Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Obviously Presidents Talk in Colors Now

Ahh, Ralph Nader. 

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate,'' Nader had told the Rocky Mountain News, in comments published Tuesday. "He's half African-American.

"Whether that will make any difference, I don't know,'' Nader said. "I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards.''

Let's take a moment to analyze this statement a little bit. Nader says that the only thing that distinguishes Barack Obama is the fact that he is half black...but then speculates whether it actually makes a difference. The "whether that will make any difference, I don't know" sounds like an actual oh shit clause in which Nader realizes that he is crossing a line that will definitely lose him some points. 

But then it becomes obvious that he is unrelenting in pursuing the race topic when he asks "is it because he wants to talk white?"

Hold on a second. 

Let me point out first and foremost that white is a color, not a way of speaking. Just like you don't talk blue, yellow, or green, you don't talk white. Don't get me wrong, though. I understand that Nader is saying that Obama is trying to talk like a Caucasian. 

So let me point something else out. Not every white person speaks like an aristocrat (hillbillies?), and every black person doesn't sound like something off a rap music video. There are plenty of well-spoken African Americans out there. White people have no more right to claim "proper English" than black people have to claim slang. 

Obama said it right when he said that this is just an attempt to get attention. Honestly, I knew that Ralph Nader existed but I didn't even know he was running for president. 

I am African American and I don't appreciate the idea that I have to be unaware of basic grammar rules and spelling simply because of the color of my skin. We have been working so hard to surpass racial boundaries and limitations, and it was a poor idea on Nader's part to bring those limitations back into play. 

Next time you're trying to win the presidency, Ralph Nader, I suggest you avoid insulting an entire race of people. It just doesn't look good on the resume.

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