If we, as a community, were to raise our standards of idolatry, would hold our peers accountable, should respect accomplishments over promises, then how would we describe the credentials of a man worthy of our wayward admiration? Something along the lines of the ideal images we hope and wish for our sons, he would likely be an athlete, like an All American High School Football player, and All Pacific Ten Academic scholar, having earned a Stanford B.A., Stanford M.A., Oxford Honors B.A., and Yale J.D. Some would clamor for an element of danger, confirmation of bravery and courage, someone who voluntarily lived in Newark’s Central Ward immediately following its designation as America’s Most Dangerous City, enacted change from within as a resident, volunteer, and council member before becoming mayor.
Yet more voices would ring in favor of entertainment value, something award winning to validate his rising star, like Brick City, a Peabody Award winner, and Street Fight, nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Still others may attempt to question the diversity of his network, weighing his influence on lobbying for hundreds of millions of dollars from Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg on behalf of the Newark school system, or turning down the offer to head the new White House Office of Urban Affairs Policy, citing a commitment to Newark. The fact of the matter stands that we keep asking for more from good men, and ask for less from men we need to liberally forgive; not enough is said about our positive influences, who do exist. Cory Booker is not a myth, legend, or face of a bygone era; if only we could appropriately appreciate people who deliver on their outspoken promises to uplift our community through hardworking representation. This is me campaigning for Cory Booker for universal role model.