Obama’s Image Problem

 Ever since I personally felt dissed by Obama and his disavowal of Jeremiah Wright in late April and more importantly for me, allowing for outright mistruths concerning the Black Church and that which is the black preacher and many other nuances of black culture to be passed on to unsuspecting liberal and conservative whites alike through various media outlets, I’ve been quite mum about all things Obama, save the night Hillary Clinton decided to “suspend” her campaign (I still can’t believe that wench did that that Tuesday night).

But, this time, I feel that I must come to his defense, because I think it brings to light some other issues.  This particular one is about Obama’s handlers turning away some Muslim women from sitting directly behind him in camera shot during a rally in Detroit.  Politco’s story follows:

Two Muslim women at Barack Obama’s rally in Detroit on Monday were barred from sitting behind the podium by campaign volunteers seeking to prevent the women’s headscarves from appearing in photographs or on television with the candidate.

The campaign has apologized to the women, both Obama supporters who said they felt betrayed by their treatment at the rally. 

“This is of course not the policy of the campaign. It is offensive and counter to Obama’s commitment to bring Americans together and simply not the kind of campaign we run,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “We sincerely apologize for the behavior of these volunteers.”

Building a human backdrop to a political candidate, a set of faces to appear on television and in photographs, is always a delicate exercise in demographics and political correctness. Advance staffers typically pick supporters out of a crowd to reflect the candidate’s message.

When Obama won the North Carolina primary amid questions about his ability to connect with white voters, for instance, he stood in front of a group of middle-aged white women waving small American flags.

“I was coming to support him, and I felt like I was discriminated against by the very person who was supposed to be bringing this change, who I could really relate to,” said Hebba Aref, a 25-year-old lawyer who lives in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. “The message that I thought was delivered to us was that they do not want him associated with Muslims or Muslim supporters.”

I text messaged my friend about this one and he said that this group of Muslims were probably a plant, testing the waters to see what response they were going to get. 

Well, I’m sorry, when I first saw the story break on Wednesday of this week, as bad as I felt for the people who were turned away, I felt even worse for the Democratic Party because I could clearly see a swift-boat type ad coming out in a random state like West Virginia, Ohio or Pennsylvania darkening the screen while Obama was speaking and highlighting the faces of these two young women and have someone do a voice-over in an ominous voice clamoring about how Obama is linked with Al-Qaeda or some crap.

I’m with Obama and on this one. 

Given the politcal climate, I mean this guy can’t even claim Christianity without going through hell and high water, so do you think him being associated with Islam is going to help?  I think not.

And, sorry, I can’t help but say it, but I mean, this guy shoved his own pastor under the bus, do you think he’d really worry himself about a religion that equals terrorism in the eyes of good, gun-totin’, scripture quotin’ citizens of the United States of America?  (I shoulda put Amerikkka, but you get my point.)

So do you think Obama’s campaign coordinators and by extension Obama himself were wrong for barring the two young women from the seating area directly behind the podium at the rally?

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL

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7 responses to “Obama’s Image Problem

  1. Two volunteers made this huge blunder. Obama himself called both ladies and apologized. In the past he has had women in hijabs behiond in on the stage. He has even taken pictures WITH women in hijabs. Two volunteers made a bad call. His campaign and he himself apologized.

    How is Obama responsible for ‘allowing for outright mistruths concerning the Black Church and that which is the black preacher and many other nuances of black culture to be passed on to unsuspecting liberal and conservative whites alike through various media outlets”???

    Their are thousands of black priests, pastors, reverends, fathers who can defend the \black church. How is that his job? Don’t you think he has enough to focus on?

    Only those who want to believe it believes that ALL black churches are ‘militant’. Those who believe that believe many other things and Obama could talk until he’s blue and they would still feel the same way.

    Don’t be so naive.

  2. To PAULETTE:

    I’m not sure if you’re a longtime or a first time reader, but there has been a straing throughout my posts since this spring as far as Obama and this issue. Additionally, the Black Church is a black cultural institution that is VERY near and dear to me, it’s something that I live and breathe.

    Obama was quite clear during his speech on April 29th (?) when he completely disavowed Jeremiah Wright that he was officially through with many things concerning the Black Church and by tacit extension many things that are black culture. I’m not saying that Obama must be a defender of all things black culture, but I will say that as a self identified black man, he has a responsibility to be true to himself.

    Now, I’m not going so far as to say that his authentic self is to be the defender of the black culture at all times, however, I stand by me calling into question him totally doing away with all things race. If he truly thinks that we are in a post-racial society, then he’s a bit more delusional than I had given him credit for.

    I don’t think it’s naive to make this statement on the basis that the Jeremiah Wright controversy for the first time EVER in this country provided a national platform for which to talk about parts of black culture (namely the black church) that had NEVER been talked about before. So, when I say that Obama allowed for mistruths to be disseminated through the media, that is to say that for the voters of Appalachia who quite possibly can count on one hand the number of times they’ve seen a black person, and that media circus goes into their memory bank as to what it means to be black….Obama could have taken that opportunity to do something about it.

    At the end of the day, though, he must be true to himself.

    JLL

  3. Obama cannot be the defender of all things black. No one person can be.

    We have respected pastors like T.D. Jakes who can stand up and defend the black Church so that Obama get to do what he has to do.

    He cannot stop and fight all battles, if he does he will lose the war. Let him become President and then follow up with your conversation.

    Keep your eyes on the prize. Don’t become distracted. The black Church will be there in 6 months.

    Obama has not abandoned the black Church — where did he go on Father’s Day? That is a testimonial for all to see that he has not abandoned the black Church; he has just given up membership in one.

    Stay focused. Keep your eyes on the prize.

    And by the way, there are black people who choose to LIVE in the Appalachia. Just like black folks choose to live in Jena. And the good people of the Appalachia have TV, cable and the internet. Many of them have blogs on wordpress. THat’s just who they choose to be.

  4. Well… This is only the beginning. The Obama campaign is going to have to keep on its toes with these types of issues… They’ve run a good campaign so far though… Hopefully, there won’t be any repeat instances such as this one…

  5. To PAULETTE:

    I think that as a tax paying citizen I have a right to question the ultimate motives of any candidate black or white, and giving him a pass just because he’s black I think is doing an ultimate disservice to the larger community.

    Furthermore, I think that it’s VERY interesting that you’d mention T.D. Jakes as a someone to speak on Black Church issues. If you’ve ever read anything T.D. Jakes has said or done, he has very deliberately separated the things that are political from the things are that are religious and for me that is a cardinal sin. I think politics and religion are closely intertwined.

    I think you missed my point, however, I was not saying that Obama should fight all battles, but personally, I would like to see him take a hard stand on an issue, one way or the other. Aside from the Wright controversy, Obama hasn’t defied anything.

    To push the issue a little bit more, I’d be very interested to know what information that you are basing you assertions that black people “choose” to live in Appalachia and places like Jena, Louisiana. Many of the blacks, at least that I’ve personally encountered after living down south, simply don’t have the financial means to live in the bigger cities because of the lack of opportunities that small towns provide. It’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I kind of missed what that had to do with the topic at hand.

    I’d also like to note that Obama’s appearance at Apostolic Church of God on Father’s Day, was yes a black church, but it still was one of those “safe black churches” and the pastor emeritus of the church has had a long history with the Democratic political establishment (in other words Mayor Daley) and seeing as how Obama endorsed Daley, a fellow Democrat, and vice versa, it is of no shock that Obama spoke there on Father’s Day. Additionally, this was not his first appearance at that church, he’s spoken there before.

  6. You said:
    “So, when I say that Obama allowed for mistruths to be disseminated through the media, that is to say that for the voters of Appalachia who quite possibly can count on one hand the number of times they’ve seen a black person, and that media circus goes into their memory bank as to what it means to be black….Obama could have taken that opportunity to do something about it.”

    My point: Blacks live in those areas so Obama is not going to change their opinion of what they think of black people. They see blacks just about everyday if not every day so they’re not counting on one hand the number of times they’ve seen a black person. For claification, West VA, believe it or not, has a pretty high statistic of inter-racial couples/families. So I don’t know HOW you think Obama could change their opinions about black people. They didn’t vote for Obama for social-geographical reasons.

    You said:
    “I’d also like to note that Obama’s appearance at Apostolic Church of God on Father’s Day, was yes a black church, but it still was one of those “safe black churches” and the pastor emeritus of the church has had a long history with the Democratic political establishment.”

    My point: Do you expect Obama to go to a “unsafe” black Church? He’s running for POTUS.

    You said:
    “Furthermore, I think that it’s VERY interesting that you’d mention T.D. Jakes as a someone to speak on Black Church issues. If you’ve ever read anything T.D. Jakes has said or done, he has very deliberately separated the things that are political from the things are that are religious and for me that is a cardinal sin. I think politics and religion are closely intertwined.”

    My point: Obama is not a minister, he should not speak for the black Church — there is a danger in that. He is just a member of a black Church. If you don’t like T.D. Jakes, pick someone else: Rev Floyd Flake, Rev A.R. Bernard Sr — any Reverend from the black Church should defend the black Church not Obama. If you don’t like Flake or Bernard you can defend the black Church or someone of your choice but it should not be Obama.

    You said:
    ” I would like to see him take a hard stand on an issue, one way or the other”

    My point: Go to his website and you’ll see some of the things he’s taken a hard stand on. Reasearch the laws he’s passed and you’ll see some of the hard stands he’s taken.

    You said:
    …”and giving him a pass just because he’s black I think is doing an ultimate disservice to the larger community.”

    My point: Has ANYONE in America ever gotten a pass because they were black??????

    I just don’t understand your points. You throw things out there and that’s all it is — throwing stuff to the wind…

  7. to PAULETTE:

    at the risk of alienating you as a reader, I am entitled to my opinions and I definitely making the assumption that you’re reading this blog in stark isolation to that of my numerous previous posts. I have stated my opinions on Obama and I’d encourage you to read my posts under the tagline “the Color Line” or “Politics.”

    I think we’ve reached an impasse on this topic, and I’m not about to go into depth about who I feel should “defend the BLack Church” and why (although I may a do a post about that come to think of it) and I certainly don’t think that Jakes is qualified let alone the one who wants to.

    At the end of the day, obama needs to be true to himself — nuff said. Is he being true to himself or is he only being true to that which will get him the presidency?

    JLL

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