Tag Archive | Black on Black Thought

John McCain talks Black? – Black on Black Thought

The Real McCain, by Cliff SchecterThis is part of the bi-weekly Black on Black Thought feature.

I’m excited to do The SuperSpade’s first author interview today. Cliff Schecter, a friend and former Brave New Films colleague, is the author of The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him, Why Independents Shouldn’t, which was released this past May. The book is an insightful look into the political psyche of the Republican Presidential candidate.

I asked Cliff to talk with me about John McCain’s record on issues of relevance to Black voters. With all of the talk in the news over the past couple of days about race in this election, his answers are interesting to say the least.

The Interview

The SuperSpade: In your view, what’s been the most instructive example of John McCain’s ideology to civil rights?

Cliff Schecter: First Garlin, thanks so much for providing these questions. And now onto business.

When it comes to Civil Rights, it’s an easy one. While he has hired a white supremacist to work on his campaign, employed the man who created the racist ads against Harold Ford Jr. in 2006 and voted against MLK day, the one that sticks out is the Confederate Flag. And here is why: McCain has even admitted himself that he threw African Americans under the bus for political reasons in South Carolina in 2000. McCain blatantly changed his position on the Confederate Flag when he thought it would help get him votes–to appear more racist.

In January 2000, McCain said that “The Confederate flag is offensive in many, many ways, as we all know. It’s a symbol of racism and slavery.” Yet, three days later, after talking to consultants and deciding that winning was more important than civil rights, he changed his tune to “personally, I see the flag as a symbol of heritage.” When the campaign was over, he admitted that if he had “answered honestly” he feared that he “could not win the South Carolina primary.” So winning is what mattered. Not as important an issue in this country as the ongoing inequality and racism that African Americans are forced to endure.

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Revisiting the ‘I’ in Individuality – Black on Black Thought

This is part of the bi-weekly Black on Black Thought feature.

Today we look again at the concept of individuality. James wrote a piece today called Am I destroying the black community? that is a response to something I wrote last November called How the myth of individualism is destroying the Black community. In it, he refutes many of my points, but I think at the core he misses some fundamental truths that are necessary for individual success and collective advancement.

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McCain feels disrespected by NYT – Black on Black Thought

This is part of the bi-weekly Black on Black Thought feature

What’s up fam, this week James Dickson ripped into The New York Times (NYT) for their not publishing an article on the conflict in Iraq penned by Senator John McCain. For context, McCain’s piece was a defense of his supporting the conflict in Iraq and it was a response to an article written by Senator Barack Obama that was published the week before.

James said,

Rather than the nation ignoring McCain’s piece, as it almost certainly would have, the NYT has made it the first must-read political tract of 2008. Rather than bypass the piece when it would’ve run in the NYT, I instead read the piece — which, admittedly, was the typical “BUT THE DEMOCRATS ARE WORSE!!!1” Republican attack line — on CNN.com, a site that, if it has lower circulation than NYT, isn’t by much.

I actually disagree that McCain’s piece is now a must-read political tract. This type of analogy is is akin to people buying NWA’s music solely because it was banned. And not for nothing, Obama is a really good writer and it is painfully obvious that he wrote his article while it appears that McCain’s article was written by the Communications staff and quite frankly, it read like it went through the campaign filter about ten times before they sent it to the NYT.

James himself admitted that McCain’s piece was lackluster which begs the question, why does the NYT editors have to publish bad journalism? Regardless, James went on to point out that decisions like the one made by NYT serve to highlight the growing prominence of the blogosphere and the decline of mainstream media. I think this claim is a bit overblown because the vast majority of political blogs react to articles in the mainstream media via commentary/analysis. (like we are doing right now)

The larger issue is that McCain is losing in the marketplace of ideas and by that I mean that his ability to paint an inspiring vision of a better America is similar to the article he submitted to the NYT; lackluster. And while the notion of fair and balanced news analysis is seductive, it is fleeting, which is why you can get more in-depth analysis by reading Black on Black Thought.

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

Stop Speculation Now – Black on Black Thought

Here\'s what I think at the pump

This is part of the bi-weekly Black on Black Thought feature.

Guess what? Gas is expensive. Expensive gas impacts almost everything in Americans’ day-to-day lives by making almost everything we do or consume more costly. One of the large contributors to the high cost of fuel is speculation, which in simple terms means to buy something you have no purpose for other than to make money off of its unstable price.

Well, the argument against excessive speculation, especially on commodities like oil, has brought together groups of citizens, organizations, and companies that often times are at odds with one another. The Stop Oil Speculation Now effort has caused many to join in a call for smarter, more responsible government regulation and an end to one of the major drivers if high gas prices.

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Who's image is it? – Black on Black Thought

This is part of the bi-weekly Black on Black Thought feature.

James wrote an interesting response to the New Yorker cover called “The New Yorker and Archie Bunker”. The gist of his analysis is the following:

Wlady Plesczynski, longtime editorial director of The American Spectator, blogged that the cover was “too clever by half, taking some generally known unserious tropes and having a field day with them, as if at some level the magazine actually thought such a caricature had some basis in fact.” That is exactly right. If the cover were an attempt to pre-empt and ridicule conservative attacks on Obama, two things went terribly wrong in that thinking:

  1. This will only embolden — it certainly won’t scare — conservatives. Now that a liberal publication has fired the first salvo, one far worse than any that Republicans have conjured up to date, it’s far more likely that we’ve entered Open Season than any chance of conservatives shying away from playing the race angle.
  2. Most Americans are, in the words of a former colleague, “only negligibly literate.” While the inside-the-Beltway types will see the cartoon for what it is — a poorly done jab at the right-wing — I doubt that the people in “Flag City, USA,” many of whom actually do believe that Obama is, or was, a Muslim, will see the nuance. More likely they’ll just take it as proof that see, I knew that Obama he was some kind of Muslim; my friends were right all along — even The New Yorker said so.

I agree with James that this is satire done with the skill of dog writing poetry. However, we differ on the underlying reason why this article cartoon cover failed so miserably.

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Race Talk in America

Black hand and white hand prayingThis is part of the bi-weekly Black on Black Thought feature.

What’s up fam,

I am happy to kick off Black on Black Thought. This week, James wrote about CNN’s Black in America special (that will highlight life in Black America in all its complexity) and considers whether or not this series will over saturate America with “race talk” and its possible impact on the 2008 election. James basic conclusion is that we are reaching a saturation point in our “race-talk.” I think we are far from the point of saturation.

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Introducing: Black on Black Thought

The tag line for The SuperSpade is Black Thought at the Highest Level. So it is in the spirit of elevating Black political discourse that we launch a unique new series called Black on Black Thought, a collaboration between us and James Dickson, a Black libertarian conservative blogger who is the author of The Young and the Conservative at The Washington Times.

With Black on Black Thought, twice weekly we’ll explore various topics with James presenting a conservative perspective at his site and us presenting a progressive perspective here. To date Black conservative and Black progressive have never been juxtaposed in this way. Showcasing the diversity existent in Black political thought is not only a timely experiment in ideological exploration, but it is a necessary conversation that lays the foundation for Black political pride and Black political power.

We look forward to your participation in this journey with us.

One Love. One II.