Nader, Obama, and race

“There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate,” says Ralph Nader. “He’s half African-American.”

But Nader isn’t sure that this will result in any real differences between an Obama presidency and other recent administrations Nader has been critical of:

“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.”

The Obama campaign responded by calling Nader’s remarks “disappointing.”

When asked to clarify whether he feels Obama “talks white,” Nader responded: “Of course! I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should do is candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor [are] going to be defended by the law, [are] going to be protected by the law, and [are] going to be liberated by the law.”

Nader says he hasn’t “heard a thing” about any of these issues from Obama.

“Talking white” is an epithet used by some African Americans to criticize their peers for speaking proper English. This is clearly not what Nader means by the term, but the media, mainstream and otherwise, are portraying his meaning as such.

Furthermore, Nader addresses the issue of why white liberals love Obama so much:

“He wants to show that he is not a threatening … another politically threatening African-American politician. He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he’s coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up.”

13 thoughts on “Nader, Obama, and race

  1. LaineR

    I love when quotes are taken out of context as the headlines of these articles have done. Actually, when asked to clarify, what Nader says actually falls very much in line with the progressive views of internalized racism and oppression. Of course, I doubt the average person is trained in these view points so the backlash will be understandable. Funny though that Nader is himself Arab-American.

  2. Fred Church Ortiz

    I still cherish the memory of Dr. Phillies saying Obama’s putting people on “the back of the bus.”

  3. paulie cannoli

    “Of course! I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a https://www.guidelines.org/blog/buy-diploma-from-a-real-university/93/ most effective way to use viagra thesis topics terrorism jane eyre social class thesis http://www.conn29th.org/university/english-writing-assignments.htm http://snowdropfoundation.org/papers/write-a-restaurant-review-sydney/12/ enter site https://vaccinateindiana.org/viagra-negative-reaction-7670/ helping esl students answer essay questions source essay exam https://rainierfruit.com/viagra-drug-test-results/ source site examples of how to start a college essay about yourself http://wnpv1440.com/teacher/msc-dissertation-gantt-chart/33/ https://groups.csail.mit.edu/cb/paircoil2/?pdf=why-cornell-essay tretinoin 20 20 gm from india online pharmacies paypal accepted buy links online viagra https://chanelmovingforward.com/stories/free-samples-of-college-application-essays/51/ go to site follow url canada toppharmacy should cellphones be allowed in school essay go site writing x bar in word go site thesis acknowledgement financial support master thesis computer engineering pdf paper ltd watch http://www.chesszone.org/lib/order-of-essay-writing-2965.html black American politician aspiring to the presidency should do is candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor [are] going to be defended by the law, [are] going to be protected by the law, and [are] going to be liberated by the law.”

    I think any politician should address these issues, but why is it a particular obligation of a black politician to make it the “number one thing”?

    Is Nader more responsible for addressing mideast policy and ethnic discrimination than other candidates because he is of Arab ancestry?

    ““He wants to show that he is not a threatening … another politically threatening African-American politician.”

    Pot, kettle, black. Nader doesn’t exactly make an issue of his own ancestry. Why should Obama?

  4. Ross Levin

    I think it is an issue in Obama’s mind, because just look at what he did with a huge chunk of his life. He worked in the ghettos to help people improve their lives. It’s just like the Palestinian issue with Obama – once it gets controversial and could adversely affect his election, he switches his supposed stance.

    But is that a bad thing? I always wonder if Obama is someone a lot like Nader in his political views, in his principles, in his views of what is right and wrong and how passionately he believes in them. But I wonder if Obama isn’t just playing politics in order to get into a position where he can really have an affect on the things he believes in. Obama is surely different from most politicians, especially at that level. Just look at the way he sticks it to the media. The man’s intruiging, to say the least. I really think he’ll be the next president, and I wonder how that will turn out.

  5. paulie cannoli

    I always wonder if Obama is someone a lot like Nader in his political views, in his principles, in his views of what is right and wrong and how passionately he believes in them.

    I don’t think Nader is what you think he’s like at all.

    http://realchange.org/nader.htm

    The section on O’BSama is a lot less informative.

    http://realchange.org/obama.htm


    But I wonder if Obama isn’t just playing politics in order to get into a position where he can really have an affect on the things he believes in.

    No. Absolutely not.

    Caveat: I used to think so about various politicians. Until 1992 I was a Democrat. I worked on several Demo campaigns (Gary Hart, Jerry Brown, etc). There was a whole group of including Hart, Hunter Thompson and many others who kept talking about infiltrating the establishment and generation politics.

    Briefly, the idea was that veterans of the 60s counterculture would put on suits, moderate their rhetoric and rise to the top of the political establishment, and then make real changes (such as ending the drug war and defusing the military-industrial complex) once they got there.

    So what happened? Finally, in 1992 the Democrats picked a baby boomer for president – a man who had long hair and a beard in the 60s, smoked pot (yes, he inhaled) and protested the Vietnam war. Problem was, he was utterly compromised, and as we all know did not make or even try to make any such changes.

    And in fact I knew this would happen when the party picked him (I knew the Clintons somewhat back then, and did not trust them even a little bit). So instead I realized that particular strategy would never work, left the Democrats and joined the LP.

    Fact is, in retrospect, it would not have worked even if one of “our” candidates captured the nomination. I think this is the real reason Gary Hart set himself up to be taken out of the ’88 race. He knew that he was too compromised to deliver on what he promised us, and he did not want to have to be put in a position to deliver and fall through.

    And this would apply to any of them. Simply put, you do not get to the top of the system without becoming compromised – it’s just not allowed. Too many people have to much at risk to trust someone with control that they have no control over.

    I’m sure many politicians do in fact get into it with grand ideas of infiltrating the system from within. They end up one of three ways: letting the system infiltrate them and selling out, getting disgusted and getting out, or never rising very high up. If by any chance someone ever breaks those molds, chances are that they will tend to be accident-prone.

    Obama is surely different from most politicians, especially at that level. Just look at the way he sticks it to the media.

    How does he stick it to the media?


    The man’s intruiging, to say the least. I really think he’ll be the next president, and I wonder how that will turn out.

    He may well be the next president, although I think HRC may yet find a surprising way to get the nomination. Yes, I know she has conceded. Use your imagination; I alluded to it above. How will it turn out? Probably not well. But then, Manchurian Candidate McCain will suck diseased whale testicles also.

    And just in case HRC does sneak in through the back door, or Dubai-ya manages to find an excuse to call off the election, rest assured that they are thoroughly compromised as well. In HRC’s case I know this personally (no, I am not at liberty to discuss details, and no, I don’t care if you find this plausible) – the rest I can surmise.

  6. paulie cannoli

    And that real change website is disgusting.

    Why? I disagree with some of their views, but they do a great service in digging up information about the various candidates. You’d rather have it all glossed over?

    They also cite their sources, so anyone can verify their research. And they even cite what they consider the good points about various candidates.

  7. LaineR

    Sorry to inform you Paulie, but Nader does make foreign relations with Israel and the Middle East a focal point of his campaign. He does address issues regarding discrimination against Arab Americans and the continued economic genocide taking place in Palestine.

    Stop the rhetoric Obama and take assault against the internalzied imperalism that has effecte many of us.

  8. paulie cannoli

    Sorry to inform you Paulie, but Nader does make foreign relations with Israel and the Middle East a focal point of his campaign.

    Actually, I was aware of that. What I actually said:


    Is Nader more responsible for addressing mideast policy and ethnic discrimination than other candidates because he is of Arab ancestry?

    Nader doesn’t exactly make an issue of his own ancestry.

    Not that he denies it either, he just does not make much of an issue of it. I mean, he is not exactly campaigning in a keffiyeh, is he?

  9. Fred Church Ortiz

    I mean, he is not exactly campaigning in a keffiyeh, is he?

    That I’d really like to see.

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