Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bob and Weave Obama, Bob and Weave

Everybody knows that black people can't resist a good conspiracy.

Whether it's reports about a secret Jewish cabal that rules the world, or a special chemical that shrinks your dick in Mountain Dew, black people are widely believed to be the biggest conspiracy theorists in America. Now, that doesn't mean that white folks don't have some crazy ideas of their own, but as with most things black folks are the ones who've gotten the bad reputation.

This stereotype about black people typically pops up whenever we make some claim about the American government or its white citizens that seems too crazy to be true. You know, like claiming that the CIA turned a blind eye to narcotics trafficking into black communities because it benefited the right rebels, or that the FBI secretly tapped the phones, homes and hotel rooms of black leaders to create plans to actively fight their efforts to gain racial justice, or that the government issued placebos to black folks with syphilis just to see how the disease affected the mind. Now black folks aren't always right when it comes to their conspiracy theories (the legend of Yacub comes to mind), but typically we have a much better grasp on the heinous capabilities of this country than any other ethnic group.

Now, I've taken you all down this road because I recently read an article that when combined with some previous information floating around the blogosphere caused my potential conspiracy bells to start ringing. I want to be clear that I am not making any accusations or even presenting any fact; I'm just wondering aloud.

Will the Secret Service keep Barack Obama safe?

Here's why I ask that potentially loaded question. A few weeks back on the very first Super Tuesday, Barack Obama was drawing massive crowds in Texas and all was right with the world. Then, a story started floating around the black blogosphere that at an Obama event in Dallas, the security provided by the Secret Service wasn't quite secure. In that story, Dallas police said they were told by the Secret Service to stop searching folks coming into an arena to hear Obama speak because the group "looked pretty safe."

The Secret Service denied these allegations and nothing really came of the incident. A few weeks later there was an incident in Philly where some crazy autograph seeker bum-rushed an Obama event and actually got all up in his face when Obama initially refused to sign something for him. Finally, earlier this week I stumbled across another story about the Secret Service that cast the Dallas and Philly incidents in a whole new light.

I must admit I was only vaguely aware that the Secret Service was facing a bias lawsuit for passing over black employees for promotions. I think I heard a little about a noose incident with the Secret Service during all the "noose-gates" that swept across country in the wake of the Jena issue, but it didn't really register with me.

However, when I read that article I realized that like every law enforcement agency the Secret Service apparently has a problem with racial issues within its ranks. If you check out the jokes made by supervisors it's clear that there is a certain mindset about minorities common within the agency.

And that's why I wonder about Obama's safety.

Look, I know even discussing the possible safety risks of an Obama presidency is off-limits and can provide cover to those idiots searching for any reason not to vote for him. Yet, like most black people, I've let a nervous chuckle slip from between my lips whenever I've heard a joke about all the evasive maneuvers Obama will have to take if he wins this election. It's a joke that almost every black person understands because most of us have grown up certain about one thing.

There are some crazy motherfuckers out there.

So, I'm troubled that not only does the Secret Service appear to not like black people in general, but that they also seem to be fairly lax when it comes to protecting the black dude with a great shot of becoming their next boss. See, I understand that it doesn't take one massive mistake for something bad to happen, typically it's a bunch of little mistakes that add up to disaster.

And if the Secret Service views black people as whiny idiots who love to play the victim, then why would they push themselves to the fullest to protect that Head Whiny Negro in Charge (HWNC)? They probably won't lay down their weapons and just let and assassin snuff out Obama, but they might not check every single closet as closely as they would for a guy they like.

I think we as a public need to be aware of this possibility and be vigilant in pointing out even the slightest sign that Obama isn't getting adequate protection, and we need to be vociferous in our complaints. While we should avoid harping on the idea that Obama's campaign is a death march, we need to be honest about the dangers that he faces in attempting to upset what some people view as the natural order of things.

Even paranoid people have enemies.


Anonymous said...

But, but...the Secret Service protected Bill Clinton faithfully for two terms, and he was the first black presi---...oh, wait. Never mind.

Anonymous said...


I know, I know how it adds up and I know exactly what we're all afraid of but the tiny little bit of superstition in my bones just recoils at even the mention.

I've thought on it though, and prayed on it and then thought on it some more.

Unless the man is the most incredible bullshit con artist EVER, you've got to know that he is the real deal. I got be in the room when he was here and sat for an interview for GMA - I jumped up and down like a complete dork and waved as though I was ten years old. Obama? He broke out smiling and waved right back, like maybe he was twelve. The Secret Service slab was NOT going to let me past the "zone" and I'm a whole 120 lbs. of middle aged, middle class female.

A small bunch of our volunteers got to meet him prior to his Town Hall here, and sitting so close to the podium, you can see the seriousness, the sincerity, the absolute ... he's no saint but he is definitely a good man. It comes across in his humanity, his deliberate consideration of his answers to the voters and there wasn't a bit of pandering. He had some things to say that didn't go down like honey, you know?

My long winded point is this. At the end of the day, the Secret Service are professionals AND they are human beings that probably like this man. They spend hours and hours and hours around him and if he's half as real as he comes across, then they're seeing that. Add to that the fact that as professionals, they know very well that the scrutiny of the entire country will bear down if they allow the unmentionable to happen.

But I still pray and I did get into a tiny little disagreement with another volunteer who scoffed at the fears of some of us. We can't be too careful, after all.

Anonymous said...

You make a good point, Lolo. I wonder if part of the problem with "laxity" in some of the protection here and there has more to do with the sitting president and his family getting the cream of the crop...the folks who truly think nothing of taking one for the prez.

Anonymous said...

I also think it's quite pressing to bring as much attention as possible to each one of these secret service lapses as they arise. The problem in Dallas was outrageous, the "photographer" who got too close could have been anybody, and the racist emails suggest a terrible core bias among those who have to act more quickly than anybody else is ever expected to. I hope that I am completely paranoid in my worries about who Obama may pick as his v.p., too.

Unknown said...

Secret Service agents protect the office in the form of the man - if they can't do that then they shoudl be booted out - end of story. I have to say that my first instinct is that Michelle wouldn't sit down for this. Of course we should all be paying attention, but somehow I can't see them patting her on the head and telling her not to worry about it, can you?

Big Man said...

WNG and Lolo

I knew bringing up this topic would be tough because it's something that many of us, including myself, have scoffed at when it's been trotted out by the mainstream media.

But, I was bothered by that Dallas thing awhile back, and I was even more bothered by this new info about the Secret Service and its racism. Now, the two things could mean nothing and President Obama could have a happy and productive eight year reign.

Or, those two things could be the tip of the iceberg. I just wanted to write about it because both things just made a me think a little bit. Whenever racism comes into play I start believing that anything is possible. However, I think that if we're all on the lookout for any funny business and their is a massive outcry if things seem a little lax, then it's less likely that the Secret Service will feel ok about effing up.

Mitraillette said...

The guy who recruited me for the Secret Service was black, and he seemed pretty into his job. Hell, he SOLD me on them, and I wound up pulling my application from all but one government agency because of him. The FBI actually came across as far more of a creepy old white boy network, and I refused to go back in the FBI building after my first interview.

When I read your first paragraph I thought of Dave Chapelle's "Conspiracy Brother" routine: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/325254/undercover_brother_conspiracy_brothers_rant/

Mitraillette said...

Link got cut off.

Anonymous said...

Big man, the question is a fair one, but rather than answer it, let me show my appreciation for this gem right here:

"This stereotype about black people typically pops up whenever we make some claim about the American government or its white citizens that seems too crazy to be true. You know, like claiming that the CIA turned a blind eye to narcotics trafficking into black communities because it benefited the right rebels, or that the FBI secretly tapped the phones, homes and hotel rooms of black leaders to create plans to actively fight their efforts to gain racial justice, or that the government issued placebos to black folks with syphilis just to see how the disease affected the mind."

crys said...

i have been dreading thinking about this - i just try and put it in the back of my mind and then i ask God to protect Obama and his family. but i do find solace in the fact (sheryl underwood said ti best) that those young white women are really loving my man obama, and we all know, aint nobody shooting through a crowd of white women. lol!

Anonymous said...

Well tonight in MI, I did notice the Secret Service agent closest to him was Black!

Gye Greene said...

My impression with cops and racism is that it depends whether you're "inside" or "outside". If it's minorities in the abstract -- or strangers -- then the race stuff kicks in. (And this is true for minority cops: they get co-opted by police culture.)

But if you're a fellow cop -- or the family of a cop -- then the Thin Blue Line trumps race.

So: As someone else posted earlier, if they know Obama as an individual, he'll probably get o.k. protection: He'll be "Obama", rather than "some black male".

At least, that's what I hope to heck...


A.F. said...

GG, I like that point of view a lot and think it's accurate, and I'm the paranoid person who left the anonymous post (but only bc I couldn't seem to get logged in correctly). When people know somebody, like Lolo suggest here, that seems to trump knee-jerk reactions like those that crop up on race-association tests, like the one by Harvard.

Lolo, I was in Obama's presence twice (not as closely as you), but I totally agree about the aura of decency and sincerity surronding him. It's hard to imagine anybody who is in his presence being able to have terribly negative feelings about him. Like you, I don't think that he can fix everything and that the world will become this great place if he's elected, but I truly believe he'll do the best he can, and that's more than I've thought about any political figure in my lifetime other than a few fringe candidates that have had no chance of winning. There have been several other politicians I've admired, but once I heard them speak in person or shook their hands or whatever, I've gotten a very bad feeling about them. That was not so with Obama at all.

Gye Greene said...

Sorry, a bit off-topic:

Spinning off A.F.'s reply to Lolo, about very few "decent person" politicians:

I haven't met him, but I've heard that Jimmy Carter is a really decent guy.

While Reagan espoused all sorts of God & Country rhetoric, he didn't attend church (and Nancy was into astrology and such).

Meanwhile, Carter actually taught Sunday School (I think, even during his Presidency).

And, while other ex-Presidents go around doing expensive speaking engagements, Carter volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building homes for poor folks.

Not bad. :)


A.F. said...

Thanks, GG. You're right, I shouldn't have left out Carter! He's done some really nice things for New Orleans, too.

Gye Greene said...


I wasn't aware Carter was doing good things for New Orleans. But I'm pleased to hear that. :)


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