I’ve been down this path, beaten this horse, and picked this scab a time or two, so you may have heard me rail against or at least muse about this issue (or set of issues) before. My blog on Shelby Steele and White Guilt fully outlines (how’s that for an oxymoron?) the concept, but in short, white guilt is the result of the perpetual victimization of black people and white people’s shame, horror . . . guilt being manipulated by both black and white leaders in our society, in our government, and in our press. I’ve long thought this white guilt was the reason that Barack Obama wasn’t held to the same standards as other presidential candidates, and now, I feel vindicated in that belief.
Obama gives a good, albeit empty speech; he’s a great public speaker, no doubt in my mind about that. But I’ve never quite “got” what the whole “Change we can believe in” thing was about. Change from what (bad George Bush) to what (good Barack Obama)? Well, isn’t that what every candidate intends . . . to replace and improve upon the works of the sitting president? Isn’t that why they run? Vague until last week’s DNC about specific changes, Obama now promises every American a college education, health care, job stability, and a puppy. Okay, every politician promises that. How’s he going to pay for it? Something, I hesitate to call it fuzzy math, to do with the budget; he’s not clear on that tiny detail.
He’s for the environment, so we know he wants us to go greener, but everyone is “for” the environment these days; how’s he stand out? By saying we shouldn’t drill off our shores. And then saying, well, maybe we should in a limited capacity (this only after polls showed that people want us to be oil independent and his charm wasn’t making them budge on that point).
He’s against the war in Iraq and (according to him) always has been; indeed, he says, had he been in the Senate at the time, which he wasn’t so we can’t know how he would have voted if presented with all the evidence and arguments at that time, he would have voted against it. He condemns anyone and everyone who voted for it. Well, everyone except his VP running mate, who voted as Hillary Clinton did, indeed as the majority did. But hey, that’s okay, it’s Barack.
His past affiliations with crazies and racists cannot be attacked or even discussed without him crying “Foul!”. His wife’s racist and anti-American statements are not fair game for the political pundits and bloggers; just leave my family alone, he whines. We can’t look at his record (well, we could if we could find it, but it’s pretty teensy given that he’s spent the majority of his time as senator running for president), his parents, his upbringing, his possible lack of core American beliefs . . . well, ANYTHING that shines a not so bright and shining light on him.
Come on, People, this man is running for president of our country; let’s take a look at him. Let’s at least take the same level of scrutiny being afforded John McCain and his VP running mate . . . do we really have a “liberal” media, biased against republicans? Or is that just part of the picture? Is it possible that we can’t and won’t and would feel really really dirty and bad if we looked at Barack Obama as closely as we have to look at Palin’s pregnant daughter and developmentally challenged son because we really do, as a society, suffer from what Steele calls white guilt? Is the Obama camp using it to stamp down any discord or upset around their candidate and are we meekly looking the other way and/or defending him not because he’s got the best (or any viable) plan for our future but because he is black? It might be worth the ponder.