Politic365

 
 


Culture

3:59pm January 20, 2013

Obama’s Black Agenda Yet Uncertain On King Day

obamamlk-1

official_portrait_of_barack_obama_inside

mlk

(TriceEdneyWire.com) – President Barack Obama is set to use the Bibles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln for his second swearing in January 21, no doubt symbolizing his pride as the nation’s first Black president.

The symbolic move also aligns his principles with the principles of the two most transformative leaders in American history as it relates to African-American people. Despite the noble symbolism, the country is abuzz pertaining to exactly what President Obama will do as African-Americans continue to suffer disparately.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s actual birthday was celebrated this week on January 15 and will be observed on the national holiday on Monday, January 21st, which is also Inauguration Day. As more than a million people are expected to attend inaugural celebrations in D.C. and millions more will watch around the world, neither the President; nor leading Democrats have publically mentioned his most faithful constituents, whose votes for him surpassed 95 percent in both elections.

Marc Morial, who convened a summit of African-American leaders in November and released an African-American agenda, has not spoken publically about the agenda since then. Neither has Dr. Ron Daniels, president of the Institute of the Black World – 21st Century, who convened the State of the Black World Conference in November to discuss the state of the African-American community going into Obama’s second term.

Meanwhile President Obama’s cabinet picks are appearing to decrease in racial diversity.

So far, less than a week before inauguration, the President has confirmed appointment of four of 15 new cabinet members for the next four years. None are African-American.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who replaced Congressman Emanuel Cleaver at the end of his chairmanship early this month, appears to be a lone voice as she has written a letter to the President actually recommending CBC members for the cabinet.

“As you consider candidates for your cabinet, it is with great privilege that I recommend Congressman Melvin Watt of North Carolina for the position of Secretary of Commerce and Congresswoman Barbara Lee of California for the position of Secretary of Labor,” Fudge wrote in a January 10 letter.  “Congressman Watt and Congresswoman Lee are exceptionally well-qualified, proven candidates. It is without reservation that I urge you to strongly consider this recommendation. I am available at your convenience should you desire further information.”

Last week, Obama announced his nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as secretary of Defense; White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as Treasury secretary; Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security John Brennan as director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as secretary of state, which is third in line to the presidency. Eric Holder will remain attorney general and Kathleen Sebelius will remain secretary of Health and Human Services. Other cabinet secretaries could be replaced.

Cabinet appointments are just one way a President can diversify his/her cabinet. The other way is influencing or establishing public policies that disparately affect varies minority groups. President Obama has done so in the cases of women; GLBTs (gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals and transgendered Americans); Latinos and veterans.

Dr. King said at the August 28, 1963 March on Washington that his dream was that his “four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” While no one questions the President’s principles in that regard, many hope his using the King Bible stacked on top of the Lincoln Bible for the swearing in might mean double sensitivity to on activity on behalf of African-Americans.

The official swearing in on the Jan. 20 date required by the Constitution, will take place in a private ceremony on Sunday. On that day, Obama will use the family Bible of First Lady Michelle Obama.

The black leather Bible he will lay his hand upon in the second swearing in next Monday was carried by Dr. King as a “traveling Bible” as he spoke from state to state on civil and voting rights for African-American people. Obama used the Lincoln Bible in 2009. It had not been used since Lincoln’s 1861 swearing in, just before the start of the Civil War.

Monday’s ceremonial swearing in will kick off a week of festivities, including balls, forums and panels to discuss the issues ahead. At the post-election Black leadership conference called by Morial, he laid out the situation on behalf of dozens of Black organizational heads who stood alongside him.

“Millions of African-Americans are still reeling in the wake of the great recession and trying to regain their footing after overwhelming losses in wealth, income and security,” Morial read.

Rev. Al Sharpton, also at the conference, promised that the group would hold the President accountable. Now that Inauguration Day is here, the jury is out whether Black organizational heads will hold the President accountable with sincerity and fervor despite their promises to do so.

“We believe that it is the responsibility of those that offer leadership to push the envelope forward. We cannot sit and ask the president to write an agenda to himself from us. It ought to come from us to him or the Congress from us to [them],” said Sharpton. “It is in that spirit a half century later we come to say that we’ll work together, we’ll come together and try to set an agenda that will alleviate the economic, electoral, as well as criminal justice disparities that yet plague our community a half century later. We have made a lot of progress in 50 years, but we’re nowhere where we need to be. We are closer, but we have not arrived.”

Conscious that African-Americans have yet to arrive, the King family is hoping the ceremonial swearing in on the Bible of their father will help the President remain focused on the goal of racial equality.

“We hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term,” the King family said in a statement. “We join Americans across the country in embracing this opportunity. to celebrate how far we have come, honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through service, and rededicate ourselves to the work ahead.”



About the Author

Hazel Trice Edney





 
 

 
hankj

#Ferguson Rep. Hank Johnson Drops Special Prosecutor Bill to Alter Grand Jury System

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) just dropped his second piece of legislation related to Ferguson and the death’s of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.   Johnson’s first bill would cut back Pentagon Program 1033.  This legisl...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
2

 
 
eric3

First #Ferguson Bill Set to Become Law: Deaths in Custody Reporting Act

First Piece of #Ferguson Related Legislation Passes Congress and Will Become Law. H.R. 1447, the Death in Custody Reporting Act, authored by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), passed the Senate (Wednesday) tonight and is on its way to be...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
1

 
 
Green6

#Ferguson on the House Floor: Rep. Al Green Places St. Louis Rams in Congressional Record

Ferguson on the House Floor: Rep. Al Green (D-TX) Salutes the Rams as he talks on race in America, the U.S. justice system and Ferguson. Rep. Green also placed the names of all five St. Louis Rams players who conducted a “...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 

Advertisement
 
ATL1

Black Friday Profits Drop 11%, Media Won’t Admit It Could Be Ferguson Boycott

Black Friday sales were expected to be 3% over what they were in 2013.  They weren’t.  They were down 11%. Was it the Ferguson protest movement — part of which centered around an economic boycott. “After day...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
0

 
 
justice3

POTUS to Focus on Clay/Cleaver Request on Cops Using War Gear

President Obama will hold a series of meetings Monday at the White House regarding Ferguson and the many issues arising from the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Many protest r...
by Lauren Victoria Burke
1

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>