Is Black America ready to embrace Obama

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From Candy Crowley and Sasha Johnson
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) — In recent months, ABC News-Washington Post polls showed Sen. Hillary Clinton running 40 points higher than Sen. Barack Obama among blacks voters asked to name their preference in the Democratic primary.

But in Wednesday editions, the Washington Post reported a poll that has Obama leading Clinton by 11 points among black voters — 44 percent to 33 percent. Obama is the Senate’s only black member and has been campaigning across the country for the last couple of months. Clinton is his chief rival for the 2008 presidential nomination

That change represents a stunning 24-point swing, but does it mean the black community has embraced the Illinois Democrat as its candidate?

Not exactly.

“Obama does have a plurality of black voters right now. He doesn’t have a majority yet,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “That means a majority of blacks still aren’t sure about him.

“Forty-four percent favor him. That’s certainly good news for him, but I think the Obama camp would like to see that be significantly higher.”

Among blacks, Obama’s favorables are high (70 percent), but Clinton’s are higher (85 percent). Plus, Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, have deep roots in the black community.

Blacks, in part, may be slow to warm to the candidacy of Obama because, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll suggests, they are less likely than whites to believe that America is ready for a black president.

The poll, conducted December 5-7, 2006, found that 65 percent of whites thought America was ready, compared with 54 percent of blacks. The poll’s margin of error was plus-or-minus 5 percentage points.

George Wilson, the host of XM Radio’s “GW on the Hill,” hears doubts about Obama all the time from his black audience.

“There is this doubt ‘But is America ready for a black president?’ ” Wilson told CNN. “And the overall consensus from my callers is that America is not ready for an African-American president.”

Even at a rally for Obama in South Carolina you hear it:

“I’m being honest,” Akyshia Gantt, an African-American, said. “No, I think — which is bad — that America is not ready for that, but I don’t think they are.”

Part of Obama’s problem with black voters is that he is viewed by whites as the first black candidate with a legitimate shot at the White House.

“When white America has embraced a candidate — as they have with Barack Obama — there is a certain amount of distrust that goes with this among a number of African Americans,” Wilson said

In an interview with National Public Radio, Obama acknowledged the dynamic:

“In the history of African-American politics in this country there has always been some tension between speaking in universal terms and speaking in very race-specific terms about the plight of the African-American community,” Obama said. “By virtue of my background, I am more likely to speak in universal terms.”

Obama suffers, in part, because voters are not familiar with him and there is doubt whether the son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, who was raised in Hawaii and educated in elite schools, can relate to the black American experience.

This has been described as “not black enough,” a notion and a phrase that Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat who is a noted civil rights leader, rejects.

“I don’t think he has any of the hang-ups that a lot of people that are victims of segregation and racial discrimination tend to have,” Lewis said. “I think he’s free of it, and he’s running as an American citizen.”

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Sandi Jackson elected Alderman; Daley re-elected Mayor

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With 80% of the vote in, it appears Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr’s beautiful wife Sandi has been elected Alderman defeating incumbent Darcel Beavers in her bid to retain her daddy’s seat on the Chicago City Council.  Cook County Circuit Clerk Dorothy Brown was decisively beaten in her bid to unseat the arrogant and corrupt Richard M. Daley in his bid to beat his father’s twenty plus year record as Mayor.  Black folks just punched his ticket for another term without so much as a yawn.    The state of independent and community centered politics in Chicago Black Wards is a joke.  Everybody is languishing on Daley’s plantation and they don’t wanna be free.   Sad.  Very sad. 

The time has come for a death penalty for fashion faux pas

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MERYL STREEP photo

On the left, Actress Meryl Streep, nominated for Best Actress for The Devil Wears Prada this year at the academy awards.  On the right, Meryl Streep, four short years ago.    The horrible truth of the photo on the left is that Meryl is actually wearing Prada and it looks a hot damn mess.   In fact, Meryl looks a hot damn mess.   I don’t know who the Hell put together this look for this stunning Diva of the red carpet, but they obviously need to be put to death.   There is no explanation for this I am willing to accept.   They should be freaking killed immediately.  Disregard anything I’ve said previously about the death penalty. Clearly, there should be an exception for fashion crimes of this magnitude. 

I’m forgetting Meryl’s part in this travesty.   Having slimmed down to sport the immaculately banging outfits in the movie, Miss Meryl should know by now how to dress her body whatever weight she happens to be.   At 57, Meryl is still a beautiful woman and this hideous outfit is beneath a woman of her stature.   I don’t know what Hippy chic is, but this damn sho’ ain’t it.   She should be imprisoned for life for the shoes alone. Shame on you, Girl.  

Should America become the grotesque police state Dick Cheney fantasizes about, the fashion Czar Joan Rivers will have people executed on the red carpet for turning up in unflattering attire.  As well it should be.

Obama flips script with Hillary among black electorate

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One of the Lord’s mysterious wonders has appeared out of thin air:  Obama has flipped the script and is now leading Hillary Clinton among the black electorate.  Hot off the press, the Washington Post is now reporting the numbers of a Post-ABC News poll.  The numbers are very telling.   Obama leads Hillary 44 to 33 percent and I still can’t close my mouth.   Either God’s hand is on the brotha or having his face on both Jet and Ebony covers is working like nobody’s business.   The single post I did on the February EBONY cover with Senator and Mrs. Obama is the most popular post in the history of  Skeptical Brotha, being viewed over 2,000 times in the space of a month.  

The intensity of the curiosity about the Obama’s in the black community is growing and reaching critical mass.   Every day people find my blog doing Obama searches and they search for both Michelle and Barack.   People understand that the Obama phenomenon might have been some media generated whitefolks hype in the beginning, but it has turned into something else entirely different now.    What that something else becomes is starting to look like a multi-racial movement in coalition with the key  activists to make Obama President. 

While it remains to be seen what his fundraising totals will be in relationship to Hillary, it is clear that this campaign ain’t no joke. 
 

Hudson and Whitaker take home the Gold

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I spaced this off last night.  I was deep into a Blockbuster moviethon and did not want to be disturbed.  I made my famous spaghetti topped with parmesan cheese and a glass of wild vines blackberry merlot.   I was in Heaven.  I missed Jennifer’s moment and I feel bad about that.  Jennifer is my girl and a role model for sistah’s everywhere.   All praise and glory to God for her. 

1000 attend Cincinnati Obama Fundraiser

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Hat Tip: BY HOWARD WILKINSON  Cincinnati Enquirer

Even the event’s organizer – State Sen. Eric Kearney – said he was astounded by the success of this morning’s Barack Obama fundraising event at the Westin hotel downtown, which may have raised as much as $500,000 for the Illinois Democrat’s presidential campaign.

About 1,000 Obama supporters – including a handful of Republicans – crammed the main ballroom at the Westin to the point where there weren’t enough seats at the tables to go around. Dozens had stand through the breakfast event, lining the ballroom walls.

It was an unusually large fundraising event for Cincinnati, which spoke to the star power Obama carries. Even former President Clinton drew only 600 to a downtown hotel last October when he appeared at a fundraiser for John Cranley’s congressional campaign.  Even so, it was something of a “stealth” event for the Obama campaign – no reporters or cameras were allowed inside; and an impromptu press conference promised by a campaign aide after the breakfast failed to materialize. Obama’s security detail, concerned about moving the Illinois senator through a crowd of hundreds of supporters to where the media was camped out, whisked him out of the Westin through a side door, out of sight of the camera-and-notebook crowd.

The cheapest ticket for the morning event was $100, but those who paid $1,000 or more got to spend about half an hour in a private room with Obama before the main breakfast.

Those who donated $2,300 – the maximum contribution allowed for the presidential primary cycle – had their picture taken with the candidate who is hands-down the rock star of the early campaign for the 2008 presidential nomination.

Asked afterwards how much was raised, Kearney – whose wife, Jan-Michele Lemon Kearney was a Harvard Law School classmate of Obama – said that while the checks are still being counted, the event raised at least $350,000 and perhaps as much as $500,000.

“It was unbelievalbe,’’ said Kearney. “The people just kept coming.”

What was most impressive, Kearney said, was “how diverse a crowd it was – whites, blacks, Latinos, Asian folks, rich and poor. It shows the broad appeal Barack has.”

There was a considerable number of people who bought “walk-up” tickets to the 8 a.m. breakfast. As of Sunday night, about 750 tickets had been sold. In the end, at least 1,000 people paid the price to see and hear Obama, a first-term senator whose presidential campaign has created much of the early buzz on the 2008 presidential campaign trail.

One of those inside the reception for large donors was Cincinnati’s most high profile supporters of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, whose campaign has been trading barbs with the Obama campaign over the past week.

Class-action lawyer Stan Chesley, who has raised millions for President Clinton and for Sen. Clinton’s campaigns, said he was there because he has “enormous respect” for Obama.

“Of course, I am supporting Hillary, but, mainly I want to see the best Democrats run for president,’’ Chesley said. “Sen. Obama is very impressive.”

The crowd inside the main breakfast event ranged from enthusiastic supporter of the Illinois senator to Democrats who have yet to make up their minds about the field of Democratic presidential contenders.

Myrtis Grace of Bond Hill, a retired teacher, said Obama has “re-ignited my interest in politics.”

“I worked for (John F.) Kennedy and for Bill Clinton, but I haven’t been involved lately,’’ Grace said. “But Sen. Obama is inspiring. He’s so passionate.”

Cincinnati Councilwoman Laketa Cole, a Democrat, said she has yet to make up her mind about which presidential candidate to support, but came away impressed by Obama.

“I want to hear Hillary; I want to hear all of them,’’ Cole said. “But he made a great speech, talking about bringing the country, healing the divisions. I like that.”

Thurmonds of South Carolina held Sharptons in bondage

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Having done some minor genelogy of my own and piggybacking on what others in my family have already done, this story fascinates me to no end.   The Washington Post is reporting that a geneology done by a New York Post reporter’s curiosity confirm’s that distant cousin of Strom Thurmond’s owned Al Sharpton’s great grandfather.   Strom Thurmond, you’ll recall was the longest serving Senator, serving until 100.   The South Carolina Senator cut his teeth on race bating and segregationist politics that lasted until he switched parties in 1964.  A former judge, Governor, and then Senator from South Carolina, Thurmond was a fossilized throwback to a bygone era of Jim Crow hypocrisy. 

After his death, it was later revealed that he sired a daughter with a black servant in his parents household and hid her from public view while he continued to beat the hypocritical drum of white supremacy during his lengthy career and subsequent 1948 run for President on the segregationist Dixiecrat ticket.   Tell me your thoughts on this story because I heard somewhere that Sharpton wants a DNA test.