- Faith & Family
Alexander the Great, perhaps the greatest military leader of all time, led his army from the front. He did not cower in the rear and send his men to face the enemy —instead he led the charge against the Persian Army which was 10 times the size of his own with a personal ferocity that encouraged his troops to share his personal conviction of invincibility.
But there are others that tend to lead from the back. It was demonstrated most shamefully in the lack of support shown to Presidential candidate Barack Obama. A majority of the “Black leadership” did not support Obama for a variety of pitiful reasons: 1) he could not win; 2) Clinton was a strong supporter of the Black community; 3) Clinton asked for my support years ago; and 4) he is not ready to be president. While the old, national Black leadership did not support Obama, the young who are still independent thinkers flocked to his side and were soon followed by grandmothers and then 98 percent of the Black populace. Finally, the “Black leadership” started falling all over themselves to support Obama as each Black leader bragged about their endorsement. This claim for credit reached a crescendo after the election, when everyone wanted prime seats at the inauguration.
Now we are seeing the same phenomena playing out in the Black legal community where elder leadership is afraid to support some or all of the three Black women running for judge and Rod Vereen who is running for state attorney. In contrast, the Black population, young people, young lawyers, pastors and police chiefs and union members are flocking to support Vereen. In my mind, if you are on the front line and not close to the seats of power, you are ready for change. Many on the front line are concerned about seven unarmed Black men shot by the police, the perception of unfair treatment for poor vs. the rich, the unfair treatment of Blacks in the criminal justice system, the suicide of Commissioner Art Teele and what caused him to take his own life and the desire for more diversity on the bench and in the state attorney’s office. What will be amusing to watch is the elite flocking to make nice after the election of the judges and new state attorney. Perhaps, the Black elite should take a lesson from Alexander the Great and lead from the front for a change.
By Reginald J. Clyne
Clyne is a partner at Clyne and Associates, P.A. of Miami/Fort Lauderdale.