Steve Sailer, a racial-purity advocate of the subtle-like-a-brick variety, has an Obama smear piece running in the American Conservative. From it, we are evidently to conclude that Obama may (or may not) decide to follow his heart (rather than his head) and give full rein to his racial identity conflicts and sell-out white people:
A racial group is a large extended family, and Obama’s book is primarily about his rejection of his supportive white maternal extended family in favor of his unknown black paternal extended family.
For the few willing to read all 442 pages, he offers important testimony about the enduring glamour of anti-white anger. It’s a bitter counterweight to the sunny hopes so widely invested in his candidacy as the man whose election as president would somehow help America finally “transcend race.”
Actually, no. That’s not what Obama’s book is primarily about, and contrary to Sailer’s rather smug intimation that he is one of the few who could actually get through it, Polimom has also read Dreams From My Father. I found it to be a fast, gripping read that described, primarily, two things:
A young person’s journey to understand — and place — himself in the context of our society, and that same young man’s arrival at the destination most of us (though not all) usually reach: the discovery that reality rarely matches one’s idealized childhood gods. Obama’s personal journey is unique only in that it exposed him to our country’s complex, layered societal dicta in a way that very few are.
Mr. Sailer not only chooses to miss the point of the book, he spends over 4,000 words in the doing. Furthermore, his article is full of misrepresentations and innuendo.
In Obama’s eighth grade class picture, at least seven and perhaps as many as ten of the 21 students are non-white. Brian Charlton of the AP threw some cold water on Obama’s adolescent alienation fantasies: “He was known as Barry Obama, and with his dark complexion and mini-Afro, he was one of the few blacks at the privileged Hawaiian school overlooking the Pacific. Yet that hardly made him stand out. Diversity was the norm at the Punahou School, one of the state’s top private schools.” His classmates say he was a popular and cheerful figure, the opposite of the tortured personality described in Dreams, in which he rationalizes his teenage drug use as “something that could push questions of who I was out of my mind . . .”
When Barack was in high school in the later 1970s, no whites held Hawaii’s top elected jobs as U.S. senator or governor. Indeed, as his father pointed out in a 1963 newspaper interview, whites were sometimes the victims of discrimination in Hawaii. Obama also fails to note the charming local custom of calling the last day of school “Kill Haole Day.”
Like Obama, many Hawaiian residents are the products of mixed marriages: in 1956-57, interracial marriage rates ranged from 22.0 percent for professionals to 43.5 percent for farm workers. There’s not much of a one-drop-of-blood rule for defining racial membership in Hawaii that mandated that Obama call himself black and only black.
However, such helpful elucidation, from both Charlton and Sailer, doesn’t change the kids in that picture.
This extremely diverse group includes exactly one who looks like Obama… yet Sailer smoothly, conveniently sails right past that.
It is, however, in his conclusion that the man who recently wrote at VDare that Barack Obama is a “wigger” finally hits his stride:
In his head, Obama surely knows that his becoming the world’s biggest man would be bad for the work ethic of Kenyans, some of whom would assume America would support them. But in his heart, none of that matters.
For Americans wondering about his fitness to be president, his latest Kenyan trip symbolizes the inner duality beneath his dapper exterior. He possesses one of the finest minds of any politician, but his personal passions routinely war against his acknowledging unwelcome truths, even to himself.
Whether his head or heart would prove stronger in the White House remains unknown, perhaps even to Barack Obama.
Sailer thus hopes to leave the (white) reader concerned that Barack Obama might ultimately succumb to his heart and betray the foolish, guilt-laden whites who blindly, mistakenly, fell for his smooth glibness — or, as Matthew Yglesias describes it:
We’re seriously supposed to worry that if Obama becomes president his “heart” may prove stronger than his “head” and he’ll sell us all down the river to become a corrupt East African big man? Really? We also learn that Obama is “nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against his mother’s race” — i.e., Barack hates white people.
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Via memeorandum, there are others writing about Sailer’s article, including Andrew Sullivan (who found it “provocative”), and Michael van der Galien, who notices some of those less-than-subtle undertones.