Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Barack Breaks Barriers

The Democratic primaries took the longest route out of what was a foregone conclusion as early as February 5. An acrimonious and discordant contest taken to the edge of a fatal schism along generational, gender and racial divisions that would require much care and attention to consolidate and unite. The seemingly unending struggle, propelled by Hillary's unrelenting sense of her own destiny, proved that she's a formidable opponent; but that Barack Obama's message was more compelling. He has won a historic moment, but his struggle to win against an entire nation's history of cultural and attitudinal orientations has just begun.

Disbelief among the more senior African Americans that one of their own has a genuine opportunity to become President of the United States may be prevalent, and even Obama and his team would reflect now and then on the forceful symbolism of clinching a major party's nomination. But he must surely know that he is just in one of the stages of a long journey where long rests are not advisable. He should also realize that he must see the journey to a successful conclusion, not only for claiming the title but living up to the promise. Otherwise, no African American would venture out as far as he had come today in a long time, nor would any be allowed to.

To achieve these, he must first deal with his rival who will use all that she has mustered out of the contest to lay out her terms of surrender. Hillary could opt for an elective position as his running mate, or a cabinet post, or as Senate Majority Leader; which would have repercussions on his Presidential Campaign in November, or his would-be administration's capability to govern harmoniously. He would also have to convince Hillary's supporters and/or his own campaigners, why his decision - whatever it may be - will be the best for the party and for the benefit of America. The nature of the compromise will reveal the integrity of his vision, or the pragmatism of his personal ambition.

Obama would then face the entire electorate and prove that he would be the better man against the enduring, even if aging hero, John McCain; by transcending all the bias and prejudices about his associations, experience, background and race. He must carefully, forcefully and clearly define the vision that would transform the country's crumbling economy, its lagging competitiveness, its decaying social order, and its declining military reputation, into a nation worthy of global leadership by its adherence to peaceful coexistence and equitable sustainable development. He must change the face of America and its actuations in many parts of the world to one that is honest, sincere, and mutually beneficial.

Apart from Hillary Clinton's desire for respect, the only thing that stands in the way of Obama's mission is the color of his skin.



Anonymous said...

I was really happy last night when I heard the news. I think he is the right person for the job, and he seems to believe in what he says. Which is rare enough for politicians.

I wish we could stop the debate about Hilary losing because she's a woman blahblahblah. This wasn't a vote against feminists... just a political choice!

Kim said...

hello Durano
Obama...seems to be edging closer as each day goes by..
I don't think I've ever followed such a long and drawn out campaign in politics...the Americans certainly know how to drag it out ..
just my opinion of course...;)

The Fitness Diva said...

Yes, Durano, he must tread ever so carefully here. One wrong move, and it's over. It will be quite the task to win over the Hillary voters, especially the ones who voted based on race, like the legions of Latinos who really only voted for Hil to NOT vote for a Black man. The racism of Latinos against blacks runs deeper than you know. I know it first hand.
They will wait until he says or does the one wrong thing, and then use that as an excuse to turn Republican. Many Latinos have such a desire and desperation, almost, to identify as white or "whiter", that they'll go against anything black.

Then you have the old died in the wool racists who came of age before the 60's and 70's, and were raised in the Jim Crow era. It's not in their makeup or their experience to see a black in the top position, nor is it their desire to see such a thing come to pass. Changing their old ways of thinking will also be hard. Their sense of self entitlement is huge, and white privilege, something they've enjoyed and been proud of their entire lives, is something they see slipping away from them as it is.
A Black president will be the final straw!
The GOP is going to be getting some fresh new blood, let's just say, from both of these groups. They'd rather vote for the wrong white man than the right black man, IMO.

Black Americans, for the most part, will now get on board, if they haven't already. Those who wouldn't allow themselves to think it was really possible are now seeing some light and hope. It's a wake up call for many.

And although any political election is not supposed to be about race, you bet your bottom dollar that this one totally and completely is. Not to disparage the whites and other non blacks that voted and will vote for Obama; I think their reasons for voting for him are pure and have nothing to do with the race of the candidate. But everybody else? You bet your butt it does!

We'll just have to wait and see how this all pans out! It will be interesting, to say the least.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zhu,

Yes, Obama had a historic moment and I guess many around the world heaved a sigh of relief.

You're right about Hillary as a vote of choice not gender, but there is a large segment of older white women and most latino women who voted along gender lines. I hope they can be co-opted fully for the Democrats' candidate. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

It has certainly been a long drawn out and bitterly contested campaign.

You're right about the Americans dragging it out, especially the media, since they continued to sell air time even if they were already repeating themselves and fumbling for words to say the same thing differently.

It's all about marketing and making money for these media organizations, and they made a fuss about every statement regardless of how insignificant, just to generate interest. They also used issue baiting to keep up the "controversies". :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Fitness Diva,

I am aware of the intensity of the Latinos feelings about being identified as whites. I believe we have discussed this in a previous post here, when I wrote about them not feeling represented in their issues by a black man.

I know about their race issues versus African Americans too, but perhaps not its intensity. But I have seen and heard how fierce this can be, and it shocked me when I learned it first hand in 1993 when I visited Arizona.

Racism in America has simply submerged but never removed. I know that this election will surface this discrimination again despite denials by many that the issues against him are not about race. A short trip to any of the conservative blogs (never mind the right wing blogs) will tell you right away that this is so. They have actually already started, by imputing so many things about his name, associations, background, etc. That is exactly why I said that the one thing that will stand in his way is the color of his skin.

I also am aware that the Latino vote is crucial to his victory, but he should not count on it. Some Latinos will remain with the democrat candidate and vote for him, others will probably vote for McCain or Bob Barr. But your analysis is on the button,which is why I think Obama is relying more on the young educated first time voters rather than the Latinos. However, I think he would still try to win them over with a policy agenda in their favor. Of course, it's still a black man on top, not white or Latino, if he ever wins. :-) --Durano, done!

Collin Williams said...

They seem really happy in those pictures... not like we didn't all see it coming for months. Hillary has been so unlikable, and with the Obamania craze, it was just a matter of time.


Anonymous said...

I think Fitness Diva and your response to part of that is correct. It's still a very racially insensitive country and that crosses all colors. It's not simply the dumb white's the dumb (insert color here guy/gal)....Your analysis of this breaking on intelligence is unfortunately probably right on...which scares me. I'm not sure brown, white, black, pink or green can take another 4 years of Bush politics...which unless Barack can do the unthinkable in uniting this country (cautiously optimistic)...we're in for....Diva's right with regard to the race issue and you're right with respect to the intelligence issue....and I keep going back to the last two elections for insight....hmmmmmm....guess intelligence didn't win out there now did it?


durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Collin,


At the start of the campaign, Hillary was sort of condescending as she was pretty sure that the nomination was in the bag. It took a lot of effort to shake off that image, which was helped in part by her message that she can be a tough President.

Before Feb 5, the Obamamania bandwagon started to steamroll competition and at that point began to build momentum that was unstoppable. His showing on Super Tuesday was so forceful that it became obvious that the energy of the campaign shifted in his favor, and the message he brought attracted legions of supporters and small contributors. It was a foregone conclusion from there.

It's worthwhile seeing how far he can take this historic moment and what accomplishments he can create with it. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Tommy,

Racism has expanded in America Tommy. It's not just whites now but practically every color, as you say - and I agree with you.

The more educated a voter is, I suspect the less racist the influence is likely to be. Perhaps it would be wise to focus also on those who are racists but in his favor.:-)

The dumbing of America, the decline and failure of its educational system, has heightened racism to some degree and has removed all serious debates and discussions about the merits of character, and focused on stereotypes based on race and religion. It's unfortunate really.

The last 2 elections were not a victory for the intelligent voters. It was the triumph of the herded idiots backed by a hooting throng that elevated stupidity to the highest post in the land. :-) --Durano, done!