03 February 2004

Win or Lose, Who Will be There for You?

Al Sharpton .:spoke:. to the people of Aiken, South Carolina on the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday. The Reverend, once again, proved how much his intelligence has been underestimated by the media, and the general public.

Using self-deprecating humor and tongue-in-cheek conceit, he exhorted the crowd to think for themselves. He explained just how ludicrous the accusation is that his candidacy is killing the party, and described it as "already dead". Al recounted how the 2000 mid-term election was proof that the cowardly tendency of Democrats to imitate Republicans doesn't work. Even with Clinton as president, the Democrats could not gain control of either the House, or the Senate. He also reminded them of the one obvious fact that political talkingheads ignore when speaking of his chances to win the nomination— only one candidate will win, and six others will not.

Al expertly put the references to his purported attempt to take over Jesse Jackson's media-bestowed title of Black leader into perspective. He delineated the many Civil Rights era leaders who were outspoken and respected in the same period of time. People like MalcolmX, Martin Luther King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ralph Abernathy, Hosea Williams, Ralph Bunche, Adam Clayton Powell, A. Philip Randolph, et al, shared the glare of the media spotlight with at least one other Black man or woman of their day. There is no rule, unwritten or otherwise, that precludes more than one Black man or woman from galvanizing people on various issues. The way the media rails against Al Sharpton, one would think that there was.

Finally, the Reverend obliterated the false assertion that the primaries are a win/lose (either/or) proposition. Winning delegates, he explained, enables the candidate who best represents one's interests to attend the Democratic Convention. Their attendance will insure that the issues of importance to the voters will be incorporated into the eventual nominee's platform. He doesn't have to receive the nomination for his supporters to win!

Like the people of Aiken, SC, Democrats across the country must ask themselves serious questions . . . which candidate has always voiced concern for issues that affect my life, will the candidate make a real difference if his ideas are watered down versions of the GOP's, and will this candidate remember my support if he receives the nomination, and ultimately wins the presidency?

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