Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Birmingham News: Barack Obama Day in Perry County

I really didn't expect Perry County Commission's decision to declare the second Monday of each November "Barack Obama Day" to get as much press coverage as it has. Google News turns up hundreds and hundreds of results on the topic, though. 

There's a little bit of talk about it in Compson Sartain's column this week, but that's about it for the Herald's coverage. Bloggers and AP subscribers across the net have posted the item, though, and the Birmingham News did 'em a story today as well. And that, I think, was what this move was supposed to accomplish. 

Call me cynical if you want, but I still remember some of the things Albert Turner, who is credited with the idea for this new holiday, said about Obama in the leadup to the election: that there was no need to vote for him because a black man would never get elected president of the United States, that Obama wasn't really black anyway. Turner found much humor in mocking everything about Obama right down to his name throughout the entire election cycle, and now he wants to name a holiday after him? I don't buy it. 

Turner told Tom Gordon at the News that the day was a time for people to reflect on what Obama's victory meant. At other times, he's said the holiday will commemorate the historic election of a black man as president. I know some of my readers disagreed with me on my support of Obama's candidacy. I know because they told me many, many times. But I felt, and still feel, that he was the best choice for America. And I didn't decide that because he was black. 

Barack Obama Day may well be a good time for Perry County's citizens to consider the great political milestone his victory represents. But, more likely, it's an opportunity for a self-serving, opportunistic politician to hitch his wagon to a candidate that, throughout the election, he took great delight in disparaging. If President-Elect Obama reads the news about Barack Obama Day being declared here, I hope he also finds Turner's words in January to the Alabama Democratic Caucus just before that group endorsed Hillary Clinton. Turner jokingly told his fellow ADC members what foolishness it would be for them to endorse "a black man named Obama when we're shooting at Osama." 

I guess now that he's won, he's safe to support. 

1 comment:

  1. I to am amazed at how many people will lose the honor of their convictions to be seen as a supporter of a winner. I will also be intrested to see how many go the other way when they realize a president has been elected and not a king.