Obama: Logic and Excitement
And we loved him cause, in him we, saw some of us
He walked like ussss, talked like ussss – Jay Z
From the song, Meet the Parents
I think the excerpt above epitomizes the appeal of one, Senator and Presidential candidate, Barack Obama. It simultaneously, explains the vigor by which individuals will defend and support Senator Obama whenever he is attacked by mainstream media or leading political figures. So are people too sensitive when it comes to Obama that they can’t at the same time hold him accountable?
In some of my conversations with other Black folk, I have often heard that we must take care to be just as objective in our analysis of Obama as we are towards other candidates. And I agree with this logic up to a point. I think that it is unwise to bottle the excitement that the Obama campaign is generating. The only way that the Democrats will take the White House is if new voters are mobilized, young people, and so-called independents and right of center Republicans switch sides. But even if Obama does not win the nomination, who else do you think is capable of mobilizing these crucial groups?
Having said that, I know it seems like many people have drank the Obama Kool-Aid without knowing the flavor as it were. But that is OK. And here’s why. If we, (as activists who try to achieve positive change with as many people as possible) are really honest, we don’ think there are enough “conscious” folks who are willing to do the grassroots work that will inspire real change. In my opinion, we should think about Obama’s campaign as a way to pull people into the movement that would otherwise not be engaged.
So my fear is that in our quest to make sure that we hold Obama accountable, we miss out on tapping the groundswell of excitement that can be used for things that have nothing to do with politics. In so many ways, Presidential elections have very little to do with the actual candidate. While I agree that we should Obama accountable, we should first ask if we are holding each other accountable. When that happens, we can achieve greatness regardless of who holds the White House.