Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Throwback: Are We Ready???

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past couple months, you've heard that Senator Barack Obama is gearing up to make a run for the White House in '08. Is America ready for a Black president?

Condoleezza Rice says yes:

"Yes, I think a black person can be elected president," She said the first successful black candidate will be "judged by all the things that Americans ultimately end up making their decision on: Do I agree with this person? Do I share this person's basic values? Am I comfortable that this person is going to make decisions when I'm not in the room that are very consequential?"

Some say "yes", some say "no". I, for one, am not sure. I've heard a few schools of thought on the issue:

Some say that we ARE ready and that people have gotten past race when it comes to making political decisions. Others say that race is a HUGE barrier that will outweigh the issues at hand when people are in the ballot booths, regardless of political party affiliation.

Many black folks that I've talked to think that we are not ready, and that if Obama, or Hilary, make it out of the primaries, it will be an automatic victory for the Republican Party in '08.

Personally, I think that this issue is bigger than party affiliation. As much as I disagree with the current Administration's policies, I would probably vote for Condoleezza Rice if she decided to run for president... Or a conservative white female candidate... Or an openly gay candidate... or an Asian American candidate... or a Jewish candidate... or anything other than the current status quo (given that their ideas aren't extremely radical, right or left)...

Why? Because putting one of the aforementioned people in office will make it more possible for America to accept change. Idealistic? Maybe... maybe not.

Ignorance: ...even though Obama's middle name is Hussein.


evIdenCE of truth said...

Man... I did not know his name was Hussein Obama. He has to have the worst political name of all time.

I don't think America's ready for a black president. Hilary has a chance for now.

"I would probably vote for Condoleezza Rice if she decided to run for president" - B Cogs.

You know what - I think I would, too. And I also think that would be the dumbest decision ever. It would be like supporting Clarence Thomas.

At the end of the day, I will support the candidate that I think will move the country in the best direction (or whoever the Democratic candidate is). Dang, honesty sucks. I gotta step my game up. This hypocrisy thing isn't working for me.

Gene said...

I don't know why EITHER of ya'll would support Condoleeza!? WTF?!

America will not back Obama. The recent Tennessee senatorial situation with Harold Ford proves that race is STILL a big issue for many. It's just that simple.

I personally think Hillary has too much baggage to win. A lot of folks don't like Bill. And even MORE are sexist and don't think a woman can handle war and other strong issues.

Did you see that John Edwards announced his campaign recently? Love you John, but hang it up kid. It's over.

Brandon said...

I feel you... it does seem crazy to hypothetically support Rice, but wouldn't it be worth losing the battle in the short term (4 years), in order to win the war in the long run (the HISTORIC possibility of proving that it's OK to have somebody in office other than a white male)?

You gotta start somewhere. A 4-year run in the White House for ANY President is not long enough to significantly change our lives (Save for Bush and 9/11). To be honest with you, I really don't see a difference in the two parties other than Democrats saying (black people, we want your votes). Policies come and go depending on who's in power in Congress.

With that being said, wouldn't the sheer novelty of having a black person (Condoleezza Rice, even if only by skin color) in office now open the doors for another black person that shares views more closely aligned with yours in the future?

Matthew said...

Actually Gene, I don't think it's just that simple. Harold Ford ran in Tennessee without the benefit of large sections of the national electorate that are more willing to support a black male candidate. Ford also tried to "out-conservative" a conservative candidate which had the effect of alienating large portions of moderate-liberal voters who would have actively campaigned for him while not effecting any real gains among conservative voters who were not terribly eager to vote either Democrat, black male, or Ford (as his family has a particular history in Tennessee politics).

All that having been said, can't support Condi although I do admire her talent and her success. Hillary might just pull it off if there are no other palatable candidates. Remember, we have to choose the best out of a given litter...even if the litter is of poor quality.

Brandon said...

I feel you Matt... but let's go completely hypothetical. If Hilary or Obama were not in the picture and you had a typical WASP male candidate on the Dem side with an average, non-ground breaking platform and Condi on the right, you don't think it would be worth it to go with Condi for the sake of the long term implications that a win would have for ALL minorities?

The Chairman aka Mr. Smith said...

I am of a firm believe that anybody can accomplishing anything if they put their mind to it, but is now that time for the break through?

I would vote a GREEN candidate if their believes lined up with mine. Hilary has the best chance of winning, not because she is better but because I don't think a majority of the black community will vote him in.

Besides ladies you just got done saying you aren't going to a taye diggs movie cause he dated outside his race. Obama is a product of a african dating outside his race... so you can't vote for him!!!

Democrats aren't catering towards blacks they are catering towards the working middle class and the poor. It just so happens alot of us are in those catagories.

Gene said...

Matthew all that aside, race had a big part to do with Ford and perhaps Obama's failure. Recent studies have shown that a significant percentage of white's who say they are willing to support a black candidate publicly, do not privately ... including white democrats or "liberals."

Brandon, I would not back proven failure over possible failure. Period.

Gene said...

Wow. Its interesting to see how my views change or remain the same in a year's time. Its also interesting just to see what has changed or remained the same in a year's time period ... but that's another post.

Anyway, I still believe what I typed last year. But more importantly, I believe all those folks who think America has gotten past race live in progressive, forward-thinking, metropolis(esque) environments.

Tell them to hit up some of the more rural (and even urban) places in the states I've lived in most recently - Arizona, Kansas, Missouri and North Carolina - and call me back.