Will Americans Elect An African-American President?
The citizens of the world are watching America to finally conclude whether or not it is truly the shining light of social diversity - that a man is truly judged â€œnot by the color of his skin but the content of his character.â€
The seemingly irrevocable last all white boy’s club in America is the Presidency of the United States – or at least that’s what they would have us believe. If white Americans cannot look beyond the color of Senator Obama's skin and see his worth, value, and vision he will not obtain enough electoral votes on November 4, 2008 to become the President of the United States.
Historically, racism is the blood stain that has been woven into fabric of our society and effectuated throughout the years. It is currently being played out for all to see. The citizens of the world are watching America to finally conclude whether or not it is truly the shining light of social diversity - that a man is truly judged “not by the color of his skin but the content of his character.”
Will the pages of history be turned or will they read the all too familiar story on November 4, 2008? Will a new chapter of social understanding begin or will it die? Will White Americans find it in their hearts to see beyond the color of his skin; or rather, will the majority of them see him through their eyes of racism and injustice?
The world is monitoring our moral compass these last few days before this historical yet pivotal election. Our Nation is now at the crossroad of destiny. Will Americans allow race to divide us or will they look beyond race and see that Senator Obama is the right man, at the right time, to unite us and lead our Nation and the world at this crossroad of uncertainty?
The challenges that face our great Nation as well as the World have never been so profound. Accordingly so, Senator McCain is the wrong person for this challenge. Furthermore, if All Americans can’t see that he is the wrong man for the job, I am fearful that we will experience a depression, not just an economic slowdown. Frighteningly so, the war in Iraq will continue for years to come.
I hear Black pundits proclaim that McCain is better prepared, while encouraging all Americans to vote for him. Moreover, this was the same voice coming from Black leaders calling on Blacks to vote for Hillary Clinton. The most shocking comments came from Rev. Jessie Jackson who implied that Senator Obama should “be castrated” for his social views.
According to the national polls and reporting media, Senator Obama is leading by 10 points; however, I am fearful that the race factor has been annulled and as a result no adjustment has been made to reflect the exact numbers. There are millions of Whites, Blacks and Latino voters who simply will not vote for him because he is a Black man.
If Senator Obama splits the White votes it will be the Blacks and Latinos in all the key states that will provide Senator Obama enough votes to give him the electoral votes needed to be the next President of the United States. In essence, race will determine the winner of this election.
Bill Clinton won in the southern states because of Black votes despite the pundits’ failure to give Blacks their due credit. When Senator Obama wins on November 4, 2008, I am confident that the majority of voters will see him not as a Black man but as the right man for the job.
Hillary Clinton, Senator McCain and the GOP went too far with their negative campaigning; therefore, turning off the independent voters across our nation. Obama has been demonized and even labeled a terrorist and a traitor. We have heard slogans at Palin rallies such as "kill him!”, “Off with his head!”, “He’s not one of us!” as well as other racist codes suggesting he is either an Arab or Muslim." As stated by Colin Powell, "What if he was Muslim?" In response, I say we as Nation cannot allow the neo-conservatives to use labels to divide our Nation.
Held both in the North and South, Palin’s rallies are reminiscent of White southern reaction to the civil right movement and were hosted by both small towns and large cities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia - to name a few. Ultimately, a Black leader -Representative John Lewis from Georgia to be exact - had to intercede and called both Senator McCain and Governor Palin asking them to stop fostering and encouraging a racist tone in their rallies. This was the same John Lewis who at first refused to support Senator Obama; by stating “I love the Clinton's.”
If I may assume for a moment that Senator Obama will be our next President, What happens After the Election?
He will face obstacles unprecedented in the history of the United States and the world. A short of list of foreseeable concerns are as follows:
 The United States has a 10 trillion dollar debt and owes billions to China
 The image of the United States has greatly declined during the Bush years
 Perhaps a total collapse of globe markets and world wide recession
 The worst economy since the great depression – combined with a failed energy policy plus a failed health care system
 Between 2 – 4 percent of all home mortgages will go into foreclosures
 The greatest bank bailout since the great depression
 The unemployment rate over the next 2 years could reach 10% nationwide, just think about what the rate for African-
Americans and other minorities will be
 The number of uninsured people may top 50 million
 It has been estimated that during the next 2 years, over 100 banks will close their doors
 He will govern the most divided nation since the civil war - Americans will be divided into Black and White, Rich and Poor, and North and South. Just think, Americans have not been so divided since the Civil War
 Two major wars will continue for several years – with foreign policy challenges / relationship with Russia, North Korea, Iran, failed two state talks between Israel and Palestine, genocide in Darfur and starvation of nearly 1 billion humans
 Wages will decrease over the next 2 years
 Higher inflation may also affect the economy
 Perhaps another 911, but worst
 Due to economic hardships race raids may hit our inner-cities during the summers of 2009 and 2010
 Racism and work place discrimination will become common place
 And, last but not least he will face a constant fear of assassination
I openly endorsed Senator Obama before it was politically correct. I told thousands that I would cast my vote for Senator Barack Obama not simply because he is a Black man, but because he is the hope for America.”
Moreover, because he is perpetuating the dream of Reverend Martin L. King Jr. as well as embraced John F. Kennedy's vision of unity and equality.
We will never be able to wash the blood stain of social injustice, inequality and/or discrimination from our past, but we can begin the continuous vision of optimism that was planted by Abraham Lincoln, transformed by John F. Kennedy, and that which can now be realized by Senator Barack Obama.
Will our Nation embrace a future of hope by electing Barrack Obama on Tuesday, November 4th 2008, or will our Nation cling to the politics of division by electing Senator McCain?
Lyle G. Russworm is founder of African Americans for a Better Society (AAFABS) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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