“When I was running, I was running for change,” Jackson told BlackAmericaWeb.com. “I was hoping I could win, but what I really wanted to do was to change the national debate."
So did political reformer Lenora Fulani.
“When Americans choose a president, we are making a statement about the person we select. But at certain times in history, we are also making a statement about ourselves. In my opinion, 2008 is that kind of election. I think the American people -- black, Latino, white, immigrant, poor, middle class and rich, are not only looking for a change in the White House. We want to change the way we relate to one another,” Fulani said Tuesday. “When I ran for president as an independent in 1988 and became the first African-American and first female to gain admission to the presidential ballot in all 50 states, I was not running a campaign to win,” Fulani told BlackAmericaWeb.com in an e-mail.
“The chances of a radical black female activist and developmental psychologist being elected president were somewhere between zero and none. I was running to build and to lay a foundation for an independent movement. In that campaign, I saw that Americans from all walks of life and from all communities were beginning to question the old categories, the old paradigms and the old-style of partisan politics.
“I think Barack Obama’s achievements are historic,” Fulani said, “not simply because he is about to become a major party nominee, but because he tapped into that deep desire that people have to create something new in American politics. The black community has been -- and will continue to be -- a major force in that creative process.”