Is America Ready For A Black President?
Our street â€œexpertsâ€? had mixed views, with some expressing fears that Obama would be harmed if it became clear he could be elected president; others believe the country is still 100 years away from a Black president; one man believes only a Black president can address woes such as the abysmal incarceration rate of Black men
(Conrad Gardner---we do need a Black president).
In The Black Star Newsâ€™ â€œHeard It On 125th Street,â€? series, which measures the political pulse of Harlem, this week writer Tahira Muhammad spoke with several people along Harlemâ€™s most famous street â€“below is a selection of a few of some of the viewsâ€”about Senator Barack Obamaâ€™s chances of becoming the United Statesâ€™ first Black president.
Our street â€œexpertsâ€? had mixed views, with some expressing fears about Obama's safety; others believe the country is still 100 years away from a Black president; one man believes only a Black president can address woes such as the abysmal incarceration rate of Black men; and, some believe Hilary Clinton has a better chance of becoming the first female president before a Black occupies the White House.
J.E. believes that Barack Obama would be harmed if it appeared he had a chance of winning the presidency. â€œWhite people are afraid of Black people having too much power and influence and they are not going to allow a Black man to obtain such an important position as presidency,â€? J. E. tells The Black Star News.
J.E. doesnâ€™t believe things have changed that much since 1800, in terms of whitesâ€™ attitude towards African Americans, and points to the fact that brilliant African Americans such as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, ended up being assassinated.
â€œHillary Clinton has a better chance of becoming the first woman president before Senator Barack Obama has of becoming the first Black president,â€? adds a man who is in the entertainment industry, who declined to provide his name. â€œFormer President Bill Clinton is the closest we had to having a Black president. I just do not think this country is ready for such a big change.â€?
The race of the nationâ€™s president isnâ€™t that important, argues Marvin James, who believes all politicians are essentially the same, and that they all change their tune once elected to office. â€œIn this day and age it is hard to trust the true intentions of the government no matter what color they are,â€? James says. â€œActions speak louder then words, and so far I have not seen any politician live up to the actions behind their words.â€? Besides, even if Obama were elected president, he would be brought down. â€œHis white counterparts will do everything in their power to set him up to failâ€”they would try to dig up anything negative in his history to try to undermine him and make others lose respect for him.â€?
On the other hand, Conrad Gardner, an artist, believes that it could well take the election of a Black president before the country seriously addresses the inadequate and poor education of African Americans, which deprives Black men of opportunities to uplift their lives. â€œThere are just too many young Black males in prison and I hope that he would increase funding for programs for them to keep them out,â€? Gardner says, of a prospective Obama presidency. â€œPrevention is better then cure.â€?
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