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empty The Black Corner Article    empty[Posted 8.04]

barrett-osahar berry barrett-osahar berry
Run, Preacher, Run
By barrett-osahar berry
Cambridge, MA
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In my humble opinion…

This past week a willing and able volunteer decided to step aside from a battle between the establishment and the rank and file. The lion decided not to roar, but wait and toil in the fields of Boston a little longer until it becomes wise to launch a war to obtain an historic victory, instead of losing a valiant, but ill time battle for the right to represent Massachusetts's 8th Congressional District.

The Reverend Ambassador Charles Stith shed the distinguished robe of the President of the United States' representative to the state of Tanzania to again don the luminous robe of a minister with a vision to serve people by leading them into a battle for justice, respect, and honor. Charles Stith pondered the idea of running for US Congress this year in Boston, but after meeting with advisors this past week he decided to forgo this year's race and to consider running against Representative Mike Capuano (D) in 2006.

One of Stith's decisions to seek a congressional office was initiated with the recognition that the Boston district was created with the intent to give a person of color a fair chance on being elected to represent their community.

The City of Boston's population has the largest number of people of color and the 8th District has the state's largest percentage of people of color in Massachusetts. Rep. Capuano, who is not a person of color, said that no one should vote for a candidate, 'just because they happen to be the same race or gender." Capuano later stated, 'I remember the words of Martin Luther King," he added. 'People should be judged on their character, not the color of their skin."

Congressman Mike Capuano you are correct.

You have not met with the representatives of the organization consisting of Black ministers in Boston. You have not sought to hear from the called leaders who serve, lead, and converse with the people to whom you say you have an outstanding record of representing and will run on a record, which supports this claim. You have not come to realize that quotes taken out of context do not make slogans to run and win elections.

Therefore, since you have not sought the advice or thought it worthy to maintain a relationship with the cities clergy then you must understand if one were to judge your character it may come into question and not because of the color of your skin. But, we are not interested in sitting as one's judge. Stith's candidacy was not a personal attack against you. Alternately, it was a community's proclamation that we have decided to take care of our business.

Today, you have been given a reprieve from what could have been the battle of your political life. Perhaps you will meet with the clergy and their constituents from where this Black Methodist preacher, Charles Stith, has been called out from to represent their interests, dreams, and aspirations. These are the people to whom you wish to serve.

Perhaps this is an opportunity for a community of color to organize and unite a sleeping giant for the purpose of not simply winning an election, but realizing their proper position of power, strength, and leadership as the democratic majority in a city with a reputation for disrespecting people of color.

Perhaps Congressman Capuano will seek to become Governor Capuano and The Reverend Ambassador Stith will become The Reverend Congressman Stith in 2006.

Stith's candidacy was gallant proclamation that leadership comes from the people and not from a self-appointed few. His candidacy was possibly a national, if not global announcement, that people seek moral and ethical leadership that have been both called and elected to serve. Perhaps Stith's candidacy was not directed solely toward taking what is justly the Greater Boston's communities to obtain, but it was a call to the pulpits and the pews to stand up for justice, for fairness, and for truth and fight for the underrepresented, disenfranchised, and disrespected as both candidates and voters.

Run, preacher, run – in 2006.

barrett-osahar berry is a preacher, political pundit, and poet currently living in Boston. He is president & CEO of The Light Group Ministries International, and associate minister at Greater Love Tabernacle Church in Boston. He has served as president of the Emerging Leadership Institute and has chaired Black Youth Vote and the National Black Student Government Association. He co-created and served as the first editor of He has studied political science, Africana studies, and theology at Morris Brown College and Harvard University. You can reach him at www.TheWarriorSaints.orgor

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