Liberty Just in Case

A Dialogue for the September 12th World

Bargaining

Posted by redsatellite on March 18, 2008

The Wall Street Journal may have hit one out of the park. Yep…a Home Run. I came across an excellent piece about Obama’s cache with white America. They called it ‘bargaining‘.

The novelty of Barack Obama is more his cross-racial appeal than his talent. Jesse Jackson displayed considerable political talent in his presidential runs back in the 1980s. But there was a distinct limit to his white support. Mr. Obama’s broad appeal to whites makes him the first plausible black presidential candidate in American history. And it was Mr. Obama’s genius to understand this. Though he likes to claim that his race was a liability to be overcome, he also surely knew that his race could give him just the edge he needed- an edge that would never be available to a white, not even a white woman.

How to turn one’s blackness to advantage?

The answer is that one “bargains.” Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America’s history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer’s race against him.

And whites love this bargain- and feel affection for the bargainer- because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence.

For whites, here is the opportunity to document their deliverance from the shames of their forbearers.

This may be the most articulate, spot-on observation I’ve ever come across. Read the whole article….impressive. Oh….and by the way….Shelby Steele is the author- a black man.

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