h&f 0047 They Want A Mad Obama (i.e. a puppet, not a President)

What hotheadedness is worth...

What hotheadedness is worth...

For the record, we must believe that O gets mad, really mad, and actually slaps some folks.  But just because he doesn’t do it like you want him to, a la marionette, doesn’t mean we should discount what a purposeful wrath  he has (vs. stupid hotheadedness – um, see photo.  don’t worry: just a fratboy rite of passage) and what that wrath can do.

I just posted a letter in response to long overdue and thoughtful opinion piece by a major media outlet on why Obama doesn’t just bust out in a Dolomite ragefit to fight the barbs his opponents are lobbing at him.  Lately, Obama’s had to put his “supporters” in check.  They confuse meekness with weakness and levelheadedness in battle with inaction.   I’m reminded of a kid I played football with in high school.  Man he would grunt and growl like a stuck tiger in pregame …and then get his own growling head handed to him on the field every time.

Think:  Would you really trust a President who caved in to your demand for him to get mad on cue?

Anyway, here’s the article by James Hanaham: Obama and the Rules for Angry Black Men

Here’s what I think about that…

What a joy to see Obama standing his ground with the integrity of a statesman.  When the world is calling him sissy, he is not taking it idly as his “supporters” think.

Talking for him is a stretch, but I rely on my experience as a black man having had many well-meaning people tell me when I should get mad at general and personal injustices.

If I were a fighter taking their strategy advice, I’d find myself a punched-out, foaming-at-the-mouth shadow boxer.

What an arrogance they don’t see in all their advice, especially in the fertile race context in which we live.  Would he have survived thus far as a wimp?  Mathematically possible, but not likely at all.

Some of the actions of Obama’s supporters signal that unwitting arrogance and the gap in cultural understanding that should have them just let Obama and his already historically effective strategy run its course.

How quickly they go armchair on him even after witnessing a masterful game played thus far with lucky turns yes, as in any game, but his strategy placing him in position to create a lot of that luck.

The wsj noted that “Among his white supporters, race is coincidental, not central, to his political identity.”  That’s a joy and a problem.  It’s a necessary naivete on behalf of his backers (easier to build mass support), but the risk of the support of people who don’t fully realize the racial context in which we operate is that they quickly turn on their own and even get indignant when doing so.

What kind of leader would he be now to get mad only on cue?

Get mad! Foam and shout!  That’ll teach ’em.  A guaranteed flawed approach given the demeanor of the man and the situation we’re all in.

There’s one beautifully unlikely source to support Obama’s approach: Mike Tyson.

Once asked why he didn’t bark at opponents to try to intimidate them, Mike simply replied, ever so softly, matter-of-factly, and sincerely, “Well, I intimidate my opponents by hittin’ em.”


~ by ericjhenderson on September 19, 2008.

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