Monday, July 14, 2008

Blitt's cover eclipses Lizza's story

Barack is a Muslim terrorist, Michele is a Black Panther, bin Laden's their hero and old Glory is burning -- scared enough, America?

Maybe the readership of The New Yorker is so sophisticated that Barry Blitt's illustration, called 'The Politics of Fear', is understood as satire. The troubling thing about satire is this: if it ain't funny you're screwed. And it appears the rest of the country didn't get it. Go here, here and here.

Now New Yorker editor David Remnick is moonwalking, arguing that no one should truly believe that The New Yorker (a stereotype itself of liberal elitism) would deliberately put gasoline on the flames of these ugly rumors and stereotypes.

Unfortunately the controversial cover eclipses Ryan Lizza's article, 'Making It', which is one of the best written pieces about B-Rock's Chicago past. We know about the interracial odyssey of Barry's childhood and the rise of Mr. Hope after his election to the U.S. Senate, but who exactly was that community activist in Windy? Lizza puts the puzzle together by capturing the history of Chicago politics with my new neighborhood, Hyde Park, as the centerpiece.

One of my favorite touchstones deals with exactly why Barack joined Trinity. We all know why these suit and tie black professionals join these mega-churches . It ain't got nothing to do with theology. It has less than nothing to do with the charismatic clergy. It's called status.

From The New Yorker:

On issue after issue, [alderwoman Toni] Preckwinkle presented Obama as someone who thrived in the world of Chicago politics. She suggested that Obama joined Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ for political reasons. “It’s a church that would provide you with lots of social connections and prominent parishioners,” she said. “It’s a good place for a politician to be a member.”

Where else can an ambitious newcomer meet a network of Negroes other than a church? Maybe the barbershop (too leisure) or the club (too unorganized).

Let the secular truth say, Amen!


Shannon said...

I've always said that its quite obvious that BO joined Trinity for political reasons...especially since his ass barely attended church! However, lets not make Trinity out to be some sort of social club. While some may use it as that, Trinity is also extremely active inside and outside of its community. Too bad that's not the reason people like BO join.

Shannon said...

Just read the article. It was actually VERY good. I'd always wondered what the hell BO supposedly did in Chicago...and now I know.

p.s. that food co-op that they're talkin about BO shopping at is the Treasure Island now.