Can I get an ‘Amen’?

Sometimes, I wish that I was a little older and single, because I’d jump on the Rev. Joseph Lowery so fast…Part of the reason, I had the earwig for You Can’t Win is that reading in the black blogosphere, you’ll see comments that say, “I’m voting for Hillary because they won’t ever let a black man be president.” Or, “I’m voting for Clinton because white people won’t vote for Obama.” And my response is always, “You call yourself a person, an adult and you’re gonna let what white people may or may not do effect your vote? Don’t you have any principles?” The seem to live the life of the Crow Anthem.

You can’t win
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game
People keep sayin’
Things are gonna change
But they look just like
You’re stayin’ the same

From the media to the cornerstore, you got people telling you to put out those dreams of yours. Your time will come. It’s just not now. It’s what Bill Clinton told us throughout the ’90s. The time ain’t right. Some people choose to ignore that sort of talk. Which is why media outlets put together shocked reports that black women are attending and graduating from college at a very high rate. Some people decide to run for president, and people will always tell him that he can’t win.

You get in
way over your head
And you only got yourself to blame
You can’t win Child
(You can’t win Child)
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game

Rev. Joseph Lowery is a civil rights leader. When the Reverend talks, people listen. I can think of maybe two times I’ve disagreed with him. He tells it like it is. Remember him at Coretta Scott King’s funeral?

On Wednesday, Lowery spoke to the Hungry Club in Atlanta. Lowery, who is an Obama supporter, stated explicitly what I’ve been saying subtly:

“No matter how much education they have, they never graduated from the slave mentality,” Lowery said of those who have advised Obama to wait, or have doubted his ability to compete in a general election.

“The slavery mentality compels us to say, ‘We can’t win, we can’t do,’” said Lowery, an avid Obama supporter and a co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. (AJC)

You can’t win
The world keeps movin’
And you’re standin’ far behind
People keep sayin’
Things’ll get better
(Just to ease your state of mind)
(So you lean back, and you smoke that smoke)
(And you drink your glass of wine)
So you can’t win, Child
You can’t break even
And you can’t get out of the game

You’ll remember that only last month, Andrew Young, a Clinton supporter, was concern trolling Obama and telling him that he should wait a bit longer to run because, you know, Young is worried about “the children”. I wonder what Lowery has to say about that:

One civil rights veteran who is backing Obama shares that view. Joseph Lowery, former head of the Southern Christian Leadership Council, calls colleagues who are supporting Clinton “good old boys.”

“They are business-as-usual, old-guard politicians and it’s hard for them to break out of that mold,” Lowery said.

Uh-huh…that’s what young, black folk have been saying for years. According to an AP story, there’s a supposed generational rift in black voters. Clinton is bringing in the old people, Obama has the young people.

It’s a generational struggle that should serve as a warning to Democrats as they head into primary contests in states with large black populations: The black vote today is anything but monolithic.(ed. noteGASP! Shut up!)

It also suggests the influence the civil rights leaders have enjoyed as political kingmakers is waning.

“The figureheads are not actually gatekeepers to the black vote,” said William Jelani Cobb, a 38-year-old history professor at the historically black Spelman College.

“No disrespect, but they don’t speak for us.”

I’m with Cobb with that one. They don’t speak for us. No matter how much the media tries to make them speak for us, they don’t.

You can’t win, you can’t win no way
If your story stays the same
(You ain’t winnin’),
No, no,
(But it’s nice to see you)
(I’m awfully glad you came)
(Better cool it ’cause
It ain’t about losin’)
And the world has got no shame
You can’t win, Child
You can’t break even
You can’t get out of the game

Don’t you wonder why you don’t see Lowery on TV as much as Jackson? Could it be that instead of telling white people what they expect to hear, Lowery will tell some uncomfortable truths and not feel bad about it.

Lowery likened discouraging comments about Obama to ones Martin Luther King received while imprisoned in a Birmingham jail in 1963.

[snip]

When asked whether the Democratic party was ready for a black president, Lowery replied, “I don’t care. They weren’t ready for a lot of things.”

Oh. Oops.

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3 thoughts on “Can I get an ‘Amen’?

  1. I love your voice! You have a way with sifting through this stuff and getting to the ehart of the matter. I like what Harriet Tubman was asked about the underground railroad. She said “she could have brough more to freedom if she didn’t have to spend so much time convinving them that they were slaves.”

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  2. Damn. That’s a great quote from Tubman. How the heck did I ever miss that one?

    Thanks for commenting, especially the compliments. I lerve compliments!

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  3. yeah, you can get an amen.

    Amen!

    I admit I’ve never seen the Wiz but the Crow (reference to Jim Crow, i wonder?) anthem is the way some people seem to live their lives. Perhaps they resent Obama for rejecting that mindset.

    From the media to the cornerstore, you got people telling you to put out those dreams of yours. Your time will come. It’s just not now. It’s what Bill Clinton told us throughout the ’90s. The time ain’t right. Some people choose to ignore that sort of talk.

    I admire Obama for ignoring that sort of talk.

    and may Rev. Lowery continue to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted” even though it means he doesn’t get much TV airtime.

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