Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Blacker Than Obama?
The other day, ousted Illinois Governor and media whore, Rod Blagojevich made a statement insinuating that he was “blacker than Barack Obama” because he shined shoes, grew up in a five-room apartment and his father owned a laundromat in a black community. Being from Illinois, I’m no stranger to Blago’s usual inane statements, but this one had me shaking my head and wondering aloud “What you talking about, Willis, errrr Rod? What the bleeping bleep would possess you to say something as bleeping stupid as that?”
Besides, everyone knows that owning a laundromat would only make you more Asian, not more black! Silly, silly, Rod!
My first thought was that if Rod Blagojevich was any race in particular, he certainly wasn’t black. In fact, he might even be “whiter than me.” Rod Blagojevich’s “five room apartment” was on the northwest side of Chicago, not far from where I was raised, but let me just say this...a 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment in that particular neighborhood is currently listed for $1,950.00 a month. I couldn’t afford to live in that area. The Blagojevich Family currently resides in the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood of Chicago, also way above my means and I’m not certain anyone would consider that neighborhood “diverse”. If race could actually be measured, I was still left wondering what would lead Blago to think he is “blacker” than anyone, when he is, most definitely, a white guy.
It occurred to me that he was actually only comparing himself to Obama. I did some quick internet research and found some sad and startling information that might just lead someone as “out there” as Blagojevich to make such a claim. Could it be true, though? Could Blago really be “blacker” than Barack Obama? Let’s see.
I found studies online indicating the following:
Blacks are six times more likely to be imprisoned than are Caucasians. No further explanation necessary. OK, score one for Rod.
Blacks are twice as likely as their white counterparts to be unemployed. Barack Obama is indeed employed. Rod Blagojevich? Not so much, unless you count sending your wife to the Costa Rican jungle to be ravaged by bugs and a Baldwin brother as a source of income. I don’t think most people would. Current Score: Rod 2, Obama 0.
Statistically, blacks earn less money than whites. Rod Blagojevich and his wife earned $219,790 in 2007. The Obama’s household income for the same year was $4.2 million. I have to give this round to Rod, too, although, my household income was roughly a third of Blago’s, thereby validating my theory that he is more white than me. Rod 3, Obama, 0.
Blacks are portrayed in the media using profanity far more often than Caucasian characters. A study was done of movies in 1996 and it showed that the percentage of black characters that used vulgar profanity was 86% compared to 11% by white characters. I’m pretty sure I heard Obama (deservedly) call Kanye West a jackass once, but that’s about the only time I remember hearing him cuss. Bleepin’ Blago on the other hand is probably (insert expletive) incapable of uttering a single bleeping sentence without an (insert expletive) expletive in it. Score 4 for Rod.
Drs. Abigail and Stephan Thernstrom published a book called “No Excuses: Closing the Racial Gap in Learning” which states that “the education whites receive is nothing to write home about, but for blacks, it’s no less than a disgraceful disaster.” Black high school graduates perform a little worse than white eighth-graders in both reading and US History, and a lot worse in math and geography. Barack Obama is a graduate of Harvard Law School, which is ranked only behind Yale’s School of Law. Blagojevich also has a law degree, but from Pepperdine University, currently ranked 55th in the nation’s law schools. I don’t know much about Pepperdine University, but the campus must be a geographical challenge because Blago himself admits he “barely knew where the law library was,” (you know, because of all the surfing and movie stars) and yet, he graduated. I have to give this round to Rod, too.
So, is Rod correct? Is he “blacker than Obama”? Ummmm, no, and he will never be because Obama is black. No one can truly comprehend what it’s like to walk in anyone else’s shoes. I don’t pretend to comprehend the discrimination that African Americans deal with on a probable daily basis and Rod Blagojevich (who’s whiter than me) shouldn’t either. If there’s anything positive to be said about stupidity and ignorant comments, then Rod’s inspired me to look up some of these things and, hopefully, jump start a discussion about them.
What do you think about the results of the studies I found on the internet and how can we all go about changing them?