Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"You're Either Down Or You're Not!"

"You're either with us, or you're not," so says Dr. Wilmer Leon, a radio talk show host, about Obama and the African American community, in this article by Caroline May in The Daily Caller, "African-American Leaders And Intellectuals Express Dissatisfaction With President Obama."

Oopsie daisy - sounds like another faction unhappy with Dear Leader. The African American community has been one of the most stalwart groups in supporting Obama in the polls, so this could be a troubling change for Obama. Those days may be coming to an end, at least for some in the community, and with good reason:
[snip]Since Obama has taken office African Americans have faced a number of disproportionate “highs,” few of them good, such as an exceptionally high unemployment rate, a high foreclosure rate, and a high number of African-American political figures deprived of the president’s support or dismissed from his administration (such as former White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, former Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod, South Carolina Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alvin Greene, former green energy czar Van Jones, Democratic Illinois Sen. Roland Burris, Democratic New York Gov. David Patterson, would-be Democratic New York Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., and Democratic Reps. Charlie Rangel of New York, Maxine Waters of California and Kendrick Meek of Florida).

Dr. Cornel West, professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, is one African-American leader who has been far from pleased with Obama’s neglect of African-American issues. West told The Daily Caller that he has been extremely frustrated with the president’s relative disinterest in civil rights

“He can take the black base for granted because he assumes we have nowhere else to go,” West said. “But we just won’t put up with it. He has got to respect us.”

West is not the only black leader who feels this way. Behind the scenes, West says, many African-American leaders are not happy with Obama’s failure to address issues important to the black community, especially considering the support the community gave the president during the 2008 election. But, according to West, many of those dissatisfied leaders are hesitant to step forward.

“There hasn’t been a lot of talk about it because I think most black spokespeople, at the moment, are scared of the Obama machine,” West said. “A lot of us are trying to put the pressure on him without aiding and abetting the right wing.” [snip]

I just have to say, as someone living in SC, surely no one really expects Obama or ANY Democrat, for that matter, to support Alvin Greene. For heavens sake, the man was just indicted on two counts of showing pornography a couple of weeks ago. He was kicked out of a SC restaurant on Tuesday. Originally, it was a campaign stop - until those pesky little indictments came down. The organizers canceled the meeting, but Greene came anyway. He, and a companion, were, um, ushered out of the establishment. Heck, even I don't blame Obama, or ANYONE, for steering clear of this guy. Just saying.

As for my former professor, Cornell West, it is a bit surprising that he, and others, like Dr. Leon, are speaking out already. Now, West was a Hillary supporter, just to be clear, prior to Obama's being given the nomination by the rule-breaking DNC. But that does not mean he wouldn't have some real expectations about what Obama might do for the African American community in this country.

Shelby Steele from the Hoover Institute, has some thoughts on the matter, as well:
[snip] Steele pointed out that Obama does not owe the black community as much as they believe he does due to the fact that whites were the ones who elected him — specifically by throwing their support to him during the Iowa caucus. Initially, the African-American community was significantly supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

“Once blacks began to see that whites were with Obama they didn’t want to be left standing at the station so they jumped on board,” he said. “They were not his base anyway. So he is not confused about that. That said, blacks will continue to vote for him. They vote for every Democratic candidate at a rate of 90% so Obama can absolutely take them for granted and will.” [snip] (Click HERE to read the rest.)

This raises a couple of points for me. One, not only are whites the ones who elected Obama, they are also the ones who REARED Obama. It is remarkable to me how completely and fully both Obama's mother and grandmother have been wiped from history. They are the ones responsible for rearing him. That is to say, he was not raised in a traditional African American community. To pretend otherwise has been one of the most glaring manipulations of the entire election.

Two, yes, many in the African American community were breaking for Hillary Clinton. My first rally in Charleston was easily, easily 1/2 African American, if not more. But, when Obama and his campaign played the race card against Hillary Clinton in SC, employing that turncoat, backstabber, Jim Clyburn, that many in the African-American community turned away from her. She, along with her husband, were characterized as racists by Obama, and for some reason I still cannot fathom, the community, the COUNTRY, bought that, despite their long, long history standing in stark defiance of that claim. But they believed Obama.

Instead of a hard-working Hillary Clinton in the White House, who would indeed have worked on behalf of the African American community, and ALL Americans, who would not be taking vacation after vacation after vacation while the Home sales worsen, more jobs are lost, and the DOW tanks, they got Obama. Even if he IS vacationing in the "historically black section of Martha's Vineyard" at a gazillion dollars a week, I might add.

Still - it begs the question: just what did the African American community think Obama was going to do specifically for them? Oh, wait - I remember:

Wow. That is still hard to believe, that anyone thought that would happen if Obama became president. But someone clearly spread that word - she was not the only one who seemed to think that was the case.

Anyway, I think Leon sums the issue up perfectly:
[snip] “My take on that is, you have to treat him the same way you would treat any other president,” Leon explained. “Especially since he is not giving you any reason to treat him otherwise. And it is going to be very difficult, whether it is 2012 and he is not reelected or it is 2016 and we’re dealing with a new president — who most likely will not be African American — it is going to be very difficult to hold that new president to a different standard.” [snip] (Click HERE to read the rest.)

There's a concept - treat Obama like every other president. That would be a change, wouldn't it? Holding Obama to all the same standards as every other president or presidential candidate? What a novel idea. It's too late for the latter now, but 2012 is not that far away (it just feels like it is).

I guess we will just see how this continues to play out, and if the dissatisfaction with Obama trickles throughout the African American community, not just the leaders and intellectuals. Time will tell...

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