The lesser of two evil
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (NNPA) – Rep. Alcee L. Hastings says President Obama consistently disrespects the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), the Black Press, and graduates of historically Black colleges, key groups that were critical to his re-election in November.
Ben Jealous: In an interview with David Gregory on Meet The Press, NAACP President Ben Jealous said that Black Americans “are doing far worse” under the Obama Administration than when the president first took office, reports The Washington Times. “The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started,” said Jealous.“White people in this country are doing a bit better. Black people are doing far worse.”
The black unemployment rate was 12.7 percent when Mr. Obama took office. While the unemployment rate in the U.S. as a whole is below 8 percent, the Labor Department reported the black jobless rate was up from 12.9 percent to 14 percent for December.
The worst during Mr Obama’s first term was in September 2011, with 16.7 percent unemployment for blacks — the highest since 1983, the Department of Labor reports. The black teen jobless rate hit a staggering 39.3 percent in July 2012.
George E. Curry: Why couldn’t President Obama utter Dr. King’s name on the day he used the slain civil rights leader’s Bible to be sworn in? On King’s birthday, why couldn’t he be called more than just a preacher?
Even though Beyoncé lip-synced the National Anthem on Inauguration Day, she hasn’t been accused of faking it when she sings another song – “Say My Name.”
If you ain’t running a game
Say my name, say my name
The problem is larger than the failure to say Dr. King’s name. The problem, according to Michael Eric Dyson, is that, “This president runs from race like a Black man runs from a cop.”
When candidate Obama was forced to address the issue of race in the wake of controversial remarks by Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor, he said in Philadelphia: “But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now.”
However, that’s exactly what he has been doing.
Frederick C. Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, noted, “… as president, Mr. Obama has had little to say on concerns specific to blacks. His State of the Union address in 2011 was the first by any president since 1948 to not mention poverty or the poor. The political scientist Daniel Q. Gillion found that Mr. Obama, in his first two years in office, talked about race less than any Democratic president had since 1961. From racial profiling to mass incarceration to affirmative action, his comments have been sparse and halting.”
Sure, he had a beer summit at the White House with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and the White police officer who arrested him in his own home. Obama said the officer had “acted stupidly,” but later softened his criticism. The president also said, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon [Martin].”
Of course, the issue is not whether Obama has a son who looks like Trayvon Martin. What is he going to do about people who are treated like Trayvon?
To discuss race less than Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, all White southerners who grew up under segregation, should be embarrassing to President Obama. It should be even more of an embarrassment that Obama hasn’t taken leadership on the issue as Bill Clinton did when he launched his “One America Initiative” on race. Putting aside the merits of the initiative, it demonstrated Clinton was willing to confront the issue of race.
As my friend Courtland Milloy wrote in the Washington Post, it’s time to stop making excuses for Obama.
He said, “Obama should not be allowed to get away with thinking that when it comes to making his mark on the issue of race, all he had to do was become the first black president.”
Unfortunately, some of the most vocal Black leaders have either been co-opted by the White House or fear a backlash from adoring Black voters.
The usually outspoken Rep. Maxine Waters [D-Calif.] told a crowd in Detroit, “If we go after the president too hard, you’re going after us.”
And former Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II of Missouri admitted, “With 14 percent [black] unemployment if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House.”
If we don’t get some true leadership on this issue, perhaps it will be time to march around the White House, Congress and the headquarters of some of our civil rights organizations.
George E. Curry, former editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, is editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service (NNPA.) He is a keynote speaker, moderator, and media coach. Curry can be reached through his Web site, www.georgecurry.com. You can also follow him at www.twitter.com/currygeorge.
If a baby boy, as black as a thousand midnights in a cypress swamp, was adopted and raised by the “Dupont family”; after becoming a young man, he would not wake up one morning and say, “Hey yall, I think ahma ketch the “A” train and see what’s happnin in Harlem”. A more likely scenario would be, “Jeeves, could you check the weather in Vanuatu, and see if any of the family yachts are sailing those waters”?
Barack Obama does not share the sentiments of “African Americans”, he is not a descendent of slaves, he is closer to being a descendent of “slave traders”. White people did not cruise the coast of West Africa in slave ships yelling out “Yall wanna go for a ride”? No, I think not, nor did they go ashore, capture slaves and sell them. The true story is that the slaves were patiently waiting in “barracoons”, to be picked up by the slave traders for the ride to the new land. As to how the slaves got to the “barracoons” is something you will have to ask the descendent’s of the people who transported the slaves to the infamous “barracoons”.
Barack Obama is “a shape shifter”, but you didn’t get that from me, besides, I got it from Captain Kirk. A “shape shifter” is a being who can take on any identity he chooses. Once Captain Kirk had a lip lock on one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen. As it turned out, in reality, she was a big hairy monster (that’s what shape shifters look like at rest in their true form). Since Barack Obama’s shape shifting is internal, externally he looks the same all the time, but internally, he looks just like Dick Cheney.