Keith Boykin, longtime blogger, recently suspended his blog to edit the Daily Voice, another site aimed at providing news and opinion to middle- and upper-class African-Americans online. It’s actually a good site though it could use a little more Web 2.0 flava. There’s a lot going on over there though and I recommend it, including this article on How the Clintons Lost The Black Vote by Kia Gregory.

What caught my attention this morning was Boykin’s piece called simply Clinton Owes Obama An Apology. As a former Clinton loyalist, I can imagine this was difficult to write. Like many black people, I too went on a journey at the beginning of the campaign. I started out fond of the Clintons and their strong relationship with the black community and suspicious of the newcomer Barack Obama, whom I’d scarcely heard of. Hillary Clinton’s “strategy” succeeded in repulsing/alienating me at the same time Obama’s audacity began to surprise and inspire me.

When I talk to Clinton supporters now, they wince when her name is mentioned. They almost apologize for their support. They talk about “experience” and when I say “which experience — running a racist campaign, being wrong on Iraq, being weak on illegal wiretapping — which appeals most to you”? — they either backpedal nervously or come out swinging with defensive, illogical bluster.

Even my moms after the Geraldine Ferraro flap was exhausted and dispirited at the effort to keep defending Clinton to herself and to me. She’s still behind her girl, but one more Ferraro-like episode from Clinton or a surrogate and it will be “game over”, I know. Even Howard Dean has stepped forward to call publicly for the Clintons to back down and STFU. Though the message is directed at both, we all know whose behavior he’s really addressing.

Boykin stops short of endorsing Obama. He does however have some carefully chosen words for his former boss’s um, wife. His disappointment and pained anger reflects the feelings of many African-Americans (emphasis mine):

I’ve had it with the Clintons.

The past few months I’ve tried to defend Bill and Hillary Clinton against some of the more unreasonable attacks from their critics. Just last weekend on CNN’s Ballot Bowl, I defended Bill Clinton when critics accused of him of questioning Barack Obama’s patriotism. The critics may have misinterpreted Clinton’s remarks, I said, giving the former president the benefit of the doubt.

I’ve also defended Barack Obama in recent weeks against unreasonable charges directed at him because of his association with his church and his pastor. It seems obvious to me that Barack Obama loves his country and is not an anti-white bigot.

Maybe I’m too close to the two Democrats to be against either one. I went to law school with Barack Obama and worked in the Clinton White House, so I have connections and allegiances to both candidates. That’s why I’ve never understood the rabid Hillary haters or the angry Obama opponents. To me, all three candidates — including John McCain — are good and decent Americans who have served their country with distinction.

I wish Hillary Clinton would acknowledge that fact too.

[…insert tragic list of Hillary’s recent sins against black people…]

She ought to be ashamed. A month ago she stoked the fears that Obama might be a Muslim and now she plays on the fears of Pennsylvanians that the Illinois senator is a radical black Christian. I would expect that kind of nonsensical fear mongering from a Republican, but I’m disappointed when it comes from a fellow Democrat.

Even John McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has acknowledged that Clinton and Obama are both honorable Americans. When a conservative radio host attacked Obama at a Cincinnati McCain rally last month, the Arizona senator stood up for his Democratic opponents and apologized for the attack. “I have repeatedly stated my respect for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton,” he said and promised to “treat them with respect.” That was much classier than Hillary Clinton’s comments on Jeremiah Wright.

As a New Yorker, I have been proud of Hillary Clinton’s service in the Senate, and I harbor no ill will toward her. If she somehow manages to wrangle the nomination from Obama, I will actively support her general election campaign. But I cannot remain silent any longer while my own senator destroys the Democratic Party, and her own reputation, in a desperate and degrading effort to appeal to the lowest common denominator.

It’s time for Senator Clinton to act like a leader that I know she can be. Hilary Clinton not only needs to defend Barack Obama, she needs to apologize to him.

I’ll go further. It’s time for Hillary Clinton to step down and concede if not for the sake of the nation and the Democratic party — then if nothing else, to preserve what’s left of her family’s reputation.

That’s why I just now signed the Afrosphere’s Petition to Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee urging Clinton to concede defeat based on the grounds that she cannot win and that her candidacy of vanity and ego threatens democracy in America. I am the 1121th signer. Please join me. Here’s the text of the petition.

To: Senator Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee

Senator Hillary Clinton Must Concede Defeat and Support the Democratic Presidential Ticket

The signatories to this statement urge that Senator Hillary Clinton must concede defeat in her quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and must support the Democratic ticket.


(1) The Democratic Party base has spoken. The delegate count shows that Senator Hillary Clinton cannot win the nomination on the strength of earned delegates, based on the will of the voters.

(2) Mrs. Clinton’s political attacks upon Senator Barack Obama have increasingly appealed to and sought to increase resentment against others based on the color of their skin.

(3) This divisiveness is regrettable because, via the presidential candidacy of Senator Obama, the vast majority of African-Americans stand united with millions of white Americans and Americans of all colors, genders, ethnicities and religious backgrounds, erasing divisions to implement a program of Democratic change.

(4) It appears that Mrs. Clinton is about to shatter this historic unity.

(5) We therefore call on Mrs. Clinton to face the reality of the earned delegates count, concede defeat, and thereby contribute to healing a wound which is opening and continues to widen.

(6) Mrs. Clinton must wholeheartedly support the winner of the nomination, who has earned the most delegates, and devote herself honestly and enthusiastically to defeating Republican electoral hopes in 2008, not attacking Democratic politicians and Democratic constituencies.

(7) Should the Democratic Party leadership nullify the people’s votes by giving Mrs. Clinton the nomination, despite the popular will as represented by earned delegates, we would then call upon African-American voters and all Democratic Party constituencies and supporters to withhold their support from a Hillary Clinton candidacy in November. We have survived eight years under President Bush and, if compelled to do so, we will survive four years under a President McCain. However, we cannot and will NOT survive the nullification of our most hard-won right – our votes.


The Undersigned

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