I really hate to talk about President Obama, but somebody has to stand up for Black men. At a recent graduation at Morehouse College, Obama set out again to do the unthinkable. Yes. He isolated Black men for not being good people and and for not being good fathers in particular.
This is so familiar because in 2009 Jesse Jackson was caught on tape whispering, “[B]arak been talking down to Black people. I wanna cut off his nuts.” when he was criticizing Obama for making similar comments before a Black audience.
Similarly, Bill Cosby also went before a Black crowd at Spellman University, made fun of their names, and criticized every bad thing imaginable Black people have ever done.
First, to the world, his speech makes it seem as though Black people are always looking for a handout and have not done anything worthwhile in America since 1776. Everyone knows that stereotype. That is a broken record. What Obama did not say, and not many so-called- successful Black people say is nothing can be farther from the truth. I suppose it is Obama’s job as President to send out misleading information. Earlier in the week, he incorrectly stated the United of America invaded Iraq to punish Al-Qaeda for the September 11th attack. In truth, the United States supposedly invaded Iraq to remove weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, Al-Qaeda was not even in Iraq before the invasion.
If the purpose is to motivate instead of catering to the White American media, maybe a descendant of Black slaves would have been better suited to give a more motivational speech. Maybe the people at Morehouse should have given Obama a script and reminded him that even founding Morehouse, particularly the reasons it was founded, was an achievement of historical importance to not only Black Americans, but to all Americans.
Second, Obama offered no blueprint for being more successful or more responsible. He did not offer Black men a stimulus package for being more responsible.
He offers White American and those at his fundraisers stimulus packages all the time. Even worse, he did not acknowledge the accomplishments Black men have made in this country and any of the firsts Black men have achieved. And, he did not mention how Black people made tremendous contributions that were killed and he failed to emphasize the tremendous contributions that were reduced by Jim Crow and other forms of institutionalized racism.
Third, Obama’s criticisms are unfair. He is preaching to the choir.
Speaking to college students and giving them a lecture on why they should go to college, make contributions to society, and not to be irresponsible parents is nonsensical. It is like telling a gunfighter to make sure his gun is loaded before a gunfight or telling a paratrooper to check his parachute before jumping. They all recognize the importance.
Aside from that, what parent, even a deadbeat parent, does not want the best for his or her child? Most people on the lower economic end have not a clue on what to do to overcome educational and economic challenges.
These college graduates are educated or in the process of educating themselves for that reason, so they can make a mark on society. This does not mean everyone with a college degree, Black or White, is intelligent or that he or she will be successful. It just means that they understand the potential value of an education, and they want to see their children excel too. It is part of the bragging rights thing that the “Black Bourgeois” or the “Black Boule” strives to accomplish. It does not matter that the children are actually doing well. What is important is that their children appear to be doing well on paper.
Should you ever attend an event sponsored by the Black Boule one of the very first things you may hear is how well their children are doing. It would not be uncommon for the very next comment to be a question directed at your children and how well they are doing. If your children are doing well that is tantamount to you doing well for that is the creed and the criteria under which they live. Heaven forbid your children being a drug addict or drop out. You would do better to stay home for you would be the talk of the event.
Fourth, Obama claims to be “biracial,” whatever that means. He claims to be half White and half Black. This is why what he did was so racist and so inappropriate. If he is half White, and since he is not the “Black” man’s President, why does he not ever criticize his White half? Can you imagine him addressing a primarily White audience of poor or lower middle class White men and telling them that they need to step up to the plate and be better fathers to their children? Of course not. White men would not tolerate that.
So why does he believe he can get away with that sort of criticism when it comes to Black fathers? The answer is simple. Everyone criticizes Black men. Some White women still clinch their purses when Black men approach. Some believe they are about to be robbed or otherwise assaulted when they cross a Black man on a dark street. Black men are still Americas favorite whipping boys. That is why no matter how far they go in life, how many patents or inventions they have, how many wars they fight, or how educated they are, everyone thinks they should be racially profiled. No matter how much Black men accomplish, people still have the impression that Black men are getting a free ride and that they have made no significant contributions to society.
When Black men are stopped by police, no matter what their station in life, White and Black police officers feel they can ask Black men if they are on probation or parole. This sort of profiling will not stop until the attitudes change. When Black men get the impression they are appreciated and that more is expected of them, only then will they stop engaging in the buffoonery that comes along with low expectations. In fact, this is why I advocate changing “Black History Month” to “Black Appreciation Month.” In February, let us not just talk about Black history, let us also talk about the things we appreciate about Black people. In the tradition of Thanksgiving, during February everyone just walk up to a brother, give him a hug, and just say: “[T]hank you!”
So, Obama went on this tirade about how important it is for the Black college graduates to be responsible and maybe one day, they will end up like him. Obama gives a good speech. He was a community organizer, whatever that is, and they are usually good speakers. He was packaged up and sold to us as an example of what we should strive to be. I do not want to spend too much time criticizing Obama for I understand there are good things and bad things that go along with the job, and those things are probably even more complicated when you are the first so-called Black President. . However, I do want to focus on the positive achievements of Black men so everyone might understand how difficult that can be too, and so everyone can understand that Black men have always participated in the struggle and that they have never abandoned the struggle. Moreover, they never will.
I would have preferred that the first Black president be a descendant of African slaves raised by a proud Black father, and mother, in the United States. However, his wife fits the criteria, and that is close enough. Of course, she too could spend a little more time addressing issues that impact Black families, but I do understand it is probably more politically safe to spend time on issues effecting military families and obese children.
I wish one of them would push more for Black economic education and empowerment; however, I do understand why they cannot. By the same token, I do not have to play like I like the fact that more is not being done. As complicated as his job is and as much about it as we will never know, he does not seem to be as bad as Clarence Thomas or Ward Connerly.
Let’s face it. White America would not tolerate a descendant of African slaves in that seat criticizing them on a daily basis and asking for forty (40) acres and a mule. Let’s also face it, we are not going to get a radical or a Black activist in that position. All we can hope for is a President who unfortunately will carry out the White Westerner’s agenda, and be able to deliver a few perks when no one is paying attention.
Many of the Black people he does appoint to positions get into trouble by trying to out White their White predecessors. Look at the U.S. Attorney General and the United States Ambassador To The United Nations. In case you did not know it that is why Obama selected them. Even as a “lame duck” President he does not want it to appear to White folks that he is doing Black people a favor.
White people elected Obama and he owes them. They know it and he knows it. He does not owe Black people anything. That is why he is always flying here and there attending $35,000 plus dinners in corporate executive homes. Politicians like Obama are beholding to them. No wonder corporations like Apple pay little or no corporate taxes.
Let face it, the average Black person does not have $35,000 to spare on a fundraising dinner. It would be nice if we could buy some politicians and get a tax break.
Unfortunately, the average Black person in America probably has never seen $35,000 in a lump sum free and clear . Even though his facts about Black men are inaccurate or unfair, I am not surprised he chose Morehouse, a Black College, to deliver his message. He had to do something to quiet the Black critics who complained he was not doing enough for Black people before he leaves office.
However, does that give the President the privilege to criticize Black men in general? Let us examine this.
First, growing up Barack Obama had probably never seen a responsible Black man except, ironically, Bill Cosby on this television sitcom. He saw his father a hand full of times. Obama recalls his father taking him to a jazz concert when he was 10. According to his book, that was the last time he saw his father and at that time his father was ill. However, he never described speaking to his father about why he was absent. Obama offers no real explanation. We do know his father was a minister in the Kenya Oil Ministry and that he fell out of favor with Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta. We know that his father was drinking heavily, otherwise in poor health, and he had lost the use of his leg in a terrible car accident by the time President Obama was 10 years of age.
Second, President Obama was raised for a time by his White mother, then briefly by his White mother and her Indonesian husband, and finally by his White grandparents. During his 2008 campaign for president, while distancing himself from Reverend Jeremiah Wright as Wright attempted to clarify misconceptions about his speech, he told us that his White grandmother admittedly said things about Black men that made even him cringe. I wonder if he meant she referred to Black men as worthless, shiftless, criminals, or as Niggers. If she said things about Black men that made him cringe, maybe she had no problem expressing those same sentiments directly to Obama, Jr. or to Obama, Sr.’s face. Maybe Obama’s mother even said some of those things to Obama’s father when she became angry or upset.
Third, we know his father died at the age of 46, after being ill for many years. How could he be responsible under those circumstances? What killed him? We know Obama’s mother divorced his father, and that she married again. He married two more times and tried to raise another family with another white woman. He even took her back home to Africa wherein she met and married another African.
Obama’s family was not like the typical family for many other reasons. We know his father attended Harvard University and found a high level position in the Kenyan Oil Ministry as an economist. Obama’s mother is considered White and his father is considered Black. President Obama is what they now call “biracial,” whatever that means, as if everyone on the planet who is not a pure central African is not a descendant of some “interracial” intercourse. Along that vein, it was not Black people who decided every person who had one drop of Black blood was Black. It was the White racists who did not want to lose their slaves who decided to create that distortion.
Obama’s parents lived in Hawaii when they married; however, in 1961, inter-racial marriages had to be especially problematic. They are still problematic.
President Obama does not have enough information or the qualifications to criticize even his own father for being a deadbeat or absentee father. How can he criticize Black men in general? For President Obama to base his entire knowledge of Black men on his one example, his father, is unrealistic and unreasonable, especially in light of the fact that his images about his father were most likely spoon fed to him by his mother’s racist White family.
Let’s face it, the way they treated Black men in America in 1961, and way they still treat most Black men, his father probably did him a favor letting his privileged White family raise him.
Moreover, Obama’s father, being Kenyan, probably was not subject to the full authority of the United States Court system. Moreover, in 1961, the courts were not that involved in child custody and child support; however, they probably would not have awarded a Black Kenyan much by way of custody. Many men thought it best to leave their children in the hands of the mothers, and frankly, that is what many mothers wanted and expected.
Another point to consider is Black men have a more difficult time gaining and holding employment. Additionally, there are White deadbeat dads too, and they out number Black deadbeat dads. Even when women lose custody of their children, and are ordered to pay child support, they may waver. The fact is no one wants to pay the amount of money the courts may order. It is based upon an algebraic formula derived from one’s gross income, after taxes and a few other deductions.
What Obama does not appreciate is how much he did get from his father. Obama, Sr. attended Harvard University. Even though Obama, Sr. was from a small tribal area, he was able to travel, educate himself, and obtain an important position in government. Those were positive examples for Obama to follow and President Obama was lucky enough to follow in his fathers’ footsteps and attend Harvard University and in reaching a high level government position. For some, being a father is more than taking children to baseball games. It is doing big things, raising the bar, and setting examples.
From here on out, let’s challenge everyone, especially so-called Black politicians, who support racism against Black men. Let’s hold them accountable. Ask them to inspire Black men to do better without supporting negative stereotypes.