Commentary By Bakari Kitwana

Steal This Election

Originally Published on Newsone.com

If the year 2000 belongs to the Supreme Court, then 2008 belongs to the media. This year will go down as the one when the mainstream media worked over time to sabotage the Democratic primary.
For months, Senator Barack Obama has been the undisputed front runner. Even before this week’s decisive primary races in Guam, North Carolina and Indiana, he was ahead in the delegates count (1748 as compared to Clinton’s 1609, according to realclearpolitics.com).

He’s been ahead by a comfortable margin in the popular vote. He’s raised more money than anyone, with no sign of letting up. And as if that weren’t enough, he’s ignited record youth voter turnouts in one state after...

Party Atmosphere Among Cleveland Early Voters

Originally Published on newsone.com

Outside the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections in Cleveland yesterday, it was like a block party.

It was ten minutes after 1 p.m., the official closing time, but the office was still open. A line of several hundred people waiting to vote wrapped around the building and down the block.

Outside the board of elections

Nearly all the folks in line were young Blacks in their 20s and 30s. Seasoned Obama staffers, anticipating long lines, and concerned folks might give up and go home, had arranged for a live hip-hop DJ to entertain the throng.

...

Wright-Obama Engaged in Generational Conflict

Originally published on newsone.com

Jeremiah Wright’s apparent undermining of Barack Obama’s campaign gets to the heart of an ongoing battle that has been heating up in the Black community since Obama first announced his candidacy.  By entertaining the mainstream media that has been quick to pull down Obama, Wright is displaying a dangerous disregard for Obama’s historic candidacy. But he’s not doing it on purpose. Jeremiah Wright, like others of his generation, is only treating Barack Obama’s candidacy like the youthful pipe dream that he always thought it was.

Barack Obama winning the presidency cracks the foundation of Wright’s lived experience.  For his generation, white racism is inseparable from the very idea of America. According to their line of thinking...

Use the Youth Vote to Defeat Obama

Originally Published on newsone.com

The youth vote is poised to be the decisive factor in the 2008 Presidential Election.  Young people have set records all year at primaries across the country and any candidate on the wrong side of that groundswell shouldn’t sleep easy. In a recent USA Today op-ed, American Enterprise Institute fellow David Frum laments the Republican loss of the youth vote to more savvy Democratic Party organizers. But in my estimation, the youth vote is still up for grabs.
Those outside of the Obama campaign, like Frum, assume that Team Obama is extraordinarily skilled at organizing young people.  They’re dead wrong. Obama may be reaching young voters but his is a marketing campaign. What’s needed is an ...

Why We Shouldn’t Vote For John Kerry

Originally Published on daveyd.com

When I say to hip-hop kids that perhaps we shouldn’t vote for John Kerry, the universal first response is raised eyebrows. Then come a flurry of questions, mostly critical and heartfelt ones. These are reactions I’ve come to be expect, especially from a left leaning emerging voting bloc. This election year, the emerging hip-hop voting bloc-the potential group of young voters regardless of race, age, sex and class who routinely make hip-hop artist go platinum almost overnight-has reared it’s head like no other. Many hip-hop voters even those well over 18 are coming to participate in the electoral process for the first time. We’ve mostly remained out of the process but are now eager to flex within it. The hip-hop voting bloc may be...

The Huffington Post

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 2:45pm

Originally published in the Huffingtonpost.com

As the 2012 presidential election ramps up, expect conservatives to keep gunning for black youth, in general, and hip-hop, specifically. Black youth showed significant gains in 2008, and now represent the group of 18- to 29-year-old who vote the most. Their ability via popular to inspire young voters -- who in 2008 voted for Barack Obama over John McCain by a ratio of 2-to-1 -- poses one of the most viable threats to Republicans' aspirations to retake the Ppesidency. The recent national discussion surrounding the rapper Common'...

Sunday, November 7, 2010 - 11:33am

Let’s begin with the premise that no people, culture, religious, racial or ethnic group is by definition immoral. Not acknowledging this, at the core, is the problem with Juan Williams’ gross generalization about Muslims that recently got him fired from National Public Radio (NPR). But if NPR’s “Fresh Air” interview last week with the rapper Jay-Z about his new book Decoded is any indication, it’s a message still lost on Terry Gross.

To be sure, Juan Williams revealed his bias by openly expressing his personal opinion. Terry Gross didn’t do that. Instead the bias is more subtle and...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 2:43pm

Originally published in the Huffingtonpost.com

As the 2010 midterm election season winds down, electoral politics experts agree that 18-29 year-old voters have a pivotal role to play on November 2nd. Anxiety among Democrats and Republicans concerning the way the political winds will blow the youth vote is crystallizing around the idea that over the last two years President Barack Obama did not fulfill his campaign commitments to the 14 million plus young voters so crucial to his 2008 victory.

Last week, the Houston, Texas local Fox affiliate framed the question like...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 - 12:32pm

As the 2010 midterm election season winds down, electoral politics experts agree that 18-29 year-old voters have a pivotal role to play on November 2nd. Anxiety among Democrats and Republicans concerning the way the political winds will blow the youth vote is crystallizing around the idea that over the last two years President Barack Obama did not fulfill his campaign commitments to the 14 million plus young voters so crucial to his 2008 victory.

Last week, the Houston, Texas local Fox affiliate framed the question like this: "Youth Vote: Obama Boost or Backlash?" or as reporter...