Thursday, February 28, 2008

Barack Obama is not all about the benjamins

Given the idiocy of most American media, Barack Obama must distance himself from the odious statements of every black person, whereas there's no such litmus test for whites. Not only did Tim Russert attempt to connect Obama to Louis Farrakhan (which led to Hillary Clinton's ever-important parsing of "reject" and "denounce"), he's also questioned Obama about comments made by Harry Belafonte. Though Obama has no association with either man other than his skin color, he must explain that he's not like the dark-skinned guys who have said horrible things. (Thankfully, John McCain's getting some scrutiny for his associations.)

And, of course, when Obama mentioned that he likes rap--he singles out Jay-Z and Kanye West, pretty safe choices--he also had to say, "I don’t always love the message of Hip-Hop." With that in mind, I did some research and dug up the messages of hip-hop and rap that Obama disagrees with.
  • "Pimpin' ain't easy." Obama has argued--and pretty convincingly, I think--that a lot of the difficulties of pimpin' can be eased.
  • "I like big butts and I cannot lie." Obama doesn't exactly disagree with this, but he thinks men should be open to butts of all shapes and sizes: "Can we appreciate a flatter, tighter derriere?" Obama asked a crowd in Des Moines. "Yes we can."
  • "The jury has found you guilty of being a redneck, white bread, chickenshit mother fucker," Dr. Dre says at the end of "Fuck tha Police. Obama believes Dre should not have stopped short of calling the police officer in the song a "cracker-ass cracker."
  • Obama believes that LL Cool J's return was, in fact, a comeback.
  • Snoop Dogg is short-sighted, Obama believes, in claiming that "ain't nuthin' but a g thang." The circumstances, Obama has repeatedly said, are more nuanced than that.
It should be noted that Obama does like a lot of rap. In fact, to show white people he's not a scary black man, he often begins speeches by quoting Vanilla Ice: "Stop, collaborate and listen."

A small footnote: Obama isn't crazy about Harry Belafonte's "Matilda," in part because she did not, in fact, sell he cat and horse.

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