There is one thing that every African-American has worried about since Barack Obama came on the scene: that he’ll be shot.
In fact, they were initially reluctant to support him, partly so he wouldn’t get hurt.
Newspapers wrote about this, asking whether he was “Black enough.” As if 50% Kenyan blood isn’t enough.
There were also concerns that he wouldn’t get enough White votes to be viable. Black folk didn’t want to get their hopes up about the new kid in town.
But he won in Iowa, one of the Whitest states in the Union. That changed some people’s minds. That got some people excited, across the spectrum of so-called “race.”
(There’s only one human race. We just come in colors, that’s all.)
Obama had some selling to do; he had to introduce himself, make the pitch and close the sale. He is not as good a closer as I would like; but he is one hell of a pitchman. He can sell ice cubes to Inuits.
As the campaign progressed, he sold more and more voters of every race, color, creed and nationality. His win in South Carolina was huge. The Black folk in S.C. believed in him, and that sold African-Americans in other states.
It also raised hopes among White folk that maybe we could end our long national nightmare. He reeled off 10 straight wins, and by huge margins.
Then Hillary Clinton found a way to stop him, in collusion with the media, by raising doubts that he could win among the “White working class.”
She even said this out loud, to the nation’s largest newspaper, citing a questionable report that he was weak among “working Americans, hardworking Americans, White Americans.”
I have written previously how much this statement disgusts me.
But just look at it aesthetically; “working Americans” wasn’t good enough, she had to make them “hardworking.”
And “White Americans”? Is that a club I can join? Is it like the Rotary or the Lions? Who are these White Americans? Why has nobody ever invited me to a meeting? Is there a secret handshake I have to practice? Do they wear special White underwear?
Well, that obscene remark was good enough to give her an 11,000 vote win (out of 1.2 million cast) in Indiana, but not good enough in North Carolina. She won by landslides in West Virginia and Kentucky, but he carried Oregon convincingly.
So now she raises the spectre of assassination.
It isn’t even the first time; she’s done it at least twice before. This time was in front of a newspaper editorial board; there is no chance she didn’t know what she was saying.
(Interestingly, the all-White, all-male editorial board didn’t bat an eye.)
I’ve seen most of that long interview; she was actually quite impressive most of the time. She really does know the details of public policy, and she can be quite charming. The one time they threw her a curveball and she had to back off without committing herself concerned the perennial Western question (this was in South Dakota) of water rights. I was glad she didn’t promise to dam sixty-leven rivers just to pimp for votes.
But assassination! She brought up Robert Kennedy’s assassination as a reason she should stay in the race!
My God, this person is heartless. How dare she mention such a thing.
Hillary Clinton, with all the studied casualness in the world, stuck a dagger in the heart of every Black American, every Baby Boomer, every Kennedy fan and everyone who hopes for racial peace and justice in this country, which is most of us.
She’s worse than a bottom-feeder; she’s a predator.
I remember where I was in June 1968 when Bobby Kennedy was killed: watching ABC News coverage of the California primary. He won, gave a nice little speech, then didn’t even make it out of the hotel.
This was less than two months after Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated; less than five years after President Kennedy was killed.
It seemed as if the racists would kill everyone who stood for justice; that they’d stop at nothing. That year it felt like the United States would collapse.
And yesterday, Hillary Clinton invoked the very destruction of American society to pimp for votes from South Dakot’ns.
It is time for her to retire from public life. Not just quit the presidential race; she needs to get the hook.++