Barack Obama for President – Why not?

The DC Democratic primary is tomorrow and I guess it’s time to stop holding my peace. I’ve sat back and read commentary after commentary about why Obama isn’t black enough, experienced enough, how America isn’t ready enough for a black president, etc. Hello, Negro even asked the question, “Do We really want Obama to Win?” My answer, at least, is emphatically, YES! My question would be, why not and what are we afraid of? (Yes, ‘we’ Black Americans…I said it!). At the beginning of his campaign, Obama probably only had the public (black) support of Oprah and Chris Rock who seemed to have no problem seeing the trees from the forest in deciding to support him in his bid for the presidency. In February 2008, I see how that took courage as it appeared that there wasn’t an overwhelming sense of support from the black community in the beginning. Hell, prominent black elected officials seemed to lead the charge in the disapproval of his candidacy and early support of Hillary Clinton. It seems that as non-black Americans began to support Obama, black Americans gained more and more courage to believe. In November 2007, The Chicago Sun-Times quoted Michelle Obama as saying, “Black America will wake up and get it”. I think she understood that it may be hard for some of us to believe in the possibility of a black American president and given more time, we would find the strength to believe and not be afraid to vote for him. It seems she was right…slowly, but surely.

Maybe it’s me, but I would assume black people would at least give him the benefit of the doubt until he proved himself crazy or at least akin to Clarence Thomas or something… I thought it ingenious to ask black people if they were supporting Obama because he was black. What a guilt bestowed and what timing. What better way to make any of us who respected him as a candidate while feeling empowered as a black person feel guilty and be proud not to support him for that very reason? Were white people equally asked whether they’re voting for any of the other white candidates because they’re white? Better yet, were they asked if they decided not to vote for Obama because he was black? They were largely allowed to make that decision when they voted. 

For all the talk of Hillary Clinton having more experience than him, it is very clear that not too much separates the two policy wise. They’ve even admitted as such. At this point in the race, the democratic vote seems to hinge on voting for a woman or a black man. Today, Hillary Clinton visited the National Council of Negro Women’s headquarter in DC to court the black female vote which appears to be the real swing among the division in the black vote. Hello Negro even asked if black women felt  more inclined to vote for Hillary because she was a woman. I think Hillary understands that the gender split in the black vote alone could swing the race in her favor. The article addresses the prominent black wives that have decided to vote for her while their husbands support Obama.

In the end, for all the excuses given for not supporting Obama, please don’t miss the opportunity to vote for him because of some underlying fear or guilt. Don’t vote for him if you don’t like him. If you do like him and his vision for America and it makes you smile that his family resembles yours, there’s nothing wrong with that. In the words of Chris Rock, “You’d be real embarrassed if he won and you wasn’t down with it!”

3 Comments

Filed under african american, black man, change, chocolate city, civil rights, community, government, history, opinion, politics, washington dc

3 responses to “Barack Obama for President – Why not?

  1. c

    My husband and i have been discussing this topic to death. We support Obama for a variety of reasons. It’s funny though, people automatically assume that we are voting for him just because he is black. And we’re black- like that’s terrible. It is part of the reason but mostly we appreciate his idealism.

    A politician with ideals. A politician who is hopeful and wants us to feel that hope. How refreshing! He has goals that seem attainable and is not corrupt or cynical from years and decades of that buzzword of late- “experience”.

    And i am so proud. i never thought i’d see a black canidate make it this far in my lifetime.

    But folks can’t believe that we Black people want our troops out of Iraq, that we are very concerned with our economy, healthcare and education in this country. According to the majority, all we see is a Black president.

    It’s not us though, not our misconception, misinterpretation. It’s theirs. They’ve been voting for themselves for this nation’s entire history. Why isn’t that an issue? One may argue that that’s all there was as far as options. True, but why was that?

    As far as the gender/race split- i still have to go with Obama. A white woman is still a privileged. When it comes to communities as priorities in the feminist movement, Black women and our issues have not been factored much into their platform.

    Until now that is. 🙂

    Great, great post. You’ve said everything my husband and i have been talking about quite well here.

  2. Cami B

    And even as we speak slippery slick Billary are thinking of conniving ways to regain the black vote that they lost by playing the race card. Billary has replaced her Mexican-American campaign manager, Patti Solis-Doyle for an African-American one, Maggie Williams. As we all know, she pretty much decided she’s already got the Hispanic vote on lock. Why not switch it up, since she’s losing and try to pick up on some of the votes she’s lost in the African-American demographic? She’s a sneaky one people. Don’t fall for the mind tricks. She’s desperately grasping at straws and is at a point where she’s willing to do whatever it takes to secure the nomination no matter how underhanded and dishonest. Oh, and she’s also trying to portray herself as the “underdog” and a “challenger to the establishment”. Check it out on Yahoo news the politics section. She is trying to paint Barack Obama as the status quo which is the most asinine backwards thing I’ve ever heard of. Espescially since her entire campaign has been run on the premise that she is the “more qualified” and “established” candidate. Come on, enough of the BS.

    YES WE CAN!
    OBAMA ’08

  3. Just vote for who u ascribe to politicall is what i say. The father of Jim Crow

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