October 8, 2008

Somebody else finally gets it

David Samuels New Republic article on Barack Obama's Dreams from My Father says, very well, what I've been saying for two years now:

... it seems right to mention that the Barack Obama who appears in Dreams, and, one presumes, in his own continuing interior life, is not a comforting multiracial or post-racial figure like Tiger Woods or Derek Jeter who prefers to be looked at through a kaleidoscope. Though there are many structural parallels between Dreams and Invisible Man, Obama believes in the old-fashioned, unabashedly romantic, and, in the end, quite weird idea of racial authenticity that Ellison rejected. He embraces his racial identity despite his mixed parentage through a kind of Kierkegaardian leap into blackness, through which he hopes to become a whole, untroubled person.

It's an excellent article. (Besides making the same overall argument, lots of supporting details in Samuels' article appeared earlier in this blog.)

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

"He embraces his racial identity despite his mixed parentage through a kind of Kierkegaardian leap into blackness, through which he hopes to become a whole, untroubled person."

It will be a wonderful thing for our country to have yet another POTUS who has serious "daddy issues".

Bill said...

Yes, pretty good. Intellectually it shines like a finely-polished jewel. But there's an effeminate verbosity to it that I suppose is just a reflection of today's style.

What really struck me was this stark, implicit warning:

"Or else we can continue the way that we are, until America actually becomes a Third World country...."

Yep.

headache said...

bill sed:
"Or else we can continue the way that we are, until America actually becomes a Third World country...."

Bill, that's the goal of all this. Third World countries suck for the middle class (mostly white America), but are great for the ├╝ber-rich (few restrictions, corruption, weak government) and criminals (same as before). Did you ever wonder what Rezko and Soros had in common?

bjdouble said...

So he doesn't offer the Disney ending? But he isn't like somebody who's half white and half-Asian, who's treated as such. In the US, he's 100% black. Obama is just being honest. SAD and her ilk are wrong. Whites can't save blacks, and Obama recognized it, to his credit.

Wade Nichols said...

Hmmm......I'm not one to believe in "black helicopters" and secret government cabals behind 9/11, but I wonder if perhaps David Samuels received some sort of "covert" assistance in writing this article from a certain "pit bull" named....Sailer????

Might be coincidental, but I seem to recall a certain question posed on 10/4: "I'm looking for more examples of this phenomenon of feeling the need, due to your unusual background, to prove you are X enough." That theme fits in with David Samuel's article.

Could this be yet another example of someone from the "popular press" cribbing their ideas from Mr. Sailer? David Brooks part deux?

Hmmm......I wonder.....

sunandwine said...

Mr. Sailer. I'd like to read your reaction to this piece about Obama's putative writing skills.


http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/10/who_wrote_dreams_from_my_fathe_1.html

The Chosen One said...

So, Steve, how much of the credit for Samuels' article are you claimimg?

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Thanks for pointing it out; it is a very good article and remarkable that it comes from TNR.

This is remarkable, not for what it says about Obama, but reveals about this left of center author's disdain for Liberal idealism; I find it a growing sentiment among this group:

The truth is that America is in big trouble, and the so-called national dialogue about race long ago became a collective act of masturbatory narcissism for whites and blacks alike. Barack Obama's father was never a slave; he was a Harvard graduate whose countrymen kicked the British out of their country just like we did.

We need a smooth-talking, democratic version of a cranky Third World autocrat like Lee Kwan Yew, who understands the world as it is and who doesn't talk crap. Or else we can continue the way that we are, until America actually becomes a Third World country.

*I don't know what he means by the last sentence and I'm skeptical he means for it to have anything to do with race, but probably is thinking about the overall intelligence and competence of our country and its government.

**Unrelated: I find it remarkable, and a little sad, that very few people among the elite, pundit class is interested in finding out more about our candidates from their books. John McCain is a writer as well and has received the same lack of interest in his writings. Yet, people speak endlessly and search about for who these men are and what motivates them, etc. Only the most elite thinkers have informed themselves from these books; I would have thought the share would have been much larger.

Richard h said...

These "dialogues about race" really are perfect for our narciccistic, Oprah-loving culture. Sepearation is the only way to end this cringe-inducing nightmare. Liberals are people silly enough to believe that one day we'll all get over it.

Anonymous said...

The article is too wordy, the language too flowery.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised at the number of my acquaintances who believe Obama to be as erudite as Daniel Patrick Moynihan, but he keeps it hidden so as not to appear to be an elitist. I just don't see it.

Damien said...

Obama is as much of an elitist as most of the politicians. I also remember him making a comment about a "typical white person"... what exactly do you mean by that Senator?

Still, I did some work for him this year and he is a very nice man... but that is not enough for me to trust him as our President. Ayers is a factor and I hate being patronized by his campaign about their relationship. Even Anderson Cooper was able to prove Obama has strong ties to Ayers and they have been friends for many years.

That is a scary notion for me and it has nothing to do with race... if McCain was friends with someone involved in the Okalahoma City bombings it would be UNACCEPTABLE!

Well... it is also unacceptable for Obama to have any friendly ties to Ayers... a known terrorist.

Sorry if I got off track, but all of this is so important for our future.

ode to a crab said...

I don't think attacks on the Ayers association stick. Nobody cares about 60's radicals anymore. They've become harmless in our folk memory.

Do the McCain people really think people are going to get worked up about Obama serving on some board with some nebbishy-looking white guy who's supposed to really BAAAAD because of some violent actions no one under fifty has even heard of?

Now the Wright association: that's juicy. There's a lot for average folks to get worked up about in that one, but it's apparently been declared off-limits in our brave new world.

Mr. Anon said...

"Damien said...

That is a scary notion for me and it has nothing to do with race... if McCain was friends with someone involved in the Okalahoma City bombings it would be UNACCEPTABLE!"

Quite right. Also, if it had turned out that John McCain had (for 20 years) patronized a Christian identity church that preached that blacks were mud-people and that the world was controlled by a zionist conspiracy, I dare say it'd be held against him.

And yet, Obama simply turned from Jeremiah Wright and walked away, and if YOU should bring it up, then there's something wrong with YOU, not him.

However,.....

"ode to a crab said...

I don't think attacks on the Ayers association stick. Nobody cares about 60's radicals anymore. They've become harmless in our folk memory"

I think Mr. Ode to a Crab is right. It's ancient history, and most people south of 60 wouldn't even care. Fact is, most of those SDS weathermen were pretty inept as guerillas. (The Black Panthers were a lot more dangerous). The more clearly murderous, blood-thirsty, urban terrorists came during the 70's.

Zimri said...

It is not a good article. It is symptomatic of the rot within TNR.

" There is a much-commented-upon scene in Dreams in which Obama is sitting in the library of the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia and discovers a photo in Life of a black man who burned his skin off trying to become white. Right-wing critics like Jerome Corsi, who adds the honorific "Ph.D." after his name in order to make the contents of his book Obama Nation seem less shabby, have denied that any such picture ever appeared in Life or any other popular magazine and point out that another picture that Obama describes, of a Japanese woman holding her physically disfigured daughter in a bathtub, which is most likely one of a series of photographs published in Life of Japanese children who were damaged by atomic fallout, only appeared in print after Obama moved back to the United States. What this politically motivated nit-picking obscures is the revealing way that colonialist racism and the suffering of dark-skinned people are conjoined in Obama's narrative."

To TNR, pointing out that Obama is telling lies is "shabby". Even when Obama is, in fact, telling lies.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Palin scored 841 on her SATs and has an IQ of 83.
http://clapboard.org/temp/SarahPalinReport.pdf

Of course, Mr. IQ himself, Steve Sailer, won't talk about this.

Steve Sailer said...

A score of "841" wasn't possible on the SAT when Palin took the test. By the time I took it in the mid-70s, they had introduced the current practice of rounding all SAT scores to end in a "0".

Truth said...

I can believe an 841 on the SAT but not an 83, she's probably of relatively average intelligence. Someone with that type of IQ score would be bored to tears during City Council, Oil and Gas Commission, and Governmental meetings that she could not understand. So much so in fact that she would have gone back to TV or radio, or waitressing or slaughtering moose.

headache said...

The thing I don't get about black consciousness fanatics is why they don't go back to Africa and prove their point there. They seem to be more concerned with pushing the Black Nationalism stuff in whitey's face than actually turning black culture into a success. Africa is blessed with enormous mineral wealth, good soil, easy climate and large rivers. The success stories of Rhodesia and the old South Africa are witness to the potential inherent in Africa. Surely Barry and his mates would be the ultimate heroes if they turned say Kenya into an African Switzerland instead of turning the US into Brazil. But then again that would take some hard work and would not be as exciting in the short to medium term as sticking it to whitey.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing it out; it is a very good article and remarkable that it comes from TNR.


Coming from TNR it can only mean one thing: Obama's not considered safe for jews.

clem said...

...would have gone back to TV or radio, or waitressing or slaughtering moose....

Yada, yada, yada....


Camille Paglia has a different take on the subject:

"One of the most idiotic allegations batting around out there among urban media insiders is that Palin is 'dumb.' Are they kidding? What level of stupidity is now par for the course in those musty circles? (The value of Ivy League degrees, like sub-prime mortgages, has certainly been plummeting. As a Yale Ph.D., I have a perfect right to my scorn.) People who can't see how smart Palin is are trapped in their own narrow parochialism--the tedious, hackneyed forms of their upper-middle-class syntax and vocabulary."

That, from an Obama supporter ... if not a "truth"-er who (literally, and laughably) puts the big G in "Governmental."

But that's how they taught you to do it at Affirmative Action University, eh, "truth"?

Anonymous said...

"Sarah Palin scored 841 on her SATs and has an IQ of 83.
http://clapboard.org/temp/SarahPalinReport.pdf
Of course, Mr. IQ himself, Steve Sailer, won't talk about this."

The person who wrote this absurd comment must be talking about him/herself.Those Obama-bots are a scream.
Sarah Palin some one and half standard deviations below the white norm for the northern US? I don't think so.

This whole campaign has feet of clay-lies.

Though I am not a fan of her beliefs, she is obviously the least compromised of the four candidates, three of whom who are liars, friends of terrorists, plagiarists, traitors, crackheads, born who knows where, and sex-izers (not to be sexist.)
Palin is what you see is what you get.

Anonymous said...

Barack Obama's father was never a slave; he was a Harvard graduate whose countrymen kicked the British out of their country just like we did.

Ive got take issue with that.

Kenyan's no more 'kicked out' the Brits than Mugabe 'kicked out' the Rhodesians or Mandela 'kicked out' the whites of SA.

Kenya's Mau Maus were totally crushed by the British, who couldnt leave fast enough afterwards.

If we really had a plausible case of a black nation beating a white military force, well we would still be hearing about it 24/7 right now.

Anonymous said...

How unusual for a New Republic writer to work his own educational pedigree into the first paragraph of his article about a politician- NOT!! Perfect for a parody that I would have read in Mad Magazine in my 1970's pre-teen years. As for the benefits of having a "Harvard-educated technocrat" as president. I've got copies of "THe Best and the Brightest" and the Paulson Bailout you can read.

Rexus Polonius said...

Barack Obama's father was never a slave; he was a Harvard graduate whose countrymen kicked the British out of their country just like we did.

I gotta take issue with that, as well.

Us Brits never left America. To me, you're still part of the Empire.

rbpoplar said...

Headache,
Africa might have a lot of minerals but it also has deserts, disease and very, very bad government.

Anonymous said...

Though I am not a fan of her beliefs, she is obviously the least compromised of the four candidates, three of whom who are liars, friends of terrorists, plagiarists, traitors, crackheads, born who knows where, and sex-izers (not to be sexist.)
Palin is what you see is what you get.


That's the point of the great movie Fargo -- nobody tells the truth anymore. Our leaders are as trustworthy as used car salesmen. Everything they say is a big snowjob to cover up the truth. They'd sell out their own families, just as easily as the two main characters in Burn After Reading sell out their own country, for a few dollars more.

Fargo opens with the claim that what we are about to see is a true story, based on actual events, only the names have been changed (kinda like Dreams from my Father). It's a lie. A Coen brothers' joke. But sure enough all the gulliable reviewers promulgated the lie.

Suckers.

Truth said...

"But that's how they taught you to do it at Affirmative Action University, eh, "truth"

Taught me to do what. If you'll re-read my post, (this time with a hint of moderation), you will see that I am clearly suggesting that Palin has a higher IQ than the 83 suggested by the above poster.

And, BTW, she has worked in TV, radio, as a waitress and has slaughtered moose.

Ronduck said...

Burn After Reading is a vile film.

Anonymous said...

Burn After Reading is a vile film.

I'm sure it is, RunDuck, which is why I won't see it. Any movie in which the violent deaths of the characters is supposed to be funny is not something I want to see.

But then, I thought 'No Country for Old Men' was a vile movie. The Coens' callous treatment of violence sickens me. Maybe if they had real violence enter their cushy lives they wouldn't think it was so funny/cool.

Anonymous said...

ronduck, your criticism of Burn After Reading is a curious one, considering that you list Full Metal Jacket as one of your favorite movies. The Coens were heavily influenced by Stanley Kubrick, especially Dr Strangelove, a movie that makes a joke about nuclear holocaust. It's called Swiftian satire.

SO SAD said...

If we really had a plausible case of a black nation beating a white military force, well we would still be hearing about it 24/7 right now.

Try Haiti verus France and Ethopia versus Italy.

Richard h said...
These "dialogues about race" really are perfect for our narciccistic, Oprah-loving culture. Sepearation is the only way to end this cringe-inducing nightmare. Liberals are people silly enough to believe that one day we'll all get over it

And after you sepereate from the POC, will whites seperate based on coloring and ethnicity?
Southern Europeans in the south
WASP in the middle belt
Scandanavians in the north
White Jews on the East coast
etc...

Ronduck said...

I found out Burn After Reading was vile the hard way, by watching the first 30 minutes with my grandparents. I was up in Yakima with my grandparents when my grandmother suggested that we go see a film. My grandmother chose a 'comedy' with Brad Pitt and George Clooney thinking that any comedy with them in it would be funny. In the first 30 minutes the characters say fuck every other word, there are three pointless sex scenes, and John Malkovitch begins screaming that being fired from his job is "fucking crucifixion" repeatedly. My grandmother walked out and my only regret is that I stayed more than ten minutes. Definetely money wasted.

Anonymous said...

Try Haiti verus France and Ethopia versus Italy. - so sad.

You cant look at Haiti defeating the French (in 1804) outside the context of the wider Napoleonic wars, France didnt have the resources at that point. A few years later after Naopoleon's defeat, the French were able to come back for a Haitian smackdown and show who was boss.

The subsequent dismal history of Haiti isnt a great advertisement for black rule. Maybe thats why we dont hear much about it, a bit like South Africa these days.

Ethiopia vs Italy. You are on stronger ground there but again the Italians were beaten once but came back for round two and won. And yes were defeated in the end - by the British.

michael farris said...

"Kenya's Mau Maus were totally crushed by the British, who couldnt leave fast enough afterwards"

Well you have think of goals.

British goal : continue colonial government in Kenya
Mau Maus : get British out of Kenya.

In that case it doesn't matter who 'wins' militarily, if the British left, then the Mau Maus won.

Ron Guhname said...

"...She's probably of relatively average intelligence."

Absolute nonsense. Based on SAT scores, I know that the college students I interact with over intellectual matters on a daily basis have mean IQs around 100, and they are morons compared to Palin.

So Sad(for you) said...

France didnt have the resources at that point
Excuses excuses
The subsequent dismal history of Haiti isnt a great advertisement for black rule.
Double indemnity is one of the major reasons Haiti has had trouble. After the war with France, no nation wanted to acknowledge Haiti as a free nation
You are on stronger ground there but again the Italians were beaten once but came back for round two and won
Wrong sir

Your writing reveals who are what you really are.

Anonymous said...

British goal : continue colonial government in Kenya
Mau Maus : get British out of Kenya.
- Michael Farris

The British goal from the 1950s onward seemed to be to divest all African colonies. Clearly the Mau Maus never needed to fight at all unless it was to position themselves for victory post-independence.

(The communists in Malaysia were defeated and then the British left. So did the communists succeed?)

Whatever the actual real world reasons for British withdrawal from Kenya the military prowess of the Kenyans was not a factor, in no sense did it contribute to Kenyan self-rule. Independence might even have happened sooner without the Mau Maus. We cannot then make some comparison between Obama and ancestors and American revolutionaries.

The debate still goes on about Vietnam and whether the US actually defeated the VC/NVA militarily but its certainly true that Vietnamese military abilities had some effect and contributed to US departure, directly or indirectly.

Anonymous said...

France didnt have the resources at that point

Excuses excuses
- So Sad

Good excuses though. Does anyone doubt that without the Napoleonic wars to fight France could not have retaken the island? (Which indeed happened in 1825.)

You are on stronger ground there but again the Italians were beaten once but came back for round two and won
Wrong sir


Really so the Italians never occupied Ethiopia? Thats intriguing, if I were you I would make this knowledge more widely known. Numerous historians seem to believe, wrongly now I see, that Italy invaded and occupied Ethiopia (Abyssinia) in the 1930s. The revelation that this did not in fact happen would change history as we understand it.

The failure of the League of Nations to halt the invasion would have to be re-evaluated for a start. If it didnt happen how could they have stopped it? Then there is the mystery of how Italians would manage to stage a 1940 land offensive against British held territory in North Africa while still in Italy!.

Your writing reveals who are what you really are.

Really? And what, pray, would that be?

paul said...

Steve - can you get to the bottom of all the Obama IQ chatter on the internet. I've seen pages where it is cited as 172 and 166. This is unlikely.