When I was in grad school, a professor told me never to tell a Black person "I know how you feel." We know nothing about what it feels like to be Black. It is a race so beleaguered that the perjorative used to describe them is so inflammatory has been reduced to a letter. This racism is brought to you by the letter N.
That makes Ralph Nader's remarks about Senator Obama so amazing. Ralph said that Obama has to 'talk white' in order to win. Does that mean with a stereotypical patois? Does that mean sans ghetto? Does it mean that Obama has to speak like his African born father? Nader noted the difference between a Jesse Jackson candidacy and a Barack Obama candidacy. I'm guessing that means Jackson pays more attention to Black issues, like housing and education and national security and crime. Yeah, white folks are never concerned about those issues, huh?
Among the massive number of things Nader doesn't grasp is that the nation is turning brown. Black people design Cadillacs. Black people own sports franchises. Black people win golf tournaments. Black people run for president without sounding like they come from the South or preach from a AME Baptist pulpit.
It is a testimony to Nader's early success that he is not relegated to the Ann Coulter bin of useless enmity. Had he not saved lives, he would have the same political oomph as Pat Paulsen did forty years ago, except Paulsen knew his words were a joke.
Sam Greenfield is a morning talk show host at 1160 WVNJ in Teaneck, N.J.