I understand that people want their representatives who are super delegates to support Barack Obama but threatening them, harassing their families and generally making an ass of yourself goes against everything the Obama campaign purports it stands for.
Like “a new kind of politics” or fostering “hope.” Not terrorizing your elders!
“African-American superdelegates are being targeted, harassed and threatened,” said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-Mo.), a superdelegate who has supported Clinton since August. Cleaver said black superdelegates are receiving “nasty letters, phone calls, threats they’ll get an opponent, being called an Uncle Tom.
“This is the politics of the 1950s,” he complained. “A lot of members are experiencing a lot of ugly stuff. They’re not going to talk about it, but it’s happening.”
After civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) switched his support from Clinton to Obama earlier this week, other black superdelegates have come under renewed pressure to do a similar about-face. A handful have bowed to the entreaties in recent weeks, including Georgia Rep. David Scott, but many say they are steadfast in their support for Clinton and resent strong-arm tactics to make them change.
Rep. Diane E. Watson (D-Calif.), a black lawmaker and Clinton backer, said the intense lobbying for Obama would not alter her vote.
“I’ve gotten threatening mail,” Watson said. “They say, ‘Your district went 61-29 Obama and you need to change.’ But I don’t intimidate. I can hold the ground. … I would lose my seat over my principles.”
Um … not helping! This will really kill those “Obama followers are a cult” stories or the “Obama is being backed by scary, threatening black folk” rumors.
I know I’m in the minority here but I’m just not mad at people for supporting Hillary Clinton. I’m not. If Obama is good enough to win the nomination, which he is, he can get it with or without the support of certain members of the Congressional Black Caucus. But at the end of the day because these officials are Democrats, if Obama is the nominee they will back him. So seriously? Why do this? What does this achieve but bad blood and scarred emotions?
If someone thinks Hillary Clinton is the better woman for the job then let them go support Hillary Clinton in peace. Obama has plenty of support. He will be fine. Black people fought and died so we could have a choice, not to blindly follow each other out of skin tone alone. It is simply divisive and counter-productive to do this to people who have dedicated their lives to the black people they represent.
To accuse people of being “Uncle Toms” when none of these people were Uncle Toms a year ago is asinine. No one had a problem with these people when they were demanding hearings on Hurricane Katrina, fighting for the black vote that was disenfranchised in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004 and getting money for their rural and urban districts in the means of scholarship funds and development grants.
They backed Hillary and not Obama. I mean, get over it. That isn’t a sin. That’s just them being loyal to someone they already know while practicing CYA at the same time. This idiocy in the from of intimidation is the matter racists point to when they argue that we can not lead. Actions like this demonstrates that we’re petty, immature and foster violence. That we will reduce ourselves to the lowest common denominator turning into a political version of the Bloods and Crips. That we are headless, mindless monolith that can be manipulated and pushed to brink of our own moral and physical destruction.
I find it difficult to fathom that Sen. Obama would want to be associated with such foolishness even if it did net them John Lewis at the end, because what did they gain? A bullied old man, cowed and intimidated by those he served for years? This wasn’t needed because in politics as in Civil Rights it is the ending that matters. At the end of the day all of these people supporting the Clintons will work together for the betterment of blacks and the Democratic Party.
These irruptions of idiocy remind me of that old joke about how people love Jesus but can’t stand his followers. I’m for Obama but I have a problem with the uncouth, recalcitrant behavior of a motley few in his good name.
I’m not fond of authoritarian hierarchies or monarchies. I don’t see our black US Representatives and Civil Rights leaders as an ecclesiastical papacy who dictates to the masses when to stand up and when to kneal, but I do have respect for those who stood up for me for the last 29 years of my life and short of a conversion to satanism or a membership the Klan, I am not going to throw dirt on their graves at my year 30 because they backed Hillary Clinton. One Clinton isn’t enough to break up my family. And that’s how I view this. This is a generational family fight. These individuals, whether we agree with them or not, are our family. If they don’t want to be with us on Obama, let them loose. Obama is will get where he is going just fine and I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but at the end of the day they are ALL going to back the Democratic nominee.
It literally hurts my heart to hear black people harm one another when we are in the midst of something so historical and exciting. I too balked at the insults and slights of individuals like Rep. Charles Rangel and Andrew Young who argued it wasn’t Obama’s time. But I don’t get calling those same people sellouts because they’re backing some Democrats we all voted for twice in the 1990s.
I’d get all the outrage if they were backing George W. or John McCain, but Hillary and Barack have virtually identical political platforms. In the last two debates they were arguing over percentage points in their health care proposals. And the necessity of this brutish behavior would be more plausible if Obama was being treated unfairly within the party or was at a disadvantage, but he’s winning. He’s successful, surpassing his opponent in delegates and soon to smother her in pledged/super delegates.
And perhaps I’m wrong, but I don’t believe in calling people Uncle Toms. In Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” Uncle Tom dies at the hands of cruel slave owner Simon Legree because he wouldn’t sell-out runaway slaves. It’s a perversion of the abolitionist novel, taking Uncle Tom, a genial old man who loved him some kindly white folks, a labeling racial sycophant with a “House Negro” mind, but when it came to the bloody end, where he’s an innocent Christ figure getting bludgeoned to death with a cane, he would not give those other slaves up.
My elders are not hurting me by backing Hillary Clinton. Clinton and Obama play for the same time. But you are hurting me though if you launch into crazy Muslim flavored attack ads against Obama perpetuating falsehoods and engaging in dirty politics. Or if black people fall into the “crabs in a bucket” paradigm where we fall into the violent lust of destroying one another,
adopting the jaundiced views bigots spun to Whites to foster distrust in black politicians and Civil Rights leaders.
I am bothered (and exhausted) by this black-on-black folk, racial jerk violence. I wish I had megaphone to black America to chill out before we bury ourselves in our own hubris and vanity.