Bound Man

I saw the most interesting commentary regarding Barack Obama and wanted to share it, but I couldn't find it on youtube. It was a news interview of Dr. Shelby Steele, author of a book entitled Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win. Nevertheless, I found an equally interesting video of a presentation done by the good doctor. Listen to the entire video clip and share your thoughts. The brother makes some interest points.

[click "play" (the arrow button) to watch]


Lance said...

sorry y'all...couldn't open up the youtube video, but i'm sure this a guy is probably a educated sambo on the white conservative side with a liberal flair (the black side of him)

if obama wins, it's due to the fact he catered to won over some hardcore white folks in the midwest and south. if he don't have them in his back pocket, it's game over.

now if he was a republican and with a military backgd, like colin powell....he'd win by a landslide. why? the republicans control the media. true spin doctors of making you believe the unbelievable, like 9/11 & Katrina. the aftermath of both.

with liberals, they bitch & moan too much about "everything" and don't get shit done....except raise taxes (band-aid) as a cure all.

Tasha said...

Awww no, I can't watch the video either. I'll have to try to dig it up elsewhere.

Mega Rich said...

I'm going to look for a link later on for that news interview. Just rushing today to meet a work deadline.

Dave J. said...

I was able to watch it.

I'm not sure if I agree with the things he says. First off, "white guilt," it may be a deterrent to the advancement of everyone, but it doesn't exist *poof* out of thin air. It exists because it is perpetuated.

In my thinking, this is good and bad. Bad if it is hoisted upon a white person who is ignorant, because he does not understand, and therefore takes offense, gets all uppity and plays out the racist bastard within. Good if it exists within a white person, and that person holds onto it, draws strength of conviction from it, uses it as a reminder of how easy it is for a person in a societally privileged position to take advantage of others, as he has done so many times before, across the world.

For these guys, people like Cosby, Obama, Steele to say that racism is no longer a societally limiting factor is ludicrous. They are successful, wealthy, educated, intelligent, and so on. No matter how much time they spend helping lower class folks, underprivileged people, the poor, the uneducated... it doesn't matter, they do not gain perspective in doing this because they drive home at the end of the day in their Mercedes, to their million dollar home, and they live their exceptional lives. Regardless of their past hardships, they cannot speak of these matters as if they know how it is for the majority.

I agree that it's a class struggle, but to simply sweep away racism is in itself a form of elected ignorance. No matter how much anyone espouses the belief that racism is wrong, there are others who are racist, and display racist behavior. Until there is NO racist acts, there is still racism, and while there is still racism, it remains a concern, for everyone!!

Lance said...

nice comment dave.

Mega Rich said...

I didn't have any problems with the video either and I'm hoping some more of you get the opportunity to watch. I was in a rush when I did the post, but here is my take. Is he a conservative? Yes. Does that mean he doesn't make valid points, not at all.

Now, as far as that white guilt goes, I agree that it exists on some level (most liberals exhibit a bit of that behavior), but it by no means is the reason we have failed to grow more as a community. I do think the mentality that we are owed something handicaps many of the lower class people, but not the middle class. The real problem as I see it is that racism has been promoted as our problem when realistically it's only a distraction. America is all about economics. If you want to make it in America, you have to position yourself to not be a pawn in the game. By buying into commercialism many of our people can't afford to even get out of their own way, so they are forced to work for whatever is handed to them. Worse is the person who because they bought into the racist propaganda decided that they hated everything that seems white. Most young black men fall to that, which explains why our women continue to excel when we are still scratching our heads as to how to get over. You would be hard pressed to get most black male youth to read anything. So forget about him understanding economics beyond hustling. Hustling is a survival tactic and unless you are Jay-Z, who despite what he says is far from a hustler, you ain't getting nowhere with a hustle other than tired. If we approach freedom from an economic stand point, we can rise above the racist b.s that goes on. Will someone still be inclined to call you a nigger because of your skin color, sure, but who gives a rats behind when they have no control of your circumstances.

I said all that as a prelude to ask about some of the questions he raised.

Why is the academic gap widening more than in the 60's? Can we blame that on white folks?

Are we 90% responsible for keeping ourselves down? Does our lack of seeking to increase our knowledge of how to truly free ourselves the thing that keeps us bound.

Why do we have less entrepreneuralism? Less wealth building? If we position ourselves to create our own wealth, we don't fall prey to the whims of corporate greed. Sure we are sometimes the last hired and first fired, but ultimately it's about money. If you were in a position to hook up someone who looked like you, you probably would, tell the truth.

How has corruption within our own community hurt us? Have our leaders - black politicians and clergy run game on us long enough?

We already know Clarence Thomas is a sell out and we know this guy is leaning hard on the conservative side, but lets not allow our hatred for what they represent cause us to avoid asking the hard questions and looking ourselves in the eye.

I hope I didn't jump around. Holla back at me if you want to continue this discussion.

CapCity said...

y'all getting DEEP up in here! I'll be back after i get a nap;-)

The Master (De)bater said...

Racism is real; racism is also a real distraction. Find focus in nurturing personal strengths and building community accord as much as you are able. Be a critical thinker who shuts down the distractions. Take the initiative to resist some of the foolish arguments that cloud the real problem: Self-worth is at an all-time low.

When a man believes that he can accomplish a dream and sets his heart to making a reality of that dream, nothing stops him. "White guilt" and Black anger didn't cause the 20th century fight for civil rights to succeed where it did, but both conditions did feed the spirits of people who had enough self-esteem to see that they had to play a part in change. Even money chases only feed so much of the ego and belly before self-esteem, lacking or abundant, forces a man to inspect his worth to the world around him. Inspire people to make useful their lives, ability and thought, and they will.

I believe the older generation is mad about the surmounting greed in the young-- which includes US. My grandfather said 23 years ago that my generation's biggest downfall would be "the lack of a fighting spirit...[because we] are used to handouts and lack the pride of earning." In the same breath, he acknowledged the need for affirmative action to make the "guilty among our White brothers and sisters come clean... by sharing opportunities [that] nepotism and racism often leave 'in the family.'" We, the young, missed the point of the civil rights movement in their eyes. The fight was for the rights that the Constitution gave every citizen so that every citizen could have his dream through his own work and will. We missed the mark, and this generation is at the crossroads of decision: we can continue with misguided aim or adjust our sights and shoot for the prize.

That's my two cents... great topic and impressive thoughts, gents.

Dave J. said...

I love the way you think.

I did a study on social mobility that included a survey. One line of questions was designed to compare/contrast our generation to the two that came before it. The results echoed Steele's comment on there being less entrepreneurial (thank you spell check!) activity among Americans.

Thing is though, I would argue that not all of that is by choice. Reason I believe this is because 3 generations ago, almost 50% of community businesses were family owned and operated. Over the years they felt the pressure to sell out, in our generation, only 18% of those families still have their business.

As more and more of the economic pie is swallowed up by corporate interests, there remains less for the moms and pops to reach for. The one realm that can never be touched though is innovation. If we can offer a unique service, or devise something that has never been seen, but is useful...

Economics is not a subject I enjoy thinking about much, but that needs to change, because it's true, is a class struggle on so many levels, and economics is the tool of oppression in that sense. I got to go where the fight leads me.

cmac said...

F Shelby Steele!

Mega Rich said...

That's all you got Cmac? Your comment is to the point, but I expected an eloquent dissertation pointing out all of his flawed commentary that he gave while pandering to his predominantly white audience.

Nevertheless, I still loved your comment.

I look at it like this -- the brother is trying to benefit economically from the "white hate" that exists among his conservative peers. At the end of the day, he has to determine if he likes what he see's in the mirror.

The Master (De)bater said...

Dave: Thanks for the love, fam... and it's good to hear from you!

Rich: Say whatcha think, playboy! LOL! I happen to agree with you concerning Steele, and I add Cosby and a few other "elders" who waited until they were old enough and rich enough not to risk losing any wealth before they decided to "speak up" on the state of things in the Black slice of this American pie. I respect truth, but some of Cosby's words are a hard pill to swallow right about now. It's too bad that he didn't voice his sentiments a bit louder when THE COSBY SHOW was in its first four seasons. He had the ear of America and several other nations then.