Friday, August 29, 2008

OMG! Barack Obama is BLACK????

Over the past couple of days, I've been hearing rumors all across the news media that a certain Democratic presidential nominee is being compared -- favorably, no less -- to the slain civil rights activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

At first, I thought it was just more left-wing poppycock. Or even *gasp* some demented, nefarious ploy by a disturbed Republican. But as we neared Thursday, August 28, the rumors only intensified. Not only was Barack Obama being connected to the famous orator and marcher of a bygone era, but one misinformed newscaster even went so far as to say that Senator Obama was "making history" as the first BLACK candidate to win the Democratic Party ticket!!!

Now, I was busy making dinner in the kitchen, so I was sure I was hearing things. But then other news outlets began to pick up on the "historic" commentary and run with it. Turns out Barack Obama is really a BLACK man! He's not only BLACK, but he's doing something historic that only other BLACK people would care about.

Thankfully, the rest of us now know of Obama's not-so-secret plot to make history, and are quite aware of his blackity black blackness. Phew! Disaster avoided. Hopefully the good citizens of this country will do the right thing and keep history from being made a SECOND time in Washington this November.

Okay, all snarkiness aside, I think the media is making too big a deal about Barack Obama's historic nomination. Let's get this clear:

Yes, it *is* historic. Yes, it *is* a big deal. The fact that his acceptance of the nomination was given exactly 45 years to the day since Dr. King gave his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial is certainly being touted by the DNC to great effect.

However, why is it that I sense an ulterior motive to all this media attention to the same fact?

I don't know, maybe it's just the cynic in me, but it sounds like the news pundits don't want a certain large demographic of the U.S. voting population to forget an inescapable, sometimes foregone, conclusion: that Barack Obama is unquestionably, undeniably, BLACK!!!

Because, all throughout the day Wednesday, and then of course last night, this is all I've been hearing. The first BLACK man this, the first BLACK man that. Hey, let's ask this BLACK woman on the street what she thinks of this historic occasion. Is she happy that *her* candidate got nominated? Wait, you were hoping Hilary would get it? Oh, but you *are* still voting for Barack, right? *wink, wink*

Look, maybe I'm making a big deal out of this. Or maybe I'm not. Point is, Obama's campaign has never been about the race issue, although the media continues to try to paint him into that corner. His has always been the all-inclusive policy; we are ALL Americans, regardless of our skin color. His supporters run the full range of ethnic backgrounds: white, black, hispanic, etc. He knows that history is being made, but he does not want to belabor the point. His campaign is about moving forward and making change.

But it seems that the media wants you to never forget that he is first and foremost a BLACK man. They mention it every chance they get. And yes: Obama *is* black. Surprise, surprise.

But I never, ever hear John McCain being introduced as: "the white Republican nominee." I mean, that's just silly. What possible significance does the color of Senator McCain's skin have to do with his ability to run this country?

What indeed.

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