Someone one ask me why I’m supporting Barack Obama. They spouted off a few reasons why they think I’m voting for him, but eventually asked me to explain what makes me want to vote for him.
After giving him the answer that I’ve given before I thought I go into detail, so if he’s taken my advice and followed the link I sent him to this blog maybe this will offer a more detailed and deeper answer to your question.
Being a Black man who is the son of a Bishop, Great-Grandson of a former pastor, and Great-Nephew of a former Bishop within the Church of God and a cousin of a minister with the Church of Christ I have been blessed or privileged to have had such a unique connection with the church all of my life. I can remember listening to a sermon called “Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on tape years ago. I started to smile after he made the statement referenced below because I could actually relate to him on a personal level on what he was saying in that statement.
“Now of course I was religious; I grew up in the church. I’m the son of a preacher; I’m the great-grandson of a preacher, and the great-great-grandson of a preacher. My father is a preacher, my grandfather was a preacher, my great-grandfather was a preacher, my only brother is a preacher, my Daddy’s brother is a preacher. So I didn’t have much choice, I guess. But I had grown up in the church, and the church meant something very real to me, but it was a kind of inherited religion and I had never felt an experience with God in the way that you must have it if you’re going to walk the lonely paths of this life.” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Why Jesus Called a Man a Fool”
Out of all of the great, inspirational and challenging things Dr. King said, this was the one that reverberate the most with me, mostly because it’s the one thing that we have shared experiences. Our common bond. The significance of that bond doesn’t really matter; it’s the tread that connects the stitches of improbability to the quilt of reality.
I’m sure you’re asking the question…
So what does this have to do with, “Why you’re supporting Barack Obama?”
I’m not sure if my answer will make sense to you or not, but I’ll try to get at the core of it and hope you understand my perspective.
My support for Barack Obama did not begin after his win in Iowa or South Carolina. It began in July 2004 at the National Democratic Convention in Boston, MA.
Like many people I listened to Barack Obama’s keynote address. I heard a man who was able to make the world listen to what I had to say. I’ve not had the opportunity to speak with him, but his message was speaking for me.
A message I was familiar with, but could not express. A message delivered with the substance and eloquence that allowed him to step into the inner-space of your conscience. That was the beginning of my support.
I’m sure some may not understand this picture. It offers a glimpse of Barack the person. It’s not about who’s behind him, but what is behind him.
If you think about it, I think you may get what I’m saying.
This election may not be important to you as it is to me. My candidate has flaws, just like me. His not perfect and will make mistakes, just like me. He speaks from his heart with sincerity, just like me. That’s only a few reasons why I support his candidacy for President.
Many people from this country and around the world support Barack Obama for their own personal reasons. When I watch, listen read about and observe Barack Obama what I see may be different than what you see. I see his character. I see a glimpse of where I’m from and where I am going. Not in terms of slavery, Jim Crow or even becoming President, because I know that I’m not polished enough for that position. We are reaping the consequences of an unpolished President now.
I’m speaking of a realization of the dreams of King. His success represents the beginning of the eradication of a suppressed psychological dependency of feeling less than by many people in this country. It represents a move towards a positive direction in the country. It represents the beginning stages of the reconciliation of our relationship in the world community. It is Americans of goodwill opportunity to work together to do what is right and what our constitution calls on us to do and what we should represent. Freedom, equality, unity, hope and the symbol of true democracy.
We lost that after our incident in Florida eight years ago.
I respect John McCain and even the Republican Party, but strongly disagree and disappointed with the new positions and strategy McCain and the elitist and extremist of his party has taken.
I’m not a Republican for multiple reasons. I understand and respect that the Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas. This is the argument many launch as Blacks to persuade me to reconsider the party. The Republican Party of today is not the Republican Party of that was associated with ending the Civil War and ending Slavery. It’s now the party of big business, terror and profits. Capitalism is ingrained into the fabric of our society, but Democracy is too.
In 2006 I wrote a blog (another blog before this one) called, “The Last Good Republican”. It was this democrat’s way to honor President Ford in his death. In that article I asked the question “Was the Southern Strategy worth it?” Today I only hear a few Republicans that I can find a level of trust. Jack Kemp, Michael Steele, Chuck Hagel, J.C. Watts, Colin Powell comes to mind, but now three of them are out of politics.
When Republicans such as the author of the “Contract with America Larry Hunter endorses Obama something has gone very wrong with the party.
My advice for the Republican Party and those members who are silent need to evaluate your the consequences their actions has had on the lives of people throughout this world in terms of the effectiveness of the policy and conduct of the man they elected. Your refusal to cooperate with the world has ignited the grassroots efforts to overthrow you, in love and hate.
But let me end it here, by reiterating the core reason why I’m voting for Barack Obama.
I’m not voting for him because he’s Black as some unsophisticated voters will have you believe. I’m not voting for him because he’s “different, not like the rest of them” as some ignorant voters will have you believe. I’m voting for him because of our common bond, our shared experiences. The same reasons spelled out in the keynote address he gave in 2004.
“Hope in the face of difficulties, hope in the face of uncertainty, the audacity of hope.” The same faith and believe of things not seen. That’s our common bond, a belief that theirs a brighter day just over the horizon. Some accuse him of peddling false hopes, but if I can quote Barack once again, “there’s nothing false about hope”. This comes from an individual who has lost all hope. I can’t make you vote for Barack. I will not scare you into voting for him as some try to scare you not to vote for him. I don’t want you to believe that he’s the answer to all of America’s problems. With our cooperation and efforts, he represents what America is to become.
This is only one of the reasons why I’m voting for Barack Obama.