Ralph Nader Deals Race Card Against Obama, Reminds Apathetic Media and Public That He’s Still the #1 3rd Party Spoiler (Fuck Bob Barr!)

by matttbastard

Honourary soul brotha Ralph Nader was utterly shocked when Illinois State University president (and alleged POC) Al Bowman declined to sip from the third party pimp cup – photo by Andrew Benning

Re: “talking white” – what Shark-Fu said:

Black is not a monolith and we do not all think, act, talk, eat, pray, fuck, sing, dance, vote or manifest anger the exact same motherfucking way.

You goddamn fucking right.

Also see Liss, Steve M, and Ta-Nehisi Coates for more on Nader’s racist dumbfuckery.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

9 thoughts on “Ralph Nader Deals Race Card Against Obama, Reminds Apathetic Media and Public That He’s Still the #1 3rd Party Spoiler (Fuck Bob Barr!)

  1. thanks, ralph, for refining my previously mixed feelings about you even further. it won’t be long until i’m going to think of you as 99.99% douchebag.

    just goes to show that republicans don’t hold the corner on the market for sheer idiocy.

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  2. “Black is not a monolith and we do not all think, act, talk, eat, pray, fuck, sing, dance, vote or manifest anger the exact same motherfucking way.”

    Ok, I’m reading carefully and I’m not getting it. I can’t see that Nader’s comment suggested that all black people should talk the same, but more accurately, that all white people DO talk the same, and Obama is talkin’ that way.

    I don’t see why it wouldn’t make sense that a black person in America would talk about racial economic inequality. Isn’t he saying that it is less in the interests of “white talkers” to be concerned about this issue? Because, empirically, it is an issue that particularly affects African American communities, as MLK and Jesse Jackson, and many others, have so astutely pointed out.

    Bad word choice, pretty old-fashioned – Nader doesn’t have the money to hire slick spin-doctors to pasteurize every word he says, but racist? I think, only so if you are a white person who believes in reverse racism, which I don’t.

    Please everyone, try not to bite my head off on this one. I’m being honest when I say that I don’t get the racism charge, not just trying to enfuriate people on purpose.

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  3. What ABB wrote after the part I excerpted sums it up for me:

    If a black person is running for office that does not automatically mean that she or he is going to make affirmative action, poverty and pay-day loan scams the foundation of their platform. For the record – black America is also complex and there are a lot of policy issues that impact the lives of a majority of black people, which include but are not limited to poverty, affirmative action and pay-day loan scams.

    Pause…breath in and then exhale…continue.

    All people running for office…any office…should be expected to build a platform that addresses the needs of the people they wish to serve.

    Black candidates…being human (gasp!) and therefore people (shock and awe!!)…should be held to that same standard.

    That isn’t acting white…speeches about the shit are not examples of talking white…and this bitch is going to move past anger into some serious rage if one more motherfucker insults me and mine through the assertion that only white people discuss the economy, healthcare, the war and international diplomacy.

    I’m not saying Nader is a racist (and, with all due respect, Hysperia, I can’t for the life of me see how you got reverse racism out of this), but his comments were racist in that his definition of–and the fact that he felt qualified to define–what constitutes ‘black’ and ‘white’ issues (and speech patterns) is greatly problematic (to put it mildly). Look, by Nader’s standards, I’m trying to be ‘white’ (well spoken, foreign policy junkie, likes heavy metal, half-African-Canadian). And that’s fucking insulting (though it’s an insult that I’m unfortunately quite familiar with). What gives him, someone who isn’t an AA, the right to set the bar of what is or isn’t a black or white issue, or what constitutes acting or talking ‘white’? Nader’s criticism is the inverse of Joe Biden’s infamous ‘complimentary description of Obama as ‘clean, well spoken’ — a nigger who doesn’t scare white people.

    The fact that, as Steve M points out, his charges about Obama’s platform are false (and Nader’s own conspicuous lack of policy initiatives) make Nader’s concern(trolling) all the more rankling.

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  4. Hi matt. Well, I didn’t get reverse racism out of it, but the reason I go in that direction is that, the way I read it, Nader isn’t saying that “talking white” is a good thing, but the opposite. White people leave out the most important things in their conversations. White bread talk. Whitewashing. Economic inequality is probably, to me, the most important “issue” in the US and in the world. It cuts across gender, race, ability, age and just about any other form of oppression you can name, but the strongest correlative is race. And it’s growing. If this was Clinton and she wasn’t talking about women, children and poverty, someone might say she was talking like a man, or running her campaign like a man. In fact, people did say that and they weren’t entirely wrong. But those words don’t provide the best analytical tools for the conversation, I will agree with that.

    Was John Edwards “talking white” with his focus on poverty? Don’t think so. The whole thing breaks down. And yes, it is stereotyping, though I still think it stereotypes “the white” and what “the white” talks about, much more than African Americans.

    But geez, why am I going on about this? Because I think the discussion in some places generates a huge lot of anger without accomplishing very much. And gee, if anyone can be critisized for a lack of poicy initiative, I wouldn’t have thought it would be Nader. His time has passed, I think, and I can’t see a way for him to break into this campaign, but I’m surprised, so surprised, that he’s not an American hero. I guess it’s because people still think he cost Al Gore an election. I don’t agree. But that’s a whole other story.

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  5. You know, on reading what you said more carefully, I do think there’s something here that I’m not getting. Especially when you say

    “I’m trying to be ‘white’ (well spoken, foreign policy junkie, likes heavy metal, half-African-Canadian). And that’s fucking insulting (though it’s an insult that I’m unfortunately quite familiar with). What gives him, someone who isn’t an AA, the right to set the bar of what is or isn’t a black or white issue, or what constitutes acting or talking ‘white’? ”

    Nader doesn’t have any right to define what “talking white” is. I think the bell this rings for me is, when I was young ( a ong time ago), if you used the horrid phrase, “very white of you”, it meant, good of you, generally speaking. Nader’s reference to “white” is negative. It’s NOT GOOD to be talking white because white people are assholes. If I was a poor white person in America, I’d be pissed off.

    So maybe he insulted everyone.

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  6. hysperia, I don’t know how I can say this nicely (and believe me, I’m trying my goddamndest, but frankly, it’s hard not to feel emotionally blackmailed by your ‘please don’t bite my head off’ stipulation): it’s not about what Nader said about white people.

    It’s not.

    At all.

    I could give a flying monkey fuck about the implications to white people.

    That’s not the point.

    It’s not.

    At all.

    It’s what he said about people of colour, and wh0 is–and-isn’t–legitimately black that’s at issue.

    Frankly I don’t care if you can’t see the problem with that (or recognize what the problem actually is, because quite a few of us uppity negros do, and are very familiar with the ‘talking white’ smear. That you so casually reject the experiences, frustrations and insights shared by myself and other POC whom I’ve linked to (not that we’re a monolith, as [hopefully] established) is rather distressing.

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  7. Yeah, hysperia, I have to admit that I can’t remotely wrap my head around why you would focus on, or even allude to, an insult to white people in this comment.

    The question asked was whether there’s a difference between Gore and Obama. For the most part, Nader says no, there’s no difference in terms of corporate corruptibility and talks about campaign contributions. Fine. Then he says that, well, okay, maybe there is a difference, which is the colour of Obama’s skin, and proceeds to wax philosophical about his assumptions of what influence Obama’s skin colour should have on his positions, on the language he uses and his concerns. Since “talking white” is only a problem if your skin isn’t actually white (ie. this isn’t a criticism he’d ever level against Al Gore, or expect to hear against his own positions), it’s a racist comment.

    It’s yet another example of how Obama, wrt race, is in a lose-lose position. If he talks “too black” (like Jesse Jackson, or Rev. Wright, or whatver), then he’s vicious scary aggressive black man who wants to take down Whitey. If he talks “too white”, he’s inauthentic, can’t be trusted, not loyal to his peeps or some such shit.

    There is no idiolect Obama could use that would not be somehow scrutinized in terms of his race. This is not true for any white politician. Their speech is race-neutral. That, in short, is bullshit.

    Also, I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to suggest that Nader should be held to a different standard because he can’t afford the same kind of team of experts to screen his every word choice. If politicians can’t figure out how not to be assholes without editors, even in retrospect following criticism like this kind, then they need way more help than speechwriters can offer.

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  8. I’m so sorry to have distressed you. I didn’t want that to happen and I do see why you are. The best I can do now is to tell you that I will think really hard about what’s been said here and try to get it more deeply than, clearly, I do. I didn’t really mean to blackmail you. I didn’t mean, “don’t say how you feel”. But I guess I did mean, “don’t tell me to fuck off”. And I can see how that could be manipulative. Thanks for expressing your respect for me. That’s what I have for you as well.

    See you soon around the tubes.

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