Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Politico: Yo, we all dawgs, trust!

I'm still noodling over Nia-Malika Henderson's piece in Politico. Read and digest, including the video from the article:

"Dog whistle" politics? Talking black, and with swag? Now I know those particular angle in the piece can be misused or slapped with a facile direction, regardless of Henderson's thoughtful treatment.

What's your impression?


Lisa said...

I am at the debate stage, like you!

If this is to show we as African American are just stupid lap dogs, like the Christian rightwing and that crew was with Bush, then the article is stupid. If it's an initial examination, then I'm intrigued. But for now all it seems to do is take up space?

Anonymous said...

Thoughtful treatment?

Hathor said...

You know , I thought most black people could move easily back and forth between standard English and our dialect. So why is it that President Obama is practicing Dog Whistle politics, since he has lived as a black man. As for Bush, most born again Christians speak as he did. To be more authentic he would have had to quote more scripture, which Obama seems to do often. Actually, that when I think President Obama practices Dog Whistle politics.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this. I don't usually read Politico but this has some linguistic puzzles to ponder.
...and thanks for adding the video too.

Anonymous said...

SoCal 82Tiger Says:

Professor – Successfully pandering your speech, cadence, and actions to the audience you are speaking to is nothing new to politics, so what's the big deal pointing out the obvious?

WJ Clinton was excellent at knowing his audience and doing just that! Isn’t that's why Toni Morrison was so quick to proclaim him our first "black" President...

Face it – ALL politicos must be chameleons among us if they are to succeed… President Obama is showing everyone that he is not only our “black” president but also that he can read and pander to all people just as well as anyone before him!

I notice the one racial overtone to this piece is a veiled suggestion that a person of color cannot succeed at this task! For such people it appears that they are locked in their own personal menageries lamely believing that all ‘leaders” of color must be like Jesse, Al, or Maxim!

carl said...

Maybe the point to this article--given the author is an African American--is just to take up space and create debate. The info is superfluous. I expected more from Politico, and Ms. Henderson.

Anonymous said...

Chris - did you go to the faculty event with Tavis? Do tell!

Lady J

Monica said...

I’ve always been offended when white people change their cadence and speech patterns in an effort to make personal connections with black people. I know these folks are sincere in wanting to build relationships, but it’s still irritating.

It’s not all white people. I’m not talking about white southerners, because as quiet as it kept, most of us born, bred and educated below the Mason-Dixon sound the same.

I’m talking about the type of white person raised in, I don’t know, Hawaii, with nary a Negro in sight. A person who attended an elite prep school and only had a peripheral association with black people until he attended college. His only insights into blackness came from images in movies and TV.

You know the type.

Now he puts on a faux-Southern accent of a black man who is the product of grits and soul music. That man who is the product of a segregated school system. Someone who has no interest in imitating the well modulated tones of the Mid-American accent we hear on NPR. He’s giving us Black preacher after the service, before Sunday dinner. He’s supposed to be down. He’s supposed to be one of us.

It annoys the hell out of me when white people do that.

It annoys the hell out of me when Obama does it.

Why must we sop that crap up with biscuits?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I'm not sure why there is article about this. Most black Americans are "bi-cultural" and still true to themselves.

To me this is much ado about nothing...dawg.

Looking forward to reading about your event with Sir Tavis.

rikyrah said...

I was hoping to see a piece on the Tavis shindig at Georgetown. You've been hinting around the edges, Chambers....but write the piece!!