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Can We Say ‘Fuck Whitey’ If the President Is Black?

November 5, 2008

Pretty funny and interesting piece from Touré over at The Daily Beast, brings up some intriguing questions for the next four years….

Obama’s victory creates an identity crisis for black men. Whom do we rail against if the guy in the Oval Office is one of us?

Obama’s election necessitates a rethinking of what it means to be a black man.

In our blood there’s a rebelliousness, in our heart there’s a certainty that America hates us, and in our soul there’s an acceptance that America considers us the monster. Black men call each other nigga, in part as a sarcastic embracement of monster status. It’s an article of faith that the country couldn’t, and wouldn’t, fully accept us. We don’t feel fully embraced by America—we often feel officially shunned and hated by America—and it’s showed in major American moments. We celebrated the first O.J. verdict with a sneer at the country—we didn’t particularly love O.J., but we certainly loved seeing the system fight and lose. After 9/11, many black New Yorkers, including Jay-Z, expressed to me that they most definitely felt a twoness, two warring ideas: a sadness for America and the lives lost, but also the chickens coming home to roost. When Hurricane Katrina hit, we felt a devastation more profound, because we saw the literal abandonment of the (mostly black) people left behind as a symbol, a synecdoche of the figurative abandonment we’ve always felt from America.

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