The King Legacy

The St. Pete Times’ Media Critic, Eric Deggans, has (yet another) good post on his blog today asking the question What Would Martin Luther King Jr. Think? I thought one section was worth a little discussion.

Eric wrote:

The thought came to me watching news accounts on Clinton supporter Bob Johnson, a black man who made $1-billion cynically pandering to black viewers through his Black Entertainment Television, clumsily trying to make an argument against Barack Obama his candidate never could.

Here’s what Johnson said, while trying to avoid the apology he eventually delivered for a ham-handed insult made during a Clinton rally referring to Barack Obama’s admitted past drug use: “”We’ve always said we need a perfect, well-spoken, Harvard-educated black candidate who would prove we’ve transcended race,” the billionaire African American businessman and supporter of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) said in an interview with the Washington Post. “Well, now we’ve got him and nobody knows how to campaign against him.”

My response to Mr. Johnson would be to suggest you campaign against Obama the same way you campaign against Edwards, or Kerry, or Bush, or McCain, or Romney. You point out differences in policy and experience, accentuating those you feel are important to the electorate’s thinking.

Perhaps by hinting at Harriet Beecher Stowe characters or referencinbg a Stanley Kramer movie serves to highlight an issue raised last summer: Perhaps Johnson still feels Obama may not be black enough for black voters because he seems to be “white enough” for white voters.

Such a comparison, it seems to me, would be counter to Dr. King’s dream. It would be as if we could not judge Obama by the content of his character because of the color of his skin.

About Jim Johnson

Editor and publisher of The State of Sunshine.
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One Response to The King Legacy

  1. Eric Deggans says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Jim.

    I agree. What’s bothered me the most about the public statements of Johnson, Young and some others, is that their critcisms aren’t even fair or based on policy.

    I don’t expect a black person to support a black candidate just because of their skin color. But I do expect former civil rights leaders to base their arguments on his actual record, and not cynical jibes about his past or his heritage….

    If you ask me, Johnson is the one who thinks black people are stupid — dumb enough to fall for veiled inferences and unarranted attacks instead of a discussion of the issues.

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