By Maya Pope-Chappell

It’s OK to choose whichever presidential candidate you please, but it’s not OK to not support Obama if your reasons are as follows:
1. “America is not ready for a Black President”
2. “He’ll be killed!”
3. “The Clinton’s did a lot for Blacks and we want them back!”

These reasons represent a fear-based mentality rooted in backward thinking, underestimation, and excuses that ultimately sell ourselves short. However, all you have to do is scan the blogosphere to find many of the above opinions expressed. Here are a few:

“Barack Obama does not have the support network yet to get to be president…To put a brother in there by himself is to set him up for crucifixion. His time will come and the world will be ready for a visionary leadership. Now, somebody’s got to clean up the mess.” – Andrew Young, Civil Rights leader, Former Mayor of Atlanta and UN Ambassador

“I’m not sure America is ready to have a black president…I think they might kill him.”
-50 Cent

“You people act like Obama is the only black politician in the US. The people who want Obama to beat Hillary are the Republicans. They are going to back him, because he will never serve as a President. He will be killed before he steps foot. Go ahead get another Republican elected. – Blogger Charlene Norman

“Bill Clinton’s legacy was and will be around, long after Obama has lost the nomination and gone back to the Senate, with his tail between his legs. Bill Clinton has done more for black Americans then either Barack Obama (or Eugene Robinson, for that matter) ever has… Bill and Hillary Clinton were supporting the Black community long before Obama ever did, and now that Hillary is beating Obama, Robinson and the pro-Obama press are desperate to help him…ain’t gonna work. – Real Clear Politics Blogger Devin79 (In response to Eugene Robinson’s article, “Obama vs. the Clinton Legacy”)

These are just some of the reasons that people, especially Black folk, have given for not supporting Barack Obama.

If we waited for America to dictate when we were ready, we would still be picking cotton, attending separate and unequal schools, and still be riding in the back of the bus, not by choice, but because of the color of our skin. We need to get rid of this CAN’T mentality. What better time then now is the question I propose?

Then we must ask ourselves, why are we so scared? Scared to the point where we would rob a man of a vote strictly based on fear that he would be killed the minute he took office. I am not saying the risks of being assassinated are not there, but give me a break. If it weren’t for the contributions of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and countless others, we would not be where we are as a people today.

The time is now to drop this disappointing fear-based mentality and pick up some forward thinking. This kind of ignorance is unacceptable.

Is America ready for a Black president? I answer with an emphatic YES!

Are folks following a fear-based mentality? Whatchusay?

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