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Posted on: 03/24/08:

Choosing the Democratic Nominee

Category: Politics
Posted by: minruth

One should note with regard to the national discussion about the Democratic Primary race that the DNC is a private organization, not the United States government. As such its officials and members have a right to determine who is best suited to represent them in the up coming general election. Having said that, the DNC, its officials and members, have decided to set 2024 pledged delegates as the benchmark a candidate must attain before being considered the presumptive nominee. In more concrete terms, the apprehension of that benchmark by a candidate is accepted as a mandate of the people. Absent the apprehension of that benchmark by any of the candidates the DNC assumes the race is too close to call and consequently allows the selection of a nominee who represents the party to pass from the people to independent super delegates. To date the national discussion has centered on Barack Obama’s mathematically insurmountable lead in pledged delegates, his edge in the popular vote, his record breaking fund raising and his advantage in the number of states won. Undoubtedly, these considerations will weigh, perhaps heavily, in the decision of the Super Delegates, they are nonetheless not the deciding factor. Neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton can attain the 2024 pledged delegates necessary to assume a mandate of the people. Therefore, the Super Delegates will decide the nominee who will represent the Democratic Party in the general election.

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Category: Politics
Posted by: RBAFounderX
Barack Obama & Jeremiah Wright

Probably one of the most apparent and unquestioned problems regarding the backlash of Jeremiah Wright's sermon excerpts and Obama's response is the equivocation on the terms - "American" or "patriotic." More specifically, Wright and even Michelle Obama have been called anti-American and unpatriotic. Yesterday in Obama's exclusive ABC News post-race speech interview with Terry Moran, he was asked, "Do you consider yourself a black man or an American first?" Obama responded, "An American, absolutely," with no qualifications or corrections. But that is what's problematic. The problem turns on the misguided question itself because it unnecessarily bifurcates "American" and "Black" when in fact one entails the other. For a Black person who is an American citizen, being an American does not mean one should choose between two mutually exclusively options as if they are at odds. In other words, to be American is to be Black.

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Category: Politics
Posted by: RBAFounderX
Obama's pastor and the Politics of Patriotic Treason
By Jonathan L Walton

This past week, the controversy surrounding Senator Barack Obama’s pastor, Dr. Jeremiah Wright, reached a head. Investigative reporters at ABC released excerpts from Dr. Wright’s sermons where he appears to be making inflammatory and unpatriotic pronouncements against the United States. Excerpts include Dr. Wright attributing the 9/11 attacks to a matter of “the chickens coming home to roost,” and suggesting African Americans sing “God Damn America” in place of “God Bless America.”

As expected, Senator Obama offered his ceremonial denouncement in response to the perceived outrage of the “American mainstream.” And conservative pundits are sure to have a field day with this story. But before Obamamaniacs jump on the demonizing bandwagon (one that Senator Obama himself seems a little too quick to fuel), let’s view Dr. Wright in proper perspective. Placing the recently retired pastor in appropriate historical context should keep us from castigating him as a race-obsessed fanatic, as anti-American, or as analogous to the late Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson or John Hagee.

First, the progressive strand of the black church, of which Dr. Wright is situated, has been in conflict with the American mainstream at each given epoch of this nation’s history. Its raison d’etre is found in both a figurative and literal interpretation of Luke 4:18—preach the gospel to the poor, heal the broken-hearted, set the captives free, offer sight to the blind and liberate the oppressed. Fighting on for liberation, whether against slavery, legalized segregation, racial discrimination, structural poverty and many other forms of systemic evil, has always been at the top of the ministerial agenda. Thus to hear Dr. Wright lambaste America for its record on racial apartheid, imperialistic tendencies abroad, and draconian policing practices at home in relation to persons of color and the poor is unsurprising. Dr. Wright, in many ways, represents the progressive black church at its best.

Second, condemning a nation for its unjust practices should not be viewed as being against the nation. To the contrary, it may reveal a deep commitment to the society of one’s birth by demonstrating a willingness to hold the nation accountable to her citizens, particularly the “least of these.” For instance, the Hebrew prophets, whose voices were particularly unwelcome in 7th and 8th century B.C. Israel, spoke to the plight of the poor and spiritual well-being of the nation as a sign of their abiding faith in what Israel was called to be.

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Category: Politics
Posted by: RBAFounderX
Perhaps, European news are handling the elections better than U.S. media outlets?
One of Britain’s most influential black figures today accused Barack Obama of cynically exploiting America’s racial divide and gave warning that he could prolong, rather than heal the rift.

Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, claimed that the Democratic front-runner would ultimately disappoint the African-American community and dismissed the notion that he would be "the harbinger of a post-racial America" if he becomes the country’s first black President.

Writing in Prospect, the monthly current affairs magazine, Mr Phillips suggested that guilt over transatlantic slavery was behind Mr Obama’s support from middle class whites.

"If Obama can succeed, then maybe they can imagine that [Martin Luther] King's post-racial nirvana has arrived. A vote for Obama is a pain-free negation of their own racism. So long as they don't have to live next door to him; Obama has yet to win convincingly in white districts adjacent to black communities," he wrote.

Mr Phillips compared Mr Obama to Bill Cosby and Oprah Winfrey, prominent black “bargainers” – those who strike a deal with white America not to make an issue of historical racism if their own race is not used against them.

But, in a warning to the Democratic candidate, he added that Cosby now cut a “sad and lonely figure” because he had abandoned the moral weapon used by figures such as Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Jesse Jackson in insisting that “in the end, salvation for blacks won’t depend on the actions of whites.”

"In truth, Obama may be helping to postpone the arrival of a post-racial America and I think he knows it," Mr Phillips wrote. "If he wins, the cynicism may be worth it to him and his party. In the end he is a politician and a very good one: his job is to win elections."

He added: "If he fulfils the hopes of whites, he must disappoint blacks – and vice versa."
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HT: Cory Ruth