Whether Barack Obama would be a better president than Hillary Rodham Clinton, or John McCain, or Mitt Romney is an interesting and debatable question. But it is beyond debate that an Obama win in 2008 would be by far the best thing that has happened to African-Americans, and to race relations, in more than 50 years.
Obama embodies and preaches the true and vital message that in today's America, the opportunities available to black people are unlimited if they work hard, play by the rules, and get a good education.
Electing a charismatic, intellectually supercharged African-American president who preaches hope and opportunity would do more than anything else imaginable to tell young black people what they need to hear: This land is your land. And more than any other, it is a land of opportunity.
This is not the message that African-Americans have been getting over the past few decades from the media or from the "leaders" aptly described in the subtitle of the fine 2006 book by NPR senior correspondent Juan Williams, Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America—and What We Can Do About It.
One thing we can do about it is to focus attention on can-do black leaders and thinkers such as Barack Obama, former Rep. Harold Ford, D-Tenn., Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala., Colin Powell, Cory Booker, Donna Brazile, Bill Cosby, Oprah Winfrey, Tiger Woods, and Thomas Sowell.
"Pompadour With a Monkey Wrench" (March 2001)
Al Sharpton wants to become the leader of Black America. Problem is, that job no longer exists. By Mark Bowden
We can also relegate to the dustbin of history the snake-oil salesmen who have been anointed by the media as the leaders of black America, even as they have used their prominence to poison race relations while (in many cases) living high on the hog. These include Jesse Jackson, aptly dubbed "an extortion artist for the grievance elite" by black conservative Shelby Steele; Jackson competitor Al Sharpton, the dishonest demagogue who rose to prominence by orchestrating the infamous 1987 Tawana Brawley "rape" fraud; NAACP Chairman Julian Bond and much of the rest of the current leadership of that deeply degraded shell of a once-noble organization, which even now is emulating Sharpton by doing its utmost to keep alive the collapsing Duke lacrosse team "rape" fraud; the victimologist professors who dominate most university departments of African-American studies; and the fatuous slavery reparations movement.