TO YOU, FROM ME, is a comprehensive look at C. A. Webb's activities within the Arts. It provides information to keep others abreast of events that C. A. Webb is participating in, as well as new projects. You may contact Webb at (601) 896.5616.
Newsletter Dated: 8/27/2008 7:36:14 AM
Subject: How we can support Dr. King's Dream, not Obama
On August 28, 2008 Barack Obama will take the stage at the Democratic National Convention as the nominee of the party. He is not only one of the youngest nominees but the first African American to reach such an accomplishment. It seems appropriate, then, that this historic event will mark the the 45th anniversary of another unforgettable moment: Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in Washington D.C.
Most people will agree that this shows how far the United States has come, and the progress that will continue to be made if we strive for excellence. The election that will take place in November 2008 will be decided by many groups in the country, but the two that seem to be more enthusiastic about it are young people, women and blacks. For them they feel as though they finally have the opportunity to make a difference. They believe that the country has gotten off course, and they have come to the realization that with their vote they can make a real difference.
Is that not what Dr. King envisioned when he took the stage to share his "dream" with all of us? He wasn't telling those listening who they should vote for, just that they should vote to make sure their voices are heard. For many people of color, they feel as though 2008 is the year to do something that many have joked, dreamed and thought about---put a black man in the White House. We have heard what some have said about this possibility with Obama, but one thing that many have not talked about in the Black Community is this: Just because Obama is black and the nominee of the party you support, does that mean he should be President?
Double standards are not good no matter who sets them. To vote for someone just because they are black is just as bad as supporting someone just because they aren't.
Remember Dr. King's dream. He wanted us to judge people "not by the color of their skin but the content of their character." When asked what does Obama stand for and what does he plan to do for the country, many of those who say they support him don't have a clue. Many say they like his message of change, however, we have seen that not all change--no matter how well-intentioned--is good. Others say we don't want four more years of George W. Bush, but this argument is made null and void when you look at the differences between McCain and Bush. The truth is that anyone who comes into the White House in 2009 will bring change.
Our vote is too precious to waste. Regardless of what we might want to see or believe will be the right thing for us, we have to look at the bigger picture. Dr. King spoke for all people of all races and ages to live the best life they could together. He wanted to see blacks prosper like other people, not more than other people just because of their color. He would feel that to vote for someone just on race is actually "more of the same" that many say they are trying to get away from. Racism cuts both ways. Political parties are supposed to be based on ideals not color.
With an election where so much is on the line, people of color should be wise with their voice knowing that using it incorrectly could result in losing it forever.
Cyrus A. Webb, President
Conversations Book Club/ Hiphop and Books Literary Campaign