Irvin: Obama Victory Better than O.J. Acquittal!

Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin puts Barack Obama’s election into perspective:

“What a historical moment that was last night. … From an African-American standpoint, I watched my people — watched my people — celebrate the not guilty verdict of O.J. Simpson. They were so hungry for a victory of some kind that they celebrated — we celebrated — the verdict of O.J. And I was thinking to myself, ‘Two people are dead. Two people are dead.’ Now, I’m not talking about my people, I’m explaining them here. They were just so hungry to say ‘We have a victory.’ And I cringe when I even think about that.

“But last night I watched a celebration. A real celebration. A real celebration, and it was a celebration for everybody, and everybody celebrated, and they kept showing this shot, and I was watching, of this little black girl and this little white girl, just sitting there crying together, and I thought, wow. I thought about Martin Luther King and his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and I thought about him saying, black kids and white kids playing together. …

“Last night we removed all differences and became just one, and I thought that was a beautiful thing. It was just a beautiful thing. I stood here with my kids, we watched it and we cried and we prayed.”

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2008, Race and Politics, Sports, US Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Steve Plunk says:

    Who cares what Michael Irvin thinks? I know I don’t.

  2. Drew says:

    OK. Great. Kumbayah (sp?) over.

    Ahem. About the state of the black family. About 50% high school drop out rates. About a publicly run education system that is a disgrace. About a culture that discredits young blacks who aspire to achieve academically because they are “behaving too white.” About 500 murders this year in Chicago.

    OK. Obama’s the guy now. So now we just shovel bigger checks their way? Or do we fix this incredible social malformation?

    Your turn, Messiah. No excuses now. God speed.

  3. sam says:

    I’m trying to understand your headline, James. You make it appear as if Irvin liked the OJ verdict but he likes Obama’s victory even more. But the final thrust of what he says is to express remorse and guilt for the feelings shown by (some) African-Americans at the verdict:

    From an African-American standpoint, I watched my people — watched my people — celebrate the not guilty verdict of O.J. Simpson. They were so hungry for a victory of some kind that they celebrated — we celebrated — the verdict of O.J. And I was thinking to myself, ‘Two people are dead. Two people are dead.’ Now, I’m not talking about my people, I’m explaining them here. They were just so hungry to say ‘We have a victory.’ And I cringe when I even think about that.[My emphasis]

    I grant those are not the most articulate few sentences I’ve ever read, but the meaning at the end is pretty clear, I think.

  4. James Joyner says:

    I grant those are not the most articulate few sentences I’ve ever read, but the meaning at the end is pretty clear, I think.

    Pretty much my take as well.

  5. sam says:

    OK. Obama’s the guy now. So now we just shovel bigger checks their way? Or do we fix this incredible social malformation?

    WTF do you mean “we”? You’re not going to lift a finger.

  6. Rick Almeida says:

    Michael Irvin stabbed a teammate in the neck with scissors back in the day.

    That has no real relevance to the topic at hand, but it is one heck of a good story.

  7. Mithras says:

    Yeah, I don’t understand the point of this post either, except to make black people look bad.

    Oh.

  8. mannning says:

    “Last night we removed all differences and became just one, and I thought that was a beautiful thing.”

    Now there is today, tomorrow, and tomorrows to come. How fleeting is that joy and beauty, that instant oneness?

  9. Bithead says:

    Who cares what Michael Irvin thinks? I know I don’t

    I dunno, Steve. It’s important, because it shows us the kind of mentality we’re up against.I’ve said for a long time now that support for Obama was not based in fact, but rather pure emotion… and thereby mere fact could not defeat him. This quote would seem to lend itself to that point.

    You’re not going to lift a finger.

    Had you forgotten who is to pay for all these grandiose plans of Obama’s?

  10. anjin-san says:

    Everyone knows Irvin is not the sharpest pencil. So what is he doing here? Does being a well known black man saying something dumb automatically get you a headline on OTB?

  11. anjin-san says:

    I dunno, Steve. It’s important, because it shows us the kind of mentality we’re up against

    Yea. “The mentality”. You know, Obama supporters. Fools like Warren Buffet, Colin Powell, Paul Volcker.

    Meanwhile you embrace Sarah Palin, a woman who could not answer “gotcha” questions like “what newspapers do you read”?

  12. Jim Henley says:

    As someone who has been a Steeler and/or Redskin fan my entire life, I’m hardwired to despise Michael Irvin. But this particular passage makes perfect sense, and is movingly put.

    I don’t begrudge James some headline fun, mind you: in the high pressure world of blogging we all get hungry for a little hedder humor. I am not talking about my people here, I am explaining them.

  13. Bithead says:

    Yea. “The mentality”. You know, Obama supporters. Fools like Warren Buffet, Colin Powell, Paul Volcker.

    Comon, Anjin… that’s damned lame, even for you. You can’t begin to suggest that’s where the majority of his votes are coming from.

    And even there… Volker? You’re kidding, right?
    And is this teh same Colin POwell who the left was busy calling Bush’s oreo a while back?

  14. anjin-san says:

    You can’t begin to suggest that’s where the majority of his votes are coming from.

    Don’t think thats what I said. Its pretty obvious that the majority of his votes did not come from the elite of the elite, who are, of course, a tiny percentage of the population. Are you really as confused as you sound?

    I suspect the majority came from educated, successful people. You know, the kind of folks who could tell you what newspapers they read if you asked them.

    Hey bit, tell me again how Palin is going to crush the Democrats. How Obama “is in trouble and he knows it”.

    You are sort of the single A ball version of William Kristol. Spectacularly, horribly wrong, pretty much all the time. Why don’t you take some time off, and try and learn something from folks who were obviously right about the election while you were utterly clueless.

  15. G.A.Phillips says:

    FTG/B/DP/W O.J. 2012.

  16. G.A.Phillips says:

    LOL, remember if your smarter then 8 rich white crackers on multimillion dollar bonus day you can say what ever you want and still be f…………….

  17. mannning says:

    I just had to pick up on this phrase:

    I suspect the majority came from educated, successful people. You know, the kind of folks who could tell you what newspapers they read if you asked them.

    Your suspicion is ill-founded. 52% of the population voted for Obama, so that means more than 26% of those voting for Obama are educated, successful people, if you are correct. More voted this way than there are newspaper subscribers in the nation, I would venture. They actually could tell you what paper they read—none.

  18. G.A.Phillips says:

    Outside the Gimpway edition of Late Night-Outside the beltway: OK, the Democrats play the Russians(nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and the Republicans play the Light Brigade. ready set here we go.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shHmInLqJuk

  19. anjin-san says:

    More voted this way than there are newspaper subscribers in the nation, I would venture. They actually could tell you what paper they read—none

    Well Manning, I subscribe to 0 newspapers. Yet I read about half a dozen a day. The internets are really, really cool…

  20. mannning says:

    Of course you do. But the majority of the seething masses, the 76 million-odd voters for Obama, out of 148 million total that voted, most probably do not even have a computer or a newspaper, and rely on radio and TV. The majority of them, about 38+ million or so, I would suspect to be neither well-educated nor successful. Their vote choice alone guarantees that.

    The US circulation of newspapers is about 48 million per day. Only if every paper is read by an average of three people would it cover the entire voting population. Of that number, they most likely do not read much more than the sports section anyway. The Editorials and Op Ed would be just too much to take.

    But they have the vote, and used it, uneducated and unsuccessful and all! For the Messiah!

  21. Rick DeMent says:

    L’ve said for a long time now that support for Obama was not based in fact, but rather pure emotion…

    And all of the gooey giddiness for Sarah Pailin was based on hard analytic analysis.

  22. Rick DeMent says:

    But they have the vote, and used it, uneducated and unsuccessful and all! For the Messiah!

    Well if you want to get into a demographic pissing contest, Obama won the post grad demo overwhelmingly and this graphic, showing the places in the country that increased support for the GOP over the 2004 vote is telling. Note the dark red in those places in the US known for educational excellence. Sobering indeed.

  23. Bithead says:

    Don’t think thats what I said.

    And as usual, you came to that conclusion the moment you got spanked on it.

    Its pretty obvious that the majority of his votes did not come from the elite of the elite, who are, of course, a tiny percentage of the population. Are you really as confused as you sound?

    LOL! You call Irvin ‘the elite’, and you call ME confused? Step off.

  24. LOL! You call Irvin ‘the elite’, and you call ME confused? Step off.

    I’m not sure if he called Irvin “elite” or not, but it strikes me that if one is a multi-millionaire with one’s own radio show and is in the Pro Foorball Hall of Fame, one is clearly an elite. not the same kind of elite as Powell or Volker, but an elite nonetheless.

    What else would you call someone in that position?

  25. anjin-san says:

    You call Irvin ‘the elite’, and you call ME confused?

    Actully, I was referring to Powell and Buffet as the elite. But, after all, you are easily confused.

    Buy all means bit, declare yourself victor again. Like you kept doing when you were telling us about the greatness of Palin…

  26. mannning says:

    There is such a thing as being educated, successful by some measure not stated, and liberal to a fault, which appears to account for post grads, those hovering around the liberal university grinder, voting for Obama.
    It will take them perhaps another 20 or more years to wise up. Some never do, of course, which is a pity–too much cerebral popcorn exposure.

  27. anjin-san says:

    And now a few words from “the spanker”

    Obama’s been slipping in the polls. He’s in trouble and knows it.

    Posted by Bithead | October 19, 2008

    As comedy bitsy, you rival SNL…

  28. Bithead says:

    What else would you call someone in that position?

    With his demonstrated brainpower? Lucky.

    He’s in trouble and knows it.

    So he was at the time, by the numbers, and by his reations.

    But, after all, you are easily confused.

    Your words, Ajin. Funny how your reaction changes when these roles get reversed.

  29. anjin-san says:

    So he was at the time, by the numbers, and by his reations.

    I think you can make a pretty strong argument that Obama was not “in trouble” at any time during his campaign, starting from day one. They rope-a-doped when the tactic suited them, such as when they suckered McCain into Pennsylvania, a state Obama had locked up, by feigning weakness.

    Obama and Axelrod have been playing the game on a higher level than previously seen all along. They took what Howard Dean started and carried it to its logical conclusion. The smartest Republicans, men like Ed Rollins and David Gurgen have given Obama his due, which is only fair, even if you do not support his goals. The small minded of course, will be unable to do so.

  30. Bithead says:

    I think you can make a pretty strong argument that Obama was not “in trouble” at any time during his campaign, starting from day one.

    I think everyone in here knows you think that, Anjin.

  31. anjin-san says:

    I think everyone in here knows you think that, Anjin.

    Well Bit, as the saying goes, “check the score”.

    364 365-162

  32. anjin-san says:

    And now folks, its time for “The Best of Bithead” where we can review some of the many incisive, insightful comments made regarding the election.

    Oh… and of course the energy thing, seems to me the final nail in Obama’s box.