Monday, January 14, 2008

Bob Johnson VS Obama: Can we just get along?


On Sunday Bob Johnson (founder of BET and 1st black billionaire) showed
his support for Hillary Clinton in South Carolina but controversy followed. Before the New Hampshire primary Clinton said King's dream of racial equality was realized only when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That sparked black leaders to say her remark implied Johnson deserved more credit than the slain (MLK) civil rights leader. Johnson felt that Obama's campaign had acted dishonestly and had distorted Clinton's remarks about Martin Luther King Jr.

''That kind of campaign behavior would not be reasonable with me for a guy who says 'I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier,''' said Johnson. He commented after Clinton said Sunday that she hoped the campaign would not be about race. He continued that Obama's own record should give voters pause (about his admitted drug use).

''To me, as an African American, I am frankly insulted the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues -- when Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood; I won't say what he was doing, but he said it in his book -- when they have been involved,'' Johnson said.

I am highly disappointed and disgusted with that statement from Bob Johnson. If you do not believe in other candidates and their campaign that’s fine, but for a man with power like Johnson you would think he knew how to think before he spoke. For me it seems that Johnson plays into the role of when you are wealthy and black you can tilt up your nose at other blacks who are not “up to par” as you. Let’s not forget implying in the argument that Obama smoked marijuana. ( I respect Obama for admitting the use. Remember Bill Clinton’s “I didn’t inhale” quote?)

Johnson believes that Obama acted dishonestly and distorted Clinton’s
quote about Martin Luther King when in fact Clinton is using smear tactics about Obama’s ethnicity. Also if she doesn’t want the race for President to be about race why is she always using these quotes and themes that involve race? I’m sure the Clintons’ care for blacks but I’m not sure if it is because they truly care or because that was part of a master plan for years of Presidency.

I’m not advocating that all blacks should be for Obama but look at a bigger picture: The Clinton and the Bush families have ran the White House for a combined 20 years, all back to back. Especially when we all know Hillary had a hand in her husbands eight years in the office. Let’s give someone else a chance

A Sun-Times columnist, Laura Washington also speaks about the racism in the race:
Campaigns are about words. I am hearing some words that are tapping into the most dangerous part of the American psyche.

The residue of our racial heritage is seeping into the presidential debate. Listen to these dangerous words:
Sen. Joe Biden noted that Obama was the first "mainstream" African-American candidate "who is articulate and bright and clean."

Bill Shaheen, a national co-chairman of Clinton's campaign, warned that Republicans would go after Obama for his admission of youthful drug use. "It'll be, 'When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?' "

Former President Bill Clinton suggested to PBS's Charlie Rose that Obama supporters were willing to "roll the dice" on an inexperienced candidate.

Their words raised hackles. Apologies followed. We like this Obama guy, they said. We meant no harm, they said. We were misunderstood, they said. They may have meant one thing. But many will hear something else.

Obama is "the other." He is dangerous. He is hustling, criminal, back-alley black man.

This campaign must be different. Hillary Clinton's stunning New Hampshire upset last week came courtesy of her overactive tear ducts, the pundits say. Obama had just beat Clinton --badly -- in Iowa. She is tired, defeated, maybe afraid. At a New Hampshire coffee shop, a woman asked if she was OK. Clinton teared up, her voice quavered: "I have so many opportunities from this country, I just don't want to see us fall backward," she replied. "This is very personal for me -- it's not just political, it's not just public."
Listen to the words. "I just don't want to see us fall backward." Backward to what?
To that black man. That black man who beat Hillary. That black man who made the white woman cry.

Our racial wounds are deep, their impact subliminal. Words have consequences. In these sensitive times, they can activate our most unconscious fears and tap the deepest recesses of our ugly history. Every black man in America knows it. Especially Barack Obama.
Listen to the words.

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