I’ve always been impressed with Barak Obama. Ever since Ruby and I watched him speak at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. (Video on YouTube.) But at the time I felt he was too mild and moderate a Democrat. That night I was most impressed with Al Sharpton’s speech. Ironically it was interrupted by the sound of concussion grenades going off in our neighborhood. The local police had launched an attack on a crack house down the street. In the process they detained over fifteen people. This occured RIGHT when Sharpton was talking about the injustices against African Americans in our country. (The flip side of that story is the abuse of an elderly woman who lived in that house. She was suffering thanks to the crack heads who had taken over her home.) Needless to say it made a dramatic impression on me. At least in how I feel about some National Democrats.
A few years latter I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to John and Elizabeth Edwards. They live in my county, have their offices in town, are proud alumni of the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. I was (am) quite skeptical that a rich white man could be another good president. But we gave the Edwards a fair chance. It became obvious to me they get it. They care about people immensely. Their campaign has been very Internet savvy and full of support for working class people. Two areas I really care about. This in combination with actual planks in their platform and amazing speeches put me into the Edwards supporter camp. Despite my major frustration with the two party system in our country I still feel electoral politics is an important part of being a free person. Especially local elections.
Fast forward to December 2007. The Edwards campaign is still rocking. But the main stream media, and thus the minds of many voters, are convinced the Dem primary race is between Clinton and Obama. I believe it isn’t down to just them. I’ve spent time paying attention to all of the candidates. Especially now that they have more detailed platforms.
Recently Obama answered a question about the importance of Net Neutrality. It came from the site 10questions and was presented at a MTV event. (video on YouTube) His response was good. Plus he made promises to appoint a net neutrality friendly FCC chairman and supports the creation of laws to keep our communication playing field level. Then Obama released a technology plan upon visiting Silicon Valley. Edwards has said similar things but Clinton has not to my knowledge.
Recently I’ve been checking out the new North Carolina NAACP weblog and facebook page. It got me thinking about the importance of young progressive African Americans getting involved in politics. Then I read Jim Buie’s blog post Obama on the Rise. His Campaign Reveals As Much About America As It Does About Him. This post linked to the NY Times OP-ED Whoâ€™s Afraid of Barack Obama? by Frank Rich.
So many good points in that op-ed. The main one being Clinton can’t beat Republicans. They are all way to organized and angry with her. Ruby and I have noticed this for some time. Ironic because we find Clinton so similar politically to Republicans. She’s a war hawk that may never publicly apologize for sending the US to war in Iraq. There is just too much blood on her hands for me to EVER support her.
So with two Dem candidates I really like what differentiates them for me? Race.
I know candidates don’t want to be judged by their race. On first analysis I think they are right. But we must take race into consideration when we choose our President. Especially considering the complicated history of the United States.
It was rich white men who founded this country to get outa paying taxes to other rich white men. Much of their success in building America has been on the backs of men and women of color. Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, Africans, and others. All through various barbaric forms of violent slavery and control. So I think its about time we elected a liberal black man to the office of President. Its about time we demonstrated that all “Men [REALLY] are created Equal”!
Note: I originally wrote this in December. At the time I was unsure about posting it. Things change.