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Samuel L. Jackson said he voted for President Obama because of his color: “I voted for Barack because he was black. ’Cuz that’s why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them,” the actor says in an outspoken interview in the March issue of Ebony. Jackson sounds off on his feelings for Obama to writer Kevin Powell, saying: “That’s American politics, pure and simple. [Obama’s] message didn’t mean [bleep] to me. In the end, he’s a politician. I just hoped he would do some of what he said he was gonna do. I know politicians say [bleep]; they lie. ’Cuz they want to get elected.” Repeatedly using the N-word, Jackson added that Obama’s philosophical presence had been universally appealing: “When it comes down to it, they wouldn’t have elected a [bleep]. Because, what’s a [bleep]? A [bleep] is scary. Obama ain’t scary at all. [Bleeps] don’t have beers at the White House. [Bleeps] don’t let some white dude, while you in the middle of a speech, call [him] a liar. A [bleep] would have stopped the meeting right there and said, ‘Who the [bleep] said that?’ I hope Obama gets scary in the next four years, ’cuz he ain’t gotta worry about getting re-elected.”
This has been blowing up all over the Internet the past couple of days. Conservatives are posting it in blogs and on Facebook saying "Aha. I told you so. I just wish more of them (whoever them is) would admit what Samuel L. Jackson was 'honest' enough to say." So, why would Samuel L. Jackson make such an ignorant assertion? Why would he say something so outrageous? First of all, I would challenge the truth of Mr. Jackson's statement. Would Samuel L. Jackson have support Allen West, Herman Cain or Alan Keyes? They're just as "black" as Obama. Blacker. Has Samuel L. Jackson voted for Republicans all his life and did he suddenly switch his vote to the Democratic, progressive Obama simply because his father was born in Africa? I doubt it. So, I'm not buying that Mr. Jackson voted for President Obama simply because he is "black" and I would further offer that not many, if any African-Americans did.
I don't think Samuel L. Jackson is (that big of) a fool and I don't think he believes what he said. So,why would he say such a thing? Well, one reason may be that many whites conservatives have been saying this for the last three years and it's been pissing him off. They're appalled that the vast majority of the African-American went to Obama and that he still enjoys such high approval ratings among African-Americans. Yes, African-Americans voted for Obama at an even higher rate than we normally support progressive Democratic candidates. Making this statement is a way of getting a dig in at them. Jackson is saying "Yeah, I voted for Obama simply because he looks like me- just like YOU have done for over 200 years." This is a way of thumbing his nose at them and saying "If you can do it, I can to. Deal with it!" Now you might counter, "No, I haven't vote for anyone simply because he's a white male." How would we know? You've never had the opportunity to vote for a black man (or a woman) in a Presidential election. Blacks could claim that for the last 50 odd Presidential elections white people have voted for white candidates simply because they're white; and there's no way to disprove this. This is the first time we (African-Americans), as a people have had this opportunity and we're sick of hearing the accusation that we only supported Obama because he's black or because he's going to "give us stuff".
It would be foolish to deny that the fact that Barack Obama is an African-American had any impact on why we turned out in droves to vote for him and why so many of us still support him. Yeah, I'm an Obama supporter and the fact that he is an African-American is one of the reasons I am such a strong supporter. As an African-American, he can relate to my experience the way a white President could not. I was thrilled when I realized the Democratic nominee would be an African-American or a woman. And, I was very happy (and surprised) on election night when I realized our nation had progressed far enough to elect an African-American with a funny name to they White House. But, to say it's the only reason is simply absurd and I'm guessing Mr. Jackson is having a good laugh at those who were foolish enough to believe him.
It would have been much cooler if had said "I voted for Obama because I'm tired of these mothereffin white folks in the mothereffin whitehouse!" ;-)
Seriously though, I agree with your thoughts on this matter, Brian. I can't imagine race was the only factor in his decision.
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