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Published:February 22nd, 2008 16:47 EST
Barack Obama And The Race Card

Barack Obama And The Race Card

By Robert Paul Reyes

It seems like eons ago that pundits and politicians were asking: Is Sen. Barack Obama black enough? That well educated people, including prominent members of the black intelligentsia, were posing this query shows how far we still need to go to expunge racism from our society.

Obama is an articulate and intelligent gentleman, with an impressive resume: Graduate of Harvard Law School, community organizer, bestselling author, Grammy Award winner for Best Spoken Word Album, member of the Illinois State Senate, United States Senator and candidate for President of the United States of America.

Did Obama need to let his pants drop down to his knees and speak in Ebonics before he could be accepted as a bonafide African American?

Before a single vote was cast, when Sen. Hillary Clinton had a double digit lead in the national polls, most of the Black establishment was solidly behind the former First Lady. Unfortunately, too many of the older black leaders still have the mindset that only a white politician has the gravitas to advance the cause of civil rights. These dinosaurs, like Rep. Charlie Rangel, don't represent the best interests of their black constituents.

But when the Hillary Clinton surrogates injected race into the campaign, African Americans realized that Obama was indeed one of their own. Here was an incredibly gifted leader who was being described by his race and not by his myriad talents.

Thanks to the race card played by Bill Clinton, Obama is now garnering an overwhelming majority of the black vote. But it's not just African Americans that are voting for Obama, the senator from Illinois is trouncing Hillary is almost every imaginable demographic.

I hope that Bill Clinton is never again referred to as "the first African American president", a desperate race-baiting politician doesn't deserve that title.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, like Charles Rangel and John Lewis, who automatically backed Hillary Clinton last year, before they were even familiar with Obama's platform, should pay a political price for their timidity and subservience. Their constituents should send a strong message, and not reelect them to Congress.

I'm not saying that a black politician should automatically vote for a black candidate. But Rangel announced his support for Hillary last year, because at that time she seemed like the inevitable Democratic nominee.

I voted for Barack Obama in the Virginia primary, because he is the most qualified and inspirational candidate. I didn't consider his race, I looked only at his sterling achievements in the Illinois State Senate and the US Senate.

I can't wait until Sen. Barack Obama is inaugurated as the next president of the United States. He is by far the most qualified candidate, who just happens to be black.