Sunday, January 11, 2009

William Jelani Cobb - the race card still exists after Obama

I often read what William Jelani Cobb writes, because he shares an interesting perspective, I'll never forget an article he wrote in January of 2008, As Obama Rises, Old Guard Civil Rights Leaders Scowl where he talked about the lack of support for Obama from what he called the "black boy network" which is a version of the "old boys network" for blacks. Of course things have changed since January 2008 and Barack Obama won the Presidency. It's too early to tell if Cobb's prediction made in that January article will come true:
A successful Obama candidacy would simultaneously represent a huge leap forward for black America and the death knell for the reign of the civil rights-era leadership -- or at least the illusion of their influence.

Especially if you consider the article written by Cobb today, In the Age of Obama, Still Playing the Race Card. It seems as if that "black boys network" still has some power or at least the ability to make whites respond:
The irony, of course, is that after decades of white politicians using racial division to whip up their constituents, it has morphed into a card for black politicians to play as well. Last year, in the midst of the sex scandal that eventually drove him from office, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wailed that he had been the victim of numerous N-word assaults. (This may have been the case, but racism -- in a majority-black city -- did not compel him to have sex with a staffer and lie about it under oath.) Kilpatrick was forced to resign anyway, but he did succeed in momentarily knocking his political enemies back on their heels.

The Burris fiasco is no exception to the race card's ability to fluster. Following Rush's preemptive strike with "plantation politics," Reid appeared on "Meet the Press" and tried to argue that the Senate's opposition had nothing to do with race. But he ended up resembling one of those white liberals who mistakes a black CEO for a secretary and then launches into the story about how he founded the campus NAACP chapter in college.

Even more interesting is that Jesse Jackson is one of those considered to be in the "black boy network" and it's reportedly his son, Jesse Jackson, Jr., who turned in Blagojevich, who then nominated Burris...From an outside view this appears to be another battle in the "old" versus "new" power struggle...

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