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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
EffieBlack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-22-08 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #75
80. Read these:
Roland Martin:

Why Obama should skip Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union

Sen. Barack Obama took a lot of heat last year from participants in Tavis Smiley's State of the Black Union annual confab, which was held in Virginia. To be fair, he was a little busy that day...announcing HE WAS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT! . . . In his commentary, Smiley said he was going to snap on those who don't attend on Tuesday's show, demanding that they own up to black issues and zero in on social justice issues as outlined in the book he edited, "The Covenant with Black America."

Here is my analysis of the situation, and hopefully it will put this presidential campaign and the delicate task of navigating the waters of black politics in perspective.
. . .
2. Obama must look forward, not in the past. The Louisiana primary, which he won handily, was on Saturday. Why go back to Louisiana for an event on Feb. 23? That is not to dismiss the needs of people along the Gulf Coast. But the only way he can truly help them is if he wins the nomination and the White House. Obama needs to be solely focused on Texas and Ohio. . . . If Tavis wanted to have an impact, he should have held his event before Louisiana or before the Mississippi primary. As the saying goes, bad planning on your part doesn't constitute a sense of urgency on mine.

3. He can't be defined again as the black candidate. Some will say he must avoid black folks to be more palatable to whites and Hispanics. I disagree. But you can't deny the reality that he's running for president of the United States and not president of Black America. The week of the South Carolina was all about race, and he knows that is not a winning discussion because of this nation's history. His campaign successfully beat back that issue since South Carolina, winning nearly all-white states like Utah, Idaho, Montana, Minnesota, Delaware, Connecticut, and Nebraska . . . Ask any campaign manager and they will tell you that when it comes to politics, especially in a close race, every minute matters. Candidates are on the phone lines campaigning, trying to raise money, and secure endorsements. . .

As an aside, when I asked my radio listeners on WVON in Chicago if Obama should skip the event, we got 29 calls in two hours, and only two said he should go. And this is a crowd that is normally in agreement with Smiley.

And check out some of the responses to Martin's commentary:
Obama should not attend this event. I don't know what is wrong with Black America; this State of the Union address to Black America is clearly needed because racism still exists. So with that knowledge, why are people still feeling they need to have Obama prove he cares about the Black community. Obama cannot win as the President of Black America- He needs to show other races that he is the president for everyone.
. . .
No he should not attend! Is Tavis CRAZY! Why would he even ask him when he knows that his focus and all of his attention should be on the big states. Tavis is creating havoc for future President Obama.
. . .
WINNING the nomination is far more important at this time than attending the SOBU.

How could anyone think a Presidential candidate like Barack who is 1.a member of the Congressional Black Caucus 2.worked on the south side of Chicago with ministers and community trying to help the disinfranchised with jobs, training programs etc. for three years3.been a long time member of a church that specifically focuses on uplifting the Black community, suddenly be disinterested in Black issues.
. . .. . .
I'm offended that Tavis has the audacity to insist ANY candidate should drop their campaigning to attend his event. The heat is ON and Candidates need to focus their attention, energies and finances on the next primary. I already know both Obama and Clinton ARE committed to addressing issues relative to the African American community. If Tavis really wants to hold politicians accountable.....have a One-on-One interview with John McCain and discuss why he and other Republican Candidates declined to attend the Presidential Forum held in Sept 07 at Morgan State. I'm sure he will decline....again.
. . .
i think that tavis needs to stop hating on obama, he should know that it is really important for barack to concentrate on texas

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