Wednesday, September 3, 2008
To My Seniors - its time to fall back
Got to give it up to my girl Daphne for finding this one - and I share her sentiments - I am getting tired of our elders making all of this negative commentary about the election and Barack Obama. From Rev. Wrights turncoat monment to Rev. Jackson's own slick-dissing and now this.
The video above has Dr. West and Dr. Malveaux - commenting on how Sen. Obama's nomination speech fell short to their (and possibly a majority of African-American's) expectations. Mainly because he didn't reference the historical significance of the moment to the past enough - specifically Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement. Because he didn't mention Dr. Kings name - that it was a direct slight to those that came before him - a distancing from blacks if you will.
I have to admit while I respect the likes of Doctors West, and Malveaux - as well as others like Michael Eric Dyson - all too often I think they let their swelled ego's ahem..I mean intellect (to use a Freudian term) get the best of them. I have watched them on various discussion panels on everything from politics to hip-hop (?) - and I really do disagree with A LOT of what they have to say on current issues and applications of solutions for those issues. I mean I understand that "in order to know where you are going you have to know where you been" - I get that. But its also true that if you don't give a certain amount of attention to the where you are going - you are liable to get off track and be lost forever. Didn't they say - Eyes on the prize?
If anything this appears to be yet another case of crabs in a barrell - the super educated version. Another instance where jealousy gets the best of our people. Yeah I said it - jealousy. I really do think that is the problem that many black leaders had with Obama early on - that he was on a pace to surpass them in prominence and notoriety. This young buck from --Hawaii? What? That he would have the AUDACITY OF HOPE to think that he could bypass all of them and achieve something they had not - win the presidency of the United States of America. I think that many of them were looking for their ticket on the coat tail express - their inclusion in the campaign efforts, public appearances, etc.. But when that didn't happen - and they were left to be on the sidelines to watch? Yeah I think that was the water on the seeds of jealousy right there.
I could use another term that's being thrown around about Obama - to explain these people - elitist. I really am starting to see that while I will never take anything away from their intellectual achievements - that they may be more than a little "out of touch" with the rest of the black community. Everyone I know was more than impressed with the speech and with Sen. Obama's chances of winning.
Look - this is not OUR moment. We need to realize that -for as much of an accomplishment this is - in the eyes of Black people - its also equally (if not more) an accomplishment for the country overall with regard to our views on true inclusion, the American Dream, and protecting it. The chance that people can look beyond one of this country's oldest barriers to progress - and finally make a huge step to distance ourselves from it. Is an AMERICAN achievement - not just a black one.
Do we owe something to our ancestors and those that sacrificed so much for us to be where we are - of course. But to say that the speech Obama gave some how ignored or cheapened the moment is false on everyday of the week and twice on Sunday. The convention coverage for the months leading up to and everyday during - gave NUMEROUS reminders of the historical significance of the day and the week. Constantly bringing up Dr. King, The anniversary of the women's right to vote becoming a reality, and Hurricane Katrina. Sen. Obama didn't need to say anything about those things - everyone watching was well aware of the historical undertones of the day. He already had to break it down on what his plan for the country was - no need to dumb it down even more and go "uh..by the way if you hadn't noticed - I am black and since I am accepting this nomination on the anniversary of the I have a dream speech - that's kind of big deal...in case you hadn't noticed" See my point.
If anything lets do the math on it. Every candidate before that has tried to run as the Black Candidate - primarily concerned about the Black issues - has lost. Does that mean he needs to be devoid of concern for us - of course not and I doubt that he could. But we have all seen what it looks like when the President only has people like him on his agenda (Say there Mr. Bush)- and that isn't a good look. Remember its the Presidency United States of AMERICA. Not the NAACP.
Let's get it together people.