Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Open Letter To Essie Mae Washington-Williams

You know, I'm really tired of the tired folk who need to apologize for white supremacist relatives. Yes I'm speaking to YOU Essie Mae Washington-Williams. You, Ma'am are tired.

It's bad enough that you thought it was honorable to allow Strom Thurmond to go about his white-supremacist ways, while hiding the fact of fathering a "black" child. That sad old Southern tradition of knockin' up the black maid or the tradition of going on the other side of town where white men could "split some wood" and get some sexual experiences without sullying the reputation of the Southern White Woman(tm). But To sink so low as go on the record against Al. Sharpton is extra low in my book. Extra extra low. It's all well and good that Pappy Strom was so kind to you and your family. I'm glad he took care of you. But that, my dear, is between you and him. And I suppose that the "good things" that Pappy Strom has done for the "people of South Carolina" would include the great economic positions that many black people there currently live in.

While most black folk in America, especially those of us who are not coal black, realize that we have white ancestors somewhere, it is not everyday that one of us, who have dedicated our lives to defending black people against segregationists and other white supremacists both in and out of office and in and out of uniform, find that our ancestors were the property of a family who included members who stood against everything that we are against. Perhaps you're to enthralled with Pappy Strom, to see that some of us black folk don't exactly take to such things well.

When we find that we have lived concurrently with persons who's words and actions helped to create an atmosphere that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of black people and the physical abuse of many thousands more and that persons family had owned as chattel, as debt payment, ancestors of ours, we don't particularly take that with a ho-hum attitude. but I suppose YOU wouldn't understand that would you.

So, let me close this with a little, itty bitty request. Since you had such high regard for a man who put you through school while denying you in public and creating an atmosphere of hate for millions of black people. Since you appear to understand the whole, don't disrespect someone who's done so much for people And Al Sharpton has done a lot for black people, the next time a newspaper or news program reporter asks you for your opinion about Al Sharpton's reaction to his historical connections to the Thurmond family:

Shut
Tha
Hell
Up.

Thank you.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

On Reparations

Today I was watching Due Process, a legal show on channel 8 here in Northern New Jersey and there was Ron Daniels and Stanley Crouch discussing reparations. Ron Daniels was doing his thing and Stanley Crouch was, well, doing his. This is not going to be a recap of the discussion that happened on that show but rather I'm going to throw in my opinion on the matter.

The first thing that many people who are opposed to reparations as it concerns black folk in the US. is that we blacks now, aren't and have never been slaves. A logical point, to a point.

If, at the end of the Civil War, the US made good on the forty Acres and a Mule proposition, the entire reparations movement would have had one of it's legs knocked out from under it. This is an important point. It was clear to those proposing forty Acres and a Mule that in order for the African to "make it" in America, they needed to move from being dispossessed to asset holders. Hence the forty acres would be a means by which the emancipated African (And you''ll note I did not say "slave") would be able to stake property claims in America and have a source to secure funding.

The mule in the forty acres proposition would represent a means of gaining income. Most blacks at the time being involved in agriculture would naturally be suited to start in that area. Again by having assets, the African would be given a "leg up" out of dispossession and put on the same level as other immigrants. However; the forty acres proposition was not carried out and therefore the US government passed on the opportunity to deal with reparations directly to those emancipated at the time. Since the claim of reparations in the US goes back at least that far, the failure to resolve the issue is not the fault of the current claimants but rather the fault of the US Government. Therefore any person who objects to current blacks maintaining the claim to reparations ought not fault the blacks doing so, but rather ought to blame the US government for stalling.

The second argument, usually proffered by whites is that their ancestors came to America after slavery was abolished and therefore they should not have to pay for something they nor their ancestors had anything to do with.

There are any number of responses to this point. One point, which can seem callous to some would be "tough shit". Everyday the American tax payer pays for stuff he or she doesn't agree with. The Iraq war comes to mind. Public funding for "racist" politicians comes to mind. So really I could say I'm not much concerned with whether whites don't particularly "like" having to pay for something they didn't agree to or have a part in.

Another, less callous point would be that depending on when one's ancestors came to America, they quickly benefited from the racial hierarchy that placed blacks at the bottom of the employment and opportunity ladder. Though groups such as Italians and Irish were initially deemed "not white" they eventually earned their "white stripes" and fell in line with the benefits offered whites. This includes all material, economic and social benefits that has largely resulted in the current economic situation in which whites have far greater wealth than blacks. It should also be noted that the public school system which many whites, including immigrants, benefitted from was the act of the black congressmen from the reconstruction era. So while these "never owned a slave" whites were benefitting from their new whiteness, black were being Jim Crowed and discriminated against.

This brings us to the next argument which is that "slavery happened a long time ago".

The problem with this answer, as discussed before is that the reparations movement is for damages inclusive of slavery but now expanded into the legal disenfranchisement of blacks that followed emancipation. As I pointed out before, had the US government made good on the forty acres, then this may not have been a point. The legal discrimination of blacks in education, living and economic opportunities is legendary. We aren't just talking about the black poor, but even the doctors, lawyers and teachers and the like were circumscribed in their opportunities simply because they were black. That the one group of people who have been in the US since it's inception are not the founding owners of huge industries in manufacturing and banking and the like is a clear example of this. So the claim here is about slavery the Jim Crow that followed it and it's repercussions.

The next common argument is that "blacks have it good now".

Well OK. Jews have it pretty good too. Apparently the "doing pretty good argument" didn't apply to them so why apply it to black folk? Well the reason for this was discussed above with the "blacks now aren't slaves" point. But besides that point, blacks as a whole in American society represent a disproportionate amount of the poor in America. Even if we weren't disproportionately poor, the argument still wouldn't wash because the current state of the claimant does not negate the claim. Could you imagine a the court in the say OJ Simpson civil case that since the Brown family was pretty much well off, that they couldn't make any claim against OJ? And no this isn't a referendum on OJ, just an example. Therefore legally, even if blacks were over-represented in the top earners and wealth, we STILL could make the claim for reparations. I will be generous and state that most people, including most whites have absolutely no clue as to how, as a group, white Americans have far more wealth than black Americans. Many whites, when they do see blacks see Oprah and Hip Hop artists on TV and think that black people must have it good. Or they see their black co-workers who has spent much of their money on material items that depreciate and think that they wish they had (put item here) failing to realize that odds are that the black person is all flash. That doesn't mean there aren't well off blacks. But as I said before, the existence of Oprahs and Bob Johnson's are beside the point.

The last point I want to address is the "They'll just spend it on dumb ish"

Well there are a number of ways to answer that. The first is in line with a point I made above: It's not your business how the reparations are spent IF given as individual checks. Again, imagine if the judge in the OJ civil trial told the brown family that they could only have the money if they agreed to spend it in a manner the judge approved of. Utterly ridiculous. But I will agree that individual checks would be a bad idea. The reason for this is that I fear that if individuals are given checks the result will be a net transfer of wealth to white Americans. By that I mean that by and large the holders of mortgages, supermarkets, etc are non-blacks. Since many of these essential services and goods have to be acquired then a large amount of this money could very well find its way right back into non-black hands. Since a record number of blacks are in debt (along with many other Americans) Banks would also probably be the recipients of individual money. Therefore it would probably be a bad idea to give money out to individuals. Instead I agree with those that say such money should go into institutions to be used in such a manner as to keep such money within' black communities and institutions. I think such finds should be available to primarily boost education at all levels, though that should be the primary responsibility of the government (since it mandates primary and secondary education). But I would like to see a Higher Ed and Trade School funding made available. I'm also amenable to small business loans though that has it's risk since 75% of all startups fail. I was also considering housing subsidies in terms of home purchases but I'm worried that people will use such subsidies to get into homes they cannot afford. That may not be any of my business, but it's a concern.

Overall though, even if cheques are given to individuals if they blow it on dumb ish, the businesses that get that money will benefit and that will be the loss of the individual who then cannot complain. In the end, reparations in whatever form is the right thing to do irrespective of the opinions of the detractors. For those black folk who are opposed to reparations, I suggest a nice national registry for the objectors to make sure they are unable to participate and that their share is redistributed to others.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Misplaced Priorities

I simply could not let this pass. Apparently Mr. Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe who is currently overseeing an economy with 1600% inflation is threw himself a birthday party:

Zimbabwe’s economy is so dire that bread vanished from store shelves across the country on Wednesday after bakeries shut down, saying government price controls were requiring them to sell loaves at a loss. The price controls are supposed to shield consumers from the nation’s rampant inflation, which now averages nearly 1,600 percent annually...

The 21st February Movement, founded as a youth welfare organization in 1986, said it had raised 300 million Zimbabwe dollars — about $65,000 at black-market currency rates — from the public for Mr. Mugabe’s birthday party. The event, to be held in Gweru, Zimbabwe’s third largest city, is to feature a parade of specially chosen children delivering birthday greetings.


Real leadership would not have such a celebration, rather all that food and money would have went to the people. I mean how difficult is it to understand?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

On These So Called "Black" Presidents

Diversity Inc has bombarded my inbox with an article entitled: Obama Wouldn't Be First Black President in which they posit that There were 5 "black presidents" already in office. They note:

Jefferson, who served two terms between 1801 and 1809, was described as the "son of a half-breed Indian squaw and a Virginia mulatto father," as stated in Vaughn's findings. Jefferson also was said to have destroyed all documentation attached to his mother, even going to extremes to seize letters written by his mother to other people.

I see in the twisted "one drop rule" American conception of black. Having a half breed squaw and a "half breed" negro (and we don't even know the gene pool of that individual since the US never quite got wholly into the whole Quadroon, Octoroon thing. But since "we" accept this twisted definition of "black" We get to be handed this BS by people who apparently need to find Negroes in people's trees. I suppose then that a white man started the Black Panther Party and the Nation Of Islam, given the gene pools of the founders right?


Now there's a mighty fine example of a Black man if I ever saw one! Well anyway that would explain his attraction to Sally Hemmings right? And all dem slaves he owned and sold

Next:

President Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, was in office between 1829 and 1837. Vaughn cites an article written in The Virginia Magazine of History that Jackson was the son of an Irish woman who married a black man. The magazine also stated that Jackson's oldest brother had been sold as a slave.



Yep, Me and Mr.Jackson sho do look like kin folk! I never ever knew! I haven't read Vaughn's work so I can't account for the veracity of the information but I mean are we going by news articles? I mean there's no birth certificate? No way to track this woman down? No way to track black father? besides which if he had a black father don't we think that the picture would have been different? Oh no, that's right they needed to make him look white in order to keep up the conspiracy that he was in fact a "mulatto". Don't forget the wigs they liked to wear back then. That picture isn't even his own hair! And I suppose his oldest brother got all the "black looks" in the family and that's why he got sold off. I wonder if Mr. Jackson tried to find his brother? Or perhaps "passing" for white was far more important.

Next:

Lincoln, the nation's 16th president, served between 1861 and 1865. Lincoln was said to have been the illegitimate son of an African man, according to Leroy's findings. Lincoln had very dark skin and coarse hair and his mother allegedly came from an Ethiopian tribe. His heritage fueled so much controversy that Lincoln was nicknamed "Abraham Africanus the First" by his opponents.>


Man he look just like my daddy and grad daddy. That's some coarse hair too!. Did Lincoln user Afro-Sheen? how did he get all them naps out the kitchen? Inquiring minds want to know! Blackest man on the planet right thurrr!

You see, there's this old rule in the South. Don't talk about those illegitimate black kids you made until you're dead. Oh yes that's right that one applied to white men. I suppose then that Lincoln was the result of some cooch itchin'. Who knows We know those Ethiopians were all over West Africa just awaiting to jump in a slave ship and get to Illinois! I mean, we know there were some Africans that came by way of East Africa, but they represent a small small small percentage of those imported and Lincoln, by chance was the offspring of one of those Ethiopians. Hey, if a "racist" opponent says that you're black, heck then it must be so!

Next:

President Warren Harding, the 29th president, in office between 1921 and 1923, apparently never denied his ancestry. According to Vaughn, William Chancellor, a professor of economics and politics at Wooster College in Ohio, wrote a book on the Harding family genealogy. Evidently, Harding had black ancestors between both sets of parents. Chancellor also said that Harding attended Iberia College, a school founded to educate fugitive slaves.


You know I never quite understood why Marcus Garvey liked to write to this president so much. now I know. You'll note that this economics professor says that Harding had "black ancestors" between both sets of parents. Notice he didn't say he had black parents, you know like black people like me have. Nor did he say just where on the family tree these "black ancestors" were. But again on the twisted "one drop rule" racial categorization in America. That makes Harding a Black Man!! What up my N******! We do realize that at least 30% of those classified as white Americans have black ancestry and if one takes it far back enough, everybody got at least one black ancestor, the first human. So we're all black!!!!

Next:

Coolidge, the nation's 30th president, served between 1923 and 1929 and supposedly was proud of his heritage. He claimed his mother was dark because of mixed Indian ancestry. Coolidge's mother's maiden name was "Moor" and in Europe the name "Moor" was given to all blacks just as "Negro" was used in America. It later was concluded that Coolidge was part black.



Ahh yes another fine example of an Africoid man. Two Black presidents in a row. How many non-black as in non-African people are "mistook" for being black people? It happens all the damn time. In fact it happens very frequently because of the twisted American concept of who's black of which this whole entire post shows it's ridiculousness for all to see. Well let me tell you I've seen a whole lotta "dark" white people. some of whome are darker than many people classified as black. Yet and still, knowing full well the implications of such relatively dark skin, I know full well that they are not African, Black or whatever.

Simply then I'm not having this 5 black presidents argument because I reject the "one drop rule". The one drop rule was created specifically to guarantee the "purity" of whiteness. That the bulk of the US, which claims to not be racist and a publication that supposedly is attempting to eradicate discrimination, still clings to the white supremacist ideaology that is the "one drop rule". Is simply a reflection of the denial and rank ignorance that people in the US, both African and not, still have in regards to race.



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Friday, February 16, 2007

Obama and Black "Leadership"

The Black Agenda Report has a set of articles on the current state of black "leadership" that I think the readers of Garvey's Ghost ought to read up on. The first: Putting Black Faces on Imperial Policies is an important piece because it highlights a point I have made regarding the death of black protest politics as seen with the ouster of Cynthia McKinney. From the article:

"Barack Obama is our son and he deserves our support," declared Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., speaking to a gathering of Black Democrats at the party's winter meeting, in Washington, earlier this month. By Jones' logic, Condoleezza Rice deserves automatic African American support as "our daughter," and Colin Powell, her predecessor as George Bush's Secretary of State, was due fealty as "our brother."



And yes, this issue does put Obama front and center. I'm not hating on the man for what he's trying to accomplish but rather I object to the symbolism that goes with him in particular. As I have stated before, white people who like him, like him because they perceive him as "post-racial". That is, he does not carry the "racial baggage" that the "rest of us" carry. That white mother of his, unlike a most if not all previous black candidates, carries much "soothing" weight with white voters. This is nothing new as anyone familiar with the American racial system will know that blacks with white kin, were often the buffer class that was used as it's leadership class since their "peculiar" breeding was percieved as making them smarter and more civilized than the "off the boat" Africans. But my issue with Obama goes beyond his gene pool (which is really not an issue for me, but rather an issue I have with white people who love him so much). My issue with Obama is his apparent lack of firmly held positions. For example, I thought his non-comment on the Sean Bell shooting (which has basically disappeared from the news media) was a slap in the face of black folk in NYC. I'm not comfortable voting for a man who doesn't have the back bone to say 50 shots, and emptying 2 clips at a civilian is not OK. I have a problem with a any candidate who thinks the Iranian are incapable of the intelligence to have nuclear weapons, especially given that the US has no qualms dumping depleted Uranium on civilian populations. Anyway, the second article, A Valley of Buzzwords: Obama’s Soulless Book goes into depth about Obama's apparent lack of grounding:

Obama gets a lot wrong from start to finish. While people may indeed have a shared reality - which means we witness the same things - we don't always feel, understand, process, or react to what we witness in the same way. The simplest example of not having a "shared understanding" is the difference in how blacks and whites view the police.

What is lacking here is devotion to principles, which Obama constantly sacrifices on the altar of "shared values." And of course the issue is not of shared values. It's how we rank our values. Many people value religion, but which religion has more value? In this country we all know the answer to that question. As proof that the United States government values Christians over Muslims, consider that the United States is at war with an Islamic country. Consider that Muslims in this country are subject to increased government scrutiny and racial, ethnic, and religious profiling. No one in their right mind could believe that the United States places a Muslim on an equal footing with a Christian or Jew. The daily body count dispels that notion.


Read the articles for more info. That first one is very important.

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New Orleans on some Old Ish

So yesterday I ran across an article in the LA Times entitled: Post-Katrina, New Orleans still awash in violence which was a really sad commentary on the state of some black people. I encourage a full read of the article but a few things jumped out at me:

Duplessis, 24, could not resist the lure of the only hometown he had ever known. He would rap about it later, in recording sessions captured on a demo CD:
"Stressing on the phone with FEMA for hours
"While Nagin on TV, talking 'bout he need manpower
"I gotta head back to the N.O.;

"A-T-L too slow..."

He had partners in Dallas, he boasted, who could get him Ecstasy at wholesale prices. His shout-outs were to his old New Orleans haunts; his line of work was never in question:
"I'm a Einstein when it come to movin' that coke..." So home he went, about two months after the storm,to his old turf, and his old career.


On the one hand left to beg FEMA for shelter, when his old career..".. drugs paid his rent. They paid for expensive sneakers, a fancy GMC Yukon Denali truck, and for the upbringing of the daughter he had fathered with an estranged girlfriend."

See if this fool was such an "Einstein" he woulda had money aside for just such an emergency given that he lives way below sea level. But "Einstein" was only bright about what was in front of his face, and not even that bright, so it never occurred to him to save. Besides saving and living by some kind of rules for long life is, as he put it, "too slow."

But what of this demo CD? Well I suppose he will fancy himself a self styled "CNN" of the 'hood right?. Here he is:

In one verse, he compares himself to Jesus, predicting his return "on the seventh day" with a big haul of cocaine that will keep his people nourished "with water and bread."


Ahh yes, Crack vs. actual food. Oh, no, that's right, he sells crack to people to strung out and addicted to care about food, so he can make sure he has food on his table. Yes the logic is stunning isn't it. Though perhaps if I said this too him he'd get mad and try to kill me since he has a habit of not taking criticism:

Soon he started picking up drywall gigs for money, and for a while, he thought about going into business for himself. He even had a batch of business cards printed up.
But one day on the job, his boss, angered with his poor handiwork, tore up a wall Duplessis had just completed. Duplessis bristled at the insult, abruptly quit, and returned to the streets.



See that's the problem with these Negroes. Would rather do something illegal, get punked by the police, and risk death than take some criticism (which would have resulted in him being a better dry wall installer, resulting in more paying gigs) and step up his business game. Note to the too stupid: Difficult people come with legit work. You learn to either dish it back or suck it up, especially if YOU did a poor job. But apparently that is to hard for some people.

Now don't get me wrong. There is blame to be assigned to persons other than Mr. Duplessis:


Duplessis' mother sent him to a Catholic grade school until her drug habit ate into her finances. So he started sixth grade in a public school system that was considered among the nation's worst. Two years later, he dropped out.

Soon he was dealing in the streets. Finister thinks something snapped in her son when his grandfather, his only real father figure, died in 1994. Duplessis, in his songs, described a different kind of epiphany, one sparked by the sight of a friend from the 'hood who had acquired a slick new car.

It was "a whip [that] looked like a space shuttle," Duplessis rapped. "I knew right then my whole focus in life was to hustle."


It is simply unnacceptable that a country as rich as the US, does not spend enough money on it's public educational system. That failure is a large part of why Mr. Duplessis made the dumb decisions he made. It was very clear to him, especially having gone from a Catholic school, that the government could have cared less about his educational well being.

The second issue of note is that Duplessis was also a victim of his parents bad decisions. I have seen this too many times. There are too many parents simply do not understand that their most important job is to socialize their children. This means you can't be smoking crack and all that junk. You are there to instill values and teach your kids the importance of impulse control. It upsets me to see the fall out when children become victims of their parents bad (and I'm being clean here) choices.

However; that aside, there comes a point where people need to decide that a change needs to be made. I cannot understand, and perhaps a reader will help me with this, why after the devastation in New Orleans and the incredible need for community rebuilding these young men feel the need to kill each other at a rate that seems to be headed higher than before. I know there are some shady back room dealing going on, but DAMN. robbing people who are living in FEMA trailers? It's bad enough they have to deal with the toxic fumes emanating from the things, but to be getting robbed at gunpoint too? Just how low are these folks going to go?

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Blame Game

And so the US has decided to offer "proof" that Iran is "supplying' Iraqi "insurgents" with arms. It is such a laughable news report that I almost declined to comment on it. But then I realized that Bush will be in office for another 2 years and the Democrats still don't have the balls to be an opposition party and do things like, say, cut off funding for further warfare.

The whole report to me had a big "So what" about it. I guess that there is only a problem with "supplying arms" when it involved people other than the US or NATO allies. See the short memory of the US press and US people is in clear view of those paying attention. You see, the US was busy giving Iraq arms to kill Iranians. That, apparently, is OK. That Saddam Hussein was too stupid (or perhaps shook) to use his trial to reveal documentation on the US arms sales to Iraq and it's "wink and nod" attitude towards the use of said weapons including those pesky chemical ones that allegedly was used by Saddam Hussein against the Kurds. I say allegedly because the joke of a trial doesn't quite engender confidence in the "evidence" nor does the fact that there has been contradictory evidence on the matter, such as the report that the gas used was of Iranian origins.

So If the Iranians are supplying the "insurgents" with arms to kill American soldiers it would be a very nice case of Karmic justice wouldn't it? On the other hand why should we believe the "intelligence" community reports? This from an administration that clearly has a penchant for lying and telling half truths. We know full well that Bush and Co. have hard ons (and perky nipples) at the thought of getting at Iran. Ahmedinejad had it right when he said that the US ought to leave Iraq. It is simply unacceptable that that the residents of New Orleans can't get back into their homes or into new homes and billions are being spent to build Iraq. But that's not important is it?

Yah.. Iran supplies arms to Iraq.. Karma baby. Karma.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Obama Love

Not since Colin Powell has white America fawned so much over a light skinned African-American as we have witnessed with Barak Obama. They line up wherever he shows up. The News media follows his every move. There are many black folk who also love Obama, many for very obvious reasons. In trying to understand the Obama mania I came to understand what made him so palatable to so many white people: he's not "black".

No I don't mean he's not black as in of African descent. I'm not stupid. No, Obama is not black in the sense that his personal history is far outside the former black historical political realm. In other words, Obama, somewhat like Booker T. before him, plays very well to the insecurities that white people have about black people and black politicians: They will make us feel guilty and try to get back at us (play the race card). See Obama's platform was solidified at the DNC when he made his "There is one America" speech. You know, the "there is no Black America", etc., etc. " speech.

Now Obama the politician is not stupid. He knows that in order to get beyond being a congressional respresentative, where black representation has been locked into, one has to appeal to a wide range of voters. That means expanding your base to other, more numerous populations. In Illinois that means whites. In the presidential elections that will mean whites both Anglo and non-Anglo. The question has been for me, and I have been pondering this since the early 90's, is how does one address a national audience while staying true to your roots. Remember that most white candidates do not have to abandon their roots in order to reach out. Ahh but Obama has a unique characteristic that precludes this "roots" issue. His roots are not in the African-American collective history. For those of you unfamiliar with Obama, he is the product of a Kenyan father and a white American mother. The father left and the mother went on to raise Obama. PArt of that raising occured in Malasia. Some accounts of Obama's life reveals that he tried weed and hung with a "bad crowd" (supposedly black pseudo revolutionaries). He then shaped up and went on to do great things including, to his credit, marrying a black woman.

Now because of Obama's rather out of the ordinary life he can discuss unity. Remember that for much of his life, his primary allegiance was to his white mother, something most black people even today cannot have as a part of their history. Therefore I imagine that it would be difficult for Obama to have as must distrust of white persons and institutions as those who may have been victims of those same people. Thus Obama does not really have to compromise his history in order to reach out across lines, he simply can do what it is that he has always done for his life. This is in stark contrast to the black politicians of yesterday whom had to start from a black base and "keep it real". That is, many of yesterday's black politicians were motiviated to serve (we hope) by the conditions facing black people in their communities and elsewhere. They aim was supposedly to get into places of power to represent their people (and districts). Obama, from what I have heard and read, has no such motivation. Not that I'm saying he doesn't care about black folk (he really hasn't said much, or of real substance on race), but I'm not hopefull after his non-challant attitude toward the Sean Bell killing.

But what of black folk? Why are many black folk pulling for Obama? Black folk who are for Obama are for him for a single reason: He's Black. Anyone saying different is lying to your face. OK maybe not anyone, but that is the large sentiment. While whites are motivated by his bi-racial, non-confrontational attitude, black folks want to see a black face at the helm. Just about any black face will do, save perhaps Ward Connerly or Clarence Thomas. I spoke to some people in Chicago about Obama's comments on Iran. They didn't know about the commment. I don't think it would have mattered.

This is what bothers me about Obama. It appears that he is willing to take a position that will make him appear to be "moderate" and that would appeal to as many people as possible. Politically that may be good. But that is not leadership. Leadership is taking hard positions. Fact based positions and putting them out there and defending them and changing them when better information comes out. Leadership is calling Sean Bell's killing what it was. Leadership is calling Bush's war what it is. This is what would get me in the Obama camp. But Obama doesn't want to take the tough stands. The problem is, that in the long run it is going to cost him because people are going to press him on the issues and force him to take stands either way. While Obama may not suffer the Jackson reversal (the phenomenon where once the public realized that Jesse Jackson stood a chance at getting the Democratic nomination back in the 80's, his numbers started to fall off and eventually was snubbed at the convention.) He will be forced to make some uncomfortable stands.

Ultimately though, as I pointed out in my McKinney coverage, the age of black protest politics is coming to a close. It's not that America is less racist now, it simply has convinced black folks that they should stop bringing it up. Obama is the new role model for that movement.