Two Black imperatives: March on ballot boxes and mobilize for State of the Black World Conference III
President of Institute of Black World 21St Century | 11/26/2012, 4:22 p.m.
As some of my followers are aware, I am an occasional guest radio talk show host, periodically sitting in for Warren Ballentine, Mark Thompson and the Rev. Al Sharpton on Radio-One, SIRIUS/XM networks as well as WWRL-AM in New York. In taking to the airwaves in recent weeks, a major goal has been to engage the audience in conversations about the critical presidential election and make the case that there is a political imperative for people of African descent and progressives to vigorously work for the re-election of President Barack Obama.
This has not always been an easy task because some listeners are disappointed that Obama has not overtly addressed the myriad crises afflicting Black communities and, in some instances, has pursued foreign policy options that are similar to those of George W. Bush. Despite these shortcomings, I have emphatically contended that the "Forward" trajectory of his vision and program is clearly preferable to the radical, extremist, reactionary, "backward" path of the tea party-dominated "Grand Obstructionist Party" (GOP), which the political chameleon Mitt Romney now represents.
Indeed, in my recent article, "President Barack Obama: More Than the 'Lesser Evil'" (see www.ibw21.org), I argue that Obama is by far the "better choice" for African-Americans and the liberal, leftist and progressive forces--not the perfect choice but the better choice, given the frightening agenda of Romney-Ryan and the radical conservatives who have captured the Republican Party.
I don't always win the argument, but during my last appearance on "The Warren Ballentine Show," I was delighted to receive a call from a brother from Atlanta who shared with the audience that he had been listening carefully for weeks and finally made the decision that he won't sit out the election, but will vote for Obama in November. That was gratifying, and I hope that legions of other potential voters in the Black community have reached a similar conclusion.
In order to blunt, reverse and overcome the mean intentions of the machinations of the obstructionists, it is imperative that Black voters march on ballot boxes with the same determination that Black freedom fighters had when they marched across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965. We cannot succumb to disappointment, frustration, apathy and inaction in the face of an imminent threat to turn the clock back on the gains won by our forebears over centuries of bloody and sacrificial struggle. In the face of voter identification laws and other calculated efforts to suppress the Black vote, we must assert that this will not be another "Bloody Sunday," where regulations, statutes and procedures, rather that state troopers with billy clubs, bludgeon us into retreat.
In the spirit of the Freedom Fighters who regrouped and crossed the bridge to complete the march toward freedom, we must resolve that "we ain't gonna let nobody turn us around!" The quest to fulfill the unfulfilled civil and human rights agenda and to create a more perfect union is in our hands. We must march on ballot boxes with our minds "stayed on freedom" and our "eyes on the prize."