Sunday, December 6, 2009

Black (and Blue) in the Age of Obama

I just read "Black in the Age of Obama" by Charles Blow, NYTimes. He quotes Dickens ("It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. ...") in his description of a black America:

"...supporting a president who is loath to even acknowledge their pain, let
alone commiserate in it."

Blow points out, correctly, that things have deteriorated under President Obama, with blacks faring worse than most. The recession has affected everyone, but the unemployment rate for blacks is more than twice the rate for whites. The Department of Agriculture study (which I've posted about before) on food security finds black children the most likely to suffer "food insecurity".

Of course, this comes as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention. Obama has broken promises to most of his supporters, and I can't think of anyone who's situation has improved... with the exception of those in his inner circle.

What makes no sense to me are the results of a new Gallup poll, which Blow also quotes. While Obama's approval rating with whites has fallen to 39 percent, with blacks it has stayed above 90 percent.

To me, this says something disturbing. This says it doesn't matter how badly he screws up, the blacks will continue to show him support. Obama has been losing popularity with independents, moderate democrats, far-left progressives, and the conservatives who voted against McCain.

But the blacks hang on... Why?

They're blinded by race.

It can't be anything else. How else could they bring themselves to stand behind someone who has failed them utterly?

I have a plea to blacks. STOP being "Black in the Age of Obama". I beg you. It's not helping any of us. You have to put the color of his skin behind you, and judge him on his merits instead... and find him lacking, as he deserves. Be "American in the Age of Obama" instead.

I thought when we Inaugurated a black President, we had crossed a bridge. I did not vote for Barack Obama - because I disagree with his political views - but I was proud of my country that a black man had broken the barrier. Without white votes he couldn't have won, yet millions voted (without regard to skin color) for the candidate they believed in. A new era!

Except, it's not. Dissent brings cries of racism. Blow laments that:

"Any protester with a racist poster can hijack a news cycle."

That's not the case. What it means is, in a crowd of thousands the media will find the handful of idiots who have their own agenda. That's a reflection on the media, not white America as a whole. But still, it's clear the racial tensions have not smoothed away like I thought they might.

The white racists are out there, yes. And so are the black racists. Blow says:

"To a large degree, Obama was elected by white people, some of whom were more
able to accept him because he consciously portrayed himself as racially

What the hell does that mean? Obama didn't portray himself as racially ambiguous. He portrayed himself as bi-racial... which he is. And I can guarantee you every American was aware of it on election day. There was nothing ambiguous. But Blow's own racism leads him to believe that some white people could only vote for Obama if his blackness was diluted or in question.

Here's what I see: The majority of America voted for Barack Obama. Most did it because they felt he was best for the job, some because they were afraid McCain was too much like Bush - or they hated Sarah Palin. Whichever it was, the tone of his skin was not the primary reason for most people.

Since then, he had dropped the ball repeatedly on all major issues, broken nearly every promise he made, let down those progressives who thought he'd back their agenda, and plunged us deeper into debt and uncertainty. Understandably, his support is diminishing. Except with blacks.

Blow closes with:

"Meanwhile, black people are also living a tale of two actions: grin and bear
it. "

What a self-defeating and wrong-headed attitude. Grin and bear it? How utterly foolish. I have better advice:

STOP SUPPORTING HIM. It should not matter that he happens to be black. His actions have done the black community no good at all. If you continue to blindly back this man because of his skin you are doing yourselves, and the country, a grave disservice.

I'm angry. If I were black, I'd be MORE angry, not less so. I'd be furious that I put my hope and faith in a man who used me to get into office and then disregarded my concerns. I'd be absolutely beside myself that someone who understood my struggles had advanced to the highest position in the country only to forget about the rest of us.

Obama has changed you from "Black in the Age of Obama" to "Black and Blue (from being stepped on) in the Age of Obama".

Stand up! Call him out! Get past Blow's idea that:

"However, the rallying creates a conundrum for blacks: how to air anxiety
without further arming Obama’s enemies. This dilemma has rendered blacks
virtually voiceless on some pressing issues at a time when their voices would
have presumably held greater sway."

This is YOUR country, too. And you're only voiceless if you choose to be! Demand better! And if (when) you don't get it, VOTE HIM OUT. Show him that yes, America is ready for a black President... but one who will do good for our country, white and black.

What message do you send by backing him when he won't back you? The wrong one.

RELATED: Dennis Prager at Real Clear Politics also feels Blow's attitude does no good. He's got a different angle, but I agree with him as well.

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