A Man in Full: Obama’s New Campaign Slogan "We Got Your Back" Directly from the Pen of Tom Wolfe

“We got your back”

The Blaze brings us a report on Mein Obama’s new campaign outreach to Black America (no, we aren’t talking about African Americans for Barack Obama, the hilarious Web site that is part of the official 2012 Barack Obama campaign site), which appears to a song straight from music catalogue of the early 2000s hit Arrest Development — paging Franklin Delano Bluth.

Using the (no homo) phrase, “We got your back,” the new Obama campaign phrase would seamlessly integrate with McDonald’s 365Black campaign or Coca-Cola’s pitching of Sprite to Blacks. The Blaze dog whistles:

Imagine a Soul Train soundtrack combined with politics and you have the start of President Obama’s new ad targeting blacks.

The new spot, which is set to air nationally on Tuesday, is based on the phrase “We got your back.” The phrase is repeated several times throughout by a group of singers as quotes form the president and Barry White-like music play in the background.
Thegrio.com has some quotes from the ad:

“Four years ago we made history,” a male announcer says. “Now it’s time to move forward and finish what we started together. We have to show the President we have his back.” The spot is inter-cut with audio from President Obama’s speeches, touching on familiar political and campaign themes.

“I refuse to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut by kicking children off of Head Start programs; asking students to pay more for college; or eliminating health insurance for millions of poor and elderly and disabled Americans on Medicaid,” the president can be heard saying in the ad.

“We got your back.” Don’t forget to say “No Homo.”

All of this would be beyond parody if it hadn’t already been parodied in Tom Wolfe’s 1998 novel about The City too Busy to Hate, with A Man in Full providing a scene that has the exact same phrase uttered by Black people in defense of a fictional Black candidate (like Mein Obama always hoped to become, a former National Basketball Association player) for mayor of Atlanta.

Adam Taxin, who is a writer in Philadelphia (a three-time Jeopardy! champion), pointed out in a YouTube video that “We got your back,” is ripped from the pages of Wolfe’s (incredibly honest) look at race relations in Atlanta.

To make the plot easy to digest, let’s quote from Wendy Brandes of CNN.com review of the book:

Meanwhile, Fareek “the Cannon” Fanon, a black football star at Charlie’s alma mater, faces accusations of date rape after an encounter with the gorgeous daughter of one of Charlie’s [Croker, the protagonist of the story] rich white pals during the Spring Break madness known as Freaknic. One of his lawyers is Roger White II, who obsesses about being called “Roger Too White” during his college days at Morehouse. White is a corporate lawyer, called in because his old frat brother, Wes Jordan, is mayor of Atlanta. Jordan has his reasons for taking interest in the plight of an inner-city black athletic star; he’s facing a re-election campaign against Andre Fleet, who is urging African Americans to vote for their “first black mayor” and against the “high yella” political establishment.

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African Americans for Barack Obama: Gotcha Back!

In this scene, our light-skinned Morehouse educated lawyer (a rib by Tom Wolfe at the first Black mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson?) is attending a church service in the south side of Atlanta, a predominately poor and dangerous – thus authentic – Black section of the city:

Roger Too White expected to see Andre Fleet emerge from one of the two wings of the stage, as the choir and Isaac Blakely had. But Blakey gestured toward the very rear of the church, and everybody, including Roger Too White, turned about in his seat. There, in the aisle, level with the very last row of seats in the hall, was Andre “Blaq” Fleet. In the ranks of the National Basketball Association he had been anything but a tall man. He had played point guard for Philadelphia and the New York Knicks. He was known as a good playmaker and a good but not great outside shooter…. He was built in a V, from the extraordinary width of his shoulders down to his narrow waist. And he was dark. Oh yes; no question about it. He had the good looks of a Sidney Poitier, and his flawless teeth fairly gleamed against the deep chocolate of his skin. The man had good looks and then some.
No sooner had Roger twisted about to take a look than Sister Sally Blankenship had plunged her two amazing hands into the Curland, and the stirring Toreador Song from Bizet’s Carmen, that rousing refrain, was roaring forth, vibrating in every gizzard in the church and making Andre “Blaq” Fleet seem like even more of an invincible champion. He was working the crowd, reaching deep into each row, on both sides, to touch the hands that reached toward him. He wasn’t the sort of politician who materialized elevated about you onstage, having just departed some unseen VIP room. Oh no; he was here among you, starting with the very last row, yours to see up close, to touch and hear from. Blaq Fleet had something to say to everybody, although it was doubtful that anybody could hear a word of it. Quite in addition to the organ’s triumphal anthem, the cries had begun. At first: Andre!…Andre!… Fleet!… Blaq!… Blaq! Gotcha Back! Blaq!… Gotcha back!…Fleet!…Gotcha back!… Then cries from every quarter of the audience: Gotcha back!… Gotcha back!… Gotcha back!… from here, from there, from way over there and the other side: Gotcha back!… until it became a single, unified chant springing forth from hundreds of gullets: Gotcha back, gotcha back, gotcha back!
It took a few moments, but then it dawned on Roger that gotcha back – “got your back” – was an Atlanta street expression meaning “I’m behind you – I am your follower – and I’ll protect you against attacks from the rear.”
Roger wouldn’t have believed it possible, but the chant continued to swell in volume as Blaq Fleet made his way down the aisle: “Gotcha back! Gotcha back! Gotcha back! (p. 358)

Life is Black-Run America (BRA) is beyond parody. We just have one task before us: endure. This age will end.

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