Two days ago Barack Obama made the following comment in a New Hampshire gym:
Obama, speaking to a racially mixed audience of about 500 people at a local high school, conceded some progress had been made on racial issues — but not enough.
“On every measure, on income, on health care, on incarceration rates, on the criminal justice system, on housing, on life expectancy, on infant mortality, on almost every single indicator, there is still an enormous gap between black and white,” the senator from Illinois said.
Obama said urban areas and minority communities often suffer first when problems spread across the nation. “There’s an old saying that when America gets a cold, black America gets pneumonia,” he said.
if you are black that comment should assure you that the candidate cares about issues that affect our community. That is until you read an Oped penned by that doyenne of the civil rights movement…Jesse Jackson. Here is the money quote from his Oped in the Chicago Suntimes:
Can Democrats get the votes they need simply because they’re not Republicans? You might think so in this presidential campaign. African-American and urban votes are critical to any Democratic victory. Bill Clinton won two terms without winning the most white votes. His margin was the overwhelming support of black voters. George Bush learned that lesson; that’s why his campaigns spent so much effort suppressing the black vote in key states like Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. His victory margin was the tally of votes suppressed or uncounted.
Yet the Democratic candidates — with the exception of John Edwards, who opened his campaign in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and has made addressing poverty central to his campaign — have virtually ignored the plight of African Americans in this country.
Jesse is equating poverty with been African American. That is true if you accept the politically correct assumption that all black people are poor (despite all the demographic evidence to the contrary), but nothing could be further from the truth. Most black folk are not consumed with soul-crushing poverty. Granted there are hundreds of thousands of poor black people, but the scourge of poverty doesn’t spare any race in this country.
In fact, the great majority of us (African Americans) are doing alright and quite a few (Jesse included) are doing very well. Most of us have the exact same middle class concerns as everyone else, with the added issue of dealing with racism.
Barack, in the speech I quoted above touched on all the salient issues affecting our people in this united states, but Jesse singled out John Edwards for been the only candidate that care enough. Jesse Jackson and his generation has done a lot for civil rights in this country. They’ve shed blood, sweat and tears to make America what it is. However Obama is running for president of the United States. He can’t afford the “angry black guy” moniker. He is talking about the issues and his record in the Illinois senate is a testament to his commitment to issues affecting black folk in this nation.
The peculiar thing about all of these is that Jackson has already endorse Obama for president. Could this be sour grapes? I dunno… but the notion that Edwards is the only one talking about poverty issues doesn’t pass the smell test…all I can say is Et tu Jesse.