Nader: Obama “Talking White”

By Jonathan Adams Jun 26, 2008

In case you missed this one, Ralph Nader adds his name to the list of people who don’t think Barack Obama is Black enough. When Nader was asked if Obama’s pledge to reject campaign contributions from registered lobbyists made him different than Democrats he has criticized in the past, Nader responded:

"There’s only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He’s half African-American." He continued that answer by saying, "Whether that will make any difference, I don’t know. I haven’t heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What’s keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn’t want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We’ll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards." CNN.

When asked to clarify, He continues: "I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law and is going to be liberated by the law," he said. "Haven’t heard a thing. He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically, he’s coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it’s corporate or whether it’s simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up." In Web Exclusive "Ralph Nader’s Racial Blindspot," Vanessa Daniel reviews Nader’s own silence on race and his appeal among communities of color.