Barack Obama: Nominee

Yes, The SuperSpade is brand new again. I’ll write about that specifically later, but I am elated that the first post on this new website is about a genuine Black History, American History moment.

Barack Obama in Minneapolis[After giving his wife dap,] Barack Obama stepped to the podium and declared himself the undisputed [by everyone except Hillary Clinton] Democratic nominee for the President of the United States. In the same moment, he made broad statements about who he is, what he wants, and what he believes, and coupled those with thanks to Hillary Clinton and harsh words for hs Republican opponent, John McCain. I actually don’t think it was his best speech of the campaign thus far. But nevertheless, on the biggest night of his political life, he did not disappoint.

Barack Obama’s Democratic Nomination Acceptance Speech

The next President

I have been neither a passionate nor overly ardent supporter of Senator Obama to this point. He’s not as progressive a candidate as I feel this country needs in my view. He’s not as outspoken on race as I think he should be. However, most importantly, tonight was confirmation that he is a candidate that the Democratic Party and then entire American electorate is indeed ready to consider and vote for.

As a progressive, as an activist, as a writer, and as a Black man I fight back tears in the same way that Barack Obama had to do in the beginning of his history-making speech tonight while the cheers and chants drowned out his microphones like the roar of a rushing waterfall. Tonight I write and work with the same vigor and recommitment that I’ve observed in the number of my friends that have been working on/volunteering for the Obama campaign for many months. This vigor, this hope, this belief in the best possible future despite seemingly insurmountable odds has been reborn. 16 months ago nobody thought a Black man could even win a party nomination. 6 months from now, a Black man will be the President.

As for Clinton…

As for Senator Clinton, she embodies a politician in need of an intervention more than a recovering alcoholic needs an accountability partner. Her speech actually was a good one, at least on with Obama’s but her premise was so flawed and defiant that it virtually invalidated her message. At a time where the #1 priority for the Democratic party has to be how to win in November, she is still trying to angle her way to a win in August. It is this type of short-sightedness that so indicatively demonstrates her focus on winning political battles rather than fighting the right wars (pun intended).

Hillary Clinton’s Speech Tuesday Night

As for John McCain…

Now that Obama has eclipsed all thresholds set by the Democratic party leadership, it is time for all of those that call themselves Democrats to fall in line behind him. That time actually began a while ago, but it is absolutely time to unite now. “Better late than never” is generally a true statement, but in the case of the Democratic party of 2008, the saying is more like “Unite now or else.” John McCain is a weak candidate, under-supported by the Republican base, and literally a gold-mine of low-hanging-fruit political gaffes, blunders, and inconsistencies. A united Democratic party with a candidate focused on its Republican challenger can mop the floor with John McCain on issue after issue after issue. Obama again set the Democratic frame for this debate in his speech tonight. He needs 100% of the party behind him in order to execute on it and win.

John McCain’s Speech Tuesday Night

What next

The unprecedented political organization built from scratch by Obama and his leadership team now have the chance to put their efforts to work on the electorate at large. The fundraising machine will be in full swing, a necessary weapon that will be needed to combat the Republican party’s fundraising apparatus. This organization of energized individuals is what sets Obama apart, what differentiates him, what squarely identifies him as the “change” guy. I want the “change” guy to use this machine to use this organization for more than getting out the vote this election season. I want to see this organization be the test bed for bottom-up, consensus policy proposals, campaign [and ultimately government] openness and transparency, and most importantly agents for advancing the populist, progressive agenda.

Having any large-scale, traditional political party do these things effectively is something we have not seen in generations, and it’ll be a hard effort to pull off. But then again, is that harder than getting a Black man elected? I say no.

So let’s celebrate tonight. Rejoice in history. Admire Senator Obama for accomplishing the inconceivable. Tomorrow, let’s get up, give each other dap, and get to work for real.

One Love. One II.


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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

4 responses to “Barack Obama: Nominee”

  1. steven m devougas says :

    Like you, I have neither been an ardent or passionate supporter of Obama. This is more a function of him being a politician, rather than him being a black man. As I have stated before, I have no personal gripe towards Obama and commend him for stepping into this moment in American History.

    My biggest concern is that for all his accomplishments, how will we as Americans and African-Americans overcome this “here-you do it” mentality. Obama is one man trying to become the leader of the free world, but unless we as a nation and country, work toward turning this country around and take this country back, then Obama will be nothing more than a figurehead and his campaign a footnote in Black History.

    As it says in the Word, “The harvest is plenteous and the laborers are few, therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers.” I hope we will keep this in mind, even as we celebrate and heed your admonition that the real work is just beginning. If nothing else, let this victory serve as inspiration for the rest of us to be the change we want to see in the world.

    Truth and Peace,
    Steven M DeVougas

  2. VV says :

    Awww, I liked the other heading better…it was very “deep”, but this one is nice as well 🙂 I’m sure this is off the mark but I have become extremely embittered during this race, so much to the fact that I would have to turn away from the arguments and speeches because they were just so under handedly vile. I am also somewhat hurt and saddened that many of our elders (Maya Angelou, Bob Johnson etc.) have chosen Hillary over Barack (not that I believe that just because he’s black and you’re black you have to vote for him), and especially disappointed this morning when I saw Ms. Angelou reading yet another “Still I Rise” poem…FOR HILLARY. I almost lost my sh**!!! I mean is Hillary really the “hope and the dream of the slave?” *sigh* oh, well. I am not 100% for the “dream ticket” of Obama-Clinton, I think it would be a house full of derision, BUT, Barack could use Hillary’s 18million voters (and those 18million are not guaranteed, I bet you a dime against a dollar that Hillary’s voters would over throw her in order to NOT have Barack as president, and vote for McCain instead)…that would be the ONLY reason why I would vote it in…He’s backed into a corner with this, and she doesn’t really want to do it, because she hasn’t even accepted that she has lost the race…and she won’t concede until forced, I’m convinced.

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