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Barack Obama Agenda for Black Leaders: Dr Boyce Watkins Talks

Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University Professor and CNN analyst, spoke firmly to Senator Barack Obama this week.  In his weekly article to more than tens of thousands of African American Readers, Dr. Watkins called for methods in which the black community can communicate the necessity of an agenda to Senator Obama without appearing to attack him. 

“Secondly, I did a couple of appearances on The Jesse Jackson Show this week, last week and possibly next week as well (along with my homeboy Dr. Marc Lamont Hill). The conversations were quite compelling and lead me to openly wonder how we as a black community can put together a political agenda that is respected by our political leaders without making us appear to attack Senator Barack Obama. Some of us seem to forget one of the simple rules of politics: When it comes to political leaders, if you ask for nothing, you will get nothing. I encourage all of us to keep this in mind as we tip-toe and work to suppress any efforts to hold Barack Obama accountable to the black community in terms of how he defines his presidential agenda. The idea of “remaining quiet until he gets elected” can likely lead to an elected official more concerned with taking care of special interest groups than the black community, who lacks the ability or organization to lobby for the issues in our communities.  The same degree of accountability that Senator Obama is requesting from black males should also be expected from the most powerful black male in America, and I am not a fan of the idea that “anything is better than McCain”.  Actually, support for Cynthia McKinney is not out of the question, since this would lend a vote to the importance of a system that relies on more than two parties.  Personally, I choose to vote out of passion for true progress than to simply take anything other than the Republicans.  If I do not feel that Obama represents true progress on election day, then I will not support him. I would love to hear any thoughts on how we can present our agenda without the same old “crabs in a barrel” stuff people seem to think. Believe me, I’ve never been a crab, and I don’t want to be in Barack’s political barrel. I’m actually a simpler, less ambitious man than some might think.”

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