I wonder what a "Puerto Rican Obama" would be like.
Would he/she charm America by dropping just enough español in the speeches? (he/she would have gone to Yale or some Ivy, obviously, so it's not like all he does is hablas español. Just saying, it's part of his charm.)
We've gotten a little spice this season con, "si se puede!" Now throw in a little "Ahora!!" o "me gusta el culo más grande!!!" and I'm confident we could get primed up for cambiar all over again.
But yeah, who's gonna get that Freedom-To-Dream USA Certification next?
Because, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that's what the superlative nature of the celebration seems to be about, right? The African-Americans have graduated! On their own merit! One got through the labyrinthine maze to power (a cool one we've been rooting for, like Ratatouille), and now we can really, truly look at them with the deep down respect they deserve. And that's so awesome!
And it's true. All you non African-American ethnics, let me tell you, it's pretty cool being official right now. I'm already drawing Obama's face on all my money, yo. Five Baracks gets me a macbook pro, cashmere hoodie, and an hipster chick that appreciates it ... And she expresses her love through comments on my blog.
And I still get change back (lots and lots of Bushes?). And, and, AND, I might not even keep that change cause I'm thinking about giving all my white-people money to charity. Like, uh, Goldman Sachs. Ha. Word. I'm out for presidents to represent me. Knahmean?
AnyhahahahahahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, yeah, soooo I flash back to Obama brushing that dirt off his shoulder, and wonder how an Asian-American would flash their badge of "realness"/ethnic authenticity? Would/Could Jackie Chan be involved?
And will it take another 40+ white (and Black!) presidents to get to the Next? Don't we need to feel out how negroes run
What I mean to say is, we don't want to be judged after the first week; we want a little time to get comfortable, so we can really put our foot in it.
... I suspect a woman will be there soon, but that's different. We're way late on that. Whenever we fix it, the question remains: will she be non-white? Will we care?
Ultimately we probably won't care, because it looks like all that Puritan repression in the bedroom has taken its toll, and this election is essentially a kickoff to the US Ethnic/Multi-Racial Bowl Extravaganza. Minorities line up and be accounted for! The culture war is over, and culture has won! Proceed to your nearest Benetton and receive your uniform immediately!
So it's all adding up to it being a nice time to be alive, with a blog... and I'd say more but these two white-girl hobos just broke into my crib looking for
But, um, yeah, just so I can be taken a smidgen seriously, I'm going to close out these "Who's Next?" ramblings with an excerpt from an interview, currently in progress, with Hip Hop Professor, Jeff Chang.
Jeff recently crafted an Obama cover story for Vibe. And his book "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" is one of the new-school bibles on hip hop. His personal blog is here. Some real talk on racial/identity politics below:
TAN:A lot of your piece is premised around the new multi-racial majority, reports have whites becoming minority in 2050. It strikes me as a great new reservoir for comedy, but how do you see things changing once ethnics like us are running this piece?
Jeff: dude. now the census bureau says 2042. and the brookings institution says 18-29's hit that g-spot in 2028. 2028!!! i might even live that long.
so yeah, this is the big question now, right? this is where whiteness as the identity of power is crucial--i think of all the anti-black racism of my folks. it's pretty viscerally about both being higher up the food chain AND being lighter skinned. that, i think, was part of the real fear behind the 'is he black enough?' talk--but it was the Fear That Could Not Be Named, except perhaps by a cadre of folks who lived through COINTELPRO with a gun under their pillow. and generationally, some of us have been so eager to crash the party that those folks just sound really old. that's the flipside of 'post-racial' if you will.
the truth is probably somewhere in between--and my sympathies probably lie closer to the cadres than the david broders of the world, who are ready to call it a day for racism before driving home to their gated community.
lots of folks i spoke to this year, especially bun b and david banner, really wanted to emphasize that obama would be the president of america, not of non-white america, and that we needed to deal with that. which for me raised the obama and faith question. do we place our faith in him that he's gonna make things right? in this sense, 'yes we can' was a neat little rhetorical device--it allowed obama to wipe that dirt off his shoulder. it's not me, it's you. barack is getting ready to let us down easy. but then again, i truly buy his sincerity. i'm feeling that earnestness. after so many years of 'kick me please', it's nice to hear someone say, 'have it your way' and like really really mean it.
i guess my best hope is that the difficult conversations around race continue, that obama's presence puts a ceiling on the biliousness and the viciousness, and that the general arc gets pointed again in the direction of justice. as for the rest of it, i take his challenge seriously--if obama's in the office, then let's get it.