It’s never enough…

The paradox of Sen. Barack Obama executing a masterful foreign trip and facing less support from white voters is not an uncommon phenomenon for African-Americans in pioneering roles.

In my book Success Secrets of Black Executives in 1993, we interviewed a number of black corporate executives in cutting edge industries, many of whom were the global expert in their particular field.  Their common complaint was that any accomplishment was never enough to conclusively prove their competence.

Some folks also found that it became problematic to succeed too much, or to dress too well.

Part of white privilege in the U.S. is the ability to completely dismiss any objective accomplishment by an African-American without any basis at all.  So “presumptuous” is the new code word for “he’s stepping out of place.”

By the time Obama had landed, Republican contender Sen. John McCain had descended into all-out race baiting by going on ABC This Week and announcing his support for Ward Connerly’s initiative to ban affirmative action in Arizona.

To point out the flawed logic of McCain professing his opposition to “quotas,” a position that worked very well for Pete Wilson and Bob Dole in 1996, the National Science Foundation notes that Arizona had 78 blacks in graduate science education programs in 2006, compared to 1,307 foreign students and 2,954 whites.  That means that if you were a black veteran who fought in Iraq, you’d have to cede your place in one of Arizona’s colleges to someone from, say, Iran or Pakistan.   

There’s a greater chance of a nuclear bomb from Iraq than a white being displaced by affirmative action in Arizona.

McCain is putting himself in the same vein as this recent YouTube video in which Obama is described as a half-breed n…..r.   Now that Jesse Helms has passed, McCain is pulling campaign tactics from the Helms-Harvey Gantt Senate campaign.


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