Being Over Race

March 20, 2008

a.k.a. Barack Obama is really ticking me off right now.

Seriously though, I'm taking some time to let this speech marinate before I speak too much on it.. I learned back when I started writing for The Source that it's almost impossible to review an album properly after listening to it only once, you really need to sit with it for at least a couple of weeks to know what you feel about it (I mean, unless it's straight-up wack in which case 10 seconds per song is sufficient). This speech was a full length album that I'd rather sit with for a while instead of rushing out a half baked reaction so I can make it into the same news cycle or whatever. Might make a separate video on Rev. Wright, Obama's grandmother, buses and such later on.

Posted by jsmooth995 at March 20, 2008 2:57 AM

OMG, by being against talk of post-racial politics, I think you are post-racist! STOP POST-RACISM NOW!

Posted by: Anil at March 20, 2008 3:06 AM

Impeach da bum!:)

Posted by: Mark Forman at March 20, 2008 3:12 AM

I really like that you compared assessing a speech to reviewing an album. You always have a great way of saying things, and that is why I am a fan.

Posted by: Paul Dateh at March 20, 2008 4:19 AM

Over in my personal blog, we started that conversation yesterday. Anyone reading, feel free to join in, or to spread the idea across the 'nets.

Thanks, Jay.

Posted by: Woodrow at March 20, 2008 8:06 AM

I cringe every time I hear fox news political pundants use Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech as evidence of his conviction to a color blind society. It was Dr. King who said "Lets not confuse being color blind with being love struck." Color blind erases someones past, their culture, their heritage, while being love struck embraces their past, culture and heritage. (Cornel West)

Let's not be color blind, lets be love struck!

Posted by: Markus at March 20, 2008 8:50 AM

Thanks for taking this topic on.

Posted by: KellyBelly at March 20, 2008 9:15 AM

Here is my opinion: (I know you didn't ask for it) :)

I am so happy this speech was given. However, saddened that it had to come form Mr Obama. Even though he is probably the best person to deliver it plus have it heard and read by so many. When the short clips of his Minister first came out, I was dumbfounded as to why this was even an issue worth discussing. Then as I saw so many ask questions and react in an offensive way then I realized that perhaps many don’t realize the the uncomfortable issues must be brought to light so that an intelligent discussions can occur. And this happens all over the world in discussions and debates everyday. The types that are meant to define the 5 Ws … Who , What , Where, When and Why. (Basic stuff!! ) It also occurred to me that people outside of some Pentecostal, Breathrin, Baptist churches and so on ….some labeled as Black Churches not limited to but some predominantly attended by blacks …..are used to sermons where there preacher talks AT them rather than enter into a discussion with the congregation. People that are not used to having a regular Sunday morning discussion don’t know that it’s common to start with an uncomfortable issue and by the end of the sermon have answers for the 5Ws by the end; clearing up the truths from the un-truths and in some cases leaving it open ended so one can leave and do some soul searching. This is common place in many churches like Rev Wrights. As for Mr. Obama ….America has a man that has shown that when the going gets tough…he doesn’t just run away or does nothing and hopes for the best. He has shown that he is steadfast in his beliefs not only in his values but also his country and his politics. Here is a man that regardless of his own interest (winning the Presidency) showed he had the guts to stand up an tackle head on the uncomfortable truths of a country and individuals. He has shown that as a President he will not run away from difficult situations but will stand in solidarity with the country. The Country He Loves! Tackling each situation as a whole and moving as a mighty force. Isn’t that the type of president America NEEDS?

Posted by: Kellybelly at March 20, 2008 9:19 AM

I am told when the Roman Empire fell they had the worse politicians.
All the Statesmen had just not pitched up in some time.
Anyway, as the American Empire falls, is it possible we are getting the best politician and Statesman this country will ever know?

I really like the speech because he spoke his mind and you can tell it is his mind and not a bunch of advisors or compromisers.

I especially like his not disowning the deeds the pastor did for him.

As to all the other stuff the pastor said; as one who attended First World Alliance lectures regularly, i have to say for those who have never heard the likes of the pastor, it's a Black thing, you just wouldn't understand.

Posted by: audiodramatist at March 20, 2008 11:43 AM

Hey, you better be careful. Winnie The Pooh is sneaking up on you. Because you are not recognizing his race, the yellow pot belly bear.

Posted by: Asali at March 20, 2008 11:47 AM

when the comments came out I just braced myself for the fallout. I had no personal problem with what he said, "god damn America" is a feeling I can relate to. Even as a middle class 20 something with a WASP ancestry the sermon seemed spot on to me. but I knew that others would not take the same stance, Obama made quick work of the issue though, not by shying away but by taking it on. When has a politician spoke that openly about race with so much at stake? NEVER! His ability to recognize the racial divide in this country is what will allow him to be a uniter. Jay, it is my hope that the speech is something we will look back at for years to come as the beginning of the discussion and hopefully the healing, not the end of it. The speech was great because it spoke to all Americans, about an issue that involves us all. I imagine that John and Hillary were feeling quite dejected as they watched, realizing that it will take more than scare tactics to prevent this born leader from leading our country. Color blindness is in no way the answer, it is time to evolve and Obama is the right person at the right time to break down these walls.

Posted by: anders at March 20, 2008 12:38 PM

I saved the speech to my computer right after I watched it. I can imagine showing it to my kids.

You’re spot on with the nuance. Really brave for an aspiring presidential candidate in the most media-saturated, soundbite-oriented (I wish I could edit out the CNN info bar where they summarise the speech *as he’s making it*) nation in the world to deliver a long, nuanced speech about a really divisive issue.

That it was as clear and powerful as it was is a testament to Team Obama’s powers of comunication. I’ve read that he wrote the speech himself. If so, I’d elect him on that alone. He’ll figure the rest out.

Posted by: Paul D. Waite at March 20, 2008 1:34 PM

fuck post-racism

kill whitey!

Posted by: eric at March 20, 2008 4:20 PM

Dude, you BOTH totally copied the whole "black father white mother thing" ME.

I'm totally older than you and I beat you to it.


Sorry you got scooped. Post it anyways!

Posted by: missb at March 20, 2008 4:22 PM

Eric: ...that's real' positive !

Posted by: KellyBelly at March 20, 2008 4:26 PM

ok, sorry... i love whitey!

Posted by: eric at March 20, 2008 7:43 PM

Eric, I reject and denounce your words. REJECT AND DENOUNCE.

And yet, I can no more disown Eric than I can disown the blogosphere community.

Posted by: Jay Smooth at March 20, 2008 7:59 PM

Not to sound like a kiss-ass, even though I obviously am, but I just posted this on my blog with a link to this website.

Not only is Jay Smooth handsome and smart and funny, but he is sexy as hell. His website deals mainly with hip-hop and the music industry; watching his blogs feels like taking a class on the history of hip-hop and race and politics. I absolutely love his blog called "The Music Biz and the Moral High Ground." He manages to talk in a truly conversational and casual tone without losing any of his incisiveness or wit. Plus he calls out Bill O’Reilly for his hypocrisy and bullish behavior. Love.

Oh and on topic, this post-racist bullshit makes me as mad as the term post-feminist. Sexism and racism are alive and well. This country has made so many strides in the last 100 years, but I worry that we're grinding to a halt. I am not perfect. I can be a racist ass sometimes, and when I am, I need to be called out on it. This shoving shit under the rug makes things quieter and yet paradoxically, horribly virulent and dangerous.

Posted by: Beth at March 20, 2008 9:12 PM

You rock my little (white girl) world. I esp. like your comment that if we don't want to discuss something ever again, we're obviously not over it.

This country is about as far being "over" racism as it can be.

Thanks for continuing the dialogue.

Posted by: Cora D at March 20, 2008 9:28 PM

You're great. This is your 2nd vblog I've seen, and this is the first time I've wanted to see more vblogs. Please keep it up.

Posted by: joe at March 21, 2008 12:38 PM

Maybe the reason why Barack stole your bit is because he is a fan of illdoctrine.

Posted by: Michelle at March 21, 2008 5:16 PM

great minds think alike, jay! you and barack are like intellectual brothers. MARRY ME?

Posted by: tdotmamacita at March 21, 2008 11:51 PM


Jay for Veep.

(Thanks for the shout, BTW).

Posted by: Dan Charnas at March 22, 2008 8:51 AM

I am, however, a little disturbed that the cat didn't get his (her?) say-so in this piece.

Which moves this discussion into Post-Speciesism...

Posted by: Dan Charnas at March 22, 2008 9:02 AM

Barack Obama is IN YO HEAD!

oh and that real talk challenge? has definitely been accepted.

Posted by: ann at March 22, 2008 5:13 PM

fuck u asshole... who are you for the dyke Hilary?? Your a fucking cracker hipercrate. Its boofalay ass wiggers like you who ruined Hip-Hop anyway. I cant believe people watch you but their probably hip-hop crackers like you. Hating on Blacks and Hispanics like you created hip-hop but ruined it. Go to Jew hell.

Posted by: dickinyourmouf at March 22, 2008 9:38 PM

Hey now... I may be boofalay.. I may even be a hipercrate.. but I am NOT an ass wigger. I don't even know what ass wigging is!

Posted by: Jay Smooth at March 23, 2008 4:26 AM

Personally, I would be completely cool with Barack Obama being inside my brain. I loved the comparison between your reacting to the speech and reviewing an album. Because a lot of times people rush to act on what their first impulse or perception of something is without thoroughly thinking it through and that usually leads to a whole mess of problems.
Oh, and what is a "boofalay-ass-wigger"? Is it like, a rectal disease or something?

Posted by: GR at March 23, 2008 10:20 AM

What the hell is a "hipercrate"? Do you get those at Ikea?

Posted by: Michelle at March 23, 2008 2:39 PM

Jay... i guess my irony was mostly just selfish amusement. I guess I don't take these internet conversations about race very seriously anymore.

It would seem like the opposite sentiment...

"Can't we all just get along?"

...would be equally naive and offensive.

I guess I was speaking for all the people who still hate... even if I am not one of them.

Posted by: eric at March 23, 2008 6:53 PM

oh yeah...

What IS a "boofalay"???

Posted by: eric at March 23, 2008 6:54 PM

oh man. i'm so stupid... i just got "white grandmothered" by Jay Smooth!

Jay: 1
Eric: 0

Posted by: eric at March 23, 2008 7:22 PM

What's up with the bear? another goop point.

Posted by: Amiyd at March 27, 2008 12:38 AM

I know I came to this late in the game as in this post is a bit old but OMIGOD! You stole *my* thoughts! So many times I've told people, "no no no, it's ok to talk about race and to acknowledge race and ethnicity, it just has to be free of judgment" (as you put it.)
Freakin' finally. But I don't have a vlog. I do have a blog, but I talk about books and race sometimes, if it pertains to my books.
Nice job. Look forward to more vlogs.

Posted by: Andrea R. at April 2, 2008 5:47 PM

nice touch of pooh bear. that's all i'm saying.

Posted by: mellemusic at April 3, 2008 11:35 AM

your really good at getting your point across.

wanna check out some new music? go to [gratuitous promo redacted, please don't make comments just for the sake of promo links] and check out his new single produced by Soulja Boy. it's definately a catchy song, no doubt about that.

Posted by: elle at April 11, 2008 4:25 PM

At first I thought I wouldn't concur with your thoughts, but you hit it right on the head. Point: The state of being uncomfortable with a discussion on race shows that you are not over it.

Posted by: Leffry Mebili Portis at May 26, 2008 4:58 PM


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