Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Racial Paranoia is in bookstores EARLY...


...and good thing. Obama's race speech yesterday is a kind of cheat-sheet for some of the book's central arguments.

It is uncanny how much he hints at the unprecedentedly complicated equation of race and skepticism that Racial Paranoia describes. If I didn't think certain spin-doctors could jump on it, I'd make a joke about the possibility that Obama might have read an advance copy of the book and cribbed some of its points.

All jokes aside though, the speech is a great opening for the discussion about race-based cynicism/skepticism that needs to be addressed--not just dismissed and wished-away. I just hope folks interested in the Obama issue get a chance to read the book and think about its implications.

Over the last few days I've been (mostly) trying to avoid queries about the Wright-Obama flap. I'm probably going to work on a short op-ed that lays out my position--and that might explain just how the book helps to decipher some of Obama's historic speech. I'll let you know if anyone picks that up.

Of course, since Clinton and Obama are both in Philadelphia, things are hectic here. I was in Ohio a few weeks ago (when Bill Clinton gave a talk at the University of Pennsylvania), but I won't have any major trips between now and the Pennsylvania primary.

As an urban anthropologist interested in the connections between electoral and cultural politics, this is an important place to be for the next few weeks. I even changed my party affiliation (from Independent to Democratic) this past weekend, just to ratchet up (and personalize) my investment.

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