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.

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"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.

6 comments:

Demitrius Rex said...

B, GLAD TO SEE U BACK! Great post, and as a black man, Id rather have the audacious hope of having President Obama than the perpetual fear of being ruled by President Clinton!! Plus, Im a Marine, so every time that time of the month rolls around, I'd be going on deployment! Just say NO to dat HOE! (No offense to non-Hillary Clinton females)

Eb the Celeb said...

Its crazy... I had dinner with 2 white co-workers today and both said they despise hillary and would never vote for her... both are republican though...

but I am definitely leaning towards Hillary... I still havent made up my mind yet... i still dont feel like I really know what Obama stands for

Rell said...

it's called the "cult of victimology"

Jermel said...

Why would it take so long? Because from day one, black people in this country have been told that we can't accomplish anything major without a white person being involved, and many of us believe it now.

For the record, Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton are two different people, and Bill wasn't flawless himself. So don't believe the hype that by voting for another Clinton your life will some how become much better. It's a different time with different problems. And I remember the 90s, it was certainly better than this decade but it was by no means utopia.

Anonymous said...

Vitimhood is real, but I think too often we dismiss people with valid concerns and stories as victims. There has to be a middle ground.

ThatDeborahGirl said...

The problem is, black folks know the difference between what white people will say and do in public and what they say and do behind closed doors.

It's all well and good for them to be jumping up and down in Iowa screaming for Obama. But you know good and well that white folks, when the chips are down, are going to get behind their own.

It's happened already. When white folks saw that Obama could win Iowa they got scared. Now most white Dems are lining up squarely behind Hillary (why they all hate John Edwards, I don't know but they do) and McCain on the Republican side.

Black folks need to vote for Obama. In droves. We need to stop the madness, quit listening to white folks and VOTE THIS BROTHA IN!