Monday, June 16, 2008

Brooklyn and America's Future

A lot of news coverage related to the 2008 Presidential elections focuses on voting blocs. Women, African Americans, white working class voters are all spoken of as blocs to be courted in a formulaic fashion. This approach tends to omit shades of gray that would provide a more accurate picture.
One set of brush strokes missing from the picture is the inner city Christian vote. Brooklyn is known as the borough of churches. This name is reflected in storefront churches as well as imposing large churches and cathedrals. Synagogues and mosques, of course, round out the picture.
Many of these churches are involved in charitable enterprises as well as efforts to provide a social milieu for those who wish to lead orderly and productive lives. The more conservative denominations tend to be more intergrated racially than liberal denominations. A common purpose has a way of bringing people together. There seems to be a greater mix of charitable works in these less publicised churches than the more prominent denominations headed by people such as Reverends Wright and Sharpton. The people in these churches are not indifferent to issues of racism and discrimination. Their focus is simply different. There is a balance between social activism and promoting individual responsibility. People in these churches seem to have perspectives and strategies that attract little attention from media moguls who are waiting for the next angry speech or the next demonstration.
Many African Americans, Hispanics and Haitians make great sacrifices to send their children to private church schools. They want to transplant some of the values from their countries of origin to American soil. They have a common cause with many Jews and whites who also send their children to private religious schools.I am looking for a political strain that represents this common denominator between Jews and Christians. I am looking for a political movement that weds pragmatism and social agenda that takes a benign view of racial diversity. I have seen political figures in Brooklyn such as Marty Markowitz and Eric Adams that reach out to all of their constituents. Adams became most famous for his founding role in One Hundred Blacks in Law Enforcement. Just as that organisation strived to improve the relationship between police and the communities they serve, he now to create bridges and a common cause between the diverse assortment of groups in his state senatorial district. He has through his office helped many individuals and community organisations. I see the political alliances being forged in Brooklyn by people of good will as being the wave of the future. Although I am less hopeful when looking at national political races, my fondest hope is that national candidates will take a page from the people of Brooklyn. Sphere: Related Content

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