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Barack Obama, 5 years ago in Harlem

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Since this video was taken Obama has traded in Dr. West for Reverend Sharpton. Obama has also failed to live up to much of what he promised on the campaign trail, to a crowd of adoring supporters in Harlem's Apollo theater.

The audience was virtually 100% Black. My oldest daughter and I were part of the audience. I apologize for the quality of the video but the words are loud and clear,

It is fascinating to listen to the statements now more than 5 years later.

While West's strong support of Obama was strong, he fully recognized Obama was no Dr. King, or Malcolm X. More interesting is what Barack said, about what he was going to do to support the Black community;

Obama said he did not want to see, 4 years from then, "...more young Black men in prison than in college". In reality were actually more Black men in college than in prison in 2007 and this is still very likely to be true in 2013.

Barack said he would raise miminum wage every year when he became president. The last federal increase was approved by Bush administration in 2007, and took effect in 2009.

He said he would give us universal health care without caving into big insurance companies -- without a public option, insurance companies will enjoy a huge windfall.

He spoke about the Civil Right Commission. It would be nice if someone could tell me what the CRC has done for Black people in the last 5 years.

He spoke about education particularly people in the inner cities of Chicago and Harlem. Today 22% of Black boys graduate high school in 4 years.

I could go on picking apart what Barack said he would do versus wast he actually did. But at the end of the day ALL politician say whatever they think the audience wants to hear.

My personal problem is that, for some silly reason, I was naive enough to think Barack would actually be different.

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A lot of White liberals thought he'd be different too.

I was living on the West Coast when he was campaigning and got elected back in 2008 and a lot of Whites in places like Seattle and Portland were floating and glowing around that time. They were declaring an END TO THE REAGAN ERA.

They had such high hopes because they were expecting that a Black man would really "sock it to the system".

People talk about the attempts of Republicans to use Reverend Jeremiah Wright to smear Obama and make him look like a radical racist. But I can assure you and everyone reading that in the Pacific Northwest it had the OPPOSITE EFFECT.

White people were blaring the speeches of Rev. Wright all out of thier apartments, studios, and coffee shops....lol.

They couldn't get enough of him and his firey sermons.

It's like they hadn't been exposed to the Black church before.

It told them if you like THAT....then come on back home with me to Detroit and I'll take you to some preachers that would make Jeremiah Wright look like Clarence Thomas, lol.

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The really interesting thing about the Wright affair was that initially when Obama was claiming Wright as his "spiritual leader" , in reality like most Brother he spent very little time in the Church.

So when Wright would were being used against Obama it would have been much easier for Obama to simply say well i really did not go to Wrights church very much.

Instead since he'd exaggerated his position as this devout Christian, since votes like to hear this, he had to make up another "story" to justify throwing Wright under he bus.

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It seems to me that Obama is much much too left-brained or "intellectual" to be a devout member of the typical inner-city Black church with all it's singing, clapping, and strong emotionalsim.

I know I didn't care too much for it when I was a Christian.

I prefered ministers along the line of Fredrick KC Price and others who TEACH more than PREACH.

While I don't doubt that he's a Christian, I think he just affiliated himself with that particular church early in his political career to endear himself with the people of the community while trying to help the unemployed factory workers in the area.

He knew THEIR minds were in the church, so he went into the church to reach them.

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You may be correct Pioneer. But I choose to believe he had a plan and advancing in politics was his goal, Wright was a stepping stone.

I don't trust politicians. In our current political system righteous people don't seem to do very well -- indeed they don't even get involved. The people who enter politics, at the highest levels are ambitious power or status seekers. Money has screwed the whole thing up...

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Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church is not a typical inner city one. It is a mega-church located in one of the better neighborhoods on Chicago's far south side, and its congregation is distinctly "bougie". Although Wright was not above delivering fire and brimstone sermons, his resume is quite impressive. He served in the military for many years, has several degrees and could easily be be referred to as not only radical but intellectual. The title of Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" was taken from a quote by Wright, who is now in his 70s and retired from preaching.

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Well Cynique that perfectly explains why Obama aligned himself with Wright, sort of like teaming up with Calvin Butts in Harlem.

Obama's current alignment with Rev Sharpton is a little more curious. I guess he needed a foil from the criticism of Dr. West an anit-Tavis so to speak.

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"You may be correct Pioneer. But I choose to believe he had a plan and advancing in politics was his goal, Wright was a stepping stone."


That's what I was saying; he basically joined the church to get some "street cred" in the community.

"Obama's current alignment with Rev Sharpton is a little more curious."

Are you sure it's not more like Reverend Sharpton aligning himself with Obama?

Seems to me that ever since he's gotten that talk show on MSNBC, he's become less "pro Black" and more "pro Democrat" aligning himself with any and almost every issue on the Democrat platform. For the past few years he's been advocating gay rights and gay marriage, something that the majority of the Black church is against and something he NEVER spoke on in the past.

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