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History Has Been Made…And It Is Bittersweet

I’m almost afraid to watch the news tonight. Everyone is saying that the Dem race is over and Obama has the nomination. What do I mean by everyone? I mean McCain recognized him as his official opponent and meanwhile Hillary is making sure everyone knows she’s willing to be his VP. Personally I’d prefer he choose someone that isn’t so likely to try to undermine him at every turn, but I can see why the party would support the idea. The historian in me is afraid, deeply, deeply afraid of what will happen in the months to come. Black leaders that make history don’t tend to lead long lives. Especially not in the U.S. I want to enjoy this moment, but it is so difficult. Malcolm, Martin, and so many others died to get us here. No matter what happens now, another stride has been made and I’m so glad I was here to see it.

Karnythia is a writer, a historian, and occasionally a loud mouth. In between raising hell and raising kids she usually manages to find time to contemplate the meaning of life as a black woman in America. Her posts on any topic can be found at her Livejournal.

28 thoughts on “History Has Been Made…And It Is Bittersweet”

  1. Onion says:

    I’m not so much worried about assassination as I am about Hilary Clinton’s disgraceful performance tonight. I mean, good god, does that woman have no class? Her whole speach sounded like she was going “Look here, BHO. I own half the party. This isn’t over. You’ll still be my bitch.”

    She’s poisoning the well. That’s the bitterness I’m tasting.

  2. Glossolalia Black says:

    I don’t pray much, considering I’m an agnostic and not sure what I’m praying to. But I try so very, very hard to not sully this world with that thought. However, history speaks and he rolls ten deep and everyone’s thinking it anyway.

    *deep breath*

    His speech just happened a few miles away from me. The air is electric.

  3. thesciencegirl says:

    I turned on the tv, expecting a victorious Obama speech. And I got one. First, I cried. And then I called my family and screamed, “Are you WATCHING?!” And then I jumped up and down. And now I’m crying again. I am incredibly excited and just contemplating the historic nature of this night. But one of my sisters has already called me to express her concern over assassination attempts, and we discussed how horrible it would be if that were to happen. Besides that fact that I would be just devastated to lose such an important American, I also know that ensuing set-back in race relations would be catastrophic. I have no doubt that there would be widespread rioting.

    I hope the secret service is ON POINT because there are definitely people out there who would attempt to kill Obama.

  4. nojojojo says:

    Undermine? Hell, I’ve been convinced for months that if he picks her as his running mate, he’ll be dead within weeks of taking his oath of office.

  5. Lala says:

    Whoa, nojojo did you really just say that you think Clinton would personally murder Obama? I think that’s a little much…

  6. Jamelle says:

    Black leaders don’t have a very long life span in American politics, but unlike most black leaders, Barack Obama will have a virtual army of Secret Service support. Both as a nominee and (Lord willing) as president.

  7. belledame222 says:

    I dunno if it’s any more or less dangerous to his personal well-being if she becomes veep, but politically I think it’s probably a Bad Idea. I understand the appeal from a hardcore Democratic perspective, but we’re in the general now: I think that there aren’t enough Hillary supporters that a) wouldn’t vote for the Dem i.e. Obama in the general anyway -or- b) wouldn’t vote for McCain over Hillary when push came to shove.

    otoh he does have to worry about the longterm assuming he gets into office, and while I think the (Beltway, now, not the voters) Clinton faction would eventually fall in line and back him up for the sake of the White House even without the veepship, it may well hamper his ability to get things done if they’re still carrying bad blood after the election is over, which they almost certainly would do.

    on the other other hand, having Hillary -and- Bill in the second-in-command position might be helpful for the election, but could also undermine his authority.

    well, he’s a savvy politician; I assume he’ll make the right decision, whatever it is.

    I still think HRC is an eejit for being such a choad if her consolation goal was really to be considered for veepship. What was the point, seriously?

  8. Juan says:

    One part of me is glad that things are over while another part of me says “now the real shitstorm can begin” =/

  9. Jen says:

    Great night, lets just enjoy and spend our time tomorrow worrying.

  10. Bob Simpson says:

    It doesn’t matter that Barack Obama is not a radical like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton or many of the other martyred Black political leaders.

    Even though he is a moderate Democratic with strong ties to Corporate America he has come to symbolize a broad progressive multi-racial coalition.

    That alone puts him danger. After having lived through the 1960’s, it’s hard for me to even look at the news in the morning for fear of what I might see.

    Bob Simpson

  11. TERRY KEITH says:

    Hillary Clinton would only be a threat if BHO let’s her in. He won’t though, because he’s too smart for that. She’s a slug while she voted to go to war with George Bush. People don’t want that anymore. The main reason she won swing states is because her main support came from independants who are definately voting for John McCain in the General Election. Anyone who thinks she would help Obama by being “Veep” is totally mislead by her and the media. Why? Because it was John McCain and George Bush supporters who cast their votes for her in the primaries that she won. And she knows this, but she thinks that you don’t know it. “Stay the cource” Black women for Bo or Cynthia McKinnney. Do not listen to the Clinton’s lies anymore.
    They are poisonous slugs and not to be trusted. BO speaks well of her, because for one he is a descent man, and does not have to resort to racist dialogue nor speak of assassination. If he picks her for his running mate I will support Cynthia McKinney.

  12. Sandra says:

    I’m w/ the rest of you all – assassination attempt is a big fear now.

    As for the Obama/Clinton ticket? I used to think it was a good idea, but so much negative has come from the Clinton camp that it’s no longer a wishlist item for me. I don’t think it would help his candidacy, and I wouldn’t trust her (or Bill) to play by Obama’s rules, so to speak.

  13. Rhonda says:

    It’s a damn shame and a disgrace that we even have to discuss the possibility of an assassination attempt on Mr. Obama. Yes history has been made, and I am very proud that he is the democratic nominee, but I also haven’t forgotten that he has received death threats from the time he threw his ticket into the race. Some people like to brag about how things have changed, but they haven’t changed all that much, IMO…

  14. Susie says:

    She just sickens me now, almost as much as Bush does, and for largely the same reasons. I don’t detest Bush because he’s conservative — that in and of itself doesn’t lose my respect. I detest him because he’s a bully and a liar, and so is she, whether or not her professed politics resemble mine more closely than his do.

    I don’t want him to pick her as V.P. His life is already in danger, and I really do think that would be increased by choosing her. Not necessarily because she’s capable of participating in political assassination — although I’m not convinced she’s not — but because she’s cultivated such a bullshit attitude of grievance and victimization amongst her stupider followers that one of them may feel he or she is righting a wrong and restoring the balance of justice by taking Obama out and making her the President.

  15. Saladin says:

    “It doesn’t matter that Barack Obama is not a radical like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Fred Hampton or many of the other martyred Black political leaders.”

    I respectfully disagree. I also think it’s a bit of a stretch to say that Malcolm X in particular died for this moment to happen, as the OP does. Hajj Shabaaz was uncompromisingly hostile — yes, even after he came back from pilgrimage — toward the federal government , the Democratic party, and American foreign policy — all of which have only grown more conservative and imperialist since his time…

    In fact, there’s a darned good chance that Obama’s obnoxious rhetorical stance toward the Islamic world and his own roots, his eagerness to assume the murderous ‘leader of the free world’ mantle (see his recent AIPAC and South Dakota speeches), and most especially his “I love America! America’s the greatest! America leads! I love America! I’ll sell out my pastor and quit my church to show you white people just how much I LOVE AMERICA!” stuff would have earned him some hilarious dissing from Malcolm (e.g., “”What’s the matter, boss, *we* sick?”)

  16. Foxessa says:

    There are so many negatives to Clinton in the VP slot: #1 is her husband. He’s a smoking gun, like so many of her supporters who are determined to hate anyone who doesn’t support her.

    Yes, she has been hit with a lot of misogyny. But that, while I called it for what it was, and to any around me who commited it (not many, because my people are generally like that), still didn’t transform her into a candidate that I could want to support.


  17. Foxessa says:

    Um, that is supposed to read “… becasue my people are generally NOT like that).

    Love, C.

  18. Foxessa says:

    And now I’ve typoed again. I’m tired, but more so, I think I’m upset more than I realized by the reactions of a segment of Clinton supporters.

    Love, C.

  19. says:

    Hello there,

    I wrote a post about Obama’s victory formula.

    I noticed that all of the blogs I have visited are still basking in the romanticism of a black man who has the nomination…. remember HOW HE GOT IT…by making sure that he was doing ALL that white people asked of him…

    Not ONCE did he take a stand against what white people were demanding and stand on his OWN principle…

    I am happy for the Obamas but don’t get this twisted….THERE IS a high price he was willing to pay.

    Thanks for letting me blow my trumpet!

  20. Safia says:

    Yep, I can’t see Barack Obama ever receiving the respect of Malcolm X. I’ve wondered about it myself, perhaps it’s tragic that the one black man who has made it has had to conform and distance himself from his background and his community in order to make himself acceptable to white America.

    But that said, it still doesn’t change the fact that he’s a black man who may just be the next president of the United States, and has just made history before our eyes. And it would be difficult for anyone to deny that that isn’t something amazing to watch. Even the black radicals in our community are filled with pride, I’m sure.

  21. A. says:

    Hillary should not ever be chosen as anyone’s VP. She used every sneaky method – from Geraldine Ferraro, to her husband, to invoking the 1968 Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, all to make herself seem like she’s a much more viable candidate.

    And now that her words don’t mean shit, she’s suddenly so interested in becoming his VP?

    She needs to take a seat and shut the fuck up.

  22. A. says:

    And finally, she’s suspending her campaign.

    It’s about fucking time, Hill.

  23. Diane J Standiford says:

    Living during all the assassinations, I do worry; but I will take my cue from Obama and, hey, there has to be a first. be will be fine. Kenya is sky high. So am I.

  24. Ceci says:

    I agree that Hillary Clinton is sickening right now. And her supporters on and off-line have been just as bad. They won’t stop with calling Mr. Obama a “messiah” who passes out Kool Aid (among other derogatory names and phrases that would take too long to list).

    I tend to think that HRC has something up her sleeve. As a result, I am very wary of her and her antics when it comes to the convention in Denver.

    As on the question of assassination, I pray that it doesn’t happen. But even despite that, I realize that there are crazies out there who is gunning for this man because he is smart, accomplished and defies the negative stereotypes that they have of Black folk.

    I just hope that Mr. Obama and his family stays safe and well as they are campaigning. And if he does win, he must hire the most highly decorated Secret Service that he can find to protect him. I believe that his enemies are both within and outside the WH.

    And as hopeful as I am, I share the very same fears as all of you. And that is something that is hard to shake.

  25. Dianne says:

    Whew, finally!

    My feeling on the idea of Clinton as VP is that if Obama trusts her at his back, we should too. Presumably he knows her and the situation better than we do. However, if for FSM knows what reason he were to ask me for advice, though, I’d probably say that Bill Richardson would make a great VP: He seems to be smart, has good politics, would give regional “balance” (and that seems to be something that southerners care about more than northerners) and very few racists are going to assassinate someone to put a hispanic in the presidency. And the fact that Richardson was my first choice for pres has nothing to do with that recommendation. Really, nothing at all.

  26. Cara says:

    i’ve been thinking about something for quite some time now……why hasn’t anyone mentioned Shirley Chisholm during the democratic nomination contest. I don’t recall anyone mentioning her – at all. That is interesting given that “she” was both black and a woman. There was a documentary released in 2005 that documented the Chisholm ’72 campaign. It’s called “Shirley Chisholm ’72: Unbought and Unbossed,” and it’s a wonderful film which I own. She was the first African-American woman elected to congress; and though she only won ~ 150 or so delegates, she dealt with many of the issues that both Obama and Clinton have. However, she faced the double obsticle of race and sex. Racism from the majority and Sexisum from her own community. I wonder if Obama or Clinton consulted her at all…..who knows..

  27. teagrl says:

    I too find myself inspired and so incredibly excited about Obama’s nomination.

    I find myself agreeing a lot with Lisa’s post about the price to pay for it though, but hopefully with baby steps that will change.

    For now, I’m just blown away and yes, more than a bit wary and scared that the other shoe might drop. I’ll be praying a lot for his safety during the general election race and keeping my faith. As for HRC, I feel disappointed most of all. This could have been such a graceful point for her she could have made this such a wonderful moment for the party and she squandered it. Oh well.

  28. A. says:

    Dianne, ILU.

    I was hoping for Bill Richardson myself.

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