This weekend, Professor Cornel West gave a strong endorsement to Carol Moseley Braun's attempt to become the next mayor of Chicago.
West didn't have very many good things to say about Moseley Braun's leading opponent, Rahm Emanuel. He referred to Emanuel as an outsider and a candidate who is beholden to big business interests in the city and across America:
"I believe a Rahm Emanuel victory would be a slap in the face," West said. "I'm here to support poor and working people - specifically black Chicago."
One of the problems for Moseley Braun, however, is that the media is focused on her remarks about Emanuel, where she referenced a movie called "The Producers" that satirizes the life of Adolph Hitler.
Moseley Braun was attempting to make a joke by effectively saying that Rahm Emanuel is similar to the Hitler character in "The Producers," who was portrayed as being kind and gentle, when in fact, he was ... well ... Hitler.
The problem with Moseley Braun's remark is that Emanuel is Jewish, and comparing any Jewish person to Hitler, in any way, is understandably problematic.
"The joke in it was, he was a kind man, a gentle man," Braun said. "We are getting the kind man, the gentle man on television. I was not comparing him to Adolf Hitler; print that. I was trying to say ... the kind, gentle concern for the public that is being portrayed in these ads does not square with the record."
Carol Moseley Braun is one of the most interesting characters in all of politics right now. She is a seasoned veteran who is obviously the best option for the black Chicago community, so in that regard, I'd love to second the endorsement by Professor West.
Another reason that Cornel's endorsement of Carol is meaningful to me is that Professor West is an individual of the highest integrity with an uncomplicated agenda that simply advocates for the black, brown and poor people across America. I would hardly expect West to endorse Emanuel, whose status as a Barack Obama crony runs in contrast to West's consistent criticism of the Obama Administration.
What does concern me about Moseley Braun are her repeated gaffes in public, starting with her unwise attack on candidate Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins.
In a recent forum, Moseley Braun made reference to Watkins' addiction to crack cocaine, which did nothing to inspire confidence from her supporters, and by creating the appearance that she is comparing a Jewish candidate to Adolph Hitler, others are left wondering if she has the psychological discipline to be the next mayor of Chicago.
I certainly hope that Moseley Braun wins the election, but I simply wish she would be a bit more careful.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. To follow Dr. Boyce on Facebook, please click here.