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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    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    As the news came in last night that Senator Barack Obama was the presumptive Democratic nominee, I got a tear in my left eye. Yeah, I know it's a little dramatic, but my mind just shot to all the times I've been called a nigger... so I doubted this. I remembered in college writing papers on lynchings -- where I had a collage of dead black people (and some whites)... so I said this would never happen. I recalled how my great-great grandmother was born a slave in Virgina... so I feared this. I remember my grandfather telling me the stories of being raised in the Jim Crow South and how they are still dead bodies in the lakes of Virginia... so it was hard for me to fully believe this. It was this flash of all these thoughts and I said, "Wow, this is really happening."

    Yes, I know this isn't about race. I am happy that Obama didn't mention he is the "first black nominee" in his speech last night. However, I saw it in his smile, staring into the crowd, nodding his head -- we knew he knew and we didn't need him to say it.

    Many people of color always have the assumption of racism, that nothing will ever prevail. Sure, there are already folks with a defeatist attitude. Some are already saying he will never win the general election. Okay, well, you thought he would never beat out all of the white male nominees. Then, you thought he would never beat Billary, but now we are here. You better get a lil' faith. I don't care about your cynicism. I don't care about your loyalties to the Clinton Dynasty, we are here. A space that no one thought we would get.

    Lastly, there are many white Americans who are proud. When I watched that 90% crowd in Minnesota last night it proved to me again and again -- this isn't a black movement.

    Still, as a black person in America, I do need to relish for a minute.

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    Posted by Clay :: 10:40 AM :: 49 comments

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