I am thoroughly disgusted with the game of politics.
The inconvenient truth about race has entered the Democratic contest. Unfortunately, there is a segment of the United States population (including persons of all racial and ethnic backgrounds) who bristle at the thought of a discussion about blacks/civil rights/discrimination, however, the reaction is not the same when discussing sexism/discrimination against women, which is a key difference in this race. The whirlwind of the past few days has greatly lessened the chance of a Democrat becoming President and unfortunately, will not bode well for Barack Obama, since there are people who are looking for an excuse not to vote for an African-American candidate.
Barack is black. There is no need for him to continually state the obvious. Barack has worked in the legislature to improve the condition of black people. There is no question that he will continue as he works to improve the lives of all Americans.
After viewing the news reports and reading the comments online, it is clear that some non-black people do not understand or can not sympathize with plight of racial injustice or its lingering effects. It is also clear that some black people are extremely uncomfortable with people defending Dr. King’s legacy at this time, because they view it as a vote against Hillary Clinton.
Let me present the crux of the problem. Because of her continual need to personally attack Barack and quell his dynamic effect on people, Hillary decided to show how a person who inspires and has dreams is not enough. She stated that the dreams and works of Martin Luther King, Jr. could only be realized with assistance from someone else, President Lydon Johnson (a person with “experience” perhaps?). Hillary’s implication that Dr. King needed LBJ is what infuriates so many black people. Regardless of the actions of LBJ, Dr. King in and of himself is the greatest African-American in the history of the United States and one of the most important persons in American history overall to most black people. The major part of Dr. King’s work and legacy was his ability to inspire and motivate an entire nation of people to move toward racial equality. In her attempt to diminish Obama, she minimized Dr. King. Probably because I am African-American, I can not comprehend how anyone can feel that the remark is not offensive. With Bill Clinton previously being dubbed the “first black President”, I don’t understand how Hillary could have made such a gross error in judgement. So Barack defended Dr. King and himself by describing her comments as ill-advised. Surprisingly, incredibly, unbelievably, Hillary turns around and blames Barack for the trouble she brought on herself, saying he introduced race into the campaign.
Then to top it off, we have the creator of BET criticizing Barack because of his experience with drugs as youth. For some African-Americans, Johnson’s network has greatly contributed to the destruction of black youth and he has the audacity to criticized a positive, successful, Harvard-educated, inspirational Presidential candidate using the same tactics previously employed by the Clinton campaign. (Just wondering, what is Johnson’s view on his good friend Bill Clinton who admitted to experimenting with drugs and had a “little fling” with an intern that brought the entire country to a standstill?) Not to mention Congressman Charles Rangel who called Barack “incredibly stupid”. In order to shore up support for Clinton, Rangel implied that a man as intelligent as Barack believed that MLK could perform his ground work, legislative work needed, and sign the Civil Rights Act into law….all by himself. Now that was a reach…probably one of the worst possible attempt to discredit Obama that anyone could ever image.
Here is a funny thing that happens with some black people. When watching the news and you see that someone has committed some horrendous crime, you sit there and think to yourself “please don’t let this be a black person” as you wait for the picture of the criminal to be revealed. As part of the African-American community, a person sometimes feel a strong connection to others in the community and sense of responsibility for the actions of other black people in the community, because they feel like part of your family (sometimes your extended family, but your family nonetheless). That should explain the depth of the embarrassment I felt when I heard the comments by Bob Johnson and Charles Rangel. Not only am I embarrassed, I am also disgusted and offended. Rushing to the defense of Hillary, they are trampling Dr. King’s legacy, defaming the first electable black candidate, disrupting the process of changing the African-American community for the better and just plain making African-Americans look like idiots (two bad apples can spoil the whole bunch…at least that is the perception).
After these events, I know that if Hillary becomes the Democratic candidate, I can not vote for her. I have an African-American female friend who is a Democrat, she will not vote for Hillary and will vote for McCain is he wins the Republican nomination.