Tuesday, May 21, 2024


African Americans should resist the urge to justify love for Obama….

October 14, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Politics, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.com) For many, the Presidential Debate between Senators Barack Obama and John McCain presented yet another opportunity for the public to dialogue on why they are in support of their favorite contender.

Those still sitting “on the fence” may have also been provided reasons to step down.

While we converse about which candidate offers the strongest argument on the two most important issues facing our nation today: foreign policy and the economy, and become more informed about how the strategies of the new administration will impact the residents on Main Street, African American democrats should not feel compelled to insert, “…and it’s not just because he’s Black” in defense of their support for Barack Obama.

This ‘extra push’ for authenticity is unnecessary. Barack Obama has earned the right to be here.

Of course a decision this important should not be made “just because he’s Black.” If this were the case, wouldn’t Jesse Jackson have been a more viable contender 20 years ago? Surely, we are aware that Senator Obama’s being Black–in the White House–won’t do a damn thing for his ability to repair the extensive damage that has been done by the Bush Administration over the past 8 years; No more than being White has contributed to President Bush’s inability to do the job right.

At this point, anyone, African American or other, who does not — at the very least — recognize Barack Obama as a force in this race…a more than formidable opponent … is either blind or stupid by choice. The man has been educated at the finest schools; has been an aggressive community organizer, civil rights attorney and legislator even prior to being instated as a state senator. He has devoted at least 20 of his 47 years to public service. Who can deny the appeal of this sharp, focused, charismatic individual – who clearly turns the eyes of the McCain camp green because he manages to incite rock-star enthusiasm wherever he appears? Who can ignore the fact that this man, in spite of his own affluence, has managed to remain in touch with the psyche of middle class America; and is able to eloquently express truth on its behalf?

No further need for authenticity is necessary. He has earned his right to be here.

With an ‘eye-on-the-prize’ focus that has never wavered, the Obama camp has installed and maintains an unprecedented, inclusive grassroots campaign that has empowered Obama constituents and made them active team members; instead of side liners who are called upon only when a donation is needed. Yes, the ‘everyday Joe’ now looks forward to the daily emails from Obama or Joe Biden; Michelle Obama or other campaign members, to give them their “next assignment.”

Washington should really be thanking this man.

Win or lose, he has single-handedly revitalized the peoples’ interest in the political process. How long has it been since we’ve felt this excited about choosing a president? Don’t strain your brain, it’s been a while.

Let’s face it, anyone with even a modicum of good sense, regardless of party affiliation, has to admit that this man has earned the right to be here. In spite of the numerous attempts by his opponent to sway him, and retaliate with counter-attacks, he has shown himself to be a class act that John McCain can only dream of becoming. It is the response to such actions that provide audiences with insight on the type of leader a person will be. African Americans should be nothing but extremely proud of this strong presidential contender. And as we near the November 4th date, and continue to converse with people of all races and persuasions about the importance of seating this man in the White House, we should feel free to reiterate the brilliant qualifications that have earned him the right to be there; Qualifications which, by the way, have nothing to do with the proud fact that he is Black.

Written by DeBorah B. Pryor


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