Barak Obama is possibly the most recognized black face of the new Democratic party. He gave the Keynote address last week during the Democratic convention. However Paul Street wrote an excellent review of the serious flaws in the new platform of the Democratic Party.
They are hardly enthralled by what passes for political "democracy" in the United States, where highly ritualized, occasional, and fragmented elections are an exercise in periodic pseudo-popular selection of representatives from a "safe" and small circle of privileged "elites." One term to describe really existing US "democracy" is "polyarchy," what left sociologist William I. Robinson calls "a system in which a small group actually rules and mass participation in decision making is confined to leadership choices carefully managed by competing [business and business-sanctioned] elites....
...Obama's address advanced a truncated, passive, and negative concept of democracy, one where we are supposed to be ecstatic simply because we don't live under the iron heel of open authoritarianism. It is an American "miracle," he claimed, "that we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door" and that "we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted -- or at least, most of the time."
I've made the same analysis of the voting process so I won't belabour the point now. However on te point of being free to say what you want, Perhaps you'll not get a knock on the door,,but you will be monitored and under current law you may face indefinite imprisonment without council. Most Americans would be shocked at what could be done to them under the law. Furthermore, as is probably the case in any country, saying something out of the "mainstream" can be constly economically as one is marginalised and demonised at ones place of employment.
at's why many leftists cringed when they heard the newly anointed Great Progressive Hope Obama refer to Americans as "one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America." Its part of why I was uncomfortable when Obama praised "a young man" named Shamus who "told me he'd joined the Marines and was heading to Iraq the following week." One of Shamus' endearing qualities, Obama thinks, is "absolute faith in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service." "I thought," Obama said, "this young man was all that any of us might hope for in a child." Not me. I hope for children who regularly and richly question authority and subject the nation and its leaders/mis-leaders to constant critical scrutiny.
Let's be clear. Obama is "riding the donkey as far as it will take him." there is no doubt that black Democrats like Obama and Ford Jr. Are the type of black leadership that both the Republican and Democratic parties want in their parties. The contrasts between Sharpton and Obama/Ford are clear. One may say that Sharpton is "lost in the 60's and 70's." but at least he is able to and willing to keep where he has come from at the forfront of his addresses. yes Sharpton will need to make a wide appeal should he want to have more power (which he does want). But It should not come at the expense of a whitewash of black issues.