Last night I watched a wonderful movie. It’s called Street Fight, and it follows the unsuccessful 2002 mayoral campaign political neophyte Cory Booker ran against long-time Newark, New Jersey incumbent Sharpe James. Both are Democrats and African Americans, with the former being a light skinned Rhodes Scholar, and the latter being a dark-skinned “man of the streets type.” As the movie shows it, Sharpe James uses every single dirty tactic known to politicians in order to destroy Booker’s campaign. Interestingly, one of his most damaging tactics is to challenge Booker’s blackness. James attempts to discredit him in voters eyes by claiming that he’s not actually a black, Baptist Democrat, but is, in fact, a white, Jewish Republican. In other words, James understands that, for many of his constituents, it’s not what Booker believes in or promises, it’s the color of his skin that counts.
(Just FYI, Booker ran again in 2006 and won.)
It was interesting, immediately after seeing that movie, to read Thomas Lifson’s articles about race based politics in San Francisco, where the Government is spending taxpayer money to entice blacks to remain in a politically correct City that has hitherto offered them no economic hope:
One of the ugliest aspects of contemporary “progressive” thought is a thoroughly patronizing attitude toward African-Americans, regarding them as eternal victims unable to fend for themselves. The latest insult comes from America’s most stridently left wing big city government, San Francisco, where municipal officials are fretting over recent declines in the number of blacks living within the city limits.
The nation’s largest newspaper, USA Today, yesterday joined the New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle in bemoaning the trend of San Franciscans of African heritage moving out of the central city. Not just to “working-class cities like Vallejo, Richmond or Fairfield” (The New York Times), but to genuine American Dream suburbs like fast-growing Tracy California, which welcomes all races and hosts a proud and growing African-American community that includes a number of people of my acquaintance.
Even more pernicious than liberal journalists lamenting blacks behaving like every other group attracted to the amenities of suburban living are the official attitude and actions of local government.
I urge you to read the rest here, and to contemplate the poison that race based politics brings with it. The paternalistic attitude of liberal whites, which would have voters believe that skin color alone dictates needs, believes and opportunities — and this is an attitude used for their benefit by the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharptons of the world — paralyzes a black community that refuses to look inward at its own real needs. What I didn’t realize is that so many African Americans are beginning to shake off that miasma of helplessness and are voting with their feet, and truly buying into the American Dream.