The Metaphor for an Entire Race
by Free Thinker
In 2008, the United States will elect its 44th President to lead this fine nation. As the nation marches toward this momentous event, the Black community is experiencing a phenomenon not witnessed in twenty years. What might that phenomenon be? Two words…Barack Obama. Much like Jessie Jackson in 1988, Obama is riding a wave of popularity and optimism that oozes from the Black community. In fact, many believe this popularity will propel him into the Whitehouse. In my opinion, Barack Obama is the 2008 metaphor for the Black community.
Historically, the Black community has had the proclivity to make decisions based solely on their emotion rather than use sound empirical data to make astute decisions. In Barack Obama the Black community sees a Black candidate who finally possesses the necessary qualifications to ascend to America’s highest position. However, I caution, one’s qualifications should not be the sole bearing for being elected president of the United States. Beyond a candidate’s qualifications and media face, we as a society must drill deeper and audit a candidate’s platform and voting history. For, only one’s platform and voting record offers informed voters the best insight into him/her being best suited to lead this nation. When delving into Barack Obama’s presidential platform we see great cause for concern. In fact, we Americans see a candidate who is in favor of ending this senseless war engineered by bush, improve America’s global image, but also in favor of granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.
In 1988, the Black community rallied around presidential hopeful, Jessie Jackson. Watching Jessie make a bid for the presidency gave Blacks a great sense of pride. Blacks felt maybe the divide between themselves and the white community was finally closing. And I think in some ways many Blacks thought Jessie could actually win his party’s nomination and become president of the United States. Jessie was a presidential candidate who as an ordained minister and heavily steeped in America’s civil rights movement. However, the down side to Jessie was that he had never held a public office, leading many rational thinkers to ponder, “Is he really qualified to be President of the United States of America?” Even though Jessie had no experience as a public servant, the Black community rallied around Jessie, pouring their undying support into his unsuccessful presidential bid. The problem with voting for Jessie was that the Black community had offered a glimpse into why I proclaim that we make decision based on emotion rather than through the use of sound empirical data. Never in this process did Blacks take a moment to call Jessie’s qualifications or his political platform into question.
The Black community is at a crossroads. The Black community is being ravaged by gang violence, increased HIV infection rates, an ever increasing high school dropout rate, single mother led homes, and Black on Black crime. While these incidents are truly tragic in nature and continue to occur, they are not new to the community. As the Black community continues to endure the above maladies, the alleged Black leaders continue to galvanize the Black race in protest of matters that are of lesser social signi ficance. For instance, in Jena, Louisiana, where six Black high school students were being tried for the beating of a white classmate. The altercation emanated from nooses being hung from a tree on the school’s campus where white kids have historically congregated. One of the six, Mychal Bell, was being tried as an adult and was facing up to 22 years in prison for assaulting a white student.
Please don’t get me wrong, Mychal Bell being tried as an adult was a horrible miscarriage of justice…And there was a dire need for an entity to intercede on behalf of this young man. However, I ask, was there a need for the so called Black leaders to intercede? Was there a need for the so called Black leaders to implore the 30,000 demonstrators to descend upon Jena, Louisiana in protest of this cause? And in light of Mychal Bell committing the crime, was there a need for the so called Black leaders to ask for his release? Should Mychal Bell have been held accountable for his actions? Did the Black community investigate the case to determine why Mychal Bell was on trial? Let me say that I am glad justice was served and Mychal Bell’s was finally tried at the appropriate level. But was there a need for Jesse and Al’s presence? Would these two so-called Black leaders have galvanized Blacks for a cause had the case not been a white versus Black issue?
In contrast, four Black college bound students in Newark, New Jersey, were walking through a school yard. The clan was approached by a group of Hispanic men. One of the men, an illegal alien, had been released from jail on bail pending trial. The charge, allegedly raping a five year old girl. Following an altercation, the Hispanic men demanded the students down to their knees and proceeded to shoot all four execution style, leaving the kids to die. In the aftermath of this hideous incident, the Mayor o f Newark swore to bring the culprits to justice. But to no one’s surprise, there was no 30,000 person march in protest this incident. Why? I tell you why, because the incident didn’t involve the “white man.” See, Jesse and Al are what I like to call “race wranglers.” What that means is these two guys take solace in exploiting racial divide between whites and Blacks.
In 2007, Don Imus was fired from his nationally televised morning radio show for using the term “happy headed whores.” The term was used to describe members of the Rutgers University women’s basketball. Imus’ verbal faux paux, while distasteful in nature should have led to him apologizing to the young women and punishment by his employer. But, oh no…That was not good enough for Al Sharpton. Sharpton used his radio show as a platform to demand not only that Imus apology to the women, but he also demanded that Imus’ employer fire him immediately. Let’s not forget that this is the same Al Sharpton who falsely accused a New York City prosecutor of rape, abduction, and racism. Soon after a Sharpton led public protest of Imus’ employer, Imus’ contract was terminated and he was released from his radio show. Again, here was a man in Sharpton who was able to galvanize Blacks to demand the termination of Imus. The Black community again showed its proclivity for making decisions based on emotion rather than use s ound empirical data to make astute decisions. Since the Imus incident was so trivial in nature, why did the Black community rally around Al Sharpton? Nowhere did you hear his flock demand that he apologize for falsely accusing a man of rape, abduction, and racism.
When I sit back and watch the Black community continue to allow itself to be galvanized by men like Sharpton and Jessie I have to wonder about the amount of progress the Black community has actually made?” Al Sharpton is a man who has made a name for himself flaming the fire of pseudo-racial injustice matters involving the Black and White communities. Al Sharpton’s most infamous incident came in 1988, when he implicated Dutches County Prosecutor, Steve Pagones of raping Twanna Brawley. Al’s actions stemm ed from Ms. Brawley allegation that a group of white men raped and smeared her clothes with feces. An investigation was conducted and concluded that Ms. Brawley had never been raped; leading to a public admission that she indeed had not been raped. The investigation’s chief defendant, Steve Pagones, in turn litigated a successful civil judgment against Al Sharpton for his role in the Brawley case. However, the judgment went ignored by Al Sharpton and he has never apologized to Steve Pagones.
The above examples typify the Black community’s proclivity to make decisions based solely on emotion rather than use sound empirical data to make astute decisions. In the three notable Black candidates who have aspired to be the President of the United States, the Black community has felt an obligation to vote for the all three regardless of their qualifications or platform. In Barack Obama, the Black community now has a presidential candidate who is properly educated, has held public office, and has not used his links to the civil rights movement to garner votes. But, as demonstrated in the earlier portions of this peice, Barack Obama is a metaphor for the Black community. Barack Obama like his political predecessors will get the Black vote not solely because of his qualifications or platform, but for the color of his skin.
The Black community is a microcosm of the entire country. And country wide, there are key issues that the people have demanded our elected officials fix. The least of theses issues are the enforcement of this nation’s existing immigration laws, bringing an end to this unjust Iraq war, and improving America’s global image. While Barack has stated he would work tirelessly to end this unjustified war, he as similarly expressed his support for a revision of our immigration laws. Mr. Obama supports giving illegal aliens a so called “path to citizenship.” Amnesty. Given the fact that illegal immigration is costing the United States billions annually, impacting the nation’s social services system, and leading to the overcrowding of the nation, why would Black folk be so inclined to vote Obama? Have not America and the Black community concluded that they want this matter fixed? The argument most would give to endorse an Obama vote would be that as a president he will bring a change to Washington...However, I conclude that he will only make matters worse.
It is time for Black America to wake up. If Black America really wants to fix the maladies that ill its communities, the Black community can start by aborting the business as usual politics. Stop voting for a person solely based on his/her skin color! The Black race needs to cleanse itself of the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world who only seek to wrangle up race issues. In voting for the president of the United States, Blacks need to carefully assess the candidates’ qualifications, platforms, and voting histories.
Only when the Black community decides to bring attention to such transgression as out of wedlock child birth rates, the increased HIV infection rate, an increasing high school dropout rate, and Black on Black crime, the community will be on its road to bettering its self actualization. The Black community has a proud a prosperous history. With all the contributions made to the American society by such great minds as Dr. King, George Washington Carver, Fredrick Douglas, and Booker T. Washington, continuing down this uninformed road would be a disgrace to their proud memories. Black America; please don’t continue to be mired in the Barack Obama metaphor.
I welcome your opinion on this piece. Should you be so inclined, please feel free to email me your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or you may visit my website and drop me a note. My web address is http://www.whatmichaelthinks.com