Basheer Jones and Barack Obama


Almost a year and a half before Barack Obama put his hat into the ring for the highest seat in the land he visited Cleveland, Ohio as a apart of his tour I believe to see how much support he would recieve if he decided to run.  I had the opportunity to open up for the then Senator Obama with a poem that basically urged Ohioans that we must make the right decision this time around.  No President has gained his position without the support of Ohio. After hearing and meeting Mr. Obama I decided to support him.  So once Senator Obama made it up in his mind to become President Obama he had a very strong advocate in Cleveland, Ohio. An advocate who lived in one of the most important counties in this nation, and one of the biggest in Ohio. An advocate whose radio show reached almost 500,000 listeners every morning. There’s a few things in radio that you should not do. As a radio show host you are supposed to always stand in the middle and never be bias towards a certain candidate or issue. As the youngest Newstalk Radio Show Host in the country it is professional suicide to do the opposite. I didn’t care. Almost everyday over the airwaves I would openly support Barack. I figured no one told Rush Limbaugh that he couldn’t support McCain and try his best to discredit Barack Obama, and Sean Hannity, Don Imus, Fox News. No one told them who they could and couldn’t support so I wasn’t going to allow anyone to tell me. So during the election I held numerous rallies in Cleveland in Support of Barack.  I put together a High School Voter Registration Tour where we registered close to a 1,000 18yrolds to vote. The School District partnered with me for this effort and supplied transportation for the newly registered to the polls. Now of course I spoke generally about the importance of voting, I couldn’t openly support a candidate in the schools or atleast I shouldn’t of. The Associated Press and Time Magazine became aware of this effort and because of it I was featured in Time Magazine and a photographer from the AP followed me during my tour.  The Get out to Vote Campaign intensified as Nov 4 approached. So we put together a huge rally downtown featuring Lebron James, Russell Simmons, Cleveland Mayor Jackson and a few others. And we put together a smaller program at Cleveland State University featuring the guest speaker Dr. Cornell West.  I had the opportunity to spend the whole day with Dr. West including dinner. During Dinner a councilmen, hip-hop scholar Bakari Kitwana, and hip-hop activist Angela Woodson joined Dr. West and I and we spoke about the plight of Americans and what are the biggest issues that President Obama will have to deal with. It was a great time! One of the most memorable moments of this whole election was Nov 4th where I remained on the radio from 6am to 9pm. I remained on the radio for 15 hours straight, this was the first time that this was done in Ohio and maybe in the country. The point of remaining on the air for so long was to be able be a source of support and information for Ohioans. During this broadcast I recieved calls from Actress Kerri Washington, Sogourney Weaver, Actor Forrest Whitaker, Hill Harper, Marlon Wayans, Boris Kudjoe, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and other politicians locally and Nationally. Of those guests that day the one’s that brought me the most joy was Mrs. Michelle Obama, and President-Elect Barack Obama (if you would like to hear either you can go to myspace.com/basheerdatruufjones) That night my team and I  attended the Democratic Party and watched the poll results come in and my eyes welled up with tears as President-Elect Barack Obama wins Ohio.

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