A moment of history: Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama acknowledges his supporters in St. Paul, Minnesota last night.  (Photo: The New York Times)

About Last Night . . .

By Omar P.L. Moore/The Popcorn Reel

June 4, 2008

The title above is not meant to refer to the 1986 romantic comedy "About Last Night . . . " with Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, but rather to last night's political news.  Throughout the history-making Democratic presidential primary marathon campaign of 2008 another piece of history was made last night in the United States.  Senator Barack Obama became the first and only black nominee for president of the United States for either of the country's two major political parties.  While the "presumptive" moniker attached to Senator Obama's new title will be shed in late August in Denver, it is important to observe the significance of June 3, 2008.  Whether one passionately supports Republican senator John McCain, or ardently supports Democratic senator Hillary Clinton, or loyally supports Democratic senator Barack Obama, one must realize that last night history was made in profound fashion. 

In their lifetime many people never thought that they would ever see an African-American potentially poised for a title and responsibility far more historic than anything any Americans have ever witnessed for African-Americans in politics in over 200 years of American history: the occupancy of the White House and leadership of the free world.

An attempt to anoint the senator from Illinois such a title however, would be hugely premature at this juncture.  There are still divisions that need to be repaired between the two candidates who have just finished the bruising Democratic presidential primary.  And forty-five years after Dr. King's historic March on Washington, racism and racial discord still persists throughout the country and sexism, harassment and violence against women remains rampant across America. 

In the opening salvos in advance of the November 4, 2008 presidential election, the mainstream media in the United States has already begun to slant* their election coverage toward Senator John McCain instead of engaging in a fair, earnest and thorough exploration and investigation of the issues that matter to Americans. 

Since the press, which claims that it is in the business of informing the American public but is only confusing it and filling it with the most trivial tabloid tidbits and You Tube sound bites, it is imperative that people educate and inform themselves by visiting the websites of both Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama.  Find ten minutes of each day to investigate the candidates.  Look at the issues and each candidate's articulation of them.  Read their plans and positions.  Ask them the tough questions.  Both presidential candidates need to be examined and their positions analyzed.  Look at the transcripts of their speeches.  Look at the way they conduct themselves.  Look at their histories.  Read their books. 

In short, read.  And think critically.  Ask yourself the tough questions.  Watch C-SPAN -- or go to their website and find out about how both senators voted on issues that matter to you.  Look under the heading in red entitled "key votes library" for starters.

As has been said on previous occasions in editorials appearing here at The Popcorn Reel, the mainstream media in America will not focus on the crucial issues that matter to every American.  So we as Americans have to do this ourselves.

American voters have to put the pains and passions of recent fierce political skirmishes aside and realistically and honestly look at the bigger picture and larger perspective: the future, for themselves and their families. 

In that vein, it is imperative that the raw emotions of the recent past are quelled and extinguished and the quest to vote in one's own best interests honestly pursued.  Too often the emotions of fear and anger can cloud us, enabling us to vote against our own best interests.  Fear is a powerful variable and it makes both educated and lesser educated human beings do the most irrational things.  History is also a powerful thing, but being educated and informed in order to see the way forward against fear is even more powerful.

With last night's noteworthy moment in history, voters have spoken very loudly indeed.  The time for education and analysis begins now.

*CNN's coverage early this morning on the breakfast news program "American Morning" demonstrated this.  For more on flawed media coverage and omissions, visit this website.

Copyright The Popcorn Reel.  2008.  All Rights Reserved.


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