Friday, July 11, 2008

Obama & Jackson

So the whole shenanigans between Jackson's hot mic slip up has seemed to unearth (at least according to the media) a simmering dissatisfaction with Obama and "The Black Agenda". If there is merit to this, it's pretty sad.

With all due respect to Sharpton and Jackson, the recent high profile African American presidential candidates, they were never going to win on a Black Agenda platform. It's too one-dimensional; just a Kucinich and Nader are a little one-dimensional.

The turning point on race is that Obama has, to the extent that our culture permits him, transcended race to some degree. He is not a "Black Politician", but a politician of mixed racial heritage, or a politician who is also black (however you view his race). At the end of the day, he is beholden to his own principals, and whatever concessions and political alliances he needs to make. I don't think that "Black Culture" can lay claim to him, or hold him accountable, any more than "White Culture".

There's an irony here, for African Americans who may feel conflicted about the momentous occasion of a black man at the door of the oval office, and differing views he may have on social policy. In the ultimate test of whether we are making progress as a nation (not just the white majority), African Americans feeling this conflict will need to divorce themselves of the candidate's color, and focus on policy.

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