Sardonic Sistah Says

Observations… Ruminations… Ponderances… & Rants from Another Perspective

Does Obama Give Us Too Much Credit?

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Dewayne Wickam’s column today was about Obama’s speech to African Americans in Washington a couple of days ago.  In the speech Obama took African American’s to task about the state of the black community.

From Wickam’s column:

“It makes a difference when a father realizes that responsibility does not end at conception, when he understands that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one,” Obama said. “It makes a difference when a parent turns off the TV once in a while, puts away the video games, and starts reading to their child, and getting involved in their education…

“There is only so much government can do,” Obama said. “We have an entire generation of young men in our society who have become products of violence. And we have to break the cycle. … If we don’t change how we raise our children, it doesn’t matter how many programs come in here, how much money comes in here. It doesn’t matter how many politicians come in here, how many times we pray. It doesn’t matter.”

Back in May the Washington Post reported that Obama was dishing out tough love in his speeches to the black community. 

His approach doesn’t seem to be working.  Hillary Clinton is outpacing him with black voters.  

For some reason Obama truly believes that if African American voters got to know who he is, learn his record and his commitment to the black community that we will know that he has our  best interests at heart and in turn give him our vote.

Perhaps Obama gives us too much credit.

I’m not one to tell Obama how to run his campaign, but I suspect that if he wants to gain ground with a larger group of African Americans then platitudes will get him a bit further than telling it like it t-i is .  The good and the bad is all good for many of us and at the last meeting for “African American Empowerment for the 21st Century” we decided to keep the party line that y-t is oppressive, slavery was a mother, and African Americans are continual victims of our situation.  When someone brings up an argument about personal responsibilty and freeing the chains that bind us we immediately go back to those three defenses.   He would know that if he came to last couple of meetings instead of stomping in politically white areas.   He would also know that airing our personal business where white folks can hear is also a no-no.

It’s probably perplexing to a lot of non-blacks to see that a lot of African Americans are non-plussed about a possible Black male poised to take over the Oval Office.  Some would think that we would be happy since he is a black man. Well, some lessons have been hard learned in the black community.  We were happy when Bush appointed Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice and look where that got us.  And, quiet as kept, we would have been a lot happier if that first black President would have been Jessie Jackson or Al Sharpton; a black man who is more likely to tell white folks about themselves instead of offering social critiques of his own.  We aren’t just looking for a figure head to come in and reedem us in the eyes of the world and bring up our image, but also someone who can come in and smite the majority who put us in that category.  We are looking for a black man’s Black man.  An Elijah Muhammed even though a lot of us aren’t even muslim.  Jackson and Sharpton fit the bill, but with Obama we are still wondering about his allegiance.

Which is unfair to him.  White candidates aren’t held to the same conditions that we are using against Obama and others have betrayed us but we still keep plying them with our votes in hopes that things will go our way.  Maybe it’s because we dont’ want to be betrayed by one of our own.  Maybe it’s because we don’t think that because of his skin he can’t help but sell us out.  Whatever the reason is, we aren’t willing to do for Obama what we can willingly do for white candidates, be they male or female. 

Maybe Obama should adopt the Sharp James approach to politics and become charismatic and combative when dealing with whites.  Or maybe he should ask Marion Barry to bottle whatever it was that made black DC voters want to take him back again and again, crack pipe and all.  But then if he became that type of politician would he really gain anything?  And then could he win?

But then that might be the type of politician we deserve.


Written by rentec

21 July, 2007 at 3:59 am

Posted in politics

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