Promoted by Brendan. Whatever side you're on, voting is just one small part of enacting the policies you'd like to see. Obama's campaign has inspired millions to become involved; they will have to keep working after the election to turn hopes into reality.
That's where Black characters are brought in to serve as noble, wise, many times suffering, "guides" to specifically help the main White character understand or transcend some deep metaphysical concept, trauma or life challenge. Counter Racism
As we get closer to the historic election of Barack Obama as the first black President of the United States I can’t help but be concerned about a phenomenon that I sense is gripping the nation in general and many blacks in particular. This phenomenon made famous by various Hollywood films such as Bagger Vance, The Green Mile, and many others throughout the years creates a mystical black character who is able to transcend the realities of life and help a white character overcome some challenge or trauma. Looking at our current national situation I don’t think Hollywood could have scripted this any better. If there was ever a time for a “magic Negro” now would definitely be the time.
"The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried. - GK Chesterton
Lois Coar, the mother of two grown children, supported Mitt Romney this year and is undecided for November. She cannot see voting for Obama -- "not because he's black, but I just can't put it in words." She likes McCain as a person, but "I can't understand why he keeps talking about this Ayers guy" -- William Ayers, the 1960s radical who became an occasional colleague and supporter of Obama in Chicago. "He should be focusing on the economy and real terrorists; that's what people worry about," she said.
"This election is not about issues," said Davis. "This election is about a composite view of what people take away from these candidates."Washington Post
So once again this election won’t be about the issues from the Republican standpoint. I’m shocked! I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want to run on the issues. We haven’t had a campaign debate about the issues in the last 20 years. The Republicans have gradually moved the electorate away from the issues and have made each election a referendum on some social issue beginning with the Nixon southern strategy. At that point it was a referendum on law and order and the civil rights movement. At which time the American voting public voted resoundingly against progress.
A long time ago marketers figured out that in a consumer driven society the quickest way to sell a product is to put the “new” label on it. It doesn’t matter if the product has changed or not. A case in point is how many “new” Cokes have there been? Every couple of years we are treated to a new release of Coca Cola under some new ad campaign and packaging. Marketers have learned that the majority of Americans will buy anything so long as it is “new” just because it is labeled “new”. New and improved, under new management, and advanced formula are all familiar refrains of the marketers and have proven time and time again to be successful in attracting consumers. Unfortunately here in America we elect Presidents the way we buy products based on slick marketing and fancy packaging. Few of us have the time or the desire to investigate the people we elevate to the highest office in the land. The amazing thing about this is that we have just had the longest primary season ever and yet there are many people who claim they no nothing more about the candidates than what has been dished out by the tabloid journalists.
It is amazing to me how foolish politicians and the media types take us for. They would have us believe that the reason McCain picked Governor Palin for his VP was because he wanted to thumb his nose at conventional wisdom and display once again what a maverick he is. According to the narrative, he wanted to demonstrate his desire for change and desire to break with the Washington insiders whom he has been a part of for the last 25 years. Let’s be clear John McCain would pick Satan himself if he thought it would get him elected. His selection of Governor Palin was a desperate move by a desperate man.
It is becoming more apparent with each passing day that the American lifestyle as it currently exist is unsustainable. For more than three decades we have accepted the false narrative that we can live beyond our means and there will be no cost for the extravagance. Not only has our government accepted and promoted this falsehood, but we as a nation have accepted it as well. It has become so ingrained into our national psyche that anyone who dares to point out its inherent flaws is immediately ridiculed by politicians, the media, and their fellow citizens. You see rather than looking at the real culprits of our failed domestic and foreign policies we want to create these “bogeymen” who want to destroy our sacred way of life. The truth is that it is always easier to blame others for our shortsightedness and faults.
It is ironic that with the ascension of the Barack Obama candidacy many people believe that it is
ringing the death knell for the civil rights movement as we have known it. After 50 years of struggle, are
we reaching the end of the movement that has defined the state of black America for decades? Has
America or more importantly the black community outgrown the type of politics and confrontational style
of the previous generation? Is black America better served by the rhetoric of reconciliation and personal
responsibility being touted by Senator Obama. The answer largely depends on who you ask.
Crossposted at MLW
There has been a lot of talk recently about the “energy crisis”. I wonder if this is the same energy crisis we heard about in the 70’s? If it is then that means for over 30 years instead of solving our domestic energy needs, we have ignored them and allowed them to grow. In 1970 we were importing about 24% of the oil we used and the embargo back then threw our economy into a tail-spin, imagine what would happen today when we import about 70%. Rather than using the past 30 plus years to develop new or existing technologies to reduce or break our dependence on oil, we have elected to do something worse than nothing. Instead of our vehicles getting smaller and more fuel efficient during this time they have actually gotten larger.
As the date for selecting a running mate for the presumptive nominees approaches there have been many names thrown into contention for both candidates. While there have been many qualified names offered up for the Democrats and many people have their own personal favorites, I am no exception. According to conventional political wisdom the main purpose of the vice-presidential nominee is to bring unity to the party if there has been a fractious primary, or to bring geographical strength to an area where a candidate may be weak, or for gender, generational or ideological concerns. I believe that one of the top and best choices for Senator Obama’s selection as a running mate would be Governor Kathleen Sibelius of Kansas.
Someone once described courage as not never being afraid, but going on in spite of the fear. As a nation and as elected officials we seem to be running dangerously low on courage. Oh we have the tough talk down, we have the posturing, but do we really have true courage? Since 9/11 when at least 2,985 people died from the terrorists attacks I think that what has been lost in all the hype is some perspective. While this was surely a tragedy, the population of the United States in the year 2001 was somewhere around 290 million people. Based on those numbers the terrorist attacks killed less than .02% of the population, yet since the attack we have responded by invading sovereign nations, torturing our fellow human beings, and gutting our Constitutional protections.
As the Democratic primary continues to drag on I am reminded of a book I read a long time ago. The name of the book was, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. Obviously the candidates and their campaigns didn’t read the book, if they had maybe there would be a lot less of this incessant snipping that has overtaken the issues in this campaign. In the book the author states that the most important lessons in life the Golden Rule, honesty, clean up your own mess, and say you're sorry when you hurt somebody he learned in kindergarten. These valuable lessons would be a welcome change on the campaign trail. For many of us, kindergarten represented our first foray into the social experiment we call society. It was important to learn the ground rules of interpersonal communications to learn how to navigate the many pitfalls that await those who don’t learn them.
As someone who lives in a neighborhood going through gentrification I am often at odds with my belief that poor people need to be integrated into mixed income neighborhoods and the fact that many poor people trash the neighborhoods they live in. We must develop a method of removing poor people from the isolation of ghetto existence, while at the same time protecting the values of the properties we relocate them to. Unfortunately because of personal decisions, lifestyles, and circumstances many of our poorer citizens have lost either the desire or the ability to respect their environments. Many will say that this is due to our treatment of poor people and I would not disagree with this, but this does not help in creating situations that will allow them to escape the dangers of ghetto life.
Editorial columnist Bob Herbert of the New York Times wrote an interesting piece discussing the true cost of the Iraq War. According to a Nobel prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz and the vice chairman of Goldman Sachs International, Robert Hormats the Iraq War will cost at least 3 trillion dollars. This figure includes cost which are never reported by the media or discussed by politicians. The truth is that the cost of a war is more than the money spent on men and material, as if it were some business venture that can be tallied with a nice spreadsheet and budget. In today’s world, war is packaged like a corporate enterprise complete with sanitized videos and reporting to make it more palatable to the disinterested masses.
There have been times in this election when I have truly felt sorry for Hillary Clinton. While the truth is that she has not been well served by this campaign or her advisors, this only highlights a bigger issue that has plagued her. Regardless of how this election turns out for her she can never win. The reason she can never win is because she can never be herself or she can never have her own voice. It is this lack of a true consistent voice that continues to plague her and her campaign. Regardless of what you may think of her competitors they have been afforded the luxury of being who they are, Hillary on the other hand has not.
You would think that after two unsuccessful Democratic Presidential bids that the members of the Party would have learned some things by now. I guess losing two elections to a Republican who will undoubtedly go down in history as one of our worst Presidents has taught them nothing. I am often surprised by the progressive critics of Senator Obama for not being specific enough in his speeches and being soft on policy. So I suppose Al Gore and John Kerry lost because they were not specific enough in their campaigns concerning policy and that George Bush won because he was more specific? I doubt anyone would accuse George Bush of being a policy wonk. No, the reason those two lost is that they were defeated not by policy, but by philosophy. Neither man had the tools to inspire the masses to overcome the political rhetoric of the Republican machine.
From the you’ve got to be kidding me section of the election, I’m sorry but Hillary is going too far. I was watching the McNeil/Lehrer Report on PBS this week and Hillary Clinton was being interviewed. In the interview Senator Clinton had the nerve to say that she knew back in the fall of 2007 that this election was going to turn out like it has. She stated that she knew she was going to be in a tough fight with Senator Obama and she told her campaign to prepare for Texas and Ohio. I am not even going to tear apart the complete absurdity of this statement.
I happened to stop by and see my folks this weekend as is usually my custom and it is amazing how the conversation has changed in the last month. Originally we discussed the remote possibility of Senator Obama getting elected, then whether his agenda included black issues and would whites vote for him, and now as he is continuing to win a much more ominous question is being discussed. I wish I could say these conversations were only limited to my parents, but unfortunately they aren’t. The question and concern starting to arise among many blacks in America and maybe worldwide is the safety of Barack Obama.
Even if you are a Senator Clinton supporter her latest remarks about continuing the fight even after Texas and Ohio have got to be a little disconcerting. While it has been an historical and exciting primary season, I find it hard to believe that if after the Texas and Ohio primaries Senator Clinton has not been able to make up lost ground on Senator Obama that she would continue the fight. Though there have begun to be calls that Senator Clinton should abandon her quest for the Presidency I think that they may be premature. At this point the nomination is still as much hers as it is Senator Obama’s, but at some point I hope she recognizes that to continue to fight would be detrimental to the Party and the eventual nominee.
In this country many of us equate strength with the lack of emotion. The strong one is the one who can endure life without feeling. The weak one is the one who shows their emotions and thus are banished to a life of disappointment and tragedy. With the introduction of the political narrative of Barack Obama there has been a lot of talk about the word hope. I don’t ever recall this word being dissected to the degree that it has been during his unlikely run towards the White House. One would believe that no other politician has ever invoked the word in an election before.