21860, Fashionably late|
Posted by delsbrothergeorge, Mon Aug-28-00 04:52 PM
First, peace to janey for being the ever-present voice of reason.
Second, I agree with unohoo that the black population in this country is constantly being divided along economic lines. With that, you have a growing middle class who has been allowed to participate in the American dream and as such is less inclined to support the causes of the whole. That is selfish, but it is a standard human response: I'm going to get mine and then try to hold onto as much of it as possible.
I think this thread has been approached from the standpoint of inclusivity. In other words, black folks living in the Diaspora need someone to represent them and speak for them at the table, rather than leading them in opposition to all that has stood in their way for all of these centuries.
If we desire a leader who will help us get our piece of the pie, then mainstream is the way to go. Someone like Micheal Eric Dyson or maybe Farei Chideya (SP?) would be a suitable voice. Either is well-spoken, well-versed on the issues of the day, and steeped in the history of the land.
However, if we are interested in a leader whose goals are much more radical and seeks freedom and justice, then we may want to turn our eyes towards Mumia Abu-Jamal. I don't wish to discuss his case, but I would like to say that I've seen the effect he has on people. To those who know of him, his name evokes a passionate response; you either love or hate all that he stands for. I also believe that he is capable of representing the larger interests of all people who are oppresed and disenfranchised. To me, he would be the epitome of a person capable of leading a worldwide battle on behalf of struggling people worldwide.
This wasn't supposed to be a Mumia appreciation post. So I want to add that I believe the other alternative for a leader with slightly more revolutionary goals must come from the entertainment industry. To appeal to the people, a potential leader must have a "Jesse Ventura Appeal" regarding familiarity and charisma. By that logic I would nominate Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Zach De La Rocha, or Tom Morello. I would also consider Chris Webber, who possesses eloquence and passion, but may risk too much by getting personally involved.
Rally cry heard at the scene of the Democratic National Convention:
People gonna rise to the top/
Let Mumia go!"