h&f 0027 Sycophants. Sick of Ants… Sick Of Fans (of Obama)

I am not an Obama fan.  I am an Obama voter.  There’s room for everybody, but I’m thinking that fans are getting a little out of hand.

I know the distinction between supporter (voter) and fan cannot possibly go unchallenged in this media frenzy.  Ready for that; so, do bring heat when you challenge as I don’t exempt myself from the temptation.  That said…  I’m still not a fan.   Very sincerely, I’d like to see a new statue of Frederick Douglass – raised not in a black neighborhood, but rather on Main Street USA. He was one who helped lay the moral foundation for the country and for Obama’s rise, a foundation that needs badly to be restored.  No, no homage to Mr. Obama.  How crazy is it to heap laurels in the middle of the battlefield?  Tell the boxer to take a bow in Round 1? This is not a disrespect.  In fact, I believe this is Mr. Obama’s sentiment.

[One clarification, first: Don’t confuse the fan frenzy I speak about with the media coverage one would expect of a country in which race remains a basic organizing principle.  Obama is news,  everyday news in the 24hr cycle that defines us.  I have problems with that “news” as I think the cycle doesn’t contain any except accidentally, but this is about fans, not news.]

Frothing fans will likely be a serious problem for Obama, not only now, but also in the future if he wins the presidency.

If we were to take up a bit more seriously the metaphor that many have easily appropriated to ridicule Obama, we would be quickly reminded that there was another man who arrived to high praise and cheers, already aware that “within days, these cheers of “Hosanna!” – Save Us! [would become] shouts for crucifixion. “

Let’s stay far away from Obama as saviour, but with one final note on a historical similarity I’ll bet on:  He knows that the same folks cheering him now are likely to be tossing environmentally friendly epithets only a few months later.   That’s one reason I will vote for him.  It seems that he knows how maintain his keel in the face of damnation and praise – two classic impostors.

Pushing his stack to bet on continued support of fans will leave the talk radio right as the sole and happy grilltenders at the Obama barbecue when fairweather folks drop off.  However, he may well be able to weather the first big downturn in the fan base if he continues to win the support of …plain ol’ supporters.

Obama’s is an awful situation in which to begin a presidency – an economy that is broken but with ability to recover and still not help people, war tremors all around, education and health still looming as the classic unfixable behemoths.

…an awful situation, I mean, if you are a fan.  A good situation if you want a President and a competitor.  Nobody wishes for the bad times, but competitors and skilled mangers are built for them. It’s time for a trustworthy statesman and bold decision-maker.

That conversation is being lost in speculation on race, of course.  To tout Obama as post-racial reveals our pre-pubescent steps toward true post-racialism.  We are the kid on the bike riding with no hands for the first time, calling attention “Look, Ma! No hands!”  Now, if we’re still calling attention to our “hands,” e.g “I don’t see black when I see Obama,” then, in reality, we’re not quite “post-hands.”  Think about it: Implicit things, by definition, aren’t spoken of.

Instead of the culmination of what King and others worked and died for (as posited in this NY Times Article), Obama should be seen as a beginning for racial egalitarianism in our country – that egalitarianism not to be confused with utopia. He is a baby step – yes, as exciting and promising as the baby’s first.  Just because I’m not a fan, doesn’t mean that I don’t marvel at the historical context.

For us to talk of post-racial, however, would require us to identify the markers, and the Moment when we killed race.  Obama is the result of strategy, struggle, and process. Yet he remains anecdotal in the context of defeating the race game.  However powerful an anecdote he is, he’s not the game-ender.    A person doesn’t defeat systems.  Systems do.

The good news, we’re on the right road.


~ by ericjhenderson on August 10, 2008.

One Response to “h&f 0027 Sycophants. Sick of Ants… Sick Of Fans (of Obama)”

  1. Loved the perspective!

    “Fan” is actually the *shortform* of Fanatic, not a *diminutive* of it. Fans do not often realize that.

    Also, it is interesting to note one of the different meanings of the word Revolution :

    —The motion of an object around a point, especially around another object or a center of mass.

    Whatever is happening around the OBJECT of Barack Obama, in the press and elsewhere, looks to me like revolution, but in the sense of an obsessive motion.

    Although the man himself MAY probably be pre-revolutionary symptom. (Revolution here meaning a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of thinking and behaving.)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: