Monday, January 28, 2008

Waking up

This political season is turning out to be more illuminating than ever before. I woke up this morning to the comments of Bill Clinton. "Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in '84 and '88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here." This was in response to a question from ABC News' David Wright about it taking "two Clinton's to beat" Obama. Jackson had not been mentioned. I saw the blogs about the Clinton's running a race-baiting campaign to paint Obama as "the black candidate." What’s surprising is how blatant they’ve gotten.

I had been hearing the comments of talking heads all last weeks saying that the Clinton’s were trying to make Obama “the black candidate” and I saw it as ridiculous. I didn’t believe them. The “fairy tale” comment I thought was disrespectful. I thought it had more to do with the fact that Obama is a visionary rather than his race. And Hillary’s comments about Martian Luther King seemed to discount MLK’s influence over the nation during the time the civil rights act came up for a vote. Let’s face it if it weren’t for all those marches and demonstrations and boycotts no legislative act would have changed America. Not to mention it would have never been proposed in the first place. I saw many off their statements as being out of context. I thought people were reading far too much into what they were saying. Now I’m starting to see that maybe I wasn’t seeing what they were trying to do. The Clintons are clearly trying to paint Obama as “the black candidate”. Not that Obama is ashamed of being black. Hell, a few months ago he was trying to prove that he was black at all. People were calling him biracial or half-black. So why are the Clinton’s helping him out?

They’re not. What’s sad is that they think this will marginalize him. They figure that if he’s the running as the black guy no one is going to listen to what he has to say, that no one will take him seriously as a contender for the White House. They want it to seem like here’s only winning in South Carolina because he’s black. Sure that had something to do with it, but it’s more than that. Obama has a vision for America that supercedes race, class, and political parties. He is a visionary that at times can be ridiculed as a “fairy tale” as Bill Clinton did. But now I see that they want to put him in a box. They want to say that he’s only winning because he’s new and black and different. What I know is that the Clinton’s are not stupid, what I fear is that they are right. Are we so narrow minded? Do we as Americans marginalize someone simply because he’s black?
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