October 31, 2010

Russell Simmons Shares His Insights on November 2 Election with Black Bloggers

Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons and DNC National Political Director Clyde Williams met last week with the African American online community ... including the Electronic Village. Simmons noted that he has been traveling around the country in support of President Obama and the Democratic Party. He was in Chicago yesterday ... Detroit today ... and he'll be joining with the President in Connecticut tomorrow.

Simmons' message to the Black bloggers, and through us to our readers, was simple -- The African American community needs to stay alert, stand firm in the faith, show courage, be strong (Cor. 16:13). The faith that we have placed in President Obama is useless without our works. Simmons says that our work in this case is simple:
  1. Vote
  2. Get those that are in our sphere of influence to vote
He acknowledged that there are a plethora of issues that face the African American community including implementation of the health care reform, prison reform, gay rights, poverty initiatives, unemployment and so on. Simmons understands that many in our community feel that the changes we wanted when President Obama took office in January 2009 have not happened fast enough.

The remedy is not to become apathetic. The remedy is not to let our nation go backwards to failed policies and leadership of the past. Rather we need to push forward and harder for the change that we want and need.

Simmons was quick to point out that the Tea Party movement can turn nation backwards in a heartbeat.
"Reaction to our president (by the Tea Party) is violent and scary and it could split our country. We need to stand up. We need to prioritize voting (on November 2) by our people."
DNC Political Director Clyde Williams noted that it is important for the DNC to stay connected with the African American online community as demonstrated by recent meetings with DNC Chairman Tim Kaine and President Barack Obama.

Williams pointed out that there is a clear choice to made on November 2nd when we enter the voting booth. We either want to make our President successful or we want him to fail. He noted the remarkable accomplishments of President Obama in the first 2 years of his administration. However, he also noted that the Republican Party is poised to turn our nation backwards in a number of ways.

Simmons did note that a number of hip-hop and R&B celebrities were also engaged in the work of turning out the vote. He noted that he has been encouraged by his recent visits around the country. Simmons has a sense that the so-called 'enthusiasm gap' is not as wide as it was earlier in the year.

Villagers, I was disappointed that the DNC didn't allow sufficient time for questions from the Black bloggers who were in attendance. I had two questions that I wanted to ask:
  1. African Americans voters remain committed to President Obama and the DNC in a very tangible way. Why was an effort allowed by forces in the Democratic Party to get Florida senatorial candidate Kendrick Meek to step down?
  2. The problem with the November 2 election isn't apathy of Black voters, it is the desertion of white middle class voters who stood with Obama in 2008 ... and now are fleeing to the GOP or Tea Party. What is the game plan to stop the bleeding of white middle class voters?
Those were two questions that I had on my mind. However, the forum didn't allow enough time for me or the other Black bloggers to ask questions.

What question(s) would you want to ask Russell Simmons or Clyde Williams if you had the opportunity?

No comments: