Well that was exciting... NOT. Yes, despite the time I spent phoning from Los Angeles to Texas yesterday to get the vote out for Obama, last night Hillary gained new life by winning the popular vote in three contests. Given her early substantial lead in both Texas and Ohio some credit has to go to Obama for at least closing the gap in the lone star state. I knew I should have called more numbers! Yes I blame myself for the loss.
But I know what you are wondering, what does this mean for the New American Negro? Well, I wonder what some Old American Negroes who jumped the Clinton ship to go support Obama are thinking now. Are they comfortable with their decision now that Senator Obama has taken some lumps? Or will they have the where-with-all to embrace his fight?
It is rather disheartening when you realize most politicians are more concerned with jockeying votes for the next big election than pursuing the convictions of their own ideals. Or, for some, even having some ideals to begin with.
Still, the discussion will now become whether Barack deserves to win given that he has not won any of the BIG states. They will question whether that means he can fend off McCain in those states come November. The question of whether certain Americans can bring themselves to vote for a black man will resurface ever more strongly. I do remember one CNN exit poll in regards to Ohio that stated that a substantial number of those polled there (perhaps 30-40% if memory serves, but I'll try to find the actual number) said that race played a factor in their vote. And 8 out of 10 of those that did said they voted for Clinton. Well DAMN! I guess I won't be looking to move to Ohio any time soon.
But back to Barack. And let me begin this by saying black or white I believe he is the man for the job. That said, I remember a discussion with a black friend of mine afer the New Hampshire primary. He was mad at me for causing him to BELIEVE that Obama stood a chance. With the pre-primary polling showing him ahead he felt the "Bradley Effect" had sunk Obama. Another words, whites who had said they would vote for him just couldn't get themselves to pull the lever once they got into the polling booths. The Iowa caucus went Obama's way he surmised because voters couldn't hide in a caucus. Put another way: they couldn't be racist behind closed doors.
I felt this was not the correct way to view this. I felt Hillary's crying jag pulled some sympathy from women and the pollsters didn't catch it. Obama went on to prove himself in later elections and caucuses. But the main point that I mentioned to my friend, who was debating whether or not to vote for a "white" candidate so he wouldn't waste his vote on someone who had no chance (I think at the time for him that was Edwards who isn't even in the race anymore) ...anyhow, my MAIN point was this...
Sometimes CHANGE COMES IN GRADUAL STEPS
So even if Obama wasn't going to win, it was important to see this black candidate, who we both believe is the best candidate, to go as far through the process as possible. Even if he doesn't win it creates within the consciousness the possibility that it CAN happen, so that the next time maybe it will.
For example, has Obama been helped by these past events: Colin Powell being considered as a presidential candidate? Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Alan Keyes and Shirley Chisholm all running for the office?
Even Dennis Haysbert's portrayal of a black president on the tv show 24 or Tiny Lister in the movie The Fifth Element have put the concept of a black president into the American psyche.
These things have made it easier for people to imagine and I believe vote for a black man for our nation's top office. And to be fair, I guess Geena Davis's television show where she was president, though short lived, has benefited Hillary.
Dennis Haysbert was in 24
Tiny Lister in The Fifth Element
But the point is, whether Barack gets there or not, he is legitimizing the concept, the belief and the value of an African-American president more than we have ever seen before. I can't help but think it also will make it easier for some blacks somewhere to be looked upon as equals by those who may not have given them that respect before this campaign season, and hopefully it will allow some of us blacks to realize that they are not nearly as victimized by race as they may believe. That is the New American Negro Position.
As Puffy or P-Diddy or Diddy or just plain "P" might say, Take that, take that, take that...
And hey... he's still ahead in delegates! Go Bama!