Well, Obama’s giving the big speech in fifteen minutes and I find myself feeling the weird, November 2004 kind of horror about our society and culture.
Right before all the “controversial” video footage of Rev. Wright – I have yet to hear any statements that I disagree with, btw – it occurred to me why it was that Obama has to avoid “fighting back” too hard against the Clinton smears. All the branding about “a different kind of politics” is important, sure. But more importantly, Obama has to avoid appearing like an angry black man, which is still far too frightening a posture for the mainstream culture.
So here we go. Now we watch Obama make his speech on the matter – hell, he needed an excuse to make a speech on tv, anyway – and see if he can somehow figure out a way to square his family pastor (an angry black man, indubitably) with his Laclau-ish, “We, the People” message. It’s easy to imagine him taking the morally honest and tactically dangerous risk of talking about race in America in a meaningful way. But god knows what that means for his candidacy.