So I was hanging out with Barack Obama this past Sunday and …
Yeah, I said Barack Obama. Yes, it was THAT Barack Obama. You know, the guy running for president? Yeah … we kicked it the other day.
OK, OK … I’ll be honest: we weren’t exactly kicking it. I got to spend time with him at a meeting with African-American journalists in Columbia, S.C.
The assembled group of reporters — there was about 10 of us in attendance — got to grill Obama for close to an hour about a host of subjects. My thoughts about the candidate? He has great skin and really soft hands.
All kidding aside, he seemed a little tired and subdued, but he came across very “presidential.” And all that talk about him not being “black enough?” His response to color critics was, “[Black enough] compared to who?” Incidentally, all that crap about him not being black enough is insane. I’ve never met a black person who ever questioned Obama’s blackness — and, yes, I’m black. My black brothers and sisters do, however, question the blackness of Condi Rice and Clarence Thomas. Now suck on that.
Back to my meeting with Obama … we all got a chance to ask him a few questions. Some people just threw him softballs, and some folks were pretty substantive. My question addressed the growing polarization between white and black people in America. I think race relations are getting worse and, as far as I’m concerned, white people who were sensitive to black issues 10 years ago are now saying, “Oh enough already.” Obama, not surprisingly, didn’t agree with me. He said that as he’s been going across the country, most of the white Americans he’s met are concerned about issues in the black community. Of course, he’s probably met most of them at Obama rallies … but oh well.
Wrapping up the visit, Obama said the thing that most blacks are concerned with regarding his run for the White House is, “They wonder if I can actually win.”
We shall see.