Thursday, August 28, 2008

President Obama: Good for Black America?

It appears that Mr. Obama has the African American vote all but sewn-up. The impression from this community is that Obama would best address their needs.

But is that true?

George Weigel weighs in.

CAMPAIGN 2008: Would President Obama Be Good For Black America?

When I was a teenager, my formative, if largely vicarious, political experience was the civil rights movement. It was a time of great issues bravely contested, a moment replete with heroes and villains. It was George Wallace vowing "Segregation forever!", Bull Connor setting dogs on demonstrators, and Klansmen bombing black churches. It was the March on Washington, Mississippi Freedom Summer, the showdown at the Edmund Pettis bridge, and much more. Anyone who sang "We Shall Overcome" in those electric years will welcome a new fact of our public life: America -- a country whose original sin was slavery -- has become a place in which an African-American can be a major party's candidate for president.

The same honesty that led Americans to confront racist prejudices a half-century ago now compels another question: Would a President Barack Obama be good for black America?

The answer may seem obvious. The inauguration of an African-American president on January 20, 2009, would be the final vindication of the civil rights crusade; it would give new depth of meaning to the blood sacrifices of Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr., Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney, Viola Liuzo, and the movement's other martyrs. It would inspire young African-Americans of the 21st century, even as it honored the memory of ancestors once treated as chattels. It would put a president uniquely attuned to the trials that continue to beset black America into the White House .

But would it?


No comments:

Post a Comment