Republicans looking for ‘great white hope’ to counteract Obama? Congresswoman says she didn’t mean it that way

I thought the GOP’s Great White Hope Was Sarah Palin.. Boy the racism just don’t stop.. Folks need to check out Birth of a Nation and the history behind it.. The upward mobility of Black folks during the reconstruction caused an uproar.. The anger that so many whites in power were feeling was indescribable.. You see this now..


August 27, 2009 |  5:21 pm

One of the instructive (and occasionally entertaining) aspects of the presidency of Barack Obama, the nation’s first black commander in chief, has been the intermittent surfacingof traditionally submerged racial attitudes. These incidents often take form as slips of the tongue, or perhaps “jokes,” that may or may not indicate racism. But the reaction to such statements serves to remind those in the public glare that potentially offensive references to race — whether deliberate, accidental or unconscious — will be ruthlessly picked apart in the blogosphere. 

Especially if you are a Republican. (Macaca, anyone?)

The latest pol to receive a self-inflicted egg facial is Lynn Jenkins, a freshman Republican congresswoman from Kansas, who according to the Associated Press told a group of constituents Aug. 19 that the GOP is “struggling right now to find the great white hope.”  She added: “I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington.” (Poor quality video is here. Comment is at about 50 seconds.) Getprev

The tape was — naturally — turned over to the Kansas Democratic Party, whose spokesman pronounced Jenkins’s remark “a poor choice of words.”

Later, at another event,  Jenkins pleaded ignorance: “I was unaware of any negative connotation,” she said.  “And if I offended anybody, obviously, I apologize.”

Now, we don’t expect all of our legislators to be fans of boxing — nor even theater or movies, for that matter. But we find it strange that an educated person such as Jenkins, who is a certified public accountant, never knew that the phrase “great white hope” is freighted with racial animus.

“Great white hope” was coined early in the last century to describe the search for a white boxer who could regain the world heavyweight boxing title from Jack Johnson, the first African American to win it.  Johnson — and the ugly reaction of many whites to his 1908 victory — was the subject of the 1967 play “The Great White Hope,” which won a Tony for actor James Earl Jones in 1969, who also starred in the film. In 2005, PBS aired a Ken Burns documentary about Johnson, “Unforgivable Blackness.”

Liberal blogger Matt Yglesias over at Think Progress believes a comment like Jenkins’ should not shock anyone: “Now to be fair,” he writes, “there are virtually no nonwhite Republican members of Congress, so in suggesting that the party’s future hopes rest essentially on white talent, Jenkins was arguably just stating the obvious.”


— Robin Abcarian

Photo: Lynn Jenkins addresses her use of “great white hope” today in Kansas. Credit: Associated Press


  1. jericho saliz says:

    if this site was really about politics and music it wouldnt have so many blogs/articles playing the “race card”. no race “owns” any type of music (including hip hop) and political parties are dividers not uniters. how about uplifting and encouraging the readers to love instead of hating, building instead of destroying and leading instead of following. positive energy is better for the human body especially in these times. please help not hurt whether we choose to agree or disagree; then again, clearly some of you really dont care for others.

  2. flavorblade says:

    Jericho wake up from your Utopia dreams, political parties use division as a chief tool. Election strategy is based on it. It’s not about policy it’s about power. To have power there must be others who don’t have it. That is the paradigm of power in our worlds present stage of development. To address that if you are among the powerless or less powerful calls for struggle. Power is a commodity that isn’t given away.

    Sure the sheep can love while the wolf eats. Only things what does the wolf eat. Positive energy does not mean docile acceptance of wrong. Passivity is negative energy or retarded response to urgency. That is wrong. To care is to act, before you act you must be aware. This site is about posting that which you need to be aware of. The good, the bad and the ugly.

    “(including Hip-hop)” what you know about hip-hop. Because if you drop one verse on here I will …

  3. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    “Keep on striving towards your goal, Shubee got his don’t let yours go, don’t let nobody fool you around or turn your life upside down, don’t be no fool just stay in school and let the teacher teach the golden rule, let’s stop the robbing and killing each other, come on everybody and love one another, right now” – Harlem’s finest – “The Almighty Crash Crew”. First positive socially-conscious Rap verse “I” ever heard. This was, of course, before Duke Booty and Melle Mel’s “The Message”. Flavorblade just got me in the mood. Continue on, gentlemen.

  4. jericho saliz says:

    i woke up this mornin wit the sun shinin
    and on my mind how great it was 2 b part of the ones tryin
    makin a difference in our 1 world
    spreadn the good word to the little boys and little girls
    and even tho negative factors’ all around
    i keep the faith and hope, always stand my ground
    plant seedz of love everywhere i go
    so that tomorrow we can probably see our kidz grow
    now if we all was to change our mentalities
    without the selfishness, vanity and all the greed
    we’ll find that finer things come from one anotha
    teachn each other, holdn hands– reach a fallen brotha
    i believe it so of course i can see it
    just alittle love cuz everybody needs it
    join me in this celebration
    from the parties in the basement 2 the highest elevations…
    …like i said, nobody owns music and the beauty of hiphop is that it incorportates any other genre

  5. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    flavorblade, I’m not sure if its what” I” define as Rap Music, but he did drop a couple of verses on here – yo turn! What was the subject, again?

  6. flavorblade says:

    It was a poem. A nice thought. You heard the phrase kill them with kindness.

  7. jericho saliz says:

    ayo: i take up rap cuz it seems like a circus
    they say i dont belong here but i know my purpose
    i got a story too, i dont need girlz in bikinis
    and i dont need a filthy mouth for me 2 paint the scenery
    i’m gonna b that rapper on yor tv n yor radio
    who wudnt fit the bill of yor stereotypical
    neva gonna follow anyone to the hood
    i’m tryna get out 4 good n neva look back if i culd
    to make that progress n see that green money growin
    see anotha feed himself after i sho him
    how 2 plant n water, mayb lend him a seed
    but put a bullet in his azz if he think he will take it from me
    imma keep fightn to get my peopl out the ghetto
    til they hav that mind power thatll even bend metal
    i kno it wont happen til they plug into the source
    i’m a king like martin was– a black man wit a cause!

  8. flavorblade says:

    Nice verses. You’re not a threat to takeover the Davey’s Throwdown Temple but you express thoughts I’ve had a hard time conjuring as of late. Salute. Enjoy, because something very ugly is coming.

  9. flavorblade says:

    Hip-hop lives where lavas lunch ‘n mantle saddle platonic pedals volcanoes trumpets morning steps earthquakes Angels yarn wit song brides water breaks Earths people join ‘n wake
    Greetings here’s a six seal present
    Take this six seal present

  10. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    You won Jericho. Flavorblade, you tried to come with the old ,”deep’, straight out of the book of Revelations, devilish shit! You ain’t going to end no battles with that stufff, stick to the basics. He busted yo a#$$ – “I a king…a black man wit a cause”. As Preach would say, “That’s dynamite”.

  11. flavorblade says:

    Mcclendon I wasn’t competing. I was simply giving a verse to where my head is at. You don’t compete against positivity. It doesn’t make sense. Now let me break down the verse that went over your head. The Passage is about a few things. Nas’s hip-hop is dead campaign influenced it. Now check metaphoric beauty.

    Hip-hop lives where lava’s lunch – that means underground, as a being the mental image of a underground hip hop giant.

    ‘N mantle saddle – that means that this giant is sitting on the mantle of the earth like it is a saddle I still underground.

    Platonic Pedals – the platonic plates are like foot pedals for this giant. Platonics are fairly close to the service. Since the Earth is round a giant undergounds feet would atill touch them. Remember he’s on a saddle riding the earth.

    Angels yarn wit song I the giant is on the move the angels wake up annd begin singing. Remember the giant has the trumpet. So they jamming.

    Don’t worry about the rest of it. See Robert you claim hip hop is garbage now, but when somebody comes with somwething different if you don’t understand it you call it devilish. For me the verse is highly spiritual. I think you are out of touch with hip-hop.

    Jericho’s poem is on point. I have a style of writing that can make any easy comparison but like – said not the point. Competing against positive works is devilish. You support or supplement. You should know that old fella.

    Volcanoes Trumpets – This giant is so large it uses a volcanoe for a trumpet the giant is underground but volcanoes rise up. When a person blows a horn they raise it.

    Morning steps earthquakes – blowing of the horn a warning. Now the giant is moving, causing earthquakes remember the feet on the plates.

  12. flavorblade says:

    Now let me create something you can understand

    Sixties era revolutionaries refuting hip-hop yet when the gun popped your movement stop no I ain’t dissing the ancestors yet you left more questions then answers I’m from where we spend our last cent twice a month from were kids can still die from the mumps from where we pour alcohol over our lumps I’m from where Tupack still bumps from where we voted for change but red and blue still bang for change and corporation still took our money down the drain ain’t money the bottom line see this partner hearts of gold in the cheap wears line
    The choir sings loud but the bill collectors yell louder I ‘m from where walking home from work you can wind up in a police line up I from where we consider love but settle for pleasure from where they love God and pray for his treasures from where soldiers say I was put here to be a weapon streets saying America is still an ugly bitch Obama is make-up a great stand up still its ugly bitch may I remember that when I get rich

  13. flavorblade says:

    Here is something for you Robert of the dome straight to the G1

    Smelly socks intellectual off point opinions ineffectual hip-hop spiritually special returning souls favorite step stool plenty food new borns preachers media primary critical feature most older M.C’s become teachers civic leaders mission just whose leaving these the men my babies believe in moguls versus pundits when the fire rages who knows what they doing who can father the flock bet it be somebody out of hip-hop

    No its your turn firewater is the drink a big mouth earns -lol.

  14. Robert Jr. James McClendon says:

    Sorry, he still go you. When you got to break it down for the people, its whack – “Rapologist Speaks ’94”. I’ ll send you a copy. And Nas was mentioned on the tape back in 1994, but not for those verses. 🙁

  15. I love these sucker “internet emcees”. Now try saying that to a song with a sycopated beat. Not that Dr. Dre slow junk. People like Tupac and you all write great poetry, you all just never learned how to “rap”.

  16. flavorblade says:

    Sweeny I write to beats. Fast beats for my best. The stuff I just made up was done on Fabo’s new beat. How do you know I can’t spit. Mcclendon you can have your being of course. As long as you don’t try mr rapologist.

    Washed up critic book sold bricks rapology wac residing upon rusted flea market racks I host spades tournaments you playing jacks

    Sweeny sour faced sucker cheeks touching hopefully puckered big dog nut hugger

  17. I believe the Republicans found their great white hope in that guy who got Van Jones fired. Its open season on Black folk, if you ever opposed white people in anything, your career is over. Racism at the highest speed, you all. Time to unite and get ready to fight, because if they’ll come for him they’ll come for you. This world is about to end, “you all better stand for something”.