Friday, August 24, 2007

Obama Gets Off His Stump: Why?

“For those who think, ‘Well my child’s doing alright, I don't have to worry about all these black children and brown children,' let me tell you something: Half of the U.S. workforce is going to be black and brown in a few years, so our economy is going to depend on how those children do. Our children, making sure that somebody's working to pay our social security, is going to depend on those children working.”

- Barack Obama, veering from his stump speech during a rally at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina. NBC reports that the crowd was mostly African- American. This raises questions in my mind: what was the purpose of veering off the stump speech? And why the chosen imagery?

Obama was speaking to a mostly black and brown audience, yet he was telling them not to ignore black and and brown children. As if they needed to hear it. So basically, he was really saying, "A lot of white people don't care about the well- being of your children, and that's a big mistake." I would agree with that, but I wonder if he would have given the same speech if the crowd looked differently.

If the answer is yes, then that's an issue he really cares about, and if you do too, he may deserve your vote. If the answer is no, then it seems to be a manipulative way of capitalizing on race without addressing it head-on.


CPUSA said...

It's like what I always say about primaries: You promise the base the world, and you deliver them Botswana. You think he'd be talking about this (any of the Dems, for that matter) if the audience were elderly Jews in South Florida? Or miners in WV? It still stays in line with his overall message, but you choose the imagery based on the audience and setting. Apples and oranges, Chrissy, that's what he's trying to avoid.

Chris Meehan said...

totally understand what you're saying, i just find it somewhat dishonest to frame it as if he's confronting a group of people, talking tough to power, because they weren't in the audience!

it's one thing to talk to a jewish audience, and tell them how strong you'll support Israel, it's another thing to act like you are doing something you're not.

CPUSA said...

I think you're too hung up on this specific message. If he were talking about responsible tax breaks to a particular Chamber of Commerce, he wouldn't mention obesity or drunk driving laws. He'd speak of trade agreements, health care, etc. He's speaking to Black and Brown folks, and telling them what they want to hear and what will motivate them. Absolutely nothing wrong with that.