Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Throwback: Fear of Progress
I wrote this blog back in January right after the Iowa Caucuses. It's good to see that Black people, and all people, rallied around Barack and helped him achieve his historic nomination. Thank You.
"It ain't his time! Ain't no way White folk gonna vote for that boy! I'm goin' with Hillary."
Barbershops. Hair Salons. Dinner tables. This is what I have been hearing from Black folks over the past year.
"They settin' that boy up to fail!"
I have always maintained that if there were ever a serious, viable candidate other than the status quo (i.e. White male) running for President that I would vote for them regardless of party affiliation. Black male, Black female, White female, Asian candidate, gay candidate...whatever. It is my belief that if you can put someone in the highest office in the land with a non-conventional background that it would realistically open the doors for ANYBODY, including your children, to have a shot at becoming President.
Imagine my dismay when an overwhelming percentage of Black people decided that it was impossible for Barack Obama to take a serious shot at the presidency. As much as I supported his run, I was always countered with a negative spin on the situation...almost to the point where I began to doubt that it was possible. Besides, if your own don't support you, why would others?
Fast forward to Obama's win in Iowa. One of the Whitest states in America with a Black population of roughly 2%--a state that has never voted a Black person into any political office-- proved that Obama is a real contender and collectively tells Black people that it is OK to support your own.
But why would it take this co-sign from the majority for us to rally around him? Is he not striving for the same dream that we all as Black people wrote about in our kindergarten classes; or even the dream that King spoke about on the National Mall? Why is it not his time? Why is it not our time? Will it ever be?
Maybe Iowa was a fluke. Maybe I'm being naive. Maybe his historical win won't make much of a difference. Maybe Hillary will win the nomination convincingly down the stretch. But even if that is the reality that we live in, at least we got a chance to taste what it feels like to have hope, even if only for a moment.