serotoninrain posted a link to a NYT piece about the fallout after Sen. Joe Biden called Sen. Barack Obama “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
Oops. Like the NYT lead-in said:
“Senator Joseph R. Biden’s characterization of his fellow Democratic presidential contender Senator Barack Obama … was so painfully clumsy that it nearly warranted pity.”
No kidding. Sen. Biden, congratulations. You, like fellow Democrat John Kerry, have shot your presidential aspirations in the foot. Big-time.
Using the word “articulate” in reference to black people is nothing new. In fact, I see Sen. Biden’s point. With all of the ebonics and slang being slung around (how’d ya like that?), it’s difficult to find a black person who is truly articulate.
That’s right. I said it’s hard to find an articulate black person.
Black people under 40 are part of the MTV/BET generation. All that matters is getting girls, being “gangsta,” and C.R.E.A.M. (“Cash Rules Everything Around Me, C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dollar dollar bill, ya’ll!”).
I grew up speaking properly. Teachers and various adults referred to me as “articulate” and “precocious.” I was “well-spoken.” None of those adjectives offended me or my parents. However, black peers shunned me for those very same reasons. My speech and my actions weren’t “black enough.”
Now that Sen. “articulate” Obama is the first real African-American contender for a presidential nomination (Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson were jokes), blacks are praising him as the second coming. African-Americans love him because Mr. Obama could be the FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT.
Whee. Nevermind that he probably was shunned by his peers for being articulate. Nevermind that black people “hate on” fellow black peers who seem to be “sellouts,” “Uncle Toms,” or “sound/act white.” But when a black person makes history through the very venue that blacks chide against, the black community rallies to protect the person even though he represents the epitome of who they cannot stand.
Black people need to worry about being more “articulate” so that Sen. Biden’s comment doesn’t just sound ridiculous – it would never have any validity.