Obama has an opportunity to display leadership and heal racism by Lasky and Lifson

Barack Obama has pledged work to "rebuild what I consider to be a historic relationship between the African-American community and the Jewish community."

(This is something his church and his close friend, mentor, moral compass, and inspiration Pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr has never done.)

Now he has been presented with a prime opportunity for him to join actions with words. A fellow Democrat and incumbent Representative from Tennessee who has shown great concern for his African-American constituents and has shown a stellar record in Congress is apparently being opposed for re-election purely on the basis that he is the wrong race. Jennifer Siegel reports in The Forward: http://www.forward.com/articles/12867/

In an election year dominated by the issue of race in the presidential campaign, a Jewish congressman from Memphis, Tenn., is crying foul over the reluctance of his African American colleagues to lend a hand to his re-election bid.

Freshman Rep. Steve Cohen - one of a handful of white lawmakers to represent a majority-black congressional district - faces a rematch of his racially charged 2006 campaign that already has seen one local minister brand him a Jesus hater. In the face of such attacks, Cohen says he is disappointed that fellow lawmakers in the Congressional Black Caucus have not rallied to his defense. It is traditional for members of Congress to support fellow incumbents from their party, but that has not been the case with Cohen and the CBC.

Will Barack Obama remain silent and let Congressman Cohen whither on the vine just because he is not an African-American? Is Obama comfortable with attacks from some people in the African-American community, attacks that are tinged with anti-Semitism and racism? The flier circulated by an African American minister which encourages other black leaders in Memphis to

"see to it that one and ONLY one black Christian faces this opponent of Christ and Christianity in the 2008 election."

cries out for moral leadership on the part of someone pledged to bring :change we can believe in".

Leadership involves a series of tests. Will Barack Obama step up and show leadership and loyalty to a fellow incumbent Democrat? Will he fulfill his promise?