Archive for May 22, 2013

Am I The Only One Getting A Little Irritated by President Obama?

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Obama Bites Lip

By Gary A. Johnson

I’ll try and keep this short and sweet.  I know plenty of folks who are “emotionally blinded” that we have a Black President.  So much so, they can see no wrong in anything President Obama does or says.  President Obama arguably has the most difficult job in the world.  I am not up to the task of being President of the United States of America.  He clearly is, and along with that comes scrutiny from supporters like me.  Yes, I said supporter.  I don’t have to agree with everything that the President puts forward on his agenda.  Some of the things on the President’s agenda are not in my best interest.  I can live with that reality.

Everything with me is viewed from a perspective of balance, (which I will try to be in this commentary).  When evaluating President Obama, one must first realize that he is first and foremost a politician.  In fact, he has proven to be one of the savviest politicians in recent history.  President Obama and his supporters have claimed that he is not the “President of Black America.”  I agree.  He is the President of the United States of America accountable to all of the people.

Politicians talk differently to different groups, sometimes when delivering the same message.  I get that.  What rubs me the wrong way is that President Obama appears to be talking to Black America in more of a condescending and scolding tone.  Lord knows there are problems in the black community and not enough folks are stepping up to help provide support and solutions.  There are some in the black community who need to have their ass kicked, taken to the woodshed and then go to a “Come to Jesus” meeting.  You will get no argument from me on that.  Everyone needs to be held accountable, including President Obama.

If the President feels the need to call out the black community, particularly black men in public, then he needs to be prepared to be called out and held accountable on his record and campaign promises.  One one-hand, I get the sense that the President feels the need or obligation to hold the black community to a higher standard.  I can understand that.  My growing annoyance with the President is that it appears that he is holding the black community accountable for the bad things that happen in their communities, but doesn’t hold other groups as accountable for the bad things that happen in their communities.

I could be wrong.  I could also have some “blind-spots” that prevent me from seeing the entire picture.

Earlier this week President Obama president addressed Morehouse College’s graduating class, and said:

“We’ve got no time for excuses — not because the bitter legacies of slavery and segregation have vanished entirely; they haven’t. Not because racism and discrimination no longer exist; that’s still out there. It’s just that in today’s hyperconnected, hypercompetitive world, with a billion young people from China and India and Brazil entering the global workforce alongside you, nobody is going to give you anything you haven’t earned. And whatever hardships you may experience because of your race, they pale in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured — and overcame.”

The President also told the Morehouse graduates:  “You have to remember that whatever you’ve gone through pales in comparison to the hardships previous generations endured – and they overcame, and if they overcame them, you can overcome them too.”

Personally, I would like to see the President hold his top advisers and appointees more accountable.  These men and women are responsible for helping the President achieve his many campaign promises.  With the recent scandals involving the IRS seizing records and phone messages of media, the President’s administration appears to have a problem with transparency to the American people.  In my mind, transparency is closely aligned to TRUST!

Feeling The Heat

Obama Sweat

The scandals that are in the headlines have to do with the government surveillance of reporters telephone and computer records, the IRS tax scandal against Tea Party and conservative groups and to a lesser extent the Benghazi attack where our Ambassador was killed last September.  With all of the alleged misconduct in his administration, President Obama’s attempt to be above the fray and not having knowledge of anything that will connect him to any wrongdoing, reflects that his administration is out of control.  For the record, every administration does this.  Did the Obama administration go too far?

The President made a lot of promises to Black America during his last campaign.   How has he done?

According to the NAACP the Black community is in worse shape under the Obama Administration than under the Bush administration.  The Labor Department reports that the black unemployment rate was at 12.7 percent when President Obama took office. That unemployment rate is now reportedly 16.7 percent — making it the highest unemployment rate for Black since 1983 (Reagan Administration).  Black teens jobless rate was even more staggering at 39.3 percent in July 2012.

Cost of Obamacare

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three.  It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.  This doesn’t mean that Obamacare is a failure.  Obamacare is still developing.  In my mind it is too early to evaluate.

Cost of Obamacare

Obama promised that he would “not sign [a healthcare bill] if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Yet, a new analysis determines that his bill will add quite a bit to future deficits.

Insuring All Americans

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three. It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.

– See more at: http://www.therightsphere.com/2012/04/president-flip-flop-barack-obamas-broken-promises-policy-reversals-and-continuous-flip-flops/#sthash.hWupztn0.dpuf

Cost of Obamacare

Obama promised that he would “not sign [a healthcare bill] if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Yet, a new analysis determines that his bill will add quite a bit to future deficits.

Insuring All Americans

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three. It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.

– See more at: http://www.therightsphere.com/2012/04/president-flip-flop-barack-obamas-broken-promises-policy-reversals-and-continuous-flip-flops/#sthash.hWupztn0.dpuf

Cost of Obamacare

Obama promised that he would “not sign [a healthcare bill] if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.” Yet, a new analysis determines that his bill will add quite a bit to future deficits.

Insuring All Americans

Obama outlined three goals for his health care legislation. Lowering the cost curve and insuring all Americans were two of the three. It has now been determined that Obamacare will add to the deficit and 25 million Americans will remain uninsured.

– See more at: http://www.therightsphere.com/2012/04/president-flip-flop-barack-obamas-broken-promises-policy-reversals-and-continuous-flip-flops/#sthash.hWupztn0.dpuf

PolitiFact.com has compiled more than 500 promises that President Obama made during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns.  The sites tracks his progress on a scorecard they call the Obameter.  I’m not certain of the political affiliation of the site or its neutrality but the site is worth checking out if you want to learn more about the President’s track record for keeping his promises.  You can also click here and scroll down to read the campaign promises that President Obama has honored.

Obama Family2

I want President Obama to succeed.  The fact that he is President reflects his success.  I think President Obama, Michelle Obama and their daughters are great role models for America, but he is NOT above being criticized.  The fact that I am irritated at him at times in my mind does not make me a “hater.”  I’m simply questioning the President and his administration’s behavior in an effort to hold them accountable as they promised, something that I believe he would not find objectionable or unfair.

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.” 

Dr. Boyce: President Obama Lacks the Moral Authority to Give His Lopsided Speech at Morehouse

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, President Barack Obama, Racism with tags , , , , on May 22, 2013 by Gary Johnson

By Dr. Boyce Watkin

Obama Morehouse

This week, President Barack Obama gave the commencement address to the young men at Morehouse College.  I was happy to see the president speak to these men, for I’m sure they were inspired by his presence.  The achievements of Barack Obama are nothing short of legendary and inspirational, he deserves to be recognized as such.  Morehouse College President John Wilson should also be commended for his extraordinary leadership.  Dr. Wilson was gracious enough to join the presidents of Spelman and Clark in co-signing the open letter on mass incarceration written by myself and Russell Simmons.

The president’s message consisted of the same themes that I recall hearing from my grandmother:  You have to work twice as hard to get half as much if you are black in America, and racism is no excuse for you to give up.  I agree with this message, and I share similar messages every single day of my life.

The president’s decision to speak in ways that he knew would resonate with Morehouse men and their older black parents was an intelligent political move, without question.   The president’s speeches tend to be more conservative when he speaks to African Americans (I even noticed his use of the word “Lordy” early in the speech), and this is a good fit, since black people are also very conservative. The truth is that many African Americans would be Republicans if the party would just stop being so blatantly racist.

Another thing about black people is that many of us suffer from the low self-esteem that tends to afflict oppressed individuals.  We’re not much different from the housewife who believes her husband wouldn’t have had to beat her if she had not burned the cookies.  When her husband is out with other women, she is simply thankful that he took the time to pay the rent.   She’s ecstatic about any form of acknowledgement from her husband whatsoever, and when he berates her, she knows that she deserves it.  To some extent, she comes to embrace her oppression as the natural order of things, and the tranquility of her marriage is built upon the idea that his views, needs and status are superior to her own.

When President Obama graces us with his presence, we are simply honored that he took the time to even acknowledge us.   Any symbolic gesture, no matter how scant and meaningless, becomes precious to us, because for some, there is no greater achievement that any black man could aspire to than to get validation from white people.  Had President Obama passed on the presidency and taken a position at an all-black school and educated thousands of black children, we would have considered it to be a wasted opportunity.  Why would such an important man spend his time with us?  The political harmony between black America and the Obama Administration is a carefully-designed relationship in which our job is to shut up and cheer for anything the administration chooses to do with our votes.

Part of this asymmetric partnership with the Obama Administration is that we are actually HAPPY when the president berates us.   We like being told that we don’t try hard enough and that the reason so many of us struggle is because we have come to embrace an inferior set of habits and cultural norms.   We ENJOY the abuse, because deep down, many of us have bought into the myth of white superiority as much as white people themselves.

So, when Obama comes to Morehouse and says, “Stop using racism as an excuse and start taking more responsibility,” we LOVE it.  We also nod our heads in agreement because for the educated elite, Obama isn’t talking about us.  He’s talking about “them.”  You know, those n*ggaz who keep getting sent to prison, who can’t get jobs, and who are killing each other in the street.   They deserve their plight because they don’t work as hard as the rest of us, at least that’s the logic. It’s easy to grab onto the simple answers:  Black men love their kids less than white men do, black women are only capable of raising incompetent children who eat Popeye’s chicken for breakfast, and black people are slightly less human than whites, thus prone to more criminal activity.

Morehouse Grads

Graduates react as President Barack Obama delivers remarks during the commencement ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., May 19, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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