Jesse Jackson's ridiculous comments about Barack Obama "talking down" to black people -- as opposed to Jackson's totally reprehensible comments insinuating violence being committed against Obama (click here to see the video) -- are only the latest in a litany of derisive remarks directed at Obama from stalwarts of the left. Ralph Nader and Geraldine Ferraro and Al Sharpton and Bob Johnson and South Carolina State Senator Robert Ford have all maligned Obama as
being everything from a "lucky" black man to not being black enough.
While it's never a shock when operatives of the far, far right
href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-ridley/when-rove-calls-obama- arr_b_109639.html">have trouble
arr_b_109639.html">have troublewith a person of color achieving stature (though I do believe they play ball better with those in the fold), what a long strange trip this campaign season has been watching so-called liberals fumble the hot potato that is Barack Obama.
Why? Why is Obama of such consternation to the Old Schoolers?
For one, Obama and his candidacy challenge the liberal establishment; by not miring himself in the politics of hand outs Obama elevates blacks above and beyond a herd that was fed the grain of entitlements in exchange for votes. In addition to extolling blacks to take more personal responsibility (a position a Pew research study finds the majority of black Americans hold), Obama has also questioned race-based affirmative action and understands -- again, as the majority of black Americans do -- that what's good for the country is good for all of us. To Jackson that's "talking down" to blacks. To Nader that's "talking white." But to the tens of millions of Americans who helped Obama win the primary (as opposed to Jackson and Nader who have yet to win an election) Obama is simply talking to America.
Moreover, what scares the Old Schoolers is that Obama's potential election removes from them the victim stick with which they flog their diminishing relevance. Obama as president would be empirical evidence that, while there are and probably always will be racists in America, America is no longer a racist nation. There are a lot of liberals who've made good bank stretching out the "you done me wrong, now gimme something" politics of the sixties well into the new millennium.
Obama wants change.
And change for the Old Schoolers ain't a good thing.
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