One of Britain’s most influential black figures suggests that guilt over transatlantic slavery is behind Barack Obama’s support from middle class whites in America. Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission is no stranger to controversy with his comments on race relations in the U.K.
“If Obama can succeed, then maybe they can imagine that [Martin Luther] King’s post-racial nirvana has arrived. A vote for Obama is a pain-free negation of their own racism. So long as they don’t have to live next door to him; Obama has yet to win convincingly in white districts adjacent to black communities.”
Wait for it.
Mr Phillips compared Mr Obama to Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey, prominent black “bargainers” – those who strike a deal with white America not to make an issue of historical racism if their own race is not used against them.
Bargainer, huh? Isn’t that code for “Uncle Tom”?
Not only is Mr. Phillips dismissing the legitimacy of the Democratic party’s Messiah, he’s also twisting the knife on Mother Mary, a.k.a. Oprah.
“In truth, Obama may be helping to postpone the arrival of a post-racial America and I think he knows it,” Mr Phillips wrote. “If he wins, the cynicism may be worth it to him and his party. In the end he is a politician and a very good one: his job is to win elections.” He added: “If he fulfils the hopes of whites, he must disappoint blacks – and vice versa.”
Do you get a sense that if there were no race issues there would be no job for Mr. Phillips? I do.
2008 Election, Barack Obama, Politics, White Guilt, Trevor Phillips, Britain, Racism