Senator Barack Obama represents different things to different people. Some continental Africans see him as a man who represents great potential and possibilities. In spite of their sorry condition, he makes them dream and hope for miracles; he makes them feel good about themselves. For White Americans, he is a testament, evidence that
But for some African-Americans, Senator Obama is a later day savior, a messiah sent by God to affirm his presence. For now, most people within the African-American society have “forgotten” Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young and other giants of the Black and Civil Rights struggles. If things go according to their expectation, Mr. Obama may be second or third to the great and eternally venerated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X. For a man — any man or woman — within the African-American society to rise in stature in such a manner and period of time is, in the estimation of many, unprecedented. To be a beacon, to be someone of substance does not come easily within the African-American community. You fight for it, you work for it, and you earn it.
You don’t forget easily if you have ever been beaten, trampled upon, and denied your rights. These events open up a huge floodgate of mental anguish. For most, the physical and mental pain associated with the residual effect of the “white man’s” decadence and criminality is just too difficult to forget. But this once — just this once — most Black people at home and abroad are willing to let go if, amongst other things, Barack Obama wins his party nomination and then the general election. It is as if a Barack Obama presidency will resolve countless problems: give us Obama and other great things will follow. Most don’t care whether or not he might turn out to be a regrettable choice. That he is Black is all that matters.
In my opinion, and in the learned judgment of some Black and closeted Clintonites, that’s how things seem to be shaping up to. Or at least, that’s what one hears and feels. There are Blacks who talk and behave as though “it is our turn, the Black man’s turn to show we belong” to this enterprise called the
Personally, I have no such expectation; I do not harbor such hope or angst. I am beyond all that. I am not one to project my hopes and aspirations on him or on anyone else. He cannot do for me what the system and the law does not allow me to do for myself. I have said this much to countless number of Africans, African-Americans and Afro-Caribbean who have chided me for my absolute and joyous support for Senator Hillary Clinton. I cannot remember a time, since I moved to the
Most people seem to have forgotten that this is mere politics. For me at least, it is mere politics, a game: not something to hate others for, not something to resent my opponents for; and certainly not something to harm others or to die for. Whom I support or oppose should not be a source of worry. More than ninety percent of my friends and family members support Senator Obama. More than ninety percent of casual acquaintances, colleagues, and subordinates all support him; but not me. Not me! I cannot in good conscience support Senator Barack Obama for our party’s nomination.
I cannot in good conscience support him simply because he is Black. I cannot in good conscience support him simply because he is part-Kenyan. I cannot in good conscience support him because he is an Africa-American. And I cannot in good conscience support him simply because “he is one of us…our own.” No! I am not hooked by his supposed oratorical ability. And neither am I taken by his fabled looks. None of the aforementioned are reasons — good and convincing reasons — for me to laud and support him. I am not anti-Obama; just that Hillary Clinton is my reasoned choice. I admire and respect Barack Obama, but I love and respect Hillary Clinton more.
Three times I have voted during presidential elections in this country (
We need change alright, but we need experienced and steady hands to effect change and bring about peace, security and prosperity. It is not enough to speak of change. Charming and poetic slogans are academic exercises. We need to solve our Social Security and health care debacles. We must also take care of our men and women in uniform — most of whom are currently serving our nation in
Voting is not, and should never be about atonement. Furthermore, we must remember that (1) elections are not popularity contests, they are not about who can dazzle crowds and is capable of winning an Academy Award for best performance; (2) the Oval Office is not a place for interns, it calls for experienced hands; (3) our country needs a steady and experienced hand to manage and handle its affairs; and (4) in Hillary Clinton we have a graceful woman, a Senator who is eminently qualified to undo eighth years of Bushisms, re-chart a better course for our glorious country and fulfill some of the promises made by our Founding Fathers.
Senator Barack Obama claims to be an agent of agent. I do not doubt him. After all, he is a nice man, a great father, and a loving husband. In fact, he is a model citizen of the
She too is a model citizen of the
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