History: Accomplished

Posted: November 5, 2008 in Commentary, Politics

This generation of Black Americans has finally reached the pinnacle of American history by taking part in the election of this nation’s first Black president. What used to be thought of the impossible has now become the possible.

Throughout his campaign, President-elect Barack Obama presented to America a message of hope that not only resonated with Blacks, but people of all races and backgrounds. The historical irony of Obama’s victory is that was largely carried on the backs of those who have been deemed innately racist: Whites.

While his victory does not eradicate racism in our society, it certainly destroys the notion that Blacks in this country are doomed to life under an eternal transparent brick ceiling. Rest assured, there will be many that will still try to make this case. But sooner or later the reality of this moment will force them to take pause.

As a Black man with very strong conservative leanings, I have been in a very interesting position during this campaign. While I have always imagined and hoped for the day a Black man or woman would occupy the big chair in the White House, I could not bring myself to supporting Obama for a number of reasons–none of which had ANYTHING to do with his race. Two choices sat before me: Stick to the issues I value or exchange my values for a historical moment. I chose the former and have not regretted it one moment. To the simple minded, in their view this put me at odds with ‘black progress’. As a result, I have been assigned nicknames like “Uncle Tom“, “Sellout” and “Race hater” by this bunch for what seemed to them as a Black man blocking the entry doors of history. This is something I have learned long ago to simply take in stride and use it to solidify my stance on the issues. Allow me to tell you a quick story.

Last night I get a call from a friend of mine who is a die hard supporter of Obama. At least a couple of times I have tried to make the case to him about how Obama’s stated tax policies will do more harm than good for our economy. His stance has been identical to Obama’s: We need to spread the wealth. Well lo and behold the reason for his call was to find out from us (my wife and I) ways he could get his property taxes reduced. All I could do was smile and shake my head. We simply gave him the info he needed and moved on. Apparently, the glow of the historical moment was already fading.

As far as our family goes, we are not making any plans on leaving the country in disgust of America’s choice to further explore socialism. Nor am I making any plans on shutting down this website (why would I?). This is still the country I love and Obama will be my next President. While I disagree with Obama on many issues, he is part of my history. And for that, I salute my next President.

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Comments
  1. Wil says:

    To stumble is to grow in wisdom. Now conservatives have an opportunity to evolve their thinking….Twenty years ago I moved out of the US. ( only spending part of my time in San Francisco). Now I am making phone calls to set up a family trip to D.C., which is a place I never had any interest in visiting. With Obama coming in as president, the U.S. is looking very different.

  2. Duane says:

    To stumble is to grow in wisdom. Now conservatives have an opportunity to evolve their thinking

    The McCain campaign was the only one that stumbled here. He was just not a convincing salesman.

  3. Give it a rest says:

    Hey,

    Duane, it is OK to feel good about what just happened!

    Honestly it really is!

    A Blackman who has proved to the country that he is of impeccable character has been elected to the presidency of the USA. Dont worry too much, he loves this country just as much as you if not more. And NO hs is not going to give it all away. Honestly there aint nothin left, your GOP friends have either squandered it or have given it away already.

    Have at least a little faith in the brother, as a fellow brotha you do owe him that much. Your friend that voted for Obama and still aksed you for tax advise is OK, nothing twisted about it! Maybe he is able to think outside of the box in ways that you are currently denying yourself.

    It is time for levity and honesty here. McCain was also going to raise your taxes! After that 700 billion + bailout along with all the other “unpaid” bills generated by the current administration an increase in EVRYONE’S tax burden IS a given. Yes admit it; so much for conservative fiscal policy, it has been nothing more than a complete fraud. Any talk to the contray is nothing more than pure BS. To turn a blind eye and pretend that the USA is not in the piss-poor financial state is silly and now that the election is over you guys can now inject a bit of common sense into your fiscal thoughts.

    I too have strong Conservative leanings but I know were to draw the line between what is right and wrong and good and bad. Everything conservative is not good and everything you like to call liberal is not bad. Helping people in need is not such a bad thing. Helping other with less than you currently have get a little more is not so bad either. Lets NEVER forget about that thing called “brotherly love”.

    Do you want a better country or are you simply content with being able to thumb your nose at those with less than you and yours. That is what you do when continuiously beat your drum about how you pay so much because you are successful as if everyone else making less than you are not paying though their noses already. They are also hurting and even if your taxes go up they will be hurting more than you!

    Admit it, Bush’s tax cuts for the upper-class have done nothing to make for a better nation and much to hurt it. Nothing has trickled down but much wealth has trickled up!

    But I know all of those less forutnate folks are just financially stupid and deseve every bit of their pain while the Fed is doing everything to back up “equity” investments today.

    Remember it has been LIBERAL thought on the part of white and black people in this country that has allowed you and your family to experience the success that you are so afraid of losing under the leadership of what you consider to be a too liberal blackman.

    Just like you appear to fear the (hopefully) coming change in this country today there were many conservative thinking people in the past that were afraid of the changes that have happened before that have allowed the success that Obama was achived yesterday. That my friend is a fact of life that you can never erase as a black person in the USA.

    In a nutshell whether you wish to admit it or not YOU did have much help on your way up and on the way out of the problems your family experienced in the past. It might have not been direct but many “liberal” people were working behind the seens to help make sure good folks like you did not fall through the cracks.

    Now you can pre-judge Obama today and worry about doom and gloom or big liberal, socialistic, communistic, masterplan that commrade Obama is going to enact or you can take part in the future and maybe you will discovery that in a Obama world you will have far more chances to HELP out your fellow brothers and sisters.

    P.S. Do your “friends” ever visit this site and see how much contempt you are capable of displaying for them?

  4. Duane says:

    Buckingham,

    Every time I read your comments I get a splitting headache. Really!

    Do you sell bean pies?

  5. Give it a rest says:

    “The McCain campaign was the only one that stumbled here. He was just not a convincing salesman.”

    Duane,

    what happened yesterday has been brewing in this country since the “Contract with America” BS started in the 1990s and the GOP decided to turn up the anger and hate.

    This is the outcome of 8 years of the GOP with its own dirty draws hounding the Clintons to no end over what amounted to a bunch of BS.

    This is the outcome of the GOPs campaign to identify who the “real” Americans where and divide the people of this country along racial lines.

    This is the outcome of 300 million people watching a bunch of fake a$$ John Waynes spend the last 8 years making total fools of themselves and the rest of this country.

    This is the outcome of a badly contested presidentail election in the state of Florida in 2000 in which the GOP claimed victory under some very questionable circumstances.

    This is the outcome of jackass president making a big show of landing on a carrier to a big banner of “Mission Accomplished” a few weeks into a war that has now been going on for 7 years now.

    This the outcome of scaring the public about WMD that NEVER existed and LYING to the ENTIRE world about it.

    This is the outcome of having a bunch of draft dodging punks going around this country having the nerve to call REAL war veterans cowards.

    This is the outcome of 299 million people living 8 years under a fiscal policy were they watched 1 million make a mad grab on our collective wealth.

    This is the outcome of our president marching our army into two places were victory has eluded us for seven years. Places were both our friends and enemies warned us about.

    This is the outcome of our drained treasury!

    This is the outcome of an administration that intentionally made a fool out of one of the most respected men (black or white) in America.

    This is the outcome of watching our Fed gove sit with its thumb up it a$$ while thousands upon thousands of AMERICANS suffered in flooded New Orleans.

    This is the outcome of the GOP trying to force a “country bumkin” on us as a VP candidate.

    This the outcome of 8 years of pure contempt shown the American public by our president.

  6. Peg says:

    Duane – what can I say?

    You, like I, choose your candidates based upon the principles they hold and what they value rather than the color of their skin. Others here obviously are “race first” kinda people.

    If you believe, as I do, that what you look like or who your ancestors are have little to nothing to do with who you are and what matters, then you always go with the ideas, the character, the experience and the abilities.

    I surely could be wrong that McCain would have been superior in some of those respects. I hope that I am wrong about how Obama will govern and what he believes is best for our country. I wish Obama the best, as he soon will have one of the most difficult and stressful jobs in the world. (Why anyone actually wants it is beyond me – but – that is grist for a different post!)

    I do know, however, that what our two candidates looked like was irrelevant to me.

  7. avery says:

    i don’t think it’s really a fair assessment to suggest that everybody Black who voted for obama did so because simply because he’s Black or simply because they wanted to participate in the historical moment. certainly, there are some folks for whom that’s the case, but political affiliations aside, mccain was a far weaker candidate. just like kerry was in 04. mccain wasn’t running as john mccain, he was running as not-obama. as somebody who wasn’t particularly enthralled with either candidate and who has no party or so-called ideological loyalty (so-called ideological, because it in many cases it tends to correlate so closely to party that they’re impossible to separate), it’s fairly obvious that unless a person trends strongly republican — and even then, in some cases — their support for mccain was really a proxy for not supporting obama.

    funny thing to me is to imagine what the support would look like if the candidates were reversed in some significant ways. what would the respective strategies have looked like had obama been republican? would he have ever seen light of day as a prominent national candidate? his educational background, instead of being played as something that made him elitist, would have been trumpeted, as would his devotion to his family. on the other hand, democrats would most certainly have challenged his Blackness (even more than some already did) and called him all the uncle toms and sellouts they could think of. at the same time, mccain as a democrat? the whole left-his-sick-wife-and-married-a-rich-lady-soon-thereafter angle would’ve gotten a lot more attention. a whole lot.

  8. Peg says:

    Avery – who here has intimated that “everyone who voted for Obama simply because he’s black” or anything else to do with “history?” Surely not I – and Duane doesn’t seem to have said this. From the fact that some did (you don’t doubt this – do you?) it doesn’t follow that all did.

    As for McCain, his affair, divorce, etc., I saw plenty made of that. I also saw McCain “own” what he had done. In an interview, when asked about it, McCain asserted that it was the worst thing that he’d done in his life. Period. No attempt to sugar coat it; just bad.

    That being said – if we continue to demand that our candidates be perfect, irrespective of their political leanings and other positive qualities – we will get candidates of less quality. Who wants to be held to a standard no one can match – and then be pilloried, mocked and attacked when they are only human?

    I don’t know the answer to this conundrum. I only know that in many ways, we the people are the ones responsible for creating a world that is less than it might be. Instead of looking all the time to others to fix our world and solve our own problems, we should look more within to see what we ourselves can do to improve the world.

    And yes; I certainly do include myself in this assessment!

  9. Wil says:

    It is difficult to imagine the psychological distress that Black (capital “C” ) conservatives experience as they proceed along the convoluted process of rationalizing their perspectives.

    Just imagine if Obama had McCain’s background; deserting his ill wife who waited years for him to return from Viet Nam, a new wife with a drug problem, advancing his career with his wife’ money, voting against MLK’s memorial holioday SEVERAL times, and prevaricating to a pathological extent on the campaign trail. Or what if he had Palin’s background; having her first child out of wedlock, a spouse with a DUI in his background, improprieties with her government expense account, a tennage daughter at home who is unmarried and pregnant by a boyfriend who is a self described “redneck” (thug) who said that he does not want children . Does anyone think that a Black person with such a background would be seriously considred for any political office ? The fact that these two were taken seriously is a perfect example of “white privilege”.

    All of the hand-wringing about if someone voted for Obama because he is Black, is a complete waste of brainpower. Just take a good look at the what the options were and try to think beyond the lies about Barak’s propensity to tax people under 250K. It’s good to have someone smart, normal, and ethical going into the Whitehouse.

  10. Duane says:

    Speak of the devil!

    This comes from a person who has acknowledged Obama’s tax policy to be faulty, posses an anti-abortion after seeing your own child in the womb yet you still voted for the man.

    I call that “convoluted”. I’ll leave you to capitalize the ‘C’

    All of the hand-wringing about if someone voted for Obama because he is Black, is a complete waste of brainpower.

    True dat.

  11. Give it a rest says:

    Duane,

    I dont sell bean pies but I have meet some upstanding honorable men and women that do. There was a time in my life that I would have also sneared at them but I have learned to open my eyes and heart to those around me who, although different are also striving for a better world. And, no I do not read the Final Call or even agree with their mission. The point being, if they can accomplish some of their goals it will make for a better community for all of us.
    Oh, BTW bean pies are disgusting!

    Needless to say when I post here I do add a bit of drama into what I write simply as a objective counterpoint. It is also just plain fun. Much of what I write is done so in a tongue in check fashion so do not read the deeply into it. . To truly gain a real understanding of a issue you do need a devil’s advocate to interject a different point of view. Otherwise you are simply talking to yourself!

    I happen to like this site and post what I do as “red meat” for everyone else to have a go at and rip it apart or agree. What would be the point of feedback if everyone was to simply say; “Yes Duane, I totallly agree with you”?
    Do you want discourse or do you want to preach to the choir?

    What with the posting of my name here?

    Come on brotha why get personal? Call me an A$$hole and tell me to leave before going there please!

    If you want me to bounce, by all means just say so!

    You know, I do come to this site because I believed you to be a honorable blackman with many valid points of view that I do agree with. I also believe that we need many other brothers like you out there that are not afraid to express a ideology that is sorely missing from far too many amoung us.
    Trust me I know all about conservative blackfolks ,more than you are willing to accept. I add a cynical counterpoint because I also have seen FIRSTHAND the downside of what you hold dear. Until you find yourself at the top of the class pyramid it is important to remember that there still a level above you that can careless about your situation.

    Regardless if you are optimisitc or pessemistic the amount of water in the glass is still the same. With that said when a liberal and a conservtive look at a problem from different angles and come up with different solutions they ARE both right and wrong at the same time. To solve the problem they need mix together each others solutions to find out what will really work. It what we call compromise. Without it NOTHING gets accomplished.

    When it comes to our President- elect why dont you start by listing all of Obama’s good qualities first and than weigh it against what you do not agree with. Somehow I believe if you open your mind you will see that the good does outweigh the bad. Every single presidential candidate says a lot of stuff about what they are going to do for us. You and I both know it is a bunch of BS. That is why I base my choice on the content of the candidates’ character. John McCain may be an OK guy but he was definately willing to display his ugly side as a means of appealing to the ugliness in peoples hearts. That alone is more than enough of a reason not to vote for his ticket. It shows weakness on his part.

    Like it or not Obama basically ran a clean campaign, he managed to do so without (himself) ever leveling a personal attack against McCain. That is one of the things he promised to do and DID.
    I believe Obama is a man of great character, something that is conspicuously missing in American politics today. I do have great faith in him to do a good job. But for that to happen he will need the support of other good men JUST LIKE YOU.

  12. Duane says:

    Needless to say when I post here I do add a bit of drama into what I write simply as a objective counterpoint.

    This is exactly what I am talking about. Why add the drama? Just make your comment like every one else.

    What would be the point of feedback if everyone was to simply say; “Yes Duane, I totally agree with you”?
    Do you want discourse or do you want to preach to the choir?

    This site has never been about building up a coalition of agreement. Sure, everybody is not going to agree on some issues, but shoveling stuff around for the heck of it is something I just don’t have too much time to engage. Some folks do come here and do a reasonably good job at presenting legitimate arguments. But dramatizing certain issues just to make a point in my view is counter-productive.

    If you want me to bounce, by all means just say so!

    LOL! Nobody is wanting you to bounce. Just as long as you stay on topic, minimize the cussing and you are alright with me. 😉

    To solve the problem they need mix together each others solutions to find out what will really work. It what we call compromise. Without it NOTHING gets accomplished.

    This sounds very good, but bipartisanism or just the blending of two opposing points of view is NOT a guarantee of a solution. Conviction isn’t something you compromise. For example, just as my friends on the left have no problem preaching the message that more government or heavily taxing who they deem as ‘rich’ is the solution to many of our problems, I firmly believe the opposite is true. Those are just two of many issues I simply cannot compromise. Doesn’t mean I hate them, question their Blackness…whatever. I just simply agree to disagree with them and move on. Among other things, this country was founded on conviction, not compromise. Pilgrims that came to this country did so out of a defiance to the harsh policies of King George. Blacks all throughout our history defied all the odds and naysayers out there and have made great gains in this country despite the prevailing thought in this country that we were less than human. Simply put, for some issues, there is just no middle ground.

    When it comes to our President- elect why dont you start by listing all of Obama’s good qualities first and than weigh it against what you do not agree with.

    99% of the Black blogosphere already has him covered by only talking about what they love about the man. I, on the other hand am going to spend most of my time pointing out the policies I do not like. The blogosphere is nothing more than a marketplace of ideas where no one “store” has it all. If I feel policy-wise that Obama has done something I feel is a good move, trust me I will give him a shout. So far, he has not given me anything to shout about.

    he managed to do so without (himself) ever leveling a personal attack against McCain. That is one of the things he promised to do and DID.

    Oh come on. All Obama had to do was to keep preaching “hope and change” while mainstream media took care of the rest for his campaign.

    But for that to happen he will need the support of other good men JUST LIKE YOU.

    And he will have it. But not by being a part of the Obama Mass Choir.

  13. Peg says:

    Is it really possible for Obama supporters here to close their eyes to reality? I seem to recall an ad mocking McCain for not sending out email – intimating he was too stupid and ancient to do it. Turns out McCain doesn’t do email because torture in Vietnam made it too painful for him to sit at a computer and type. I guess I must have missed the apology from the Obama camp.

    And a “clean” campaign? You mean, like turning OFF the credit card controls, so that the campaign could gain at least a couple hundred million bucks from who knows where: foreign nationals, wealthy donors who wanted to give more than the law allows, etc? Had the shoe been on the other foot – e.g., had McCain’s campaign been doing this, you would have seen nothing but this in every newspaper in America and every news cable channel.

    I surely am going to give President-elect Obama the benefit of the doubt. I hope he succeeds, if for no other reason that I love our country and our people and it surely will be best for the world if he is a successful president.

    But please. You can fool some of the people into thinking that he is The Messiah with no faults. Others of us know better.

  14. The EL says:

    “Its been a long time, shouldn’t have left you without a strong beat to step to.” – Rakim

    Duane

    I proudly voted for Obama, and I proudly love your site. Unlike many “conservative” brothas I have met or read about, I like that you stick to your side and still seem like someone I could “have a beer with. ”

    Indeed there will be many misteps by Pres. Obama ( what’s up with the Nancy Reagan reference during the presser?) there will certainly be policy decisions that won’t work, there will be REAL threats to our security that he will have to address in ways that might not sit well with the peace & love crowd but for the first time in awhile ( 8 years) I think we will at least have a president with some leadership qualities that will translate into an improvement in our country.

    I will be checking on here to see what the conservative point of view of his performance is. I believe it is ncessary and ultimately helps us improve our democracy. Hopefully now in the years to come there will be a Conservative candidate that looks like us that people will have to consider as a viable presidential candidate. It will be Thanks to President Obama ( can’t get over writing that) and in some small part; to you also.

    Peace
    EL

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