The Obama Thought Police
September 18, 2008, 06:55 PM
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In "Black and Blacker: The Racial Politics of the Obama Marriage," Vanessa Grigoriadis writes:

"As I began to finish the reporting for this article, I mentioned to an Obama aide that I was interested in the different ways that Obama presents himself to black and white audiences. The aide hit the roof over this comment, which he claimed was racially divisive, and soon I received a call from Obama’s �African-American outreach coordinator,� who apparently clarifies race issues for reporters when they are perceived to have strayed. �I appreciate what you’re saying,� said Corey Ealons, �but I think it’s dangerous, quite frankly.� He thought for a moment. �The spirit of this campaign is about bringing people together and focusing on the things that are similar about us as opposed to the things that make it different,� he said. �Barack is one of the best political communicators in our history. If you’re somehow saying that he can’t be the same person with all people, that’s certainly not the case.� He paused. �Barack Obama is Barack Obama,� he said."

Anybody who has seen the video of Obama's "Quiet Riot" speech commemorating the 1992 South Central Riots in front of an assembly of black ministers, in which he uses the accent and body language of a Baptist reverend from Tupelo, will know how funny this is. By the way, the "shout-out" to Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr., is from the one to the two minute mark in the video. (The text of Obama's speech is less amusing -it features a long whine about how blacks got cheated out of all that government money they were promised after they rioted in 1992.)

What's even more hilarious is how many journalists have volunteered to serve as unpaid deputies in the Obama Thought Police Auxilary. Partly, it's access journalism at work—you're only allowed to talk to the candidate if his aides are sure you won't ask any tough questions. It's like Hollywood's various gay Scientologist action heroes—you'll never ever be allowed to interview them, or any of their publicists' other A-list clients, if you ask them about being gay or being a Scientologist.

But mostly, it's just that asking Obama any intelligent questions about his "story of race and inheritance" is unthinkable. Sure, it would be interesting and important, but its ... just ... not... done.