Barack Obama's vaunted cross-racial appeal means whites have
finally found a Black politician they feel comfortable with - in
contrast to their feelings about the great bulk of African Americans.
Is that a good thing? Emphatically not, since it is predicated on the
belief that Obama isn't really "all that Black." Obama actively
encourages notions of his own "exceptionalism" through his "deep
willingness to accommodate white supremacy." His declaration that
Blacks have already come "90 percent of the way" to racial equality
signals to many that the days of having to listen to African American
complaints are almost over - when nothing could be further from the
There is something very wrong going on in the Congressional
Black Caucus. However, the malady has a long history. A class
of Black politicians think that we exist to support them,
rather than that they are elected to support us.
Rosa Parks was the original exemplification
that “no” means “NO.” One woman’s comments, “No, I’m not moving,” and
her subsequent arrest changed the way Blacks would see themselves and
their power to change “the status quo.”
...Scholars of black politics need to begin asking questions
concerning the viability of urban electoral politics as a mechanism for
generating upward mobility of impoverished populations. We may discover
that electing black mayors has had a minute impact, if any impact at all, on the upward mobility of the poor.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger had a chance to re-define himself, his
family’s legacy and the discussion on America’s most cruel and
questionable practice—capital punishment. A practice that
disproportionately impacts African American communities nationwide, all
eyes were on California—and all attention was on Schwarzenegger, as he
and he alone determined Stanley “Tookie” Williams’ fate.
Every year, radio/tv commentator Tavis Smiley holds a forum that brings
together "the best and the brightest" African-Americans from academia,
political, economic and health care, to hold panel discussions on
what's wrong with Black America, and how we Black Americans should go
about fixing it.
This is a good gesture, if we truly believe it will bear positive fruit
in the lives of African-Americans, to the point of where we will
actually be motivated to take action to improve and take back the
communities that serve to develop and nurture us. I cling to that hope,
for in many instances, the hope of a better future is all we, as
African-Americans, have left to sustain us.