Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Semi-open mike: black readers only, on Obama

While you wait for part two (which may end up being parts two and three) on theologizing and strategerizing....

I have the joy of attending a multi-cultural church. It's my conviction that a church should ideally reflect its community. People should look at a church, and be forced to conclude that the only thing holding those people together is Jesus, and their love for Him. Not that they're all monochromatic and share identical tastes in music and food.


Every time I've had a conversation with one of my brothers or sisters who doesn't share my melanin deprivation, I come away with my eyes a bit more opened. I'd like to offer that same experience to my similarly pallid readers, by offering this opportunity only to black readers.

Specifically I had a conversation with a beloved and revered (black) friend before the election, and got a bit of the warring emotions he felt in seeing that (A) finally a black man had a real shot at the Presidency, but (B) it was a black man for whom he, as a Christian, simply could not vote.

So we've had a week to mull things over, and I'm asking my black readers if they'll favor us by sharing their thoughts and feelings. I don't know how many I have; I know I have a couple-few. It may be a short meta!

Here are the RULES:
  1. Black readers only — except for me! Further:
  2. Only black readers who did not support nor vote for Obama
Please don't mess with me on this. No matter how much I love you and what you think, if you don't abide by the rules strictly, I'll be forced to delete.


~Mark said...

After reading the rules of this post, "no comments yet" takes on a whole new level of meaning.

Ok, to the point: I take NO joy in the fact that we have a president with a particular color of skin because as a Christian I realize it is the content of a man's character that counts more than the color of his skin. An oft-repeated quote which today carries little more meaning than "don't swim 'til an hour after eating".

I do understand the feeling that comes with finally seeing someone who looks like you (superficially anyway) in a position far above the station you expected to ever see. I've said many times that it wasn't until I got old enough to travel out of Western Pennsylvania that I realized non-white people could actually hold positions of authority in big business because it is not common here.

However, I realize also that this encouragement, however real, is encouragement to the flesh and is actually a hindrance to real spiritual maturity.

A guy recently made a joke on a local fishing discussion board that it would be disastrous if we had a Black president because in every movie where there's a Black president something horrible happens to the earth. I found the joke funny because of it's accuracy. Sadly it opened the way to a bunch of genuinely racist talk and the whole thread had to be deleted.

The thing is, unless God changes Mr. Obama's heart of puts a wall before him life is about to imitate art.

Worse, this situation has really divided churches. I walked out of my church this weekend for the first time because my pastor, theologically sound and ordinarily very "un-PC" decided to do something based on Mr. Obama that...*shudder*

He said that he would only touch briefly on the election (a promise which he did hold) and reminded us that no matter who won our call is to pray for our leaders that they will govern justly. Ok, I was still good with that. Then he reminded of of the two black teenagers gunned down a few blocks from the church the night before and how a close friend of his had for years told his kids to study hard etc; and maybe they could someday be president though he himself really didn't believe it because there had been no likelihood of a Black president. (No mention of why he kept lying to them instead of changing the focus of inspiration to some like, I don't know, God would be pleased?)

So my pastor mentioned all the teary eyes and Jesse Jackson *ugh* and how maybe this would lead to a some hope for black kids today and that might lead to less hate. At this point I was getting a headache, though I could see WHY he was saying it.

After that came the worse day I've ever had in church. He called for all the "African-Americans" to stand. (I put AA in quotes because we have white members of our congregation who have African roots and yet somehow I don't think he meant for them to stand.)

Recalling again how this election has brought hope to many he then called for all our non-white attenders to stand up, lay hands on the AAs, and pray something about hope or something. I'm not sure what he prayed because I was experiencing that state of deafness that occurs when you are so angry/embarrassed that all the blood rushes to your head and you just hear an ocean roaring in your ears.

He resumed our study in Acts moments after the prayer, but I couldn't stay there because my church was one of the few places around here where I could go and NOT feel singled out because of my skin color, and now I wondered if my white and yellow and brown brothers and sisters around me were now thinking how nice it was that this po' little Black guy finally had hope because of...

Barack Obama, the Obamassiah.

I emailed my feeling to my pastor, who by the way is my spiritual father, and his reply ended with "we'll just have to agree to disagree" based on the number of people who after each service told him how touched they were.

I'm fairly accustomed to be the Micaiah in our congregation (no, I know I'm not the only one because I sometimes hear about others, but I guess I'm the only "loud" one) but it's come to a head for me, thanks to Mr. Obama.

I think, in the most unambiguous terms possible, that any Christian who chose to overlook Mr. Obama's views on human life in favor of "needing change" which ALWAYS breaks down to "what he's gonna do for me" is trying to serve mammon and needs a wakeup call badly.

God has done as He chooses, and given us the king we wanted. We are told even by our holy men to celebrate because despite his promises which will bring us to ruin and death we should celebrate because he's brown.

Everytime you hear someone talk about the inspiration Mr. Obama brings, remember the words of my friend who has worked directly with hundreds of kids each year for almost a decade. "Not a single one of them came to Christ as a result of seeing someone up in some office. Every one of them came to Christ as a result of someone deciding to become hands-on with them. One hundred percent."

So, while I got used to being a serious minority because of being a fundamental (in the good way) Christian, a Black man who doesn't fit most stereotypes, living in an area where I'm not black enough nor white enough to cruise through my days comfortably EVER, I am now more lonely and frustrated than I've ever been because out of the group of people I was close to I now find out that literally the majority of them are in favor of a man ruling the land whose policies will ensure the murder of innocent babies and that most of those babies will be people who look like me based on a policy of extermination.

Adding to the confusion is the number of people whose people group will be specially targeted who essentially said "so what".

I have not lost my faith in all powerful God, but frankly I feel like I'm living a nightmare that has only just begun, and I wonder how long before the knock comes to my door because I dare to speak up. I watched a movie this morning about the breaking of a Nazi espionage plan by the FBI, I didn't catch the name of the movie but Edward G. Robinson starred.

As I watched them describe how anyone who spoke against Hitler was punished and how the schools secretly indoctrinated the kids and how people were turned against the American government by a coordinated series of lies, misinformation and cover ups, I was frighteningly reminded of what we're dealing with right now.

That's how I, a Black man who did not vote for Mr. Obama, feel.

DJP said...

Thanks so much, Mark, for your openness and candor. What you say is very important.

First, the funny: so you're saying we should look out for comets and Jack Bauer?

Then, the not-so-much.

In California, 70% of blacks voted for Prop 8, restoring sanity to the definition of "marriage." But 497% voted for Obama — who opposed Prop 8, and will appoint the sort of "compassionate" (scofflaw) justices who will overturn it. That would be the same Obama who is Captain Abortion; which would be abortion, which was favored by Margaret Sanger to "weed out" inferior races, and which now claims the life of how-many unborn black children?

Where's the disconnect there?

DJP said...

I mean, obviously as far as you know from conversation, reading, hearing - whatever.

~Mark said...

Jack Bauer...hehehe, I was hoping for the X-Men but I'll take what we can get.

The disconnect? Lack of a coherent worldview. As black people we are taught a cultural Christianity: yes, God is real, yes we should do as He says, BUT when the chips are down always bet on black.

We know marriage should be a man and a woman, but when there's a black man running against a white man for president, well, there can only be one way to vote!

Generally speaking of course.

Lieutenant Pratt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Moon said...

I'd like to quote a blogger's thoughts on the racial issue, because I share that blogger's thoughts on this issue:
"II. I’m a racist, I suppose.
I am not the least bit excited that Obama is black. I couldn’t care less. I don’t think this is a wonderful day in American history because we have elected a black President. This in no way indicates any improvement in “race” relations. The very fact that people are making a big deal about it proves that. The fact that vast numbers of people, by their own admission, voted for Obama because of his color, and that others who could not vote for him wish that they could have because of his color tells me that color holds a place of significance that it should not. When the day comes when people no longer speak of “race” at all, especially as a factor in making choices between individuals, then I will recognize that something important has happened. I do not think of Obama as a black man. I think of him as an extraordinarily evil man. There’s nothing exciting about that."
- David, The Thirsty Theologian

Mr. Lieutenant with all due respect, Mr. Obama did not break the racial barrier in America...see quote above...
As long as there are organizations/universities/fundraisers/positions(i.e. Black President as if a president is supposed to have a color)/etc with black in its title and limited to said group of people there will always be a racial barrier.

DJP said...

Only black readers who did not support nor vote for Obama, "Lieutenant Pratt."

In my estimation, and even accepting your profile as legitimate, that excludes you.

cpinchem said...

I am new to this blog, but I am glad I found it. I have been one of probably one, in my circle of black people I know, that didn’t vote for Obama. My spirit wouldn’t allow me to vote for someone who supports abortion and same sex marriage. And he claims to be a Christian... Everyone else thought I was crazy and that those two issues didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, he's a black man running for president. Oh, they also wanted to point out all the "good" things he will do for a single black mother like me... (whatever!) I tried to make it known that I am a Christian woman before I am a black woman. They didn’t care. I will say that I almost voted for him. It was good to see a black person run for president as the winner of a major party. But my spirit wouldn’t let me vote for him. I asked these people, would a black man have won if he was a Republican? Most said no…

Yesterday, a man at work came up to me and said, "So the baby killer won", making a joke about it my reasons for not voting for Obama. How sad for him and for all people who don’t see the truth. In Bible study, the other day, someone told of an experience in a convenience store where a woman bought lottery scratch off tickets and gave thanks to the winnings to Jesus Christ and Obama. Our mouths just dropped to the floor… An older black gentleman in line with me on election day said with a proud smile on his face that Obama was God's chosen man. All I could say was "really?" I was already sad because I knew Obama was going to win, but this further saddened me because now he is being worshipped and made into an idol. If he allows himself to become one, I pray for mercy on his soul that God doesn’t wipe him out.

I feel alone and isolated even from the people who are the closest to me because whether they want to admit it or not, they voted for Obama because he is black. They didn’t want to hear the truth about what this is going to do to us as a nation or as Christians. All they could see was the fact that he is black, so blacks should vote for him regardless. I do have one friend who after the election experienced the dread that I was feeling. She knew that something had changed within our country and the change is not good.

We shall all see....

DJP said...

Carla, thanks for sharing that.

Mark and Carla, I think a lot of white folks don't identify with the "pull" felt by some blacks for Obama. Do you think you could shed some light?

And could you share anything about why such a large segment votes Democrat? What should conservatives in general, or the GOP in particular, do differently?

I mentioned to a dear friend of mine that Bush had appointed Condi Rice and Colin Powell to top positions, and both he and they got nothing but scorn and ridicule. He said that he himself had wept with joy, when Bush made those appointments.

But then he said Bush erred by letting people deride them as if they were race-traitors, and not himself stepping up to defend them.

But when such substantive, not-merely-symbolic actions mean so little... what's the path forward?

~Mark said...

Steps, steps, steps...

1. Remember how they kept you as slaves? Remember? Remember hunh? Remember?

1a. They don't care about you, we do. We'll prove it: here's some money for your trouble.

2. They have those plans that take forever to work. Here, here's money NOW. Don't worry, they can pay the taxes that provide it.

3. Remember how they kept you slaves? Remember? Remember hunh? Remember?

4. Remember how they kept US slaves? Remember? Remember hunh? Remember?

5. They do things differently from us. We have to walk this way, talk this way, act this way. HEY YOU! You aren't assimilated! What's your problem, are you too good for us?

6. They're the uptight evangelical republicans who live with all those rules. We have fun! Why would anyone want to live with all those rules? Can we trust someone who wants to be part of "the establishment?

7. Remember how they kept us slaves? You siding with the enemy?

8. They're different. Different cannot be trusted. Assimilate...assimilate.

9. Movies and music and the media show one thing. Why fight it?

10. The only portrayals we see of ourselves in the media is the criminal, the whore, the violent person...who controls the media? The White man.

11. Repeat the lie enough times and it becomes the truth. We must assimilate because we will never be treated well by The Other. See (by the media) how they've kept us down all these years?

12. They kept us down before. We still see racism. How many Blacks do you see running major organizations? That's because they're still holding us down. EVERY instance of individual racism White on Black is just evidence that the institutional racism is still in force.

13. Remember how they kept you as slaves? See their rules? We will not give you those rules. Just swear fealty to us and we will give you the world. Here, we have the entertainment industry. Here, we will give you money and property. We are running the educational system. Relax, we'll make the tests easier.

What should the Conservative party do? Live up to its name. Whatever the person's principles they get more respect if they stick to them regardless of circumstances. Mr. McCain was/is wishy washy on the things that count.

This election was the result of 8 years of mostly "sorta" and a candidate who was not the man he needed to be.

Offer any group of people the easy way out and the majority will take it. The Liberals have offered Blacks (and now Hispanics; especially illegals) easy access to the needs of life. This results in wholesale breakdown of pride, the good kind of pride that makes a man feel like a man for marrying his wife and supplying the needs of his household. Marriage isn't easy though, it's costly. So, the Liberals say "hey woman, if you are married you can't get this apartment, you can't get this check." "Hey man, why are you working so hard? They have the good jobs anyway. Here's some money for you until we break the power of the man 'cause you know that's why you don't have a good job."

Those on the edge fall over. Those who fall over will always be the majority.

Conservatives need to remember that these are real lives with real problems and you can't just ruthlessly make changes. You've got to wean a body off medication. That's why former president Bill Clinton was able to do the one thing I thought he did well, and that's welfare reform.

No revolts, no media backlash about taking food out of the mouths of babies. He actually made it what it should be: temporary assistance with help to improve.

If the Conservative would remember that, and be man/woman enough to make the needed changes but with provision to ease the process, it would greatly help their cause.

HSAT (to borrow an acronym), the only true change is heart change, and if the church had been doing its job all this time, things would not be this bleak. Yes,God has promised a breakdown in morality as time goes on, but there's no denying that we have not been the people we needed to be to make a difference.

Abortion, divorce, greed, idolatry, all these and more have rooted in so many churches that they aren't any different from the world around them. We fail to openly chastise false teachers because we're afraid of looking "mean" to the world or being called "judgmental" by uninformed Christians.

That's hard enough when you have a majority population on your side, but when you are part of the minority and called to defend the minority even when it does wrongly, it's even harder. (Hello T.D. Jakes, hello Fred Price, deceivers both.)

Now, my white friends fear criticizing Mr. Obama's policies because many of their coworkers instantly call them "racist", as if it is impossible for any of his ideas to be faulty, and you MUST be angry cause the White guy didn't win.

After all, to be different is bad, and you must stick with your own kind.

A lot of Christians punk out in fear of being different too. I have at times, might again someday.

Conservatives need to not punk out. Hold to conservative values and remember to have a heart in the midst of it.

Hmmmm...why does that sound so familiar?

~Mark said...

Though I shouldn't have to do this for any thinking person, this is probably a good time for the obligatory "this does not apply to all Black people" disclaimer.

'Cause it don't. You just don't get to hear about the real life "Cosby"s or the real life "Roc"s because that's not entertaining.

My gang is more like the Frank's Place crew.

Anonymous said...


Though I have never met you I often hear much about you from our mutual friend "Officer Dan".

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share....

As a black man I thought I had this all figured out at the begining of the election but come time for the final outcome I had things come to the surface that I did not anticipate: anger, sadness, uncertainity, ect.

I had two internal "worldviews" collide: my Christianity and my Blackness - although I thought they were in perfect unity they weren't (not until that evening anyways). The range of emotions and the depth of my conclusions are something I cannot fully express in a simple Meta. I hope will will not mind me directing folks to my blog post: "It's A Black Thang... Let me help you understand!" at the Reformed Evangelist.

I will add a a link to this thread as well.

In Christ,
Paul A. Kaiser

DJP said...

Mark, thanks for that. What you say resonates with what I hear.

It's still hard to "get," though. Slavery — and which party ended slavery?

OTOH, which party has a senior-ranking Senator who was a KKK kleagle, and only recently really expressed regret? But has still had "slips of the tongue" which would have been career-enders for a GOP senator?

Depictions in the media — and which philosophy controls the media? Conservative? Or liberal?

Clinton and welfare — and who pushed him to reform welfare? (That's why I said Obama won't be "blessed" with robust opposition in Congress.)

What frustrates me is that I keep hearing the need to "reach out," but whenever I've seen Bush do it, he's drawn back a bloody stump. Clinton gave token positions, and he was a great reformer. Bush gave real power and prestige positions, and they were tokens and Uncle Toms, and he still only got a fraction of the black vote.

I see free-thinkers such as yourself, La Shawn, Star Parker, and others — and you're called Uncle Toms, self-haters, traitors, unprintable things. Carla feels isolated and alone.

What do you think of this? I thought Bush should simply sidestep the machinery. Don't speak to the NAACP. Do speak to the Urban League, to Project 21, to alternative organizations.

And for us, churches need to continue to reach out. That's easier said than done; my pastor is committedly multi-cultural, cross-cultural, God bless him. I very much want my ministry to reflect the community makeup as well, and he's shown me some of what it takes. I plan to have a lot more talks with him about it.

Any thoughts about all that?

DJP said...

To illustrate my observations, check this well-deserved tribute from an Australian observer:

"Barack Obama in some measure owes his success to the inclusiveness of Bush. Bush appointed Powell secretary of state. He appointed Condoleezza Rice national security adviser, then Secretary of State. Over eight years, this accustomed the electorate to African-Americans handling critical national security positions. No other president, certainly no Democrat, had done anything like it. Bush was always a liberal on race, always way ahead of his party on immigration and the need for Republicans to woo racial minorities, particularly Hispanics. Without embracing the rhetoric of identity politics, he simply did things that advanced racial equality."

And Bush clearly did it out of conviction, not for the credit. Because he sure ain't getting it.

~Mark said...

I definitely agree that the leaders of the country should avoid empowering political agencies like the NAACP with their presence. The groups that should get (and NEED) the attention are those actually empowering the poor (ALL the poor) to help themselves in the future.

Abstinence education, health education, education education, people trained to give personal encouragement and to know when "no" is best...these groups exist but find it hard to get funded due to the fact that they step away from the party line.

That's one of the reasons I use the public affairs show aired by our 2 stations to highlight local groups like this at every opportunity.

Truly, if the funding agencies would go beyond their standard paperwork and take a closer look at real success/failure issues they'd quickly discover that these smaller, hands-on organizations which take the holistic approach are accomplishing much more than the groups who receive funding based on "people served" numbers. Those numbers are driven up by making/tracking contacts and don't prove any real progress. Yet, they remain the standard.

With churches, you are right, reaching out needs to be intentional. The church I am a member with is literally in the middle of a mostly minority neighborhood, yet when our current pastor arrived it was attended by whites only, and that was around 1985, not 1965.

He said God has already lain upon his heart the need to fix this by reaching out to the people who live right next door and in the whole area. So, after a literal door to door campaign (something the cults aren't afraid to do but evangelicals fail miserably in doing) and putting the word out that all are welcome, nearly 3/4 of the members left the church in disgust, proving that the previous demographic was prejudicially inspired.

As word spread that all were welcome and that this was a place where truth was preached, more people arrived. Intentionally hiring Black staff members was another step in making the place welcoming.


Then, moving from all traditional hymns (during which you could just feel the arthritis taking greater hold) to a mixture of traditional hymns, R&B Gospel, Pop Gospel, Southern Gospel and Jazz versions of traditional hymns during offertories and other times when "background" was called for, we constantly challenged what people thought "should" happen. Our requirements for the praise music/songs was just that the words would glorify God and be Scripturally accurate.

We also began partnerships with other faithful churches in the city and surrounding suburbs that led to different groups being brought together for events like our Missionary celebrations which in which we would set up displays representing the lands in which the missionaries were serving, offering culturally traditional foods, clothing, writing samples, language lessons etc;

We also offered any aid possible to smaller churches that weren't ethnically diverse, reaching out the hand of fellowship in tangible ways like work projects, combined praise events, and so on.

Little by little God used this to make us the first church people think of in Pittsburgh when it comes to ethnic diversity and community service.

One must be careful in this intentionality though, so that it doesn't morph into an idol, which we've had to guard against over the years and is what I think led to last Sunday's...unpleasantness.

1. Intentionality
2. Partnering intimately with faithful believers of other ethnicities.
3. Bringing the missions field home tangibly.
4. Music, that powerful tool.
5. Simply remembering who our neighbor is and that we don't live in a bubble.

Some church leaders with whom I've spoken blame their geography for the monotone state of their congregations, but that excuse only goes so far. I wouldn't expect to see White people in a church in Uganda, but this ain't Uganda.

I truly believe that if a church is reaching out to the people of its area it will change the dynamic of that church immensely.

This goes for churches in areas populated mostly by Blacks as well. The same doctrine of "neighbor" applies to them too.

Ironically, based on the testimony of many people with whom I've spoken and on my own personal interaction, it's usually easier for a White person here to visit a black populated church than for a black person to visit a long time white populated church.

That doesn't mean the racism won't happen, but generally speaking it's easier. I remember in my first month at the church were I am (the coming together process was just gaining ground when I started attending in 1993) an older man who was a Deacon absentmindedly ( I say optimistically) said to me as we both waited for the end of praise time to take the offering that "blacks and whites shouldn't worship together because we're different.

The rousing R&B Gospel number being sung enthusiastically by all members of the congregation was a bit away from the rather "dignified" hymns he'd been accustomed to.

To his credit though, he stayed and we actually grew to like each other quite a bit.

(off topic- love the double Frank Gorshin references in the two posts! You know he was a Pittsburgher, right?)

DJP said...

LOL on Gorshin.

Ouch on that deacon.

You know, speaking from my side of the'd probably help the blend-in period if, for six months:

Whites wore T-shirts/badges that said "Please be patient and forgive me when I say stupid things"; and

Blacks wore T-shirts/badges that sid, "I promise I won't assume the worst and bite your head off when you say stupid things."

Otherwise — I think that's where some paralysis comes from.

~Mark said...

Count me in on the production/distribution deal!

Stefan Ewing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cpinchem said...

Mark stated it beautifully regarding the pull felt by black folks. I agree that one reason for the pull is that the history of slavery in this country has not died in most black folks’ eyes. They still see the “white man” as the cause for their problems. They still believe the “white man” is in control and with Obama winning the presidency; this is finally the “black man’s” chance to be on top, to run things. “It’s our time” is what they are chanting… That has been the pull for me, finally a black to run things, do what’s good for black folk; but I’m informed, so I know better. I know how to think outside the box, think for myself, and search out the truth. Why? Because the truth is the only thing I can believe in, and rest in.

Joe W. said...

I am black in the same way Obama is black, I was born to an interracial couple… I hope that is black enough (or should I say African American? It’s hard to be sure sometimes).

That being said, I did not feel any compulsion whatsoever to vote for Obama. I couldn’t care less about skin color. I only care about the policies that a candidate will likely pursue, that being the case, there was no possibility of my voting for Senator Obama.

My brother (who is also black, or...ah, err… African American) and I see things in a similar light. So fortunately we were able to buttress each others sanity during what seemed to be an inevitable Obama victory. Otherwise we were swimming against the tide. It was frustrating to see many family members support Obama – some who are professing Christians.

I was raised in a Democrat household and remember being saddened by Reagan’s victory over Carter (forgive me, I was 12 years old and didn’t know any better). In the years that followed, I came to realize that Ronald Reagan and conservative ideology more closely reflected my values. By 1984 and much to the dismay of my friends and family, I had become an outspoken (and I’m sure very annoying) mouthpiece for conservative Republicans.

Consequently, now being in my early forties, my skin is sufficiently thick enough to disregard suggestions that I am an Uncle Tom or something worse. These things just do not bother me. I know that I have a responsibility before God to be a faithful steward of my vote. I know that mankind is sinful and depraved regardless of skin color and I see man as the Bible describes him.

I have no particular feelings of loyalty to someone based solely on race. If I were to be assaulted and robbed at gunpoint, I would not feel better about it if the perpetrator were black, nor would I feel worse if the perpetrator were white. I would simply want justice for the crime committed, and I would want society protected from the criminal.

If someone came to my aid during the assault and defended me, once again, what would race matter? – “Sir, please don’t stop this man from beating me to death. I would prefer help from an African American.”

Obama is a charismatic and gifted speaker. It would be fantastic if he espoused Godly values. I wish he was a fierce defender of the unborn. I wish he had the economic philosophies of a Milton Freidman or Thomas Sowell. I wish I could be confident that he will support our military and stand strong against those who threaten America. But he is not that man.

To my shame, I must admit that I will pray for this president more fervently than I have for any president in the past. Perhaps God will have mercy on us. This is a new game with new realities to face. This is also a reminder to me that my hope is not in man or a political party. As demonstrated in the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, the best of leaders are few and far between. Even the best will stumble, time and time again, until the true King of Kings comes to reign forever.

On a lighter note, there were some glimmers of hope in this election cycle: Marriage amendments passed in three states and the dems did not get a super majority in the Senate. And yes, it is a monumental and historical event, the first black president. I believe this is a clear indication to anyone with eyes to see that racism in America is not the big issue that the left has made it out to be.

I also hope that those in the race-bating industry will be seen for the demagogues they are. Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley said that a black president does not put the race issue to rest in this country. These people are a bottomless pit. What else will it take? More black country singers and hockey players?

Oops! This just in: Darius Rucker scores #1 single on Billboard’s Hot Country 100.

DJP said...

Thanks, all of you.

Now, here's my question. You agree that it's "slavery."

But my question is: how does that blame accrue to the GOP?

What party is it that ENDED slavery in America? (Also check this out, if you like.)

Do you ever mention that to the folks who are animated by this issue? How do they respond?

Elspeth said...

And as a black American, maybe I can add some credible perspective though I don't know what I could add to the thorough comments already provided.

I lament the demise of what was once a great country. Is it just me, or does the fact that we are harping on Barack Obama's ethnicity simply highlight the fact that we have NOT moved beyond the politics of race?

Many people of color, many in my own family, voted for Obama because he is black. I don't find that honorable, but I do understand it, having been raised by parents who experienced racism the likes of which I will never know. Many whites voted racially I'm sure as well, but just as many voted for him because we, as a society have embraced the idea that it is appropriate for government to play "robin hood" and take from the rich and give to the poor.

Given that Jesus said it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to inherit the kingdom, I'm not sure I want to be rich, but if I do, shouldn't I be willing to work for it? Aren't we tired of liberals using envy and class warfare to bribe us into voting for them?

There is so much more that I could say here, but I am trying to move beyond the point of grieving for my country so that I can sincerely and fervently pray for Pres.-elect Obama to have a life changing experience with the risen Christ, so that I can move from being angry at the ignorant, uninformed electorate who took us down this road. So that I can stop feeling bewildered that 95% of my people, many of whom claim to be Bible believing Christians, voted for a man who thinks that it is acceptable for babies who survive botched abortions to be left to die lonely and painful deaths.

I don't see this man as a credit to blackness in any way. In the words of our illustrious President-elect: "Change has come to America."

But it won't be good.

D. Lloyd said...

Love the blog Dan. I am black, grew up in a black family that experienced a lot of racism in this country. Personally I have not really seen it or felt it, but I have imagined it and used it to my benefit (before I was born-again). I would look at whites wondering, what do they think of me? And since I could pass for a Latino I always got the question, "Do you speak English?" So I, and most of my friends, felt the pull to vote for Obama. His presidency is "proof" that America, which is mostly white, likes a black man (that is not an entertainer) and would like him to be in authority over them. Still, and I thank God for this, I have learned to act on reasoning more than emotion. I would have loved to vote for the first black president, mostly because he's black (the second one would not get that advantage) but I am proud that history will record that I did not put him in office. When I told this to my wifes co-workers, they were horribly offended. Even the five-year old boy present said, "Mccain is a bad man." I didn't get to answer them then but I had to let them know what I think. He supports an organization that was started by a racist, purposed for the removal of black children, is the number ONE killer of black people (above heart disease, etc.), currently takes donations targeted against black babies, and wont support the born alive bill because it MIGHT restrict such acts. Even if you vote race, how can you overlook such things? How can we celebrate the first black president when he is so pro-abortion? I felt the pull to vote for him, but I also felt the pull of the children who have been aborted by his policies. I have learned to move to the Republican side of issues just because it makes more sense and actually agrees with the values my parents taught me. I don't think racism against blacks is gone, but I think its on the same level as all human hatred(Ex. my Korean friend who can't stand the Japanese) or at least cultural apathy.. I hope and pray his presidency will be a better one than I think it will be.

DJP said...

Thanks, D. Lloyd, I very much appreciate all that, and your moral reasoning. It had to have been quite a struggle; part of my purpose in having this discussion was to help those of us not experiencing that struggle to be able better to understand and empathize - and also, perhaps, better how to reach out.

You spoke of "'proof' that America, which is mostly white, likes a black man (that is not an entertainer)...." It hits that chord in me that wonders how it can ever end, apart from the Gospel. Like a lot of whites, I guess, one of the things I've thought is, "How much racism can there be, when Will Smith and Oprah and Denzel Washington and James Earl Jones and Danny Glover and on and on are so respected and liked and successful?" So, is the answer, "Doesn't count - they're entertainers?"

But I was talking above about the non-whites Bush put in leading positions, and Clarence Thomas. But all those don't "count," either. There always seems to be a "but."

To me, that more discourages anyone from even trying, you know? Because, bottom-line, if a black isn't a hard-left Democrat, it won't "count"? A lot I still don't get.

If you feel like explaining more, I'd welcome it.

D. Lloyd said...

Thank you for your kind words. I feel the same about the question "will it ever end." Like I said, I never had an out right racist experience, but I always had the feeling and I know a lot of blacks that feel the same. I think it is a sense of mistrust that is felt toward whites (maybe like Jews for Gentiles). Growing up I always heard stories from my older relatives that would make me wonder if people have really changed? How can someone go from having a colored entrance to, "I don't see color!"?? What really happened in people to go from there to here? For me, it took the gospel and outright repentance. I was a racist, and many blacks are, and they feel that many whites are playing PC and are masking their real feelings. So when the "racist" Republicans put a black person in significant positions, it must be a PC move. People forget that the Republican Party freed slaves, pushed civil rights before Democrats, put blacks into the Supreme Court, as the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense (might have had the presidency first if Powell had run), and was the party of Jackie Robinson, Mary McLeod Bethune, Fredric Douglas, Harriet Tubman, and Martin Luther King (debatable). I'm a Republican for the values they have now, not for what I just mentioned, it does make me proud though. But when I tell people I'm Republican, they look at me like I'm totally ignorant of political/ civil rights history. I guess it's just that people don't think things through. They react emotionally, especially since people will play on that for political ends. So, basically, it is very easy for blacks to believe someone is racist and politicians play on this by claiming that one side wants to restrict the "help" that these "poor, can't help themselves, Negroes really need." All I want is a level playing field.

Joe W. said...

You made some great points. Considering the history of the Republican party, it is hard to understand why the black community continues to reject them.

I think part of the answer is in the social spending programs pushed by the Democrat party. I believe Mark alluded to that in an earlier post.

As far as Lincoln freeing the slaves, at best, it is considered too long ago to matter and sometimes it is dismissed as pure pragmatism on Lincoln's part. Not that he saw slavery as a moral evil.

But sadly, I believe the major component is social spending. That is how the Democrat party gained it's foothold in the black community and it has been to our detriment.

Add to that a liberal education system and media - perception becomes reality.

DJP said...

So let me put this question to the assembled scholars:

What is the single most significant thing the GOP could do to reach out to black voters?

(If you have to cheat and say "three most significant things," go for it.)

Joe W. said...

Maybe as a show of good will, Republicans could free the slaves. Oh wait, that's already been done.

Well, perhaps the next time a Republican is president, they could appoint African Americans to key positions such as National Security Advisor, Secretary of State or nominate one to the Supreme Court. Oh wait, I think that has also been done and it was slapped away as pandering.

Oh I know, Republican leaders could give heartfelt speeches to groups like the NAACP. Oh... that has been tried... repeatedly.

Maybe more social spending. Not only in our country but in foreign countries and continents, especially Africa. Wait a minute... now that I think about it, President Bush has not been real shy about spending.

OK, now I've got it. We could talk about how we are conservative, yet compassionate. It could be our new slogan...

Please do not take my sarcasm as disrespect for your question. I do not mean it that way. It's just that I am at a loss because I have no idea what the GOP could do to reach the black community. What I see from most other blacks concerning the GOP is just an irrational disdain that is hard to reason with. The GOP is anathema and the doors are shut tight and locked from the inside.

There are prominent Blacks within the GOP such Michael Steele, Ken Blackwell and others. It is my hope that their numbers will grow. First a trickle, then a downpour until someday it will not be considered an odd thing to see a black Republican. But that will not happen overnight, if ever.

DJP said...

Well, you're saying it the way I see it also, JTW.

Seriously, given the zero-credit and double-grief the GOP gets for all those not-just-words actions, they almost should get double-credit for each one. You know? Because they clearly didn't do it for all the thanks and credit they'd get.

My own thought (as I said) is that future GOP leaders, especially presidents, should simply bypass the existing encrusted race-hustling establishment, and empower alternative groups such as Urban League and Project 21. Lift their profiles.