What did "Sgt. Waters" say about southern negroes in "A Soldiers Story?" Or is this indicia of the rising senility of the old Civil Rights generation? I mean, I've heard stuff like this as long ago as 1987 when "Du" Burns said it of Kurt Schmoke during a mayoral primary, or as recently as Sharp James' attacks on Corey Booker. Should Andy Young have known better? Yes, if only because it draws the curtain back on the self-serving functionaries who haunt groups such as the Congressional Black Caucus, et al. These fatuous folk are disciples of the Clintons the same way a remora sticks to a shark...or a tick digs into a deer, perhaps? Andy Young has long been one of those people living off this largesse. I can't see Jimmy Carter, his long-time friend--countenancing this comment. Yeah there'll be a few ignorant black folks who rant "Yeah, Bill Clinton...he our first black prez-dent" and forget the harm and smoke and mirrors of those years. But there are people who know better. Andy Young's not one of them:
December 10, 2007 -- The silence was deafening in the camps of Democratic presidential candidates yesterday over civil-rights leader Andrew Young's tasteless crack comparing Bill Clinton's and Barak Obama's supposed prowess with black women.
"Bill is every bit as black as Barack. He's probably gone with more black women than Barack," the former UN ambassador quipped on a live TV interview - immediately adding, "I'm clowning."
Clinton's campaign had no immediate comment, nor did Obama's.
Jesse Jackson, who has boasted that Obama "has my vote," wouldn't touch the political hot potato with a 10-foot pole.
"He has no comment," spokeswoman Rashida Restaino said.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who hasn't yet declared his choice for Dem presidential nominee, likewise had no immediate comment.
Young, the former mayor of Atlanta, made the remark after being asked what he thought of Obama during the Sept. 5 interview.
Young, who has not made an official endorsement, said, "I want Barack Obama to be president," pausing for applause before adding, "in 2016."
"It's not a matter of being inexperienced. It's a matter of being young," he said.
Locally, Harlem state Sen. Bill Perkins said Young's comments were way out of line.
"That's an insult to black women of the ugliest kind that I've heard in God knows how long, and he should be ashamed of himself," Perkins said.
I say put a handkerchief on him, and put him in the Handkerchief Heads for Hillary Bleachers.
It was an insult to Black women, plain and simple.
Obama has played it perfectly. Say nothing; let Young show himself to be an idiot and irrelevant, and in the meantime, get a lot of Black folks, who had been ' I dunno about Obama' to go to ' We gotta stop this mess, because these fools just won't shut up.'
then again politics is nasty..
If Jesse's keeping his mouth shut, then this was really bad.
But you're right, there will be some ignorant churchfolk and others who will chuckle right along with this.
I'm laughing at all this. Quite frankly, I find it funny.
If our country isn't in an uproar that 1/2 trillion dollars has been wasted on an illegal and unnecessary war, and most aren't pounding on the Democratic House & Senate that keep saying "no more funding" but keep bowing to Bush, then we shouldn't care that Andrew Young's joke flopped.
In the grand scheme, it's so irrelevant, I'm not even sure why it's being written about.
Mr. Young is to old to be talking nonsense like that. He needs to sit on it.
I disagree with Tchaka. Voters are caught up in precisely these issues because they--they being us--and the media and our incumbent leaders want it that way. This makes it an issue.
Mr. Young's comments were tasteless but to disregard the sentiments of a significant number of Southern blacks would be unwise.
For me, the issue isn't rather or not Obama is black enough or seasoned enough.
I'm from Alabama. As a descendant of slaves, my great-grandmother didn't vote until she was 69 and I have vivid memories of her putting on her Sunday clothes and hat to vote.
The thought that an African American with this background (meaning having these memories, being raised by people who grew up under Jim Crow or actively participated in the Civil Rights movement) doesn't have a viable chance of being elected president is troubling to me. Yes, they'll buy products that have Oprah's endorsement and the Condi's will always receive appointments but to lead the USA, whites apparently feel more comfortable voting for a black man with no slave ancestors. I don't think Obama (or his supporters) understands this.
That was the original issue.
Now I resent the comments by Michelle suggesting that the lack of support of Obama among blacks may be an issue of confidence. WTF?? Like questioning rather or not he can win, is a sign of low self esteem.
That's just how I feel and it doesn't mean I'm voting for Hillary. I'm not. There isn't enough room on this site or my own to explain why.
I heard about this on NPR a couple of days ago and just felt like Andrew Young sounded like a total hater and really showed that ignorance can come in the shape of the 50 Cents of the world as well as the so-called esteemed "black leadership".
Someone made the point on the radio broadcast that Dr. Martin Luther King was only 26 when he led the bus boycott. I guess he shouldn't have done so because he was "too young" for that.
Given how Mr. Chambers likes to spice up his posts I'm sure the "Soldier's Story" comment was his usual garnish to get folk's blood boiling. My eye was pointed at the subtext and it had nothing to do with slave ancestors. It seems there is a whole cadre of at least nationl black leaders who, like captains in a mafia family or a political machine, seem to owe their souls to the Clintons. A lot of it has to do with age but there are more than few younger folk, too who'd answer that description. Chambers used the city politics illustration about Kurt Schmoke (who my wife says is the dead of Howard's law achool now) but there is this cultural and generational divide where some older black people, some black people in the south, or maybe people not as educated or just plain street up around here, would find Rev. Young's comments OK. They would vote for Hillary, or even the GOP candidate, as they did in the south and in Ohio let's not forget--and got snookered for it--over a "young educated well spoken" brother regardless of where his ancestors came from.
I think these folks are part of an old guard whether chronological young or not, and these are the people who put Bill Clinton a pedestal. I could give you a long list too, but the recent reversal of the stiffer prison sentences for crack versus powdered yejo is basically undoing one of Clinton's programs. Yet black folks got him up there with Marion Barry as a hero! hehehehe
Thus it is at least feasible that Michelle Obama's right--it is a confidence issue. It takes confidence to step outside yourself your tiny littl comfort zone.
I'm sorry many Southern blacks of that age feel that way. News flash there are many blacks Americans in this country who are 1st or 2nd generation.
I am not a descendent of American slaves but I am a black American.
If I don't vote for Obama it would be because of how he stands on the issues, not because he has a diverse (black, white, young, old) base of support.
I agree with Liz. People are hating. I used to work for a former member of the CBC. He was also a minister and young (early 40s). Some of the older members were so stuck in their ways nothing got done and they didn't want to listen to anyone. They had the power, didn't want to lose it and didn't realize post-civil blacks are going to have a different world view.
We should respect our elders but this blind allegience to the Clintons shows to me they are out of touch. It's a small world. We need a President who gets that what happens in the Africa, China, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America, does impact us directly or indirectly. For Young & co. to demand folks under the age of 50 need to have some kind of civil-rights badge to prove they are down is crazy. MLK was assisnated before I was born. We can't have the exact same experience.
We are a different generation and fight the good fight in different ways. My brother and sister are both in politics. My brother went to Howard and most of his college friends (30s) are independents and find many of the handkerchief heads irrelevant. It's their own fault. You are either part of the solution or the problem.
Chris, I quote our mother, "All that education and not an ounce of common sense!"
When I lived in Chicago, I used to watch the black aldermen and other politicos, and I realized what was wrong with the picture. People like the Dorothy Tillmans of Chicago or Andrew Young did indeed to great things for black Americans, but once they achieved positions of power they wanted all the control/corruption/favors/"propers" that white politicians got, and in the process they lost focus of what they needed to do next. I think there is indeed a generational disconnect at play here, but I think more of it is just good ol' fashioned self-serving. When Obama entered the race I wondered how his opponents were going to be able to go after him on racial grounds without being tainted with a "racist" brush. I know now. They have plenty of "black leaders" to do it for them.
Notice how some older people get inappropriate. The "joke" he made was not unusual in the black male conversation of his generation, even for him being a minister. Also does anyone remember the conversation between Vernon Jordan and President Clinton, relative to who to have sex with.
Ever heard of The Lost Cause? It was an attempt to reconcile the defeat of the Confederacy by portraying its cause and its leaders as noble, defeated only by the Union army's overwhelming force and greater numbers. "Birth of a Nation" perpetuated the myth of the Lost Cause. "Them" is a Lost Cause. The reader knows from the beginning what the landlord's decision is going to be and we have to read 350 pages to find out what we already know. The invaders - described over and over again as "white liberals" - are part of Mr. McCall's funky butt allegorical fantasy about the breakup of the black/white coalition of the civil rigths movement.
Hillary Clinton is a Lost Cause. She's ahead in the primary polls, but both Obama and Edwards do better against a Republican opponent with Obama capturing the most cross-over (political, not racial) votes.
Lance (Sr), you may disagree with me but that doesn't make you right. It was a joke that flopped (though I'm still laughing), that's it.
Clinton was a great president. He had issues with the First Member but that's for Hillary to deal with. Is he the solution for everything? Of course not, but has he put himself out there more than any other. As a clarification, I recall discussing the illogical notion of higher penalties for crack back around 1990/1. Clinton didn't get inaugurated until 1993. Sure this isn't an unraveling of something Bush started.
Anyway, all of this is off track. The point is we have much much bigger issues to worry about than a joke that missed its mark. Our country is off-track. Even worse (IMO) is the direction of black folk. If you want something to sink your teeth into, here's one:
Take a look at his killers and answer why. That's a large problem that's brushed under the rug.
I see a blog coming up soon. It will be written by Chris and it will be a controversial (but excellent) piece. It's going to discuss the current younger generation of blacks and how so many are wasting the civil rights that the older generation fought and in some instances gave their lives for. I could write it but Chris is nicer. He's not as vitriolic as I am so we'd rather read his version. I look forward to it.
Liz - to paraphrase Jules Winnfield, "Leading a bus boycott, and being President of the United States ain't the same f*ckin' ballpark, it ain't the same league, it ain't even the same f*ckin' sport."
Obama's age isn't an issue, it's his experience. He's old enough to be a neuro-surgeon but I sure wouldn't have him cut into my head.
My grandparents got dressed up, slacks & jacket/tie, to go vote too, but they were DC residents, so I think they had the ability to do so more than your grandmother. But my grandparents were also the kind of people to dress up when going to the dr or the hospital. I find myself doing the same somethimes, lol.
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