Monday, January 28, 2013
I'M DREAMING...OF A WHITE PRESIDENT!
OK,OK,OK, so the title was a tad dramatic. I needed to grab your attention, however. I read an article on www.yourblackworld.net about radio host Tom Joyner attacking Tavis Smiley yet again, saying he was, in words, "trying to be like Dr. King", and wondered to myself if this silliness will ever have an end to it. I have not seen Tavis attack "Tom"Joyner, but Joyner seems to be acting like a Rotweiler for President Obama, shielding him from any policy based critique coming from the likes of a Tavis Smiley, Dr. Cornel West, or anyone else.
It brings up a larger, more insidious point that goes unspoken in Black America. The code of silence surrounding black folks and this current President because he is African American, has proven to be, in my opinion, counterproductive. All Presidents, no matter their color, represent the power structure that black folks must keep pressure on, to further our collective agenda. This is not personal, no matter Democrat or Republican. If 96% of African Americans voted for President Obama in 2008, and 93% did so in 2012, then that voting bloc represents a constituency that has a right to present the "White"House with an agenda that is important to its own community.
Somehow, black folks, or "Negroes", do not feel that asking for a few things from this administration is appropriate.
We hear all of the popular excuses. I will outline a few and address them:
1). "He is busy trying to get this economy on track, settle these wars, get folks back to work and all this other stuff Bush left him". Well there is no question that he has a heavy job to do. Funny how black folks only bring this up when their issues need to be addressed.
Jews do not care whether or not this President is busy, and Obama MAKES time for Jewish interests and concerns.
I will repeat that.
"Jews do not care whether or not this President is busy, and Obama MAKES time for Jewish interests and concerns."
The Jewish community in the United States is much smaller in numbers than African Americans, with estimates ranging from 12 to 13.5 million, as opposed to between 45 and 50 million for African Americans. They voted consistently for President Obama around 70%. Obama's busy schedule never stopped them from putting their agenda before him, and he stops what he is doing to address their concerns.
Why doesn't POTUS do this for you, black folks?
Latinos/Hispanics voted for him around 70% as well, and they have no problem asking for certain agenda items that will benefit their community. The white LGBT community does the same. THIS IS HOW POLITICS WORKS. You vote for a candidate out of your community's self interest. Not because he is the same color. You petition said Administration for agenda items that will benefit your community. He or she addresses those needs or not. If not, you vote for his opponent and put him out of office. Other voting blocs understand this about politics;why not black folks?
2). "Black people are always criticizing each other. You all wouldn't go after a white President like that". Really? Have we been asleep for the eight years prior to Obama being elected?Black folks left and right were attacking Bush. Not merely criticizing, but attacking(yes it was warranted, but it didn't stop black folks from taking advantage). President Clinton has been roundly criticized for many of his policies that were detrimental to the African American community, while "Negroes" hailed him as the "first Black President". We won't even go into Reagan and that madness from 1980-1988. The nature of politics is to have a critical eye of any Administration's policies, no matter what. We seem to have lost that perspective.
3). "Obama can't wave a magic wand and solve all of our problems...".... Who the hell asked him to? Nobody. No one is looking for one man to ride in, and in Messianic fashion, heal black folks issues. To even suggest this is oversimplification at best, and childish in fact. If I vote for a candidate,I expect him to address certain issues that prompted me to vote in the first place. The mass incarceration of black men unfairly due to the "War on Drugs", disproportionate poverty among black inner city communities that has risen DRAMATICALLY since Obama has taken office, and better educational policies are all realistic things to require this POTUS to address, that will benefit the African American community. It doesn't take a magic wand to do this. Merely a press conference in which he uses his "bully pulpit" to turn the nation's attention to these issues would be a good starting point.
4)."Why you hating? You mad? Why you mad though?" This is the default retort that many Obama "fans"(not supporters) resort to, when they have no argument against sound, measured criticism of Obama policies or the lack thereof. It reeks of teenage taunt-filled childishness. There is an assumed thought process, that because Pres. Obama is black, and we are black, that we must not criticize his policies or lack thereof, because we don't want to help vicious, ignorant right-wing nutjobs in their attack of him. A silence that causes us to subordinate our issues for the sake of some silly "unity" that does not even truly exist in the black community to begin with. If you all were UNITED, then you wouldn't be begging for jobs, but creating jobs for our people, particularly our young men, who are so marginalized that it isn't even humorous.
To be sure, the right wing, especially the "Tea Baggers"(shade intended) has launched an unprecedented assault on this President. I thought the job they did on President Clinton was a beast....until I saw this mess. That should not stop us, however, from challenging the "White"House to address those things that the branches of Government can speak to and craft legislation to assist in.
If this man is smart enough, thick skinned enough, and sagacious enough to become the first African American President, then he can handle a few critiques from us.
IT IS OK TO CHALLENGE THIS PRESIDENT, BLACK PEOPLE. YOU CAN STILL LOVE HIS DIRTY BOXER BRIEFS AND CHECK HIM WHEN HE NEEDS TO BE CHECKED.
I am beginning to believe that the worst thing for black people in 2013 is to have a black President. We have grown even more complacent. More divisive toward each other whenever normal critique of a President occurs. I can't speak to Tavis Smiley or Cornel West's personal feelings about Pres. Obama. What I can speak to, is their right to offer legitimate critique of his policies. Criticism that should not be met with childish personal attacks by Negroes like Tom Joyner, but should prompt thoughtful, nuanced discussion among us to get our needs met.
Maybe it would be better if we had an "adversary" in the White House, instead of someone we looked at as our own family.
Maybe a white President would be in order.
PLEASE NOTE: For all the Obama "fans" and "stans" that wish to engage in petty, childish attacks in regard to my analysis of this President, PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT YOU WILL BE BLOCKED IMMEDIATELY UPON YOUR ATTEMPT in whatever Facebook or other social media forum this blog is shown. NO EXCEPTIONS GIVEN.