An ‘Off the Record’ Conversation

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  • it to say, the president had the same kinds of questions, concerns and compassion for Troy Davis that most black people have. With so much doubt centering around his guilt, why would the state of Georgia be so hellbent on putting him to death? These are my words, by the way – not the president’s.

    Even though he’s the president of the United States, he could not give Troy Davis a pardon, and the way Georgia law is written, even the governor couldn’t have stopped it.

    I’m not going to take on the ridiculous exercise of somehow trying measure the Big Chief’s “blackness.” I’m done with that. But I will say to black people living, working, and raising children in mainstream America: You know exactly what it’s like to be in a position where any movement you make toward sympathizing or empathizing with the plight of African-Americans, you are perceived to be militant, reverse racist or both.

    In the words of a veteran New York news reporter who wasn’t invited to the luncheon: “If you want something to get out, tell a broadcaster not to say anything.”

    The president is a brilliant man, and just maybe he knew that his feelings would leak out and the rest of black America could get a bit of a different side of the prez. He took a chance by inviting us in and was willing to take the fallout when some of what he said got out.

    It’s kind of like when, say our friends, movie and now TV executives Will Packer and Rob Hardy, release a new film. They know that a percentage of what they would make will be lost once the movie gets in the bootlegger’s hands. But that doesn’t stop them from releasing movies because they’re looking at the big picture.

    Perhaps meeting with his peeps in the media was worth it. I know it meant a lot to me and everyone there. It was like having lunch with old friends and family. I can only imagine how less stressed he would be if he could regularly sit down and break bread with black media.

    I wish that we could take on the big picture mentality and not get sidetracked by and thrown off by things intended to make us change course. I’m not discounting for a second the impact that high unemployment is having on us. The economy sucks, yes. But I don’t think it will suck any less if we stay home from the polls and don’t support President Obama in 2012.

    If you know anyone who isn’t registered to vote, help us all out. Have them register by phone at 866-MY-VOTE-1.

    That, by the way, is on the record.

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