Sunday, February 10, 2008

Catch 22

Catch 22
By Kevin D. Moore

Like most children, when I was a child growing up, I aspired to be something great. My aspiration was that of the President of the United States of America. Fortunately, my parents supported this level of desired leadership during my early formative years. They did not squash my dream. Instead they were supportive!

It was not until I became a parent myself that I realized that my parents were truly torn between support and nonsupport in my endeavor to become the Leader of this Nation. Looking back in my memory, I can see the expressions on my parents' faces. As a child, I only saw the encouragement that they had. I did not notice the worry and concern that was simultaneously behind the encouragement. Come to think of it, I did notice that something was not quite right when I reached my teenage years and better understood the ways of the world. However, it was not until I was a parent that I truly understood.

I say this because there has never been a President of the United States that has ever had the year long tan that I happen to have. In other words, there has never been a Black/African American or Multi-racial President. (Note: Please forgive me for stating the obvious…)

Now, I do not know if you have noticed or not but I have, to date, not attempted to join the race to become President. Unfortunately, as much as I strive to be the best leader that I can be, I have also come to the harsh reality that I may be a "Big Chicken!"

Like many, I have faced and for the most part overcome many small and large challenges in life. But there is one challenge that always seems difficult to face. That challenge is "Catch 22" especially as it relates to a Presidential Race.

Here is what I noticed… Non-year long tan (i.e. White) candidates will and are expected to address the issues and concerns of the majority voters as well as those that are in the minority (e.g. Black, Hispanic, etc.) Many view this as just good politics. There generally is not a fear or concern that this type of candidate, if elected, is going to focus primarily on the issues associated with minorities. Again, it is just good politics to court minority voters.

However, things seem to change when that candidate is themselves classified as a minority. For example, I have heard many majority voters state their concern that a minority candidate once in the White House would focus on minority issues which they believe would not be good overall for the Nation. To reduce this perception and fear, there is a likelihood that a minority candidate would focus more on majority issues. One might even argue that by addressing many of the majority issues the minority issues are addressed simultaneously. Needless to say, not everyone agrees with this.

On the other hand, I have also heard many minority voters state their concern that a minority candidate is not focusing on minority issues and therefore will not effectively work to resolve these issues once in the White House. As result, some have said that they are voting for a majority candidate.

Catch 22! What is a minority candidate to do?

Answer: Face the challenge head on, address the issues, inspire, motivate, and more importantly convince the Nation that he or she can lead it.

Copyright © 2008 Knowledge Driven & Moore LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Easier Said Than Done

Easier Said Than Done
By Kevin D. Moore

It's funny. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

Take, for example, the 2008 Presidential Race. I once said, "Don't judge a book by its category." The point of that statement was that we should not vote for someone simply based on an associated category. In other words, don't vote for someone based on their race, gender, religion, or political party. Vote based on their position and stance on the issues.

Well, I'm sorry to say it but this is proving to be a lot harder than I want to admit. As a matter of fact, it is proving to be extremely difficult and painful. Specifically, the pain and suffering that I am experiencing is due to the conflict created by pride, inspiration, perception, and the issues. In other words: Barack Obama.

Now, I must be perfectly honest and frank. I do not agree, I repeat, I do not agree with all of Barack's positions and stances on the issues. And, based solely on all of his positions on the issues, I would not normally vote for him no matter what category he is in.

I mention categories because there is one category that he and I both share. We both look like and are considered Black/African Americans. Of course, given my previous statement about what should and should not dictate how a person should vote, the fact that he and I share a category should not affect my voting rationale.

But, I am finding this to be easier said than done. There is a part of me that is prideful and proud that a man in my racial category could one day be the Leader of this great nation during my lifetime. If he wins, I believe that many like racially categorized people as well as many others would be inspired to follow their dreams and would believe that anything is achievable in this country. I truly want to believe that we all have come a long way and have made tremendous progress towards looking out for our fellow man.

Additionally, I believe that if Barack wins the perception of this Nation in the eyes of the rest of world would greatly improve. This win would demonstrate that American, for the most part, has overcome many of the problems that have plagued us since the days of "human owning human."

Thus my dilemma. Do I not vote for him because I am not completely aligned with his positions on the issues or do I vote for him because we share a category and, if elected, I believe that his election could truly inspire any person that has felt like a minority in some way, shape, or form (e.g. race, gender, religion, etc?)

Hmmm, not using categories sure is easier said than done.

Copyright © 2008 Knowledge Driven & Moore LLC. All Rights Reserved.