The Big 'What If' -- The hopes of black America ride on his shoulders. But the outcome's way up in the air.
Writing for the Washington Post, Randall Kennedy, a professor of law at Harvard University and the author, most recently, of "Sellout: The Politics of Racial Betrayal", offers this lament:
"If Obama is defeated, I will, for a brief time, be stunned by feelings of dejection, anger and resentment. These will only be the stronger because the climate of this election year so clearly favors the Democrats, because this was supposed to be an election the Republicans couldn't win, and because in my view, the Obama ticket is obviously superior to McCain's.
But I hope that soon thereafter I'll find solace and encouragement in contemplating this unprecedented development: A major political party nominated a black man for the highest office in the land, and that man waged an intelligent, brave campaign in which many millions of Americans of all races enthusiastically supported an African American standard-bearer. "
I say, DON'T BUY INTO THIS DEFEATIST MENTALITY. Instead of envisioning life under the first African American presient, many are preparing themselves for defeat. I don't think that Mr. Kennedy meant this. But my challenge to all supporters is this. . .
WHAT IF EVERY ONE OF US DID ALL THAT IS POSSIBLE WITHIN OUR POWER TO ENSURE OBAMA'S ELECTION?
-- knocking on doors; calling our neighbors; registering voters; engaging in dialog with our white friends who are undecided (those of us who have moved to the suburbs); contributing even small amounts; LEAVING NO STONE UNTURNED.
I AM COMMITTED TO. . . WHAT IF Barack Obama is elected President?
- We will have a respected, intelligent leader with a World View that will restore our moral autthority in the 21st Century global community.
- Young Black children will dream, and study, and work with the same EXPECTATION that their dreams can be realized as their White counterparts.
- We will have a nation energized to solve the core issues of our century -- leadership to resolve global warming, a competitive economy, education, healthcare, and alternative energy solutions.
If there is another outcome, I will think about it on November 5th.
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