Posted on July 7, 2004

Barack Obama, Bob Herbert & Race Politics

Nicholas Stix,, June 2004

A recent news story about a mouse born to two “mommies” [1] suggested that the feminist fantasy of parthenogenesis, in which women would bear children without any “input” from men, might someday be realized. But New York Times columnist Bob Herbert [2] went the PC feminists at the ABC one better: On June 4, he suggested that Illinois politician Barack Obama was birthed by Obama’s father, without a female (what used to be called a “mother”) playing any role in the matter.

O.K., Herbert didn’t actually say that, though he’s said things just as outrageous in the past. What he did was refer to a man as black, whose late mother was white. “At the moment he has a substantial lead in the polls. If that lead holds and he wins in November, he’ll be only the third African-American to take a seat in the Senate since Reconstruction.”

The term “African-American” is silly enough, seeing as it is a euphemism for black, which used to be a euphemism for brown, yellow, or off-white. But in this case, there is a double insult at work. For not only is Barack Obama the son of a white woman, and thus as much a white man as he is a black man, but his father deserted the family “early on”; thus, young Barack was raised almost exclusively by his white mother. From Herbert’s column, you’d think she were a mere white dry nurse, who “don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ babies!”

(Ironically, in Obama’s case, the term “African American” is for once accurate. But Bob Herbert could care less about things “African”; he refers to anyone with a drop of black blood in him as “African American.”)

Herbert doesn’t even tell us that Obama Sr. was black, only that he was “Kenyan.” Herbert either assumed, erroneously, that all Kenyans [3] are black, or he simply decided to write the Asians and whites out of the country, the way he wrote Obama’s mother out of his genetic code. (Granted, only one percent of Kenyans are non-black, but if Herbert were writing about a region that was one percent black, you can be sure he wouldn’t write the blacks out of the place.)

“In a political era saturated with cynicism and deceit, Mr. Obama is asking voters to believe him when he talks about the values and verities that so many politicians have lied about for so long. He’s asking, in effect, for a leap of political faith.”

The title of Herbert’s column is, “A Leap of Faith.” But the leap of faith is not in support of Barack Obama; it is in support of Bob Herbert. And as we shall see, the propagandistic makeover that Herbert gave Obama was saturated with cynicism and deceit.

Ultimately, Herbert is saying we should support Obama, because he told us to. Herbert crafts two cover stories, as to why we should support Obama: 1. He is a left-of-center candidate whose message transcends partisanship; and 2. He is (as defined by Herbert) black.

Forget number one. Herbert wants Illinoisans to elect Barack Obama to the senate, because Herbert has defined him as black.

If a white columnist called on voters to elect a political candidate, merely because the latter was white, Herbert would shout from the roofs of 43rd Street, that the white columnist was a racist.

Obama, says Herbert, supports the war in Afghanistan, but not the war in Iraq. Herbert tells us that Obama is a “left of center” pol who believes in “a set of core values that bind us together as Americans.” Herbert writes that Obama’s “partisans describe [him] as a dream candidate, the point man for a new kind of politics designed to piece together a coalition reminiscent of the one blasted apart by the bullet that killed Robert Kennedy in 1968.”

“Core values” talk — logic and morality be damned — always seems to lead to the demand that black and Hispanic Americans (and Hispanic NON-citizens!) be privileged under the law, and white Americans be disenfranchised. And in fact, Obama is a rabid supporter of affirmative action [4], though Herbert did not see fit to divulge that fact. Indeed, Herbert provides no credible or substantive information about Obama’s politics.

Obama [5], who currently represents Illinois’ 13th Senate District, on the largely black South Side of Chicago, is also an ardent supporter of abortion, and a lecturer on constitutional law at the University of Chicago. But has he ever read the Constitution? The Supreme Court’s decisions deeming abortion a “fundamental right” and in favor of affirmative action were, constitutionally speaking, some of the worst in the history of the Court.

According to a fawning, if brief profile in The Economist [6], “He has worked hard to reach across racial lines, but his core support comes from blacks and white urban progressives, and he has pinned his primary hopes largely on the Chicago area.” The anonymous Economist editorialist also indulged in some cheap race-baiting: “Are Illinois voters ready for this? In a city with deep Irish roots, a local commentator suggests that he might do better as O’Bama.”

Had the writer at The Economist bothered to check his facts, he would have known that Chicago today [7] has twice as many blacks as Irish. Apparently, he only knows Chicago from 1930s’ 20th Century-Fox movies about Mrs. O’Leary’s cow [8].

But are Illinois voters ready for Obama’s race politics?

I’m not sure what it means to work hard “to reach across racial lines,” but I know that most urban blacks are racist, and that white urban progressives, in their aping of blacks, express anti-white and anti-Asian racism, to the point of lunacy.

Let’s look at what Obama supports: “Job training”; direct government loans for higher education; “universal health care”; racialist law; and of course, affirmative action and abortion.

“Job training” has always meant a boondoggle, in which billions of taxpayer dollars are wasted on bureaucrats and on paying for programs in which people who have never worked for a living shuffle from one program to another. Such multibillion-dollar money pits have had names such as the Comprehensive Employment Training Act and the Job Training Partnership Act.

Direct government loans, as opposed to the present bank-administered program, would create yet another expensive, permanent government bureaucracy. And why? Because for Barack Obama, not only is government the employer of first resort, but as often follows with such a politics, he hates it when private enterprise makes a buck off anything.

Hillarycare: Bill Clinton’s administration was stuck in a first-year quagmire of his wife’s making, as Mrs. Clinton sought, through illegal, clandestine meetings, and her own personal health care commissar, Ira “the Genius” Magaziner (with apologies to the late, great Ray Charles), to foist on America a socialist health care system like those in the U.K. and Canada. Such health care systems are expensive, inefficient, and destroy health-care quality. People have to wait months for routine medical care, and patients routinely die waiting in emergency rooms. Don’t believe me? Just ask a Canadian or Brit. And this is what Barack Obama dreams of foisting on America.

Law Enforcement: Obama drafted successful legislation ensuring that all interrogations in death penalty cases are videotaped; “passed model legislation designed to curb the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement”; and “has been a leader in reforming the juvenile justice system to keep more young people in school and out of prison, and has fought to increase penalties for domestic violence.” (Quotes are from Obama’s official Web site.)

The consequences of Obama’s crime policies may not jump off the page. The videotaping requirement he got passed is actually part of a national movement to have all police interrogations videotaped. The movement gathered steam in late 2002, as part of the successful campaign [9] to get the convictions of the five men who in 1989 as teenagers had confessed [10] to assaulting, sexually abusing, and leaving for dead Tricia Meili, whom whites had known for years as “the Central Park Jogger” thrown out [11]. (Blacks knew Meili’s name, because black media had constantly publicized it from the start.)

According to the Supreme Court, police are legally permitted to use deceit, in order to get suspects to confess to crimes, but some members of the public, particularly blacks, oppose such tactics. And supporters of videotaping all interrogations believe that there is no such thing as a true, voluntary confession [12], at least not by minorities. (Advocates’ ultimate goal is to get ALL confessions, at least all by minority suspects, thrown out of court.) Those who support the videotaping of interrogations hope that juries will be so disgusted by detectives’ use of deceit, that they will acquit the guilty, and that videotaping will amount to a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, or that detectives will be so handcuffed by public race-baiting, that they are rendered impotent.

The Illinois legislation against so-called racial profiling requires that all local police departments record the race of anyone police s for questioning. The legislation’s rationale is that if “too many” blacks are sped, the police are guilty of racial profiling. “Too many” is virtually always framed by race advocates as being more than the black (or black and Hispanic) proportion of the local population.

But in Chicago as in the rest of the nation, minorities have a virtual monopoly on violent crime; across the nation, their proportion of the criminal suspect population is as much as 2.4 times their proportion of the local population. Hence, “anti-profiling” legislation leads to “depolicing” [13], whereby to avoid charges of racism, police ignore crimes committed right in front of their noses by minority criminals, or in order to have the “right numbers,” s whites or Asians for questioning about crimes committed by blacks or Hispanics, thus wasting time and money, and letting the criminals escape prosecution. Another consequence of “anti-profiling” agitation is police departments’ doctoring of crime statistics [14], in order to compensate on paper for what police may not do on the street.

(Ever since the 1970s, race advocates have worked from the fraudulent assumptions of “disproportionate impact” theory, according to which any phenomenon in which minorities or women don’t do statistically as well as white men — e.g., income, incarceration — is automatically assumed to be based on discrimination. Meanwhile, in the sort of hypocrisy that has become one of the trademarks of affirmative action and multiculturalism, disparities that show white men doing disproportionately poorly, whether as school teachers or professional athletes, are ignored.

The initial purpose of talk of disproportionate impact was to eliminate the need to prove that some person, business, or agency deliberately discriminated against members of certain groups. This was a dramatic development, since the concept of racial discrimination had always been inseparable from the assumption of ill will on the part of influential whites. Now whites could be accused of racism for simply following objective, merit-based hiring rules which blacks satisfied in lower proportions than whites. Once the courts began employing this pseudo-scientific methodology, it meant the gutting of the rule of law in racial matters, since the law had always required that it be proven that a defendant had shown an intent to do harm.

A secondary bonus, which academia and journalism leapt on, was the abolition of the principle of evidence. With disproportionate impact, leftwing whites and racist blacks would show disproportionate statistical relationships among the races, and insist that the relationships alone, which were actually mere correlations, were EVIDENCE of discrimination. From then on, leftists and black racists persecuted anyone who questioned their lack of evidence as a “racist” or “Uncle Tom,” and cleansed the ranks of academia and journalism of rigorous researchers. And yet, the notion that white men victimize minorities without intending to, was for its advocates ultimately psychologically unsatisfying. And so, once intent had in practice been abolished by the courts in racial matters, race advocates brought it back, by insisting that a massive, national conspiracy of racist whites persecuted black males through “racially profiling” them. Note too that while disproportionate impact exaggerates the principle of agency in the case of whites, so that they are agents of racism whether or not they intend to be, it eliminates agency in the case of minorities, especially blacks. Thus, for race advocates, the fact that blacks get questioned and arrested at much higher rates than whites has nothing to do with the fact that blacks commit violent crimes at much higher rates than whites.)

Obama’s “reform” of the juvenile justice system is designed to protect violent, young black (and, to a lesser degree) Hispanic felons from having to pay for their crimes. But why would someone who is so lax with violent felons be so draconian with men convicted of domestic violence? For one thing, such legislating — like his support for unlimited abortion rights — burnishes Obama’s feminist credentials with white female progressives. For another thing, such legislation primarily targets white men. “Domestic violence” is largely about locking up unruly and violent white husbands. (Violent wives get a pass.) Let’s see. Seventy-seven percent of white children are born to married parents, while only 31 percent of black children are. And so, such legislation is tailored to harm white men. Note too that “domestic violence” law tends to get treated de facto as an adjunct of family law, in which constitutional protections are routinely violated. And so, Mr. Professor of Constitutional Law wants to fabricate ever broader, new legal protections for blacks and Hispanics, while doing away with legal protections for heterosexual, white, married men.

And so, we see that Barack Obama’s legal policies are based on helping black (and to a lesser degree, Hispanic) felons escape prosecution, while exacting draconian punishment on white men who smack their wives. (The prospect of more white men getting raped behind prison bars would presumably excite Obama’s black voter base.) As with other racist politicians, such as Cong. John Conyers (D, MI.) [15], the purpose of such legal “reform” is, by hook or by crook, to reduce the number of blacks in penal institutions, while increasing the number of whites in them. I’m reminded of Surgeon General David Satcher’s 1998 statement, that America’s greatest health care challenge was in equalizing the rates of HIV infection between whites and blacks. If logic is any guide, rather than getting people to s from engaging in dangerous sex acts, Dr. Satcher was 1. Consumed with raising the rate of white HIV infection, and reducing the rate of black HIV infection; 2. Sought to radically reduce the rate of black HIV infection, while keeping the white rate unchanged; or most likely, 3. Mindlessly applying affirmative action dogma to the field of epidemiology.

Affirmative Action [16]: America has already suffered for over 30 years under a system in which incompetents are accepted to college and graduate and professional school, hired to responsible jobs, and given government contracts, due solely to their race, ethnicity, or sex, while qualified people suffer egregious discrimination, based solely on their race, ethnicity, or sex. Obama would maintain such vicious programs in perpetuity.

Again, none of Obama’s above-cited positions were mentioned by Bob Herbert, who apparently does not believe that readers can be trusted to deal with the truth. Herbert notwithstanding, I wasn’t aware that socialism, statist absolutism, and anti-white racism constituted “a set of core values that bind us together as Americans.” But then, were Obama a champion of real American “core values” like liberty, merit, and equality before the law, a racist like Herbert would never have supported him.

To me, Barack Obama comes off like Bill Clinton, another former professor of constitutional law who also apparently never read the document, but without Clinton’s fiscal austerity. Heck, if Obama were ever elected the nation’s second “African-American” president, he might end up as expensive a proposition as George W. Bush.

















Comments from Readers

From: James in IL

We are now stuck with Obama as the most likely senator from IL, as the incompetent Republican Party in IL drafted someone (whose name I dont remember) to fill the arrogant Jack Ryans place. He has virtualy no chance of winning, when better candidates could have been proposed, such as Jim Oberweis. Thanks for Nothing Jack. You and your sexual escapades have wasted millions, and most likely guaranteed the victory of someone who will be worse, much worse for the productive citizens of the country. The ethnic and urban (ahem) crowd will love Obama! Your Republican handlers are also to blame, as they seemingly revel in impotence in the peoples republic of Illinois.

From: Dryden

I first lived in the States in the very early 1990s, visiting Texas on sabbatical. At that point, I was unaware that African-American simply meant black, so when asked to make a meeting known to my students, I informed three Arab graduate students from North Africa that this was for them. The next day, a very nervous female grad student came to explain: “When we say African-American, we don’t mean Americans of African descent. We just mean blacks,” she whispered, afraid lest she be overheard speaking plain truth.

From: Mike B.

Nick has been writing great stuff for a long time (but you don’t need me to tell you that).

If you haven’t read anything by him before, check out a few of his articles and you’ll wind up reading a whole lot of his stuff.

He comes from the city, like me (and a lot of us) and anyone who grew up in NYC in the 40s, 50s through the mid 60s, knows it was the greatest time and place on the planet (IMO), never to be retrieved. Today — as all cities are now, it’s just a ghetto of its former self …

He just says what most of us say/think/know, except he can put it down on paper better and doesn’t have to post dopey comments like mine on a forum where I’m just preaching to the choir anyway.

Here’s where you can find more of his stuff:

and: (go to the bottom of the article to access the archives – good site which had cease publ. due to (pending) death of the owner’s wife – he left the site up as it was on the last day of operation).