Timing and opportunity. When they meet, what a show, an event to remember. Timing and opportunity, there’s much to be said about them. Timing and opportunity. Recall President Obama being heckled during an address to Congress? Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina stated that he allowed his emotions to dictate his actions. Rep. Wilson saw an opportunity to express his frustrations with the President’s policies. Whether the timing was right remains up for debate. What about Tim Tebow? Impeccable timing and opportunity. The sports fanatic that I am, I caught a glimpse of the ESPY’s, of which then Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (now of the New York Jets) and his former wide out teammate Demaryius Thomas won an award for Best Moment of the Year. Last season, the duo hooked up for a game winning touchdown in overtime. Talk about seizing the time or the moment and opportunity. Carpe Diem!
My mentor and political analyst Marty Wiseman often says, “Kesha, politics is a blood sport. It is the game within the game, and I don’t like being apart of it. I want to have tickets for a ringside seat though.” He’s right. There is competition, training, gamesmanship, and strategy involved. Seize the day, take hold of the moment, and that’s exactly what Republican candidate for President Mitt Romney did yesterday at the NAACP’s annual convention in Houston. He effectively got the dialogue focused on race, particularly Blacks and President Obama’s responsiveness or lack thereof, according to some analysts, to Blacks. Specifically, the question has shifted to “Are Blacks better off today than they were prior to President Obama taking office?” The Reagan question, but now posed on a much smaller scale and aimed at Blacks because President Obama is himself Black.
The premise is: First Black president = Black improvement. Representative democracy at its core. I think the greater question should be: How has America fared since President Obama’s election? Romney stated that he is the better choice for President, asserting “If you want a president who will make things better in the African-American community, you are looking at him…You take a look!”
Candidate Romney took the opportunity to continue the momentum from the revelation that he outraised President Obama again. Romney seized an opportunity to turn the tables on the President. President Obama has not attended an NAACP convention since 2009. Candidate Romney questioned the President’s civil rights report card. Citing education as the civil rights issue of today, Candidate Romney is looking to seize the opportunity to recruit Blacks to the Republican Party at a time where unemployment among Blacks is 14.4 percent, compared to the national average of 8.2 percent. In 2005, Black unemployment under President George W. Bush dropped to 9.4%, which was lower than the average of 10% under President Clinton. Black unemployment rates under those presidents doubled that of whites.
Briefly: through relative economic good times, Black unemployment still is roughly doubled that of whites. And during economic bad times: Blacks and other racial minorities unemployment rates are further exacerbated. Thus, as America struggles, we all struggle; when America succeeds, we all, relatively speaking, experience success.
Candidate Romney encountered boos–the timing and opportunity–well, let’s say, if he becomes President-elect, it is just a warm-up act of possible things to come—boos have no race nor party identification, and clearly the precedent has been set. What has been clear since President Obama’s election, political vitriol has increased, from top to bottom (leaders to citizens). Democracy is not meant for the faint of heart (I wish that statement belonged to me, but see Michael Douglas in the American President), but when we battle ourselves, we further divide. Through heckling and booing, the issues remain, can we take this moment in history to Carpe Diem!?!