Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Obama White House.. .too white"

Check it out, Times columnist Maureen Dowd notes, along with some leading black Democrats, that "The Obama White House is too white."

Dowd explains that "The president appears completely comfortable in his own skin, but it seems he feels that he and Michelle are such a huge change for the nation to absorb that he can be overly cautious about pushing for other societal changes for blacks and gays. At some level, he acts like the election was enough; he shouldn’t have to deal with race further."

She quotes South Carolina congressman James Clyburn who said that
The president’s getting hurt real bad. He needs some black people around him. Some people over there [at the White House] are not sensitive at all about race. They really feel that the extent to which he allows himself to talk about race would tend to pigeonhole him or cost him support, when a lot of people saw his election as a way to get the issue behind us. I don’t think people elected him to disengage on race. Just the opposite.
Dowd also quotes Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.’s House delegate, as saying “The president needs some advisers or friends who have a greater sense of the pulse of the African-American community, or who at least have been around the mulberry bush.”

Dowd and those she quotes are right about the troubling outcomes of Obama and his aides being overly cautious about race. No doubt, it's a problem that Obama's crew goes to such lengths to avoid addressing challenges associated with race.

Then too, it's unfortunate that Dowd does not acknowledge this larger force of white supremacy that seems at the root of Obama and Co's cautiousness.

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