One of the theories which emerged from President Obama's defeat in his first debate with Governor Romney is that Obama was wary of taking on Romney in an aggressive fashion for fear of coming across as an "angry Black man" and that the Romney campaign has devised a cynical debate strategy aimed at goading Obama into displaying precisely the kind of "Black male fury" which they calculate will alienate white voters and secure a victory for Romney in November. It is also argued that the supposition that "Black male fury" has a potent effect in producing such white alienation is strongly supported by behavioural science. But to what extent did Malcolm X represent a decisive refutation of that theory? There appears to be ample evidence that Malcolm's blistering 'anti-white' diatribes were routinely expressed with such artistry and style that it actually had the paradoxical effect of attracting the very whites to whom it was displayed. Should Obama thus give serious consideration to 'channeling' Malcolm X in crafting his approach to Romney in the remaining two debates?
8 October 2012