Bringing it back to the topic at hand.
I see no problem with what Nader said. He not only speaks with the authority of a person of color as an Arab American, but also with the authority of a decades long political leader and advocate for the poor and working class of all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
African Americans don't own the rights to public dialogue on race issues. How predictable that people like Al Sharpton leap to their feet and insinuate that Nader is being racist by calling it as he sees it from his perspective as an Arab American political activist.
Nader is right. Obama has been quite hypocritical. On the one hand, his candidate narrative has him talking about how proud he is of his African American identity in the primaries (the now famous speech on race in Philadelphia), then turning all "oreo" (as lots of black folks might say) or "white" (as Nader said) in his general election commercials showing him with his white relatives, to pull in the Middle America vote.
The appalling remarks Obama made on Father's Day should have been widely denounced by Democrats, progressives, and especially by the African American communities his remarks were directed squaarely at. He said some simply god awful stuff in that speech. And what did we hear from African Americans, progressives, and Democrats? Silence.
That is just plain wrong.
Ditto his remarks on the Israeli Palestinian troubles.
What Nader said about Obama is quite accurate, and isn't anything you don't hear being said on the streets every day about Obama by many progressives and people of color--including many people who voted for him in the primaries.
Anyone who spends any time at all living in communities of color hears people making these sorts of complaints about Obama quite frequently, actually.
I also note it doesn't appear as though the originator of this thread, or most those commenting on the story, actually read the original article/interview from which Nader's comments were lifted out of context. I think all the "shame on Nader" reactionary opinion mongering amounts to little more than the same old circle the wagons tactics we've seen from Obama supporters all along.
Nader is right to raise the issue of how Obama is spinning his racial identity in the election, and has been playing race cards right and left throughout the primary and into the general. The only thing that appalls me is that Nader is the only public figure to date to stand up and say some things that desperately needed to be said.
Obama doesn't control the race dialogue in this country, nor do his supporters, and nor do African Americans. Nor are they right to try and control it. If, as they claim, race is a subject that needs to be raised in this election (and most of his supporters seem to hold to that opinion), then they need to be tolerant of racial views being aired that make them feel uncomfortable, that push the race dialogue forward, and move it out of the nearly exclusive realm of the African American political and religious leaders dictating what the parameters of the dialogues about race are going to be to all other people of color.