Thursday, December 27, 2007

Political Environment & Green Movement In America

Senator Barack Obama has raised more money than any other presidential candidate but will he be elected president of the United States? His race, more so than his politics, will determine his electability. It is unique to American politics but not unique in American politics. The Washington Post cites the phenomenon:

"Less than 4 percent of the nation's elected officials are black, and 90 percent of them represent predominantly black or predominantly black-and-Hispanic constituencies. Thus, not many black politicians have won elections when the majority of voters were white. Only three black U.S. senators and two black governors have been elected since Reconstruction."
Blacks represent 13% of the U.S. population so Senator Obama represents the exception and not the rule in his powerful run for the top political office in the land. Black Americans navigate through a society that challenges them to fully participate while being hostile to their participation. Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, among others, address this paradigm differently. All are relevant and needed.

The environmental movement has far less African American participation at the policy professional position level than the American political environment. There might not be one policy professional working for any traditional environmental group at the moment. If you're out there let us know. Thus the need for an AAEA, among others, to give voice to the reality that virtually every American city has a black side of town and a white side of town. Yet, the African American community is as American as apple pie.

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