Friday, July 30, 2010

Shorter Tri-State Defender: We DO Need Just One, But Herenton is NOT That One

The Defender endorses Cohen after a long and thoughtful article.

Here are the money quotes, first on the Doc:
So here is the question: Does Dr. Herenton represent the galvanizing leadership that will spur the organization and aggregation of talent and resources needed in the African-American community in Memphis to demand its place at the aforementioned tables through the role of 9th Congressional District Congressman and in doing so improve the quality of life for all Memphians?  Given the damage that has been done to his image and the relationship with other leaders and voters in the community it would prove difficult for him to be that guiding and galvanizing force. Additionally, consider the fact that he would be a freshman Congressman at 70 years of age with no seniority and little political capital in Washington. The answer to the question is NO.  Dr. Herenton remains a significant and relevant leader in our community and we believe he has a tremendous role to play in fostering positive change for Memphis and Shelby County. However, his most effective place to affect change is not necessarily as an elected official but as a steward and agent of change within the community.

Dr. Herenton’s candidacy is important and should serve as a wake-up call to current and up-and-coming African-American leaders that we must get it together and move together in the “house” towards strengthening the “family”. 
 Then, about Cohen:
Congressman Cohen clearly has been an effective legislator over the course of his two terms and certainly during his tenure in the Tennessee General Assembly. He has been a champion for causes and policy intended to positively impact the African-American community. He has built relationships and worked across racial and political aisles as a masterful diplomatic statesman. Ultimately he has done everything he could do to best represent the broad interests of the constituents he represents.

Congressman Cohen’s positions, relationships and proposed legislation are all on point towards bringing to bear a climate that will allow for positive changes in the 30 percent poverty rate, double-digit unemployment, negligible business revenues, high rate of illness and health challenges and 40 percent dropout rate. Ultimately to truly improve the plight of Memphis, we must have leadership derived from within the African-American community that identifies with and intrinsically understands the “family”.  No matter how empathetic, Congressman Cohen will never be the direct catalyst to initiate and foster the change necessary for the African-American community in the 9th District and beyond to make significant strides in meeting the challenges that we face. In fact it can and will only come from within. 


callmeishmael said...

I agree with everything said here except the last two sentences. They are, in a word, bullshit. If Cohen can't POSSIBLY understand the needs of "the family," why is the TSD supporting him? They just made Brother Willie's case for him! It's an absolute joke that simply due to Cohen's skin color--and not, dare I say, the content of his character--one cannot be the "direct catalyst" to enable "the family" to address its (presumably unique) problems.

Steve Steffens said...

That;s not my take on what they said. Ultimately, what they are saying here is that it is the responsibility of the African-American community to raise their own leaders to solver their problems, and because A) they have not done so and B) Cohen has done a great job, then C) Cohen is the best option, but not the optimal one.

callmeishmael said...

Appreciate your comments even as I do not see the article as you do. Why however, if the problems of one group are ultimately theirs to solve, should those of us who are not in "the family" be obligated through taxes and common decency--themselves implying connection beyond arbitrary and artificial categories--to enable these solutions? The logic does not follow even as I once more appreciate your response.