Published on October 11th, 20120
Is Being Black Simply Enough for Black America?
On Friday, the job numbers were released by the federal government outlining where the nation’s unemployment rate currently is 48 hours following the Presidential debate. When unemployment is reported as 7.8 percent nationally, that doesn’t honestly reflect the same unemployment rates in black neighborhoods across the nation. In African American majority sections the unemployment rate is twice that of the national average, at approximately 15-16 percent, not including the excessive drop out rates and increase poverty for seniors and low income mothers falling under the average median income.
California Congresswoman Maxine Waters, one of the leading advocates for the Congressional Black Caucus, recently discussed the failures of the President stating, “Let me tell you what. We don’t put pressure on the President because ya’ll love the President…You’re proud to have a black man in the White House. In this fired up speech in Los Angeles, the Congresswoman spoke of the importance of this moment in history to have an African American residing in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but criticizing the administration for the President’s inability to visit black communities during his national bus tour, when an overwhelmingly majority of African Americans voters helped in electing him as our nations Commander-In-Chief.
My experience is that we learn in life that a person’s best performance is their last performance, as we question why Black America should consider re-hiring President Obama for another Presidential term. Although I believe that the President of the United States represents all Americans, lets take a look at the exactly what the leader of the free world has done for African Americans people since his inauguration. When the United States Supreme Court had two vacancies on the federal bench, no African Americans were considered for this opportunity, which will be a great opportunity for Governor Romney if elected President.
The Small Business Administration created under former President Richard Nixon, which directly aids low income small business, an economic driver for the country, was under utilized and reduced at a time when millions of African American small business owners could have benefited. When confronted by the statements of Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s comments refereeing to the President of the United States of America as having a “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one, was a direct slap in the face to Black America and disrespectful to the Office of the Presidency. The lack of immediate response as the first African American Head of State was shameful, especially when over 92% of African Americans elected you to the Oval Office.
Fast forwarding to last weeks Presidential debate, Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson talked on the Presidential debates, suggesting that the President didn’t want to present himself as “, the Angry Black Man”, which is what white America would have expected. Clearly 50 million Americans watched the debate and saw an unprepared President stumble to defend his economic record over the last four years. Other comments were made in 2011 at the annual State of Black America conference, where the President suggested that African Americans needed to “stop wining” and “try a little harder”, which is once again is a direct slap in the face for an overwhelming majority that helped put you in the White House.
The President later commented in Black Enterprise stating in an interview that, he wasn’t the President of of just Black America, but the President of all Americans. Although I agree with that statement, the President wants to live in the best of both worlds, being black when it benefits him for votes, but not working for the 92 percent of Black voters who actually need effective legislation which can directly benefit them now. The end result is in during the President’s four years, Black business are losing access to government contracts and there exist a tremendous increase in urban unemployment in black neighborhoods. Where’s the hope and change that we can believe in?
Brandon Brice is a graduate of Howard University, Rutgers University’s Graduate Eagleton Institute of Politics and is currently pursuing his studies at Columbia University.