Remember Shirley Chisholm.. Today’s the day she set it off for Barack Obama


My homegirl, journalist and scholar  Erinn Ransom hit me up and astutely reminded me that today marks an important footnote in history-Sadly it’s been forgotten by many. Its not in the small confines of Black History month and nowadays we’re at the height of football season..But it should be noted that today was the day that Shirley Chisholm declared her run for presidency back in 1972. As Erinn noted this was the jump-off of a path Barack Obama would eventually follow…

For me, the one thing I always liked about Shirley Chisholm was and will always be one to admire and emulate.. She made it clear she was Un-brought and Un-bossed.. That’s how we should all live our lives.. I know I definitely try to.. If Ms Chisholm was still around and running the country today I highly doubted if there would’ve been any Wall Street bailouts and bonuses on tax payers dollars with so many people in need.

Here’s some background info on her

Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm was an American politician, educator and author. She was a Congresswoman, representing New York’s 12th District for seven terms from 1969 to 1983. In 1968, she became the first African-American woman elected to Congress. On January 23, 1972, she became the first major party African-American candidate for President of the United States. She received 152 first-ballot votes at the 1972 Democratic National Convention

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9 comments on “Remember Shirley Chisholm.. Today’s the day she set it off for Barack Obama

  1. **sigh** Why do we insist on pigeon-holing and limiting the actions and efforts of historic African Americans to the ascendancy and presidency of Barack Obama??? At first people were claiming that Obama was MLK’s dream realized, and now, Shirley Chisholm is honored for setting it off for Obama.

    C’mon people!

    First of all, Obama and MLK couldn’t be any more different as Obama alluded to in his Nobel Peace Prize speech (as it relates to non-violence).

    MLK wanted to get “black people” to the Promise Land…..not one black man to the presidency.
    MLK was a preacher – not a politican – who was clearly in support and defense of those most subjugated by politics who also felt that non-violence was the panacea for violence. In fact, MLK said that violence was an “injustice”. MLK said, “No President can be great, or even fit for office, if he attempt to accommodate to injustice to maintain his political balance.”

    Obama – on the other hand – defended the use of violence. He said, ” I cannot be guided by their [Ghandi and MLK] examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people.

    Didn’t Gandhi and MLK face the world as it is??? Didn’t Gandhi’s non-violent movement stave off the British army?

    Therefore, if MLK were alive today, he would NOT be President…….he’d likely be Jeremiah Wright.

    Secondly, as it relates to Shirley Chisholm, this author made a very valid statement: “If Ms Chisholm was still around and running the country today I highly doubted if there would’ve been any Wall Street bailouts and bonuses on tax payers dollars with so many people in need.” Didn’t Obama sanction the bailouts? Aren’t the little people still in need??? This clearly separate her from Obama, in addition to her vocal desire and effort to fight for the people most burdened by politics.

    So, for the sake of accuracy and respect let’s not taint the true efforts and actions of those in the past for the anticipation of same for those in the present.

    Tungz

  2. Tungz I was the author of the piece who wanted to show that Chisholm had a different politic from what we know of her.. However, the presidency and what it symbolized.. being a leader to all the people and having ur ideas respected and built upon.. is a dream many have had.. To dismiss that is to be in accurate.. We’ve long had discussions of ‘what if King was president? and what if Malcolm was president? etc etc.. What Obama achieved was a crystalization of that dream with millions of people participating even if folks just gave a nickle..we’ve always projected are hopes and dreams on folks we admired and saw as game changers.. I don’t see that subsiding anytime soon..

    D

  3. D,

    Of course many have had the dream of being a leader and having their ideas respected and built upon…..but that has nothing to do with being a “president”. You can be a leader without being a president. As I stated in a separate post, most of our most significant and impactful leaders WEREN’T presidents….in fact, they weren’t even politicians. Here are a few: MLK, Malcolm X, Toussiant L-Ouveture, Harriet Tubman, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, and Nelson Mandela (although he became a politician after he eradicated Aparthied)

    Therefore, to minimize MLK’s dream to the achievement of acquiring a political position is sad to say the least. If you recall MLK’s dream speech as well as his other speeches, NONE of them said anything about desiring to see a black person as the POTUS or any political position. In fact, if you recall, MLK turned down suggestion to run as a third-party candidate because of the inherent limitations in politics that he was well aware of.

    MLK’s dream spoke of black people (and everyone for that matter) being judge by their character and not by their color. Ironically, it can be argued that Obama’s colored played a huge part in him becoming president; likely the key characteristic motivating many to defend him so vehemently. Because if he were white…….well, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. :o)

    But if Obama’s ascendancy were truly an offspring of his dream, then blacks kids/men still wouldn’t be getting shot in the back by police [insert Oscar Grant and Shawn Bell here]; 90% of people on death row wouldn’t be black men while be 11% of the population; unemployment/under employment would be so pervasive in the black community; and blacks kids wouldn’t continue to kill themselves in the streets of Chicago….where this current president happens to be from.

    In fact, if MLK were alive today, he would likely be in the streets of Chicago addressing such issues. THAT is what a leader does. Leadership is not a “high position”, but rather, a “high priority”, and MLK made it clear that honors, awards, and titles were not the results of such dedications

    MLK’s dream and speeches spoke to the achievement of blackness as “a people”, and one black man achieving a high role is not a reflection of such. If that were so, we should have been equally content with Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Ron Brown, etc.

    And you’re right, most people will continue to project their hopes and dreams onto other people. And herein lies the problem.

    TungzRA

  4. D,

    Of course many have had the dream of being a leader and having their ideas respected and built upon…..but that has nothing to do with being a “president”. You can be a leader without being a president. As I stated in a separate post, most of our most significant and impactful leaders WEREN’T presidents….in fact, they weren’t even politicians. Here are a few: MLK, Malcolm X, Toussiant L-Ouveture, Harriet Tubman, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, and Nelson Mandela (although he became a politician after he eradicated Aparthied)

    Therefore, to minimize MLK’s dream to the achievement of acquiring a political position is sad to say the least. If you recall MLK’s dream speech as well as his other speeches, NONE of them said anything about desiring to see a black person as the POTUS or any political position. In fact, if you recall, MLK turned down suggestion to run as a third-party candidate because of the inherent limitations in politics that he was well aware of.

    MLK’s dream spoke of black people (and everyone for that matter) being judge by their character and not by their color. Ironically, it can be argued that Obama’s colored played a huge part in him becoming president; likely the key characteristic motivating many to defend him so vehemently. Because if he were white…….well, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. :o)

    But if Obama’s ascendancy were truly an offspring of his dream, then black kids/men still wouldn’t be getting shot in the back by police [insert Oscar Grant and Shawn Bell here]; 90% of people on death row wouldn’t be black men while being only 11% of the population; unemployment/under employment would be so pervasive in the black community; and blacks kids wouldn’t continue to kill themselves in the streets of Chicago….where this current president happens to be from.

    In fact, if MLK were alive today, he would likely be in the streets of Chicago addressing such issues. THAT is what a leader does. Leadership is not a “high position”, but rather, a “high priority”, and MLK made it clear that honors, awards, and titles were not the results of such dedications

    MLK’s dream and speeches spoke to the achievement of blackness as “a people”, and one black man achieving a high role is not a reflection of such. If that were so, we should have been equally content with Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Ron Brown, etc.

    And you’re right, most people will continue to project their hopes and dreams onto other people. And herein lies the problem.

    TungzRA

  5. D,

    Of course many have had the dream of being a leader and having their ideas respected and built upon…..but that has nothing to do with being a “president”. You can be a leader without being a president. As I stated in a separate post, most of our most significant and impactful leaders WEREN’T presidents….in fact, they weren’t even politicians. Here are a few: MLK, Malcolm X, Toussiant L-Ouveture, Harriet Tubman, Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, and Nelson Mandela (although he became a politician after he eradicated Aparthied)

    Therefore, to minimize MLK’s dream to the achievement of acquiring a political position is sad to say the least. If you recall MLK’s dream speech as well as his other speeches, NONE of them said anything about desiring to see a black person as the POTUS or any political position. In fact, if you recall, MLK turned down suggestion to run as a third-party candidate because of the inherent limitations in politics that he was well aware of.

    MLK’s dream spoke of black people (and everyone for that matter) being judge by their character and not by their color. Ironically, it can be argued that Obama’s colored played a huge part in him becoming president; likely the key characteristic motivating many to defend him so vehemently. Because if he were white…….well, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion. :o)

    But if Obama’s ascendancy were truly an offspring of his dream, then black kids/men still wouldn’t be getting shot in the back by police [insert Oscar Grant and Shawn Bell here]; 90% of people on death row wouldn’t be black men while being only 11% of the population; unemployment/under employment would be so pervasive in the black community; and black kids wouldn’t continue to kill themselves in the streets of Chicago….where this current president happens to be from.

    In fact, if MLK were alive today, he would likely be in the streets of Chicago addressing such issues. THAT is what a leader does. Leadership is not a “high position”, but rather, a “high priority”, and MLK made it clear that honors, awards, and titles were not the results of such dedications

    MLK’s dream and speeches spoke to the achievement of blackness as “a people”, and one black man achieving a high role is not a reflection of such. If that were so, we should have been equally content with Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Ron Brown, etc.

    And you’re right, most people will continue to project their hopes and dreams onto other people. And herein lies the problem.

    TungzRA

  6. Pingback: Black History Month Salute: Shirley Chisholm. | Who Is Nola Darling?

  7. Pingback: The BLITZ – 2/21/11 | JAYFORCE

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