For the last twenty years I have struggled with a lifelong desire to be a political figure and the realization that American politics is infected with what bell hooks terms “White supremacist capitalist patriarchy.” Trying to navigate shark infested political waters in a way that preserves my integrity has been a tough slog. I’ve tried volunteering on campaigns, I’ve even run some for people I thought brought something special to the public arena. I’ve tried writing and blogging. None of it quite fits me even though I had some success.
I’ve been contacted by national writers from the Washington Post to the Los Angeles Times. During the 2008 campaign I even saw my blog mentioned on CNN. None of it was enough though. I allowed myself to become disillusioned with politics and watched passively as life passed me by.
I need more.
I’ve wasted a lot of time and I’m not getting any younger. Next year when I hit forty I need to fulfill what I’ve always thought was my purpose: running for public office. I ‘ve been obsessed with politics and policy for as long as I can remember and life is too short not to try and make the world a better place. I realize that I am just as fucking flawed as some of the politicians I despise and looking for perfection in this life is a fool’s errand.
I am a progressive that believes in what the good people of Black Agenda Report call “The Black Consensus.” In sum, what that means is that we do no harm to the political, economic and social viability of the black community and that we do our level best to strengthen black institutions. The last thing we need is a dependant and prostrate black community willing to sell out for the crumbs of imperialism.
Capitalism, for the most part, operates to the detriment of people of color. Not always, but mostly. It is the obligation of African American pol’s to level the playing field in any way possible. Some of you will complain that this explicit racial consciousness is un-American, but I can assure you that as a dreadlocked skeptical brotha, nobody allows me to forget my race. The knee-jerk apprehension when I enter white spaces is palpable.
President Obama is the main example of this phenomenon. Since the day it was apparent that he would defeat Hillary Clinton, it has been open season. Conservatives have been ringing the bell and sounding a disturbing racial alarm. The sound and fury of conservatives signifies discomfort with everything Obama symbolizes. They refuse to accept his legitimacy as president and displace that into rhetoric questioning his citizenship, patriotism, and religion and they smear him as a socialist, Marxist, and Muslim.
Their thinly veiled racism and full throated hatred ain’t fooling nobody, honey. They want to “take their country back” from the unwashed hoards of Negroes, Latinos, Asians, and Gays of all persuasions and turn back the clock to a simpler time when they knew their proper places in the underclass.
Some of us have gotten sidetracked the last 18 months worrying about these attacks, but it really isn’t about Obama, it’s about us, people. Obama is just the proxy, y’all, conservatives are attacking progressive progress in general and the black community in particular. Obama is a very flawed politician despite his many gifts. I admire him tremendously, but his penchant for defending an unacceptable status quo and softening the edges of America’s harsh imperialism is not really admirable. TripLBee said it best:
When any President, including this one, glamorizes and sanitizes warfare, I will be offended. I found his speech offensive; especially because he knows he was spouting nonsense. Does he really want his daughters buying into his blather about the sanctity of waging war against the poorest country on the face of the Earth? He is sounding like every other emperor. It’s pathetic.
Lastly, I feel compelled to run because l feel an obligation to do something more than bitch and complain on a keyboard. Some folk can effect positive change that way, but I don’t think that is really my gift.