Was I the only one screaming at the television tonight while watching the Democratic Presidential debates  in South Carolina? 

Tonight after L.A.’s Kingdom Day Parade and Celebration, Isaiah Washington and I headed over to Fifth Street Dick’s Coffee House in Leimert Park to watch the Congressional Black Caucus sponsored debate with other community members. 

From Barack Obama’s retort, “well, the only point I would make is that in a year’s time, it’ll be me who’s enforcing them,” in response to John Edwards, “and the problem with Peru, Barack, is you are leaving the enforcement of environmental and labor regulations in the hands of George Bush.  I wouldn’t trust George Bush to enforce anything, certainly no trade obligations,” let’s just say there wasn’t a dull moment.

The gloves are definitely off between Hillary Clinton and Obama, wouldn’t you say?

Especially the exchange between Clinton and Obama regarding his voting record and the “…because while I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shift overseas, you were a corporate lawyer sitting on the board at Wal-Mart,” comment.

We were all falling out of our chairs on that one.

Debates are supposed to give us, the voters a chance to hear the candidates on the issues, the issues that really matter to us so that we can make an educated choice when we head to the polls.

I almost thought it was the February sweeps and I was watching broadcast television instead of a cable news network.

I was glad that the issue of predatory lending was brought up tonight, as that is a source of contention in many urban neighborhoods.  I mean, there are just as my motels, liquor stores, and churches on every block in south Los Angeles as there are check cashing businesses offering payday loans.

I wasn’t too thrilled with the candidates not wanting to cover illegal immigrants under their healthcare plans.  Quite frankly, we all have to live here together and our children go to school together, we work together, ride the bus together, etc.  We all need access to health care.  Communicable diseases don’t just skip over some and affect others. 

Uh, what was up with Suzanne Malveaux asking Edwards and Clinton about how Blacks would feel about themselves if we had a Black President?

As if either of them would know.  The last time I checked, they were both Caucasian.

And why, why, why, did Edwards have to bring up Toni Morrison’s most unintelligent comment about President Bill Clinton being America’s first Black president?

As if all of America needed to be subjected to that madness again.

Was I the only one wondering why Wolf Blitzer was moderating the CBC’s debate?

And what’s up with Obama’s, “You know, I am a proud Christian. And the…I think there have been times — there have been times where our Democratic Party did not reach out as aggressively as we could to evangelicals, for example, because the assumption was, well, they don’t agree with us on choice, or they don’t agree with us on gay rights, and so we just shouldn’t show up. And when you don’t show up, if you’re not going to church, then you’re not talking to church folk. And that means that people have a very right-wing perspective in terms of what faith means and of defining our faith,” comment?

Obama, what about the continued cold shoulder that you and the rest of the Democratic candidates give to gays that aren’t white, wealthy, and/or contributors to your campaign?

Interesting Facts

The word African-American was used 26 times during last night’s debate compared to Black which was only used 13 times.

Race was used 14 times and women 13.

Obama offered the only use of the word gay in last night’s debate and Clinton was the only candidate to reference the word sex, which was only used once, not counting the references to sexual abuse.

My Two Cents

I am so sick and tired of watching these debates with their well dressed and fed people on channels that the poor people they claim to be campaigning for can’t even afford.  Hello?

With most neighborhoods looking more like a Monopoly board game these days
and so many people struggling from month to month, don’t they know cable is the first thing to go.  And that’s for the people that have a home to even get cable in.

I want to see the candidates take their debates to the streets.  If they can campaign in our neighborhoods and take pictures with strategically placed Blacks for their websites and the media to show they like Black people and care about Black people, then come and talk to the people and stop talking at and about the people.

I was with Clinton when she came to Watts’ King Drew School of Medicine and Science last September.  Well, right down the street are a myriad of what we call “projects,” where families are trying to survive from day to day.  And true, it can be a bit dangerous in the “hood” but no more dangerous than anywhere else and with the massive amount of security that follows these candidates around, I am sure they can work it out.

Now that would show some real audacity and change

Take this campaign out of rooms where only the wealthy, elected, or well connected are selected to attend and into the neighborhoods of the people that need to see and hear from you for themselves and need to be given a reason to get up and get out there and vote.

Take it to the people who don’t have cable or access to a coffee house with cable to watch the debates.

Take this campaign into the neighborhoods of the people who don’t even know that President Bush is in office and that this is his last year in office and that they need to vote for a new President in November.

Hello?

Just a thought.  Be real.

I’ve seen and heard enough from all of the candidates at this point.  I know who I am voting for in California’s primary election.  Do you?

Photos From the Leimert Park Debate Watch Party

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