Eugene Robinson’s piece in today’s Washington post, “Oprah the Believer” made me ask that question…WE being the black community as a whole. Are we really behind the idea…here and now…for 2008? Do we just like the idea…but think it should happen soon, but not this soon? What do you think that MOST black people really think about Obama winning the 2008 presidential race??
Is it foolish to think that a nation stained by centuries of slavery and racism is prepared to elect a black president? Rarely phrased so bluntly, that’s the central question posed by Barack Obama’s candidacy — especially for many African American voters, whose doubts are informed by having seen many an oasis turn out to be a mirage.
“Dr. King dreamed the dream,” Winfrey told a predominantly black crowd of 29,000 in Columbia, S.C. “But we don’t have to just dream the dream anymore. We get to vote that dream into reality.”
There are many in the African American establishment who consider Winfrey’s exhortation a bit of starry-eyed nonsense. There are senior black Democrats who can barely hide their exasperation at Obama’s success, which they see as a mortal threat to a Democratic victory in November. Andrew Young is the latest to go public with his pique, saying in remarks reported over the weekend that he wants Obama to be president, but not until 2016. If Obama somehow managed to win this time, Young said, he couldn’t possibly be effective: “To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion.”
Others of comparable stature have griped privately to me that this whole Obama thing is madness, that he can’t possibly win and that with a known quantity such as Hillary Clinton in the race, this is no time to go chasing rainbows. They point out that in the nation’s history we’ve elected only two black governors — Douglas Wilder in Virginia and Deval Patrick in Massachusetts. If Americans, in all these years, have only elected two black men to run a state, are they really going to elect a black man to run the whole country?
2 governors…dag and Patrick is kinda recent. Makes you think.