African American News

"Our Obama Hopes Far Too High - Commentary by Lucius Gantt"

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The Gantt Report - I like Barack Obama and just like the majority of other African Americans, I will probably vote for him in the November elections.

However, I, unlike my brothers and sisters, will not depend on the Democratic nominee for President of the United States to save me from economic exploitation, social degradation and cultural deprivation!

There are a lot of good things Obama can do if and when he is elected and there are just as many things that he will not be able to do once he occupies the White House.

As Commander in Chief, the President has immense powers in the area of foreign affairs, world trade and global humanitarianism. As President, I expect Barack Obama to have an immediate impact on Americaís relations with other governments.

Domestically, I hope Iím wrong but I think the Obama presidency will mirror the Obama campaign for President. He will have few Black advisors, few Black professionals surrounding him and few, if any, Black men and Black women in critical decision making positions.

Having worked in politics more than half of my life, I know how politics can affect people who choose a political career.

To me, politics is like crack cocaine, people who are involved with either thing are oftentimes changed dramatically!

You can take a good guy, or girl, that loves and respects their families and neighbors, give them some crack and watch them deteriorate, steal from Mom and Dad and lie to their closest friends.

You can also have a loyal, trustworthy friend that is responsible and dependable that enters the political world that will flip on you better than the best Olympic gymnast!

More often than not, politicians turn on their friends and families and show more love and appreciation to their financial contributors, campaign staffers and political strategists.

Perhaps, Barack Obama will be different than other Black elected officials in the United States. Time will tell if Obama will be more like Maynard Jackson and less like Marion Barry. Maybe, heíll be more like Harold Washington and less like Kwame Kilpatrick. I would be happy if Barack Obama carried himself politically like the great stateswoman Shirley Chisolm.

Year after year, and this year will be no different, Black voters have been told if they vote for the Black candidate, things will be better for Black people.

Well, weíve elected Black political leaders in Atlanta, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Birmingham, New York and also in smaller cities like Savannah and Tallahassee.

What do we have to show for it? Some say a bunch of Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimas who try hard to shun their Blackness in an attempt to please as many non-Blacks as possible. Donít take my word for it but it may be safe to assume that Black citizens catch more hell in communities led by elected officials of color than they do in Idaho or Alaska which has very few Blacks in office!

Before and after election day, Barack Obama needs our help, our prayers and our support. God is on the side of the oppressed and not on the side of the devilish international and local oppressors!

Continue to love, support and vote for your favorite candidate but please donít raise your hopes too high. Depend on your self, depend on your community to rise where you need to rise. It's eay to change Presidents but very difficult to change a corupt politicsal system! (Gant's new book "Beast Too: Dead Man Writing" is co ming soon and will be illustrated by Lance Scurvin. Contact Lucius at

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