Is Barack Obama And The Black Community At Odds?

Recently,  I wrote a article on this blog  titled ‘Why Blacks Left The Republican Party’ which sparked a discussion between a co-writer here at,  Son Of Man and I. I’ve posted it here:

Son Of Man: Yes, the vast major­ity of black peo­ple in the United States have been loyal to the Demo­c­ra­tic party since the days of Roo­sevelt. It has become quite clear that the demo­c­ra­tic party is tak­ing the black vote for granted. Black peo­ple in the U.S. have not shown the polit­i­cal savvy nec­es­sary to extract the pos­si­b­li­ties of what Amer­ica has to offer, polit­i­cally & eco­nom­i­cally speak­ing. In this 2 party sys­tem, the black pop­u­la­tion’s rela­tion­ship with the Repub­li­can party is so cold that its taken for granted that the black vote will be cast for the per­cieved ‘lesser of two evils’ in the Demo­c­ra­tic party. The black vote shouldnt be auto­mat­i­cally Demo­c­rat or Repub­li­can. The black vote if polit­i­cal savvy were in play would be cast for the party who’s can­di­dates addresses the “black agenda” as pre­sented to them by the black com­mu­nity. 

Amy: Well—I’d wager to think that the idea of cast­ing your vote for a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date that point­edly addresses the “black agenda”, especially if he or she is the first Af-Am pres­i­dent of the the US, or any other eth­nic­ity that cam­paigns on any par­tic­u­lar race’s issue is not very savvy. I think a big prob­lem with many Blacks–like Smi­ley and West for instance who openly dissed Obama cuz they felt he wasn’t cam­paign­ing enough on black issues–should have had the savvy to know that white Democ­rats were not going to pitch in and help elect him if he had done so. And he couldn’t win with the Black vote alone, obvi­ously. Yes, I know that white can­di­dates do it all the time, but our POTUS is not white. And with a coun­try that’s 15% Black, Obama had to be the adult in the room and show that he was going to be the Pres­i­dent for All The People–as corny as that sounds. I think he’s hop­ing that Blacks will under­stand this and also under­stand that he knows the his­tory lead­ing up to him, his beau­ti­ful Black wife and kids being in the White­house, and that he hasn’t for­got­ten who and what was respon­si­ble for that. Work­ing on a more “uni­ver­sal agenda” can’t help but include Blacks, right?

Please check out this video on Youtube: “Black Intel­lec­tu­als Pour Hate on Obama’s Speech!“

Son Of Man: Of course run­ning a cam­paign as a “black can­di­date” is not only not savvy, its not right. That type of think­ing is not fit for the office of the pres­i­dency. Uti­liz­ing broad, gen­eral tac­tics to resolve issues that are unique will not work. The eco­nomic woes for peo­ple of color are far worse than the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion and unem­ploy­ment num­bers for peo­ple of color are more than dou­ble that of the gen­eral pop­u­la­tion. Would the pre­scrip­tion for a com­mon cold be the same as the pre­scrip­tion for walk­ing pnu­mo­nia? is there a dif­fer­ence between an eco­nomic reces­sion and an eco­nomic depres­sion? The unem­ploy­ment rate for blacks in the coun­try put the black pop­u­la­tion at depres­sion sta­tus. This needs to be addressed specif­i­cally while tend­ing the needs of the coun­tries eco­nomic woes in gen­eral. Your point seems to be that of an abused wife thats so used to being mis-used, mis­treated and over­looked that she her­self makes excuses for her abuser. The pres­i­dent must be held account­able to do the right thing, not just whats accept­able to whites. He him­self said that he wouldnt gov­ern to be re-elected, that he would gov­ern to effect change. Well the Mr.President act on behalf of whats right and let those who need to catch up, catch up. You don’t digress back­wards, you move for­wards. If hav­ing a black­man in office means we have to con­tinue being the dirty lit­tle secret, then put Bush back in office and lets get this thing over with.

Amy: If your expect­ing one Black­man to rec­tify an entire race’s indig­na­tion in this coun­try for over 400 yrs in just 4 short years–a man who’s Amer­i­can nation­al­ity is being chal­lenged everyday, adamantly, by his polit­i­cal oppo­si­tion, a man who stepped into two wars and a major eco­nomic reces­sion his first day in office, a man who’s own party shows divi­sion against his poli­cies, a nuclear dis­as­ter in Japan, major earth­quakes in Haiti,the worst oil spill in the Nations his­tory and a per­va­sive racism that still beats strong in the heart of this country—than I think you might be a bit delu­sional. I imag­ine the changes Obama is set­ting into motion are of a more tumul­tuous nature. Like a peb­ble rolling down a hill and pick­ing up mass and size and speed as it rolls along. Jobs, healthcare reform, education…are these not our issues? What do you pro­pose he do differently? The ball is rolling. You wanna see it get bigger–get him into office for another 4 years.

Son Of Man: Your point is well taken. Pres­i­dent Obama’s mag­nif­i­cent steady hand in the face of all that he has inher­ited has been just that, mag­nif­i­cent. I am not delu­sional at all. I believe that our pres­i­dent has THE most dif­fi­cult job of all time. Only a fool would dis­count what another has accom­plished of good. Allow me to share some clar­ity from the smoke screen pro­vided for you by the cir­cus parad­ing as news. This is INsight from out­side the box; If Amer­ica is going to solve her cur­rent woes, she MUST con­sider the spe­cific issues that plague a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of her pop­u­la­tion. Issues that Amer­ica her­self had no small hand in cre­at­ing and per­pet­u­at­ing. A chain is only as strong as its weak­est link, have you for­got­ten that its within YOUR life­time that blacks faced lynch mobs for dar­ing to attend a decent school to be edu­cated? Have you for­got­ten the counter intel­li­gence pro­grams launched in YOUR life­time against any black indi­vid­ual or orga­ni­za­tion that dared to inspire the dis­in­fran­chised pop­u­la­tion? Have you for­got­ten that the hun­dreds of years of black chat­tel slav­ery made Amer­ica the rich­est most pow­er­ful coun­try in the world? In the game of pol­i­tics, its con­ve­nient to for­get. But in the world out­side of the one pro­vided by the ‘pow­ers that be’, know this.… uni­ver­sal law which we are ALL under, does not for­get. Guess what. We mat­ter. WE MATTER. We are here. What would I have him do dif­fer­ently you ask? for starters id ask our dear brother pres­i­dent to stop these ludi­cris wars which are cost­ing tens of bil­lions monthly. Can you imag­ine what can be done to rebuild and restruc­ture the cities of Amer­ica in gen­eral and the black pop­u­la­tion in par­tic­u­lar? Or dont we mat­ter? The banks cer­tainly mat­tered when it was time to bail their asses out. How about using the jus­tice dept to inves­ti­gate why over 50% of the prison pop­u­la­tion is black males of which the vast major­ity are incar­cer­ated for drug related offenses when theres not one sta­tis­tic avail­able that doesnt tell you that white men are the over­whelm­ing major­ity ille­gal drug users. How about using some of that mil­i­tary testos­terone to stop the atroc­i­ties in the Sudan and across Africa? Or dont we mat­ter? Hey, black pres­i­dent must be held account­able by his base, black or not. Busy or not. We mat­ter.
Amy: I will concede this SOM: That just as our Africans ances­tors have said, “It takes a vil­lage to raise a child”, so will it take “our vil­lage” to raise this Pres­i­dent to be OUR Pres­i­dent as well as the rest of the country’s. Hope­fully, with con­struc­tive crit­i­cism, skill­fully applied pres­sure tem­pered with solid sup­port and con­fi­dence, Black folks can strike the bal­ance. And what Amer­ica does, the world will fol­low.

As Ezra Grant, our publisher, says: “Obama said yes WE can, not yes I can!“

Son Of Man: Just construc­tive criticism to our dear pres­i­dent and the Amer­i­can fam­ily… with love, peace and bless­ings. Son of Man


Don’t worry, SOM and I are still friends lol!

AND COINCIDENTALLY, one of my favorite writer’s of several genres from science fiction to political discourse, Walter Mosley, appeared on GritTv last night covering a similar topic of discussion with it’s host, Laura Flanders.

In his new book, ‘Twelve Steps Towards Political Revelation’, Mosley says that ordinary people must begin to use politicians as the tools that they are–just as corporations do–and demand what we need from them in an organized, conscientious and informed agenda. It will be the People who will make politicians into the heroes we expect them to be…and that includes our President.

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Amy Conton is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in New York, USA.


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