A week or so ago, two panel discussions on TV focused on President Obama’s attention (or inattention) to black matters. All the panelists on one panel were black, and all but one were black on the other. These panelists, both male and female, were considered experts/leaders in education, history, news coverage or politics.The moderator of each panel seemed hell-bent on getting the panelists to say that President Obama has abandoned black America; that the president wasn’t doing enough for black folks. The fact that President Obama is phenotypically black played a major role in the expectations of the moderators and some panelists.
Members of the panel pointed out that President Obama is the president of the USA, not president of black America. Even if “97% of black America” voted for Obama, it was the sum total of black votes and the votes of millions of other Americans that got Obama into the White House.
This month’s Evanston Sentinal reprinted Sue Sturgis’s article, “Black Farmers Forgotten Again,” from “Facing South,” the online magazine of the Institute for Southern Studies. The author alleges that black farmers blame President Obama for allowing the March 31 deadline to pass, while Congress adjourned for two weeks, for appropriation of funding for a decades-old racial discrimination case for which a historic settlement was reached by the Obama administration in February. The agreement depended on Congress approving funding by that deadline.
So what’s going on with all this blacks-against-Obama rhetoric? Who’s behind it? It certainly must delight bigots and other anti-Obama enthusiasts to witness blacks attacking a black president. Why should representatives (self-proclaimed?) of black America presume that because President Obama is phenotypically black that he is charged with being the black Messiah for black America as prescribed by certain black factions? Are there not enough other racist efforts to marginalize President Obama because of his “un-American” name and his color? Are there not enough idiots out there trying to prove that President Obama darkens/pollutes the Oval Office and plans to terrorize the country by turning America over to black people, socialists and/or Muslims?
Panelists tried to clarify that there is legislation under the Obama administration that directly or indirectly affects (aids) black people because it affects all American citizens, and President Obama does not rule alone; there is Congress.
The history of who is declared to be genotypically* a Negro in America was, and apparently still is, based on knowing that a person has one drop of Negro (black) blood. We know what group of people made up this rule and why, don’t we? Being a Negro automatically meant you didn’t have certain rights. But here we are in 2010. I am still proud that America elected an intelligent man that appears to be black to the presidency of the U.S.A. And even though DNA analysis might identify him differently, President Obama remains phenotypically yours, a black man. Give the brother a break.
“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. … You cannot further the brotherhood of men by inciting … hatred.”
— Abraham Lincoln