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One of Britain’s most influential black figures today accused Barack Obama of cynically exploiting America’s racial divide and gave warning that he could prolong, rather than heal the rift.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, claimed that the Democratic front-runner would ultimately disappoint the African-American community and dismissed the notion that he would be "the harbinger of a post-racial America" if he becomes the country’s first black President.

Writing in Prospect, the monthly current affairs magazine, Mr Phillips suggested that guilt over transatlantic slavery was behind Mr Obama’s support from middle class whites.

"If Obama can succeed, then maybe they can imagine that [Martin Luther] King's post-racial nirvana has arrived. A vote for Obama is a pain-free negation of their own racism. So long as they don't have to live next door to him; Obama has yet to win convincingly in white districts adjacent to black communities," he wrote.

Mr Phillips compared Mr Obama to Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey, prominent black “bargainers” – those who strike a deal with white America not to make an issue of historical racism if their own race is not used against them.

But, in a warning to the Democratic candidate, he added that Cosby now cut a “sad and lonely figure” because he had abandoned the moral weapon used by figures such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Jesse Jackson in insisting that “in the end, salvation for blacks won’t depend on the actions of whites.”

"In truth, Obama may be helping to postpone the arrival of a post-racial America and I think he knows it," Mr Phillips wrote. "If he wins, the cynicism may be worth it to him and his party. In the end he is a politician and a very good one: his job is to win elections."

He added: "If he fulfils the hopes of whites, he must disappoint blacks – and vice versa."

Mr Phillips said that there was no “British Obama” in part because the black British community was much smaller and therefore less likely to produce such high-achievers, and because “Black Britons can't bring centuries of white guilt to bear with the devastating impact that African-Americans have done for two generations”.

The equality chief, a former Labour politician and broadcaster said he did not expect Mr Obama ultimately to win the Democratic nomination, although he conceded it was possible. However, if he did come to power, Mr Obama would not emulate JFK, he predicted, but Bill Clinton, with all the "charm, skill and ruthless cynicism" that entailed.

Mr Phillips is no stranger to controversy, having drawn criticism for past comments on multiculturalism in British society. Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, once said he was a prime candidate for the far right British National Party and his appointment to the CEHR was bitterly opposed by a number of black organisations.




Obama victory will prolong US racial divide, says British equality chief - Times Online
 

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One of Britain’s most influential black figures today accused Barack Obama of cynically exploiting America’s racial divide and gave warning that he could prolong, rather than heal the rift.
Bullshit, pure and simple.
 

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I was just saying to the wife over dinner last night that if it weren't for that Trans Atlantic Slavery thingie Obama wouldn't stand a chance. The guilt was so bad I couldn't finish dessert.



OK, I finished dessert but I didn't feel good about it.




OK, it was really good Chocolate Cream Pie from Ramsey's. I'm not so sure guilt was actually involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Obama is black? Never noticed. Irrelevent argument.
I would disagree. As much as most of us would like to think that race is irrelevent and does not matter it continues to play a large role in US politics - for all sides of the racial divide.

It may not matter to you individually nor many of the people you know but when you look at the population as a whole it does play a significant role in certain types of decisions.

Personally I could care less what color someone is but to many it does matter.
 

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And I thought O'Bama was Irish...
 

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I would disagree. As much as most of us would like to think that race is irrelevent and does not matter it continues to play a large role in US politics - for all sides of the racial divide.

It may not matter to you individually nor many of the people you know but when you look at the population as a whole it does play a significant role in certain types of decisions.

Personally I could care less what color someone is but to many it does matter.
Ah yeah, but if you are not such a hypocrite I would have believed you. Don't you think this is the time to put forth what you believe in and in this case that color is not an issue as your call? Shouldn't you be more focused on convincing those that you believe are from the "good O'l boy" network to embrace today's realities rather than accept what they think as a lead to an outcome? This is a revolution, you are either with it or against it, where do you stand?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Ah yeah, but if you are not such a hypocrite I would have believed you. Don't you think this is the time to put forth what you believe in and in this case that color is not an issue as your call? Shouldn't you be more focused on convincing those that you believe are from the "good O'l boy" network to embrace today's realities rather than accept what they think as a lead to an outcome? This is a revolution, you are either with it or against it, where do you stand?
Not sure why you are calling me a hypocrite? I am very clear on where I stand.

So when I get done preaching to those good ol boys to embrace the new reality should I preach to those homeboys that are voting for somone simply because of their color? As I stated before there are issues with both sides of the discussion.

Plenty of reasons to dislike Obama that have nothing to do with color.

If nationalizing health care, spending out of control, form over substance, and prostilitizing are your idea of a positive revolution I am very much against it.

I do not think that Obama is qualified nor do I agree with a vast majority of his positions.

Finally I do not think the man will win the presidential election. None of this has anything to do with his color. Hell, many of the reasons I dislike him are the same reasons I dislike Hitlary.

Then we have McCain who has not seen an issue he has not flip flopped on.

So what is a man to do? It comes down to the same shit different day in US politics - time to vote against someone and not for anyone. Who will do the least damage?

Why can't we get a "moderate" someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal? Someone who does not want to completly fuck up our healthcare by involving the gov't anymore than they already are. Someone who does not want to spend every penny they can draw against the credit line. Someone who will not bow to RIAA, MPAA, etc.
 

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Ralph could fit the bill... but I have a feeling you would not consider it for other reasons which are:
 

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Why can't we get a "moderate" someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal? Someone who does not want to completly fuck up our healthcare by involving the gov't anymore than they already are. Someone who does not want to spend every penny they can draw against the credit line. Someone who will not bow to RIAA, MPAA, etc.
First, our healthcare is already completely fucked if 1/7 Americans can't afford to get it. That system is broken. There has been time to fix it and nothing has been done by the private sector except exacerbate the problems and raise rates for everyone.

Second, we already have someone who has "spent every penny they can draw against the credit line". With six years of Bushit and a Republican Congress they loaded $4Trillion on the National Debt. You are only making assumptions that a Democrat would do worse. Look back to the Clinton years where there was an actual surplus budget and reduction of Debt.

If you want Fiscal Conservative and Social Liberal you have to go with Bill Clinton. He pretty much defined the genre.

Now as for your problem with the RIAA and MPAA, those are just minor weirdness that don't need even a single minute of the national conversation. There are many more important things that need straightened out first.
 

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Why can't we get a "moderate" someone who is fiscally conservative and socially liberal? Someone who does not want to completly fuck up our healthcare by involving the gov't anymore than they already are. Someone who does not want to spend every penny they can draw against the credit line. Someone who will not bow to RIAA, MPAA, etc.
That describes a libertarian, not a moderate. Clinton and McCain both fall squarely under the tag of moderate. We had/have a libertarian running for the GOP nomination this very election. Do you support him? I know I do.
 

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If you want Fiscal Conservative and Social Liberal you have to go with Bill Clinton. He pretty much defined the genre.
Clinton was a far cry from a fiscal conservative. OTOH, he was the closest thing to a fiscal conservative that the WH had seen in more than a generation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That describes a libertarian, not a moderate. Clinton and McCain both fall squarely under the tag of moderate. We had/have a libertarian running for the GOP nomination this very election. Do you support him? I know I do.

The libertarians go a bit far in my book. Although they are certainly a better choice than the two major parties.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First, our healthcare is already completely fucked if 1/7 Americans can't afford to get it. That system is broken. There has been time to fix it and nothing has been done by the private sector except exacerbate the problems and raise rates for everyone.
The healthcare system does need to be fixed but greater gov't involvement is like killing the patient to cure him.

I have yet to hear anyone make a worthwhile suggestion on how to fix it.

Also the statistics around the number of Americans without Healthcare and the even greater BS numbers stating how many people can't afford health ins have been so manipulated and politicized as to have no basis in reality.

Billy Bob was far from a fiscal consverative. Unless of course you compare him to the current administration.
 

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Clinton was a far cry from a fiscal conservative. OTOH, he was the closest thing to a fiscal conservative that the WH had seen in more than a generation.
Actually if you look at the policies of Robert Rubin, Greenspan and Clinton for that eight year period they were very conservative, not only reducing deficit spending but actually cutting into debt. They tightened down the size of government and pissed off a bunch of democrats in the process. They also had the help of the first wave of a Republican Congress who, along with a veto wielding President, kept the budget in check. Ah, the days of checks and balances and cooperation.
 

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The libertarians go a bit far in my book. Although they are certainly a better choice than the two major parties.
Here is a case in point to determine if you are really for fiscal conservatism. I believe the concepts of fiscal conservatism and global imperialism are diametrically juxtaposed. IOW, you cannot support small government, while also supporting the presence of U.S. military troops in 135 nations across the globe. Nothing costs more money and requires more manpower and bureaucracy than trying to maintain military control and financial dominance throughout the entire world. The GOP charter supports both, but we both know that's a lie....
 

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Actually if you look at the policies of Robert Rubin, Greenspan and Clinton for that eight year period they were very conservative, not only reducing deficit spending but actually cutting into debt. They tightened down the size of government and pissed off a bunch of democrats in the process. They also had the help of the first wave of a Republican Congress who, along with a veto wielding President, kept the budget in check. Ah, the days of checks and balances and cooperation.
Yes, but that was a path he was forced down to a large extent. You cannot support national health care and claim fiscal conservatism -- period.
 

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The healthcare system does need to be fixed but greater gov't involvement is like killing the patient to cure him.

I have yet to hear anyone make a worthwhile suggestion on how to fix it.

Also the statistics around the number of Americans without Healthcare and the even greater BS numbers stating how many people can't afford health ins have been so manipulated and politicized as to have no basis in reality.

Billy Bob was far from a fiscal consverative. Unless of course you compare him to the current administration.
Well, sometimes, as in some leukemia patients, that is what has to happen to get positive results. You have to kill the bad to save the good.

As for hearing any worthwhile suggestions, have you actually read any of the 4 major proposals that are floating around right now? I mean READ them, not get the talk show 30 second synopsis of them.

Half my family is in medicine and the other half is in systems analysis so we have unbearable discussions on these things on a regular basis, actually getting into the meat of the issues, not the fluff that the talkradio or Cable TV guys yammer about. And there are solutions out there but they are not going to be simple and they are not going to be easy for anyone.

As for the number of of folks who can't get Healthcare or don't have access to it being BS, sorry but the numbers are very much based in reality. They are simple numbers to track and count. No magic or smoke required. Most, if not all come from the Department of Labor, the Census Bureau and the BLS tables. Others come from SSA and the collective numbers of the 50 states which track who is who. It's really pretty simple.

If healthcare is your primary concern during this election cycle go out and read all the programs, don't just skim them. I always ask myself what is best for everyone and then I ask what would be best for a member of my family on a fixed income?

I already know that the excesses of the past eight years are going to cost me more in taxes just to pay the interest. I figure there will also be a uptick to cover infrastructure that has been ignored and another uptick to eliminate some of the deficit spending [paygo] that has been keeping things running [or we will keep deficit spending]. So the added taxes are already coming. If there is a bit more to make sure everyone has health insurance, that is the least of my reasons to whine about higher taxes.
 
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