Voters Must Be Patient

 Four white men and two white women are now the leading Democratic candidates competing against each other to replace President Donald J. Trump in November. Many of America’s most respected and admired Black media commentators, especially those on liberal television channels, radio stations, and other media outlets, have instantly challenged all six to explain in full their questionable or checkered past of policies and actions that are clearly either racist or smell of racism.

Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, and Joe Biden cannot cavalierly dismiss so many beloved Black scholars, social workers, and leaders. 

African Americans — indeed, all Americans — should want to hear in the minutest detail why the final six Democratic whites made previous racist decisions, especially those in the recent past, as in the cases of Klobuchar, as prosecutor in Minneapolis, and Bloomberg, as mayor of New York City for almost 13 years.

But the unceasing and heart-rending ache I have is from the calling out of these candidates before the election. They have apologized, Klobuchar and Bloomberg rather full-throatedly and profusely. There’s already been an excessive and damaging amount of political cannibalization. Yes, the ratings may be higher if these candidates are compelled to spend time discussing any racist position they may have taken; it’ll be great theater, easily-understood issues. But the candidates must focus on the issues most important to Republicans and Democrats if one is to become president — issues like health care, class disparities, gun violence, the environment, immigration, war, the healing of our country, etc.

The nation holds its breath waiting for President Trump to offer a single apology for anything; some believe that he will do so after he is reelected in November. We all wait for him to unveil his health care plan, which he has promised to do, again, once he is reelected. If we can wait for him to apologize to former President Obama for the birther conspiracy, wait for him to apologize for advocating the death sentence of those five Blacks in the New York “Central Park” matter, then we can wait for one of the Democrats to become president, to talk to us about his or her past mistakes, then use the presidency to offer concrete evidence that the apologies are not empty ones.

Rest assured to those who just can’t wait, President Trump will hold them all up to ridicule and castigation if only to garner some support from Black voters, while blinding us all to his failures and lack of interest to speak the truth about the issues. I hope and believe that most Blacks will show the patience needed to focus on issues. We are not looking for perfect candidates, or a perfect president. We already have one, at least in his own mind. We want a candidate who will do everything possible to unite us all, starting by being able to say he or she is sorry and needs help from others. We do not need a god. 

Anyone, Republican or Democrat, should be given all the time needed to win. Dr. King wrote an excellent book called Why We Can’t Wait. If he were alive today, in this particular presidential year, he would caution us against letting our “pursuit of perfection be the enemy of the good.”