Written by John Walker
Well, leave it to John Walker on the 13th anniversary of the Million Man March to predict a dismal future for America. Walker's fourth opinion piece for ClayCane.net is biting commentary on Sen. Barack Obama, his presidential chances, and the black community.
I still think Sen. Barack Obama will not be President. I could be wrong about this, and in fact it feels like I'm wrong with the recent gains in the polls, but my skepticism still doesn't allow me to think America is ready for a Black President. I still think that race matter to far too many white people in this country. My father who lived through the heat of the segregated South is more optimistic, which on some level causes me to question the authenticity of my own distrust.
Gerry McEntee, AFL-CIO union leader says that he's spoken to white working class union members who simply say they can't vote for a Black man. These voters explain, "He's not one of us" or "He's Muslim!" Most of us have probably seen the recent video clip of an older white woman telling Sen. McCain that "Obama is an Arab." In my opinion, this election is already decided -- the pollsters just don't have the research tools to figure it out with greater certainty.
Beyond my speculation that Obama may lose, I even have a remote desire that he does. Dare I say, it's because of the naïveté of black people? If the stakes weren't so damn high for our country, I probably would campaign for McCain for the sole purpose of seeing the pathetic reaction of Negroes the day after an Obama loss. Unfortunately, as necessary as an Obama win is for the country, it reinforces all of the lazy political and fiscal habits that black people have. I don't want this present generation of Blacks to think it's this easy to get to the Promised Land. When confronted with this statement, most blacks quickly counter by saying, "Of course an Obama candidacy is not going to change everything!" as though that is a sufficient answer.
Blacks tend to get excited for one-time events, anything that may dramatize the notion that the cosmos is either for or against us. For example, the OJ Simpson trial in 1994-95; Blacks were happy that Orenthal the Oreo got off for murdering them two white folks as though he represented the plight of Black men who are unjustly being devoured by a prison-military industrial complex.
Next we had The Million Man March, exactly thirteen years ago today. This event was successful by event standards but a total failure by any that measure the efficacy of movements.
Ten years later we had Katrina—did we actually need a hurricane to expose what every vital statistic consistently told us year after year?
Now, it's Barack Obama—the black messiah. Obama himself isn't to blame for this idea, in fact he never asked for or courted black support. Far too many black people see his rise to prominence as a part of a divine scheme -- and that is precisely my problem.
Even though we know that an Obama candidacy will not yield any material advantage for the masses of black people - we still want it and need it for our psyche. We want our white step-brothers and sisters with whom we occupy this land to envy us for a change.
Blacks see supporting an Obama Presidential candidacy as their blow against the system. It is this worldview that I hear repeated on talk radio and in casual conversation that makes me want to take a bat to most of the damn near 40 million Negroes in America. As a nation, we really need Obama to win, the alternative in the personage of the McCain-Palin ticket is simply too dangerous.
As a people who are prone to religiosity as well as entertainment, or even more poignant -- religion as entertainment, we have an appetite for drama. We love waiting on the miracle, the immaculate conception or at least the immaculate concept. In the off chance that I'm right and Obama doesn't win -- do we wait four more years for another Black messiah to emerge?
John Walker is a guest writer for ClayCane.net. This is an opinion piece and does not necessarily reflect the views of Clay Cane.
Labels: OBAMA, Race