Laura Washington of the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES wants Obama to know he’s going to owe black folks:

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Come Inauguration Day, cialis buy pharmacy the pressure groups will be tearing up the playing field to score points with the man. Black folks aren’t going to be any different. Obama’s shadow base is revving up to produce a monumental turnout. That gives them major dibs on Obama.

America’s black leadership needs to get steppin’. It’s not too early to start mapping an agenda. Start with equitable educational opportunities for African Americans. Fifty-four years after Brown v. Board of Education, mind black schoolchildren are still relegated to the bottom of the educational opportunity barrel.

Urban schools need more resources than their relatively meager tax bases can support. Expand school choice options like vouchers, build more charter schools, ramp up federal funding. The New Triers are not going to move over for the Simeons. It’s time to jettison the fraudulent No Child Left Behind initiative and replace it with a creative, no-nonsense plan.

Black America should demand that Obama cease his shameless pandering to the People of the Gun and launch a full-throttle crusade for sensible gun control. While he has been out on the campaign trail, dozens of Chicago children have been slaughtered in the streets.

Everyone is for “affordable housing.” Yet the federal government has retreated from its decades-long commitment to housing the poor. The funding is paltry and our political will is paralyzed. For instance, Chicago has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to transform public housing. The national experiment has been a boon for the elites and a bust for the poor.

Job One for black advocates: Back top Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett for HUD secretary. She is well-prepared for the treacheries of the Washington Beltway. Jarrett has stood down an array of Chicago characters, from cranky transit riders, vociferous public housing activists and mendacious aldermen. Her prescriptions will have the president’s ear.

Don’t get me wrong. Obama will prevail precisely because he is the New Black. He is a candidate who knows how to reach across race and ethnicity, to build — and govern — beyond the base.

Still, he will step into the Oval Office courtesy of overwhelming turnouts dug out of the red hills of Georgia and the gritty concrete of Newark.

There will be a debt to pay.

Black folks will be ecstatic about making history, but they won’t settle for history. We are still treading on an uphill climb. A national black agenda is non-negotiable. There may be a New Black coming to the White House, but it’s still the same old USA.

I wonder if someone should tell her that victorious black politicians who win using multi-ethnic coalitions are very unlikely to pay special attention to a black “agenda.”

See, an African-American Democratic President KNOWS black people are going to vote for him no matter what. He can basically take their support for granted. What he can’t afford to do is make the whites and Latinos who voted for him feel like they got a bait and switch.

Trust me, if Barack Obama is our next President, he is going to do everything in his power to make sure it doesn’t seem like he’s carrying out a “national black agenda.”

At least, not until a second term.

1 comment October 21st, 2008


Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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