Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When Black is Enough

Thanks Leatha..

When Black is Enough
Please, make me a believer! I must confess, I feel that in being a
Barack Obama supporter I have missed something or as the media portrays...I
have missed everything the Clinton's have done for me, a black woman in
America. Since I am truly a socialite at heart who hates to miss an event, let
alone a decade of the African-American migration to a better life; please can
someone?...Anyone? Tell me what exactly the Clinton's have done for
black people that has made our loyalty so steadfast and unwavering! Or are we still doing cartwheels for crumbs?

Some have said it was the end of the George Bush and Newt Gingrich era,
the appointment of Black Judges and high ranking officials, welfare reform,
a few jazz solos on late night television and of course his office inHarlem
sealed the deal. Are our hearts that cheap?

Both of the Bush presidents have appointed African-Americans as judges
or high ranking officials so what does that mean? Although the welfare lady
no longer does surprise home visits and counts the number of beers your
boyfriend may have bought you it still has left a trail of many unskilled
single mothers without viable employment options. I guess none of that
matters when videos are on...at least that's what former owner of BET
must have been thinking. It actually disappoints me that someone like Bob Johnson isn't astute enough to just speak for his candidate and not against any black man who has worked for the greater good of all people and specific to this argument-black people-like Barack Obama has done throughout his career. Even more disturbing is that fact that Bob Johnson owned the only black entertainment television station and failed to develop any programming or entertainment with substance other than videos and has made no apologies for that embarrassing fact. Maybe he was the one doing "who knows what" in the streets. That just may be the only excuse for not coming up with any
alternatives when we finally realized Seinfeld created a New York without
black people.

What hurts me as a black woman is this idea that "white people aren't
ready for a black president" so we might as well vote for Hilary. Since when
did black people defer to white people once our mind was made up for change? In truth, white people weren't ready for the emancipation of the slaves, they weren't ready for the Civil Rights movement or for us to vote, they
weren't ready for us to graduate from Harvard, and they weren't ready for us to
date their daughters.

WE were ready and we forced them to accept our decision for change and the way our lives were valued. It seems to me that black women of the Democratic Party who are unequivocally for Hilary Clinton have a bit of the "Dangerous Minds" or the "Freedom Writers" syndrome where we have to rely on a white woman to make things better for us. What happened to the argument that only a black person can truly understand our plight and what we really go through to thrive in America? This does not override the fact that white people have been instrumental in many facets of black life. However, being instrumental
versus being a musician are very different places when it comes to the
finished product.

The Barack Obama campaign believes the media's reports about the lack of
support he has from black women are untrue. In fact, they have said that
he has tremendous support from black women across America. The polls can be faulty as we have all witnessed. With all of the issues black people
have had with accurate media portrayal it is important to have all the bases
covered. That's why it amazes me that African-Americans are on television talking about how they would never vote for Obama just because he is black. I
wonder how many other people are voting against him based upon that same
premise. How many white women are voting for Hilary to see themselves sitting at the desk in the Oval office? Or how many Latinos voted for Richardson? No one blamed them for drawing support and capitalizing on their common threads.

Even more politically incorrect is this idea of black women being "torn"
between Hilary because she is a woman and Barack because he is black. I
hate to be the bearer of bad news, but when white women were talking about
women's liberation they were not talking about black women. At the time,
white women were burning bras while black women in the south were still
trying to make sure their husbands weren't being charred hanging from a
tree. Plus, who do you think was minding their children while they were
out protesting? Unfortunately, you only get to check one box and first thing is first: color. Not to mention the fact that feminism was different for white
women than any other race. It was their black female counterparts who were
able to break color barriers in terms of employment and historically have been
the breadwinners in their respective households. When white woman were
fighting not to stay home black women wished they had that luxury.

The race for Presidency is a long and drawn out job interview for the
highest ranking job in this country. We all know what it feels like when
being articulate over the phone meets shock in person. We also know what
happens when you are qualified for a job, but have one year less
experience in one category and therefore don't get an interview-then you realize if there were so many qualified diverse candidates there wouldn't be a need for that position to have a tag line. We finally have a chance to show our
children that they really can be anything and anyone in this world- no
limitations. That America is our America. Isn't that enough?

Let's face it, if there were no white people behind Obama he wouldn't
even be in the running. Nevertheless, this time, let's make this decision for
change on our own. Why do we need a Michelle Pfeifer or Hilary Swank to
show us the way?

I could understand if Obama was an uneducated, inarticulate knucklehead
without a plan. But that could be farther from the truth. It is time to
realize we can't survive on these crumbs. Honestly, when it comes to
finding out what roads the Clinton's have paved for us "I feel a lotta ways



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