A Time to Speak and a Time to Keep Quiet

This isn’t about whether or not you believe that President Obama should have called Kanye West a jackass. It’s not about whether or not Kanye West is actually what the president called him because of his Hennesy-induced actions at the 2009 MTV VMAs. It’s not even about the fact that I’ve kept a secret for a couple years–I’d make the perfect wife for Kanye … I haven’t even told him yet. Or about how I stupidly felt a slight wave of embarrassment by the fact that his girlfriend person didn’t see fit to try to stop him from walking on up on that stage. But this is about the president. So let me get back to him. But before I do that, let me point out that it’s also not about the correspondent who apparently hasn’t taken Journalism Ethics 101 and released the off-the-record conversation where Obama called West a jackass, though it probably should be. It’s none of those things.

I would like someone to get the message to Mr. President that he has got to do a lot more shutting up. It’s imperative. The guy is charming. He has a campaigning personality, so chatting it up with the media makes sense. It does. It’s what charmers do. But the president can’t forget that he’s now the president and not a law professor at the University of Chicago who can still walk into the Italian Fiesta on 47th and Lake Park to pick up his greasy pizza without secret service agents sweeping the place first. No, no. He’s the President of the United States, so he can’t go popping off the mouth with his opinion about matters that ultimately have no societal impact. If he thinks The Husband of My Dreams is a jerk or that the Freeze You’re Under Arrest in Your Own Home cop who caused all the commotion in the Henry Louis Gates incident is a pig, he has every right to think it. But he can’t say it. At least not to anyone who’s not Michelle he can’t. Why? Because not only is he the president but he’s a black president. The first. He can act like we’re in a post-race society because he has to. He’s the president. And if he learned the lesson that he should keep his mouth shut for the same reason, we’d be doing something.

And now, I think I’ll put my fingers on mute for the evening.

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~ by MsInklination on September 18, 2009.

3 Responses to “A Time to Speak and a Time to Keep Quiet”

  1. And … I actually considered dating Kanye myself, not marrying him. I think he needs someone sensible like us. I’m not necessarily in the Kanye’s gay camp (though I do wonder what sort of games they play there. Next time I visit the Tyler Perry really is gay camp, I’ll make a list to compare) but I do think the women he dates are a combination of being too physically striking with possessing little to no personality that leaves me with the feeling that these women are just props for his photo ops. Maybe while he’s waiting for the right women to come along he’s using those other ones to boost his career and keep his arm warm.

    So how ’bout I date him for a little while then you marry him?

  2. I have this sneaking suspicion that the president intended for his comments to be leaked.

    Did you see that episode of the west wing where Bartlett accidentally-on-purpose leaks his real feelings about his opponent?

    I think he thought condemning one of his own, especially protecting a white lady would make white voters remember that he’s ‘one of them,’ or at least cares about people like them.

    • Do you know I never considered that he may have wanted his comments to be heard? I have, however, considered the “positive” impact his dismissing his own would have on how “others” viewed him. It’s sad. It’s really sad. But it, in so many ways, shows on a macro level how so many people of color chose to handle their colorness, as it relates to interacting with the world around them. (Did that make sense? I have a perfect example ready, if it didn’t.)

      But on to Kanye: How’s it going to work if you date him and then I marry him? If we do that, I’ll have to request that you not even as much as kiss him on the lips. Not that I think you have cooties, it’s just the principle of the thing. ;o)

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