By Raynard Jackson
As America celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. ‘s birthday this week and is getting ready to celebrate Black History Month in February, I have reflected on the state of liberalism and its impact on the Black community and have concluded that I am very confused!
What am I confused about? Before Obama’s election as president, no one thought we would ever see a Black person elected president because of racism.
Since Obama has been elected president, can one reasonably postulate that racism has become less of an issue? If the answer is no, then how do you explain Obama’s election? Remember, conventional wisdom was that America was too racist and would never elect a Black president (and remember, Whites are still a majority of the electorate, so therefore, there were a lot of Whites who voted for Obama).
If the answer is yes, then why do liberals constantly blame the plight of Blacks on racism? You can’t have it both ways.
So, Whites are too racist to care about the plight of Blacks, but no longer too racist to vote for a Black candidate for president?
Is it White America’s fault that they helped elect a Black president that took almost two years before he met with the Congressional Black Caucus (despite meeting with gay and Hispanic groups sooner and more frequently); is it White America’s fault that they helped elect a Black president who told the CBC last September to “stop complaining” [about him not doing anything for the Black community]; is it White America’s fault that they helped elect a Black president who has fewer Blacks in his administration than George W. Bush?
Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus famously said last year, “if Obama was White, we would be marching on the White House.” Cleaver was making reference to Obama not paying attention to the Black community.
Here you have the first Black president of the U.S. who is doing everything in his power to ignore the very community that gave him 96% of their vote. And people like Cleaver are giving Obama a pass simply because he is Black?
Why was there no outcry from the NAACP, the Urban League, Al Sharpton, or Jesse Jackson about Cleaver’s racist comment? So, it’s racist when a White person in power ignores the Black community, but it’s ok if a Black person in power does the same thing?
King fought and died for the principles he believed in. King constantly criticized both Kennedy brothers over civil rights; he constantly criticized Johnson over Vietnam. I can’t imagine King giving Obama a pass simply because he was Black. His moral compass would not have allowed him to remain silent.
Cleaver, and those who think like him, does a great disservice to everything that King stood for.
There are more Black elected officials than ever before, but the pathologies in our community are getting worse (unemployment, crime, teenage pregnancy, etc.).
Who is to blame for this? White folks? Devall Patrick, the Black governor of Massachusetts, has not improved the plight of Blacks in his state. David Dinkins (New York), Tom Bradley (Los Angeles), Coleman Young (Detroit), all former mayors, never improved the plight of Blacks in their cities with their liberal policies. Was that because of racism also? The two exceptions to this were former mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Jackson and former mayor of Washington, DC, Marion Barry. Why were they so different than the other Black mayors?
They focused on improving Black entrepreneurship by increasing more opportunities for private sector and government contracting. These two mayors created many Black millionaires, who created jobs and hired people who paid taxes and helped to create stable communities.
So, on the one hand, Blacks said America would never elect a Black because of racism. Blacks then turn around and say Obama can’t do anything to specifically address the needs in the Black community because of racism (meaning White racists will accuse Obama of being partial to Blacks).
I am confused!
RAYNARD JACKSON is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (www.excellstyle.com), Freedom’s Journal Magazine (www.freedomsjournal.net), and U.S. Africa Magazine (www.usafricaonline.com)