Quoted (WTF Edition): Frances McCaffery on Obama

Excerpted by Latoya Peterson

What was so beautiful about this? Well, although Obama has all the “presidential” characteristics – the capacity to inspire, the sonorous, soaring voice, the cool, soothing nature – we were all able to create him in the individual image we all needed him to be: someone who refused to be victimized, took control of his life and became self-realized; someone who lost his way and then regained his footing spectacularly; someone who was an insider-outsider, both simultaneously smooth and authentic.

To everyone saying we were swilling the Kool-Aid, charmed by his very image, I say this: this image was ours. It was ours! The idea of racial inequality being righted in our lifetimes somehow realized our American Dream.

—Frances McCaffery, “How Obama Carried Me Home,” in this month’s Adbusters.

Latoya’s Note: I don’t know if I can express how I felt reading this seemly innocuous passage on the metro yesterday. The rest of McCaffery’s article talks about feelings of alienation and reconnection, all from this one person. I’m not sure if the feelings started because I was reading this piece in Adbusters. I enjoy reading the mag and their overall message, but years have passed and they seem completely and totally disinterested in anti-racist, feminist, or anti-colonialist thought. They will occassionally publish criticism in their letters section asking why Adbusters is full of white images or why Adbusters didn’t quote radical feminist economic theorists, or why Adbusters is enamoured with the idea of “noble savages” unspoiled by our consumerist Western ways, but seem to have no desire to change these things – or even engage critically with these critiques within their pages. So, with that context, these specific words of hope and targeted praise seem a bit chilling.

Do they (McCaffery and Adbuster’s editors) really think that casting a vote “righted” racial inequality? Really? With that line, the ones before it talking about “refusing to be vicitimized” took on an ugly sheen. Like the neo-boostrap argument. Sounds like the same old bullshit and it Smells Like Teen Spirit. – LDP

About This Blog

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

Comments on this blog are moderated. Please read our comment moderation policy.

Use the "for:racialicious" tag in del.icio.us to send us tips. See here for detailed instructions.

Interested in writing for us? Check out our submissions guidelines.

Follow Us on Twitter!

Support Racialicious

The Octavia Butler Book Club

The Octavia Butler Book Club
(Click the book for the latest conversation)

Recent Comments

Feminism for Real – Jessica, Latoya, Andrea

Feminism for Real

Yes Means Yes – Latoya

Yes Means Yes

Sex Ed and Youth – Jessica

Youth and Sexual Health


Online Media Legal Network

Recent Posts

Support Racialicious

Older Archives


Written by: