Last Night Sen. John Kerry appeared on BET’s Speak NowSpecial. The 20 minute interview hosted by Senior ContributingCorrespondent Ed Gordon, allowed Kerry to deliver his plans toaddress pertinent issues faced by African Americans.
In the opening, Gordon touched onthe issue of Foreign Policy, citing a comment that Kerry once said” Wrong War, Wrong Place, Wrong Time” and Kerryclarified himself saying President Bush shifted his focus fromOsama Bin Laden and Afghanistan to Iraq a country he claimed had noinvolvement in the war on terror. Appearing emotional about theissue, he expressed his deep-rooted opposition to PresidentBush’s position on the war in Iraq. Hedescribed it as “an irresponsible, mismanagement of foreignpolicy.”
Kerry continued to explain that PresidentBush’s refusal to work coherently with United Nations as wellas allies is one cause of the severity of America‘s international strife.
The senator proposed the majordifference between himself and Bush lies in his strategic plan forsuccess, something that Bush promised, but has yet to display.Kerry’s plan involves cleaning the mess that was made inregards to the war in Iraq,creating jobs to boost the American economy and health care foreveryone, especially children. He also proposed his vision ofAccess for African Americans.
At times Kerry appeared shaky inanswering questions posed by Ed Gordon who failed to settle for thetypical patriotic answer.
In one segment Ed Gordon madelight that BET’s viewers are comprised of young adults whoare becoming more involved with the upcoming election due tocelebrity influences like P. Diddy and Drew Barrymore.
He also brought up the skepticismthat some young people have about the candidates and politics as awhole. However, the turning point of the interview came when heasked Kerry what he will do for Black people.
Kerry then promised that if he waselected his administration will “reflect the face of Americanvalues.” He announced his awareness of Black issues, thingshe’s done in the past to alleviate them and his plans forchange in the future.
“I want young people to knowthat they really can make a difference” While he does notblame African Americans for their skepticism about the elections,particularly those in Florida, he assures the African Americanpopulation that he is taking measures to make sure the 2000elections do not repeat itself.
He assured that his experience aslead prosecutor in the 1970s allowed him to work with Black peopleand also claimed that he practiced, supported, and voted forAffirmative Action and he wants to see its continuance. Hisexperience as a senator has also allowed him to work with prominentBlack figures such as Elijah Cummings, Head of the CongressionalBlack Caucus and Jessie Jackson, who now serves as Senior Advisorto his campaign.
Urging Blacks to flock to thepolls on November 2nd he said “We must beat themin numbers. People have marched, fought and died to vote and Irefuse to see one million black voters disenfranchised.”
With sincerity in his eyes and a plea in hisvoice Kerry tried to convince viewers that he is their ticket tosocial, economic, and political change. He promised continuedsupport for Affirmative Action, increased jobs for AfricanAmericans, new healthcare programs, and even more revenues topreserve Historically Black Colleges and Universities(HBCUs).
“I want to make a differencein the world and at home.”