If Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) can survive the newly intensified news media-scrutiny demands on him, trying all along to keep the playing field level, while receiving multiple kitchen-sink-scars upside his head in the process, he could very well be on his way to The White House. And talk about being “twice as good.”
Imagine, you are in a classroom where a test is only applied to one student in the class. And he earns the best score. But why does he even have to pass the “Farrakhan Litmus Test.” He alone. Sen. Obama passed with flying colors.
Just what is being tested?
The implication is always that the Black candidate must do something extraordinary to demonstrate his or her fealty to the Crown, which is still firmly in White hands.
So, the scenario is that “Meet The Press” host Tim Russert would ambush Sen. Obama with the embarrassing “Farrakhan Question” during the final debate and showdown in Texas, a week before the big primaries. There are only two possible responses to the Farrakhan Question, both with considerable negative consequences. Sen. Obama’s choices were to politically “Pimp Slap” the Nation of Islam leader, the way Pres. Bill Clinton did to the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Sister Souljah, at the 1992 Rainbow-PUSH Coalition convention, or commit political suicide right there in the debate.
So, if we trust that he’s a true, red-blooded American, we can just proceed with the rest of his “weaknesses.” But it’s hard to shake the resentment some folks invariably feel, that here he comes, the “perfect” Black candidate–Harvard, White mother, grassroots community roots–so why does the perfect Black candidate have to have an African Muslim father, who gave him that middle name “Hussein?”
Can he be trusted?
Isn’t he a Muslim? Isn’t he unpatriotic? Isn’t his wife unpatriotic too? Isn’t he a terrorist? These are at the root of the Farrakhan Litmus Test.
He’s inexperienced. He can’t be trusted to get that 3:00 call on the “Red Phone.”
Give me a break!
Just imagine for a moment, the 3:00 a.m. call, to President Bush, or McCain, or Clinton, or Clinton. Just who will be making that call to the Commander in Chief? You can bet it won’t be Cindy Sheehan. No. I doubt if any of the thousands of U.S. active duty generals and admirals will quit their good Pentagon jobs, just because Barack Obama got to be President. So the people advising a President Obama as to just what to do, will be the same as would be advising a President Clinton or a President McCain. Right?
But that’s how fear-mongering goes. It blinds us to seeing clearly sometimes.
I would prefer to measure both Sen. Obama and Sen. McCain by another test, I’ve devised. I think I would prefer the President to consider what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s response to that 3:00 a.m. call might be, before considering what Gen. George Custer’s response might be. Obama wins my Dr. M.L. King vote. McCain earns my Custer’s-Last-100-year-Stand-vote.
I think that’s a fairer measuring stick than a test which is only applied to one student in the class.
But before we are through examining Sen. Obama according to the Farrakhan-Litmus-Test, there’s one more big question he might yet face. Did a then 34-year-old Barack Obama Jr. attend the Million Man March in Washington, Oct. 16, 1995? I would be proud to know that he attended and proudly acknowledged it. I would not be disappointed if I never learn the answer to that question.