Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Face of Pride

I recently read an article where the author asked a question that needed not to have been asked – “Are Black People voting for Obama because he’s black”. Let me say first, he is half white by virtue of the woman who birthed him and he was raised by white grandparents. So let’s take that off the table.

The author asked; “are black people supporting Obama mainly because he's black? If race is just one factor in blacks' support of Obama, does that make them racist? Can blacks' support for Obama be compared with white voters who may favor his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, because he's white? These questions have long animated conservatives who are frustrated by claims that white people who oppose Obama's policies are racist.”

History is clear; an entire race of people was taken from their land by force, survived slavery, segregation and discrimination that have certainly forged a special pride within the African-Americans soul. There is enough evidence to show a hard-earned pride in a president who looks like us. Our loyalty to President Barack Obama is pride - not prejudice!

It has been reported that the president lived a life much like many African America and therefore can empathize with our plight and by the mere fact that his complication is dark makes him black. He needed assistance in the form of food stamp at a point in his early life and has endured racism like the rest of us, and that also makes him black. Just look at the racism he has endured since he became president.

Race matters – there is no argument here. Voting for someone who would understand your side of the coin is not racism. It is voting for your interests. Such logic runs into trouble when applied to a white person voting for Romney because he understands whiteness better. This is a right afforded to us in our political Diaspora.
It is a fact that Martin Luther King Jr. fought Jim Crow laws, which deprived blacks of political rights after Reconstruction, upheld by Southern Democrats. But black voters switched after Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through the 1960s civil rights legislation and Republicans successfully pursued the votes of white people who disliked the civil rights agenda.

This is democracy at work. When you have the right to vote it means to vote for that which or those who supports your interest. In the case of President Obama he smashed what was thought to be the ultimate glass ceiling. He understands that black pride springs from a shared history of being treated as less than human, while the history of pride in whiteness has a racist context.

Black people understand the dog whistles of the GOP and the negative stigma about us through their generalizations in speeches about our race, such as terms like welfare queens. But the danger here is that they have taken such language to a whole nother level; like Romney’s 47% comment and those concerning reproductive rights that now include at least half of the American citizenry.

The author of the article quoted Sherrilyn Ifill, a law professor at the University of Maryland, who wrote a column exploring why so many black voters are rejecting Romney. She said it has less to do with the candidate than with his party's treatment of Obama, such as John Sununu calling the president "lazy" after the debate, a congressman shouting "You lie!" during the State of the Union address, claims that Obama is not a citizen and more.

In an interview, Ifill said that for black voters, such accusations feel like white people are attacking their own dignity. "In essence," she says, "they are closing ranks around Obama."
She noted that women were justifiably moved by Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy and Catholics flocked to the polls to elect President John F. Kennedy. Comparing black pride in Obama to white pride in Romney is a "false symmetry" because of the history of black oppression. "There should not be this resistance to pride over the first black president," Ifill says. "If we get to the fifth one, I'll be with you."

This is why we support! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…

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