Monday, October 13, 2008

on endorsements, kind of.

I try not to make a big deal out of the fact that I like celebrity endorsements. I try not to make a big deal because it feels like most other people don't. For some reason, people tend to get snitty when talking about Presidential (or even local) elections and the fact that there are people speaking out for either side. I hear comments a lot like, "Why does he/she think that they can tell me who to vote for?" These comments usually baffle me, usually because the person in question is not, in fact, telling anyone who to vote for, but rather, sharing an opinion, which is, ya know, something we kind of look up to, here in the USA. So when people get that way about Eddie Vedder talking shit about President Bush but somehow miss the part where it gets censored out by the corporate sponsor! well, I tend to lose my rationale a little bit.

So, now there comes a time when there's an African-American candidate for President. And so, according to this, there are obviously a lot of African-Americans who want to do what they can to help this man get elected. For a variety of reasons. Most notably, I think, they're appreciative of the struggle that African-Americans have gone though in this country and it's extremely rewarding for them to be able to see such a tangible symbol of the progress that we, as a society, have made. Of course, there are some shout-outs that seem like they might do more harm than good. But those worries have been perfectly elucidated elsewhere, so I'm not really gonna get into them.

This FreeDarko post talks a lot about the possible good things and potential bad things associated with having a basketball President. I think it's a shame that we have to think about the bad things connected to associating with a culture that's known so through and through as black, but I think it's worth noting that even the cover to this week's TIME magazine implicitly acknowledges that racism is still biting America in the ass. It may be uncomfortable to recognize these facts, but the harsh reality of the matter is that is what they are: facts.

So when I can see a well-written blog post on the official NBA blog site describing the excitement of witnessing an Obama speech it really makes me happy. Tyson Chandler's a great guy, from what I read about him off-court, and there's no doubt that he's a hustler on the court. To be able to feel the energy coming off his writing, where he talks about the feel of the crowd, the different ages, genders, and races that Obama's speech pulls in...these are good things. And I don't get why so many people have so much against "celebrity endorsements" that they couldn't see this for what it is: someone who's excited about a candidate sharing their views. He has a larger platform, so a few more people pay attention. When did that become a bad thing?

1 comment:

Mindy said...

On a somewhat related note - Portland Trailblazer Greg Oden has been promoting a lot of Obama events here in P-Town, which is awesome. :)

He even wrote up a blog about it:

I had no idea how young he was! Holy geez, it's crazy that this is his first Presidential vote. I love his enthusiasm and spirit in regards to makes me think back to when I was 18 and thought there was no way Al Gore could lose.

Ah - the good old days. :)

Much Love, Mindy C