Yesterday, John McCain called Barack Obama an uppity Negro. Okay, not really, but pretty close. Earlier this week, Obama responded to McCain’s recent onslaught of negative attacks: “I have never suggested that Senator McCain picks his positions on national security based on politics or personal ambition. I have not suggested it because I believe that he genuinely wants to serve America’s national interest. Now, it’s time for him to acknowledge that I want to do the same.” Perhaps drunk with power now that a few polls have him leading his Democratic rival, McCain responded, “Senator Obama got a little testy on this issue. He said I was questioning his patriotism. Let me be clear—I am not questioning his patriotism. I am questioning his judgment.” Bill O’Reilly will say McCain’s words are without implication, but Spike Lee, recently called “uppity” by MSNBC talking head Courtney Hazlett after his comments about the lack of black faces in Letters from Iwo Jima, would suggest otherwise. Obama is simply heeding John Kerry’s advice by not playing the bitch to McCain or conservative author Jerome Corsi like he himself did to Dubya and Corsi four years ago, but maybe his gumption takes McCain back to his youth in the mid-1800s, when old Southerners used to crack their whips whenever a slave showed some lip.
This blog entry was originally published on Slant Magazine on the date above.