Thursday, June 28, 2012

When The Honeymoon Ended!

Before I start...Let me first thank my wife (The co-creator of this blog.) ,for bringing this article to my attention.

What Happened?  Four years ago...Barack Obama walked into the White House amidst a stream of hope and well wishes and almost one hundred percent support from Black America.

I say almost because there is always a small percentage of blacks who always find themselves on the wrong side of history for whatever reason.

I guess this all started with my Fraternity Brother Tavis Smiley and His friend and ally, Dr. Cornell West...They were the first notable blacks to criticize the President...They accused him of not having a "Black" agenda.  They said he did nothing for the Black community.

Last I heard....Healthcare, Housing, Employment, Education are all issues that effect Black people as well as Latinos, Asians, Whites, Gays ,Straights and what have you. My response and a lot of people's response have always been to them that he is President of ALL of the American people,not just Blacks... These same people however...demanded nothing of the past 43 WHITE presidents...

I wonder what they would say if a White President said that he had a "WHITE" agenda?  I could go on and on....But I want to make you aware of an article that ran on one of the many news sites that my wife and I cruise daily..I'm going to show it in it's entirety and attempt to disect it.


This article was written by Dr. Boyce Watkins...Dr. Watkins , who I don't know..Is a a Professor at Syracuse University and founder of the Your Black World Coalition.

"Why I'd Trade My Timid Black President in for a White Guy with No Fear"

"I woke up this morning asking God if I could make a trade. Similar to the NBA, when you have one player on the team who isn’t performing at the level you’d hoped, you try to get someone else who fits the criteria necessary to help the team find victory. In this case, we are playing for Team Black America."

"Of course I know that America is not the kind of country that would elect someone like Father Michael Pfleger as its president. Father Pfleger is the kind of pastor that becomes the nightmare of anyone who chooses to live his/her life cloaked in the comfort of hypocrisy. He says what he means and does what he says, and seems to have very little fear as he does it. In fact, I would dare say that Father Pfleger might be well defined to be an angry black man."

Let me say this...While I find white men like this Father Pfleger quite really I do...Let me say that it is easy for him and for me to fight the power...from the outside!   When you become President...contrary to what many people think...You don't wave a magic wand all of a sudden and just make things happen.  It has to go through the House and The Senate for a vote...

The Senate is the ultimate white boys club in America..Not one Black or minority member....Last I checked..The Republicans hold a slight majority..So they can block or fillibuster almost everything, which they are doing quite well (with no criticism from the Black intelligentsia might I add.) 

Look! This is how democracy works...We don't have a King..We have elected officials...It's not important to just vote for the President..You have to vote for people that can help him...Last election..we all collectively failed to do that. I could stop right here.

Dr. Boyce goes on to say-" But when I consider Father Pfleger’s track record of fighting tirelessly for those who need it, I can’t help but notice that my faith in his commitment to our community far exceeds that which I have in the political Messiah that we’ve placed in the White House.  

When I hold onto any hope for true change as it pertains to the black community, I realize that this change will come from empowered community activists like Pfleger instead of politicians who are trying to please everyone else.
So, here are a few reasons that I’d gladly trade our first black president for the white guy who will never be president of anything"

Let me say this... First of all, Barack Obama is no "political messiah" At the end of the day he is just a politician...We as a race have got to stop wishing for some "Messiah" whether Black or White to just wave a magic wand and make everything alright..We have got to take some responsibility and vote in all of these elections and more important, make the people we vote for accountable to us!  How many times have I written this?  This is not 1960...Freedom Rides, Marches and mass protest had their day and served their purpose...Look around...People have been out in the streets...(Occupy Wall Street anyone?) Did that cause one politician to change their vote?
They simply waited it out...I go for what gets results....Voting, if done right and in mass, gets results.....Making your local ,state and national politicians accountable to your needs gets results...Which is why white people in the suburbs get more for their tax dollars than Black people in the inner city...THEY VOTE and when something happens that they don't like , they email and write letters to their congressman and represenative....Black people march after a bill has been made law and it's too damn late!

But listen to the rest-

1) He isn’t afraid to challenge the establishment
"Most people who are outside of the establishment spend their lives trying to find a way in. You do something noteworthy and you’re suddenly rubbing elbows with the rich, powerful and famous. The comfort of the establishment can, unfortunately make you weak and docile, to the point that you are afraid to say or do nearly anything because you are worried about losing money, offending the wrong person or losing some prominent position that you’ve obtained. The black community’s incessant need for financial security and white American validation serve as key factors which undermine our ability to fight for racial justice."

"When you are owned and controlled by something, it’s difficult to challenge the thing that controls you. Obama lives and breathes America’s capitalist military machine, which means that the most powerful man in the world may not be powerful at all. Father Pfleger doesn’t seem to have that problem, for he’s gone head-to-head with his own superiors within the Catholic Church and shown a willingness to give up his place in the establishment in order to do what is right."

"When I think about the words “What would Jesus do?” I think about Father Pfleger. Jesus could have been the most powerful megapastor in the world, but when given the chance to trade-in his integrity, he kicked over tables instead."

People on the outside, like myself..I don't exclude myself ,can throw as many rocks as they want...March and protest all they want , kick over as  many tables as they want..but not a single thing happens until someone is forced to change a law or write a bill that changes something....You don't believe me..keep criticizing this president and let Mitt Romney and his Republican -Wall Street owned cronies get in office and watch what happens...You can march all you want, sing we shall overcome all you want and you'll get no results...But I tell you what WILL happen...Tavis Smiley, Dr. Boyce and Cornell West will get rich...They'll write books, they'll get paid to speak at colleges and churches and tell you how bad you got it...(As if you don't already know that!)While offering no solutions....That's all that will happen. 

2.) He’s willing to fight and even die for what he believes in
Barack Obama has an interesting way of fighting. He seems to believe that you can fight for a just cause and remain concerned about self-preservation, all at the same time. The man who has pardoned fewer citizens than former president Bush (the overwhelming majority of whom are white) seems more concerned about being re-elected and retiring at Martha’s Vineyard with his Harvard classmates than he does about getting his hands dirty and doing the hard work that needs to be done."

"It is also true that, when fighting for a cause you believe in, you must be fully prepared to go down bloody and burning. Father Pfleger has put his life on the line standing up to local gang members and even working to convert them. He spends time in the worst parts of one of the most violent cities in America even though he doesn’t have to. Although President Obama has the term “community organizer” in his background, many of my friends from Chicago don’t remember him organizing much of anything."

There was an old saying that dead heroes aren't worth the weight of a fly....The Republicans already had a game plan...Make this man a one term President....Veto anything he proposes..."even if it's something we thought up ourselves" and that's just what they did... Regardless of if Obama went H.A.M. or not ,he'd still be in the jackpot position...Damned if you do...Damned if you don't.

We the voting public had a responsibility..To go out and vote and get these people out of office.  Instead, by not voting, we allowed more of these nuts to come into office..Thus leaving the man unprotected... He may yet be a one term President...and it won't matter what he did or did not do...We failed to protect him. I guess it was raining that day. 

3) He doesn’t seem to care how many friends he loses
Father Pfleger doesn’t appear to worry about losing friends, his reputation, his job or anything else when he goes to war. He seems to realize that if you want someone to respect you, you must be fully willing to accept that this person may not like you when the fight is over (in a football game, you can’t politely ask the other team’s permission to score points). I admit that it sometimes appears that President Obama works harder to build consensus and maintain relationships than he does to fight for his most loyal constituents. This is hardly the disposition necessary for a man to achieve the level of change that Barack Obama promised during his campaign.

Not even going to comment on this! (Friends?) Again...Understand how our government works...This should have been taught in high school...I guess most folks were playing hooky that day or cutting class.  My problem here is that the person who wrote this knows how the government works..Knows that the president's hands are tied...and especially with that Republican /Tea party coalation  in congress...So why is he depending on the ignorance of the average person who either forgot or never was taught about our three branches of government and how they work?

4) White people might actually listen to him
Racism is interesting. A black man can be talented and intelligent (as Obama is himself) and have all the qualifications in the world, but people don’t respond to him in the same way they would if he were white. Even Father Pfleger might admit that people would not consider him to be as much of a hero if he were a black man doing the same thing. In fact, another Chicago pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has been equally assertive in his willingness to do unpopular things to help an oppressed people who are deeply in need of meaningful leadership.

So, maybe a white president who cares about black causes would be more empowered to act than a black man who has to treat his blackness as a liability. For millions of white Americans, Obama was elected in spite of being black, rather than because of it.

Finally, he makes a point I agree with 100 percent.  Racism and the double standard that comes with it is a strange by product of the Dark (no pun intended) American Night.  I once believed that we as Americans had come into the morning light of Post Racial American....but we haven't...It's still Midnight in America...Still, I'm not waiting on a white knight to come to my rescue and save the day.  I think we as Black people are past that...It's time for us to at least be a little responsible and learn how the game
is played and begin to master other races and nationalities are doing.

"In his quest to make conservatives comfortable, Obama hasn’t brought forth any assertive policy, executive order or bold “bully pulpit” announcement that directly impacts the black community. The courage with which the Obama White House has stood up for the gay community, women’s rights groups and Latinos has yet to be matched for African Americans, who have been far more loyal than any of those groups.

I hate to sound like a traitor to the race...but what exactly is it that Black people need that is outside of Healthcare, decent and equal employment, Education and Fair Housing that is race specific?  I've asked a number of people who support Dr. Boyce's point of view and they have yet to give me a sensible answer.

  "Even the two Supreme Court picks the president had in his possession went to a Latino woman and a white woman from Harvard with a racially-exclusive hiring record (Elena Kagan didn’t hire or promote one single black, latino or native American tenure track professor during her entire six year term as dean at Harvard Law School). Dorothy Height, before she died, told President Obama that it is sad that after existing for two centuries, the Supreme Court has yet to have an African American woman….at the same time, they’ve had dozens of Harvard graduates like Obama."

"There appears to be an odd self-consciousness that Obama has when it comes to avoiding the crime of being considered to be “too black.” Therefore, we have a black president who hasn’t said the words “African American” in any major public forum in the last three years of his presidency. A white guy would not have to tip toe around the issue of race because he would never be accused of being too black. That makes Father Pfleger the perfect double agent."

No..A White guy would not have to tiptoe around the issue of race...And I want to know why in 2012, Barack Obama has to?  This is not his fault or his problem...It's their problem...And just electing yet another White President doesn't solve the problem either.

"Once again, I know that Pastor Michael Pfleger would never be President of the United States. The point is that as we work to become a truly post-racial society, we have to realize that what you do matters far more than what you believe on the inside. Barack Obama can (as Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett said recently) have “genuine love” for the black community all he wants, but if he doesn’t do anything to prove it, then his words don’t mean a thing. In fact, promises that are not precursors to action are effectively bold faced lies."

"Most of us know what we should do and what we’d like to do, but few of us have the courage to actually do it. That’s what makes Father Michael Pfleger so special."

And Again I ask ...Just what is it that you would have him do for African-Americans that is race specific and not covered in the things he is doing for all Americans??


Yeah..Just what I thought...Can't wait for Dr. Boyce's book  and speaking tour!


sherri said...

Excellent post!

Arlene said...

Yes cousin, and you may as well it down while you wait. First, I must say that I love to hear Dr. West speak, sometimes what he says is off the wall but the brother is eloquent. Tavis, only so-so. This Dr. Boyce seems to be tagging along. I like Dr. West because he expresses our struggle in biblical terms and always reminds us that the battle has been fought and won, not by man but by Emmanuel, God with us! Dr. West calls us to put our faith to work on the Lord's side. Dr. Boyce may have some "race" issues himself. Langston Hughes wrote an article for the Crisis magazine back in 1926 that speaks of African Americans need to accept ourselves and see beauty in our own faces.
The Reverend Pflegger operates based on his love of God and the surety of His protection. The reverend's agenda is God's agenda: Peace on earth and goodwill to all! All of us can live this way!!

12kyle said...

Great post fam!

I've found people like Smiley and West to be downright comical and embarrassing. Smiley wanted Clinton to win the Democratic nomination. And when she didn't, he was on the Obama attack. He's a joke. I think Hilary promised him something because he defends her like she is HIS wife.

As for this dude, I wonder where he (along with these uppity Negroes) were when Bush effed up this country for 8 yrs? What did they say then? Nothing! But Obama is supposed to save the world and have a "Black agenda"? Yeah, right.

To him i say up in november and cast your ballot. I will! And I KNOW my candidate is gonna win!


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