As the election season begins to amp up and folks are sitting on pins and needles pondering their choices for a new President, there have been many ideologies thrown around from the camps of all the candidates to sway America’s thinking one way or another against President Obama.
In fact, it’s necessary for them to take a bold interest in showing themselves as the cure or answer to what some feel Obama has botched, bungled or, to some, tainted. And leading the charge in that area most days from the African American think tank is Tavis Smiley. He is more interested in holding the President’s feet to the fire and assuring the public that Obama needs to show accountability for every move he makes than actually giving him a chance to address the ills of the black community as well as the country.
Most problems in this country can be attributed to the last, nearly, 30 years of republican rule; with a mere 8-year hiatus of Bill Clinton at the helm. And while Clinton’s era was fleeting, it is clearly the most economically successful. Harvard law professor and author of the “Persistence of the Color Line”, Randall Kennedy, was invited to Tavis Smiley’s show in early September to give an assessment of our present President’s record.
He explained Obama’s successful climb of the “Mount Everest of American politics.” He examined the difference between black candidates in the past as “symbolic” candidates that didn’t show themselves as “winners” and after Iowa gave Obama the pass, he was deemed a viable black president.
But the conversation between Tavis and this scholar show the black community as “sheep. ” They talk about blacks following whites, both after Iowa and the Clinton administration. Black folks didn’t decide to vote for Barack Obama until whites accepted him and blacks sided with Hilary Clinton because they felt she was the better candidate (on the strength of Bill, to be honest) both aspects of black voting thoughts being led.
The Rootlooks at the conversation as Tavis Smiley being schooled, but he actually sides with the author and simply clarifies his viewpoint through Smiley & West-isms saying that at the end of the day, we must “re-speck, pro-teck, and co-reck” our President. They actually seem to come to a respected common ground.
To be honest, my hope is simply that we make up our own minds based on the candidate that is best addressing our issues…annnnd make sure their last name is Obama. Because as Kennedy put it, symbolism is important. Check out that very important point he makes during the interview.