Monday, December 8, 2008

I’m Down With Obama, But…

 obama ali Im Down With Obama, But...

OK, I wanted to wait until everyone’s Obama high wore off before I dare write this and I know I’m risking the ire of every negro in the land and the motherland but I have something to say and, frankly, me pissing everyone off is really nothing new.

It all started with the coverage of the 2008 Presidential Election Day.  You saw countless interviews with members of the African-American community standing in lines across the country speaking on how proud they were to have a chance to vote for the first Black president.  Now don’t get me wrong, even I teared up as I cast my ballot for Obama but as I watch interviews throughout the day, something started to bother me.  I began to notice how many times I heard African-Americans saying things like “I haven’t voted in 15 years but I’m inspired to vote for Obama” or  “I’ve never voted before but I’m here to vote for Obama.”

 There were so many black folks saying that they never thought about voting until Obama’s candidacy.  So many black folks saying how they never felt it was important until now or that Obama made them believe in the political process again.  Now as inspirational as Obama’s candidacy is, I still couldn’t help but bristle a bit at the number of folks who never attached any importance to voting until Obama came along.   Why did it take a black presidential candidate to make black people interested in presidential politics?  A community whose parents and grandparents died for the right to vote somehow felt content staying home, until a black man ran for president.   RUFKM? (r u fucking kidding me?) 

But wait there’s more….

Now, after Obama was elected, I am suddenly hearing and seeing all these interviews that speak of how there is a new image of the black male.  That black men are going to start pulling their pants up and gaining some pride in their image because of Obama.  How educated is the new cool and success will no longer be measured in bling and bitches.  I heard an interview on Michel Martins “Tel Me More “ on NPR where she spoke to moms who were so happy that their sons now had a role model other than rappers an athletes.  Forget their actual dads, they now had Obama.  There was suddenly a new quest for excellence in the black community and Obama was leading the parade.

We also heard about how this may be a new age in the black family.  The black family may make a comeback because of the Obamas.  We now had a real life Cosby Show to look to now for examples of a successful nuclear family.  It’s a brand new day in the black community!

Is it me or is this a little scary?  Our community wasn’t inspired by our children getting gun downed in the streets.  Our community didn’t get inspired by a 50% drop out rate.  Our community wasn’t inspired hearing that only 25% of registered black voters voted in that crucial 2000 Florida election where we could have single-handedly changed the results of the election.  Our community wasn’t inspired by our wedlock rate and the lack of black marriage. Our community wasn’t inspired by the cultural pathos that runs rampant in our streets everyday.  We weren’t inspired by the pathetic condition of our inner cities and the lack of morality bred in our children.  We weren’t inspired by the fact that most black children grow up without a father in the home.  We weren’t inspired by the fact that so many black children place no value in education choosing instead to seek out the models of success as taught to them by hip hop.  We weren’t inspired by an underlying adversarial relationship between our men and women.

But let me get this straight.  A black man runs for President and wins and all of a sudden we’re inspired and want to get our shit together?  Doesn’t that scare you just a little bit?  It lends credence to the notion that without a magical negro leader, black folks are lost.   And sure, I’m a little torn.  Im conflicted about even saying this out loud, but I something just sticks on my proverbial craw about Obama inspiring us to do things that even witnessing children dying on our streets before our eyes couldn’t do.  Are we that desperate for a savior?  We don’t give two squirts of duck shit about doing better until Obama wins?  Huh?

Our communities have been floundering and flailing about for a decade, why does it take one man to convince us we have the ability to act on our own behalf for positive change in our own communities?  Why does Obama suddenly make us care?  Why do we always seem to depend on someone else to give us value?  Do we not think we’re important enough?  Is it the long rumored America-inspired self-hatred where we inherently feel that we are not worthy without the validation of others?  Obama has now given us value so we can feel good again?  We can be suddenly be inspired again to do better in our lives?  We now have permission.

I don’t know.  Don’t get me wrong, anything that achieves forward progress and make folks want to do better is alright with me.  But the notion that has to be attached to a person or a movement and not something that is an eternal fire in our bellies bothers me. For centuries we have relied on a collective quest to overcome.  A collective notion of success and equality.  We were our brothers keepers and we kept our eyes on the prize.  But now, we seem insecure in our own journey toward self-actualization.  Our communities are so misdirected and disjointed and without structure that we are totally lost without someone ramming a direction or message or slogan or t-shirt motto down our throats.

  We seem to thirst for leadership.  We want so desperately for someone to validate what we know already.  That we are smart, powerful people with the power to achieve anything.  That we are survivors and the strongest of the strong capable of succeeding in spite of any challenge.  But without someone telling us and showing us, we just don’t quite believe it.  We want to believe it , and in our quiet moments or as we shout in church we tell ourselves that we are great and that God is good.  Then we leave and go back to our every man for himself lives, clumsily navigating the duality DuBoise spoke of.  Never really succeeding at either.  Never knowing what to believe or what to do.  Until someone shows us.

I don’t know.  Maybe its just me.  Maybe Im just feeling ornery or PMS’ing but something really annoys me about so many people in our communities never bothering to give a damn about their condition until Obama became president.  Don’t get me wrong, I cream for Obama with the rest of them but I’ve also voted in every election since I was 18, volunteered in my community, worked in legal services and generally tried to make my community a better place without a magical negro telling me to.

But I never look a gift horse in the mouth, I cant be mad at anything that inspires folk to do better.  Even if it is a magical negro.  I’ll just sit back and enjoy the next four or maybe eight years.  And when he’s out of office, God help us.  Again.

282 Responses to “I’m Down With Obama, But…”

  1. ezineaerticles » Blog Archive » I’m Down With Obama, But… | Conversate Is Not A Word. on 08 Dec 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    [...] Original unknown [...]

  2. laughing808No Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m inclined to agree with you (not that you need anyone to agree with you) but we have always looked at, to and for a black knight in shining armor to sweep in and save us from the inflictions we seem to continuously face. Take for instance the Million Black Man March, how long did that hype last? There was so much momentum built that led up to the actual event and just a week later it was back to the same ole same ole.

    The reality is that we are our own saviors. We are responsible for the children and our communities. We need to change our thinking and realize that WE have to claim our children and take back our communities, then and only then will we begin to see a TRUE change, THE change we need. Sure it would be great to have African American leaders to offer guidance from time to time, but this battle has to start on the front lines and WE are the front lines.

    And don’t get me started on role models, I’ve always been a firm believer that role models should be someone you can reach out and talk to in a matter of minutes if not seconds. My role models are and have always been my mother, aunts and grandmothers. They are proof that I can survive and make it amongst all that life throws at me. Can I call Beyonce and ask her a question about job interviewing? Can I call Halle Berry and ask for advice on helping family members out? Can I call Keyshia COle and vent about my collegiate classes? I doubt it!

    I want to be the role models for my nieces and younger cousins. They can come to me at any given time and ask me anything, and if I don’t know it I’ll direct them to where they can get the information. After all I’m only a phone call away, I hop, skip and jump.

  3. ClickumsNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 12:59 pm #

    I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree with everything you posted. I find the entire situation RIDICULOUS. I mean, all these black folks just voting – simply because “they were inspired to vote for a black man” is SCARY. Maybe if they had got off their asses we (educated population) wouldn’t have been STUCK WITH BUSH FOR TWO TERMS!!! See, that shat makes me SALTY. Because of non-voting idiots and the uninformed we got stuck with the worst president in modern history, who has basically DESTROYED the country (socially/economically/internationally). So now it’s cool to take care of your kids? Get a job? Start reading and promoting education all because we have a black president and a cool catch phrase “Yes We Can?”

    Ignorance is truly bliss when it comes to the American public and the black community.

  4. MargaretNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 1:00 pm #

    Nicely done, Jam.

    We all have a “wait and let someone else fix it” attitude about almost everything. And it’s terrifying when that includes situations that are killing our children. Electing Obama didn’t “fix” racism – despite our desire for that to be the case. It didn’t “fix” economic disparity. It didn’t “fix” our youth’s contempt for education.

    What it did do, that can’t be underestimated (and you’re not underestimating it here) is that it gave us a sense that we aren’t completely helpless. That intelligence, coolness and reasonableness had a place in our government; that someone might listen to us and not just the “us” that looks like the “them.” I’m hoping that includes our homeless community, our mentally and physically ill, our immigrants, our citizens in poverty, our brothers and sisters around the world.

    It’s what we do with this election that is the true test. Will we step up in our communities? Will we be better? I’m sure the answer will turn out to be “Absolutely.” and “Of course not.”

  5. Mr. ShabazzNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 1:06 pm #

    I’m a 35 year old man. Jam just like you, I registered at 18 and voted in every single election since age 19.

    It does irk me to meet meet people in their late 20s and 30s who have never voted before, never even thought about it.

    It does sadden me that it would take Obama’s election to get some of our youth to pull their pants up but if thats what it takes, then thats what it takes. Better a role model then not change in behavior at all.

  6. ASmithNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 1:07 pm #

    I agree with you. It is scary, but I think this means we need to start teaching the next generation to be proud of who we are whether our President is Black or not.

    It’s also indicative of a larger point that should be made about or society and that’s our need to have stuff handed to us. We sat around and waited for a “savior” instead of, like laughing808 said, being our OWN saviors and who better to save Black folks than Black folks.

    My fear is that black folks don’t understand Obama is our new American president and he won in large part because he ran for the American people and not just for black folks. So when things in our community don’t get any better I hope we don’t take that as a personal shot and instead use the standard Obama and his wife have set to do what needed to be done in our community years ago.

    It sucks that it’s taken this long for our community to wake up, but now that we are awake I hope we do something real.

    ASmith’s last blog post..Returns on Investments

  7. ArizaNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    I 100% agree with your posting. Since I am 20, this is obviously my first voting experience, and I felt energized. I, too, am tired of hearing people complain about how horrible the economy is, how America’s morality across the globe has plummeted, and yet no one got off their ass to vote. Michael Eric Dyson was on the Steve Harvey Morning, and he compared the numbers of how many votes both Gore and Kerry would have needed in certain key states and the amount of unregistered black voters in said states–they nearly matched up.

    It’s great that we have a black president. But I do feel it’s scary that people all of a sudden are cautious about using the “n” word, a word that I myself have never used.

    My mother, during the 2000 election, took me and my siblings to the voting office, where she voted for Gore, and I remembered that when I pulled down the lever for Obama. It was a great experience.

  8. TracyeNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Very well stated Jam. I had stopped reading conversate is not a word, due to the Obama love fest that was going on everytime I opened the link. Although I am drained by the focus on Obama(the man), lest we forget, that’s all he is. I truly welcome your examination of the previously uninvolved Black voters that blanket our community.

    Please never apologize for telling it like it is. That’s the only way I’ll be able to look forward to your upcoming post if you stay true and keep telling us the truth.

  9. AlexisNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 2:33 pm #

    I think all the media showed was people who felt that way. I mean, I agree that it is unfortunate, and I hate the idea that “we” need a leader, but there was another side of the story that just wasn’t shown. I’m sure.

    My 6 and 14 year old nephews never had male role models in their lives, other than their grandfathers, but they are respectful young men that wear their pants properly and excel in their education with or without Obama.

  10. YeahmeBtch on 08 Dec 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    Am I the only one who noticed Jam said she “creams for Obama”?

    LOL…I’m sorry.

    Anyway, I totally agree with you. I hate the fact that we as a people are always looking to a leader. I NEVER hear of asians, latinos or any other ethnic group looking to a so-called leader for guidance.

    C’mon now, thats ridiculous.

  11. I Hear YouNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 4:36 pm #

    Thank you for this! This needs to be examined because it is part of the reason we are here (meaning captured Africans in America.) Can we please think on this? I will.

    Because I am guilty of this myself. I have voted since I was 18 as well but only because I knew that people died for my right to do so but this was the only time I closely followed an election or stayed informed of the issues and it was only because of Obama

    If you can please take a look at this clip of an interview of Ron O’Neal speaking about the influence of his role as Priest in Superfly. I think you will especially enjoy what is said at minute 4:00

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmKtqBuXH8E

  12. H. NelomsNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 4:46 pm #

    I agree with what you wrote. We black people shouldn’t rely on a leader to validate our worth. But this streak of searching for a mesiah to lead us lets me know that so many of our people our without hope.

    Many of us truely believe that we can’t succeed in society because the rules are stacked against us. Many of us just don’t think we can thrive. And this lack of hope leads to much of the disfunction in the black community.

    I’ve never understood it. Maybe it’s because my dad was a sucssessful businesman and I had empirical evidence that a black man could thrive.

    I love being black but some days…I’m just nigga’d out.

  13. civilNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 6:05 pm #

    just what took you so long .

  14. jam donaldsonNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    my bad.

  15. MamadocNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 6:15 pm #

    Yes Jam, it’s scary but true. Before Barack Obama, most just saw the same good ol boy running with a different name. Another rich white man who was clueless about what happened in their world – and yes the two perceptions of the world differ.

    As for role model, I really wish more would take what you’ve said to heart and make the decision today to make a difference. Reach out to the youths and kids we shake our heads at on the way to happy hour. Not all will listen, but there are a lot who are just waiting for someone to reach out to them. Right now, what we see is representative of their closest role models.

  16. MarianneNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    We are all searching for a messiah and have been since the dawn of time. It is part of our DNA. Please be grateful, and tred lightly on the races. I see it as a new world order. The landscape has changed. This is just the beginning. The world has just become a more beautiful place. Relax, and just be.

  17. tara l. conleyNo Gravatar on 08 Dec 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    Wonderful post! I imagine that as time goes by more and more folks will begin to think more critically about the Obama symbol/living archetype. This is certainly a timely discussion that is needed. I also think that your point speaks to the view many americans hold about Obama in general – like c’mon, did we really need Obama to come along and tell us how shitty these past 8 years were – WHY DID IT TAKE SO LONG? We could’ve/should’ve (and some of us have been) advocating and working for change along time ago. It’s the culture we live in, honestly. But yes, it is a scary thought when you think that some of us need someone else – or rather, a symbol of something else – to motivate, inspire, and/or reveal what we already (should) know. OH! I love the “creams for Obama” line – lovely imagery, my dear :-)

    tara l. conley’s last blog post..Women of Color in an Obama Era

  18. Robert ReecNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 4:42 am #

    I agree with what you’re saying but I must ask, why say it now? Why, now that we have this leader, must you question people for being inspired to change? Instead of scolding the community for not feeling inspired earlier, we should praise them for wanting to change now and continue to do everything in our power to help them make positive changes. It doesn’t really matter why they didn’t want to do better before, only that they want to do better now.

    Robert Reec’s last blog post..Socialism?

  19. JasslynNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 5:48 am #

    Well said ! I just think that too many black people are expecting him to do everything for us , and he cant do everything . Not to mention the fact that we as blacks need to realize that good things come when we work together , you know as a team- Together EVERYONE Achieves More . The key words are together and everyone . If we dont work together , how can we expect to have any results- we can’t.

    This was my first presidential election. Im 20 , been registered since I was 18 . I worked the election , and I saw older people so excited to vote , because for once they didnt have to choose the lessor of two evils . To hear some of my friends saying that they didnt vote “Because Illinois is already a blue state – so my vote wouldn’t have made a difference ” really got my blood boiling . I mean , people fought for the right to vote , and you just take it for granted that you live in the US . Its some countries that dont even have the right to vote .

    Thanks again for the post – dont be away so long next time !

  20. jamdonaldsonNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 10:04 am #

    To Robert, without looking critically at our sudden obama-inspired inspiration to do better, we run the risk of another Million man March effect. We all get excited about ourselves for a moment and then it goes away. Obama cant be president forever, so while i certainly support and welcome and am thrilled by his ability to inspires — i just wonder if our inspiration only seems attached to certain people or movements, arent we destined to fail? Shouldnt our inspiration be attached to our own self worth and endless potential? Like I said, Im definitely happy he has been able to do it, but when obama goes, what happens then?

  21. JenniferNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 11:04 am #

    You need a talk show.

  22. jamdonaldsonNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    LOL!!! I would LOVE to do a talk show. I don’t know if the world is ready for that…

  23. jamdonaldsonNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    To Tara—
    I’m just sayin…
    :-)

  24. ChristenNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 1:19 pm #

    I totally agree with you. I was watching television and there was a 68 year old man saying he never voted and he saved his vote for this. I was just sitting at home amazed that he actually said that on TV. We should have been striving to make changes not just because we don’t want to “look bad” because we have a black president but so we won’t look bad in general.

    Christen’s last blog post..Me in Pictures

  25. KellyeNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 3:07 pm #

    While I am a white woman and have never been to a large city or anywhere near a “ghetto”, I was at one time very poor and raising 2 children in an enviroment that was anything but right. I pulled myself out of that and now, 20+ years later, am very comfortably middle-class. I realize that I don’t have the racial bs that colored folks do, so perhaps I am way out of line here….but damnit, Jam, I agree 100% with you. I have seen too many white folks who won’t even try to better themselves, but bitch incessantly about how the govt. isn’t helping them. WTF do they expect??? Get off your dead ass and try! I also know way too many people of all shades of life who refuse to vote, but do not hesitate to decry the president, the senators, the mayor of their town. Talk about pissing a person off. If you don’t vote, shut the hell up!

    I just wish we could clone you and get you into every school across the nation and have you telling every child from the age of 12 and up your sermon!!

  26. KellyeNo Gravatar on 09 Dec 2008 at 3:09 pm #

    BTW, I love Obama and like you, cream for him! :)

  27. JaBeNo Gravatar on 10 Dec 2008 at 1:56 pm #

    Well Jam as usual, you’ve done it again. Like many things, the media chose to focus on the people who’ve never voted until now(triflin’); nevermind that our grandparents risked their lives for that right. Like you, this wasn’t my 1st presendential election I believe it goes a lil something like this: Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Bush, OBAMA!!!(please no hate mail on the 2nd term Bush vote- Like far too many of us, I got cold feet behind the veil and wasn’t too sure about Kerry-who knew? I guess the swift boaters got to me).

    I truly don’t believe that the masses believe that President-elect Obama will solve all the ills and right all the wrongs. We don’t believe that he’s the second coming. What we’re reveling in is the fact that education, success and integrity that we knew existing in Black men is embodied in Obama for ALL to see and know for themselves. Yes, they may’ve been few and far between, but they’re always among us. Obama’s win reinforced what things I’ve been instilling in my son; encouraging him to always do his best.
    Was there much celebrating at 11:00pm 4Nov08?
    Of course. Is there much work left to be done? Definitely.

    Not too sure what the ‘bs’ was in Kelle’s comment

  28. Still Your Mind NowNo Gravatar on 10 Dec 2008 at 7:11 pm #

    Excellent content here and a nice writing style too – keep up the great work!

  29. KellyeNo Gravatar on 10 Dec 2008 at 7:47 pm #

    Not too sure what the ‘bs’ was in Kelle’s comment…in reply to this, JaBe….I don’t have to put up with the same type of crap that anyone of any color unfortunatly still does. (And yes, that pisses me off also, however, that’s a differant rant on a differant day.)

    It’s truly sad that in today’s America there are far too few people who do like you are, and I did, with their children.

  30. FuriousstylesNo Gravatar on 10 Dec 2008 at 8:05 pm #

    A thousand thanks, Jam. You are killing me softly with your song. Reading this lets me know that I am not the only “Huey Freeman in a Riley World”.
    All reading: do y’all remember when the Cosby Show was supposed to be the answer to all our problems? Look at our collective condition since then! I danced in the streets when Obama won, all the while knowing that his victory didn’t improve black male high school graduation rates, decrease infant mortality rates, or raise median Black income or net worth.
    If anyone hasn’t seen John Henrik Clarke’s “A Great and Mighty Walk” biodocumentary, do so. We don’t need THE leader. If people ask us who are leaders are, we can ask “what’s the issue”; if it’s education, health care, business, we can get the corresponding leader on that. If black folks collectively draft an “actionable” plan, then any literate person could execute it. Then our movements wouldn’t die when our leaders die/get co-opted/are imprisoned.
    Will we wait for Obama to save us if (God forbid) he gets caught up in a scandal, or if he tells too much of the truth about racism and makes White America mad(der)?

  31. MzPoodle1No Gravatar on 11 Dec 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    Y’all clit ride Jam too muuch. Now that Black folks are trying to get their acts together, “Well why you aint do it beofre now?” STFU!! If niggas want to start pulling up their pants because Obama got elected stfu and let them!! Black people, intelligent and ignant always got soemthing to complain about. Hell, better late than never.

    And I understand why people weren’t inspire to vote because they figured it wouldn’t mean anything with the same kind of person in office: A white man that didn’t give two f*cks about them. Hell white people are inspired by celbs, and past presidents too. A white parent could actually tell their kids they could grow up to be president and not have to worry if they were lying to them. Stop fucking complaining!!

  32. MzPoodle1No Gravatar on 11 Dec 2008 at 12:29 pm #

    STFU and let Black people start doing right for a change. Everybody has to complain about something. Better late than never. White people look to people like Hillary Clinton, Ronald Regan, Nicole Kidman, Bono,all different types of people for leadership. When they want to make a diffrernce they call out the celebrity leaders in their groups. Jam, you get on my nerves! Be happy people want to do right for a change.

  33. jam donaldsonNo Gravatar on 11 Dec 2008 at 12:40 pm #

    Perhaps you were blinded by your vitriol but the larger point is that if we’re always waiting for someone to inspire us, doesnt that doom us to failure? I think I was clear that I am extremely happy that people feel inpired by him to do better. But Obama wont be president forever and at that point we have to decide whether we want to take the lead in inpsiring each other every day to do better, or whether we will then sit back and wait for the next magic negro.

    lastly, “clit ride”? nice.

  34. ChristinaNo Gravatar on 11 Dec 2008 at 8:06 pm #

    It is an empirically reproducible fact that positive reinforcement is a much healthier and effective learning system than negative reinforcement. Negative reinforcement is fueled by fear, whereas positive reinforcement gains is power from boosting self-confidence, self-esteem, and motivation for achieving. I always find myself working harder when I know (A) that what I am doing can be done –’seeing is believing’ and (B) I can see the reward and imagine myself receiving the positive benefits of that reward.

    With negative reinforcement, many people, fueled by fear simply do enough to escape the negative consequences, not to enjoy the positive consequences. (i.e. Doctors filing a million pieces of paperwork and following HMO treatment plans to avoid being sued vs treating patients with the positive reinforcement of improving someone’s quality (+-length) of life.)

    So, yeah, it sucks that black folk remained voluntarily disenfranchised from the political process (they probably weren’t taught about Jim Crow and the serious bloodshed of their ancestors in public school to obtain voting rights– I wasn’t) even though its obvious that our situation is bad and needs improvement. However, I am excited that someone (Obama) has a public platform for the disenfranchised to see and believe that they too can escape poverty and ignorance without the traditional paths publicized by our widely watched public platforms of the NBA, NFL, BET, and MTV. :-(

  35. Love and HappinessNo Gravatar on 12 Dec 2008 at 12:37 am #

    Well its good SOMEBODY inspired them!!

  36. FOROBAMANo Gravatar on 12 Dec 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    I have to disagree with your article….first and foremost why start your article using the word “NEGRO,” why not Black or African American!! But yet, you want to say negative things about our people and other races because this is their first time voting. Well I am 44 years old and I must admit this is my second time voting…why? Well two reasons, I will admit I was one of those people that thought my “vote” didn’t count and secondly, for the last 24 years I have been serving my and your country in the military, ensuring that we all had the right to vote not matter who is running for office. Have you ever thought that people voted for the first time, not because Mr. Obama is black but because they were tired of the same old good ole boy routine….black, white, asian, etc, it doesn’t matter, this “world” needed a change and Mr. Obama was the man at this place in time, he could have easily been another race, I believe people would have still came out in record amounts. Now, because of my ignorance about my vote not counting, I can sincerely look at my grandson and tell him, the world is his and if he puts his heart to it he can be and accomplish anything he desires…..NOT as you state “NEGRO”, not even as a black man….but as a MAN!!!! God bless President-Elect Obama, the world has to support him!!!!

  37. james fordNo Gravatar on 12 Dec 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    my father (1925-99) would call me and my brother to watch documentaries on black people getting beaten, attacked by dogs and fire hoses turned on them because they wanted to vote. we weren’t ten yet. he wanted to understand how we got where we are. they once changed my voting district and i drove around for three hours until i found where i was supposed to be. i couldn’t let my dad down.

    my fear is that when did intelligence trump bling in the mind of a lot of people? black people criticized the cosbys for not being “real” (because i suppose andy griffith is) and it’s real easy for (black) people to say, “well, he’s not really black.” he doesn’t count. i had a black woman at my office who said tiger woods thinks he’s white because he married a white woman. really? you want a list of black celebrities married white women? would she ever call richard pryor, dennis rodman, ice-t, dave chappelle or taye diggs white-wannabees? is that what gets his black card revoked or is because he’s intelligent and plays golf? another woman told me will smith wasn’t really a rapper? really? i am sure the academy of music would disagree with her. or is the problem that will smith isn’t ghetto and has lots of crossover fans? when a rapper becomes the most bankable actor in hollywood you accept that shit gladly and brag about it.

    for some reason we like to run from success. we like to be proud when we’re from compton and “keepin’ it real.”

    my father always made me aware of successful black people (not athletes and before rappers). he pointed out people who owned businesses and were executives when they were featured in Ebony magazine because he knew at 5’6″ i wasn’t going to be a jock but i could be those people. i remember him pointing out colin powell as a man who came from nothing and accomplished everything (my father was a career military man). he told me the real power in football isn’t the players on the field but the managers and owners in a skybox.

    my wife is a civil lawyer and always says it amazes her that poor people never vote in their self-interest. they vote for moral issues and not for social issues that will probably impact them.

    http://www.jamesford.wordpress.com

  38. RuthNo Gravatar on 13 Dec 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    Very well stated. I too am appalled at the state of society. While I am 100% Obama and everything that I stand for, I am saddened that many people chose to vote for him based on his skin color. Since when is ok to base someone by the color of their skin while ignoring the person that they are? Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what our forefathers fought years to prevent?

    It’s sad that we needed one MAN, a MORTAL to “re-invent” the Black community. I’m sorry but I do what I do for ME and MINES, not because there’s a man of MIXED HERITAGE in office. Oh ya’ll didn’t know? He’s half White. I did what I had to do BEFORE he was in office and I’m gonna keep doing what I have to do once he’s gone.

    I could go on for days but I think you covered everything very eloquently. As you said, God help us when he’s gone. Are the belts gonna be thrown away? The guns re-cocked? Will the “N” word be back from hiatus? Smh.

    The Black community as a whole needs a reality check. Could this election be it? Who knows. But my question is why do we need someone else to tell us who we are and what we can be?

    Peace and love.

  39. SpinsterNo Gravatar on 13 Dec 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    Never thought of it this way and it makes sense. Thanks for your thoughts; it just changed my perspective.

  40. DesignthropologistNo Gravatar on 14 Dec 2008 at 2:15 am #

    Well stated. I had more than a few “eye roll” moments throughout the post-election coverage. I really feel like the majority of people are missing the President-Elect’s whole point. He’s called on parent’s to turn off the tv’s, check the homework and show up for Parent-Teacher conferences. He has also made it very clear that there are tough times ahead; two wars and a failing economy. Our position hasn’t changed in the grand scheme of things, it is still up to us.

    “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
    Mohandas Gandhi

  41. NicoleNo Gravatar on 14 Dec 2008 at 6:10 pm #

    I am a black female from Chicago that now lives in Miami and I completely agree. It was inspiring to see Obama win the race and become the President-elect. It was inspiring to me though because of the fact that he was a working class individual like most Americans are and because he was a senator representing my state. Race to me was not really a factor. Yes it is nice to see a more progressive outlook on who can be the President but his race, in my opinion, was not the deciding factor in whether he would get my vote or not. As for the individuals that only voted for Barack Obama because of the fact that he is black, I feel as though they should take a closer look and examine their actions. By voting for someone solely because of the fact that he is black you are making it okay for other black people to do this in the future and saying to other races that it is okay for them to vote against someone solely because of the fact that they are black.

    This was the first Presidential election that I could vote in and I waited eight hours in the rain and sun to do so. To me this is all about the pride one has in their ethnicity. My grandmother was heavily involved in the civil rights movement and the notion that anyone would not vote when others fought and died for our right to do so, is beyond me. I am not preaching, I am just saying that I agree with the post. I think that it is up to us as a race to take personal responsibility for the way we raise our children and what we think is socially acceptable. A child should not have to search for one role model or only have one. There should be a multitude to choose from and again we should not have to rely on said role model to relate to us how our behavior should be.

  42. Anonymous on 14 Dec 2008 at 7:21 pm #

    To me voting for someone because they are black is just as bad as not voting for them because they are. I’m glad that Obama won, I voted for him myself, but It saddens me to think that a large majority of people voted for him not because of his politics or his character but because of the color of his skin.

  43. DDNo Gravatar on 15 Dec 2008 at 8:28 pm #

    Truth is, I didn’t need Obama or anyone else to tell me what I need to do for my community, I’m a Christian first and foremost, and my heart led me there. However, the “follow the leader” mentality is evident in all cultures, not just the Black culture, it’s human nature. It’s shown when Moses came down from Mount Sinai and the Israelites built golden statues and were willing to worship even Moses if he let them, because they felt they needed a “saviour,” they could physically see and were looking to justify their sinful ways. It’s symbolic of people willing to following the wrong leader in a Nazi Hitler, and indicative of the fact that many of them could not think for themselves and killed millions of innocent people. It was apparent in the way that some people followed Martin Luther King Jr. until the end, were willing to struggle with him, although some Black ministers wouldn’t even allow him in their pulpits because they thought he was too controversial, but once he died, his bandwagon was overflowing, but he symbolized the “Dream” we should have never let die. So yes, it is scary that some people voted for the first time and they were over the age of 22, it is sad that some people look at Obama as the “saviour” and not for the man he is, but I must admit, that I love seeing him with our young Black boys, because as much as we hate to admit it, that is a lost role model in our community, there aren’t too many other cultures that have to look at their men in that way, as lost beings who we long to protect our communities more. If Obama is that type of role model I don’t have a problem with that, yes we could do a heck of alot better and prayerfully we will, but it’s better than not having a role model at all, White children have had a White man to look up to for years, why can’t we?

  44. DDNo Gravatar on 15 Dec 2008 at 8:47 pm #

    By the way, I can’t wait until our next President is Native American, Indian, Asian or Hispanic, or any race or culture. I’m ready for America to truly be the “melting pot” it claims to be. It’s time to make up for all these years of “color blindness,” and sterotypes.

  45. DDNo Gravatar on 15 Dec 2008 at 8:49 pm #

    By the way, I can’t wait until our next President is Native American, Indian, Asian or Hispanic, or any race or culture. I’m ready for America to truly be the “melting pot” it claims to be. It’s time to make up for all these years of “color blindness,” and stereotypes.

  46. P. Kenneth BurnsNo Gravatar on 16 Dec 2008 at 4:51 pm #

    You are on point as always. This is why I don’t get wrapped up in supporting people, no matter the color.

    I agree with DD, I’m a Christian first and foremost. Although, I think that the follow the leader mentality seems to be worse for black people as opposed to other race and ethnic groups.

    While overall, Obama’s election victory was decisive and not tainted by race, the sad thought is that many people picked him because of his race. That saddens me, particularly because many neighborhoods where there are black politicians have not improved much. They are getting elected because of race and not their record or where they stand.

    I’m glad that I wasn’t the only one thinking this.

  47. John E Rocjjk ItsNo Gravatar on 16 Dec 2008 at 5:58 pm #

    GOODNESS. Thank you for stating this!!! OMFG!!! The key to everything is within ourselves and through collective consciousness. Not within idols :-)

    John E Rocjjk Its’s last blog post..GOOD MORNING!!!

  48. DDNo Gravatar on 16 Dec 2008 at 6:09 pm #

    Well, we have no real proof on whether or not Black people are worse than any other race when it comes to following the leader or better yet the research is not adequate. According to history, we’ve been in this country as long as White people who have been at the forefront for centuries, many Native Americans have been pushed aside, Hispanics were pushed out and even when they were going through, they depended on leaders such as Caesar Chavez and even MLK Jr. to help pull them out, so many minorities including women (White and Black) have followed the lead of Black people to get them out of terrible situations. I don’t know if it’s a matter of we follow more or if we are the ones who are more outspoken and appear to “need” a leader more.

  49. P. Kenneth BurnsNo Gravatar on 16 Dec 2008 at 6:56 pm #

    Fair point on research not being done. I would say that it’s not a case of us needing a leader or we follow more. I would say that it’s more of a case of someone needing to step up and being a leader that someone can look up to. Now, looking up to someone does not necessarily mean follow someone. Following someone is a completely different situation because when you follow someone, you know that they will have your best interest at heart and they know who you are.

    We can look up to MLK and Malcolm X (who later discovered that Islam is just a religion for everyone, not just black people.) We can also look up to Harriet Tubman and Langston Hughes. People in general will look up to those who step up without being asked.

    Right now, I see Obama as a leader. Not a Black leader, but a leader. He continued on when those who appointed themselves as Black leaders tried to tell him to sit down. But he didn’t, and they cried crocodile tears that night. The only person that I thought who was genuine about being happy with a Barack Obama win was Maya Angelou.

  50. Mr. ShabazzNo Gravatar on 16 Dec 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    As I read this I keep seeing people say that many Black people voted for Obama simply because he was Black. Who were we supposed to vote for John McCain and Sara Palin? Get Real!

    Its true that in some of our communities we have Black politicians that aren’t doing much. However, in my native south side of Chicago for example (as well as in 100 other places) many of the neighborhoods and communities are 90% Black so the bad politicians, the great politicians, and the indifferent are inevitably going to be Black.

    Currently I live in the (99% white) state of Kansas. However last February when I participated in the Democratic caucus I saw literally thousands of my white neighbors come out to stand up for Barack Obama. It was a beautiful chaos that night because my polling station was expecting less than 100 people to show up but over 2500 came out. The Obama line stretched down two blocks but the Hiliary Clinton line was able to fit nicely into a small corner. They recognized who this man was.

    Even though Jesse Jackson has turned into a sniping glory hog in the past few years I do believe he was truly glad to see Obama win. Jealous definitely but still glad for Obama.

    Obama is not our leader but truly a role model still.

  51. P. Kenneth BurnsNo Gravatar on 16 Dec 2008 at 9:49 pm #

    Correction there Mr. Shabazz. Since you live in Kansas, Mr. Obama is your leader, seeing thathe is President (or will be,) but I see what you mean (I think.)

    But don’t misunderstand what I am saying. I believe a healthy number voted for Obama based on skin color. Thankfully, that was not the majority based on the numbers.

    But the bottom line overall is that it had to take a “Magic Negro” to get black people to go out and vote. Jam is right in saying that there have been a number of instances where we could have changed things for the better, but we didn’t. The status quo stayed practically the same. All of a sudden Obama runs for President and people are inspired. Something is wrong with this picture folks.

  52. DDNo Gravatar on 17 Dec 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    This is very interesting, I love the dialogue. We must not give up on our own, when for every pant that is sagged, we’ve got grunge, Goth, or something else that is not the status quo, for every Black person on welfare, we’ve got a White person on welfare, for every home that is broken, we’ve got that on the opposite end of the spectrum too, the overwhelming amount of sex in the media has been inescapable for all young people, the ills of society are effecting everyone, not just the Black community. The only thing is, while our scope is somewhat limited on who we have as examples or leaders or whatever the case may be, we are taught to strive harder because we are Black and on the other side, it’s just do your best, and there are a greater number of people to look at for those examples. I am not making excuses for us, yes, we definitely need to start with home. I agree with the fact that our children are suffering at our own hands. It saddens me daily, but the issues we deal with include lack of exposure, ignorance (choosing to ignore the matters at hand), and selfishness rather than selflessness. Here in Dallas, TX, I’ve heard stories from teachers about middle school aged students who have never been downtown and they live less than 15 minutes away from it. The U.S. has become a me, me, me country, really it was founded under those principles, but we are so wrapped up into ourselves, not realizing some of the small things that occur in our communities, until White people with money go on TV talking about how they’ve lost it and overall as a people we’ve never had as much money as some of these people are saying they’ve lost. We are satisfied with buying the latest Mercedes or even Honda because it looks good without knowing whether or not a Ford might feed a family of five in the U.S., and not whose household is led by steel plant workers. We are satisfied with buying a Coach or Gucci purse without knowing whether or not the kid 30 minutes away has a coat and not caring whether or not the person overseas who made the product makes $5 an hour or less than $1. We are not truly living like we all could possibly be one paycheck away from welfare. I know those of us who work with others can’t save the world, but when individuals work together, well hmm, “yes we can.” When I say “we” I am guilty too, yes, I do volunteer and help and have issues in my family I am trying to help with, but I also know that sometimes, I want what I want and think that I’ve “earned” it by going to college and working, so let’s focus on what I want. We ignore a lot of things. When my niece and nephew were in the 6th grade, I was highly upset when I went up to the school to see why they still didn’t have books and school had been in session for about a good month or two and to find out the school was completely out of books. I felt like I was living in 1952! If you weren’t a parent you didn’t know that and some parents could care less, so who’s going to fight for our children? Should that be left to parents only? Now when it comes to our race and voting, yes it is disturbing and during the election it was mentioned on ABC that about 36% of White men actually vote, which shows how complacent they have become, knowing that minorities aren’t using their voice, we do need to step it up. are in knowing that Black or other folks, are not going to vote, so they have nothing to worry about.

  53. NaifNo Gravatar on 19 Dec 2008 at 12:14 pm #

    Conversate is not a word and a “magical negro” does not exist. You were on point with this commentary until your constant reference of Obama as the magical negro. Why water down your argument by turning him into some mythical character? You’ve completely undermined your own stance by doing so.

  54. jam donaldsonNo Gravatar on 19 Dec 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    I dont believe in magical negroes. I was being sarcastic. I think Obama is a brilliant, accomplished, compassionate, inspiring politician and human being. He has lived a life we all can learn something from. We all have an ability to rise above our obstacles. Nothing magic about that.

  55. KishaNo Gravatar on 19 Dec 2008 at 3:05 pm #

    Scary, yes. Reality, yes.

    I understand your meaning behind this question but failure seems to doom the person mind and spirit. I am not making an excuse for the lack of coming together in the community and I live with it everyday. In fact, my father is the only person on the neighborhood that does not have a problem confronting drug dealers. Have you ever tried something and failed? How often do you try it again? Have you ever had someone do the work for you? Have you ever collected welfare and didn’t have to lift a finger? Have you ever voted for years and the last time it was a good year was Clinton and even he made mistakes? It becomes tiresome to deal with the triumph of success. My kid’s father told me if I vote and Obama don’t win, I am not voting again. I KNEW it was an ignorant statement but I felt the pain that went along with it. I was one that stood in line a LONGGGG time to vote against Bush 4 years ago but he ended up winning again. I didn’t want to give up on the Obama legacy and I think those people that stood in line to vote against Bush somehow inspired those lazy people that didn’t vote during that time to vote for Obama. Again, no excuse but reality. There are many ways to address this situation and yes it can be looked as a sad situation but a good part about it is that when it comes down to supporting one of our own, hell we come together (both good and bad terms) and do that. Now you can complain if we didn’t!!

    I do agree with you that our togetherness is not on point but you have to dig deep down into politics to find some sources as to why our asses were so lazy. Something someone said really made me see the light. People complained about Regan when he was President and he tried to take welfare away. Why did we complain? Why not work hard to make a living? Why not have welfare for those that REALLY need it or as a TEMPORARY assistance? Regan may have had some shit with him but sometimes we need the strike force to come along and take this “comfort” level of living away to help us become stronger as individuals. I am NOT Republican in any way BUT dig deep down. Hell, don’t vote, don’t worry about voting, you can still collect welfare…. Sounds good? YUP to most people. This world of politics is screwed up enough. I know by the looks of it you can blame “the people” but it starts somewhere!!!

  56. muzeNo Gravatar on 19 Dec 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    this is a GREAT post.

    and ‘magical negro’ is such a fitting term for this.

    i am torn too. on one hand, i think it’s because for so long our community HASN’T seen any good, any cosby-like families that have reached the masses like the Obamas, so it is inspiring to see that instead of that otherness on the cover of mags and on our television screens, showing our children how to be and act.

    BUT, you’re right… what will we do in (hopefully) eight years when there is no longer a ‘magical’ black man in office. we need to have a lesson in the bootstrap method. lol

    muze’s last blog post..PLEASE, just don’t.

  57. prin848 on 19 Dec 2008 at 9:03 pm #

    I think what is being said is not so much that black youth dying in the street was not motivating, or that other elections were not important, but that before there was no sense of hope, and now there is. Obama is inspiring hope in the black community. When there is no hope that change can happen, no attempt at change will be made. When there is hope that change can happen, attempts will be made. Don’t you think?

  58. Anonymous on 19 Dec 2008 at 9:12 pm #

    I think thats a valid point. Its just hard for me to conceive that generations before us had hope and faced obstacles much more difficult than anything we face today, yet still had the hope and inspiration to continuously strive to improve thier condition. Whether it was the work ethic or the focus of education or the family unit, we seemed to have our core values and focus in check.

    So, it begs the question…today, when we have more than ever and are exposed to more opportunities than ever, are we suddenly so hopeless that we dont even want to act on our own behalf anymore? Our parents and grandparents and beyond had to deal with a much crueler, harder world and they didnt ever seem to lose hope as a community. what made us give up?

    not sure…i just thought it was an important cnversation to have.

  59. one2No Gravatar on 21 Dec 2008 at 5:52 am #

    Great post!

    On a side note, referring to some arguments above, I still am not convinced that the only reason Blacks (all or a significant portion) voted for Obama simply because he’s (half) Black. Even if there is a portion that did make this their deciding factor, why is this as big a problem as it is? (A rhetorical question. I understand why, but for argument’s sake let’s continue.) Are females that supported for Hilary or the McPalin ticket going to be put on blast because their deciding factor was a vagina? Are the Whites who supported the McPalin ticket going to be put on blast because their deciding factor was the candidate’s skin color? Are Blacks who supported McPalin because of self-hate or that they didn’t want to be seen as supporting Obama because he’s Black going to be put on blast?

    I just find it ridiculous that Blacks are catching flack for something that many groups would do or has done. Where’s the uproar from non-Blacks about Whites who have voted for a White candidate because of their race or a White candidate who would most benefit the White population? If an Asian/Hispanic/Native American/female/gay/transgender/handidcap presidential candidate made it as far as Obama, do you really think that their respective group wouldn’t use that connection as a reason to give a second look at that candidate, vote for that candidate, or make voting for that candidate more likely? There will be ppl in each group who will vote solely on such physical connections.

  60. jam donaldsonNo Gravatar on 21 Dec 2008 at 10:58 am #

    i think many of the later commenters are missing and misconstruing the point. I could care less WHY you voted for Obama. Who cares if ou voted for him because he was black. Im sure a lot of people voted for mcCain because he WASNT black. I dont care why you voted. My point is that why werent you voting before? Why didnt you work for chnage before? Why werent you concerened about changing communities and taking an interest in your lives and the lives of your children before Obama? Why did it take a presidential candidate to get you to want to affect change in comunities that have needed it for decades? THATS the point. I could give two squirts of duck shit if you voted for someone because of their race—especially when its clear he’s the best candidate anyway—as long as you have been consistenly voting and making your voive heard before then.

    We have to stop relying on outside forces to make us work for change on our own behalf.

  61. chanelNo Gravatar on 21 Dec 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    Jam, some people disagree just to disagree. You based your opinions and points on a lot of facts and I agree with this article.

    chanel’s last blog post..thank you.

  62. KishaNo Gravatar on 22 Dec 2008 at 2:23 pm #

    I know I didn’t miss the point of your question. I labled my response as to why people do that and how it’s just reality. Please read mine above. Sometimes people feel like their voice do not carry and voting for a black man, it may be heard. Then you have those that did just decide to vote because a black man was trying to make it into office. You ask why? Because of the ignorance in this world! Reality. Many of us are lazy. Many of us ARE not aware of the importance of voting. If everyone that didn’t vote because they thought their voice didn’t matter would have voted against Bush he would not have been in office. Scary, yes it is. But like I said, a lot of this have to start somewhere. I cannot tell you 1 time I was taught the IMPORTANCE of voting in school. No, I was not old enough but why is it not taught as much in school, in the home, the community. Our people get more and more relaxed in the world as it goes down. It’s sad and a shame. I have always voted since I was able to and I have a friend that don’t care to. She thinks her vote don’t matter.

    Jam, look at this like playing the lottery. You have a 1 in 20 million chance of winning the pot. You have those that faithfully play everyday and those that play because they think just for today, something good will happen. THEN you have those that KNOW they will not be the 1 in 20 million that will get the money. The voting process goes the same way. On Nov, 4th, those that thought they might have a chance stood in line to vote…ugly and scary!!

    I AGREE with your article but my response is, its just a sad reality check. I watched how people stood on corners asking people if they were registered and about 50% of them would say no and not even want to register. What can we do about it? Well we now have a black man in office. Maybe some of those people that are dedicated to voting will bring this to his attention and they will now see the impact it has on the world if we don’t!!

  63. Clyde on 22 Dec 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    I agree with this post and also the scary reality is that we as African-Americans put to much stock in electoral politics, those of us that vote think its enough and dont lobby our politicians or hold them accountable. So yeah there is an African-American in office, but jsut having him in office wont make our communities and situations better, holding him and our elected officials accountable will.

    Clyde’s last blog post..FOX NEWS Makes me physically sick.

  64. m.wright01No Gravatar on 22 Dec 2008 at 10:09 pm #

    I usually don’t write I just read, but this is just too much. As long as my people our inspired I could care less how it finally happened!!! I’m happy that my child can really have a role model like everyone else. Like someone else said white folks don’t have to talk about finally having a role model, because their all over the place. The last 43 president’s have been WHITE! And as far as “black people should be there own role model”, who said were not? Many on this blog said they are making it happen by themselves. All this means is for the ones that need more inspiration They Got IT!!, Thank you Lord!!!, and for those with big dreams now they may really feel that they can achieve it!! So please people stop drinking hater aide and enjoy the next 4(8) years!!
    Now all Together;
    YES WE CAN!!!!!!
    Oh by the way thanks for the blogger that wrote colored people, just proves my point.

  65. Anonymous on 23 Dec 2008 at 12:27 am #

    lol i love the fact that your blog is called Conversate is not a word, because it really isn’t but everyone uses it all the time…

  66. jam donaldsonNo Gravatar on 23 Dec 2008 at 12:50 am #

    To M Wright, first check out my blog posting on “hating” — then please understand that I am just as happy as everyone else that people are inspired, i just want to be sure this lasts more than another 4 or 8 years. We cant tie a community’s destiny to the success of one or two people. Sure Obama is inspirational and makes us all proud, Im just reiterating that our inspiration cant be too closely tied to a person, because once the person is gone, what happens? It becomes like the Million Man March, everyone gets real excited and then…its gone.

  67. bigshortyNo Gravatar on 23 Dec 2008 at 11:37 am #

    I understand your frustration Jam, I loved the sarcasm of Obama being characterized a “magic Negro”, the irony was not lost on me, as I am a student of history. NO disrespect to President Obama and his historical accomplishment, but even his ascendence to office will not be enough to galvanize the masses of Black people to adequately address the myriad problems facing our community. Since the story of Ausar, Auset and Heru in ancient Kemet, humanity, especially African people, have believed in a Messiah/Savior that will one day return and right all of mortal man’s mistakes. I don’t want to debate the origin of religion and spirituality, that would take up too much time; essentially people have been conditioned and trained to look outside of themselves to find the motivation and strength to achieve and persevere.

    Whatever your belief (or non-belief) Black people need to see the common interest and benefits of collective unity and responsibility, regardless of the artificial barriers that divide and conquer us so well, ie. light skin, dark skin, college educated, ex-con, US born, foreign born, Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, agnostic, North, South, city, country, etc. The diversity of thought and action in the Black community is both a blessing and a curse, it can give us the uniqueness, creativity, and intelligence to transform humanity as well as keep us bogged down in the pettiness of differences. Obama can serve as an inspiration and can also work to expand opportunities for Black people, but ultimately the work will have to be done by the everyday people who are not in the proverbial “power position”, but who really hold the most powerful position on earth…knowledge of self and reality. Trust this Black people, no one is coming to save us or our community(not even Obama), no deity is going to descend from the clouds and “make it alright”. As a people, our creator has imbued us with all we need to correct our condition and create whatever reality we deem necessary. All the prophets have come…we must do the work.

  68. KishaNo Gravatar on 23 Dec 2008 at 4:50 pm #

    No matter what is said, there will always be a problem with how black people respond to each other. Many of us don’t care, many of us are just angry and many of us fight very hard to get to where we are going. With all the mixed emotions of our people, you will never have just one settled reason as to why we did or did not do something to make ourselves better as a race. Just as black people voted for Obama to win because he was black, I am sure many whites voted for McCain for the same reason. The question you ask; there is no good response. The question you ask; the answer will never satisfy you. The world is divided no matter how educated many of us are and try to change others way of viewing the political process.

    If there was a black man and black woman running for office; I am sure men would vote for the man and women for the lady (not 100% but close). People instincts tend to go with WHO they can relate to. Before Barack, people didn’t vote because they thought, hey a white man in office again, nothing will change. I do not agree with this but this is how many people feel about voting. It’s not that important to them because they will have to deal with whatever is there anyhow. If we put a black man in office, oh this could really mean something.

    Again, its not a good way to look at it but it is what it is…reality.

  69. JaBeNo Gravatar on 24 Dec 2008 at 8:33 am #

    Thank ya lawdy bigshorty. It’s definitely great to have a President in office that looks like you(me) and have a physical example for our children to concretely show them that with their hard work and due diligence anything is possible. That all the ground work, morals, values, work ethic, study skills and extra-curricular activities are not in vain. (to borrow from bigshorty)~As a people, our creator has imbued us with all we need to correct our condition and create whatever reality we deem necessary. (I like that!) Is the road a little tougher for some to ho than for others? Of course so let’s get to work.
    Everyone, enjoy your Christmas and have a safe, prosperous and debt-free new year!!!

  70. Get Togetha :: Soulful. Living. » Link Love! on 24 Dec 2008 at 7:07 pm #

    [...] I’m really feeling this post. Conversate is not a Word. [...]

  71. Truth_Honest_Real_MeNo Gravatar on 26 Dec 2008 at 4:47 am #

    Well I set back, watched as ppl got so excited about this this man becoming president of the united states! Black, white, and etc. I am a real young black female very strong minded and loves my black community! I remember sitting down with my grandfather and him tellin me about my black heritage! And how strong and proud our ppl where! LOL! As I started to grow up I started to see how easy it was for black men to disrespect a black women! how easy it was for black women to do the same to him! how easy it was for a black man to direspect another black man! how easy it was for a black woman to disrespect another black women! how easy it was for a black man to disrespect his self! how easy it was for a black woman to disrespect her self! I am not trying to preach but as a ppl we don’t have respect for our selfs or our are ppl! we don’t take pride in our own color! we don’t see the good in our own color! we don’t believe in our own color for crying out loud! we wont survive! and its sad and hurtful! I have tears in my eyes because how can we as ppl come togather and help! when half of us don’t even believe in family! I am 20 years old and have seen more than a childs eyes should ever see but I survive because I believed! half our chrildren don’t or men don’t or women don’t! we need more then just some to stand up and strive to be different! we crumbling and I really say with all my heart mr president will not be walking down all of our ghettos! touching our children and saving there soul or even let alone reaching out to them to change there minds about them selfs and there situations! all I am saying once we get respect for our selfs then our families and then in our community and just realize how important those things are then we can survive without mr president!

  72. KazelhvyNo Gravatar on 28 Dec 2008 at 7:21 am #

    Hi webmaster! yjg

  73. C. Spot GoNo Gravatar on 29 Dec 2008 at 2:46 pm #

    Before I make my point, I’m curious to know (besides Obama) what else makes you cream and how can I be on that top 10 list? I’m sure inquiring minds want to know.

    But to answer your $100K question, I think what we are seeing are the fruits of positive reinforcements. Even though your concerns about the state of the black community are all too legitimate, people are turned off by being beat over the head with all of the gloomy statistics about black folks and how we’re doomed to hell. When an Obama emerges on the seen with a big smile, a nice speech, and a pretty wife, he aroused the curiousity of our people like none other. Visually, who wouldn’t want this black man being our representative to the world.

    Unlike you, I recognized and was disturbed by this Obama phenoemenon as early as February. My main gripe was this automatic assumption that because he was black, he would best serve the interest of black people. I never recognized that in any of his rhetoric (even to this day). As the months went by, critical thinkers were told to cast our doubts aside and at least get the man in office before we start bringing up silly things like issues. Seasoned voters took the “just give him a chance attitude” while newcomers(those whose main concern a year ago was learning how to do the Souljah Boy dance correctly) registered to vote in droves. Obama was billed to us as a great role model, someone who could inspire us (black folks) on the right path. Someone who could help us pull our sagging pants up. So it doesn’t surprise me that the black community has invested a lot of faith in our new messiah. Faith in Obama that we should have had for ourselves. Faith that had we had our community may not be in dire straights we are in today. But like you, I am concerned about wht this will ultimately lead to.

    Being a 37 y/o male that has voted in every election since I was old enough to vote and being on top of issues that effect my community. I wasn’t interested in the residual effect an Obama election would have on the black community. I care about the tangible things his leadership will bring. I don’t need him as a role model. Somehow I managed to finish school, get a degree and a professional gig without Obama’s help. And I’m even the result of a single parent home in a bad neighborhood so I know it’s possible. People who give politicians credit as role models are doomed for a huge disappointment. I cringe when I think of the damaging effect a scandal or a presidential disaster when have on the masses if one were to occur. All of our eggs seem to be in the Obama basket and I hope we don’t get crushed.

    They may be harder to find, but we really have to start embracing the entreprenuers, doctors and (God forbid) lawyers that have been there long before Obama. They are out there and willing to be active in the communities they serve. Although I embrace Obama as our president, he can and will do little to serve the masses in any significant way. Let’s hope that now the media will be willing to embrace and expose other prominent blacks that aren’t rappers, atheletes or politicians.

  74. JaBeNo Gravatar on 02 Jan 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    H A P P Y N E W Y E A R!!!!

  75. AtlalienNo Gravatar on 02 Jan 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    What frightens me the most about black folks is that the ignorant and purposeless seem to constitute the majority. Think about it. How is it that other cultures (Middle Easterners, Chinese, Koreans, ect ) have all managed to find a considerable measure of success in this country yet blacks, who’ve been here all along have not? It begs the question as to whether or not we are truly an inferior race. I’m just saying…..

  76. ShebaNo Gravatar on 06 Jan 2009 at 3:36 pm #

    Yes, briefly, I dislike the way that mainstream tends to group us into “followers.” Followers of whatever “black leader” is in style at the time, or the NAACP, or our mega-pastors. Basically, it all starts in each individual home. Regardless of if the family is broken, Obama can’t teach our little boys to pull the pants up that momma or daddy purchased 2 sizes too big! Or tell our little girls not to show the booties squeezed into pants mommy or daddy bought a size too small!

  77. Scotts on 06 Jan 2009 at 4:13 pm #

    I have read most of the replys to this article. How many of you have honestly given back to your community to help lift as you climb. Or are you so embarrassed by the negative images you see that you condem instead of making a diffference to a young brother/sister. Because of the media continuing effort to keep the negative images front and center, this has ultimately eliminated hope for a lot of African American. I am trying to focus on resolving the many feeling of despair in my community and telling my young people to dream (goals) again. Anything can become possible if you receive the proper encouragement, education and support. We must stand together to overcome our battle of poverty mindsets, economic despair, family unity and education. Each one should do their part in making a difference. Forming planning and focus groups to make needed changes. Love your Brother and try to lift him up/he has been beat down to the point of not believing he is worthy of a good life. Peace and love to your efforts!!

  78. HipichikNo Gravatar on 08 Jan 2009 at 10:10 am #

    Firstly, thanks for providing me with a forum that relates to my culture and it’s influences. Talking about what affects us is a positive move.

    As far as this article is concerned, I believe many slave descendents (notice I do not just say ‘black’ – people from places where the president, chief etc. are the same colour do not share the same lack of role models)have emotional or psychological resolutions to make. Trust has been an issue for at least three generations, Even though change has been happening the whole time, and (a few) opportunities exist that didn’t for those before us.

    I am of the school of thought that says ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ That’s how my ‘slave descendent trauma’ manifests itself. Until I switch on my TV and am not forced to choose from a selection of shows which reflect nothing about my own lifestyle (my entire community does not eat, live, dress, and talk hip hop), I smell something. Until I can speak without being told ‘I speak well’ I smell something. Until I can talk about my own history without someone else feeling uncomfortable or trying to make me seem hung up on it, I smell something – because it still feels like I am being denied my existence.

    Amidst all the Obama celebration within the community over here (London), I didn’t miss the (SKY)news article that reported the bookies’ public refusal to take bets on the possibility of an assassination (Yes they did! – They asked people to stop trying to place bets!!!)As it was in bad taste. The fact that it was reported at all hit me hard. These public statements serve as markers of where we’re at.

    So, much as I get the point being made in the article here, I also comprehend the passivity – I have a tendency to not trust what my parents, and their parents couldn’t. ‘Wait-and-see’ doesn’t make me right or wrong. Parents (for the most part) love us, and teach us what they think is vital to our survival/well-being. It takes a lot to make me turn my head from what I was taught by people who unquestionably love/d me, my parents, and their parents.

    As sure as I have love and respect for my ancestors, those who established their wealth and position on their exploitation have descendents too – who show little karmic responsibilty for their present standing in society.

    I’m happy the world gets to digest the image of a slave descendent first lady, and a mixed race president. As a civil rights baby, I’m glad it happened during my time. What I don’t need is to be streotyped as ‘ignorant’ or ‘ghetto’ because I am cautious. I vote, and encourage others to even though there is no chance of a Prime Minister of colour, because I respect what working class people and women had to go through to get the vote, but I also do what I can do to raise the quality of life within my community rather than chide grown people.

    The evolution of slave descendants is something that cannot be avoided, but history takes time, and poverty doesn’t have a colour. Ghetto culture affects as many other races as it does our own, every race has it’s bad apples.

    The onus is on the individual to effect change. The time of heroes is over. God bless your president and his family. Please don’t spoil things by making him a hero/target.

  79. Jefferson Sergeant on 09 Jan 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    I’m very late but I will still chime in.

    I had never voted before Obama got on the ticket last year. My lack of voter participation was not the result of apathy, stupidity or ignorance but rather an intimate knowledge of history, politics and race-relations in America.

    Before Obama, I was steadfast in my cynicism about politics being corrupt beyond redemption and that America would never surmount its original sin of slavery. All of that cynicism that I felt justified about started to erode after Obama won Iowa. Iowa has to be one of the Whitest and most conservative places in America and Obama still won.

    From that night til November 5th, I went on a personal journey to allow myself to be moved by hope and positivity in regard to American politics. From the testimony of millions of others it seems that they too went on this journey which was all inspired by Obama.

    In life there are transformative figures and over the last 2 years President-Elect Obama became one of them.

    While it is always good to be cautious I think the premise for your concern is a bit off.

    Obama getting elected isn’t The Million March. Its not Jesse Jackson’s first run for the Presidency or The Montgomery Boycott.

    Obama becoming the leader of the free world is almost literally the impossible taking place right before our eyes. If that doesn’t move EVERYONE to do more and be better then I don’t know what will!

  80. SweetTee on 10 Jan 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Yes, it is sad that our community is in very bad shape all around but, for Heavens Sake something or somebody needed to do something to make black folks take a second look at themselves and if it took Obama to make people say Hey! if he could do I can do it! What is wrong with a positive influence?????

  81. KendallNo Gravatar on 12 Jan 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    I agree with what you say. However I notice that many times in the black community we wait for someone to offer us authority or we are too afraid to take it because if something goes wrong, we don’t want ppl hating us for it.
    A lot of people decided to vote because they say Obama as a beacon of hope; we all can overcome the illusions that are holding us back. For those of us who didnt have a male figure, we have one now. For those of us who gave up on America, we dont have to lose every shred of hope. For those of us who feel like we only inherited American citizenship, we can feel like we belong. The Amendments are being fulfilled. Our self-worth seems now to be almost tangible.

  82. KendallNo Gravatar on 12 Jan 2009 at 7:58 pm #

    (THE CONTINUATION) So we see Obama as the self-worth when we were too blinded by looking for someone else to blame our own problems on. Obama makes us want to look at ourselves and say “i can do better”, because we all know it’s in us; it’s in our blood. He shows us that there are no “sellouts” just those who want to help their fellow brothers be where they are.
    BUT THE OBAMA MEDIA COVERAGE IS NAUSEATING!!! Obama is a man with great ideas. So we as Americans need to believe in his ideas and not him as a mortal man…he can die, but his knowledge and ideas won’t. But he believes in us, so let’s continue to beleive it him. OBAMA YALL!!!!

  83. KendallNo Gravatar on 12 Jan 2009 at 8:07 pm #

    So Obama isn’t a political Santa Claus, nor political Messiah. He just decided to do something other politicians didn’t take well to doing: believing in us. Now you might say “what is this person talking about?” i know what im saying; I’m only sixteen. But seeing that America’s transience is becoming more diverse inspires me to look around and realize that Change is at my fingertips. I see Obama as a reason to throw that extra blow, swim that extra lap, run that extra mile, read that extra chapter (which reminds me of the homework I’m supposed to be doing lol.) Nevertheless, I feel as though Obama believes in me and that makes me want to be more active when it comes to civil engagement. That’s what Obama means to me.
    Woooo! now im done. =]

  84. Jersey GirlNo Gravatar on 13 Jan 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    I was not a big Obama supporter. I am beginning to come around. I have been voting since I was a sophomore in college. I vote in everything (local, state, national) because my ancestors died for this right.

    Black people need to look to their own communities for role models. I am sure that if you looked hard enough, you will find men/women who would love to get together with some young adults in the neighborhood and start some mentoring programs.

    I sit on a board at the local university. Some of the young people have experienced such difficulty in their lives, that you often wonder how they are attending college. Most of them are carrying GPAs of 3.0. I had one student who had to go home for a couple of days because his parents lights were turned off (could never comprehend what the student was suppose to do as he wasn’t working). The students see their environment and know that through hard work and school, they are going to succeed. This happened before Obama and will continue to happen after Obama. If one wants to succeed, they will.

    I am just afraid that the media has built Obama up as this great hope. I am praying that his administration will make sound decisions in these difficult times.

  85. AxlNo Gravatar on 15 Jan 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    The black role models were always there. However they did not get the attention this election brought out. Yes i agree it is a sad that these opinions have surfaced. Its not Obama we need, its eyes gazed at a mirror and in the community around us. Any of us or “them” taking the position that Obama brings a new image is insulting all of us who grind everyday, no matter what your J.O.B. is. Those of us working 2 or more jobs especially.

  86. BrownBabyNo Gravatar on 16 Jan 2009 at 11:42 am #

    Good post. So many things to comment on I will only cover a few. I was astounded at the number of people that have never voted. I have voted since the age of 18 years when my political knowledge was nil, but my right to stand and cast a vote was a high priority. I cried on this past election day when my youngest son couldn’t find his ID. Lord knows he’s heard my stance on voting. We all voted, including my 5 year old granddaughter who marked my ballot for Obama. It is important to have a voice….this is one of the ways our voice is heard. What happened that we have forgotten the lives that fought for our right to vote. Role models…. I am proud to add Obama to the list. But he stands on the shoulders of all the ones who came before him. My list consist of the strong women in my life, A husband that claimed and loved my child as his own, a 15 year old rape victim that could smiled at me thru the pain of her ordeal, an English teacher that instilled my love of the arts, a lineage of Black folks known and unknown that took a stand, had a voice, fought loudly and quietly stretch out behind me like solders on a battle field. These are my role models. It is a shame that we lost the ability to see our own strength individualy and collectively. Someone asked do you give back in your community. My answer would be yes, but it is important to remember that the greatest influence you have is in your own home, start there. It is critical to know where you stand in the world, and many hands and hearts helped me fine my place. Obama will be interesting to watch as he starts down the road of being the first Black President. He set a tone early in his campaign that indicated that he would be the President of the US not the President for Black people. I wish him wisdom and peace on this trying journey he is about to undertake.

  87. papersackbrownNo Gravatar on 17 Jan 2009 at 2:11 am #

    i really ought to comment on the post first and then read what others have to say…or maybe just comment and move on cuz the one about you (Jam) getn on somebody’s nerves made me forget what the heck i was about to say…

    …at 34, i’m proud to say i’ve voted 4 out of the 5 times i’ve been eligible…could bust my 20yo niece upside the head for not voting in 08…even if there wasn’t someone i wanted voted in, or not, i voted/vote b/c i can…and then i pray really hard and then deal with the outcome later…

    a good chunk of our ‘race’ (to me) seems to always have to have some kind of physical influence in order to get up and do or be something and to me that is very sad…me? i just don’t want to struggle anymore and want to succeed PERIOD so that coupled with the fact that i have a 9 year old that is watching my every move, is what drives me to make, pursue, and achieve my goals in life…something like a black man being elected as our president only gives me hope that the road to my success (b/c i WILL succeed) will be a little more smooth.

    This next generation actually scares me and if Obama will be an inspiration to them for the next EIGHT years, i’m all for it b/c then maybe i’ll be able to sleep a little more peacefully at night…it IS sad that events like the Million Man March, the Cosby’s, a homeless black man turned actor/director/producer/writer, and now a black President suddenly gives a certain people strength and motivation to DO something but i guess that’s the way it is…kinda like, when you’re fat and unhealthy, eating from McMurder’s extra value dolla menu everyday, cept you don’t realize it until your dad has a major stroke and you’re diagnose with high BP, high Cholesterol, pre-disposed for diabetes and it’s too late…ok, that might have only made sense to me but that’s alright…

    Anyway, thanks for the post and i’ll be sure and try to practice reading, commenting, and then grab a drink before i go deep into the comments section…

  88. papersackbrownNo Gravatar on 17 Jan 2009 at 2:13 am #

    oh! i almost forgot!

    “two squirts of duck shit”?

    wow…

  89. CherylNo Gravatar on 17 Jan 2009 at 12:13 pm #

    Can we start a campaign now to extend the term of president beyond 8 years? I can literally feel the anger of the “right wing” and their desire to ‘take back’ their ‘power’ ~ yeah so we really don’t know exactly how good Obama will be, but I’d take his relative unknown over Bush or anyone remotely like Bush for the next one million years. Bush and his cronies have mucked us over so bad, it will be a miracle to right this ship in 4 or 8 years. I do believe Obama is the right person tho, which brings me back to my original thought ~ 4 more years (after 8) ~ please!

  90. sakNo Gravatar on 31 Jan 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    Great thoughts. I’ve said the same thing since the nomination and I’ve been called the negative one, the hope buster, the anti-christ lol. I work in juvenile detention, the youth lock up where I’m at dont need an Obama, I am the role model that we all should be. My people are looking to Obama as a savior, I’d like to say, he’s the president of the USA. Sorry, to be allowed to get to this point, he could not have worked out of “the box”, so what will be different for our people. Plus not many appointments he made are new or innovative, most from the Clinton adminstration. Me black male 52yrs. I’v not missed a vote since 18 yrs old.

  91. Irv on 11 Mar 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    I’ve read a number of the comments submitted and have come to the conclusion that President Obama has his act together. I would suggest at this point that all who read this try being a saviour to those you help bring into this world. Try being responsible to train and teach those you son’s and daughters you bring into this world the moral values, disipline, proper work ethics, etc… It’s not President Obama’s responsibility to do that. I am 67 years old my wife and I raised our children instilled in then the values we shared, they looked to us as role models. They are fine, and have great careers I couldn’t be more proud. If you married or didn’t marry someone and had children it’s up to both of you to encourage the right values in your children, but you can’t teach what you don’t have. If you didn’t get what you were suppose to have that’s where you place the blame. If they taught you right principles and you decided not to accept them that’s on you. Don’t go as far as President Obama, try taking on the responsibility of addressing the ill’s in your own family. I have voted since enlistment in the military in 1960 and voted for who I thought was the best person who addressed the issues I was concerned about. After that I kept focus on what I wanted to achieve in life, learned as many skills as I could, and still learning more every day. Give this president the same respect you gave others before him. Those of you that was pulled out of the field and put in the the big house don’t forget from whence you came.

  92. DeeNo Gravatar on 18 Mar 2009 at 1:56 pm #

    You hit the nail on the head..i think when it boils down to it…black people were just finally happy to be on a winning fuckin’ team, ya know? I mean since we’ve been on these shores, we’ve been getting our collective asses kicked up and down..yeah, we’ve had some isolated victories, but let’s face it, for the masses, obama’s presidency is more of a reflection about one of ‘us’ doing something that’s never been done before and frankly most of us didn’t think it would get done, at least not in our lifetime. I also think it has to do with what you referred to in your american idol post–this country is all about the cult of personality. Some of black people’s comments since the election when speaking about Obama are kinda like idol worship. Like they think he’s the new messiah. He’s a man. That’s it. A great man, yeah. But just a man like any other. And I’m sure he’d be the first to admit, he had a lot of help and guidance along the way. I hope he does inspire more of our young brothas but I live in LA and um, these negroes need some intensive, long-term de-ghettoization therapy. One black president ain’t gonna do it.

  93. DeeNo Gravatar on 18 Mar 2009 at 2:25 pm #

    #

    AtlalienNo Gravatar on 02 Jan 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    What frightens me the most about black folks is that the ignorant and purposeless seem to constitute the majority. Think about it. How is it that other cultures (Middle Easterners, Chinese, Koreans, ect ) have all managed to find a considerable measure of success in this country yet blacks, who’ve been here all along have not? It begs the question as to whether or not we are truly an inferior race. I’m just saying…..

    …I say..Maybe it just proves that effective brainwashing (ie. inferiority socialization) works very well and it’s effects can last generations…black people STILL hate ourselves..read: post-traumatic slave syndrome…we are unfortunately, it’s living embodiment..

  94. TimNo Gravatar on 28 Mar 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Hey!

    I just wanted to comment that I do find some people’s reasons for voting to be incredulous. I’m a black man too but I didn’t vote for Obama because of his ethnicity, I voted because to me he seemed like a guy who CAN get this country (and the world) back in gear at least by 2012. I’m not expecting a miracle and I admit after a while I did begin to wonder about Obama after the AIG mess. But if Obama fails it doesn’t mean that we as BLACK people fail. Black people have to find a way to get over the hump we always fall on. I do count that as the “post traumatic slave syndrome” as the post above me pointed out. We gotta find a way to not be so inferior and not read so much into the hype given about our bad sides. Also, we have to realize that Obama is NOT Superman and he shouldn’t be the messiah, he’s just a man who is taking place on the highest court given to a citizen, it’s up to him and to us to make sure his election wasn’t just a brainwashing fluke to say we’ve progressed when we’re still stuck in ground zero. Peace.

    Tim’s last blog post..Candlelight tribute to be held for Marvin Gaye on 25th anniversary of tragic death in Hollywood

  95. Anonymous on 28 Mar 2009 at 7:34 pm #

    I hope all of you racist blacks who voted for Obama are happy when he ruins the country. Look at his appointments, lack of basic economic knowledge, can’t speak without a teleprompter, etc. You’ll see. The only good thing is that this communist/racist/lawyer/jackass will be the death of the democratic party and all the lying hypocrite rich bastards who claim to speak for the little guy when they don’t have to work or pay taxes for a bunch of free loading welfare cases.

  96. Anonymous on 28 Mar 2009 at 7:39 pm #

    Oh, one more thing. If I have to listen to another black person say “Just give him a chance…” I’m going to pull my f&$*ing hair out. It’s not my fault that every racist black that hates white people voted for him just because he’s black (THAT’S not racist) but come on people. This is not an entry level job! This is the President of the US. but that’s the problem: Nobody knew anything substantive about this guy. Think I’m lying? go to http://www.howobamagotelected.com

  97. Mr. ShabazzNo Gravatar on 28 Mar 2009 at 7:54 pm #

    Yet another idiot with too much time on his hands. Aren’t we over this already?

  98. Indigo RedNo Gravatar on 10 Apr 2009 at 5:51 pm #

    I am 54 years old, have voted in every election but one since I was 18, am a Conservative Republican after many years voting Liberal Democrat, and my color is white, ghostly pale to be exact.

    I voted for McCain while holding my nose and trying not to gag. Had Barack Obama held similar political and social values as I hold, I would have voted for him in a heartbeat. The term “magical negro” may be harsh to modern ears, but the truth is, there is something magical about the man that goes beyond his fictionalized story and skin color. It even goes beyond his soaring rhetoric.

    My oppostion to Mr. Obama is solely his socialism which stand in stark contrast to the individualism that has served this nation well. If, on the other hand, Obama can inspire families, black and white, to higher achievement and greater prosperity, then I will sing those praises.

    As an American citizen who values liberty, I will never trust any president no matter the skin tone, no matter the promises, no matter the bread and circuses. There is just too much power in the office to be entrusted to one individual without sharp skepticism.

    I have enjoyed reading this post and the ensueing comments. America is filled with a lot of very smart people, despite what the media says about our school systems.

    Indigo Red’s last blog post..America Weakening on Capitalism

  99. AnonymousNo Gravatar on 10 Apr 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    I agree with you. I am tired of our ‘community’ being so torn. I am tired of being conformist society, and yet failing at that. I am tired of other blacks not voting until Obama got the nomination. I am tired of being called an Uncle Tom AT MY PLACE OF WORK because I voted for McCain. Every man and woman has a right to vote his or her conscious and I am tired of being told what to think. Your site is wonderful and shows some truths about our society. Thank you.

  100. MR. I. G. DOWDELLNo Gravatar on 12 Apr 2009 at 11:18 am #

    WHILE I AGREE WITH A LOT IF NOT MOST OF WHAT YOU WROTE IN YOUR BLOG I DO HAVE TO SAY THAT BARACK OBAMA HAS PUT A NEW FACE TO A BLACK MAN. I NOTICED YOU DIDNT POST YOUR RAACE OR ETHNICITY ( WHICH PLAYS A PART IN ONES PERCEPTION), BUT IF YOU UNDERSTOOD THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICANS “MINORITIES” YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND WHY BARACK OBAMA RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT HAD THE IMPACT AND INFLUENCE THAT IT DID. IMA JUST BE BRIEF! FOR HOW MANY YEARS OR DECADES HAVE AFRICAN AMERICANS OR “MINORITIES” GONE OVERLOOKED, HAVE BEEN MISTREATED, OR MADE TO FEEL AS IF THEY WERE SUBHUMAN OR INFERIOR IN TODAYS WORLD. WHICH IS ONE OF THE KEY FACTORS OF WHY AFRICAN AMERICANS “MINORITIES” DID NOT PART TAKE IN ELECTIONS IN THE PAST AS THEY DID THIS TIME AROUND! MANY FEEL THAT THEIR VOTES, OPINIONS, AND RIGHTS DIDNT COUNT BACK THEN AND UNTIL RECENTLY THEY FELT THE SAME. BARACK GAVE THEM THAT HOPE BACK!
    BARACK OBAMA IS DEFINATELY A NEW ROLE MODEL FOR MANY BOYS AND GIRLS TO LOOK UP TO. EVEN MEN AND WOMEN, THIS IS NOT SAYING THAT HE IS PERFECT, BECAUSE HE IS HUMAN FIRST. THERE IS MORE TO LIFE THAN MUSIC, MONEY, SEX, AND BEING A PLAYA OR LADIES MAN AND BARACK IS THAT. PERSONALLY I FEEL THAT LIFE IS ABOUT ENRICHING LIVES AND PEOPLE, FIGHTING TO BECOME BETTER AND CONQUER MORE EVERYDAY. OVER COMING THE PAST TO HAVE A MORE SUCCESSFUL FUTURE. AND BARACK OBAMA IS DEFINATELY THAT.
    NEEDLESS TO SAY THAT BARACK IS BLACK AND TRULY UNDERSTAND WHAT OUR STRUGGLES HAVE BEEN AND WHAT THEY ARE TODAY. HE GREW UP IN THE SAME TYPE OF COMMUNITIES AS MANY INNER CITY KIDS DO, STRUGLLED TO OVERCOME WHAT SOCIETY AND PEOPLE CALLS THE IMPOSSIBLE, AND HE IS WILLING TO STAND UP FOR WHAT WHAT MANY OF US ( US= ALL PEOPLE) BELIEVE IN.
    PERSONALLY I GET TIRED OF SEEING THE SAME NEGATIVE IMAGE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS BEING PORTRAYED IN THE MEDIA. ITS EVERY WHERE, THE NEWS, MOVIES, CARTOONS, & ALMOST THE ENTIRE MUSIC INDUSTRY. I WOULD RATHER SEE SOMEONE WHO IS DOING MORE POSITIVE THINGS IN LIFE. WHY NOT GIVE HIM OR ANYONE THE SAME ATTENTION THAT SOCIETY GIVES TO THE NEGATIVITY.
    SOCIETY HAS BEEN A FAAILURE FOR A LOT OF MINORITIES IN MY OPINION. AS A KID, I NEVER ONCE THOUGHT ABOUT HAVING A BLACK PRESIDENT OR BEING THE FIRST. I KNEW THE BASICS OF BLACK HISTORY, THE ROSA PARKS STORY, HARRIET TUBMAN, AND MARTIN LUTHER KING JR., BUT NEVER WAS I TOLD I COULD BE JUST AS GREAT AS ANY OF THEM. IT WAS MORE LIKE, HEARING OF THEIR STRUGGLES WAS DISCOURAGING.BUT INSTEAD I WAS TOLD I WOULDNT MAKE IT TO THE NEXT GRADE OR HIGH SCHOOL WITH MY GRADES BEING WHERE THE WERE.
    BARACK OBAMA BECOMING PRESIDENT HAS JUST BEEN ANOTHER BIG ACCOMPLISMENT IN OUR TIME THAT WILL CHALLENGE MANY IF NOT ALL TO BE MORE THAN AVERAGE OR WHATS EXPECTED AND TO LET NOTHING HOLD BACK YOUR DREAMS FROM BECOMING REALITY.
    YES IT TOOK THIS ONE MAN, A GREAT INDIVIDAUL TO RESTORE HOPE TO MANY PEOPLE AND OUR COMMUNITIES.
    JUST FOR THE RECORD, WHILE WE RIDICULE MANY PEOPLE REASONINGS FOR NOT VOTING IN THE PAST, THE PAST IS THE PAST AND IF YOU CONTINUE TO LIVE IN THE PAST, YOUR FUTURE WILL BE THAT OF YOUR PAST. SO FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CAME OUT AND MADE YOUR VOTE COUNT AND YOUR VOICES HEARD. I COMMEND YOU.
    ITS UNFORTUNATE THAT MANY PEOPLE AND EVEN MYSELF AT TIMES TENDS TO FOCUS MORE ON THE NEGATIVES AND PAST THAN ON THE POSITIVES OF THE FUTURE!

  101. I’m conservative, not a stiff… on 16 Apr 2009 at 1:43 am #

    [...] of voting, Allow me to post something I agree with from Jam Donaldson’s blog (for the record, I voted for [...]

  102. No Gravatar on 20 Apr 2009 at 3:44 pm #

    What about all the lag time in getting our troops out of iraq, and the shift into Afghanistan? How much more blood for oil do we need?

    What about all the bailouts landing debt on all our unborn children? What about reversing the Patriot Act? Getting rid of the Dept of Homeland Security? I’m stoked for all the good he’s done so far, but it’s not enough. Our rights are being taken away from us left and right, and now the internet is under attack. Black/white, left/right that propaganda is put out there to divide and conqour the low man on the pyramid. Rising above the paradigms and uniting as people to fight tyranny is the answer. Question all authority no matter what color, or what party, or what religion. That is truth.

  103. JamesNo Gravatar on 22 Apr 2009 at 1:43 am #

    Great post. The dialogue it started alone is gold.

    Role models are obviously (I think) a good thing for people to have. They gives us something to emulate and help give us direction as we develop our own character and identity. They can help us make the right choice when the wrong choice might be the easy choice. A role model can make the path ahead much clearer. But I don’t think we should get caught up in finding the perfect person to model — because no one is perfect. I think we have to pick and choose from a wide range of people and focus in on the qualities we want to emulate coming from each of those people. We don’t want to be those people, we want to exhibit something they exhibit. It’s their intellect or their honesty or their dedication or whatever that we’re trying to copy. And since it’s those personal qualities we want to model, I think we would only be limiting ourselves if we only pursued people of the same skin color, same sex, same economic background, same geography, same religion, etc. It’s hard enough as it is to find direction, why limit the resources?

    Early in my career I worked with a guy who I noticed right away was very well respected in our office. He was viewed as honest and forthright, insightful and result oriented. I decided I wanted to be like that and he became one of my role models. I connected with him because of his character. As I got to know him I also learned how dedicated he was to his family and, as someone starting a family myself, he became an even more important role model for me. He’s black and I’m white but it doesn’t matter because he exhibits the qualities I want to grow to exhibit.

    Obama clearly has many qualities that make him an excellent role model for millions of Americans. But I worry that it’s limiting or even risky for someone to put all their eggs in one basket. And it’s a little disheartening if some people, as suggested in some of the comments here, were just waiting around for that perfect role model to come along. I mean, what happens if that one perfect role model doesn’t seem so perfect down the road? Are people going to be left listless or hopeless if that person ever fails? I don’t see any sign of Obama letting people down as a person, but let’s be honest, he’s human and he’s a politician — who knows how his image will change over the years. I think it’s better to have as many good role models as you can, not one or two “perfect” ones. Unfortunately they’re not easy to find, but they’re out there if you look hard enough.

    Again, great blog and comments section. Thanks for letting me chime in. And best of luck to everyone out there just trying to do better these days.

  104. SpeechJNo Gravatar on 05 Jun 2009 at 5:29 am #

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  105. jamdonaldsonNo Gravatar on 05 Jun 2009 at 1:13 pm #

    @Speech J

    A) what you stated goes against everything I’ve read on the subject but
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  106. Brother DarqnessNo Gravatar on 19 Jun 2009 at 12:08 am #

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  109. Shonda B.No Gravatar on 16 Feb 2010 at 5:50 pm #

    wow their is so much I won’t to say about this article mum…I agree! I was 18 yrs old when I register to vote…now 40 and you been speaking what I been wanting to say all long…mum…wow

  110. watch swat katsNo Gravatar on 10 Mar 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    no BS, i saw the words “obama” and “black” and immediately hit backspace
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    I spoke on this stuff before and after everything went down, but I stopped cause I knew I could get killed by some fanatics (no BS).

    this type of stuff gets me down, I hate the man more because of all the BJ’s he’s getting from the country than anything I know about him.

    “blacks” need to step up, and a “black” president just brings up 6 more steps backwards, among other things like black supremacy – LOL

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  111. Melba on 14 Mar 2010 at 12:25 pm #

    I think what annoys me the most is how people think a solid black family and black people that speak well and are involved in the political process are a new thing.

    Newsflash… A lot of us had our shit together before Obama…

    But, great post Jam… as usual.

  112. SammyNo Gravatar on 14 Mar 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    To: MR. I. G. DOWDELL: Please, please, please, please stop with the typing in all caps. It is very disturbing trying to read these type of posts, so many of us don’t even bother.

    I’ll let someone else explain to you why is is poor form to type in all caps.

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  114. IlíonNo Gravatar on 15 Mar 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Our communities have been floundering and flailing about for a decade, why does it take one man to convince us we have the ability to act on our own behalf for positive change in our own communities?

    It’s closer to five decades — ever since black Americans (in general) willingly enslaved themselves to the “liberal” promises of free-stuff-forever.

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  115. The PhantomNo Gravatar on 15 Mar 2010 at 2:04 pm #

    Pardon me for asking Jam, but don’t you think its likely that all those “countless interviews with members of the African-American community” were a bunch of main stream media bullshit?

    I cannot believe successful black people in the USA in the USA are so lame they need to get their soul validation from a socialist politician. No way. But I can believe the MSM would say so to get their party back in the driver’s seat. The whole campaign was a hypefest, a propaganda extravaganza right from the start.

    And now since they nationalized the banks and the car industry, and are working on nationalizing hospitals, we can see what the hypefest was for.

    Meaning all those breathless interviews were sought to get all this done. If I were a black American, I’d be seriously pissed at this point.

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