I am doing a cut and paste job tonight while I prepare to travel for the holidays. I would love to disclose where but Mrs. Field insist that I do not. She also insists that I do not blog while we are on our vacation but that won't happen. I will be posting [albeit very little];reading the blog for your comments; and trying to sneak a post in when I can.
Anyway, I am posting an article by Boyce Watkins from over at AOL Black Voices. (Whoops. I meant Dr. Boyce Watkins. I know how you Negroes love your titles.) He has joined the growing number of black folks who are down on his O ness, and I though it would be interesting to get your take on his position.
"..President Barack Obama responded to his critics in the black community, who seem to have grown substantially in number. According to a poll taken here on AOL Black Voices, 55 percent of African Americans think that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder do a whole lot of talking and not much acting when it comes to issues that matter to African Americans.During his interview with Ryan, the president had this to say:"The only thing I cannot do is, by law, I cannot pass laws that say 'I'm just helping black folks.' I'm the president of the entire United States," Obama said. "What I can do is make sure that I am passing laws that help all people, particularly those who are most vulnerable and most in need," he said. "That in turn is going to help lift up the African-American community."The president then went on to cite his job creation and health care initiatives as reasons that African Americans should feel that he is working on their behalf. I am not sure who is advising the president on dealing with the African-American community, but perhaps I can help just a little bit:
1) Please stop giving us the same answers: That "rising tide will raise all ships" argument is played out, Mr. President. Intelligent black folks with a critical eye on politics know when they've heard the same thing multiple times. You can't come off like a broken record. Even the responses given to Ryan during the interview have been repeated in the past. You can't release the same record every time and expect black America to keep dancing to it. Saying something new can be a good thing. For example, rather than speaking out on the silly situation with Henry Louis Gates, you could have spoken out on behalf of Eutisha Rennix, the black woman left to die by paramedics who wanted to hurry up and eat their bagels.
2) If you can't make policies for any particular group, why does it seem that you are doing it for everyone else? I've seen special committees/task forces for the automobile industry, the protection of Israel, the gay/lesbian/bi-sexual community, the environment, bankers, immigrants, etc. Perhaps mentioning a task force to deal with the black unemployment gap or mass incarceration of African Americans might at least appease some of your black critics. But then again, maybe there is something in place that I don't know about - which means you need to spend more time getting your message out to the community. The point is that there appears to be a double standard in place, and we've all noticed that you almost never invite any African-American leaders to the White House. I hope you haven't become the successful relative who is ashamed of his family members.
3) Please stop giving us speeches on personal responsibility. I am still reeling over Obama's speech on Father's Day of 2008, where he seemed to enjoy separating black men as being especially irresponsible and the cause of their own demise. Eric Holder did the same thing last week. Any intelligent man who can see the mass incarceration and unemployment rates of black men, and then chalk it all up to "black men are just screwing up" is doing nothing more than continuing the same international and historical habit of scapegoating minority groups. We expect that from Bush, but not from you Mr. President. If you would not give a particular speech to white folks, then please don't give it to black people. Some of us have drank the kool-aid, but there are quite a few African Americans who are going to weigh your efforts against other politicians we could have supported. You are certainly better than John McCain, but people are wondering if you are better than Hillary would have been. I won't pass judgment on such matters until 2011.
The point, Mr. President, is that we consider you to be special. We don't treat you like everyone else and give reverence to you that has yet to be earned. The same respect we give to you, we'd like to see returned. Not in a way that offers preferential treatment, but in a way that simply acknowledges that we exist. Black suffering should not be invisible. " [Article here]
Oh my, where is that jug of O- Aid when you need it?
Before I go I want to say just a few more things:
This holiday season I hope everyone reading this will have peace and prosperity in their lives. I mean that. I have nothing but love for everyone who reads this blog, comments on this blog, and links to this blog on a regular. At the end of the day I am sure that good will prevail over evil. It always does.