Many African-Americans see such individuals as mere TV commercials and corporate icons, not real leaders in the black community.
Syracuse, NY (PRWEB) October 17, 2006
Dr. Boyce Watkins, prominent Syracuse Professor and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” believes that the recent emergence of Barack Obama (on the cover of Time Magazine this month) and Hillary Clinton implies that the 2008 Presidential election presents unprecedented obstacles for white males and shocking opportunities for minorities and women. For the first time in American history, says Watkins, white males are at a clear disadvantage in the race for the presidency.
“Whatever party runs with the white guy is probably going to lose,” says Watkins, who does regular commentary on shows such as Hannity & Colmes and The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. “Right now, women and minorities are en vogue for political campaigns, with Hillary and Barack leading the pack.”
Dr. Watkins, while being a fan of both Obama and Clinton, has his reservations about each of them. “Hillary doesn’t seem to care about her base, and has essentially neglected them in her desire to become president,” says Watkins, who was a Visiting Scholar at The Center for European Economic Research. “Obama is the opposite of President Bush in that Bush is stubbornly strong, and Obama is contemplatively weak. He tries to see all sides of everything, and no one wants to see that in their president.”
Dr. Watkins also says that Obama is crippled by the media’s comparisons of him with Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and Michael Jordan, other African-Americans who have transcended their race. “He is part of the ‘Legion of Safe Negroes’, those who are not going to do too little and not going to do too much,” says Dr. Watkins. “Many African-Americans see such individuals as mere TV commercials and corporate icons, not real leaders in the black community.”
Dr. Watkins doesn’t fault Obama and Clinton for their approach, and says that such compromises are common for women and minorities. “It is difficult for a woman or minority to be strong and still be elected, unless they are strongly against people like themselves,” says Dr. Watkins, referring to strong conservatives such as Clarence Thomas. “So, while their approach may be problematic, it is certainly understood.”
Finally, Dr. Watkins feels that in this battle of women and minorities, the advantage could actually belong to Condoleeza Rice. “Should the war in Iraq turn around in any meaningful way,” says Watkins, “Rice is going to be a clearer pick for Americans, since we know that she is tough, we know where she stands, and she is an experienced world leader. Obama still seems confused, and Hillary is constantly undergoing political face-lifts. This election is going to come down to each side saying ‘My woman/Negro is better than yours’.”
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of “What if George Bush were a Black Man?” He has provided regular social commentary in the national media, in outlets including USA Today, Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith, Hannity & Colmes, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, Black Enterprise, and The Washington Post. For more information, please visit http://www.blackmanbush.com. For media interviews, please call Lawrence at (502) 640-8155 or (315) 487-1176.