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White like me

After thinking through the bizarre Obama and race matter, I’m now treated to more confirmation that too many people simply don’t know how to discuss race and class intelligently or honestly. Take the rantings of CNN Headline News’ bleater Glenn Beck. (Media Matters):

On the February 12 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Glenn Beck featured Philadelphia-based conservative radio host Dom Giordano, who claimed that “the mainstream media has dubbed [Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)] to be African-American” and said, “If you start to, you know, delve around the edges, say, ‘Wait a minute, isn’t he mixed race? Weren’t we told that last year?’ Or whatever, biracial. Not allowed to say that anymore.” Beck responded by saying “he’s very white in many ways,” adding, “Gee, can I even say that? Can I even say that without somebody else starting a campaign saying, ‘What does he mean, “He’s very white?” ‘ He is. He’s very white.”

After the interview, Beck attempted to clarify his comments to executive producer and head writer of The Glenn Beck Program, Steve Burguiere, who is known on-air as “Stu.” Beck claimed that Obama “is colorless,” adding that “as a white guy … [y]ou don’t notice that he is black. So he might as well be white, you know what I mean?” In addition, Beck said: “I guarantee you, there will be blogs today that will have me being a racist because I say that.”

Where do you begin? It’s that whole “acting white” thing, the “clean, articulate” shebang all over again. Even as he attempts to explain himself he continues to affirm that somehow, those attributes cannot be found in the otherwise monolithic (in his mind) black population.

As I said yesterday, if you look black, in the end you are still identified by people as black in this country, no matter how you dress or speak. End of story.

Between dolts like Beck and the black establishment hand-wringing over whether Obama is black enough, we’re seeing a boatload of ignorance and irrational ingrained fear that is breathtaking to behold.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding