In Krugman’s post, “The Return of Capillary Man“, he wonders why in the first presidential debate last night, Obama didn’t show the kind of fierceness that people want to see, in exactly the same way he didn’t during the debates of 2008.
Your privilege is showing, Prof. Krugman (as it is for all the bloodthirsty folks clamoring for a gory fight). Obama, even though he’s been an outstanding president for four years, is still a black man. Now, just like then, and at any point in his public life, he is forbidden from showing any outward aggression. Think about it. How would his opponents respond? How would the video be used? What do you think Obama’s debate coaches reminded him was rule #1? Never, ever be the angry black man (although I’m sure he doesn’t need to be reminded by anyone).
It’s especially dangerous right now, since the debates are supposed to help undecided voters (also affectionately known as low-information voters) pick a candidate. Yes, race is still in a sad state of affairs in this country, but as Touré points out, if Obama wins a second term, it will be a much greater win for equality than his first term was.