Straight Talk with Ed Gray
Super Tuesday for the 2020 election is almost here, and Black folk is searching for Superheroes. Every presidential election since General U. S. Grant won the election of 1868, Black voters have literally and figuratively looked for a liberator.
We received General Grant, as the liberator because he literally freed millions of African Americans by the force of the bayonet, and later by the authority of the Republican ballot. A lot has changed since General Grant and President Abraham Lincoln were freeing black folk. Namely, the Republican Party has changed.
The act of voting has taken on a spiritual essence in which we, as black folk, look for a white messiah to address our political shortcomings. Perhaps it is because we associate Abraham, Martin, and John, as in Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, and John F. Kennedy as a pantheon of god-like liberators for the masses.
African American voters seek out political messiahs to deliver us from [insert your Republican president here]. Let’s call rollcall, Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41, Bush 43, and now Trump 45. In the search for these messiahs, we look for perfect Democratic candidates to lead us to the Promised Land.
Now that is where we must leave spiritual symbolism alone and address today’s political reality. There is no perfect politician. After all, how can anyone be perfect when they don’t follow my grandmothers’ golden rules. First, don’t brag on yourself; second, don’t talk to strangers, and third, don’t beg for money.
In the quest to dethrone King Donald I of Mar-a-Lago, we now search for the next installment of our knight in shining armor, and with women being in the race, probably Joan of Arc as well. Well folks the demonization of Republicans, does not mean we offer sainthood to Democrats.
As much as I admired President Barack Obama, he was and still is a talented politician. He, however, will never be a saint.
If I could, I would vote for him again, but alas, my knight in shining armor has been constitutionally retired. Which brings us to the Super Tuesday election on March 3.
Without mentioning the names of all the Democratic candidates, I will say no candidate is perfect. They are men and women who, for the most part, cannot be anything more than sympathetic to the Black cause. Being that they have not spent a day being black, they do not have a clue.
They are stewards of a political system that is inherently biased against black concerns. They, in turn, are unwittingly poised to defend and protect the system. This defense sometimes is at odds with our individual concerns. Whether it is legal prosecution as the district attorney, or stop and frisk as a mayor, hiring practices, making deals with segregationists – they all will come up short in the litmus test to be the perfect candidate.
What is essential is the Democratic Party selects the best candidate to represent us ALL, without selling out its most loyal voters, the Black voter. As it was in the election of our first anointed political savior, President U.S. Grant, it will be Black votes that will make him or her the President for us All.
I am Ed Gray, and this is Straight Talk.
Ed Gray is a presidential scholar at Southern Methodist University. He is the host of The Commish Radio Show airing Saturdays 3-5 p.m. on FBRN.net, can be reached at email@example.com. NDG was awarded NNPA’s 2018 Robert S. Abbott Best Editorial for Gray’s “Confederate Statues: The White Man’s Burden” column.