Anybody who regularly reads any of my writings will know I’m not the most devoted supporter of Barack Obama. While many people are more than willing to give Mr. Obama their unwavering support without fully understanding or even knowing anything about where he stands on issues sensitive to the black community, I feel that the black community, like any other community that has interest that need protecting, should ask Mr. Obama, like any other politician courting a community’s vote, what are his position.
Without exception every social measurement shows that the black population comes up short to its white community counterparts. Black people suffer higher rates of unemployment, black people suffer higher rates of incarceration, black communities have to deal with inferior quality schools, black workers make significantly less than white people for the same job, black people are less likely to receive or be able to afford quality medical care, black people are more than likely to be shot up by police as they walk down the street, black people are more than likely to pay higher rates and fees for credit, and the list goes on and on without end. If Mr. Obama was president, what kind of assistance or relief can the black community expect from his national leadership? Ever since Mr. Obama made his bid for the white house official I have made the argument that black people need to hold him accountable.
Mr. Obama can go in front of organizations that promote issues sensitive to the foreign country Israel and nobody thinks anything of it. It is a smart political move in fact because everybody is either comfortable with or is naïve about the Jewish community’s influence over our national policies. Mr. Obama can go in front of hardworking Americans, white Americans, and present his argument as to why he would be the best candidate for them. But to promote the idea that the black community should look for the same type of consideration from Mr. Obama is so unpopular it makes people angry.
Black and white people alike argue that it is not in Mr. Obama’s best interest to affiliate himself with the black community. Many black people say that black people who want assurances from Mr. Obama are defeatist who want nothing more than to sabotage Mr. Obama’s historic presidential bid. Black people who are willing to jeopardize the historic opportunity of America getting her first black president are doing the bidding for white people. The fact that it isn’t about Mr. Obama but about the black community is lost on these people. The chance to make history is more important than assurances for the black community.
Many white people make racist arguments that Mr. Obama is trying to be the president of all America and not just the president of black America. That is all the explanation needed to justify Mr. Obama staying distant from the black community. However, Mr. Obama participating and ingratiating himself within institutions of white culture does not invoke the opposite argument that Mr. Obama wants to be the president of white America and not the president of all America. There is an inherent assumption that white America and all of America are one and the same. By his very actions, Mr. Obama reinforces this sentiment.
However, it was reported that on Father’s Day, Mr. Obama returned to the black community whence he came with an appearance at the Apostolic Church of God in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. When I first heard that Mr. Obama ventured back to the black community, I was bracing myself to capitulate to the fact that Mr. Obama is without question a man of all the people. In all honesty, considering the alternative for the president, I’ve always considered Mr. Obama a better choice than John McCain. Once, after hearing a considerably disparaging remark made against Mr. Obama, a remark with racial overtones that called into question his ability to govern the high executive office effectively, I went to the Obama website and made a financial contribution to his campaign. I am beginning to regret that decision.
Mr. Obama, with his wife Michelle and his two daughters Sasha and Malia in the congregation, went to the pulpit at the Apostolic Church of God and delivered a passionate speech calling for men to take greater responsibility for their families. To a series of resounding ovations and hoots, Mr. Obama explained that any fool can cause a child but it is the courage to raise a child that makes a man a father. I actually made a donation to his campaign so I could support him so he could tell me this. I can get the same speech from Bill Cosby for free.
It is true that the black community suffers from too many fathers being absent from their children’s lives. But what can the black community expect from the president to help us reverse this trend? Is it the black community’s lot in life that all we can expect from Mr. Obama as president is more rhetoric? Hasn’t it already been proven that rhetoric alone is not helping the black community? Would the black community tolerate a white politician telling the black community that black men need to get their act together? But we will accept this from the black politician who takes the black vote for granted.
Any fool can stand behind a pulpit and say any fool can be a father. Any fool can be a politician and do what is safe to win the favor of the dominant white community in a political race. Any black fool can be a politician that courts the white community’s favor at the expense of any black community association. But it takes true courage for a black man to stand before the black community and confess true understanding of the issues that affect the black community.
Why are black fathers not in the black family home? Could it be a contributing factor that black people are denied jobs and black families can only get government sponsored financial and medical help if the black man is not in the picture? Is it possible that if black people were getting a fair share of employment and educational opportunities that the black family would be more likely to remain a cohesive unit? Is it possible that if black people were not being disproportionately hunted by police and prosecuted by a legal system hell bent on keeping black people in their place of subjugation that the black family would be in a better position to support the black community?
It takes courage for a black man to stand his ground and say that there is more to the story than the stereotypical argument that black men are the main source of the black community’s problems. The majority of the black men that I know go home to their families every night and do what they can as a father and as the man of the house as responsibly as any other group of men. In instances when the black man and black woman aren’t able to work out their differences and live together, the majority of the fathers that I know do what they can to financially support their children. The idea that black men are irresponsible and are not supporting their children is a negative, racial stereotype that uses a minority of examples to prove the whole.
Any high profile black fool can say that poor black people aren’t doing their fair share. Anybody can say that helping black people would be a handout as they make real policy to handover billions of dollars of our national treasure to American defense corporations. But it takes solid community leadership and courage to say that we need to address the problems of the black community as a society, as a community of compassionate people working to help our own. Any fool can talk rhetoric. To promise real leadership for the black community takes courage.
I have called for Mr. Obama to show courage and come before the black community and give some kind of indication as to what black America can expect from him. He just answered that question loud and clear.
I appreciate Mr. Obama’s return to the black community. However, as a member of the black community, as a black man who takes my responsibilities to my family and to my community very seriously, I cannot in all honesty support Mr. Obama in his bid for the presidency. This is not to say that I will become a John McCain supporter. The chances of that happening are pretty slim to none. Compared to Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama is a better choice as far as I’m concerned. But that advantage is slim and the affect on the black community will be an absolute wash. I have a good suspicion that regardless of who becomes president, the white man that is oblivious to the plight of black people or the black man who feels he has too much to lose by acknowledging plights of the black community, black people will continue to suffer.