Sunday, February 14, 2016

Al Sharpton to Meet With Hillary Next Tuesday

There will be a closed door meeting with civil rights leaders and after a press conference with the Reverend and Hillary.

Today on his show, PoliticsNation, Sharpton aired both his interview with Bernie on Wednesday after Sander's big win in NH and also an interview he had with Hillary.

It doesn't necessarily seem to me that Bernie did much to close the deal. He again, seems to feel that his anti Wall St. message is one size fits all and didn't get into stuff like systemic racism which many black leaders believe is a key.

Al Sharpton's subsequent comments about the interview confirmed this:

"Sharpton — who so far has not endorsed either candidate in the Democratic race — said he was left with a lot of questions after his photo-op with Sanders. “What I pressed him on was that I hear the general headline slogan but where's the backup — free college, how you gonna pay for it? You talk about income inequality but you don't talk about the race gap in there. I wanted specifics,” Sharpton said. “I told him you gotta earn the vote and that there is a difference between the white youth vote and the black youth vote.”

“He gave me no new information other than that he said he was calling on the governor of Michigan to resign. He doesn’t think Mrs. Clinton has done that, but she did go to Flint.”

Read more:

Reading between the lines, it seems to me a good bet that Sharpton endorses Hillary at the press conference. I also suspect that James Clyburn in SC is set to endorse her as he said his number one concern is which candidate will defend and build on Obama's policies.

In watching the two interviews on his show this morning, it's clear to me that Bernie just not conversant in the language of systemic racism. He thinks his message is universal but blacks, women, and Latinos have some issues that are about more than just Wall St.

This is a point I made earlier about immigration reform. It's failure up to now is not about Wall St. obstruction as Wall St. actually support reform along with labor.

That Bernie has trouble with the discourse about race was clear on the bad reception he got on at a race forum on Friday.

I already am seeing Eric Dyson's argument of why he thinks Hillary will do more for black folks than Obama.

It's an audacious argument for sure to suggest she will do more for black folks than our first black President. 

But it's point is that on racial matters no one can say everything that may be the truth. 

As a white person there are certain things you can't say. As a black person there are certain things you can't say. For instance, a white person could not have gotten away with saying what Dyson said about Hillary. 

Some things that are true of the black community, a white person still can't necessarily say. On the other hand, President Obama as the first black President couldn't say certain things about race.

He won on a discourse of racial optimism. Like me, he is actually biracial and his message was about bringing the races together.

For him to sound too strident on race might bring back images of fiery Malcolm X sentencing 'Blue eye devils' to eternal damnation for the sins of their fathers, etc.

Obama I believe has been good for racial relations despite the clear fact that this is not a post racial society just yet. Just getting folks of all races to see that there's nothing so earth shattering in having our President be a black man-that Obama shares our values just like anyone else in the Oval Office would, was key.

But he couldn't usually push as hard as you might have liked him to on race as this might suggest that he's just the President of black America rather than the President for everyone. The point is not that this was entirely fair or right, just the facts.

In some ways as Dyson sees it, a President Hillary Clinton will be able to reach white folks on matters of racism that Obama never could.

Regarding my point that there are some things white folks can't say and some things black folks can't say-see it as coming down to a simple rule.

 You can never seem to be pulling too hard for your own race if your President. Obama was often critical of ways in which he believed black folks had to own personal responsibility as well not blame everything on racism.

President Obama was often harsher on black folks many felt whereas with white folks he often bent over backwards to reassure that he was their President too.

A President Hillary on the other hand it will be the opposite. As a white woman she won't get the pass on racial issues some activists like Dyson sometimes felt black folks gave Obama and she will also be able to tell white folks some truths about racism that might have been angrily rejected coming from Obama as him just rooting for his own tribe against the other tribe.

P.S. Maybe the rule is that when you're President you have to be tougher on your own race no matter whether your black or white?

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