Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Monday, February 04, 2008

    Pre the endorsement of Senator Ted Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy and now the First Lady of California, Maria Shriver, Barack Obama had no powerful or noticeable endorsements from whites. He won Iowa, South Carolina and more delegates in Nevada than Clinton, purely on his message and with one powerful endorsement—Oprah Winfrey.

    However, it’s quite the opposite for the Clinton Dynasty. African-Americans like the Reverend Calvin Butts, Magic Johnson, Maxine Waters and even Bob Johnson of BET “endorsed” Senator Hillary Clinton. I wondered, again, pre the endorsements of those listed above, what made them publicly endorse the Clinton Dynasty considering at the time Obama wasn't getting the same love from white celebrities?

    Am I too focused on a bit of solidarity? Am I too focused on the historical aspects of this campaign, coupled with the flawlessness of Senator Barack Obama? There is no problem voting for the Clinton(s), but I was a little taken aback by the public endorsements by so many visible and respected African-Americans. While Obama is no Dr. King, if Dr. King would've ran for president in the 1970s, I doubt Aretha Franklin and James Brown would've endorsed the white candidate.

    Whatever the case, the New York Senator has the endorsement of the white ruling class—especially the super power of her fried chicken eating and adulterous husband, former President Bill Clinton.

    I wasn’t surprised when dear friend of the Clinton Dynasty, Maya Angelou, endorsed Miss Hill, but it was her statement that I found a bit peculiar. She said, "Today, the challenges facing us threaten the dreams we have had for our children. We need a president with the experience and strength to meet those challenges." I was perplexed and have been stunned at this “experience” rant. People are acting as if Barack Obama just woke up one day on a hammock in the hills of Kenya and said, “I’se want to be President!” Contrary to popular belief, being a corporate lawyer, a first lady for eight years and failing on universal healthcare does not make you more “experienced”. How about if Nancy Reagan ran for president? Hell, Condoleezza Rice has more Washington experience than Hillary Clinton!

    What I find to be the most contradictory is Clinton, and her public supporters, are allowed to mention gender as much as they like. Oprah Winfrey said in her speech at the LA Rally yesterday that she met several women who said, “I’m a woman; I have to vote for a woman.” Women are allowed to openly support, and demand support for Miss Hill, because of gender. However, blacks are not allowed to support Obama because of race, which would make our decisions “emotional”, “prejudice” and “not well-thought”. Yes, being black is a plus, but all of us who support Obama believe in his vision, regardless of race.

    Still, Miss Hill can pull her convenient gender card. In October, Clinton mentioned at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, “the all boys’ club of presidential politics.” Could you imagine if Obama went to an HBCU and ranted on being in “the all white club of presidential politics”? Even though that is exactly where he is, he would receive Biblical amounts of backlash.

    When Senator Ted Kennedy endorsed Obama, the New York State Chapter of the National Organization for Women ranted he “betrayed” women and even cried, “He's joined the list of progressive white men who can't or won't handle the prospect of a woman president.” Wow—what if the NAACP said Representative Maxine Waters betrayed blacks and “She’s joined the list of people who can’t handle the prospect of a black president!”

    Throughout history white women have benefited from civil rights before black people. There have been more women Senators and governors than African-Americans. I hope the historical pattern is not going to be proven again on Super Tuesday.

    Since I was eleven years-old I have lived in an America that was ruled by a Bush or a Clinton; I am ready for a change. A continuation of the Clinton Dynasty is nothing progressive, different and simply more of a polarized Washington.

    Check out the amazing speech from Maria Shriver below.

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 13 comments

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