I Prefer My Obama Doubled Stuffed And With Metaphysical Certitude

I sometimes love the McLaughlin Group.  I laughed at the, “On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 representing zero possibility and 10 representing complete metaphysical certitude…” and was actually first introduced to him while watching SNL during the Bush administration.  So I was about nine and had no idea what they were talking about.

John McLaughlin:  Is there life after death? Some pundits say it doesn’t exist. Theologians disagree. Is there an afterlife? Jack Germonde!

Jack Germonde: I.. uh.. really don’t know.

John McLaughlin: Mortone!

Morton Kondracke: Well, it’s not my field..

John McLaughlin: Pat Buchanan!

Pat Buchanan: I’d like to believe, but it’s not..

John McLaughlin: Wrong! There is life after death. The soul does not ascend to heaven but rather rests in a limbo state that varies depending on the karma of the spirit.

 *

So growing up and getting more involved in politics, I was already used to the quick pace and familiarity of the pundits and their show.

So I wasn’t too surprised to hear that yesterday McLaughlin referred to Senator Obama as an “Oreo.”

Urbandictionary.com defines “Oreo” as:  Term for African Americans that the black community is generally offended with for betraying their roots usually for dating Caucasian girls, dressing too white, talking too white, etc. The term is branded OREO since they are “Black on the outside, White on the inside”

The dialog came about when McLaughlin raised the issue of the current scandal surrounding Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama. 

Jesse Jackson has criticized the Senator for “talking down to black people” after Obama’s recent Father’s Day speech at a black church:  

“Too many fathers are AWOL. Missing from too many lives and too many homes. They’ve abandoned their responsibilities. They’re acting like boys instead of men.”

Then there was the now infamous Jackson talking into a live microphone about how he wanted to do things to Barack Obama’s person that Michelle Obama would not appreciate. 

Enter McLaughlin bringing up a legtimate topic in the completely wrong way:  

Question: Does it frost Jackson, Jesse Jackson, that someone like Obama, who fits the stereotype blacks once labeled as an Oreo — a black on the outside, a white on the inside — that an Oreo should be the beneficiary of the long civil rights struggle which Jesse Jackson spent his lifetime fighting for? 

I can sort out what question he was actually trying to ask and that he isn’t exactly calling Obama an ‘oreo,’ he’s just mentioning that others might have done so.  The other members of his panel were quick to point out that that statement wasn’t fair to Obama and that the reason why Obama has done so well nationally is because he’s been able to transcend race.

The question, however it was raised, is valid.  Jackson has worked his life for younger black men, like Barack Obama, so that they might have opportunities that others before him did not have.  So why the obvious strife?

I think the theme of this election season could be “passing the torch.”  The torch of leadership for the Democratic Party was past these last few months from the Clintons (plural) to Barack Obama.  The divide between Hillary voters and Obama voters may have included the assumed gender and race gap but more importantly the age factor.  Younger voters made a point of embracing Obama’s message of optimism and change.

But this passing of the mantle has obviously not stayed solely in the realm of politics but has also delved into other issues in our culture.  Jesse Jackson has been a civil rights activist for decades.  Barack Obama stands on his shoulders, just as he stands on Bill Clinton’s.  However, our generation is making it clear that the time for the old guard is passing.  

Jackson himself has said very much the exact same thing Obama stated; that the African American community needs to face fatherhood with more responsibility.  It seems that Jackson doesn’t have a problem with the message so much as the person standing on the soapbox.

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~ by atypicalsnowman on July 14, 2008.

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