Thursday, March 20, 2008

Saint Obama In Shades Of Gray

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from official campaign Flickr site.
All original restrictions apply.

Black, White & Gray
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: March 19, 2008

In the closest thing to an endorsement yet, Maureen Dowd has high praise for Barack Obama’s make or break speech on race in America. Coming so soon after Saint Patrick’s Day, Dowd can’t help but filter the speech through a green tinted glass.

She winds up by using some alliteration and a fairly pedestrian resentment Dowdversion® and then leads into the parenthetical revelation that her working class Irish clan harbors racial resentment:
He tried to shine a light on that clannish place where grudges and grievances flourish. After racing from race for a year, he plowed in and took a stab at showing blacks what white resentment felt like and whites what black resentment felt like.

(He was spot-on about my tribe of working-class Irish, the ones who have helped break his winning streak in New Hampshire and Ohio, and may do so in Pennsylvania.)
While she doesn’t single out a quote, she is probably referring to this passage of the speech:
In fact, a similar anger exists within segments of the white community. Most working- and middle-class white Americans don't feel that they have been particularly privileged by their race. Their experience is the immigrant experience - as far as they're concerned, no one's handed them anything, they've built it from scratch. They've worked hard all their lives, many times only to see their jobs shipped overseas or their pension dumped after a lifetime of labor. They are anxious about their futures, and feel their dreams slipping away; in an era of stagnant wages and global competition, opportunity comes to be seen as a zero sum game, in which your dreams come at my expense. So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.
Basically, she is saying that some of her closest relatives are racist, but….

While she is being confessional, she owns up to this revelation:
A little disenchantment with Obama could turn out to be a good thing. Too much idealism can blind a leader to reality as surely as too much ideology can.

Gray is a welcome relief from black and white.
And the lady from the Gray Lady is painting a picture of the next president through some pretty thick beer goggles.

2 comments:

Eddie said...

Concerning the hard working I can only say at least they were working. I graduated community college in the 70's and I've had to live off my parents my whole life.
Was there prejudice against my politics or does only race count?

Anonymous said...

Bill says 'Chill." Hill stays shrill. Together they transmogrifry their many selves on an as needed basis. From being America's 2Oth C. Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos into our 21st C. Juan and Eva Peron. Their collective sleigh of hand saliva'd patter is bringing down the house for Grampa MacCain on a silver platter.

posner.richard@mac.com