Thursday, January 08, 2009

which side is obama showing?

Point of Order: 1] This weeks OP-ED in RollingOut. 2] Shouts out to Rainywalker - got thet $50 check for my shop - love u too jones.

For some reason or another, I am becoming more convinced that the president-elect may have forgotten about us common folks. He may have forgotten about a large mass of people such as me, albeit as a Libertarian, I did not vote for him. He may have not forgotten completely, as I don’t know if he ever enjoyed the educational privilege of those like me, who attended an HCBU.

On the surface, I am not really too thrilled by his cabinet picks, nor of the selection of Elizabeth Alexander. True, she is a prize-winning poet and professor of African American studies at Yale University. I don’t know if she will be his poet laureate, but I do know she will read a poem at the inauguration of the nation’s first African American president. And of his cabinet, some are top-notch selections. I just feel that a few more folk from Main Street (not Ivy Leaguers or folks in D.C.), could have been selected. Why not? Main Street runs just as effectively, if not more effectively as K Street or Pennsylvania Avenue.

Maybe I am overreacting, maybe not. However, Obama is not giving the appearance of change as was his mantra during his campaign. No, it looks like the same old elitists who have been running this country into the ground. I am willing to give him a chance — but of the poets, Paul Beatty, Anne Pierson Wiese, Sol, or Ben Doller could have been great choices as well. He could have even looked in his own backyard; Jeffery Renard Allen, who was born in Chicago, or the founder of the oldest black press in America — Haki Mahabuti Or he could have selected Herman Beavers, Terrance Hayes, Harryette Mullen, Crystal Williams, Evie Shockley, Joshua Clover, Reginald Shepherd or myself.

These are the common poets, those not from Harvard, Yale or Georgetown. They are regular people. Wonder which side Obama is showing now, the Ivy League-educated political elitist or the pick-up game loving community leader from the South Side of Chicago?

35 comments:

The 78 Ms. J said...

I would have liked to see you recite some poetry at the presidential festivities.

MacDaddy said...

My choice would have been Madhubuti. By the way, I'm getting ready to write a piece on Martin Luther as a drum major and some of who don't want to do nothing help our folk using your expression "Negro comfortable," which is what I think they've become. I'll be sure to give you credit.

I'll have it ready in a couple of days. Blessings.

MacDaddy said...

My choice would have been Madhubuti. By the way, I'm getting ready to write a piece on Martin Luther as a drum major and some of who don't want to do nothing help our folk using your expression "Negro comfortable," which is what I think they've become. I'll be sure to give you credit.

I'll have it ready in a couple of days. Blessings.

Red Snapper said...

I feel that he is showing the former. I actually a little surprised by his behavior. I don't know why, the Ancestors have been giving me messages about him since before he won the nomination.

I don't know folk, guess we'll just have to wait and see......


*pourin my naughty head*

rainywalker said...

Thinking ahead I will wait and see. But trust me if he leaves us common folks behind he will be getting a few letters in the next four years.
Just passing along the love, would have been more, but I'm just a poor hillbilly.

Keli said...

If you listened to him, closely during the elections, he repeatedly stated that he planned to turn to the Clinton administration for advice and personnel...I guess the change we were looking for was the cover, because the book still reads the same.

nicki nicki tembo said...

I've got mad love for Haki Madhubuti. One of my favorite American authors. I've been reading him since high school. I don't know if he's watered down enough to be an acceptable pick. Certainly capable.

C.S.Stone said...

I work with a woman whose best friend was heard reading her poetry one evening by one of Obama's local operatives.... she was invited to read it at the inauguration.

She won't be, because they didn't make arrangements for her to get there, stay anywhere or anything...

there seems to have been a lot of that with this "party"... which, I suppose, in the excitement of it all, is bound to happen.

I'm not sure I give a damn who recites poetry... I'll be there, with my camera just because its what I choose to do...listening is secondary to me... oddly enough

its seems to me the important thing here is not who is doing what... but that "its being done"... period...

Obama is ivy league... he's gonna go with what he knows...

I'm Big Ten... if it were me up there... I'd read my own damned stuff... but, that's the way we roll in the middle of the country....lol

btw... thanks for the invite...*wink*

Lovebabz said...

And the definition of "common folks" would be?....

I think Ms. Alexander was and is a fine choice. She is a poet of his generation...and mine for that matter. Is there something wrong with Black folks at Ivy league schools? Or are you suggesting we all ought to be at HBCU's? and those that do not attend an HBCU are somehow more common than say our Brothers and Sisters at Ivy League schools?

Dr. Stephens I am not sure what point you are making...except one of class as opposed to race. But then again I do not hold a PhD...just 2 lowly masters degrees and a culinary degree and yes of course a BS from a HBCU.

We as people of color are not monolithic. We are all of mixed heritage and ethnicity. My family can trace it roots back to the days of Jefferson..so what? There is perhaps more anglo blood in my veins than Mr. Obama's. However, I daressay he has more African blood than I shall ever be able to cop to. So what?

I am not prepared to offer a harsh critique of Mr. Obama preference for one poet over another. If it were my choice I know I would have chose altogether differently or perhaps not.

Ruth Ferguson said...

Poetry is not my thing so I cannot comment. I was glad to see a fresh face, as I thought perhaps he would choose Maya or Toni and that she is African American is a bonus.

I remain a proud support of Obama and while main street certainly has a lot to offer, do we really have the luxury of a lot of on the job training?

If he had chosen more who do not know the ways of Washington, then that side would complain.

There is no such thing as perfection or making everyone happy. Right or wrong, Obama generally appears to make his choices and sticks with them.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

The 78 Ms. J
thank u

MacDaddy
u have my blessing cant wait to read it

Red Snapper
he is a poly trickster

rainywalker
one with reason and thought is never poor blesss u and thank u folk

Keli
yep he is clinton revisted

nicki nicki tembo
u have great taste

C.S.Stone
she would have if she were ivy league

Lovebabz
my fault i took him at his word when he said no more washington insiders and ivy leaguers - gues u dont take folk at their words

Ruth Ferguson
i have faith too, but a wolf in sheeps clothing even if he is black is stilol a wolf - fall for the okie doke if u like but me a free thinker

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Jones: I think that having Rick Warren read passages aloud from MEIN KAMPF would be certainly be fitting in terms of Obama's views on personal freedom and civil rights.

Seriously, though, I like Amiri Baraka. And Amiri Baraka had as much chance of being chosen for this as I'd have of being chosen to give a sunday sermon at an Aryan Nations church in Coeur d'Alene!

But I kind of agree with Babz on this, as I did before, I looked up her shit, it's not the worst poetry I've ever read. It's not Blake, Dickinson, Whitman or Eliot but it's OK.

Where are the women of color in the CABINET, pray tell? Or the men? There are two. One is a guy who gutted the Chicago Public School systems to give developers tax breaks. The other is likely to get bounced in favor of a White Republican like James Comey. He has made a handful of other OK picks: Kagan, Chu, Johnsen, Craig.

The greatest insult of all: Dr Sanjay Gupta of CNN for Surgeon General! That's priceless. I couldn't make up anything that funny. A doctor who's pro-war and was chosen to deride Michael Moore for his accurate movie SICKO about the wretched state of the US health care system.

Along with "change," seem to have gone the President-elect's famous good manners and gentle demeanor. He's just a vulgar frat boy like Bush. No difference whatesoever.

He acted like a jackass in Hawaii and like a cartel gangster when dealing with Senator-appointee Burris, putting an old fellow whose earned his respect through a horrible humiliation in front of the world.

I think Michelle has to take him by the hand and set him straight. Simple things. Like he's desperate for a trade deal with us, but he can't be bothered to give the same courtesy call to Martin Torrijos that he gave to the Emirs of Kuwait -- all 1000 of them! Who's going to tell him how important good manners are when dealing with Latin heads-of-state? Shouldn't the great world traveller know that? Wasn't Obama offended when McCain referred to him as "that one" during a debate? It's the same thing.

You don't call the President of Vanatu before the President of Panama and especially not if you're desperate for a trade deal. Martin Torrijos does not care if Barack Obama made history in the US. His father was the first progressive president of Panama, founded the PRD, and got assassinated for his trouble. So, Obama's ego is irrelevant to a potentially multi-trillion dollar tariff savings. Torrijos doesn't need to do it. It would have been a courtesy to Obama. Products from all over the world come through and the US is hardly an important exporter.

How many other discourtesies with potentially disastrous consequences has he made? I don't know but I'm beginning to think a lot of them.

What side is showing? THE UGLY AMERICAN FRAT BOY GEORGE W BUSH SIDE, I say.

Cheron L. Hall said...

Wait a minute nah' don't cha go roun' hea' talkin bout the good deacon Obama! We don'e waited in this hea' wata for long enough nah'...

lmaooo...

{watching his ass like Nat Turner...}

Tia's Real Talk said...

What's up Dawg? Been a hot minute. How are you? Hope the holidays were kind. Just stoppin by to make your page a lil more livelier than whut it wus..lol.

Veronica Wright said...

passionate people tend to over react...so if you are...that's you're excuse...LOL

BuelahMan said...

As for this redneck, I could care less who reads poetry at the event.

No, it looks like the same old elitists who have been running this country into the ground.

Well, Duh!

(I know this is for those readers and not that you are unaware).

Kitty Cleopatra said...

I can't say whether or not your wrong or right. After all you have the right to your opinion, but I think we should let the man actually take office before declare things business as usual. It may indeed end up being that way, but it's too early to know that.

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

What is the basis for you deciphering between common and not common? Personally, I find nothing wrong with his choice, then again "common" people who are in my family who went to ivy league institutions seem no different than people who went to Spelman, Howard, or Fisk (just to name a few) in my family.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

KELSO'S NUTS
i agree completely especially about his wife but the mention of sanjay makes me wanna earl

Cheron L. Hall
i know thats right lol

Tia's Real Talk
happy nappy new year thanks

Veronica Wright
thank u honey

BuelahMan
lol need us country folk to run this camp

Kitty Cleopatra
true, just opinion. but i recant GWB before accepting office, i rode him like a bull on compassionate conservatism - i turned out to be right - it was neither. saying o0bama and chang - not likely - just that he is black

Beautifully.Conjured.Up axioligical (opinion based on what was said by him - going to college is not common, going to an ivy league school even less so. outside of that personal louction and opinion, no diff than saying i dont like the dallas cowboys

Ron said...

Just for the record, Herman Beavers is at Penn, which is an Ivy League school (also where Elizabeth Alexander got her PhD), tho I agree he'd be fine. As would Erica Hunt, Will Alexander, Kofi Notambu, Nate Mackey, Jay Wright, Ed Roberson & lots of other folks.

Anonymous said...

also just for the record, beavers earned his ph.d. from yale. not exactly 'common...' and has he published anything in the last decade?

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

I know I see different views than you, because I'm not for disparaging Obama (yet),but that will suffice...especially since he hasn't been "sworn" in yet; also, considering the fact no one complaining can do anything about it...then again you could if you ran for president yourself (which might be the best choice, if you were able to).

buelahman said...

considering the fact no one complaining can do anything about it

Speakimg up IS doing something. Educating the ignorant IS doing something.

Sitting back, watching his rhetoric turn into lies and saying nothing... just "hoping", is doing nothing.

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

Forgive me, for I thought words without actions were nil...talk on ;)

Beautifully.Conjured.Up said...

Forgive me, for I thought words without actions were nil...talk on ;)

buelahman said...

Some people obviously learn (or imagine they do) by osmosis.

And some just like to do nothing and let the world fall apart.

Tomato/tomatoe.

I prefer to read the world around me and do something. Others... not so much.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

Ron
so true and well said.

Beautifully.Conjured.Up
well to be truthful, i said the same about george bush regard his compassionate conservatism before he took office and after he won - no one complianed about me being critical of him - y give the next president a pass, just llok at my articles in rolling out or creative loafing back then - maybe u are too young to recant. but i respect your opinion, only if u could mine


buelahman
well said folk

VIChick said...

I have been observing him since he won and i must say the Obama from the campaign is not the same person that is holding meetings everyday. I don't doubt that he will better the economy but the people that he has chosen to surround himself with are very questionable to me.
I know that he is in unfamiliar territory and he needs assistance from seasoned vets in the white house game, but I think they will more sway him than advise him. I just don't know what will happen.

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