Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nader: Obama Trying to be “Non-threatening,” “Talks White” and appeals to “White Guilt”

I absolutely had to share this. Ralph Nader did an interview with the Rocky Mountain News and he said some of the following:

"There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader said. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."

Asked to clarify whether he thought Obama does try to "talk white," Nader said: "Of course.

"I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law," Nader said. "Haven't heard a thing."

"He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician," Nader said. "He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."

I’d love to hear any comments on what Nader had to say. Do you agree or disagree?

Source:, by M.E. Sprengelmeyer, Nader: Obama Talking White


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My short answer is that Nader is an idiot.

He's buying into exactly the racist thinking that he claims to be decrying in his assertion of what constitutes correct behavior by someone else due, largely, to his race. It seems to me that the same logic would dictate that Ralph should only address issues that concern white people. His statements make him seem more stupid than merely hypocritical. "Talks White" -- ? That he even uses the term is atavistic.

Sometime during 2000, I'd heard someone point out that Nader's entire career and notoriety is founded upon advocacy for those who spend their money on products and services marketed to them -- "consumers". He works for people who spend money on... stuff, who support this consumerist economy, society. It's a good point. When Nader first made a name for himself, "consumers" were mostly considered "mainstream" -- that is, white, middle class. I don't think he's changed his tune or audience over the decades. This recent interview confirms that his perspective is limited, that he is ignorant.

7:00 PM  

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