Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is Ken Blackwell Good For Us?

When I say Us I mean a plethora of different things. African American, Ohioans, Gays and Lesbians, they can all quantify what I mean by the word ‘us’

Though Blackwell has been blasted into the national arena with both is election day schnanaghanns and him running for the Governor’s seat here in Ohio, Blackwell got his start right here in the Queen City.

Blackwell was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and married his wife Rosa (superindentact of Cincinnati Public Schools) in 1969 while he was in college. Blackwell attended Xavier University on a football scholarship and received a bachelor of science degree in psychology. He went to receive a masters of education degree, also from Xavier, in 1971. It all seemed a success story for an African American man who grew up in Cincinnati.

From 1979 to 1980, Blackwell served as Mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. Earlier, he had been a member of the Cincinnati city council. Blackwell was then willed away from Cincinnati and served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 to 1990.

It all went downhill from there. I guess this is why Blackwell did not register on my radar until the election fiasco of 2004.

This morning I was listening to Russ Par’s morning show and was astonished that he taking listener’s calls to talk about something substantial (still luv ya Russ). This morning, Russ posed the question “Should we vote for a person just because they are Black.” I was sanctified when I heard that all of the callers (at least all that I listened to in my 10min commute to work) said that they WOULD NOT vote in a person simply because they were Black. On the other hand, many said that would not have a problem voting in a republican candidate.

My heart skipped a beat. I thought of an entire contingent of Black voters in Ohio voting in Blackwell. Then I thought that we are smarter than that. Though Blackwell is a successful African American and is (superficially) a role model for young African Americans, he is not the only Black role model out there. So the ‘insult’ shield that some of us stood on the other side of when Clarence Thomas became supreme Court Justice and when Condalisa Rice became Secretary of State, or when Colin Powell became the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (not that Colin did a bad job, just proving a point here). should be done away with. Because of the growing number of African American role models, we should not be afraid to condemn those African Americans who are incompetent to hold government office should not be immune to the scrutiny of reporters and hurtful comments brought on by being a politician.
To take the words from Forrest Gump’s mouth, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

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