Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mary Mitchell has the Obama beat again

I remember when he first ran for the US Senate a few years ago she was certainly in the Obama camp then. She supported his candidacy and even took to task people like Bobby Rush who didn't support his candidacy. This week we look at other black Democrats around the country who seem at best pessimistic at Obama's chances of winning the nomination and the Presidency.
I'm sure there are many columns by black columnists on this subject. Especially on the issue of whether Obama is black enough and if he's even electable. So I want to refer you to Mitchell's earlier column this week about two black Democrats in South Carolina (a very important primary state almost on par with Iowa and New Hampshire). This column is entitled, "Why are black lawmakers already jumping on Clinton bandwagon?" And here's a brief excerpt...
Skepticism I understand. But when two black male legislators from the Deep South throw their hats in Hillary Clinton's ring at the start of a wide-open election, I want to slap them upside their heads.
Why are these black men so eager to drive Miss Hillary to the White House when Illinois' U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is also a front-runner?

State Senators Robert Ford and Darrell Jackson are considered key black political leaders in South Carolina because they backed John Edwards in 2004 and managed to hand Edwards 37 percent of the vote in a state where half the primary voters are black.

For those of you who don't understand why we keep harping on early primaries, it's simple. If a presidential candidate wins an early primary state -- like Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina -- deep-pocket donors keep funding their campaigns.

The losing candidates are well on their way to becoming also-rans.

So you tell me why Ford and Jackson found it necessary to tell reporters that they were driving Miss Hillary so early in the game.

"It's a slim possibility for [Obama] to get the nomination, but then everybody else is doomed," Ford told a reporter with the Associated Press on Tuesday.

"Every Democrat running on that ticket next year would lose because he's black and he's top of the ticket. We'd lose the House and the Senate and the governors and everything," he said. "I'm a gambling man. I love Obama," Ford said. "But I'm not going to kill myself."

This, from a man who claims in his bio that from 1966 to 1972, at the height of the civil rights movement, he was arrested 73 times as a staff member with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
So Sen. Obama at the top of the ticket could hurt other Democrats. Democrats can lose the House, Senate and the Governor's mansions around the country. He hasn't even won a single primary and it's already being predicted what's going to happen. Now could this be based on Obama's skin color or is it his ideas or lack of them. It's frivolous to look at his race it really shouldn't matter no more than his middle name should.

Let's continue with "What it means to be black?"...

Forget that Obama's bid for the presidency will force some whites to deal with any preconceived notions they have about black men. It is forcing blacks to check themselves, as well.
The discomfort some blacks have with Obama has nothing to do with his resume nor his ethnicity, but with the simple fact that he is a light-skinned black man who was able to cross over into mainstream America. The Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. couldn't do that. And the Rev. Al Sharpton certainly couldn't do it.

For me, the black experience has been growing up in poverty in a public housing project and overcoming that poverty to achieve a measure of success. For a dear friend, the black experience has been growing up in a solidly middle-class neighborhood -- after her family escaped the armed conflicts that once ravaged Nigeria. In fact, can anyone tell me what it means to be black these days?

The real problem here is that too many black leaders have lost confidence. They've given up on the hope in what they do could improve the quality of life for the people who put them in office in the first place, and it shows in our communities.

Political leaders like Robert Ford and Darrell Jackson are guarding their political turf in the same way drug dealers guard street corners. But worse, they are hatin' on a brother who dares to believe anything is possible.
She tackles a number of subjects but remember this quote that I had on this blog that I got from Timuel Black...

Saying he's not black enough, is an attempt to discredit him among blacks because that may be the base that they want.
This certainly isn't totally what this is about, but it is certainly another aspect of wanting to protecting an individual's own power and influence. So is the Senator's future prospects a thread to their Ford and Jackson's power and influence. Could the fact that Obama might become President of the United States prove to be a problem to them?

We can always look at another side of this if they see him as a threat. They might be able to better work with Obama. They could have some influence. If they choose to oppose him it may not be very good on them especially if he wins. And let's remember one thing these two men aren't on the federal level anyway.

I want to get to today's column but it seems that this post will be too long so there will be a part two just as soon as I get it completed.

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