Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Mighty Have Fallen

Bill and Hillary Clinton's recent behavior has been deplorable.

I don't mean the way they've ripped apart the Democratic Party to fuel their own ambitions. I'm also not referring to the way they've exposed all the fault lines among "liberals" to get Hillary the Democratic nomination.

No, I am referring to the Clintons abdication of their positions as honorary black people.

Don't roll your eyes, you know I'm right.

Before 2008, Bill and Hillary had what those of us in hood call a "ghetto pass." A solid platinum, real deal American Express "Black" card. While the duo's skin may have been white, far too many black people considered them the first black couple to occupy the White House.

Every two-bit comedian, and even some very good ones (I'm looking at you Cedric the Entertainer), joked that Bill's affinity for marijuana, his sax skills and his philandering were proof positive that he was a brother. And the way Hillary stood by his trifling ass--all while cutting her eyes at him every chance she got--it was clear that she understood many a sister's plight. In the eyes of Negroes and certain black people, Bill and Hillary completed a transition that very few white people have ever accomplished.

Now, let's be clear, that's not because of a lack of trying on the part of white people.

Since the beginning of time, white folks have tried to make the transition into the realm of blackdom. Even in Darkest Africa there was a white tribe member swagger-jacking the loincloth game of his black companions so he could stunt for the ladies around the campfire.

The overwhelming majority of white folks have failed miserably in their attempts to transition. Or, even worse, after a seemingly successful transition, some uncouth white folks then committed one of several unpardonable sins that mandated their excommunication.

Remember Ted Danson and his mistaken belief that bumping uglies with Whoopi Goldberg entitled him to wear blackface? To be fair, Danson's portrayal of Sam Malone on "Cheers" had some solid aspects of negritude that may have confused him (a one-time athlete who remains a womanizer extraordinaire could definitely have been a role for a black man). We also must assign some blame for his faux pas on Whoopi since she is not known for being the most enlightened Negro.

Then again, if Danson truly had done the necessary research required to transition he would have known that not even permission by Malcolm X clears the use of blackface in public.

More recently, Justin Timberlake made some impressive strides in his quest to become the first white person since Elvis to convincingly co-opt the musical genius of black performers. Timberlake's mimicry of Michael Jackson (now of questionable blackness himself), and his penchant for working with black producers actually won him quite a following among Negro listeners.

Unfortunately, when the harebrained scheme he and Janet Jackson cooked up to bare her 40-year old breast at the Super Bowl devolved into a media shitstorm, Timberlake violated every tenet of the honorary black creed in his rush to deflect blame.

Unsurprisingly, Timberlake quickly realized that being black isn't so cool if the federal government is contemplating fines and jail sentences. Justin has since renounced any honorary black status he might have attained and now identifies officially as "a raper of black culture for profit."

Which brings me back to Bill and Hillary.

Clearly, the Hillbillies never went as far as some in their attempts to embrace the Negro lifestyle. Bill's cuts to welfare, his support for increasing the size of the prison industrial complex and his shameful actions regarding Rwanda made it clear that he was only willing to do so much to crossover. However, thanks to some inopportune words that Toni Morrison still regrets, Bill and Hillary were allowed to transition despite their shoddy record.

But, the couple's recent actions in the Democratic primary have really made it impossible for them to maintain their illustrious status. The race-baiting, the appeals to white folks' fear of Affirmative Action and, most disturbingly, their attempts to play down the impact of the patron saint of all black people, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., have been inexcusable. In fact, their recent ridiculous behavior has only highlighted the affirmative action that allowed them honorary black status in the first place.

Just like OJ and Michael Jackson did to white people, Bill and Hillary Clinton have betrayed a community that embraced them with open arms and was willing to look past the unfortunate birth defect of their skin color. We in the black community welcomed the Clintons with a plate of soul food and a glass of red Kool-Aid. They decided to drip Jherri Curl juice on our suede sofa and ask to borrow the VCR.

I know my call to arms is one many brothers and sisters have already heard and heeded in their daily lives. However, I felt it necessary to add my voice to the growing number of black people and Negroes who have reached a consensus on the Clintons and their fate.

Excommunication is our only recourse.

10 comments:

BigMik said...

Amen.......

WNG said...

They were out a WHILE ago...
And not missed either!

Lolo said...

My not-black take on Toni's opinion of Bill was that he was comfortable among black people, that's all. I never saw him as a champion for minority causes, other than putting the false front of caring about the working poor and we all know how far that went. When "black like us" eventually spiraled into Andrew Young's statement I recoiled in disgust for both Hillary and their daughter. What kind of thing is that to laugh about and accept in regards to your husband, your father? So many layers of wrong to that statement that it made a little bit dizzy.

Now, to what is actually crucial, IMO, about the Clintons versus Obama. Honour, transparency, intelligence and accountability. Hope and change? Well, yes but those are always somewhere in the mix when we get weary of the same old, same old and the Clintons dealt that stuff out too, back when it suited them. Now they've used up their store of that and it's distilled down to what IS truly different between the candidates, all of them.

I tend to scan a few moderate blogs every few days for my info dump and over on this one, http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2008/03/politics-quick.html , Hilzoy tends to keep things pretty rhetoric free. That post really does hone in on what I believe should be the driving questions in the weeks to come.

While the themes of race, gender and dirty dirty sex is what sells papers and airtime, there are still some reporters who dig into what should be shaping our opinions when it comes to voting for our president. Here's fingers crossed that it gets more attention.

I want Obama to win, both the nomination and the election and so far, I don't see anything that really changes what he's been saying since the get go.

Big Man said...

Lolo

I think you did a very good job outlining the charateristics that Obama possesses, and that the Clintons obviously lack.

Those traits you listed are what drew me to his campaign and I still hope he can win this election.

Deacon Blue said...

I always had this nagging concern that the "Bill Clinton as first black president" thing would continue to resonate long enough that an actual black man wouldn't be able to get into the White House until next century.

Anyway, I'd be happy to vote for excommunication of the Clintons, although I don't actually get a vote, since my backstage pass to the black experience (I don't know if I actually qualify for the Black Card or "ghetto pass") is primarily granted through marriage to a black woman and having two biracial kids and having been a deacon in a black church.

This, of course, might be the reason why the recently added link to my blog in your blogroll instead links to the Bill and Hillary excommunication post. Maybe God is trying to save you from linking to a white guy's blog.

;-)

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

they been acting like this since in the gov mansion back in AR-klansas

Lesley Q said...

B-man, Obama is toast. I came to terms with this over the weekend. There is no way he'll overcome this Wright thing. As a matter of fact, I knew Wright would be a problem when Obama first put his name in the presidential hat. They were holding on to the footage, thus waiting for the most opportune time to drop the bomb. In other words, all sides, reps and dems, were gonna toss racial innuendoes in hopes that Obama would take the bait and then hit him with his pastor. And they have done just that. This stuff has been in heavy rotation ALL weekend. And IDK if you read white progressive blogs, but I've been reading some pretty angry stuff from former Obama supporters. This is deep.

I've been following Wright for a long time. My church has been using his Vacation Bible School material for YEARS!! And make no qualms about it, this guy has studied for years and is indeed a scholar. We had plenty of his sermons on cds, including his 911 sermon, all lost to Katrina. And yes they were fiery. Folks have been monitoring him for years before anyone had even heard of Obama.

P.S., have you heard that Faux News has started a new show called "Obama Watch"? Unbelievable!! But then again...

Big Man said...

Lesley, don't give up hope.

Look, my pops has been telling me for weeks that if Obama was going to overcome all the obstacles in his path to the presidency he was going to need the intervention of God.

Well, let's see how that shakes out. My human eyes can't forecast a path for Obama, but as a Christian I do not believe anything is beyond God's reach.

Let's wait and see how this shakes out. Plus, I like that all this racial stuff got aired. No matter what happens with Obama, this country has gotten a chance to take a real hard look at itself.

T.A.N. Man said...

Entertaining post ...

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

If we only learned to excommunicate OJ, Michael Jackson and Tiger Woods just like you're proposing to do with the Clintons, it's all good.

BTW, I never allowed the Clintons in my neck of the ghetto pass. One must always assume that while you may want to hip-hop and dance with Negroes, the true test is in whether or not you're willing to get busted and go to jail with Negroes. Very few whites can be so down with us, they're willing to get locked up with us.

As far as I know, those whites were the ones getting shot and killed down in Mississippi trying to get Negroes registered to vote. And they were killed by other white people, too.

Those were the last of white people willing to die with us for a common cause. Bill and Hillary were never in that mix - probably was a far from Mississippi as we are from Europe.

The Field Negroes are the ones I mentioned. The only thing the Clintons get is House Negroes of the Year awards.

Raving Black Lunatic