Will Obama Get As Desperate As Herenton?Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi Thomas discusses (from an African-American perspective) how now-former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's campaign slogan "Keep It Real" is really just a way to race-bait black voters in the 9th Congressional District against his forthcoming Democratic Primary opponent, Rep. Steve Cohen:
Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton's slogan for his 9th District Congressional race is a clue.
No, make that a telling, horrifying signal as to what kind of congressman we could expect if he were, horror of all horrors, to oust Rep. Steve Cohen.
The slogan? “Keep It Real.”
No, "keep it real" is an old phrase straight from the street. The 'hood, to be more exact, where Herenton believes the "real" people live, in his race-baiting, polarizing, ghetto-glorifying way that oddly, his white business friends manage to overlook.
"Keep it real" is an all-purpose defense, trotted out regularly to prop up trifling, unwise, short-sighted behavior that is lauded in the twisted logic of the street.
I won't go into detail about the rest of Thomas' missive about the problem with using "Keep It Real" as a political campaign slogan, largely because I can't begin to comment in a justified way about the things that she, as an African-American, has to say. I will say that I agree with her thoughts about "Keeping It Real."
Should Obama use race-baiting political tactics, he will be hoping for a strange but not unheard-of political coalition. The President will make the Herenton-like assumption (under such circumstances) that he will win the black vote universally because he is black, and he will do everything he can to maximize black turnout, and probably use some slogan similar to Willie Herenton. Barack Obama would then count on enough gullible white liberals and attempt to play on Hispanics and other ethnic minorities in a subversively racist campaign. It would be a disgusting way to run a campaign, and it is racist all the way around for black, white, and brown alike-and it will fail. If it works for Willie Herenton, however, don't put it past the President to try winning that way if he gets politically desperate.