Human-ities · Social/Politics

Fear of a Black President

As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.

The irony of President Barack Obama is best captured in his comments on the death of Trayvon Martin, and the ensuing fray. Obama has pitched his presidency as a monument to moderation. He peppers his speeches with nods to ideas originally held by conservatives. He routinely cites Ronald Reagan. He effusively praises the enduring wisdom of the American people, and believes that the height of insight lies in the town square. Despite his sloganeering for change and progress, Obama is a conservative revolutionary, and nowhere is his conservative character revealed more than in the very sphere where he holds singular gravity—race.

Part of that conservatism about race has been reflected in his reticence: for most of his term in office, Obama has declined to talk about the ways in which race complicates the American present and, in particular, his own presidency. But then, last February, George Zimmerman, a 28-year-old insurance underwriter, shot and killed a black teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, armed with a 9 mm handgun, believed himself to be tracking the movements of a possible intruder. The possible intruder turned out to be a boy in a hoodie, bearing nothing but candy and iced tea. The local authorities at first declined to make an arrest, citing Zim­mer­man’s claim of self-defense. Protests exploded nationally. Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea assumed totemic power. Celebrities—the actor Jamie Foxx, the former Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm, members of the Miami Heat—were photographed wearing hoodies. When Rep­resentative Bobby Rush of Chicago took to the House floor to denounce racial profiling, he was removed from the chamber after donning a hoodie mid-speech.

Excerpt of an article written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Atlantic. Continue HERE

Performativity · Social/Politics · Sonic/Musical

President Obama releases an “Official Campaign Playlist”

Even President Barack Obama makes mix-tapes? We are not so sure about the veracity of this post. However, we like the idea. Your Music Today writes: Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of a presidential campaign having an official playlist. Sure they’ve used particular songs to represent their values throughout a campaign, but a full playlist is out of the ordinary. But that’s exactly what Obama created, and tweeted, this morning. His own campaign launched an official 28-song playlist that includes tracks from Arcade Fire to Bruce Springsteen. You can go have a listen over on Spotify.

We already knew that Obama is a bit of a music connoisseur, who even enjoys his share of hip-hop (although no tracks made the final cut). And the 28 tracks, whether he picked them of not, actually make up a pretty respectable playlist! My only question is: wouldn’t this technically violate the SOPA bill if it were passed?!

Full track list below:

01 No Doubt – “Different People”
02 Earth Wind & Fire Experience feat. Al McKay Allstars – “Got To Get You Into My Life – (Live)”
03 Booker T. & The MG’s – “Green Onions – Single/LP Version”
04 Wilco – “I Got You”
05 The Impressions – “Keep On Pushing – Single Version”
06 Jennifer Hudson – “Love You I Do”
07 AgesandAges – “No Nostalgia”
08 Ledisi – “Raise Up”
09 Sugarland – “Stand Up”
10 Darius Rucker – “This”
11 Arcade Fire – “We Used to Wait”
12 Florence And The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love”
13 James Taylor – “Your Smiling Face”
14 REO Speedwagon – “Roll With The Changes”
15 Raphael Saadiq – “Keep Marchin’”
16 Noah And The Whale – “Tonight’s The Kind Of Night”
17 Zac Brown Band – “Keep Me In Mind”
18 Aretha Franklin – “The Weight”
19 U2 – “Even Better Than The Real Thing”
20 Dierks Bentley – “Home”
21 Sugarland – “Everyday America”
22 Darius Rucker – “Learn To Live”
23 Al Green – “Let’s Stay Together”
24 Electric Light Orchestra – “Mr. Blue Sky”
25 Montgomery Gentry – “My Town”
26 Ricky Martin – “The Best Thing About Me Is You Feat. Joss Stone”
27 Ray LaMontagne – “You Are The Best Thing”
28 Bruce Springsteen – “We Take Care Of Our Own”

Via Your Music Today