>A letter to President Clinton

>After reading Rolan Martin’s commentary about why Bill Clinton was still upset about Sen. Cllinton’s loss of the Democratic primary, I thought I would express my thought to the former president in a good ol’ fashioned letter to him.

Dear Mr. President,

I first want to thank you for your 30 years of service to the people of Arkansas and to the American public. I have nothing but admiration for anyone who would step into the public realm and try to solve state and national problems through the political process.

However, I’ve become somewhat troubled at your antics over the past two years. I was, and still am, a general supporter of Sen. Clinton. Despite some bumps, I think she ran a commendable presidential campaign. In the face of blatant sexism and right-wing propoganda, she held her head high and continued to fight in what she believed in.

Sadly, I can not say the same about you. I was disappointed to see you inject race into this presidential race. I was disappointed to see you wag your fingers to reporters and blame them for Sen. Clinton’s campaign downfall. I was disappointed to see you blame everyone else except for yourself as the culprit of Sen. Clinton’s failure to capture the nomination.

You thumbed your nose to African-Americans during this election and compared Sen. Barack Obama’s win in South Carolina to the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s. You marginalized your most ardent supporters–African Americans. You snubbed Rep. James Clyburn for “turning his back” on Sen. Clinton and throwing his hat in Sen. Obama’s court. You snubbed older black voters (those who have been most loyal to the Clintons) and failed to pay attention to young black voters.

You threw us under the bus when you automatically assumed that we will follow you and your legion of supporters. You failed to see that we were not a monlith, that we are not all pro-Clinton, that we are not nostalgic for the 1990s. You failed to see that it was a new day, that eight years had passed since you left office and that African-Americans have changed.

Yes, African-Americans enrolled in college at record numbers during the 1990s. Yes, the black middle class swelled during your administration. Yes, more people got off welfare and back into the work force during the 1990s.

But that does not give you a free pass. That does not give you the “it’s okay; I’ve helped your people” pass to act like a racist, grumpy old man. That does not give you the right to push my people aside and assume that we will fall in place whenever you snap your fingers.

No, it doesn’t work that way. We are a free people–and you should treat us as so.