Jay Electronica just created a 54 second track with words taken from the audio book for Senator Barack Obama’s first autobiography, “Dreams From My Father.” Now when I initially heard this, it quickly caught my ear. I thoughtâ€””This couldn’t be Barack…but damn it sounds just like him! Is he reciting a poem?” Then, after pulling the book off my shelf and finding the lines myself, I discovered that, in fact, Jay was the poet, taking random lines from the book and pasting them together to create this track. Very clever indeed. However, here’s the problem:
This is posted without any context, so if it falls into the wrong hands, this could be completely misinterpretedâ€” something that Senator Obama does NOT need at this very crucial time of his campaign. With the elections just a few weeks away, there are some who are just looking for a reason NOT to vote for him, even if in public they sing his praises. (it’s that Bradley effect…Steels)Just this weekend, on a train from Washington DC, I sat in front of a young Caucasian man who was on the phone (yes, I was being nosy), and openly admitted that he is voting for McCain, but is just telling everyone that he is voting for Barack. Mind you, he was also a registered Democrat.So… in an effort to use this site as a tool to spread truth, I encourage you to check out Jay’s mix. It’s a great piece of work, mad scientist at his best. Then check out the actual lines belowâ€” as they appear in the book.
Click here to listen:
Opening Line: from Chapter Five
Correct Context: Barack discussing his search for identity in college …
“To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk rock performance poets. We smoked cigarettes and wore leather jackets. At night in the dorms, we discussed neocolonialism, Franz Fanon, Eurocentrism, and patriarchy. When we ground out our cigarettes in the hallway carpet or set our stereos so loud that the walls began to shake, we were resisting bourgeois society’s stifling constraints. We weren’t indifferent or careless or insecure. We were alienated.”
Next few lines: from Chapter Four (see lines in bold for those featured in Jay’s track)
Correct context: These words were taken from a conversation between Barack and his high school friend Ray, a guy who had just moved to Hawaii from L.A. and was commenting on racism that he felt on the island.
“Man, I’m not going to any more of these bullshit Panahou parties.”
“Yeah, that’s what you said the last time.”
Ray and I sat down at a table and unwrapped our hamburgers…
[Ray:] “I mean it this time,’ he was saying to me now. ‘These girls are A-1, USDA-certified racists. All of ’em. White girls. Asian girlsâ€”shoot, these Asians worse than the whites. Think we got a disease or something.”
[Barack:] “Maybe they’re looking at that big butt of yours. Man, I thought you were in training.”
[Ray:] “Get your hands out of my fries. You ain’t my bitch, nigger… buy your own damn fries. Now what was I talking about?’
[Barack:] “Just cause a girl don’t go out with you doesn’t make her racist.”
“Don’t be thick, all right? I’m not just talking about one time. Look, I ask Monica out, she says no. I say okay… your shit’s not so hot anyway.” Ray stopped to check my reaction then smiled. “All right, maybe I don’t actually say all that. I just tell her okay, Monica, you know, we still tight. Next thing you know, she’s hooked up with Steve ‘No Neck’ Yamaguchi, the two of ’em all holding hands and shit, like a couple of lovebirds. So fine–I figure there’s more fish in the sea. I go ask Pamela out. She tells me she ain’t going to the dance. I say cool. Get to the dance, guess who’s standing there, got her arm around Rick Cook. ‘Hi, Ray,’ she says, like she don’t know what’s going down. Rick Cook! Now you know that guy ain’t shit. Sorry assed motherfucker got nothing on me, right? Nothing.”
He stuffed a handful of fries into his mouth. “It ain’t just me, by the way. I don’t see you doing any better in the booty department.”
Because I’m shy, I thought to myself; but I would never admit that to him. Ray pressed the advantage.
[Ray:] “So what happens when we go out to a party with some sisters, huh? What happens? I tell you what happens. Blam! They on us like there’s no tomorrow. High school chicks, university chicksâ€”it don’t matter. They acting sweet, all smiles. ‘Sure you can have my number, baby.’ Bet.”
[Ray:] “Well what? Listen, why don’t you get more playing time on the basketball team, huh? At least two guys ahead of you ain’t nothing and you know it, and they know it. I seen you tear ’em up on the playground, no contest. Why wasn’t I starting on the football squad this season, no matter how many passes the other guy dropped? Tell me we wouldn’t be treated different if we was white. Or Japanese. Or Hawaiian. Or fucking Eskimo.”
[Barack:] “That’s not what I’m saying.”
[Ray:] “So what are you saying?”
[Barack:] “Al right, here’s what I’m saying. I’m saying, yeah, it’s harder to get dates because there aren’t any black girls around here. But that don’t make the girls that are here all racist. Maybe they just want somebody that looks like their daddy, or their brother, or whatever, and we ain’t it. I’m saying yea, I might not get the breaks on the team that some guys get, but they play like white boys do, and that’s the style the coach likes to play, and they’re winning the way they play. I don’t play that way.”
“As for your greasy-mouthed self,” I added, reaching for the last of his fries, “I’m saying the coaches may not like you ’cause you’re a smart-assed black man, but it might help if you stopped eating all them fries you eat, making you look six months pregnant. That’s what I’m saying.”