Adolph Reed on the packaging and selling of the Obama "brand":
(Interview segment on Behind the News with Doug Henwood)
AR: The narrative of racial transcendence has always been
Obama's packaging. And it sort of worked.
Many people outside the U.S., not just in French cafés where
intellectuals hang out but in much of what used to be called the third world
and in so-called "hot spots" where you would expect that people's
antipathies and the mistrust of the U.S. would run more deeply than the
epidermal features of the person who holds the office of the presidency there
was, as I recall, a lot of expression of enthusiasm at Obama's election with
hopes that because he
had third world roots of multiple, complex, fluid sorts that
he would be more understanding, whatever that means. But that's consistent with
the future of our national politics-the disconnection of individuals from
substantive political and, certainly, the military programs.
DH: What have we gotten from what David Dinkins used to call
"our gorgeous mosaic"?
AR: What we've gotten-and I think that Obama has completed
this transformation, too-is that we have, you know, my father used to insist
when I was a youngster that we had one party in America, and that it was a
property party and it had two wings and that wasn't original with him,
obviously, but now what we would have to say is that we have a singular if not bipartisan
neo-liberal party one wing of which is committed to neo-liberalism that
attaches a high value to equality of opportunity that's enacted in the
discourse of multiculturalism and diversity and the other that's committed to
neoliberalism that's appended to an active opposition to multi-culturalism and
diversity. And each side mobilizes an electoral base that made up of those who
are either for multiculturalism and diversity or those who are actively opposed
to multiculturalism and diversity. Meanwhile, the 80 to 90 percent of policy
decisions and courses of action that effect the 85 to 95 percent of the society
most crucially-there's a complete consensus on.