I Decline

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photo by pacific john, flickr

I have been angry for a week now and I have heard from you.  Y’all gave me much to consider and digest.   Wrestling with this has been very, very difficult and gut wrenching.  At times I’ve felt that I just needed to let my anger go, embrace the moment, and savor this history making candidacy for all that its worth.  Conversely, I’ve thought that this brotha is little more than a Democratic and neoliberal version of Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, the doublemint twins of right-wing imperialist deception.    

Appeasing skittish and racially ambivalent whites that deliberately insult the integrity and prophetic vision of the black church doesn’t work for me. Disassociating from Jeremiah Wright by telling a nationally televised audience that you would not have felt comfortable enough in your church of twenty years to stay if your pastor hadn’t retired just doesn’t work for me.   

I want to support this brotha so badly, but I have gone as far as I can.   I can’t do it anymore and feel good about it. I’ve decided to vote uncommitted in the North Carolina Democratic primary in protest. Moreover, as of today, I formally withdraw my support of Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination for President, my bitter opposition to Senator Clinton notwithstanding, and will leave the Democratic Party to become an Independent.   

In case you were wondering, I have been this way for a number of years and refused to support Bill Clinton because of his lack of candor and respect for the black community on the Death Penalty in 1992.  I actively supported Jerry Brown.   

The vast majority of you will never agree with me, I concede that, but I am a race man through and through and this is about respect.  If a politician doesn’t respect us, they can never really represent us.  It’s just that simple.  I’ve made no decision about the fall.  I’ll let y’all know.  But for today, I decline to support Barack Obama.   

148 thoughts on “I Decline

  1. SB, you gotta do what you gotta do.

    Like I said before though, I’m waiting for him to start wearing the flag lapel pins before I bail out.😉

  2. Hi Skeptical Brotha:

    I can understand that you feel that way you do, and you have every to make a decision to become independent. However, being independent does not mean very much if we continue to have a two party system. I think the country needs more independent thinkers. I am an Obama supporter, but did my research after seeing him speak at the 2004 convention, reading articles I found (the New Yorker magazine had two good articles), both his books, and looking at his congressional record while as State Senator and U.S. Senator.

    Obama does remind me of Booker T. Washington in that you need to build relationships with people to get what your people need. Washington had his critics such as W.E.B DuBois and Martin Luther King, Jr. However, Obama has consistently been against the war and it would interesting to see how he would it if were to become President. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer how to really get out of the war.

    All I can say that this will be an interesting race, and will the democrats survive.

  3. Sheri,

    I am firm about my decision and respect yours. Thanks for your input. I made the decision because I was forced to, not because I wanted to. There is a very seductive narrative surrounding the Obama candidacy that is easy to be swept up by. And I was, but when it gets down to issues-my progressive positions don’t match with the neo-liberalism lite that Obama is pushing.

    He is collecting millions in corporate interests that puts all but Hillary Clinton to shame. Then there is the Trinity/Jeremiah Wright thing. I think I’ve made myself clear.

    I need to feel some integrity and I simply wasn’t feeling it. I wrote extensively about that for a year and foolishly turned on a dime in January. That won’t happen again.

  4. section9

    Smart guy.

    I’m a Republican, quite on the opposite of where you are politically, but I understand where you are coming from. He and Wright both understood, back in ’07, that the time would come when he would have to throw Wright under the bus.

    This is Chicago Ward Politics as I remember it back from my days when I lived there in the early eighties. Obama is nothing really new, but he is packaged as if he is new.

    Upper class white people eat this up to get over their guilt feelings. Meantime, the Clintons are running around telling Supers that Obama will lose to the Old Guy. Why?

    For a long, long time, we Republicans have been polling Democrats. Like, for decades. What elite Democrats never, ever told their black voters is what would happen if someone that just happened to be BLACK ever ran for the Top Job.

    Not, like, you know, Toni Morrison’s hallucinatory “First Black President” remark about Clinton, but, you know, a real black person. Like Obama.

    Forget the polls about white folks being “ready” to vote for a black man. What happens when those white working class voters get behind the curtain and think about Rev. Wright in the General? About 15% of white, working class Democrats are just this side of the Klavern. Oh, they’ll vote for Clinton or Edwards. And they tell themselves that a Black Man should be President Somday…

    But see if I’m not right. See if McCain doesn’t flip a bunch of Blue states because of this.

  5. Kam

    I would highly recommend you read the posts on Obama this week at TPMCafe. And enjoy President McCain. It must be amazing to be so pure, so perfectly Black and Christian and pure. Politics is the art of compromise. I wonder what would have happened if Black folk had decided to turn on King because he was a skirt-chasing hypocrite? Many knew, but they had there eyes on something bigger than the man. The Black church is an institution–it is not God. Obama has not sinned against God, he made a political calculation because he is a politician. Grow up.

  6. ac

    SB – I’m a short time lurker and I had to write. I’ve really appreciated your reasoned entries on your concern and caution in your support of Obama. It’s been a nice balance as I did my own research and started forming my own opinions. That you now feel you have to withdraw that support is unfortunate, but as stated above, you gotta do what you gotta do.

    I agree that neither of the democratic candidates are as progressive as I personally would have liked to see. What started out as so promising – such a depth of field in the early stages of the democratic primaries – has now pared down to two, but with such god-awful race-baiting and Rovian like tatics and ugliness that there is very little joy.

    Will keep checking in here to get your take on matters.

  7. Sorry about “Grow up.” That was uncivil. I’m just angry at how easily we give up on good, honest people as they attempt to navigate these treacherous waters.

  8. propagandhi

    HA HA HA HA HA HA! You “formally withdraw [your] support of Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination for President” on the eve of anniversary of Dr. M.L. King’s assassination? Well, congratulations, and so fuc*ing what.

    You a race man? Please. You think you’re defending the “integrity and prophetic vision of the black church?” Well sorry to say SB, but you just took the handkerchief out of your pocket and put it on your head. My Grandfathers were Race Men – you’re just flattering yourself.

    The most unforgiveable thing a Black man can do is to choose inaction because he can’t transcend the limits of his own imagination. It was John Lewis’ failing most recently, but now it’s yours.

    You recall calling him out in your “Dear Handkerchief Heads” letter? Do you recall, Andrea, writing “But as for John Lewis…he knows what he is. He is a member of the Black Establishment…[a] revered Civil Rights Leader that is still alive… [t]he problem is: he really is irrelevant…”?[sic]

    Well it’s one thing to become irrelevant because of wrong decisions, but it’s unforgiveable to choose irrelevancy because of a lack of imagination.

    John Lewis has changed his mind, he continues to take action for the future, whatever the rationale.

    What are you doing? After this odyssey of exciting rhetoric and all the paeans to the future, this is what you leave us with? What a joke. You drank the kool-aid.

    Now it’s my turn to take action. I can no longer countenance your half-stepping nonsense, or attempts to mythologize the ramblings of some superstitious boob. I formally remove your bookmark, tonight.

    Sincerely,

    propagandhi, a Black man who has some damn principles.

    PS – Andrea, I was never accusing you of disloyalty, that loyal disloyal nonsense is your hang-up and yours alone. I was accusing you of being self-absorbed and kooky.

    PPS – I’ll gamble that in tow years you’ll be eating a steady diet of crow, and no longer bothering with this blog. Your challenge is to hope I’m right about the crow, and to otherwise prove me wrong.

  9. Rick

    well, for the record, exactly one year ago today I was the only one up in here — along with a poster by the name of DarrylM — who had come to fully support Obama on this blog. The good news, for me at least one year later, I am no longer the only one (and this time, have much better company to boot!) And no, I reject any claim that those who support Obama are somehow Kool-Aid drinkers. That’s a bunch of nonsense.

    SB, we all must follow our conscious. Do what you feel is best for you. All free thinking men and woman must do that.

    As for myself, I was with him from day 1 and I am not leaving him now. He has my support.

  10. RhondaCoca

    SB, Congrats about being on CNN tonight!!!

    I’m sorry that you left the camp. I gave him a strike but I will not pull back my support. We have a long way to go and I think that he is the superior choice. Your skepticism (no pun intended) is healthy and respected. The way that he handled this situation was strange because I was proud of his speech but he upset me before that and then with some of the stuff he said after it. Blacks throughout history are always seen as divisive, bringing up all whats injust with America.

    The use of some white talking points in regard to race bothers me. The ridicule of the black church bothers me. The public scolding of a black man by a black man to please white sensibilities hits a raw nerve. One that cannot be healed. Through I understand why Obama had to do it, it still bothers me. My problem is not with him I believe (I hope it wont be) my problem is with the society that thinks that we are past certain things when we are not. The mention of it is divisive. I guess that he may even repudiate our blogs if he read them. However I will ask you once again to have faith. Dont pull back your support. Wait it out.

    P.S. I dont know why I’m watching Fox News but I am, Ferraro is on and she continues. They are saying that nobody can talk about race (Hannity, Ferraro and Holmes) without being called a racist. Nobody can talk the truth they claim. Now I wonder if they would extend that same thought to Rev. Wright who they had to interest in actually listening to. This country is a joke and the more that I watch the WHITE media, there is a confirmation of that.

  11. SB,

    Seems as if you and Jack and Jill were on Anderson Cooper 360.

    Seems as if we’ze ‘pickin on’ the Black Hillpatine supporters.

    I’ll have to watch the Tivo of the reruns tomorrow.

  12. SB,

    a) congrats on the CNN mention, though they didn’t do us justice. i’m blogging it now. will link to you

    b) sorry to see you drop your support. glad to see it’s for strong reasons of conviction. i have a different view but can’t hate on yours. you’ve clearly thought and struggled over this for some time. you’re not cashing out because you feel “loyal” to some race-baiting campaign.

    keep bangin out this bangin blog

    – baratunde aka jack turner

  13. I saw this page on CNN’s AC360 tonight, SB, congratulations! A very ironic night for them to throw up your site in a story about pressure on black folks to stick with Obama. I feel your agony and respect the decision you’ve made. It was always gonna be a stretch for you to remain genuinely on board the Democratic Party hustle, right? There’s a lot that I like about Obama, and I understand that he wouldn’t even be a contender if he weren’t a proficient compromiser. But at this point I intend to vote for McKinney in November. Welcome back to the wilderness. We need more smart folks out here so we can figure out the best ways to storm the castle.

  14. PTCruiser

    I don’t agree with your position but I understand where you are coming from and, more importantly, I respect your decision. In the end, you have to feel good about the choices you make and sometimes you can only swallow so much.

  15. Kam“Obama has not sinned against God, he made a political calculation because he is a politician. Grow up.”

    To me that whole comment was absurd. What ever happened to “Change”. Obama is not supposed to be a typical politician, right?

    SB, welcome to the Indy fold. I became an Independent in February. I hope your decision inspires others to leave the cesspool.

    For the record, I also respect your decision to vote “uncommitted”. Any person that would throw his grandmother under the bus on an international stage, would throw others under that same bus when the time is convenient.

    And congrats, you are “big time” now with the mention on liberal CNN – even though CNN is in the tank for Obama.

  16. Henry

    Well, this RSS just got declined. Absolutely ridiculous!!! Thanks for showing us that there’s one perfect Black person in the world SB.

  17. Cliff

    “I want to support this brotha so badly, but I have gone as far as I can.”

    Don’t worry SB, we have those who can school you.🙂

    Rikyrah, I think it’s time for SB to be schooled.🙂

    “Is he running to be the President of the Revolutionary Black Blogosphere or the United States of America. If we shouldn’t participate in the system, then I would rather you say that, but, under the strict rules of engagement you want to enforce, there’s no “wiggle” room for this man whatsoever.”

    School him Henry

    “I would expect as much from working class whites since they are by and large unfamiliar with the rhythms and politics of the black church. I am hugely disappointed that so many black folk are taking this bait and abandoning Obama.”

    School him TripLBee

    “The Best Politician! I’ve have seen decent men, like Jimmy Carter, be whipped by assholes like raygun because they were lousy politicians. Obama is the Best Politician I have ever seen. ”

    You can even be schooled by old white guy from my home state.

    School him john in california

    “The speech was intended for the
    majority population, but he also stood by us! It merely touched upon the issue of race in the
    most basic way. Give him a chance; he is still the best the country has to offer at this juncture”

    School Him prosperitee

    “Would Democrats be attacking Obama if he was not an Africa American, or have you ever heard of a democratic campaign where threshhold keep on changing on a weekly basis?”

    School Him Akech

    America’s White Supremacy objectives was your friend and you killed him.

    Obama: Friend? What Friend; because he knows my first name!? I’ve watched that c_k sucker operate with immunity for over 450 years. The s_t is Chess not Checkers.

    Don’t worry SB, we have those who can educate you on the unseen.🙂

  18. SB: I respectfully disagree with you. But as Rick said, we are all free men and women. We have a right to choose. Sadly, your choice will have an influence on some because of your platform. But that’s just how it is. I just pray that those who value your opinion when it comes to political/race/social issues take the time to research issues themselves and make a decision based on their own convictions and not yours.

    I’ve been visiting this site now for over a year, learning and conversing with other brilliant black folks. I will not stop. However, the same way Obama’s so called sin hurt and silenced you for a few days, I also feel a little hurt and silenced by you and some of the other harsh comments I’ve read on this board.

    It hurts me when I see brilliant, beautiful black folks going for the throat of other black folks. Yes, it’s one thing to have a spirited debate. But I’ve seen some of these folks that claim to be so down for the cause, pulling out the verbal knives and guns to defend what it is that they “think” is the gospel.

    I guess the enemy has achieved with this Wright thing. They managed to make scared white folks more afraid of Obama. And they’ve managed to make some black folks split/devide/attack one another over an issue that’s really questionable in terms of real importance.

    While this whole Obama/Wright issue is fueling the fears of white folks and the anger of black folks, I’m trying to figure out where I can get some fuel to put in my car to get to my job.

    Have a blessed and fulfilled day.

    Angie

  19. Martin X

    SB, I hear you. We all can see clearly that brotha Obama is “tap dancing” a bit so he doesn’t scare off all of his white support. I think its understandable if you don’t support him because of comments like that. But after all, Obama is a politician and we will never know what he truly believes. It’s a shame that black people have to be put into that position of choosing between the people that essentially gave him his start in Chicago and in politics for that matter. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get too big for his britches and doesn’t betray the community that is largely responsible for his success. After all, blacks have been voting for him almost 90%. If it wasn’t for our support Mr. Obama would not have the success that he has had. I’m a supporter, but like Cornel West, I’ve always been a critical supporter.

  20. RhondaCoca

    “Any person that would throw his grandmother under the bus on an international stage, would throw others under that same bus when the time is convenient.”

    He was just using her as an example of someone that he loves who said things that were prejudice and/or hurtful. My issue is with the reverend.

    Today, we are remembering the death of Dr.King yet we still cannot deal with hearing certain truths and we are attacking a black church that has done so much for its community.

  21. He’s being refered to as “Booker T. Obama” over at Black Agenda Report. Go check out Glen Ford’s piece on him – it may ease your pain.

    SB, you’re a purist and I’m right there with you. Do what you have to do and stay true to yourself.

    I’m too old to compromise and everytime I’ve done so, I’ve been worse off. No room for compromise here. Obama has torn the rose-colored glasses off a few pairs of eyes, including my own.

    Now if he gets the general, I’m going to meditate and pray as to where I cast my vote. I’ve already made the move of voting for him in the Virginia primary, so I can’t take that back.

    I’m going to say he fooled me into believing he was a progressive and would stick to his principles, especially in the areas of his faith and his Christian leadership.

    CBCMonitor will have a large target for accountability and his name is Barack Hussein Obama. He’s going to have a special report card where he’s going to be evaluated on the same criteria we do the Congressional Black Caucus. Oh, BTW, I’m not about to say maybe they knew something about Obama we don’t. Consider that they would have gotten behind Harold Ford, and that’s saying a lot, considering Ford’s a closeted Republican.

    However, they have been derelict in at least putting a foundation out there for all of the Black community to showcase the fact that we are not a monolithic group, but they want us to be. The next four years are going to be telling because the minute Obama sends troops anywhere, cuts funding for social programs, panders to corporate America, the white progressives and others are going to be on his ass like a fly on shyt and it is not going to be pretty.

    I’ll be honest; I prayed that neither he nor the Borg Queen would run for the White House. I wanted Gore to throw his hat back into the ring, because the Al Gore of today is not the wimp that was trying to get POTUS on Bill Clinton’s coattails.

    I didn’t want Obama in it because he got the people of Illinois to send him to the U. S. Senate. I felt he had his job to do there, before running for POTUS. But he did exactly what Harold Ford would have done, and was actually planning to do – use the United States Senate as a stepping stone to the White House.

    The only problem is that Harold was too damned arrogant and stupid to cover up his intentions. Obama was smarter than that, and he fooled us all, and probably will continue to fool us.

    I only considered his camp because Hillary Clinton made the campaign about race when she couldn’t get her way. I will always gravitate to the brotha or sista being attacked based on their race, because we don’t have a choice to be born into our ethnicity, and we shouldn’t be penalized for something that was out of our control.

    Barack Obama is a manufactured politician, and once again, I find myself in the position of holding my nose to vote for someone who’s going to screw over the people who can least afford it; the poor, the downtrodden – and that’s regardless of race; that means poor Latinos, Blacks, Whites and everyone in between are not going to get what we think we would in an Obama presidency because at least, for the first two years, he will get blamed for the BS Bush is leaving behind, and because he will have no margin for error, if he even whiffs like the DLC will get favors, the progressive side of the aisle will be ready to string him up.

    So be it. I’m suffering from Obama fatigue that’s not my own, and never should have been.

  22. Agreed. Completely. Though for slightly different reasons.

    I think Obama is a visual marker of change. He’s a black — well bi-racial — man. He is a suave, polished man of color who understands how to straddle the racial fence with incomparable skill. He’s the physical embodiment of “change” in that presidents 1-43 have all been white men and not particularly hip.

    But his policies and positions? They’re middle of the road, more of the same. His Safe Negro posture does not seem honest or authentic to me. I need my candidates to speak truth at all times, even when its difficult.

    That said, I don’t even know if I will vote in November. Whomever wins will not have the chutzpah, political coalition or hell, the *time* to do Big, Radical Things like:

    * Give poor kids a better-than-McJob education
    * Invest in rail and roads
    * Invest in and mandate use of alternative energy so we don’t have to go around kicking ass for oil.

    But there’s too much money involved and too many back-room deals being made for any of that to happen. And that’s terribly, terribly disappointing.

  23. Skeptical Brotha,

    I am grateful that you publish this blog. Thanks.

    I respect your opinion.

    I disagree vehemently, but I respect your convictions.

    Regards,

    Caged Lion

  24. I applaud you decision SB, Black people should have been voting independent long ago! Real is real and Obama is not the real thing. The Political Junkie wrote
    “He’s being refered to as “Booker T. Obama” over at Black Agenda Report. Go check out Glen Ford’s piece on him – it may ease your pain”

    Co-sign TPJ!

  25. Denise

    I understand, SB. Folk have to do what works best for them.

    I switched from Dem to non-affiliated (independent) in 2000 and, trust me, I sleep just fine😆

  26. thatguy

    Erm…So while some of y’all are mourning over on Planet Black Power in Galaxy USofKKK…

    Obama is busy outwitting whitefolk and working to become the first black POTUS. But this isn’t enough. We must have him raging against whitey in his speeches, doing a raised-fist salute every other minute.

    AA always bringing each other down. Hilarious.

  27. TripLBee

    Skeptical Brotha has my respect even though we disagree on this point. SB, I appreciate your graceful and clear articulations of your purpose and your decisions.

  28. TripLBee

    Here is why I support Barack Obama’s candidacy for the US presidency:

    I have become frightened over the past 7 years. I never thought any president could be worse than Ronald Reagan. I was wrong. GW Bush, had he been as unrestrained the last 3 years and he was during his first 4, would have gone down as one of the most destructive world leaders of the past century. As it is the last 7 years have seen the most massive redistribution of wealth in our country’s history, with wealth moving largely from the middle class to the upper class. This war in Iraq….I don’t even know what to say…It’s been more than a disaster. We no longer have anything even remotely resembling a free media in this country. (The blogosphere being the counterpoint.) It’s almost illegal to be a Muslim or an Arab in this country. Government sponsored corporate fraud (unregulated mortgage markets, unregulated energy markets, God where to begin) has created a new class of robber barons and threatens to obliterate the middle class. The Earth’s ability to sustain itself has been seriously eroded by an administration that doesn’t believe in the theory of evolution, never mind global warming. We aren’t on the verge of a crisis. We are in a full-scale melt down.

    The last 7 years have eradicated the notion that I used to have, that Democrats and Republicans are essentially the same. They are not. Not by a long shot. The former essentially wish to maintain an imperialistic status quo. The latter want to expand it radically. I am not a fan of Al Gore. He is a centrist whose outlook on the world is very different from my own. But imagine how much different our country and our world would be had he taken his rightful place in the White House. We would not be at war in Iraq. We would not have transferred almost $1 trillion from the middle class to the upper class in the form of tax breaks. We would have a federal policy moving us towards environmental responsibility. We would have two more centrists on the Supreme Court as opposed to two more fascists. My God, the differences would be stunning.

    In light of the horrors that GW Bush has unleashed on my country and indeed on my world, I can forgive Obama’s confused and ambivalent reaction to the Rev. Wright “scandal.” My God people, do we really want to risk having John McCain as our next President? (Hillary cannot win the nomination or the presidency.) Are we really so offended by Barack that we’re willing to risk having a president who largely represents the world view of GW Bush? Are you that offended?

    SB, I love you brother. You have assembled an impressive group of thinkers in this blog and I love what you have to say—even if I don’t always agree with you. I would implore us, beg us to keep our eye on what is at stake here.

  29. RhondaCoca

    Yea, my friend who was never in support of Obama either is really upset about Obama not being in Memphis today. Many people were discussing it this morning since both Clinton and McCain (McCain remember was against the King Holiday…he now calls it a mistake) will be there. She said that “he used Dr.King as a commodity, he has appropriated his style and used him as the means to his end however he cannot make a trip to remember the man. He is yet to respect the people who have supported him throughout this election. Dr. King told us to keep ‘our eyes on the prize’ but this seems to be more like Obama’s pr”I”ze. What will we get out of it? How much more can he distance himself?”

    He said that he will be remembering King in Indiana which is the same place where RFK made the announcement when King died. I am looking forward to hearing what he has to say.

  30. RhondaCoca

    “The majority of Negro political leaders do not ascend to prominence on the shoulders of mass support. Although genuinely popular leaders are now emerging, most are still selected by white leadership, elevated to position, supplied with resources and inevitably subjected to white control. The mass of Negroes nurtures a healthy suspicion toward this manufactured leader, who spends little time in persuading them that he embodies personal integrity, commitment and ability and offers few programs and less service. Tragically, he is in too many respects not a fighter for a new life but a figurehead of the old one. ”

    Martin Luther King

  31. abe ny

    I don’t agree and respcet your decision but am saddened mostly because it’s like we’ve lost one of our key players. No one is perfect and I thought BO handled it as well as he could. I don’t want a symbolic candidate I want him to win.

    That being said, there are some compromises that are unacceptable, like prison reform, health care, education and withdrawal from Iraq. I think this compromise was not unexpected and we still need people like you on the team.

    please check out this article:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-oped0404wrightapr03,0,92000.story

  32. RhondaCoca

    I meant to include in the post above, that you have a “healthy suspicion”.

    “Tragically, he is in too many respects not a fighter for a new life but a figurehead of the old one.”

    I think of that when I hear people speak of change. I believe that he will bring change. After 8 years of Bush, I believe that Obama can make a difference. However when I see how things have played out in the last few weeks, I have realized that change is limited and many are unable to understand certain truths. I have also realized that Obama is a controlled man though I would like to think differently. I hope nonetheless that something happens that restores the idea of “change you can believe in”.

    Obama 08=)

  33. RhondaCoca

    Abe ny-

    “prison reform, health care, education and withdrawal from Iraq.”

    I believe Skeptical Brotha’s fear is if he will stand up for what he believes in when the time comes. Prison reform is controversial and people may oppose him and even put race in the mix. Will be back down or stand firm?

    I believe that once he gets into office, he will stand firm. Well I hope when he gets into office he stands firm and doesnt pull a Bubba!!

    I agree though, I would like to see SB back on the Obama team. It is expected and he is walking a tight rope. I hope SB will rethink his stance though I respect and understand it.

  34. You say: “Disassociating from Jeremiah Wright by telling a nationally televised audience that you would not have felt comfortable enough in your church of twenty years to stay if your pastor hadn’t retired just doesn’t work for me. ”

    ::

    That’s not actually what Obama said, though. He said that had Wright not retired AND had Wright not apologized for the inflammatory remarks that had offended some then he MIGHT not have felt comfortable staying there. That’s different from what you claim Obama said. And the difference isn’t small.

    Obama is a politician. He usually chooses his words carefully and deliberately. I think he did that this time. He stands by Wright, he stands by his church, and if you find Obama’s appeasing remarks a disassociation I understand that, but I don’t find it credible.

    Be angry. Withdraw your support if you will. We do what we do.

    But don’t do to Obama what you claim he did to Wright. That wouldn’t be right, brotha. That wouldn’t be right.

  35. Chesapeake

    Many of Senator Obama’s workers don’t understand, and they see the dissenting comments and your withdrawal of support as unfair, judgmental, and destructive. Coming from black people, they see the dissent and opposition as treason.

    To the contrary! Just as the strengths of all the candidates need to be exposed, so must the alarm be sounded to alert to their weaknesses. The events of the last two weeks are alarming.

    The issues of integrity and respect are not race issues, though. We’d have a similar debate if a white candidate separated himself from his long-time, loyal white minister who preached sermons which truthfully guided his congregation against international oppression and injustices in war and elections.

    I admire and appreciate you for raising the issues of integrity and respect in the manner that you have. This election, coming on the heels of a morally and ethically bankrupt start of the millennium, is as much a “moral test” as it is an “issues test.” Hopefully, some people close to Obama with higher, more lofty interests will drown out the self-interested and cause Obama not to dismiss your sentiment.

    Thanks for so firmly putting it out here!

  36. Jesus Wept

    I am dissappointed to say the least. I have lurked, and I had a tremendous mount of respect for you Skeptical Brotha. Do you know what it is like to be shipped off to Viet Nam with absolutely no say so in the politcal process? Have you come home from war to find folks have endured and are enduring a tremendous amount of terrorism because they want to participate in the process?

    Brotha, Obama is a biracial child from Hawaii. Your experience is different. You have issues that he may or may not address, but don’t you have issues outside of being a man of color? Are you not a citizen of the world too? These are dangerous times Brotha and we progressives cannot allow ourselves to become one issue people like the evangelicals. They got caught up on abortion and religious lip service and ended up floating in MS and LA after Katrina for days–just like everyone else. They pay too much for gas now–just like everyone else. They can’t afford the “chicken in every pot”– just like everyone else.

    Be an Independent, but speak to something. Time is marching on. We have to let our voices be heard. You are right to voice your opposition to Obama’s remarks on the View–even though Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Barbara Walter’s really steered that conversation. You should be mad at Whoopi Goldberg and Shari ? for letting that drag on after the man answered the question the first time.

    You see, if they were interested in a SINCERE conversation, they would’ve discussed the hypocrisy that placed Obama in this postion in the first place.

    Yeah. Did Hillary Clinton burn her Nina Simone album because she sang “Mississippi goddam?”

    Does Clinton know everything the Rev. James Cleveland ever said while she stood in the pulpit of Brown’s Chapel, just one county away from the birthplace of the black panther party, and quoted “I don’t feel no ways tired?”

    Didn’t Bill Clinton rise up the political ladder on the backs of preachers like Rev. Wright?

    Why isn’t anyone jumping Bill’s case for letting his wife’s campaign “throw black preachers under the bus?”

    Huh?

    Because we didn’t expect any better–NEGROES PLEASE!

    Your new found “independent” status won’t mean anything if you don’t make people accountable. The NYT picture of Clinton and Wright was just a token gesture to the Obama campaign who provided the photo. We all know that the NYT is probably still mad at Wright for that letter he sent them. Why isn’t anyone riding this hypocrisy issue like a witch on a broom?

    And on that hypocrisy note…

    Those “liberals” and “conservatives” that chastise Wright while claiming to love Dr. King obviously never read or heard his speeches. How about the Drum major speech?

    Sounds a whole lot like Rev. Wright to me.

    Honestly? Obama’s reaction to an underinformed conservativeslightly less strident than Nancy Grace made you want to hush in the voting booth? Nah suh! People are dying in Iraq. Gas prices are pushing us closer to the poor house. Hillary’s “mandatory participation” healthcare plan is going to put folks on even more welfare–because what is a tax credit to someone who waits for their tax refund to catch up on their light bill.

    You and the rest of the black blogosphere have work to do. You need to analyze these plans and policies to determined how they REALLY effect those whom you claim to champion. Then you need to break it down with the with the good sense and humor that makes folk like me lurk.

  37. Angie

    TPJ: I agree with you that Al Bore is a different, stronger man than he was 8 years ago. I’m sure no one but me on this board remembers that a year ago, I wished that AG would throw his hat in for the presidential bid. I felt then, and feel now, that he is the only dem candidate that can win the White House without a hitch. A Gore/Obama ticket would have been a winning ticket.
    But since Gore decided, for whatever reason, to not run, I placed my support behind the one candidate that, I felt, had our best interest in mind. And that would be Senator Obama.
    In the beginning, I was a bit reluctant to completely support him. I thought a year ago that the brotha was a bit soft and slow to stand up for what he believes. But I thought he was like that because of a lack of experience and confidence. But I’ve watched him grow over the last twelve months. I’ve watched his confidence take on a stronger face. So, I feel comfortable supporting him. And I certainly feel more comfortable supporting him over the others, even the so called protest candidates.
    Al Bore should have ran. But it’s too late. If he tries to kidnap the nomination now, like some are suggesting on the Huff Post, it would be a disaster. The Democratic Party would go up in flames.
    Now, I know that the Rethuglicans would love that. And I’m sure there are some independent voters that would also smile if the Democratic Party burned to the sky. But I don’t think that would solve anything. Simply because so many voters would be discouraged, disenfranchised, and left in the ashes. The same way I will be if my only choice in November is HC and JM. Because, for me, voting independent in this election is not really an option, unless Obama pulls out and runs Inde. But since we know he ain’t gon’ do that, no point in even discussing it.
    Too bad Gore supposedly fell out of love with politics. **shrug**

    You people have a beautiful day. May God be with you.

    Peace and love,

    Angie

  38. TripLBee:

    We counteract a McCain, Obama or Clinton by making sure that we put a truly bipartisan caucus in Congress.

    That means cleaning house in the Congressional Black Caucus, too.

    No, I don’t want a McCain or Clinton in the White House; not at those prices. But at the moment, I’m not sure Obama is going to be any better.

    SB is holding true to his principles and I always respect a person standing for their principles because it tells me that principles and character cannot be bought, but it is developed within you. SB is demonstrating, and we should be following his lead, that you stay true to your values and principles. They are not for sale and should never be compromised.

    I feel you on McCain, though – he’s already talking about being in Iraq for the next 100 years. But, should he get in, I’m more worried about who’s going to be the VP – God help us if homie picks another Dick Cheney! And I say that because McCain will be 73 years old when he takes office and who knows how the campaign is going to wear on him physicaly.

    Who I am most angry with is Hillary Clinton, regardless of whether or not Obama gets it, because her actions has escalated all of this mess, facilitated divisions among groups who have every reason to be united, and all because her sense of entitlement is being denied.

    Somehow, I feel I should end this with that speech Sam Jackson made in the movie “A Time to Kill”, but as a Christian, I can’t “Hope she burns in Hell” for what she’s done. It’s unforgivable and no matter the electoral outcome, the party leaders should ban together and expel her from the Democratic Party, if, after all of this, a Democratic Party is still left.

    As of now, I am a Democrat-leaning Independent and will vote that way (Independent) from here on in, because the Democrats and the ReThugs are two heads of the SAME SNAKE.

  39. RhondaCoca

    Denise-

    I watched that clip. It was classic.

    Political Junkie-

    “As usual, Fake News will try to spin it as a white guy out of control….but it was LMBO…”

    Yea they will.

    I am watching CNN, they are having Conversations with Black America. They are tuning into black radio which I really like. They are opnening up the field of perspective. I want them to do it with black bloggers also. That would be nice. After yesterday when I saw JJP and Skepticla Brotha portrayed the wrong way on CNN, I feel that it is needed.

    In addition, we are going through tough times. I believe in all of the issues that effect ALL Americans however there are issues that effect the black community that often go ignored. Bringing these issues up are not “divisive” and “counterproductive”.

  40. Denise

    Oh yeah. Various political forces will ride this particular issue ’til the wheels fall off – and then have someone get out and push. LOL

    The way I see it the real “beauty” here is that Pfleger’s rhetoric throws a monkey wrench into the attempt to frame the Wright/Obama/Trinity Church issue as simple black vs. white political ideology. This makes it very difficult – for a thinking person – to paint Senator Obama into a anti-white box because of his affiliation with Trinity.

  41. Arg skeptical brotha!

    I look to you to inform me what black folks (who are openly banned from my gated community) are thinking.

    I’m just kidding, I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

    So.. Here’s my thing. For the last couple of weeks, I have been riding down to Philly on weekends to get voters registered and campaign for Obama. And I must tell you that, despite it being the city of brotherly love, I have never met so many racist white folks. I think it has a lot to do with the abject poverty in the areas we were sent.

    But, the most concern I heard over Rev. Wright’s comments were from black folks. From statements like “How you gonna be a reverend and say ‘Goddamn America’?” to “I’m afraid he has the same views as his pastor.”

    Many of the black voters I came across see patriotism as much a flag waving thing as white republicans. While I consider it “what are you doing to make America into what you believe it should be?” (which includes decrying the wrongs it has done). Their opinion, though different, matter to them, and I think that if they see Wright and question Obama’s patriotism, then that’s it, they vote for Hillary (cause no way they’re voting for McCain).

    My point is, that though I’m sorry to see you decline, I want you to know that I think that Obama’s as sensitive to the concerns of these superficially patriotic black folks as superficially patriotic white folks. And that there are just as many black voters who are freaked out by Wrights comments as white voters that I spoke to, at least in PA.

    I don’t see it as appeasement of white folks, I see it as addressing concerns that both black and white people (and other flag wavers of all hues) have. If it’s appeasement you’re against, then I don’t think that’s enough.

    When I heard his speech on race, i said, “I can’t believe he’s saying this. Though this is obvious to me, white people want to hear no part of this. This is throwing the race.” But I’ve never respected a politician more. Being an Asian refugee/immigrant I have no part of this history that divides black and white people in America, but, I think it will keep tearing us apart until we start to make steps to address it. Saying that he was appeasing white folks when he could just have easily been appeasing black folks means you’re not giving him the benefit of the doubt. It seems weighed down with anger, and I say to you that on the anniversary of MLK’s death, you let that anger go. Whether he was black, white, Asian, or a woman I would vote for him, and that’s something I’m proud to say on this day.

  42. I have nowhere else to complain but here’s an OT for you.

    Part of the reason why I was happy that I didn’t watch Faux News was because it meant that I didn’t need to see their stable of Handkerchief Heads, including the Dark Sith.

    Now, he’s infecting my MSNBC enjoyment.

    Ugh.😦

  43. The way I see it the real “beauty” here is that Pfleger’s rhetoric throws a monkey wrench into the attempt to frame the Wright/Obama/Trinity Church issue as simple black vs. white political ideology. This makes it very difficult – for a thinking person – to paint Senator Obama into a anti-white box because of his affiliation with Trinity

    Father Pfleger cracks me up , if for no other reason, because I believe he’s a very good soul, and I know how upset he gets ‘ certain people’. When I heard that he went on O’Reilley, I thought it was hilarious.

  44. Good Ridance SB…

    They brother is running for the President of America – not President of Black Folks.

    I’m very suprise at your comments – do you know Rev. Wright?

  45. Dawn

    Hey, Angie!

    Al Gore was your first choice? I’m surprised! I agree that Al Gore has done a fabulous job of re-inventing himself, becoming the chief international steward for the environment and an early outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the War, but let’s not engage in the same type of limited or revisionist history that come so easily to others. 🙂

    Al Gore put the Centrist in DLC. He has NO progressive track record on social issues, particularly civil rights. He was one of the original architects of the Democrat’s Iraq regime change policy during the Clinton Administration. And before Lee Atwater made Willie Horton a household name, it was Al Gore who opened that door during the primaries.

    I have no issues with Gore per se, especially since he has awakened the world to the immediate peril of global warming and I hope that it will collaterally lead to more attention on environmental racism, but let’s not lower the bar for Gore as others are raising the bar for Obama.

  46. There’s a line in the first Matrix movie, after the Neo character took the pill that showed him “how deep the rabbit hole goes”. Morpheus tells him “Welcome to the desert — of the real.”

  47. TripLBee

    Political Junkie,

    I mostly agree with your points. The CBC is largely comprised of disgraceful (mostly) men who would sell their children to gain power. Having grown up in D.C., I have had a close view into the inner-workings of many CBC members and that picture aint pretty at all. Aside from the fact that most of them are political centrists, most of them also carry themselves like adolescent dogs in heat. It is demeaning and embarrassing.

    But Barack aint like that and I damn sure would never use his name in the same sentence as McCain and Clinton. With all due respect, why are people who have examined their records now comparing Barack’s to Clinton’s? She is part of this centrist, vacillating, Republican-lite DLC style of governance. Barack is not. We don’t have the time or the space to go into a full comparison of their legislative records, but I was impressed with Barack’s determination to stand up to the “tough on crime” wing of his party when he was in the state senate. He has consistently pushed for progressive legislation regarding criminal justice. Clinton’s record on criminal justice—similar to most in her party—is simply disgraceful. She is a pillar of support for mandatory minimums, death penalty legislation for minors, three strikes laws and on and on and on. On the spectrum of American politics (a spectrum on which we could easily get stuck since politics here are so inherently conservative) these two are far apart.

    Again, after 7 years of Bush, and under the threat of a McCain presidency,which will be the practical result of Barack losing this election, I am not looking for ideological purity. Even if I were, Barack is by far the most ethically and ideologically pure candidate in my lifetime, with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter (and that didn’t work out so well). I am frustrated with SB’s reasoning—even though he has my unremitting respect—because I think the stakes in this election are moving in the direction of life and death. Forgive my melodrama, but our country is in a free fall.

  48. An interesting question to pose to Obama fans, and one which I pose to those here who would cop to that is this one:
    Is there a line at all which Barack Obama cannot cross without losing your support? And if there IS such a line, please tell us where it is.
    And if there is no such line, what does that tell us?

  49. Andrea

    Bruce Dixon,

    Thank you for the years of contribution of you and your partner’s endeavor, The Black Commentator.

    And thank you for challenging us all with that question?

  50. Pater Fam

    Skeptical:

    Let the doorknob hit you where the good lord split you.

    When you first tried to jump on the bandwagon, I was suspect of you, and you have confirmed my suspicions.

    I said we did not need you then and we certainly don’t need your sometimey azz now.

    And stay away, don’t come sniffing back up around here when Brotha Barak gets elected and you start trying to say “we” won.

    You obviously are not a student of politics – which is the art of compromise.

  51. TripLBee

    Bruce,

    Of course there is a line. It’s hard to say what that line is until it is crossed. A year ago I assumed that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee. For all of the reasons I’ve articulated in the above comments, I was willing to vote for her. But she has crossed the line with her shameless appeals to religious and racial bigotry. Barack hasn’t done anything remotely as offensive. He has been boxed into a corner by the very tactics that I’ve come to expect from the GOP and now despise in Clinton. I think he’s done the best he can in a difficult, no win situation. If my line were this rigid I simply couldn’t participate in contemporary American politics. I feel compelled to participate because Bush and the GOP have put us in a position of utter peril.

  52. Dawn:

    While Al Gore was part of the DLC, Bill Clinton FOUNDED THE DLC.

    Which one is worse?

    Bruce, that was a very provocative challenge, bro. There is a line that Obama can cross and lose support – in this case, for SB (and I’m not really speaking for him because I’m identifying him on the real) – that’s in the area of his faith and appearing to fling his Christian mentors under the bus for political gain.

    Everyone’s talking about how there can’t be an ideologically pure political candidate. I’m wondering why can’t there be such a person?

    I mean, one who can’t be bought, owned and sold for fun and profit?

    Or one who would everyone knows, his word is his bond?

    Or have a reputation that’s beyond reproach?

    Even if you can’t meet all of the criteria, a person of high character either stands for something or falls for anything. Barack Obama shouldn’t be standing for something or falling for anything when it’s convenient for him. We’ve been treated to that from Bush, Bush, Sr., Clinton, Reagan all the way back to, well, Reagan, because Carter’s ideology got him canned, and Nixon was already a crook before setting foot in the Oval Office.

    There are lines Obama can cross and lose support, and right now, for some of us, he’s crossed it.

    I’m in nowhere land – as in “No Where To Go” and I don’t feel like holding my nose again when I vote in November. I’ve done it for both Kerry and Gore, and look where it got us.

    Eight years of the worst POTUS EVER. Period. The End.

  53. Nobody is asking for “ideological purity” or for somebody to be a “black panther” candidate. That is a straw man thrown up by Obama fans any time his stand or performance on any issue is questioned.

    The queries on the table for Obama fans are

    whether a line exists at all that Obama cannot cross without losing YOU. Does such a line exist, and if so, what is it?

    The follow-up question, for fans and non-fans is that if no such line exists, and I am afraid that it has long ago ceased to exist for many of us, what does that say about us and our politics, what’s left of them?

    And thanks Andrea. I do Black Agenda Report though (since October 2006) not Black Commentator.

  54. TripLBee

    I’m just dumbfounded to see people comparing Barack to Bush, Reagan and even Hillary Clinton. Come on people.

  55. thatguy

    I’m in nowhere land – as in “No Where To Go” and I don’t feel like holding my nose again when I vote in November. I’ve done it for both Kerry and Gore, and look where it got us.

    Eight years of the worst POTUS EVER. Period. The End. By: The Political Junkie
    _________________

    So you are going to choose to sit this one out? After the mess of the last 8 years you are going to choose to sit this one out? In protest of the last 8 years?

    If this isn’t faulty-ass logic, I don’t know what is.

    Look for to McBush in ’08. Because Obama’s comment hurt your feelings.

    BIG. PICTURE. EVERYONE. Look at it.

  56. As someone who have never actually voted FOR someone my entire life, rather having always voting AGAINST the other one…

    I would like to make a dramatic appeal to everyone to vote for the lesser of whatever two evils are left standing come November.

    I would like to, but it’s too difficult and depressing to find the words.

  57. Brown Girl

    Hey SB

    I am sorry you are so gutted. I understand why your politics are black and white but I don’t share your position because I tend to see more shades of grey.

    For example, I accept that politics is a dirty game and anyone who enters the arena of American politics at the presidential level with any real chance of winning has to judge (among other things) when it is necessary to tell people what they want to hear and when it is not.

    It’s a hard judgement call but I think Barack made the right choice in this case and I believe that he and Rev. Wright understand that choice.

    Barack was not my choice as best democratic candidate – I thought Dennis Kucinich was the best candidate, but American politics being what they are, there was no way that he was going to make it and so there is B and H. I don’t think H is worth talking about so I move on to B.

    Barack will not transform the American political system which I believe badly needs transforming, but I think there is as much (if not more) to recommend him as there has been any President or would be president in the history of American politics.

    I hope that your withdrawal of support doesn’t mean that you will not be blogging about the on-going saga between Clinton and Obama, because I for one really appreciate your passion and take on this issue and have come to rely on your interpretation of events.

  58. Andrea

    Bruce,

    I remember seeing your name over at Black Commentator…and yes, that was a few years ago. I know someone that reads The Black Agenda Report everyday. I don’t make it there but I will check it out. I read Political Junkie’s post mentioning it here. I’m slightly confused understanding the relationship. I have to look this up.

    But to answer your question…

    Our propensity to minimize the importance to uphold high standards and expectations is the equivalent to being a whore or more kindly and politically-correct put, DESPERATE. Being desperate is dangerous and it shows the absence of any power.

    By talking the talk that we are empowered to support someone with minimized standards that do not meet our desired and needed expectations, we are fooling ourselves that we hold the cards. We have nothing the person or group calling the shots has to uphold in a contracted agreement because…we have no way to enforce upholding the clauses or proof that the contract will be recognized even as valid when we never enforced or threatened our muscle and intent to ratify retribution for willful negligence when signing (away our power).

    Lowering ones expectations sends a message that you are easy.

  59. Andrea

    Political Junkie,

    You wrote:

    “Everyone’s talking about how there can’t be an ideologically pure political candidate. I’m wondering why can’t there be such a person?

    I mean, one who can’t be bought, owned and sold for fun and profit?

    Or one who would everyone knows, his word is his bond?

    Or have a reputation that’s beyond reproach?”

    That was a vulnerable sentiment I have been waiting for someone to pose…here. I find that I am so wildly, willful to profess idealistic expectations of all of us (that means me included). I have all my life gotten spankings for pushing the older people in my family to be what I expected them to be in people I could be proud of. And then as an adult I stayed in trouble as a school teacher for having TOO HIGH expectations of my students, their parents, and the principles. And yes, I audaciously would hope that they would meet me in taking them along to be better for their children who were learning by their model to be compromised and compartmentalized Black People. This was of my family and my students and their communities I wanted them to fight themselves for to win for themselves.

    And what you said is so tender and so vulnerable about simplicity of having conviction, courage, and integrity to be the change we say we want.

    If we are the models for Barack to model himself after, others will believe in the value of audacious courage instead of seeing life as a wager of prostitution of their worth.

    I love those lines you wrote. Sometimes I can’t be that soft because I am that soft and knowing how tough you can be, I felt like you lightened the load to be intimate with us of the absense of our tender wants and needs as human souls.

    Shirley Chisolm was that type of politician. She was altruistic and relentlessly tough with the compassion to love our people although they did not support her willful proclaimation to be that honorable of a non-compromised politician.

  60. Chesapeake

    Peter Fam – “… the art of compromise ….”

    True, but compromise has boundaries. There comes a point in negotiations when a party walks away from the table. In Senator Obama’s case, he bargained away something that, IMO, shoild not be compromised.

    TripLBee – “… boxed in a corner ….”

    Not really. Obama had several exit routes. He chose the path of least resistance (ie: “I got the black vote sewn up, I need to do this for the money and the white votes.)

    To all those who advance the argument that “Obama is running for president of all of America, not just president of black America,” you’ve fallen for the okeydoke spin the media put on this. I have not read any comment from anyone that said that Obama should have picked up Rev. Wright’s argument where he left off. That would be silly and suicide. Instead, the comments seem to suggest that Obama should not have withered in the face of criticism of his [former] pastor and should not have separated himself from Rev. Wright.

    The republicans, the Clintons, and the media has and will have us believe that if Obama hadn’t separated himself from Rev. Wright, then Obama is a militant – thus he’s running for president of black America. It’s a ruse. Obama could have stopped at the speech, protected his relationship, and still run for president of all of America.

  61. TripLBee

    Chesapeake,

    I don’t think that Obama has separated himself from Rev. Wright at all. I think that he has separated himself from a handful of Rev. Wright’s comments. I think he was explicit about that on Hard Ball the other night. And I have made no assertion that Barack is perfect, and I have been disappointed by some of his reactions to this Wright nonsense. But he hasn’t done anything remotely close to justify losing my vote. Furthermore, there is nothing about the way he has carried himself or run his campaign that is remotely typical to anyone I have ever seen in a position to win the presidency. Not only am I voting for Obama because the horrors of the Bush years demand that I do so. I am voting for Obama because I am genuinely enthused by him and by his possibilities. I will not be holding my nose when I cast my vote for him. I will be smiling. And I will make sure that I am in D.C. with my sons on his inauguration day so that they can witness it and tell their children and grandchildren that they were there. I am with Obama all the way and I make no apologies for my enthusiasm.

  62. Andrea

    Cornell West posted at Huffingtonpost awhile ago:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
    cornel-west/on-obama-not-going
    -to-mem_b_95179.html

    On Obama Not Going to Memphis

    I want to say that I’m deeply disappointed that my dear brother Barack Obama decided not to go pay tribute and lay his wreath for the great Martin Luther King, Jr. That brother Martin’s profound love and deep sacrifice for black people, America and humanity is in no way reducible to political calculations, even for the campaign for presidency. That Martin Luther King Jr.’s deep commitment to unarmed truth and unconditional love can in no way be subject to strategies for access to political power. Hence, I have a very deep disagreement with my dear brother, Barack Obama — in this case, commitment to truth is in tension with the quest for power.

  63. I am spending today listening to a lot of Dr. King’s speeches. One particular speech is regarding why he was compelled to see the Vietnam war (the war that drove me to this country) as an “enemy of the poor.”

    Some choice quotes are below:

    “Now, of course, one of the difficulties in speaking out today grows the fact that there are those who are seeking to equate dissent with disloyalty. It’s a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent. But something is happening, and people are not going to be silenced. The truth must be told, and I say that those who are seeking to make it appear that anyone who opposes the war in Vietnam is a fool or a traitor or an enemy of our soldiers is a person that has taken a stand against the best in our tradition.”

    This is what Hillary did, she was afraid of being called a traitor to America and therefore chose the moral expediency of being a Republican. And what Obama did not. He opposed a war that was:
    “[T]aking the black young men who had been crippled by society and sending them eight thousand miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in Southwest Georgia and East Harlem.”

    “There’s something strangely inconsistent about a nation and a press that will praise you when you say, Be non-violent toward Jim Clark, but will curse and damn you when you say, “Be non-violent toward little brown Vietnamese children.”

    I would ask you why decline and stand by the side as we could stand behind the closest thing to the promised land on a day such as this? Can you not help one brother out in this our hour of greatest need?

  64. SB,

    I just want to tell you, you are not alone in this one and having been a long-time lurker, I know your decision has hardly been made wihout some serious “who the hell am I” kind of introspection (the reason I lurk).

    You know, some people unapologetically say they are “race” people, but reallly they’re not. They’re really race people in search of acceptance from the powers-that-be and I don’t get that vibe from you at all – blogs and a lack of personal contact notwithstanding.

    Like you, I wanted to believe in this brotha – but early on, I could not and I still cannot. While trying to leave the door cracked for him, I’ve held him to a different standard because, for me, that is required of those who critically think. Appears it was for good reason. He is NOT the “change” that Martin and Malcolm talked about (by the way, can you give me the link to that picture so I can put it on my blog?). He is a politician – plain and simple.

    I know winning, having a “Black president” is important and visionary to most of us – but not me. Not like this. Playing the “burning house game” is antithetical to the vision and values for which Martin spoke.

    Where is the honor in having a “Black president” if, through him, we’ve bought, part and parcel, into the “Burning House?” Where is the triumph, in “coming of age?” And don’t get it twisted, triumph heads the list for this little Black girl from a Deep South hood of the 60’s – my white husband of 27 years and my two, grown bi-racial sons notwithstanding.

    We’re not all “One Human Family.” We’ve never been. That’s something to which we continue to aspire in 2008 – and I get that. What continues to bother and amaze me is how needy, how much we Black people gloam onto those who might bring us some semblance of one-ness, of acceptance. As bell hooks said, PTSD – Post Traumaticf Slavery Disorder, still runs rampant in this country and an Obama presidency will do little, if anything to change that. He is nothing more than politics as usual, advancing his own search for belonging. And what blows my dress up is that Black people don’t realize it in their surge to have a “Black president.”

    I know that Hillary Clinton is a wheeler-dealer. Early on in my life, I learned to recognize them. But at the same time, my Southern sensibilities (read – “ignance” to Black folks in the North) which inform my every move in life, tells me, “Better the Devil you know than the one you don’t.” Makes it an easier pill with which to deal, against which to argue and certainly, from which to demand change.

    More and more these days, I am reading – uncomfortably, I must say – how Blacks in America can’t say this country is racist (that institutional shit is a mirage). After all, we’ve got a Black man as a serious contender for the presidency.

    That does not bode well for Black folks. We’re being painted into a corner here and we won’t realize it until we try to get to the front door and realize the floor is sticky, marring the perfect finish of America.

    As for me and my house, I prefer to clearly paint my path to the front door FROM the corner. I may be cussing and screaming and upsetting white folks with each stroke, but at least I know I’ve given myself an effective exit strategy and nobody’s guessing how I got there.

    SB, I’m with you – I F+*$@&’ decline.

  65. Chesapeake

    TripLBee, I am not suggesting that Senator Obama should lose your vote. Despite all this, if today I was on the convention floor, faced with the choices, I might vote for Obama. But I see and understand why Obama is losing votes over this.

  66. andrew

    So you Decline support the man over that..that is some BS…There is no need for me to come to this site any more…I’m out of here!

  67. TripLBee

    Chesapeake,

    I understand why he is losing votes as well. People are offended. People want him to defend what Rev. Wright said, because to a lot of us Wright’s comments (even taken out of context) were utterly defensible. I get that. I get that completely. I just think that there is way too much at stake to hang him over this. I hear folks saying that Martin and Malcolm would be offended by Barack. First of all, I’m not sure that’s so. But more importantly, he has a completely different mission that he is on. He is not trying to be Malcolm or Martin. At the same time, he is not a centrist. He is a not a “handkerchief head”. He is not an apologist for black people. He is not so constrained by ambition that he’ll say or do anything to become president. I’m a little dismayed at what we’re asking of this brother. Truly. I like these discussions and I think about them all day (when I should be working). But I haven’t read anything that’s made me waver in the least.

  68. On Obama not going to Memphis:

    CNN Seems Particularly Pissed that Obama did not show up in Memphis today.

    To be blunt, Obama denied them the ready-made narrative that they had already prepared for when Obama came to Memphis.

    They were going to go up to every Black person they saw and say:

    ‘ You see that Barack Obama is here in Memphis. Do you worry that he’s going to be assassinated like Dr. King?’

    That was going to be the narrative for them with Obama.

    Then they were going to get THE picture of him with Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al.

    Run it in a continuous loop.

    ‘See see, he’s the BLACK Candidate’.

    By not showing up, Obama denied them that…and they’re pissed.

    Sometimes folks, see the trap for what it is.

  69. rikyrah…..how do you know that would have been the question – really? I love your posts but let’s be real, if Sen. Obama had deigned to show his Black face, do you really think he would have had a photo op with Sharpton and Jackson? Come on!He chose the “politician’s” way of avoiding that which is untenable.

  70. mitchell

    I am so amazed people keep using “kool-aid” to describe Obama supporters. We all the know reference is to the Jim Jones massacre, which a slew of uneducated African Americans followed a White man to Africa and ended up falling for his hype. So the comparisons should really end. In actuality, Hillary supporters fit this bill more than anyone. A slew of uneducated and blinded folks (White and Black) thinking because she is White that she can win. They need to wake up before they drink the last drop.

    SB, sorry to hear your disappointment in Obama. Unfortunately, you are never going to have any person that meets your expectations 100 percent of the time. Keep your eye on the big picture. This is not about RACE. RACE was dragged into this campaign to create the feelings you have now. They want you to feel deflated. They want White folks to feel scared. Man they are playing you like a fiddle. Don’t get caught up in the game.

  71. Rick

    Well the good news is that since folks are beating Obama over the head with what he should or should not be doing as it relates to Dr. Kings’s legacy…that leaves plenty of work to be done for the rest of us — 40 years later — in continuing his legacy and unfinished busines. And, there is a LOT of unfinished business, particularly as it relates to fighting against economic inequality and unjust wars that continue to this day.

    we should all ask ourselves:

    e.g., @Chesapeake,
    have you done all you can to share what you know about finance so that at least one family in the black community didn’t lose their home for purchasing a mortgage product that they don’t understand? Maybe the answer is yes. But why is it that despite all the MBA black professionals who work on Wall Street, despite all of our higher education 40 years later, the subprime mortgage mostly devastated our community more than any others? Chesapeake, are we all “working” to continue Dr. King’s legacy in this regard outside this forum? Or is it all ultimately just chatter going on in here?

    @Everyone here regarding the Iraqi pre-invasion/war
    I didn’t see a single post that was signed from a Birmingham prision because we were willing to do whatever it took to stop President Bush, including civil or uncivil disobedience, while risking life and limb to stop this madness from going forward, in the spirit of Dr. King.

    I could most definitely go on. My point is that I look at all the problems we face in our community, and for me personally, Obama is not on the top of my list of problems.

    And generally, because I am about solving problems — not just talking about them — I find it very troubling that when it’s time to roll up the sleeves and solve a situation, our black men mostly are missing in action when a call to action is made to reach our youth — our young black youth in particular — in mentoring & volunteer oportunities. We are M.I.A. And the truth be told, if it wasn’t for non-blacks going into OUR communities to read, mentor, etc., our black youth probably wouldnt have the few programs that they have as it is. If someone has a different experience, then please step forward, but this is what I see and also deal with in NYC.

    I think if just half the energy that was spent here criticizing Obama was actually put to productive use instead of silly name calling and passive agressive black self hatred, then our community would be a better place. It would also be slightly less hypocritical.

  72. Deb,

    by the way every single commentator on CNN found a way to bring it up more than once….

    wasn’t no positive storyline gonna come out of Memphis for Obama.

    Call me a tinfoil hat wearer if you wish, and I accept the accusation…but doesn’t mean that my paranoia doesn’t have basis.

  73. Rick

    “I’ve been visiting this site now for over a year, learning and conversing with other brilliant black folks. I will not stop. However, the same way Obama’s so called sin hurt and silenced you for a few days, I also feel a little hurt and silenced by you and some of the other harsh comments I’ve read on this board.

    It hurts me when I see brilliant, beautiful black folks going for the throat of other black folks. Yes, it’s one thing to have a spirited debate. But I’ve seen some of these folks that claim to be so down for the cause, pulling out the verbal knives and guns to defend what it is that they “think” is the gospel.

    I guess the enemy has achieved with this Wright thing. They managed to make scared white folks more afraid of Obama. And they’ve managed to make some black folks split/devide/attack one another over an issue that’s really questionable in terms of real importance.” — Angie
    ———————————————————-

    Co-sign, Angie. I could not agree with you more.

  74. rikyrah…you’re not paranoid, you are right…but you watch way too much TV for your own good😉

    Rick, the very first time I saw Obama it was on 60 Minutes I think, and he was speaking to several blue collar workers, trying to sell them on free trade. I had my doubts then and I still do but I want this war stopped, first and foremost. So I can forgive him for pandering to the rednecks with a 4th grade education in Arkansas, Missouri, Michigan, etc that will actually decide the presidential election this year like have every four years since I’v ebeen voting. But you must see how this raises red flags for the type of triangulation and capitulation that the Democrats have become infamous for over the last three decades?


  75. rikyrah…you’re not paranoid, you are right…but you watch way too much TV for your own good

    Ernesto,

    This is what the tvwriters strike did to me….I filled the tivo with political stuff..LOL

  76. Love4DC

    SB, I really do hear your reasons but I’m not convinced that your anger is a justification for “withdrawing your support”. Although, I support BO I do think we get so caught up in the myth of what the media has protrayed Obama to be. Yes, he is brilliant and yes his family represents the struggle and the pain of where we came from. But that doesn’t make him immortal. He will make mistakes as President. He will make you angry sometimes. I’m soafraid that people will be disappointed in him because he doesn’t live up to our expectations. You have to be able to look at him wholistically and judge him in that way.

    Furthermore, I am a little disappointed in your posting. Why, because there are things that you post or say that don’t always agree with. I don’t agree with you on my subjects . But I have learned to respect everyone’s opinion and ability to make independent judgments.

  77. rikyrah…”Call me a tinfoil hat wearer if you wish, and I accept the accusation…but doesn’t mean that my paranoia doesn’t have basis.”

    Tinfoil hat wearer? Banish the thought!! (Ernesto, I probably watch just as much TV and you may be right – more than I need to for my own good!) I never said your paranoia doesn’t have basis, I just think the focus is a little – out of focus, mainly because I could give two s&^ts about CNN or any other of the MSM.

    Everybody’s not out to shank the brotha. If they were, the MSM wouldn’t have given him such a pass to date. They WANT to be seen in the “kumbaya,” yeah I’m ready to vote for a Black man role – as long as it’s this SAFE, middle-of-the-road Black man not really speaking truth to power. Much as I hate Shelby Steele’s shtick, he’s dead-on when it comes to Sen. Obama being a bargainer (I know, some people call it strategy, I call it political expediency.).

    I have neither the luxury nor the inclination to expend my energy supporting his bargaining for power, privilege and validation – especially in light of this 40th anniversary. We, as a people, are still saying “Pick me, pick me! “Look at me, look at me!” “I’m safe! I’m safe!” And now even worse, we’re making excuses for a Black man (one-drop rule still in full effect, don’t let the support fool you), who gives us his a** to kiss because he’s busy trying to win at all cost (In the interest of full disclosure I have to say, I live in FL and if he and his supporters were all that confident, he wouldn’t be working so hard to disenfranchise those of us who gave a damn about local issues affecting our everyday lives to go to the polls while others did what they do – stayed home.).

    Rick…I’m with you on us concentrating on doing our part. From NOLA – doing volunteer gutting and rebuilding of houses, to FL – helping people file predatory lending complaints, speaking my unvarnished truth about a variety of issues affecting the poor, the homeless and our community in a daily, albeit small-circulation newspaper column, creating and moderating a real dialogue on race relations that made both Black and white folks uncomfortable, working on the enfranchisement of ex-felons (Last April, the executive clemency board moved to restore voting rights to individuals convicted of non-violent offenses who have completed their prison term, probation and parole, and paid court fees and child support. Our Republican governor was with that – still trying to figure out what he gains.). There are lots of us trying hard to do our part. 40 years is a long time for things to change, but stay the same.

    And I agree, “… truth be told, if it wasn’t for non-blacks going into OUR communities to read, mentor, etc., our black youth probably wouldnt have the few programs that they have as it is.”
    That seems to be our norm, someone else to save us, someone else to tell us what the problems of race are, someone else…. While the senator gave a great speech about race in America – AFTER Rev. Wright hit the proverbial fan – he’s spent his whole campaign avoiding the subject (I know, I know – strategy).

    mitchell…I guarantee you I am hardly one of the “slew of uneducated and blinded folks (White and Black) thinking because she is White that she can win.” I’m supporting her because 1) another 4 years of Republican rule is not an option 2) she, way more than he, understandsand knows how to navigate the Washington that IS and 3) as the lesser of two evils, I KNOW what I can expect from her. May not be good reason for anybody else but they work for me. Trojan horses like the senator from Illinois leave me far too uneasy.

    TripLBee…I don’t know, can’t say, if Martin and Malcom would have been offended by Sen. Obama. There’s nobody alive who can KNOW that. I DO know he is not the “change” about which they spoke. And that’s okay too – he should just not act like he is when his audience is predominantly Black. “He is not so constrained by ambition that he’ll say or do anything to become president. ” Sure about that? If you are, how do you know? My grandmamma always told me, “It ain’t what you say Deb, it’s what you do.” That’s my benchmark for any and everyone. What he’s done so far (other than getting police interrogations taped in IL) has not moved me to jump on the change-train. More room for everybody else I guess.

    Thanks for this forum SB. It is truly a “meeting of the minds.” Cheer up, no matter what happens in November, you’ll still be here speaking your truth and engaging us all. I’ll go back to lurking now.

  78. TripLBee

    Wow. The paradox in here is striking. There is an emerging theme in here that black men have not done enough to uplift our community. I completely agree. But Barack is actually a rare exception. It’s rare that I hear his ideologically pure critics remind themselves that he left a lucrative consulting career in NYC to work for $10,000 in Altgead Gardens on the Southside of Chicago. And few people seem to realize or reference the substantial criminal justice reforms he championed in Illinois. (It was way more than videotaping police interrogations. He was one of the champions of Sheridan Prison. If you’re not familiar with this project look it up. He also unsuccessfully sponsored expungement legislation which would have allowed persons with criminal records to expunge their records after five years of good conduct. And there’s more….) I’m beginning to feel like some black people are not going to cut this guy any slack no matter what. We even have folks in here rationalizing their votes for Hillary Clinton when she’s made it abundantly clear how she feels about our community. There is something almost radical about the choices Barack has made. This fiction that he’ll say or do anything is shocking. This myth that he is a centrist—-where the hell does this myth come from? I am really confused. I really don’t get.

  79. Chesapeake

    Rick,

    Amen to all that! Good questions! My service, work, advocacy, and charity are much more than chatter on this site, but I haven’t come close to serving at my potential.

    Good stuff!

  80. kamenwati

    SB, you call yourself a “race man” but your choice to sit on the sidelines during this election contradicts that self-applied label. Do you think for a moment the great “race men and women” on whose shoulders we all stand would make the same choice given the stakes of this election? Do you really believe Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. Du Bois would sit this election out because Obama made the politically expedient choice to distance himself from Wright? Please go back an examine the tradition of activism established by the great “race men and women” in our history before you claim you are acting in accordance with their philosophy of struggle.

    Our scholar/activist ancestors were politically astute, which means they were pragmatists. They understood that there is no such thing as the perfect candidate. They also would recognize and support the opportunity for change that Obama’s candidacy represents. Given the nature of their struggles for freedom and human rights, they would see this campaign as being a harbinger of change not as a revolution per se. They would manage their expectations and avoid the tendency to expect or demand perfection from any politician. They would understand that the onus for genuine change rests with the people who elected the candidate to office. I think this is what you are overlooking in your decision. It is up to us to hold Obama accountable. His candidacy offers us this opportunity unlike others in the past because his candidacy is far more people-powered than powered by corporate interests.

    Politicians are human beings and human beings have flaws. Of all his positions and pronouncements, Obama’s references to his Christian faith resonate the least with me. I am an atheist, but I am also a pragmatist. I will not allow Obama’s religious beliefs, which I equate to sheer fantasy, to deter me from supporting a person that I believe can turn this nation in a more positive direction. I’m not looking for a savior. An intelligent, competent, humane leader will suffice. I think Obama meets this criteria better than any other candidate for president.

    Finally, I find nothing in your statement SB that justifies rescinding your support for Obama. What I do see is a need on your part to get over your hurt feelings and grow up. This election isn’t about making us all feel good about every single action or statement from a political candidate. It’s not just about the candidate. It’s about a movement of people to seize power through that candidate. It’s about using an elected official to restore the people’s control of their government. Obama will make mistakes along the way, no doubt. However, if you choose to become a reactionary because of it, yours is the biggest mistake of all. I respect you and your opinion, but I hope in the full light of reason and contemplation you will reconsider your position. Genuine “race men and women” do not sit on the sidelines when decisive action is required

  81. Rick

    ^^wow, how eloquent

    @Chesapeake, thanks. And, I know you are out there gettin busy. It wasn’t my attempt to judge your efforts. (That’s really b/w you and your conscious). Rather, I do feel that the economic and overseas threats we face are unprecedented, and in the spirit of Dr. King, we should all take a look at ourselves first to see if there are specific/concrete things we can do to step up our games. I place myself in that category.

    @Deb, I see you. Keep workin it. Alot of the real work on the ground occurs behind the scenes, and well out the public eye…but I see you!

    @Angie, thanks for the love.

  82. Pater Fam

    What is galling is that SB is basically equating Obama to some kind of Clarence Thomas, a guy who has black skin but is light years away from being one of us.

    I do not believe that everyone that has black skin has our interests at heart. But it seems like SB is the prototypical “hater” of successful black men that have successfully played the mainstream game (Obama, Harold Ford, etc.).

    In SB’s universe, we would all be like starving artists, keeping our “principles” but unable to feed their families.

    I guess the SB’s of this world do serve a purpose – in whose interest it is, is the question.

  83. Rick

    “Rick, the very first time I saw Obama it was on 60 Minutes I think, and he was speaking to several blue collar workers, trying to sell them on free trade. I had my doubts then and I still do but I want this war stopped, first and foremost.” — Ernesto

    To me the issue of free trade has always been one of the most difficult issues. On the one hand, I don’t think that in a global economy we can build a wall and keep jobs from being exported overseas. On the other hand, I don’t think we should be giving TAX BREAKS for companies to ship American jobs overseas either.

    On the one hand, loss of jobs wasn’t a national problem as long as it was confined to blackfolks in Detroit getting their job exported in the auto sector. But now that more white collar jobs are being exported, then NOW it’s a big problem. Well, it should have been a problem before too.
    I wish I had the answer Ernesto. I know your suggestion is to kill NAFTA right? At a minimum, I agree it should be renegotiated.

    Separately, did you read how Clinton’s advisor/strategist was negotiating a free trade agreement with the Colombians this week…supposedly without HRC’s knowledge? ummm, yeah: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/05/us/politics/05penn.html?scp=2&sq=clinton&st=nyt

  84. Andrea

    SB,

    “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win.”

    Ghandi

  85. EarthTone

    OK, two things:

    [1] There is NO DOUBT in my mind that Obama and Wright have been in touch, and have been “collaborating” to some extent on their response to all of this.

    My feeling is that, Wright feels sad/upset/whatever that he is being used to take Obama down. I read an article somewhere in which Wright is said to have voiced concern that he might be a problem for Obama before the start of Barack’s campaign… I’ll try to search for that.

    Have you noticed that Wright has made an obvious effort to stay out of the limelight? I feel that Wright made a decision to do this, so as not to hurt Barack.

    Can I prove this? No. But I’d bet money that something like this is going on.

    Bottom line: Wright is not necessarily the victim that you are making him to be, in relation to Barack’s comments about leaving the church. I bet that Wright’s an active participant in setting a plan of action to help Barack weather this storm. Put in another way: Wright is not under the bus… he’s helping to decide where the bus will go.

    [2] If Obama is going to the President of ALL Americans, he really should have to have left the Church if Wright was still its pastor. Let me explain.

    In Barack’s speech on race, he noted that the races are in a stalemate. I agree.

    For the stalemate to be broken, somebody has to make a compromise.

    It is an absolute travesty, to see how the press has assassinated Reverend Wright’s character. If the people responsible for this don’t get their penalty in this life, I hope they get it in the next one.

    But wrong or not, the media has turned Wright into a black monster. There’s nothing Obama can do, short of buying Fox News or something like that, to change things.

    Given that, the question is: what does Barack do now? In the accounting industry, we use the term “avoid the appearance of a conflict.” This means that, when auditors are hired to perform audits, they must not only avoid any conflict of interest; they must avoid the appearance of one.

    The only way whites can be satisfied that Obama doesn’t share Wright’s views (which I agree have been totally taken out of context), would be to leave the church. It wouldn’t be fair that Obama must do that, but for the sake of appearances it’s the thing to do.

    These are the distasteful and disgusting things that national leaders must do, if they are to truly represent the entire nation. Does that suck? Yeah. It sucks that we have just 3 choices for president. It sucks that racism exists. Etc.

    But the bottom line is, just like Obama has to make choices he might not want to make, so do we. Would you rather have an Obama who makes this compromise, or a John McCain who voted against MLK day, claiming he didn’t know who King was; and who voted 4 times against the Civil Rights Act of 1990. You’ve got to pick your battles, and I myself don’t fret over Obama’s choice in this case.

  86. Quanli

    I am young and hungry for change. I will not let a politically correct soundbite extinguish my support for this man who is undoubtedly under inhuman pressure. No one here would argue that McCain and Clinton said what is politically correct and advantageous in Memphis, whatever their actual personal feelings may have been. And truth be told they probably won a few people over regardless of their history because well, many a sensitive black soul is always stirred by passionate race talk and symbolism. Then begs the question why is Obama not allowed to be a politician as they are? He cannot effect change as the great hope that never was, but if he were to measure up to the expectations of this post then that is all he would ever be. I think it says a lot about us, especially the older set who would rather die slaves so to speak thinking themselves superior to the tactics of freedom seekers. They point out that the grass is not immediately greener on the other side, that nothing will be drastically different. BS. Obama’s portrait hoisted up among a sea of white ghosts will have far reaching implications for the imagery alone. IMHO the dream is far too delicious to pass up over what amounts to a disagreement.

    Crazy that the folks in Chicago are still in support and this was THEIR pastor. Seems they get it.

  87. zeitgeist9000

    It seems that all of Obama’s political expediency has caught up with him, as it does any politician. But in Obama’s case it is especially disingenuous considering his lack of candor concerning his knowledge (or supposed lack thereof) of Pastor Wright’s brand of sermonizing. I will continue to support Clinton as I always have; I hope that Clinton picks Obama as VP and that eight years in Washington will give him the needed distance from this explosive controversy to ameliorate the PR damage with the majority white electorate.

  88. kamenwati

    Obama should serve an eight year sentence in the Clinton administration to “distance” himself from something Wright said?

    You’re a true Clintonian zeitgeist, you have a rich fantasy life.

  89. Rick, renegotiate NAFTA…?

    It’s kinda late in the game for that. We’re about 5 years away from becoming Guatemla. Sheeit, Michigan is already there.

  90. thats Guatemala* I’m lost w/o mah spellchecker.

    But seriously, Obama got some serious DLC-style economic advisers. Their tonic is likely to finish killing the patient, i.e., what’s left of the Black middle class.

  91. RhondaCoca

    Ernesto, WTF? I didnt read it past the first line…embarassing.

    At least Obama won’t have to disown him.

    Obama 08, Yes We Can!

  92. Rick

    Skeptical Brotha,

    you really should consider having your own talk show. as I’m watching the sunday morning political shows, i’m reminded of how black views such as those contained here hardly get represented in the mainstream press.

    i’m thinking that given the cast of characters here, it would sort of be rough and tumble like the McLaughlin Group. lol But that’s ok. I think it would be a top-rated program…

    (just an idea)

  93. RhondaCoca

    Listen, I havent been here in a couple of days but I will say that I change from being a follower/supporter to being a critical supporter. I never speak ill of him in public and I completely understand every decision he has made in this election. I also know what is at stake and thats why I have been campaigning for him. However I know what many people are saying here. We cannot be what Malcolm X would call us “chumps”. We must alwats stand firm giving our support but always being critical. I do this with everything and everyone. Blacks have been too gulliable and there they have been used as pawns and seen as “idiots”. We must give our support while making demands. Yes, Obama is running for President of ALL Americans and that is why our concerns should be heard…WE are Americans. I’m not compromising. Blacks have always been the ones to compromise….please.

    Rick-

    I live in Brooklyn, by choice and do my duty. I can talk and walk. I do both, I was blessed to be able to do both at the same time.

    I dont believe that the government can solve many of the issue that plague our community and I also know that the ones they can solve…they won’t. I am an independent (W.E.B. DuBois and Malcolm X both spoke about). I tell blacks to empower themselves, each other and their community. “A House divided cannot stand”!!

    Vertigo-

    I know those blacks that you speak of, they arent the brightest.

    As for the rest of you, their is no crabs in a barrell going on with some of the brothers and sisters on this thread, it is a “healthy suspicion” and if all those blacks leaders were around today, they would also have a “healthy suspicion” along with their probable support.

    Obama 08

  94. RhondaCoca

    Rick-

    I agree, I would want to be a regular guest. The people on TV are either ineffective, ignorant or sell-outs. They bring nothing to the table and they take no risks.

    Our voices are not represented and I think that if they were, things would be different.

  95. Nila B.

    Barack’s appeal and electability should not ride on the degree of his denouncement or acceptance of Rev. Wright. They are their own men and should be judged on their own individual merits.

    While I agree that pols will not respect us and our voices if we don’t respect ourselves, respect flows both ways. Calling a politician out on every nuance or strategic move demonstrates a lack of discernment and understanding of human nature and the political process.

  96. Cliff

    Ernesto, Throw it out there. I take it. And run with it.

    “The rapper, real name Calvin Broadus Jr., insists the Democratic candidate has received funding from historically anti-black organization the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). ”

    Snoop, I hope you read this, because these bullets were specially designed for you. I did not want to do this, but it came out of me, without my control,

    Load…
    Lock…
    Fire…

    The KKK would love a presidential candidate who has the ability to capture the attention of the overall masses of the American people who just happens to be African-American has no bearing on the positive impact of societal change, but the KKK would hate sexualized songs which encourage the limitations of black men and women to not know how to use the brain except to have an orgasm with as many people as possible, and continue to keep the HIV positive rate and Child Support debt of us as high as possible, is the most important way to lead American people for a positive impact of societal change. Furthermore the KKK would hate songs which encourage black men to kill other black men.

    BOOM!

    A presidential candidate who has the ability to undermine the policy of decisions being made based upon corporate sponsorship is not important, but what is important is to continue to advertise “Blunt Wraps” till where black people don’t have to take the time to gut tobacco out of regular blunts, to insert Marijuana/Weed/Chronic, to smoke and get high everyday, to the tune of your songs, to be drug tested by Employers, and held out of important positions, to remain unemployed, to continue to give society an excuse to label your people as an Outcasts.

    BOOM!

    A presidential candidate who has the ability to fight the present tasks of driving our national debt to the abyss is not very important, but what is important is having the Original Black Queens, shaking their ass on your videos, what is important is for black people to be as high as a kite while they watch black women in thongs on your videos, because the only thing I can do in life is have sex and smoke weed. I can never become educated, never become a scientist, never have a business mindset, I, as a African Amercan male can never be anything in life other than a “weed smoking baller,” who has “SEXUAL SEDUCTION,” SEXUAL SEDUCTION.”

    All I have to do is start a football team for young black boys, and they’ll forget my promotion of pornography, weed smoking, gin and juice, sexual seduction, there is no way in hell that those same young black boys saw me on “Girls Gone Wild”, and I’ll bet the KKK loves to see a world famous black rapper, posing in front of naked white girls with a “pimp cup” in his hand.

    WITH LOVE🙂

    “YES WE CAN”

  97. Andrea

    RhondaCoca,

    What you said was illogical. I feel you deeply though. I know what you mean but the materialization of doing what you prescribe is illogical.

    You said: “We must alwats stand firm giving our support but always being critical…We must give our support while making demands.”

    You cannot discipline someone if you are allowing them free reign…and free reign to overpower you or use and take you for granted. Right now, we have nothing but to WITHDRAW our support as a form of POWER to withhold from Obama to use as leverage for brokerage. You have to withhold something he needs to muscle him to get him to have to come to you and address you. And hence from that, you still have to hold your support until you get what you want.

    By saying you are being critical but not going to lobby the criticism in public then what is the purpose of criticizing to get through to him. He has to hear it and the only way he will hear it is to do what Frederick Douglass said, “Agitate, agitate, agitate”. Your dissension has to MAKE WAVES to ROCK THE BOAT. If the sea is calm and steady and you are yelling to the captain (Barack) at the helm, their has to be some internal agitation in the boat because the weather is going to surrogate for you. You have to stand up to your captain and confront him. And if you are so small on the chain of command that you are not permitted or to have access or power in constituency to get his time (cause you are only one vote), then you have to make that vote be known someone. And how do you do it? You let the public hear. You say what you want the captain to hear out loud so the message reverberates to reach his ears. Other than that, he thinks everyone is happy with him as the coxain.

    I mean…Obama does not have telepathy and he is not seeking to survey dissension. He would rather that be quiet as kept. His campaign knows but they are ignoring the dissension because they need the impression to permeate the media that all Blacks and supporters are aligned. That really is not a crime. That is common-sense. It’s strategy that makes sense but it has not your best interest at heart. They want to hear what they want to hear and when you abide to assist them in remaining quiet, they take that as unconditional support. Logically that means to give unconditonal support — you have no conditions set and no needs addressed. You have no wants as a suporter because you are silently submitting to approve of everything.

    Now maybe what it is is: you don’t want anything. Maybe what you want is to make him happy and feel powerful as a person who has the power to give him power. That might be what it really is at the root. You do…you do have the power to crown him. As small as you are in being your mortal self, your one vote and your silent submission is what Kings him. So maybe you don’t want to be on the wrong side of history blocking the coronation if you are taken seriously of the personal power you have and can muster to show your criticism. Maybe that is what it is. You don’t want to be a variable to mess up the narrative of what looks like he will win if no obstacles prevent him. So in order to do that, people must hold up their end of the agreement to not be a problem. And to not be a problem is to offer undying support without any question, objection, or speculation.

    Our country and as well the structure of the Black Community is situated on these dsyfunctional functional relationships. As much as I love that Obama has introduced decentralization, decentralization fails when the bottom (the little people) is methodizing still to use centralized power (his wants, the campaign insiders, and invested parties) to motivate their (our) directives and intent. In decentralization, the people are suppose to HOLD THE TOP accountable — not co-dependently assisting the top to do their work. You are supposed to govern Obama. That is what he was supposed to be creating. And he wanted or said he wanted the people to govern. If you are holding back, then it is not decentralized. It’s still the same ‘ole just marketed as if it is working.

    I am decentralized in that I am governing my support. I have limits and that I have a responsibility to not put it all on Obama. I have to hold him accountable and by retracting my support that is leglislating power of the intent of my vote not supporting any and everything he will do.

    If there were a counter movement to know how to halt and stall, Obama would really realize that the people following him are truly committed to what he said of what he wanted the people to have in power — the ability to change, be the change, and demand it.

    What you have suggested is like this analogy:

    Supporting Obama while supposedly being criticial is equal to: giving your child the car who has little or no respect for you or your expectations. Why would that child start to respect you or your expectations when you give him or her a full gas tank, money, and license to leave the house and do whatever he or she wants to do the way he or she wants to do it and tell you, the parent, he or she is in control and you should just trust him or her when that child of yours has not EARNED the trust or shown the caliber of character to say this to you an adult calling the shots of his or her life, your beloved child, and with your car?

    Consider: Your car and driving affects the life of others when you give your child access to use your car. Liability issues? Maybe accidents and wayward activity of associates in your car because you allowed him to take it? Maybe he goes places and does things in your car that you would not even do and your child knows this unequivocally? All that is of this relationship between you and your child is that you have not withheld anything from them?

    That is why I kept saying that THIS…THIS is just not a test for Obama. It is a test of our moral courage to stop, yield, and reassess our complicit behavior in enabling the abuse and negligence.

    Maybe we should admit our limitations and maybe we should admit our powerlessness to really matter. Maybe to us by joining in we wanted to feel needed and important. Maybe we wanted to matter and we knew he needed us to get where he is and without us — seriously — he would have not made it here. That is a fact of the significance of Blacks in South Carolina that solidified the 90% nationwide block of support. We never gave him our expectations because…he never asked. He told us what we we would get but remember RhondaCoca and think back — he never asked us what we wanted and we never made demands. Wow!

    This blog here is of no threat to Obama though or shall I say, YET. Not until others start to reconsider, will SB’s blog matter. And maybe the Right will scour and use it as offensive research but that is not our goal to safeguard someone (Obama) not safeguarding us.

    So as for the few of us who dissent (and we are small in number here), we are not even a threat to Obama.

    I think we are more of a threat to the comfort of those that came here for SB’s reassurance that their innate, internalized doubts about Obama TOO are not validated. People are pushing their internalized guilt for being quietly and secretively skeptical back onto SB because they don’t want to admit they think something is suspect too. So it is easier to beat up SB for not upholding the cult ideal of marketed hope when hope costs. It’s not free. It requires conviction. It’s not one-dimensional.

    To have hope, you must have faith and so many have faith in Obama…but their faith is not as certain and they are mad that that is. That has nothing to do with SB or me or even those who for the longest like Chesapeake told us all. Political Junkie warned us.

    I wanted to have faith and did but my faith wavered while supporting. Still I remained committed for awhile to believe. But that there, the Rev. Wright issue was a live, active ordeal in a test. It was a character challenge and for me, he failed. It was a moral challenge for me too and I realized I was desperate to CHEAT by putting my principle political concerns aside for desperately needed innovation Obama did bring and bring successfully. But at the same time, so many following is not getting it and ruining the innovation.

    For all of us he failed but we are people who have lived through so many self-made leaders that have done it and celebrities that offered us scraps that we think it is the best we can get.

    The reason this issue is continuing here on this is not because SB is really, really pushing it. If you pay attention he has been sequestered himself. This a test for him.

    It is that people are looking for him to give them approval and the direction (they want to hear) that they are right to continue with their determined values in place where they are minimized making excuses for our brothren, Obama.

    Now…you can keep giving Obama the keys to your car to stay out all night, come in the house whenever he wants and not address you about what he did with your car. And to top it off…you heard about what parts of town your car has been in and he still goes to bed to DISMISS YOU sitting up in the living room waiting and worrying about him as if you are the silly worrying mom for caring and loving him. It would be great if he returned it.

    But you are supposed to be the parent protecting not only his best interests but your own because…when he gets in trouble and it kickbacks to hurting you in several ways, it is reflective of you that you supported any and all behaviours unconditionally and the limits you said you gave him that you told the authorities to excuse yourself in their faces. They know and you know he ignored you. They know it is a one-sided relationship of one loving the other more — not equally and not reciprocated. The cops don’t want to hear and nor does the judicial system. They are looking at you as a woman that should have never had the right to procreate and say you love your child because they and society are going to have to deal with the mess while you sit in the courtroom and scream, “Not my baby!”. “Not Obama! He…he had too! He was disadvantaged!” I know. I was saying it too for awhile.

    Sometimes you have got to pull back your titty and force him to grow up. Make him stand up to you and stop playing against your kindness and unconditional love for him. And for the community and those that are learning to model themselves and making the same excuses in their lives that taking the path of least resistance is the only way to win, have him to stand with some SIMPLE INTEGRITY in passing SIMPLE TESTS so they can see that that is not the way to be in life. That is an excuse people make people they don’t have the temerity to demand this of people or themselves to be that good as humans.

    No judge wants to hear of your style of raising YOUR CHILD when YOUR CHILD (Obama) affects the mindsets of his peers and takes advantage of you (the supporter). The judge wants to defend you from yourself, the enabling parent but the judge has to let you go to do this for yourself.

    So RhondaCoca…I understand you. I feel you but you are not going to change SB’s mind. No one will. He has seen a lot and people come here because THEY KNOW that even if they don’t agree with him they ironically can trust in his words as based in his trusted judgement. That is why they are attacking him.

    He is not feeding our desperation anymore to need to believe and take the easiest routes. He cares about us more than we know.

    This is issue of SB’s resistance is not about him — it’s about our fears and desperation to believe and want to believe. We need conditioning to calibrate our value systems and a bootcamp and detox the bullshit we spit as excuses that this is simply politics. This is our life that we are wagering.

    SB did a brave thing.

  98. Andrea

    SB,

    Frederick Douglass said,

    “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.”

  99. With all due respect, we don’t have the luxury of being an “Independent.” The Dems are far from perfect, but the Republicans are a fucking menace not only to America but to the entire planet.

  100. Ms. Daisy

    I have been trying to figure where these Independents play out their moral high ground and independence. How do they make a difference and get their power? Indeed the Democrats are far from perfect but I for one would much rather have a reasonable commander at the helm that can engage in a conversation than two individuals who have given us a multitude of reasons to believe that they might be irrational stark raving maniacs. I feel like at least the issues important to me would get a second look. There are lots of things that offend me far worse about Obama than his hypothetical denial of a minister on some Soccer Mom show. I will always remember when Gwen Ifill brought up the AIDS issue during the 2004 debate — if that plague had been happening to Anglo women, the way this public health issues is addressed would be entirely different. And why hasn’t anything been said about 1in 4 teenage girls being affected by an STD not to mention 1 in 2 African American girls. Or the number of urban high school dropout factories in cities like Indianapolis, Detroit and Cleveland. Or the study that suggested that Kids still don’t have access to adequate food even in infancy. Where are the grand human domestic policy speeces? If I can get at least some of my issues addressed, it beats getting none. To act independently is to be indifferent at the expense of people who really need it.

    Finally, nothing has been said about Michelle Obama. There is an X Factor that folks need to appreciate. I know that woman gets me and will keep that man in check.

    Think. If our forefathers had taken on this grand all or nothing strategy, many of us would not be here.

  101. “If our forefathers had taken on this grand all or nothing strategy…”

    I agreed with your post, but the last part seemed to suggest that compromise is a grand strategy for survival, when in some instances it is not.

    Here’s a thought experiment: let’s go back, waaaay back and look at an example of the classic all or nothing strategy. Say you were on the plantation and Harriet Tubman and her crew showed up one night and asked you to make a break for it. Would you go? Or would you rationalize staying put? Or would you turn these crazy folks in because they were trying to get you killed? This is not meant as an insult or anything. Just a thought experiment.

    There are modern analogies to the three courses of action mentioned above. Logical, persuasive cases can be made for choosing any of them. What it boils down to is you have to feel comfortable living with that choice. Some people can’t feel comfortable saying one thing and doing another. Politicians seem to have a litmus test and when they pass it, they can do this on a regular basis; trade-offs, compromises, and the like. Personally, I find it abhorrent but I understand it’s an integral part of the political process. I can fully understand SB breaking with Obama on this issue, since I have been reading this blog for over a year and there’s been a consistent message on his threshold for this type of behavior among politicians.

    As for Michelle Obama, as much as I love where she’s coming from, she is NOT making economic policy as far as I know, so she won’t be a safety net for the continuing scourge of neoliberal globalization that would almost certainly continue.

    So my support for Obama is tepid, but I still support him. Of all the issues out there, I am going to focus on putting out the worst fire, and that’s Iraq. So I have come down to being a one issue voter and that’s why I will be voting against McCain this November.

  102. Rick

    Chesapeake, RhondaCoca, SB

    I was thinking tv, but then again something like what Joyner is doing via on-line web radio could also work. For tv, the closest thing I have in mind, in terms of format, is a show like the McLauglin Group. The moderator really lets the participants go at it, but at the end, firmly comes down with where he stands on the issue after having considered all the arguments. At home, the viewers could decide for themelves. [In reality, this process is already happening on this blog].

    For ratings, we would need at least one person to be on the program who is at least a little edgy. (hmm…I can’t think of a single person here).

    (that was a joke by the way!)

    But we would also need a few folks who were balanced in their analysis, insightful on the complexities of a given topic from more than one angle, and who could make their points persuasively. Luckily here too SB would have no trouble finding guests from this blog.

    Well…we have a proposed program and a few willing participants. SB, what do you think?

  103. Chesapeake

    Gotta love Mr. Belafonte! I reminded some and told others (who didn’t know) when he endorsed Senator Edwards that Belafonte is a true soldier. Thanks Silhouette.

  104. Chesapeake

    Silhouette, I looked at that video again and realized that I overlooked Mr. Glover in the background. I digress, but both Messrs. Belafonte and Glover are a pair of righteous brothers. Hadn’t seen them together since January.

  105. Silhouette

    Chesapeake,
    Yes. Danny Glover’s supporting Nikki Tinker for Congress in TN’s Ninth. I believe that Belafonte supports the incumbent, Steve Cohen.

  106. Ms. Daisy

    Ernesto,

    Indeed the question of the plantation scenario is one that I ponder often and this is where I land. I believe (hope) I never would have been one to turn in my brothers in bondage for following their heart. There are times I would have made the break for it with the hopes that I could have returned to help those left behind. I’m sure at other times the emotions that motivated me to action would have left me immobilized. Then there would be times I would have been so without fear of retribution or consequences and so hurt and sick of the bondage that I would have came to an immediate demise at the hands of a harsh overseer. Collectively, I think all of these actions lead to our survival.

    I can’t imagine living in that time and given situations in my lifetime where I’m met compromising circumstances, my response has been varied and much dependent on the scenario and station in life. As I grow older, my actions have become much more measured and controlled. Time brings about a change. At the core of my action, I hope my heart remains true to a belief that all people have worth and value including myself.

    As for Michelle she may not set policy but I believe she is his conscience and never underestimate the power of pillow talk. And foreign policy advisor Susan Rice Will be developing policy and is cut from the same cloth as Michelle. I could look at these women and just know they are going to be about the business of right. I know. I set high goals and expectations in mere mortals.

    Thanks for the reflection.

  107. Silhouette

    Chesapeake,
    Perhaps Glover changed his allegiance. I’m almost positive that he supported Tinker during her ’06 campaign for Congress.

  108. Deyvette

    Finally, someone has seen the light for what it really is (a diversionary immitation of a light)I was beginning to feel quite nervous thinking that none of you would come to your senses.

    Subtly, this Obama Campaign reminds me of Olympic Champion Gold Medal Winner Sara Hughes, where did she come from? Michelle Kwan is still wondering, and weapons of mass destruction, where did that come from , ahh I digress. I must say that Obama was selected as a candidate because of his associations with Jeremiah Wright (that was a smooth tactic.) By the way, I’m not completely against Rev. Wright’s arguments, our thoughts are similar, but mine are less extreme.

    Nevertheless, the masses just don’t get it, if nothing just admit to yourselves that “you” were hoodwinked in the previous election and history is proceeding to repeat itself, with you along in tow.
    Democrats can return to their sleep-walk into the Obama liiiiight. I would love to follow the light it’s bright shining and he would make a great president. Imagine if we’d had Obama instead of Bush. There would not be a 911 or mortgage crisis. Maybe we’re all republicans by default. Don’t give up.

    Hey, on another note why do women hate each other so. I often wonder did Hillary know this insane hate among women. I’ve heard women who kept quiet for decades now speaking out against Hillary. They are angry , hell no , not her no she is a LIAR, to say the least. In Africa, it’s the women who peform the circumcision on girl babies. Women have affairs with married men to destroy families, and on the streets women will do a .n.y.thing to please men (for the pimp who hates her). This could cause women in America to adapt to the bee keeper attire. Some men don’t want a woman to rule. Why would a woman be worst than what men have already been? Our forefathers began with good intentions (declaration of independence), and yes I did say our.

    It’s been said that INSANITY IS REPEATING AN ACTION EXPECTING A DIFFERENT RESULT FROM THE ELECTION.

    Becoming an independent is Not the answer.

  109. RhondaCoca

    Some of you dont get it. I am registered as an independent then I vote accordingly. When over 80% of blacks are in one party and just vote like sheep come election time then we are taken for granted….like whats been happening. When they pull up the demographics and see whose aligned in what party and they see that a growing amount of AA’s are independents then there will be a wake up call given to the democratic establishment. You dont have to agree.

    Andrea-

    I hear what you are saying but I have figured out that I do not want Clinton or McCain. It is either going to be Clinton, Obama or McCain. I still have faith in Obama and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. However my support, as it is in every case, has its limits. It has never been about history or having the first black president because I never really dreamt of or even cared for that. I knew how blacks got when they made it and I always learned not to expect much. I was reluctant about Obama but what allowed me to believe in him was the public service that he had done in his life. I also prefer much of the plans that he has proposed. When I campaign for him, it is about getting young AA youth involved in the political process. I have worked out of Harlem, Brooklyn, Cleveland and Philly. I like the fact that his candidacy has sparked interest and I am exploiting that interest as means to get AA youth involved in not just his candidacy but politics, civic activism, social issues and improving their community. I have always approached Obama with skepticism as I do with everyone that I support. I will never allow myself to become “bamboozled” or “hoodwinked”.

  110. RhondaCoca

    I agree Rick.

    By the way, if anyone lives in the New York Area, I am filming a short documentary on politics and the hip hop generation. I know random, but I need people. Its for a class. If i’m not successful, I will fail. If I fail, I will end up on the street and become another statistic=/.

  111. Cliff

    “We must give our support while making demands.”

    RhondaCoca, YOU GO GIRL.

    This is exactly what the Black Agenda states, supporting the candidate who we feel is the best for the job, and then hold him or her accountable to the standards and agreements of our angenda.

    Andrea, why don’t you feel powerful?

    “Maybe we should admit our limitations and maybe we should admit our powerlessness to really matter.”

    I am so powerful, Black People are so, sooo powerful, am not limited to the notion of inferiority.

    “As much as I love that Obama has introduced decentralization, decentralization fails when the bottom (the little people) is methodizing still to use centralized power (his wants, the campaign insiders, and invested parties) to motivate their (our) directives and intent. In decentralization, the people are suppose to HOLD THE TOP accountable — not co-dependently assisting the top to do their work. You are supposed to govern Obama. ”

    Okay, Sistah, will do, will govern him. Will hold him accoutable, just like everyone else. Sounds like an OBAMA supporter to me. You know you want him to win too, huh? You’re just playing with us huh? SB is also just playing with us.🙂

    I have studied his policies and am not blindly following him, know and understand he we will be a good driver of my car.

    “CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN”

  112. john in california

    I would be the last one to counsel holding your tongues about anything, sb and Andrea. I may even vote McKinney in the fall, myself, if it looks like Obama is going to have a landslide, for it is not bad idea to remind him the ’left’ is still out there. In fact, I think it helps him to define his agenda if a strong left contingent is visible. Nevertheless, let me remind you of the obvious,

    You have to be president before you can do president!

    In the fall, if Obama is the Dem candidate, the contest will come down to three things:

    1. Iraq
    2. The Economy
    3. Race

    Obama knows to get elected he must make the first two trump the third, just as Hillary now knows, her only chance, even if only as a spoiler, is to make the contest primarily about the third. Therefore, Obama must demonstrate to the remaining unpledged super-delegates, who are daily being reminded by the Clintons that Obama is ‘teh black’, that he can appeal across racial and, to a lesser extent, party lines. This means the political contortion of keeping his black support without threatening hesitant whites. He has managed that, so far, by not joining the black ol’ boys club (CBC, etc..) but at the same time adopting much of the cadence and rhythm he learned in Wright’s church. Both are political signals. Now, to be elected, he has to put some distance between some of Rev. Wright’s overheated rhetoric and the message he wants to send to all Americans. Nobody is getting thrown under any bus, not his pastor and not his grandmother.
    You know, early on, I commented on this blog that I thought Obama must be running for vp, because of the non-confrontational way he treated Hillary. Some said he was too much of a gentleman but others said that the last thing he could look like was an angry black man. I now think they were both right but, moreover, I think he knows that he must stay above the callousness that defines most of our politics today in order to do what elections are all about. Governing.
    We have seen men and women like Powell and Rice chose, as much as possible, to ignore their race. They can say, “Look, my life proves that with the de jure end of American apartheid African-Americans can put their ‘blackness’ behind them.” Obama, born and raised by a white mother, could have even more easily taken that attitude, but instead he deliberately sought out ways to connect himself with American black folk. He is not now abandoning what he has spent his adult life building. Every morning he gets up looks at his wife, looks at his kids, looks in the mirror… he hasn’t forgotten he is black. He, like my political hero Dennis Kucinich, knows who he is and he not going to change that for the presidency.
    Well, I could go on but I read today that 3 American soldiers and at least 25 Iraqis were killed today. Didn’t they all deserve a chance at life and isn’t ending the American occupation the most important thing to be decided in the election? I think Rev. Wright would say so.

  113. Andrea (and the silent SB)…a double Bravo Zulu to you!! For you two:

    “True self is the part of us that does not change when circumstances do.” — Mason Cooley

    “Why would a woman be worse than what men have already been? ”

    Deyvette…I noticed that myself! It’s amazing how more and more women are wlling to join forces with men who dog the hell out of Hillary
    (IMHO, plenty men have that misogyny thing going on if their honest). But then again, it could just be THIS WOMAN who continues to be painted with all her husbands ills. I know, she’s taken every advantage of having been his wife, but some of the stuff being heaped upon her has nothing to do with her at all. Seems I read something about Michelle’s job, a hefty raise, and earmarks to the hospital where she worked through the esteemed Senator? Sounds like she took a little advantage herself. But that’s different I guess. I remember Mrs. Obama saying on one of those morning shows awhile back when asked if she would vote for Hillary if Barck did not get the nomination and she said “She wasn’t sure because she couldn’t take care of her own house, how’s she going to take care of the White House.” What does that have to do with being president?

    “Some men don’t want a woman to rule. Why would a woman be worst than what men have already been?”

    As we look back over this nascent country’s leaders, in comparison to countries with thousands of years of culture and civilization, what is constant is the secondary role of women in powerful, lead-the-country kind of positions with the exception of Bhutto in Pakistan, Ghandi India, Thatcher in England, Merkel in Germany, to name a few. Just as women had to wait to get the vote AFTER Black men, guess you’ll still be waiting another 50 years (I’m old and I’ll be dead by then so I surely won’t see it) for a woman to hold that powerful office in DC – sorry Condi doesn’t count and I think Nancy Pelosi just wants to be the most “powerful woman” in Washington a wee bit longer.

  114. Angie

    “Well, I could go on but I read today that 3 American soldiers and at least 25 Iraqis were killed today. Didn’t they all deserve a chance at life and isn’t
    ending the American occupation the most important thing to be decided in the election? I think Rev. Wright would say so.” John in Cali

    I might be so inclined to say so myself.
    Yes, there are other issues. But let’s not forget that not supporting Obama means we are passively handing the presidency to JM. And we all know what he has in mind regarding Iraq.

  115. truce

    When you can remember your little feet moving fast as your mom hurries you over to the “colored” side of town..”mama, I’m hungry”…”I know honey we gonna get something to eat”…smelling the hot dogs as we passed the cafe…”I want a hot dog from there”…”we can’t honey”, she said. Why? I asked. “Because we’re colored”.
    For the first time at 4 years-old, I knew I was different; we could only eat on “the block” at the drug store.

    When going to the store with my big brother, when the man asked me “you my boy?”, I didn’t respond “yes” as usual to get the free banana. My brother intervened and said, “No, we are “(my father’s name) boys. I can remember that the white men didn’t laugh this time. Something was different.

    When the motorcycle riders sped down the dirt road raising dust and yelled “run over the niggas”. I knew for sure that we were “niggas” and less than them. So when the carload of white kids sped through and looked at me and my light-skinned buddies and yelled “look at the niggas and look at the black one”, it occurred to me at 8 years old that light-skinned black people were better that dark skinned black people, but still niggas.

    I then fully understood that I was Black and there was a reason why Mom and Dad rushed to watch the man on TV named Martin Luther King, and later why our school books, desks, chairs, materials, etc. were all used…hand me downs from the “white” schools. (God bless those Black teachers…they knew what they were up against!)

    I still got educated.

    Some of you may never have experienced “Jim Crow”, or racism as many of the southern Black Baby Boomers have. You can’t imagine what King, our teachers, our preachers, our parents, Buckwheat, Stepinfetchit, Carver, Robeson, Dubois, Satchmo, and my God many more had to face.

    A man’s gotta do what he has do at the time…for the survival of his kind.

    Cut the hate people, Obama has to do what he has to do. Hillary has to do what she has to do. It ain’t all that easy people; living in a country whose constitution was flawed from the beginning.

    The powers that be want us, people of color, women, native-Americans (“savages, “injuns’ as they were called) gays and lesbians, non-mainstream religious people to stay in confrontation of ideas…they want to continue to “define” us.

    Control us, trick us.

    Don’t fall for it.

    Either candidate as President would be a leap forward. Jesus lived 2000 years ago; ancient man…It’s 2008 and Republican politicians still don’t recognize the obsoleteness of war, poverty, hate. You can’t stop fighting unless you stop fighting; which sooner or later you have to do anyway.

    Love conquers hate every time…it is necessary for the survival of the species we call Man.

    An advanced man-kind should have long ended world hunger and poverty.

    Let’s all move up to “our time”

  116. caroline on the block

    I am a newbie to this site. It was introduced to me by a dear friend and news junkie. After reading several different articles sent, I looked it up myself. I have one phrase that comes to mind from my upbringing…it is to all you folks, regardless of color or creed, coming up with reasons to not support Obama…..NEGROES, PLEASE

    I guess you are the same kind of folks that got onto and denounced MLK Jr. when he decided to speak against the Vietnam War and LBJ. You are the kind of folks that cannot see past your own nose and see there is alot of suffering in America. Jesus Wept basically said everything I am tryiong to say, are you more concerned about just one issue than all issues. As said by a statesman and a civil rights leader(roughly paraphasing….We have more in common than not….
    here is a question for those of you (especially young people) ready to pounce on Obama and take away your vote….Is the problem that he is not black enough?

  117. I would like you to reconsider your position on Obama. He is not only the best candidate this election, he is the best candidate we’ve had in any recent elections.

    If you get a chance read his speech of October 2, 2002. I read it for the first time yesterday.

    One of my concerns was Obama was like Reagan in that he had a natural talent for reacting with an audience. He was an actor, give him the words and turn him loose if you will.

    I don’t believe that speech almost six years ago was written by a ghost writer. I believe those are his words, his ideas.

    If I’m right about those words as being his words then I believe we have not only a gifted orator, we have a great thinker running for President.

    Let’s ignore his being black. Let’s put aside his being a male. Let’s look at the words and judge him on the value of the promise of the kind of mind that could write those words.

    Now let’s put into the mix his being being a black male with a gift for speaking to an audience.

    Need I say more?

  118. I have tried to remain objective during this nomination process. However, I’m personally leaning toward Obama in the primary, which in Oregon isn’t until May.

    The negative politics have really bothered me. But politicians will be politicians. Racism is always unacceptable. Of course it remains a problem. In some places more than others. Though almost everywhere, there are people who miss out on some wonderful possibilities by excluding others for any number of reasons. The more people working together on projects benefitting communities, states, this country and the world, the better will become our human race. God bless us all!

    You are doing a great job as a writer. I wrote this for you to read. Take care.

  119. Anon.

    I respect your decision–everyone has to stay true to themselves, BUT I do not agree with it. Obama probably said what he said on the View for political points, but if anything he HAS NOT thrown Wright under the bus. Especially when it would have been the politically safe thing to do. I’m sure you watched his speech on Race…among ALL the backlash he received from Wright, in that very speech he DEFENDED Wright by saying he was like family. I’m sure his advisors might have wanted him to disassociate himself completely from him, but Obama did not. He gave a wonderful explanation about why Wright said some of the things he said. Additionally, he defended the black community in that same speech, saying they were a part of him. That IS RESPECT.

    To end your support for him based on a hypothetical seems irrational to me, but it’s your call. I hope you reconsider taking everything into account.

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