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Thread: Ralph Nader Election Night interview.

  1. #1

    Default Ralph Nader Election Night interview.

    I'm not sure how many of have heard this story, or even know who Ralph Nader is, but on election day he apparently gave an interview to a radio station, he was later re-interviewed on FoxNews that night.

    Here is a quote of what he said and a couple of stories about it.

    To put it very simply, he [Barack Obama] is our first African American president, or he will be. And we wish him well. But his choice, basically, is whether he is going to be Uncle Sam for the people of this country or Uncle Tom for the giant corporations.

    In the FoxNews interview, when he was asked straight up:

    Fox News: "I just wonder if, in hindsight, you wish you'd used a phrase other than Uncle Tom"?

    Nader: "Not -- at all. Do you know what the historic...."(Interrupted by Fox)

    TRAIL BLAZERS Blog | The Dallas Morning News
    Tim Goodman. The Bastard Machine : Ralph Nader calls Obama "Uncle Tom" and Fox News calls him out.

    Personally I can't think of any reason why someone would use that phrase, it makes Nader look like the biggest racist in the world.

    If you don't know what "Uncle Tom" is or means, Uncle Tom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  2. #2


    I assume he just meant corporation destruction. I can see why it would be used. Everyone takes offense at the slightest touch, I've developed a thick skin for things like this, but I'm not black, so I guess I don't get a say.

  3. #3


    It's been used before, but it's in bad taste. I'll be interested to see if there is a backlash, or if anyone cares because Nader is no longer taken very seriously. He really helped to defeat Al Gore in 2000. If he was so concerned about the environment he would have know that Gore was much more green than Bush, and he would have dropped out of the race and supported Gore. But I think at this point in his life, Nader is not quite right.

  4. #4


    I think we need to take into considerations two things:

    1) Calling someone Uncle Tom has become a derogatory term, but has not always been one. Hell, just read the book and look at the nature of the titular character. Was Nader's mistake a result of racist malice, or was it merely a clever phrase association gone horribly wrong? Who knows.

    2) We don't know why he chose to label the President Elect "Uncle Tom." Unfortunately, Fox didn't give him a chance to explain it further. We're left assuming that Nader was saying something primarily racially motivated, but we'll never know -- why? Because the media was too afraid to be the harbinger of bad feelings and censored the beginning of an explanation that could have either made Nader look like the dumbshit he is, or have at least explained why he chose to say what he did. We're left to assume he meant it in a derogatory manner ... but did he?

    I could care less. Obama is president, and Nader is not. Critics are a dime a dozen. They'll say dumb shit whether or not they're on national airwaves.

  5. #5


    Mr Obama made alot of campain promises, like every president before him, I doubt if any of the promises he made will ever happen.

    I wish some of them would happen, but I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for them to happen.

  6. #6


    Who cares what Nader thinks...Also...It's FOX...What else would you expect from them?

  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by Pojo View Post
    Who cares what Nader thinks...Also...It's FOX...What else would you expect from them?
    I agree Nader has made himself increasingly irrelevant in national politics, but for the second part, it's not as though Fox News goaded him into saying something bad, he did it all on his own and didn't back off from it.

  8. #8


    He said he wondered if Obama would be an Uncle Tom not that he is one.

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Martin View Post
    He said he wondered if Obama would be an Uncle Tom not that he is one.
    That's not quite the point. It's not whether he is or isn't, it's that the observation from Nader goes from the very broad "...Uncle Same to the people of this country..." to the racial with no link between them. It's just to score the zinger with a rhetorical device (Uncle Sam vs. Uncle Tom). Nader could have very fairly asked if the new president is going to govern on behalf of the people or is he going to sell out to the big corporations who run America? One could ask that about any president. Nader took the road of making it racial and it doesn't even fit the situation properly since to be an "Uncle Tom" the black person in question would take actions that are detrimental to blacks, whereas I'm sure Nader believes that selling out is bad for all Americans (aside from perhaps the very wealthy).

    It was a statement made for shock value, and given that he had the chance to modify his statement and stuck with it, he deseves all the flack he gets for it.

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