7/7/07

"We" are Black Like Hillary

During arguments it is understandable when people say "Blacks are more likely than whites to be CEOs at Fortune 500 companies" or "whites are more likely than blacks to be incarcerated." Most people generalize from time to time to get to a point. Such generalizations shouldn't halt the conversation or get us discussants off the main point.

It isn't a distinction without a difference when I explode when I hear people say "we" believe certain things. The reality is that it is the speaker and perhaps some of that speakers friends and relatives who are that "we."

Whether or not you are factually correct is secondary. I don't care if you say "we" believe Air America is a lousy network or "we" believe Air America is a great network. I don't want people including me in their agenda. It is no longer a generalization--it is then saying what I'm supposed to believe certain things.

In today's Washington Post, Amina Luqman tells me what I think about Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. In short, according to Amina Luqman, I believe that Hillary Clinton is the black candidate in the race, that I'm proud of Obama but also hurt that he is avoiding speaking out on issues, and that I'm walking a tightrope at the office between being myself and scaring white employers.

I would believe all of that--if I were Amina Luqman.

The reality is that neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton is black, no matter how they speak out on issues. I don't feel neither pride nor shame about Barack Obama. And I've had more trouble with black supervisors rather than white supervisors--especially the ones who try to tell me what to think or say.

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Over the years I've had white and Asian people ask me what blacks thought about various issues. A good friend of mine bristles at the question. I don't! I tell them: "We" blacks support school choice, capitalism, and playing Madden football video games.

Some have disagreed with me about that, but I told them I'm pretty sure that blacks support the above as much as I do...

CJL

Also check out: Big Stupid Guy, Too Sense,