Monday, June 30, 2008

Nader Hits Obama Between the Eyes!

Firing a direct political salvo at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama... Ralph Nader 'outs' Obama––hitting him right between the eyes.

Whether or not one agrees with the policies or political positions of Nader the 2008 independent presidential candidate, you have to give him credit for calling Obama out and not backing down on his 'call out'. And that boldness is the mark of a true leader!

Like it or not, Nader is one of the few––if not the only–– politician this entire 16-month election process who has had the guts to 'in-your-face' challenge the soon-to-be-Democratic candidate in the arena he [Obama] has dominated... and has rendered unspeakable by anyone else: RACE.

Now, what is unfortunate is that it took a white man [Nader] to actuate the conversation, and to place (front and center in the political debate) these core issues that plague African-Americans in rural and urban communities coast-to-coast. But more disturbing is 'why' Senator Obama fails to address those important issues, as raised here by Nader, i.e.:

"I haven't heard him [Senator Obama] have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that?" [And...

"...why don't you support single-payer national health insurance, which is supported by a majority of doctors and the American people? Why do you favor expanding the military budget which is replete with waste, fraud and abuse?" [And...

"...why don't you come out and support an immediate increase of the minimum wage to $10 an hour? [And for Obama to address...

"...'cracking down on corporate crime, curbing the violence of toxic environmental racism, and extending clean, affordable public transit, among other issues'. When can we expect the authenticity of hope and change?

Instead of responding to these legitimate questions from Nader, Obama chose to pooh-pooh his response by saying: "Ralph Nader is trying to get attention. ... It's a shame, because if you look at his legacy in terms of consumer protection, it's an extraordinary one. But at this point, he's somebody who's trying to get attention."

So, let's take the 'need-to-get-attention' aspect off the table. Now, Obama needs to answer Nader's questions–– especially with over 95% of Obama's expected votes-to-victory in the Fall coming from African Americans. What is being demanded by Blacks from him for this support? What kinds of promises will he give to African Americans for this overwhelming backing?

Here of late, the junior Senator from Illinois has made his rounds–– making promises to the Jewish community to lay U.S. lives on the line (if need be) for Israel's security. He continues to meet with, and make commitments to white women–– assuring he will be sensitive to equal pay, abortion rights, and other white women issues if they will come back to the Democratic fold. And, what about Michelle Obama, who is on record pledging to the Gay and Lesbian voter base that Barack will unabashedly fight for equal rights for the Gay community.

Well and good, as nobody is 'hating' on what he has to say to other groups to get their votes! But, Nader's right... and his brazen comments should tweak interest in the Black community. Why has Obama been so silent on what Blacks can realistically expect to receive from an Obama presidency? Surely the reason for his silence is not––as Nader has doggedly thrown onto the political landscape, and refuses to back-up-off-this statement:

"Obama is talking white. "He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician," Nader said. "He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."

Nader's challenge to Obama cannot, and should not, be dismissed as the debate which leads to the road to the White House transpires in coffee houses, living rooms and social gatherings across America.

Senator Obama... Black America needs your response.


Comments welcomed!


Harrel said...

You hit the nail on the head. The last time we as African-Americans blindly rallied behind someone just because they were black, we ended up with Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.

He's thrown the black church under the bus. There's was certainly some grandstanding by Rev Wright, but why didn't Obama stand up and say, "What Rev. Wright says is consistent with what black ministers have said for years. I will be a president where such frustrations are heard." Instead he called Wright ignorant and divisive.

He has slighted the black community on multiple occasions, the most telling of which was skipping out on the 40th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King's death in Memphis, a majority black city, to speak at a majority white high school in Indiana (the “prior obligation” he cited to the media as his reason for not attending).

Defenders have said time and time again that he's doing what he needs to do to get elected. In other words, ignoring black issues is necessary to get elected. So, what then will he do for the next 4 years as he spends his first 4 years seeking reelection to the presidency? Answer: He will once again ignore the black community that backs him so devoutly. And after that? Perhaps he will be so concerned about his legacy (he's made it clear that he doesn't want to be seen as the "black president") that even then he will keep his distance from black America. I have to say I wonder. We as a people loyally offer ourselves to this man, as if he’s God (have you heard the comments some of our friends and love ones make about him) when he has shown no loyalty to us.

Jodi said...

What the African American community really needs is EMPOWERMENT, not pandering. Someone needs to stand up and let this community know that everyone is a child of God and everyone has the ability to succeed.

Jeanne said...

Exceptionally impressive entry, Ms. Berryhill. Thank you for your glimmer, your insightful words and candor. In your truthfulness, you give us shine.