2008 Presidential Election, Race and Racism
Professor Vernellia Randall
Speaking Truth to Power!

The Black Community's "Change Killers"


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Anthony Asadullah Samad


Change happened this week. It’s the kind of political change that doesn’t happen very often - some might even say has NEVER happened in this instance. It’s the kind of change that breeds excitement and changes others that who, normally, would not get involved. Exciting times don’t come often in politics.

The only thing that excites politics is change. But it’s here now, despite the effort on the part of some to kill the momentum that happens every two generations. In the euphoria of the weekend, it evidenced itself “big-time” in the black community. What should be a common sense choice for all of us, wasn’t for a few persons who call themselves leaders in our community. It was both mind-bending and heart breaking to watch and yet revealing in its sense of urgency as to way the community never changes - some might even say vicious in its demeanor. Somehow, some way, there are those who can’t see the change, or don’t want the change, and they find a way to stand in the way - of change. Much “hatin” was going on this past week, but it didn’t matter. Still, we can’t dismiss haters of progress, who at their very core claim to want change for our people but try to block it at near every turn. I call them the “Change Killers.”

We’re all entitled to our preferences, but we shouldn’t pass it off as change when it is really more of the same. It was painful to see so-called black leaders, in various parts of the country, introduce Bill Clinton as “a real brotha” or dismiss Obama as not ready. Barack Obama is as ready as he needs to in an era of change. The American People are agreeing. There is something deeper here, that even white people realize it. America has done much wrong over the past 250 years. It is trying to overcome a racial past that will cleanse its very soul. America also recognizes that, in an Anti-American world that is three-fifths people of color, putting a person of color before the leaders of that world makes them look at America in a totally different posture, one that might be more conciliatory than confrontational.

America is trying to save itself from its ancient and recent past. Redemption is always possible, and a nation that doesn’t have too many chances left is seeking to find a principled, intelligent person to lead the country. After seven years of the dumbest individual anyone can ever remember running a country, who will leave the largest deficit ever and the biggest war mess of recent history, America sees the brilliance of the America dream coming to pass. Rising above race, poverty and a single-parent childhood, into the halls of elite colleges, Obama demonstrates a mastery of intelligence rarely displayed in politics. His is an authenticity so real that you can’t help but embrace it, and a principled stance that doesn’t separate our community from the rest of the country. When has a candidate spoken to us AND America, at the same time? Never. Only one of ours can.

Americans historically cross party lines, ideological frameworks and partisan preferences when change aligns with their personal politics. Kennedy spoke to a new generation's personal politics and they elected the first President born in the 20th Century. Reagan spoke to America’s personal politics and no one was going to stop that change for alienated white populous. All deals are off when change is in the air. Except when it comes to black people.

We are witnessing the most intensive effort to divide black voters since the 1960 election, but anyone who is sincere about representing the interest of black people can see this. Yet, we watched black “powerbrokers” trying to siphon off black votes for Clinton under the guise of doing what’s best for our community. We watched a well-known black congressperson say, on national TV (several actually), that no one was going to tell her how to vote - and she has gotten rich (literally) in a slate mailing operation - telling uninformed voters how to vote. Michelle Obama said it best when she stated, “when power is confronted with real change, they will say anything” [to keep it]. Even kill it - something African Americans know all too well.

Change Killers are worse than Dream Killers. Dream Killers tell you what’s not possible in the hope that you won’t try to pursue your dream. Change Killers see the dream being realized and try to stop the change by any means necessary. The black community is filled with Change Killers, who either don’t know a new reality or can’t see a new reality, so they stifle change. They make excuses why change is not good, why change can’t take place, why change can only come through them, and their communities look the same as they did forty years ago.

Change Killers would have us have more of the same just because it’s in a different package. The same argument was used for Affirmative Action. You know, the one that said “white women represent change too.” They ended up being the biggest beneficiaries of Affirmative Action and most think like the white males who trained and enriched them. That should be a very valuable lesson for black America.

Tuesday, change ran over the Change Killers. They have until November to re-group, when change will run over them again. Change is on the way - even in the black community. Not even the Change Killers can stop it.

BlackCommentator.com Columnist Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of the new book, Saving The Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom. His Website is AnthonySamad.com. Click here to contact Dr. Samad.


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