Saturday, September 15, 2007

John Edwards Calls Obama "Kumbaya" Candidate, While Edwards Camp Practices Blog Apartheid

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One of the reasons that many Black bloggers refuse to participate in the whitosphere is "bloglist apartheid." Many pseudo-progressive whitosphere bloggers simply refuse to link to any Black blogs in their bloglists. Although not universal in the whitosphere, some white bloggers' bloglists evince a clear policy of pretending that Black-operated blogs ("Black self-determination blogs") don't exist at all.

Tracy Joan says she "works" on behalf of John Edwards at DailyKos. Look at her bloglist. Because I'm no expert on whitosphere blogs, I cannot say with utter certainty that none of the blogs on her bloglist is Black owned and operated. I likewise cannot assert with utter certainly that none of the blogs on her bloglist is owned and operated by Latinos.

However, I am a member of the AfroSpear, the largest national group of Black bloggers, born in March and now with over sixty Black blog members from across the United States and in five countries and three continents. I can say with utter certainly that none of the blogs on Tracy Joan's bloglist are member of the AfroSpear.

I have also reviewed the bloglists of all sixteen of the blogs on Tracy Joan´s bloglist. Among all of the blogs on the bloglists of those sixteen blogs - literally hundreds of blogs - I can only find one blog that I know with certainty is a owned and operated by a Black person. This tendency toward bloglist apartheid obviously puts John Edwards at a distinct disadvantage as he tries to reach out to Black voters.

The 96% white CIA-sponsored(?) MAMZosphere, that practices blog apartheid and bloglist apartheid, is supporting John Edwards for the presidency. That's a blog-apartheid sponsored endorsement that will be heard loudly and clearly in the Afrosphere and in Black Democratic neighborhoods throughout America.

This tendency to ignore and reject Blacks (even while claiming that poor people are the focus of his campaign) explains why John Edwards has been unable to gain significant support among Black people. Recognizing this, Edwards seems to have a new strategy: emphasizing that he is the only white man among the top three candidates. The following is excerpted from a diary posted at the John Edwards website:

Somehow certain folks think that John Edwards was using a racial slur when referring to Barack Obama as a "kumbaya" candidate.

I read these comments in yesterday's Huffington Post, under an article with the title "Edwards Smacks Obama As "Kumbaya" Candidate" (link is here: Huffington Post ). This is actually an excerpting of a larger article in the New Yorker (link here: New Yorker).

Just for the record, here is the exact quote from the article:

"...Edwards dismisses Obama's argument that more consensus is needed in Washington. The difference between them, Edwards told me, is the difference between "Kumbaya" and "saying, `This is a battle. It's a fight.'..." (Emphasis added.)

Well, it seems that Edwards didn't use the phrase "Kumbaya candidate," but he may well have used Kumbaya as an codeword, an epithet to subtly remind white voters that Obama is Black.

A brief study of the history of the word "kumbaya" shows that the word is inherently linked to the Black struggle for freedom and equality in the United States:

O "spiritual" foi a primeira manifestação musical norte-americana, pois clássicos europeus, baladas inglesas, hinos e cantos irlandeses dominavam a música dos Estados Unidos até os escravos criarem seus cânticos de sofrimento e esperança.

Translated: The spiritual was the first North American music [in the Colonial period], because European classics, English ballads, Irish cantos and hymns dominated United States music until the [Black] slaves created their own songs of suffering and hope. Electronic Brazil

Wikipedia says:

Originally titled "Come By Here", it first appeared in "Revival Choruses of Marvin V. Frey", a lyric sheet printed in Portland in 1939. In 1946, the song returned from Africa with a missionary family, who toured America singing the song with its now world famous Angolan text "Kum Ba Yah". ( . . . ) The song enjoyed newfound popularity during the folk revival of the 1960s, largely due to Joan Baez's 1962 recording of the song, and became associated with the Civil Rights Movement of that decade.Wikipedia: Kumbaya

Needless to say, disparaging Africans, slaves and the Civil Rights Movement might endear John Edwards to Republicans, but it won't help him to win Black or real progressive votes in the Democratic primaries.

Now, John Edwards is not so obtuse that he didn't understand that "kumbaya" (a word that, like macacca, is not of English origin) would be interpreted as a disparagement of somebody else's origins. If he wasn't trying to disparage Black people, then what did he mean? Was he trying to disparage Joan Baez and the anti-war protesters of the 1960's? In this case, he disparaged both at once!

This controversy comes on the heels of a string of efforts by Edwards and his wife to assert that (a) 'only Edwards can "run everwhere" because he is a white man, and (b) Edwards would get more media attention and campaign contributions if only he were a woman or a Black person."


Elizabeth Edwards: "We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars."

Edwards Implies in Iowa that Only a White Man Can Win the Presidency


Anonymous said...

John Edwards's comments that a black man cannot be elected President are racist and disempowering. He has written off black America. Black America should return Edwards the favor of writing Edwards off.

Francis Holland said...

I agree with you. I think the polls show that Blacks are already writing off Edwards, including those who once considered voting for him.