Really great interview with Bay Area writer Ishmael Reed on CounterPunch today. He discusses a whole bunch of subjects, such as the presidential primaries, Barack Obama’s “Blackness” and the overall issue of race in this country, his writing process, etc. I’m loving this quote on Obama:
“I like the guy. I think he’s a real inspiration. For once, African American kids, especially the boys, are able to see someone handle intellectual combat. Like Jesse Jackson or Sharpton. Instead of the way they restrict us to athletes, or entertainers, or criminals.”
At the same time, he is critical of Obama and never outright endorses him. I feel exactly the same way! I love everything Obama represents to the millions of young Black children in this country. To actually see someone that embodies the “you really CAN be anything you want to be” notion that we are taught as children. At the same time, Obama’s positions on many issues does not reflect my left progressive politics (I’m not talking about what he says in speeches, I’m talking about what he has voted for and what he says he will vote for. Those damn cold hard policies. What can I say? I’m a sociologist, a sucker for facts and data). I feel like such a downer next to all the Obama supporters of my generation, but hey, what are you gonna do.
Ishmael Reed’s book, Blues City: A Walk in Oakland, is one of my favorites.