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Vote Obama... or DIE!!!


Barack Obama didn't attend the BET Awards, but that didn't stop attendees from talking about him.

"If we all register and vote, we will have the first black president in the history of America," Sean "Diddy" Combs told the crowd Tuesday at the Shrine Auditorium before chanting "Obama or Die" - a declarative remix of his neutral "Vote or Die" motto from the 2004 presidential election, when he attempted to boost the youth vote.

Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, was just a few blocks away at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for a fundraiser with a Hollywood guest list that included supermodels Heidi Klum and Cindy Crawford, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard and movie stars Samuel L. Jackson and John Malkovich. While Obama didn't make an appearance at the BET Awards - either live or on tape - his presence was felt.

As she picked up her award for best female R&B artist, Alicia Keys told the crowd that it's time for black people to erase the word "can't" from their vocabulary.

"Together we can do anything," she said, playing on the Democrat's "Yes We Can" mantra before shouting: "Obama y'all!"

I don't know that I'd be particularly proud to have someone who can't even decide what his name is endorsing me.

And what happens if we don't vote for Obama? How are we going to die? Will it be because we'll just fall over mysteriously out of nowhere? Will global warming suddenly rapidly take effect as soon as McCain is inaugurated and kill us all? Or will Puff Daddy Puffy P Diddy Sean John Whatever-His-Name-Is-Now send an army of Obamamaniacs throughout the country to kill us?

(To all you liberals who are hyperventilating reading this right now: YES. This is tongue-in-cheek. Relax.)

Anyway, it's just typical to see that those on the left are, yet again, using emotion to garner support for their candidate rather than facts, reasoning, logic... or anything that someone over the age of five could understand. I guess this really shouldn't surprise anyone.


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Comments (30)

Well, the Obamessiah has be... (Below threshold)
Master Shake:

Well, the Obamessiah has been known to consort with people who seem rather keen on explosives (e.g. former Weathermen, HAMAS), so sending an army of Obamamaniacs throughout the country to kill us isn't that much of a stretch....

Sean Combs' name is Sean Co... (Below threshold)

Sean Combs' name is Sean Combs. He lost his nickname privlidges for some time ago.

Crude, and stupid. It's a ... (Below threshold)

Crude, and stupid. It's a twofer.

Hussein O promises hope and... (Below threshold)

Hussein O promises hope and change. Mugabe promised hope and change and led the murder of hundreds of thousand and the starvation of a nation. Hussein O will do the same here.

'OBAMA OR DIE!' funny t-shi... (Below threshold)

'OBAMA OR DIE!' funny t-shirts!
sweet! http://www.moewampum.com

What, Scrapiron? I checked... (Below threshold)

What, Scrapiron? I checked barackobama.com and couldn't find anything in his platform about "the murder of hundreds of thousands" or "starvation". Ease up on throttle, pal, you're gonna give yourself a stroke.

But seriously, I can't fault black people for being excited and emotional about Obama's candidacy. Going from being bought and sold as property of white people to a man who is at this point at least the prohibitive favorite to be the President of the United States is a milestone and a moment I could never even imagine feeling.

We're just not worthy.... (Below threshold)

We're just not worthy.

uh Ryan, they were sold as ... (Below threshold)

uh Ryan, they were sold as property yes, but not just to the White man.If I recall my history correctly,they were also sold to africans,muslems and others. just saying.

Ryan:But seriousl... (Below threshold)

But seriously, I can't fault black people for being excited and emotional about Obama's candidacy.

That's because they, and apparently you, see race as identity... which is the belief that your race defines who you are... which is the most basic definition of racism.

You've over-generalized the... (Below threshold)

You've over-generalized the term, Mike. There are pernicious forms of racism--e.g. race-based slavery, anti-miscegenation, etc.--and there are ways of being positively attuned to differences that are often the result of the more pernicious forms of racism I just noted.

You can disagree that race ought to be brought into the equation to ameliorate historical inequalities. I'll make some assumptions and over-simplify your position: "Despite all sociological evidence to the contrary, we're all equal now in the eyes of the law so stop talking about historical injustice because my father never owned any slaves!" Presumably you think that racial inequality is no longer something to be legislated against, and that black community leaders ought to step up and provide positive encouragement rather than asking the government to fix that which segregation and slavery wrought upon the African American community.

Fair enough. But you can't say that the sort of race-based indignation expressed by Martin Luther King Jr. is racism, if you're using the word the same way we would use it to refer to that which David Duke advocates. A person's race in the United States is a big part of their identity. There is no such thing as a neutral "American"--everybody came from somewhere, everyone has benefited or suffered because of it, and simply saying "You and I are the same, quit talking about yourself like you're different," is to choose to ignore a very real cultural phenomenon--again, for better or worse.

Sorry, that didn't need to ... (Below threshold)

Sorry, that didn't need to be so verbose. With brevity:

1) You are different, and in some ways worse than me, because you're black

2) You treat me differently because I'm black, that's not fair, and I want something done about it

1 and 2 are not equivalently racist statements.

"yet again, using emotio... (Below threshold)

"yet again, using emotion to garner support for their candidate rather than facts, reasoning, logic...

In 2004?

Hyper:Let's look a... (Below threshold)


Let's look at #2 for a second. Is there a difference in the following scenarios:

1. I think you treat me differently because I'm black and I want something done about it ... but in reality you actually treat me equally and it is my perception of the treatment that is in error.

2. I have been treated differently because I'm black, and although not by you or anyone associated with you I demand that you be included in contributing to the things that must be done to rectify that prior treatment.

In the first case it is the perception of the wronged that is in error, and yet that perception is taken at face value while the protestations of the accused are denied. That's not the way it works in court. This is the way whites perceive the argument today - I haven't a racist bone in my body so why am I being told I'm racist.

In the second scenario someone devoid of responsibility is being held responsible. That ain't right either. This is the reparations conundrum - how do you hold someone accountable for something with which they had nothing to do.

For what it's worth, yes I'm white, and my grandparents on my mothers side came to the US in the early 1900's from eastern Europe. My father came to this country in the 1950's. How exactly does my being white make me responsible for reparations for slavery?

Giacomo, that's one of many... (Below threshold)

Giacomo, that's one of many unfortunate things about the racial history of the United States: many people who did nothing to perpetuate colour-based injustice will be affected by well-intentioned efforts at fixing the lingering problems, and just because there seems to be no fair way to make restitutions for it--to actually create an equal horizon of opportunity for those who have suffered because of the colour of their skin--it does not mean that restitutions ought not to be made. See, slave owners not only brought evil upon their human "property", they have also inflicted a historical burden upon their children's children's children's children. That you are of relatively recent immigrant stock makes this doubly unfortunate for you, but you can take some solace in the fact that you are living in one of the best countries in the world, and will perhaps contribute to its betterment by working towards making your society fair for all of its constituents.

I didn't kill or rape or detain any Aboriginal Canadians, and neither did my grandparents or parents. It still falls upon us, as members of a society that has been shaped in part by race-based asymmetries of which I have reaped the benefits (consciously or otherwise), to contribute to the rectification.

This is a philosophical difference that will not soon be resolved, but so long as you don't think I hold all white people in the United States responsible for racial inequality, that's as much understanding as the conversation requires. Nobody's saying it's anyone particular person's fault (except maybe Trent Lott's--haha); but the people who express a very understandable degree of indigation at the notion that they might have to contribute to repairing the damage that a legacy of racism wrought upon the cultural fabric of their country should consider for a moment whether being a white person has given them certain advantages in a culture that is very much attuned to racial distinction.

"...and just because th... (Below threshold)

"...and just because there seems to be no fair way to make restitutions for it--to actually create an equal horizon of opportunity for those who have suffered because of the colour of their skin--it does not mean that restitutions ought not to be made."

You're joking, right? You propose doing something even if its not fair? Why? To assuage your guilt over something for which you shouldn't feel guilty?

I'm all for equal opportunity and equal treatment for individuals. But that's not what you're talking about, is it?

You're right that this philosophical difference will not soon be resolved. I believe in looking forward, and the best way to make "restitution" for past societal sins is to remove any remaining barriers now and in the future. Giving cash solves nothing, as the multi-trillion LBJ "War on Poverty" could tell you with it's many unintended consequences. And affirmative action is a group, not individual solution which by it's very nature assists one group at the expense of another - and creates animosity and resentment in that group.

Be forward thinking, and work to correct injustices where they currently exist, or may exist in the future.

You shouldn't feel guilty a... (Below threshold)

You shouldn't feel guilty about reaping the rewards of centuries-old injustices? I do. "White man's burden" is usually uttered jokingly these days, but I don't feel that amends have been made. We're all equal in the eyes of the law, sure, but we aren't all equal.

Now I'm not categorically in favour of affirmative action programs/policies. I think that insofar as they help to level the playing field such that in the future there will be no need for racialized preferences in (e.g.) universities' admissions policies, then we should make use of them. However, if longitudinal sociological studies show that they are not having any real effect, or are actually making students of whichever minority lazier (which I seriously doubt), then they should be done away with.

And as for financial reparations, I don't think that's a reasonable measure; I can't imagine that having any lasting effect on the cultural fabric. Granting Aboriginal Canadians enormous tax breaks and giving them free housing did nothing to ease them out of cyclical poverty, and actually helped reinforce a lot of negative stereotypes among non-Aboriginals. It didn't work, it won't work, and I want the government to find a better way of integrating this tragically abused ethnographic into mainstream Canadian society. I think affirmative action programs in universities etc. are a pretty good and relatively painless way of working towards equality and reconciliation.

Longitudinal sociological studies tell us real things about real people. Any discussion of ameliorating racial inequality in the United States should ultimately answer to the facts: which policies have been implemented for a sufficient amount of time for us to measure their impact; and what has their impact been? A laissez-faire approach to race relations might appeal to those who would certainly prefer a laissez-faire government in general, but that doesn't mean that laissez-faire social policy is best suited for all social ills.

Who said anything about lai... (Below threshold)

Who said anything about laissez-faire?

And by the way, no, I don't feel guilty for "reaping the rewards of centuries-old injustices." Because I and my family haven't.

There is a difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome. The former should be the only concern of government. The latter is unobtainable, absent barbed wire, walls, secret police and mass murder. And in that case everyone is equally miserable.

Well, my grandfather shares... (Below threshold)

Well, my grandfather shares your sentiment, but when he came to Canada from the Netherlands, he was given opportunities that never would have been extended to an immigrant from Africa. In fact, they probably wouldn't have taken immigrants from Africa. And all that, despite there being no legal obstacles to equality--but obstacles there are, and they're very real.

Your country, as it stands, does not have equal opportunity. Equal-in-the-eyes-of-the-law is not equal opportunity. If you think someone born in the worst part of Detroit has the same opportunity as someone born in Beverly Hills, then I guess that's where our conversation would have to end.

... and I should add that d... (Below threshold)

... and I should add that discriminatory immigration/migrant worker policies in Canada back in the day were similar to those in the U.S., from what I understand. I don't think a Chinese person could become a citizen after helping to build a railroad in either place.

Anyway, it's just typica... (Below threshold)

Anyway, it's just typical to see that those on the left are, yet again, using emotion to garner support for their candidate rather than facts, reasoning, logic

Uh, are you kidding? Were you paying attention in 2004? "Vote or die" may a stupid position, but the left in 2008 isn't the first to use it. That was pretty much the entire platform the Republicans ran on in 2004.

Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma told a group of Republicans that "if George Bush loses the election, Osama bin Laden wins the election." He was echoed by the right-wing media. One nationally syndicated columnist wrote, "Which candidate does our enemy want to lose? George W. Bush." Fox News pundit Monica Crowley similarly observed, "America's adversaries want to see John Kerry elected." Later that month, Republican political operatives commissioned an "independent" poll that purported to find that "60 percent of registered voters believed that terrorists would support John Kerry in this year's presidential elections." The poll was so suspect that only the right-wing media reported it.

And let's not forget that oldie but goodie...

"It's absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice," Mr. Cheney told a crowd of 350 people in Des Moines, "because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we'll get hit again and we'll be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States."

In other words, Bush or die. Charming.

At least this time "vote or die" is coming from irrelevant fanboys, and not, as with the 2004 Republicans, directly from the party itself.

I beg to differ. This coun... (Below threshold)

I beg to differ. This country does have equal opportunity - to anyone with ambition and ability and a willingness to keep trying. You're mistaking economic advantage for opportunity itself.

You don't have to become rich to be succcessful. You have follow the rules, work hard, and be the best you can be at what you do, raise your family right and take care of your obligations. Do that and you are successful (and will be gratefully embraced by society regardless of your race.)

That person born in Beverly Hills may have more money, but that doesn't make them a success. The one born in Detroit, as long as no road blocks are placed in their way, has every chance to be successful provided they follow the path outlined above.

By the way, you sure think you know a lot about America for a Canadian.

Economic starting point and... (Below threshold)

Economic starting point and opportunity are inextricably intertwined with one another. Not to pick on your President, but there's no way in hell that guy would be where he is if he had been born in a trailer park to low income parents.

For every successful person who comes from humble beginnings, there are thousands of people who exist in cyclical poverty. Sure, it's possible that they could pull themselves up by the bootstraps and get on with things, but one needn't be a sociologist to know that people born "better", do "better". And that's not fair.

"...as long as no road blocks are placed in their way..."

We aren't going to agree on this, but I think that being poor is a road block--not an insurmountable one, but one that ought to force us to recognize that the road is a hell of a lot smoother for certain people by virtue of the fact that they're lucky. That's all it is: if you're born to hard-working middle class parents and you work hard and live a good life, a lot of that has to do with luck--lucky not to be born in a ghetto or trailer park or with AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Your society, and mine, rewards people for being lucky. That's not capitalism.

I don't claim to be an expert on the United States, but I do know more about it than lots of Canadians with knee-jerk anti- or pro-American sentiment. I read a lot. And pretty much all of the case studies I looked at in grad school used American society and economics as examples. My memory, though, is spotty, and I'm as prone to over-generalizing as the next person. So please, do correct whichever misconceptions you feel that I have. I do read this blog to learn things too, not just argue with people.

I see. You're a socialist.... (Below threshold)

I see. You're a socialist. Let's equalize everyone's starting point.

Which ties right into your previous point that there should be something done even if it's not fair.

Well, we're *all* socialist... (Below threshold)

Well, we're *all* socialists, Giacomo, to varying degrees. I don't want a 100% estate tax or something stupid like that. But I would like policymakers to take into consideration the fact that serious psychological and economic obstacles exist among the poor, and it's glib (at best) to assert that everyone enjoys the same opportunity to achieve good lives for themselves and their families.

Do you not think there's something seriously wrong with some 18 year old Cape Cod asshole coming into hundreds of millions of dollars by virtue of the fact that his parents were successful (or Kennedys)? I think legacies of wealth are completely antithetical to fair free market societies. But again, I don't want a 100% estate tax--let the polo-playing pricks keep a million dollars or something. I'm not going to give the specifics of this serious thought, because I don't know the specifics of your tax laws and I want to watch my awful Blue Jays lose to the Reds.

I must say, in all honesty, that I appreciate your civility. I know it's annoying when someone from another country who doesn't know as much as he wants people to think he does debates you on aspects pertaining to your own country. I get my back up when people tell me that I live in an authoritarian bloc, and usually am much less polite to them than you've been this afternoon. Cheers.

hyper:You've over... (Below threshold)

You've over-generalized the term, Mike

I don't think so. It sounds as though you're arguing that racism comes in different forms. I agree. However, while racism certainly has different manifestations, there's an essential component to all forms of racism that is 'race as identity' - hence my assessment of the statement of what 'black people' should be happy about, as being racist in essence.

Well, denying that racial c... (Below threshold)

Well, denying that racial categories are salient differentiators in the minds of most Americans (or Western people in general) is kind of laughable, Mike. I'm sure you actually consider black and white people to be equal, but many people don't; the differences have been institutionalized and solidified; they're perpetuated by the media and by statistics; and thus they must be taken seriously before we can start to talk about a post-racial society. Lots more work to be done before we're there.

hyper:Well, denyi... (Below threshold)

Well, denying that racial categories are salient differentiators in the minds of most Americans (or Western people in general) is kind of laughable, Mike..

I don't believe I claimed that race wasn't a differentiator but that the view that it (race) is an essential, or rather a primary, differentiator that is the part of the foundation of what we call 'racism'.

and thus they must be taken seriously before we can start to talk about a post-racial society.

And as long as race remains a primary differentiator ('Black people should be happy for a black person'), there cannot be a 'post-racial' society. To that end, the meme must be weeded out, not embraced and nurtured.

Agreed, Mike. I don't think... (Below threshold)

Agreed, Mike. I don't think there's anything "essential" about race either. But I don't think we can yet say "We're past the point where you can use the colour of your skin to expect to be treated differently to compensate for hundreds of years of people getting dicked over simply because they look like you".

So long as people are thoughtful about this (so: shut up Trent Lott, shut up Al Sharpton), and have the same goal in mind, I think it'll get better before it gets worse. I think that a black president will help incorporate a lot of otherwise jaded black Americans into the political process, and who knows, it might even inspire some genuinely positive black community activism.

I could've picked a better ... (Below threshold)

I could've picked a better example than Trent Lott. He's just fun to pick on.

Nice exchanging thoughts with you, Mike. As it's Canada Day on Tuesday, I'm going to enjoy a four day weekend; and as it's Pride Weekend in Toronto, I expect to spend the better part of it sauced on stupid fruity cocktails dancing to bad techno music with my girlfriend and her gay fashionista posse.

So, happy Canada Day to everyone, and happy Pride Weekend! Celebrate! Holiday! Feel so fine! /falsetto


Nice exchanging thoughts... (Below threshold)

Nice exchanging thoughts with you, Mike.

Indeed. :) I've recently discovered Karl Popper and have been reading some of his works. He's managed to describe what I believed without foundation for years.

Popper's primary contribution to philosophy (based on my limited readings) is that knowledge progresses through 'conjecture and refutation'. So by offering honest, thoughtful criticism one provides another with the opportunity to refine or discard a belief thus, potentially, leaving them better off.

It's in that spirit that I say "thanks" :)






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