don't have a special dispensation to use racist language as long I'm being quote-quote ironic.

Posted by elenchos | March 26, 2008 4:44 PM

I don't see how centuries of discrimination excuses saying the us govt. created HIV. Period. Untruths are wrong, bad, etc. I think that's the 7th comandment if you want a religious basis or maybe the 8th.

I think we should focus on how centuries of discrimination affect us today including:

1. lack of weatlh accumulation: we need college aid for all.

2. lack of political power: we need to end felon loss of voting rights due to arbitrary and silly drug laws that are discriminatory in their impact. We need DC voting rights. No coincidence that the only majority-black jurisdiction is the only one without voting rights in congress.

3. prior de jure housing segregation: today's de facto ineuqality in school opportunity. Thus federal equalization and aid for all schools.

These things about real power and lack of power and real money and lack of money and real education and lack of education are more important than focusing on who said what or who didn't say what making what they did say racist or disrespectful by some kind of vague implication and arbitrary media frenzy/consensus process.

Posted by unPC | March 26, 2008 4:58 PM

from crosscut and an obama supporter:

[regarding the Pastor Wright issue] there is evidence that the matter is peeling away former independent and Republican support from Obama — and could jeopardize as well support among white Reagan Democrats in northern industrial states the Democratic ticket must carry in November. (....

...In historical terms, the 2008 combat between Obama and Clinton has been downright mild. ....But none of this begins to approach the toxic stuff purveyed at the 1948 Democratic convention, ...; the 1960 convention,... the dreadful 1968 and 1972 bloodbaths; or even the spirited 1984 competition ... It most approximates the plain-vanilla 1992 competition among Bill Clinton, Paul Tsongas, and Jerry Brown or the 2000 contest between Al Gore and Bill Bradley. (
....There is no reason whatever that Hillary Clinton, with so many weeks remaining until the Denver convention, should throw in the towel now. ....

Meanwhile is showing Obama behind McCain nationally by 5 and growing, and behind McCain in swing states (losing to McCain in PA, FL, MO (15 points!), and OH; tied with McCain in VA MN; beating McCain in IA NJ OR and WI).

Wow. Behind in Pa nad OH and FL, tied in MN. Does not bode well.

Posted by again | March 26, 2008 5:09 PM

Did vitriol and the slow pace of racial justice in America cause Rev. Wright to say that AIDS was created to kill black Americans?

unPC: less is more, amigo!

Posted by Big Sven | March 26, 2008 6:26 PM

Geez, you all. I thought AIDS WAS created to kill Queers?

And most of the dead in the bad, bad first decade were indeed white fags.

Right here in Seattle, I lost many, many friends and quit counting at 10. All white and all gay men ... seems some bad information is being peddled by Pastor Wright, if not just outright distortion.

Posted by Jake | March 26, 2008 10:59 PM

taken a look at the national data recently Jake?

Anyone who thinks that Wright's views aren't widely held in the black community (esp. in the southeast) is living a sheltered life.

Posted by gnossos | March 27, 2008 12:10 AM

Do you know whether Bill Russell has a blog? Seriously. I'd love to read what that man has to say.

Posted by Agent Zero | March 27, 2008 10:03 AM

To UNPC - google "tuskeegee" and "syphillis" together - and find out the historical context in which African-Americans can believe that the government would intentionally inflict harm to the African-American community.

Posted by Stella | March 27, 2008 11:05 AM

gnossos and Stella- your argument that we are supposed to respect Rev. Wright's ignorant and uninformed views because they are held by many blacks is pathetic.

Should we also respect the "historical context" of the KKK? Because a lot of people from the "Southeast" like them, too.

Posted by Big Sven | March 27, 2008 1:24 PM

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