NYU Black Renaissance Noire NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 16.2: Fall 2016 - Page 108

JULY 26 , 2016
10:20 PM
11:45 PM
• Corey Booker has channeled Barack Obama circa 2004 with a speech that the old timers would call a stem-winder . Let ’ s see what the world looks like in 2020 or 2024 . Meanwhile , Michelle Obama put on a virtuoso display of class and intelligence and heart , reminding everyone of how much we will miss the Obamas come February of 2017 . If there was ever a need to provide a contrast to Donald Trump — think of Melania Trump on the same planet as Michelle Obama — and we understand why Melania would want to use every word of Michelle ’ s at every possible opportunity .
10 : 51 PM
• And now , after another full frontal assault on Mount Trump by Elizabeth Warren , it is BernieSandersTime .
11 : 30 PM
• If Elizabeth Warren was the shock trooper , then Bernie Sanders brought the entire regiment . He was smart and sharp and pitch perfect in explaining why all the people who were weeping and feeling the Bern needed to support Hillary Clinton rather than risk the demons of a Trump presidency .
• Hillary Clinton could not have written a better speech than the one that Bernie Sanders delivered . At the end of the evening we now have the very real possibility that the Clinton-Sanders schism might be no more , which will undoubtedly send Donald Trump into Twitter frenzy by dawn .
• What a day and night . The mothers who have lost their children to gun violence had to melt even the hardest heart . They made us realize — again — that all lives matter and that must include Black lives . And until that is true , life doesn ’ t matter .
• The highlight of the night was Barack Obama ’ s last speech before a Democratic National Convention as President or presidential candidate . Because we needed it , he reminded us that the art of oration is a real art . He inspired and gave life to the spirit of hope even as thunderclouds hovered on the horizon .
• The rest of the convention featured a speech by Bill Clinton that was meant to “ humanize ” Hillary Clinton , but when he talked about how he first met her and tried to date her , it sounded like Too Much Information .
• Tim Kaine was workmanlike in his first speech as a Vice Presidential candidate , but he is not a firebrand nor need he be when Donald Trump is spewing enough fire and brimstone to stoke several furnaces in Hell .
• Then Hillary Clinton gave perhaps the best speech of her life . She is never going to be the soaring orator in the manner of Kennedy or Reagan or Obama ( neither Michelle nor Barack ), but she soldiered through her speech with passion and élan that has not always been a part of her public persona .
• Perhaps the most important part of her speech received too little attention . In 1920 , the 19th Amendment to the Constitution gave women the right to vote .
It is now 96 years later ; we live in a world where Malawi and Liberia and Pakistan and India and Israel and Germany and Argentina and Great Britain have all had female heads of state . Now , finally , a woman has a real chance to be President of the United States . History was made in Philadelphia — again .
GHOSTS OF ELECTIONS FUTURE
Decades from now , when the second or third African American president has completed her term , historians will look back on the 2016 presidential campaign and election as a point where Americans , faced with the choice of political lunacy or political pragmatism , made a choice which affected not only the United States but the entire world .
The grandchildren of today ’ s children may wonder why the choice was made , but the annals of history will be clear on the how . n
SOURCES
Political Conventions : A Little History — By Karlyn
Bowman , Heather Sims , and Eleanor O ’ Neil — American
Enterprise Institute
Alexander Hamilton — By Ron Chernow
Gallup Polling — July 13-17 , 2016
Pew Research Center — Fact Tank — June 10 , 2016
Professor Wallace Ford is Chairman of the Department of
Public Administration at Medgar Evers College and
the author of the Point of View weekly contemporary
commentary blog — www . wallaceford . wordpress . com
105 BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE