Why Obama stays cool all the time..

Now, I’ve never been accused of being the angry, black women or the angry, black person in general. That label just wouldn’t stick to someone who smiles all the time, is known for her positive disposition and is a diplomat at heart. 

But I do KNOW and have witnessed reaction to an angry black person. It seems that when a black person gets angry or becomes upset with a person of another race many times the individual or the people around them believe the black person will either become violent or that a violent altercation will later ensue. And usually the individual reacts with fear, to be honest this has happened to me on a few occasions. However, if I sense the person is scared I stop and ask, “Why are you scared? I’m not going to hurt you I’m just voicing my dissatisfaction with x, y, z..” I have received varying reactions to my blunt honesty over the years but usually the person reacting in that negative way towards me apologizes and tries to address my concerns in a more appropriate and constructive manner but  I must say that this fear reaction, from my observations, is more prevalent among people over 50.

But I do believe that many people subscribe to the violent, angry black person stereotype. Many of these people give validation to the stereotype and believe it to be a fact and thus react more negatively towards an angry black person. 

Obama, obviously, has had to and continually confronts and tactfully manuevers around this stereotype day after day. And he tries to constantly maintain his cool in order to never, ever appear as the angry black man, because we all know where that will lead to the inevitable..”Boy, he’s always angry,” “I don’t think I want to vote for an angry black man,” “God, if he’s this angry now what will happen if he becomes President?” I can go on and on but his consistent coolness has led to the inevitable well, he’s too cool. He’s too above it all. He’s not one of us. He doesn’t have any ‘real’ passion.

So in a way Obama can’t win. If he raises his voice and gets a little more passionate about an issue, any issue, some people will get scared and believe he’s a militant black panther who wants revenge on whites. Yet, if he maintains an even and steady temperament he’s cold and distant. In times we often times recite, ‘let cooler heads prevail’ yet Obama is criticized for displaying these characteristicshe can’t win.

But I ask would you rather have a leader that is hot and unpredictable or a leader than is composed, reliable and steady under pressure?

I think the answer is quite clear.


4 thoughts on “Why Obama stays cool all the time..

  1. I think this post effectively, albeit somewhat pessimistically, discusses the complexities of race relations in this election. The constant battle between traditional and the new way is embodied in the Presidential race this year, and undoubtedly many voters will make up their minds according to their own cultural attitudes and belief sets. Senator Obama undoubtedly is forced, as you say, to constantly avoid being labeled “the angry black man”. I tend to agree with the intentions of the rest of your entry that seem to indicate that this information is playing an important role in the election. I especially appreciated your discussion of the number of people who think Obama’s election would shakeup the racial status quo, and how whites tend to be less optimistic about this. It raises questions about the extent to which white in America want to see a shakeup take place at all, or if they’re content with how things have always been. Perhaps, as you write, they would be scared away from voting for Obama if he showed too much passion. Indeed, I think how voters internalize this question – the scope of their prejudices, and familiarity with traditionalism, while at the same time for many, a desire for some kind of change, will decide this election. In a June poll, only 38% of whites say Obama’s candidacy “will do more to help race relations,” and this shows that there may be a majority of whites who still feel that a new, fresh, forward-looking black candidate’s election may not be a good thing for them. I am glad that you took on this difficult and controversial topic in your post. I think your final conclusion – which says that Obama and his supporters must find out how to reach across to those people who are inherently opposed to change, while maintaining a balance between passion and coolness – is one of the central questions that Democrats will need to answer before election day, because this truly is an election between forces of the past, and the desire for a new direction.

  2. Jon,

    Thank you so much for your comments.

    Jon, I enjoyed reading your observations and I do hope that Democrats and liberals in general encourage effective and mutually beneficial changes within our society without seemingly destroying traditions and norms that have contributed to making us who we are as a nation.

    It’s extremely difficult but I know we can do it. I challenge assumptions every single day and yes it’s tiring but it’s worth it.

    Once again, Jon thank you so much for your comment.

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