Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The New Black Politics?

One of the things I said I'd talk about on this blog is politics.

This Sunday's New York Times magazine has a cover story that I think should be widely read and considered.

The article is entitled "Is Obama The End of Black Politics?"

Since you're online, you can read it now.

I can say that I'm pretty close in age to Obama and as much as I'm proud to see an African-American rise to the level in American politics that he has, I'm definitely of the "new" mindset. Time to understand that the civil rights era is over.

I say that with much gratitude and applause for those who were a part of that era and paved the way to where we are now.

There are new ways of addressing old and lingering, as well as new, challenges.

Today's problems are as much about economics and social status as they are about race.

And this whole thing called racial identity is waaaaayyy more complex than folks realize.

Take for example, the fact that I'm both of Hispanic and African-American heritage. In fact, I'm of Hispanic and West-Indian heritage. I was raised in a small, working class, all-Black neighborhood, borne of 1970's "white-flight", the child of a blue-collar worker and a teacher prematurely retired due to disability. I was educated at an Ivy League school. I'm married, a working professional, a Northerner living in the South, a mother of sons, a wife of a pastor/entrepreneur.

All of those things bring with them issues, some the same but with difference nuances based on the selected group. Which shape my opinions more? If I lean one way, am I being insensitive or maybe traitorous to the other groups?

Politics has always been about protecting one's interests. But what about when one's interests cut across many groups?

It comes down to thought and listening, compromise, and opportunity and choice. The ability to put one's self in another man's shoes, if only to truly hear what he has to say from deep inside.

That's some of what the Obama campaign is all about for me.

What say you about the emerging black politics?

Peace & Blessings,

1 comment:

Chicki said...

I agree 100 percent. Those days are finished. Did you notice how those old guys -- Andrew Young, John Lewis, etc. originally supported Hillary? They want to hang on to the old ways and continue singing "We Shall Overcome." Get over it, brothers! It's a new day.