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Editorial statement.

As this issue of Black Renaissance Noire is published, we, the American people, are debating whom to cast our ballots for in the historic 2008 presidential election. "Historic" because for the first time in this nation's long, tortured, and illustrious history, an African American, Barack Obama, has won the right to compete to lead our nation. In my last editorial, I predicted that Obama would not only defeat Hillary Rodham Clinton in his fight for the democratic nomination but would also go on to win the presidency in November in a head-to-head fight with John McCain. I stand by that prediction.

An Obama victory in November will bring about enormous change in this country, especially in the way Americans view each other. It will alter the way we Americans think about our future political leadership. That's a good thing, and it's about time this happens because in a multicultural, multiracial, multi-religious country like the one we live in, no single group should ever have total say over what is good or bad for this nation. Beyond my own personal prediction of an Obama victory, let me say this: whoever wins the presidency, this election has the capacity to heal our tortured nation or completely rip it asunder, and I say this with both a hopeful and a heavy heart.

Any way you slice it, change by its very nature is revolutionary, carrying both positive and dangerous elements within its transformational impulse. An example of modern-day change is how, in this age of the blogosphere and 24/7 cable networks, the "fleas on the dog," as The New York Times put it when referring to print, electronic, and web journalists and cable news pundits who report and slant the news, have transformed how people receive and act on information. It is stunning how so many people get their information from websites rather than from print media, radio or television.

And so we will have to wait and see how the country reacts to the results of this cataclysmic election cycle: either we will go down a hopeful, healing road or we will travel a path fraught with a more virulent, destructive, and I believe, fascistic brand of racism. In my opinion, young voters hold the key to the way the nation goes in this very important electoral cycle.

If John McCain wins this presidential election, friends of mine--African American, white, Jewish, Latino, Asian, Arab, and Native American alike--see an America moving towards a future with Hitlerian tendencies. It is my fervent hope and wish, however, that such a scenario does not come to pass, because what it portends for our already fragile democracy is too terrible to contemplate.

If the many far-fight-wing white zealots we hear calling in on C-Span, talk radio and even some of the anchors and commentators on cable w programs (who support a McCain-Palin presidency because they are terrified of the promise of an African American president) are any indication, we are witnessing a perilous moment in our nation's history. They prefer that the nation elect the dangerously erratic, impulsive, political "maverick" John McCain, whose hot temper and bad judgment have lead him to select Sarah Palin; how else to explain his ridiculous choice of this clueless governor of Alaska, who is, in her own words, "a pit bull with lipstick," and an extremely radical right-wing, white, female ideologue, as his vice presidential running mate? This is nothing more than McCain's cynical ploy to appeal to his Christian white, right wing base and to so-called "disaffected Hillary Clinton" white, middle-aged to older female and male voters. It is a sad spectacle to watch--not to mention having to listen to all of "McSane's" ridiculous lies--and very, very dangerous for the future of our country, because neither McCain, nor Palin, have a vision for a rapidly changing domestic and international sphere. Still, McCain's cynical ploy could backfire and fail. Let's hope so.

Obama, on the other hand, while a far from perfect candidate, does have a vision as to where this country has to go. Despite his flaws, he is an accomplished, brilliant thinker; a man whose progressive vision for our nation values the negotiation of problems and conflicts over a path that will ultimately lead us down a road of continuous death and war.

The situation would be laughable were it not so serious and deadly. If you look closely, most of these McCain supporters are the very same people who gave us the last disastrous eight years of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. It's complete and utter madness to believe that any sane American would still want to believe in this absurd folly, but many do, especially a large percent of so-called blue-collar workers, values-issue people, and hockey moms: code names for racist white people, who can never, ever envision an African American as president. And that is what this election is all about, no matter the fact African Americans have always supported white candidates for office. And where were all the people of color at the 2008 Republican National Convention? In the final analysis, I am convinced, unfortunately, that Obama's chances narrow as this election threatens to be increasingly defined by fear and racial anxieties, and not the important issues of the day.

It is time--past the time--for all fair-minded Americans to be vigilant, to pull our heads up out of the sand, pay close attention to what is really happening to our country, and finally, to keep up our guard to prevent the realization of such a terrible potential social and political development. Otherwise, a horrific reckoning awaits the American way of life and the "great experiment" in which many of us have participated and cherished will perish. Such a dark prognostication greatly saddens me but I am convinced that our country is at a crossroads, at the edge of a Mount Everest-like fall, especially in the wake of the frightening Wall Street financial debacle and the subsequent tax payer-government sponsored bailout and takeover. Under this unprecedented plan, so-called ardent free-market capitalists, who have privatized tremendous profits, now will be allowed to socialize their risks and debts back to the average American taxpayers. What a system!

While we contemplate the forthcoming change, let me tell you about another change on the horizon. We at Black Renaissance Noire are also reconsidering the name of our journal.

Going forward we have decided we need a new title of only one word: a word rooted in the black diasporic experience; a word that evokes beauty, history, power, spirituality, and seriousness of purpose; a word that connects all of us who believe in the power and efficacy of a diverse society and in the principle of pursuing equality and fairness throughout the world; a word that avoids espousing any political or religious affiliation while evoking a sense of sacredness and a collective belief that great literature, art, high intellect, and rigorous academic pursuits are indeed necessary and important to counteract the "dumbing-down" trends that have so impacted our nation and our modern, mass media-dominated world.

The word that comes to our mind is veve (pronounced veh-veh), which is derived from Haitian voodoo rituals. A veve is a sacred drawing or symbol traced on the ground with powder. Made from cornmeal, flour, bark, crushed red brick, or gunpowder, the veve is also an intricate magical symbol that represents a loa or Haitian deity, and obliges the loa to descend to earth.

We'd like to know what you think of this proposed change. You can write us at quincy.troupe@nyu.edu or cpd255@nyu.edu and give us your thoughts.

In the meantime, we invite you to enjoy the poems, articles, artworks, interviews, and non-fiction and fiction pieces featured in our current issue of Black Renaissance Noire. As always, we thank you again for your readership and continued support.
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Author:Troupe, Quincy
Publication:Black Renaissance/Renaissance Noire
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 22, 2008
Words:1431
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