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Arrogant or Uppity?

The other day I read the latest GQ with Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) on the cover. While reading, I happened upon an interview with Karl Rove, a very smart Bush Baddie who’s apparently reinventing himself as a television commentator. In his GQ interview he made some rather astute observations as a Republican, completely separated from this Obama-Clinton slapfest (that makes the papers at least once a week), much in the same way a mutual friend tells a husband and wife they’re both wrong.

He did however say something throughout his Q&A that stuck in my craw. He repeatedly referred to Obama as “arrogant,” and the disdain in this word leapt off the page. Is Obama thinking highly of himself? Probably, but wouldn’t any human who has experienced his current, rather stratospheric rise to the main stage (whether deserved or not)? Only someone asking for a trouncing would meekly approach the Candidacy of Office of the President of the United States. Would he be arrogant if he were Karl Rove, or George Bush or Bill Clinton? If he were Bill, he probably would.

When I hear arrogant, more than once in one sitting applied to men with skin like mine, it hearkens back to the day of the Uppity Negro --- a black man who can put a sentence together, takes care of himself, dresses well, is responsible and affable, and believes he has the same rights as everyone else in this society --- someone who has clearly lost his mind and lost his place.

I’ve experienced this in reverse. As a Cornell grad, the recipient of a Master’s Degree, someone who uses $5 words every once in a while when speaking, the owner of property, and a person who prefers introspection and reflection to uninformed, bojangle-esque reaction, I have been viewed/treated with wonderment and awe in the workplace and elsewhere as if I am a damn anomaly like Neo of the Matrix Trilogy. Yet nearly all my peers have similar if not better backgrounds that me. We don't live in caves. We don't go into hiding when the sun rises. We're mixed in with the rest of the population. It's laughable at best when it isn't frustrating.

Just because you don’t see something, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

I, in fact do believe Mr. Obama is arrogant --- arrogant or crazy to be running for President. Has he misspoken a few times on the trail? Yup. So has everyone else. I’m not giving him a pass on his errors, his voting record, experience, blah, blah, blah. But being an arrogant chief of the most arrogant empire the world has ever known is par for the course. If the gang chasing after this title were all white men, I’d bet a lot of money I don’t have to see if arrogance was even considered a point of discussion beyond the personal dislikes between candidates. Former Gov. Elliot Spitzer’s flagrant arrogance only became truly public after his house of cards collapsed on him, not before.

I could be reading more into this than I should, but there's too much to read regarding this man and that word that suggests otherwise.

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