Mr. Moser has written a keenly insightful ground-up view of how the quandarythat Mr. Obama and his "blackness" or lack thereof as some perceive ithas impacted the most critical presidential race of the last forty years.Given the state of domestic and world affairs today, this election willset the stage for what is to come in the post debacle of the Bush years.
The battle of Hill v. Obama knocks squarely against our coming of age inthe battle for and winning of the ultimate political prize, the WhiteHouse. In all the history of this republic, neither a woman nor black orother person of color for that matter has claimed the presidentialchair. For black Americans, this aspiration and winning it would be theultimate vindication and justice served for all the wrongs suffered byblacks upon their non-consenting arrival in 1554, as Phyllis Carter,quoted in the article, suggested. In addition, that deep-seated fearamong blacks that even if Obama won he would be killed before he couldserve is not totally unrealistic. The recent events in Jena, Louisiana,and other egregious injustices suffered by blacks, particularly in thecriminal justice system, are constant reminders that equality is yetdeferred.
However, the post civil rights era has erased the memory of the"regular" lynching of black men in the South and the daily humiliationof Jim Crow subjugation, opening the way for a "new" blackness to emergethat Obama wears well as a bi-racial Harvard educated lawyer. He perhapsis the end product of the "blackness" that means acceptance through thebest of assimilation to the mainstream. Yet the facts of black life inAmerica dictate that self-interest versus the interest of "all thepeople" is still critical. This is where the quandary lies.
Ms. Clinton, battle-tested through decades of political life andbenefiting from the popularity of her husband, represents the most likelyopportunity to date for a woman to actually win. Clinton and Obama arecompeting in the age of super-corporate elections where one's ability toraise millions from special interest determines one's place at the table.For both this is problematic, because the people's interest by defaultand design are compromised. There is ample evidence of this in theirrhetoric on issues from health care to Iraq. Both their health careplans retain a major market share for private insurers and neither wantsall troops home from Iraq or no bases there. Their economic and jobsrevitalization program proposals are scant.
Others quoted in the article mention Kucinich and Edwards asalternatives, due to his voting record matching his words in the case ofKucinich and the sincerity perceived in Edwards, a self-made millionairewho does not need corporate cash to supplement his income. In the mind of many blacks Mr. Obama's hue may still be too great a liability in the America of 2007 to make gains for themselves, families and communities in such perilous times as these. The old saying "go with the devil you know" may now include but "say aprayer for the dream."
New York, NY
Dec 30 2007 - 8:42am