Black People Politics : Years As An Outsider Give Barack Obama The Ability To Relate...

Discussion in 'Black People Politics' started by Aqil, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    By Kevin McDermott
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    If some African-Americans speak two languages to function in society, Barack Obama, Illinois' Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate, speaks many. One of them was on display last month in an East St. Louis lecture hall when he spoke to a mostly Black audience of high school and college students. "I know that sometimes...you get out in the neighborhood, and your friends...think that if you're doing well in school, you're not, you know, 'down,' you're not 'keeping it real.' You've got to have a higher standard of excellence than the scumbag folks back in the neighborhood expect of you."

    Three weeks later, Obama stood in a church pulpit and again touted the importance of education, but to a very different audience: mostly white, well-educated, upper-middle-class residents of Naperville, Ill. To them, he spoke in precise, polished language. He talked about a disturbing strain of anti-intellectualism in America today. "It starts in the White House and 'trickles down,'" he said dryly, prompting an explosion of laughter.

    Obama's closest friends maintain that his message of progressive politics is always consistent, but they admit the messenger often seems like a different man from setting to setting, depending on his audience. It isn't duplicity, they insist, but the natural result of a life that has taken Obama from the exotic streets of Indonesia to the halls of Harvard to the gritty front lines of Chicago politics. "Barack flows from one community to another very easily. He has his own personal diversity, if you will," said Marty Nesbitt, an Obama campaign adviser, longtime friend and neighbor in Hyde Park, on Chicago's near South Side. "He is genuine. He's just being Barack."

    Obama, 43, was born to a Black college student from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas who met while they were both at the University of Hawaii. His unabashedly liberal world view - that government should be a champion of the weak and disaffected - springs from a childhood of unusual challenges: spending part of it as a foreigner in Indonesia, where his mother moved him to live with her second husband; dabbling with street culture and drugs; and most of all, confronting society's attitudes toward mixed-race families.

    Black Americans "know too much, we have all seen too much, to take my parents' brief union - a Black man and a white woman, an African and an American - at face value," Obama wrote in his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. "As a result, some people have a hard time taking me at face value. When people who don't know me well, Black or white, discover my background...I see the split-second adjustments they have to make, the searching of my eyes for some tell-tale sign. They no longer know who I am."

    Obama's default public-speaking voice offers few answers to that question: Authoritative but neutral, devoid of any ethnic or geographic accent, the kind of voice you might hear dubbed over a television news report. "My mother is from Kansas...which is why I talk the way I do," he quipped to one audience on the campaign trail this month. It's the perfect vocal palette for adding shades of street slang, partisan jabs or policy-speak, depending on the audience. "He looks for connectors," said Abner Mikva, a retired federal judge and ex-Congressman who is a political mentor to Obama. "He looks for things he can talk to people about that won't scare them or turn them off. He can rap with University of Chicago professors, then go out to the neighborhoods and do just as well."

    Read the entire article here:

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/em...es.nsf&docid=C44BB9C32DE5DF3486256F36006CE9AF
     
  2. AfroBoricuaRoni

    AfroBoricuaRoni Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I think it's wonderful that he can be so fluent. Each audience has to be addressed accordingly, even though each individual hears something different. He's a good role model for young brothers to look up to.
     
  3. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    ^5 AfroBoricuaRoni...
     
  4. Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Kenya Celebrates Obama Win...

    By Patrick Thimangu and Masharikileo.com

    As expected, Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and an American mother, garnered an overwhelming number of votes in Illinois on Tuesday to become only the third Black U.S. Senator in modern times.

    Obama, a little-known liberal state senator who shot to national prominence after delivering a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, beat Alan Keyes, a Black Republican opponent imported from Maryland in August.

    Obama didn’t appear to have a chance of wining the election 18 months ago when he declared his candidacy, after Republican Senator Peter Fitzgerald announced he was retiring. But astute political skill, extraordinary oratorical skills, and misfortune for Republicans helped the upstart Democrat fire up Black and white voters in Illinois, and galvanize African immigrants in the Midwestern state.

    According to Symon Ogeto, a Kenyan who lives in Chicago and works as an international students advisor at Columbia College, African immigrants helped contribute about $8,000 to the Obama campaign, which raised about $14 million in total, according to federal campaign filings. Ogeto also leads "Africans For Obama," one of a number of African groups that sprang up recently to support Obama.

    The Rev. Ndung’u J.B. Ikenye, a Kenyan immigrant and pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Evanston, a Chicago suburb, said Obama had a message that appealed to many immigrants. "The state senator," he said, "also showed anyone can succeed in the United States, a nation that is still struggling with politics and social problems of race and class. I think it was his vision that attracted me. His vision was all-inclusive," said Ikenye, who voted for Obama.

    Ms. Kalekye Musau, a Kenyan immigrant and board member of the United Kenyans of Chicago, a community group, said she cast her vote for Obama because she hopes he will help solve problems afflicting African immigrants in the U.S. That includes introducing legislation that makes it easier for Africans to gain legal immigration in this country and attain citizenship. "I also hope Obama will help Africa as a whole," Kalekye said. " I hope he will fight in Congress for more aid for Africa."

    With the win, Obama, 43, also becomes the only Black American in the U.S. Senate, the upper chamber of the U.S. Congress, the nation’s legislative arm of government. He is the third Black senator since the Reconstruction era about 150 years ago, following the American Civil War, fought between southern and northern states over the issue of slavery and sovereignty.

    Fewer Black Americans are able to win senatorial seats because candidates have to appeal to a large number of voters from all over the states, which are dominated by whites, like Obama did. There are numerous Black U.S. representatives because there are more seats in the House, which candidates can win by focusing on Congressional districts with large minority populations, especially in urban areas.

    It is not clear what Obama’s foreign policy agenda as a senator will be, particularly whether he will push for more American involvement in Africa, especially Kenya, his father’s home. In many campaign speeches he castigated the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq, calling them "missteps," and called for a restoration of good relations between the U.S. and its old allies.

    http://www.eastandard.net/print/news.php?articleid=4939
     
  5. IssaEl21

    IssaEl21 Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Laughing Don't Count The Chicken Before They .....

    Obama’s <<< Was Hand Pick By His Slave Master Better Wait And See What He Really Stand .
     
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