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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


About Obama

While I find it amusing to have words and sentiments in my mouth, it's really tiresome

But before I say anything else, the idea that his "blackness" is under debate is amazingly silly. What people are debating is his fidelity to the issues and causes which have defined black America since 1954. Not his skin color. Or the silly cultural issues Debra Dickenson raised. It is a political argument. After all this is America, where anyone who looks black is black .

A: I have no particular view on Obama as a presidential candidate. I'm neutral.

B: No one man can trump the entire black political structure. If Cornell West is saying somthing you don't like, dismissing him on a personal basis is to be a fool. At this point in the campaign, he is far more highly regarded than Obama among most informed black voters. As is Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Both could doom his campaign among African Americans if they were to attack his positions and there is nothing white fans can do about it. You cannot ignore a half century of struggle because you like the new guy. Listening to their concerns is a wise political move.

I think, like most people, they are waiting to see what he will do and where he stands.

Showing contempt for them hurts Obama among black voters. Because it demonstrates the kind of whites who support him have no respect for blacks, their institutions, leaders or views.

C: What black voters want to know is will he protect their interests or will he seek to pacify them.
Is he going to push policies which help African Americans, or continue the racial and economic problems we have now under the guise of colorblindness.

D: Obama himself has admitted he must earn the black vote on the merit of his positions. Because he hasn't earned it. He has not been part of the national black community. He is a relative unknown. While I have no idea what Hillary Clinton have done to gain such overwhelming support in black America, it is there and it is real.

E: What white supporters need to understand is that his appeal to white voters causes suspicion among black voters. The daily, open contempt they express for wildly popular figures like Sharpton and Jackson, despite their support for blacks facing police brutality and other issues like Katrina, makes their sudden embrace of Obama highly suspicious.

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