The Racial Microscope


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David Brody at CBN reports that Pastor Otis Moss III, the new Senior Pastor of Trinity UCC, Chicago, and successor to Pastor Jeremiah Wright, is coming “under the microscope.” Says Brody, “It may not be fair but it’s a reality.”

Who’s microscope? David Brody’s? I googled Otis Moss III and the leading links don’t seems to scream “microscope” to me. Check it out for yourself. But perhaps Brody is on to something I haven’t caught up with yet. If Brody is right, I have to ask:

In what sense is it “not fair but a reality?” In the sense that burning crosses on people’s lawns back in the day also was not fair but a reality? Or turning fire hoses and German Shepherds on peaceful marchers not fair but a reality?

Because this microscope thing is of the same species. The ugly question about Barack Obama I hear behind everything from the word “articulate” to media obsession about cherry-picked Wright-bites is this: “Is Barack Obama really a ‘credit to his race’ or is he just another [expletive deleted] in a suit?”

You see, if Barack Obama goes around being who he seems to be, everyone’s comfortable (even if some commentators are criticizing his ivy league bearing, disguised in various euphemisms, as “uppity”). But if he shows connections to, well —

connections to the people Bill Reilly expected to see at Sylvia’s restaurant in Harlem, and was so surprised he didn’t that he opened his big mouth about it. People who don’t use knives, forks and spoons in public. People who can’t get a sentence out of their mouths without at least one f-bomb —

If Barack Obama were to have connections to those people, then the whole ivy league tailored suit thing is a ruse. The inner Bill O’Reilly of a great number of people have a default image of people of color, and according to that image, Bill O’Reilly’s astonishment at civilized eating behavior in Harlem makes sense.

If a default image like O’Reilly’s is the case, then such people feel they have a perfect right to put anything about a person of color — including his or her pastor — under the microscope to find any lingering traces, even one drop, of culturally, socially, and intellectually inferior — and therefore dangerous — blood.

Two antidotes to this. An honest conversation, or several older generations dying out eventually.

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4 responses to “The Racial Microscope

  1. Several older generations like Bill O’Reilly.
    I’m sorry, but this crap burns me up.
    Barack is Barack – he is who he is. Period.
    What the hell is so hard for these idiots to understand?!?

  2. But this is not about Barack, actually, kip.

    It’s about some people’s presumptions about other people, and what they feel entitled to say or do.

  3. You’re right. I’m sorry, sometimes my emotions get the best of me. You framed the argument correctly.

  4. These are hard emotions for all of us. We all need to remember to respect that in each other. Thanks again for your comments.

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