Cleaver vs. Obama, Day 2
By C.J. JANOVY
Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver’s certainty that Barack Obama will win the Democratic nomination and the presidency in November made Countdown with Keith Olbermann last night (and maybe the other news shows too, but I only watched MSNBC).
Also exposed: Cleaver’s dissing of Obama’s speechifying, saying that in the black church, Obama’s rhetorical skills would be considered “mediocre.”
Cleaver sounding a lot like Geraldine Ferraro: “I think for many white Americans, they are looking at Barack Obama and saying, ‘This is our chance to demonstrate that we have been able to get this boogeyman called race behind us, and so they’re going to vote for him, whether he has credentials or not, whether he has any experience, I think all that’s out the window.”
But Olbermann missed what I thought was Cleaver’s most effed-up comment in his March 30 interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which came just after his Ferraro-style statement:
“It’s this country’s opportunity to say, ‘We’ve solved the [racism] problem, it’s all over. And frankly that is causing many African Americans to tremble, because after November — and if I had to make a prediction right now I’d say Barack Obama’s going to be the next president – after November, any redress on racial issues will be met with rejection, because we’ve already demonstrated that we’re not a racist nation.”
So, what, I’m not supposed to vote for Obama so that African Americans can still legitimately claim that the country is racist? C’mon, Rev. I think enough of us are smarter than that, and we understand that electing a black president won’t end racism in the U.S.
But hey, what do I know. I’m just a white voter.
For another opinion, I’m liking what former state Rep. Lloyd Daniel – also a poet and activist — has to say about Cleaver’s support of Sen. Hillary Clinton. This post on Daniel’s Web site starts like this:
“Congressman Emanuel Cleaver is standing on the wrong side of history. It was during the mid-to-late 1950s and early ’60s, at the height of the civil rights movement, before the rise of the Black power movement, many older and once radical Negro leaders failed to support and even, in some cases, lobbied against a number of the young, dynamic and up and coming leaders including people like John Lewis, Kwame Toure (Stokely Carmichael), Bernice Johnson Reagon and James Foreman, who were all leading members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). They even bad-mouthed a then young preacher by the name of King.”
And it just gets better from there:
“Cleaver, despite the Clinton campaign’s, cynical and misleading statements, lies and race baiting, “throw a rock and hide your hand” attacks, continues to serve as a mouthpiece for them.”