Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A RedEye Rant about Whining Complaining

The people in that picture... Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

And so it begins...the marginalization and minimization of African Americans and the issues affecting us.
Political Animal's Steve Benen (5/12/09) notes a recent Rush Limbaugh broadcast (5/11/09) that makes the racist subtext of the right's critique of Barack Obama virtually explicit:

The [economic] deterioration reflects lower tax revenues and higher costs for bank failures, unemployment benefits and food stamps. But in the Oval Office of the White House none of this is a problem. This is the objective. The objective is unemployment. The objective is more food stamp benefits. The objective is more unemployment benefits. The objective is an expanding welfare state. And the objective is to take the nation's wealth and return to it to the nation's, quote, "rightful owners." Think reparations. Think forced reparations here if you want to understand what actually is going on.

So Limbaugh thinks Obama is intentionally creating unemployment in order to boost food stamps, unemployment and welfare as a form of "forced reparations"; he's wrecking the economy, in other words, in order to benefit black people. If Limbaugh is the voice of opposition to Obama, no wonder that opposition is so concentrated in the states of the old Confederacy.
Obama falls for the Okey Doke
President Barack Obama is quietly moving forward with a plan for black America. He’s just not talking about it.

It’s probably a good idea.

Obama has been criticized recently – particularly by commentator Tavis Smiley – for not speaking out directly on behalf of African-Americans and failing to specifically address the needs of the black community through a symbolic “black agenda.”

That’s nonsense.

Obama is the nation’s first black president, and, while he was elected with overwhelming support from African-Americans, he’s not a president just for black folks. Critics like Smiley won’t be able to strong arm Obama into publicly announcing some sort of black agenda. The president is resistant to bullying tactics, no matter who is doing the bullying.

Smiley appeared on "The Tom Joyner Morning Show" early last week and chastised black leaders, saying Obama had not been pressed hard enough in a White House meeting - one with Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, National Urban League's Marc Morial and the NAACP'S Ben Jealous - to act in the interest of African-Americans.
And therein lies the problem, critics like Tavis Smiley were accused of trying to "strong arm" the President of everybody into publicly addressing issues affecting African Americans like that was a bad thing. Velma Hart tried to tell President Obama we were tired of defending him, but did he listen...NO.
The GOP Noise Machine was in gear the minute he got elected. The Prez needs to recall the fable of the Frog and the Scorpion. These people have an agenda. The terms are NOT negotiable.

The Kochs spent billions financing the Tea Party and other Right Wing astroturf groups. Obama should take note:

The Tea Party elected candidates. The Tea Party is pushing the GOP into a corner. Why? They are masquerading as a Populist movement. They got the People to believe in their agenda and their cute little hats.

Does the current Washington wisdom seriously think there are no leftists in America?

I believe Obama could have had an OCEAN of people for free, simply by doing an FDR and letting the GOP scream. Because, as you say, they were going to be screaming anyway.

I'd rather he'd given them something to scream ABOUT
Instead of giving the TeaPublicans something to scream about, President Obama tells black folks to stop whining and complaining and start fighting. With all due respect, black folks never stopped fighting Mr. President, Sir, and we never will.
Yes, there are political reasons that Obama can't directly address black joblessness, and no, I'd never suggest that he do anything to validate some trite and delusional right-wing narrative that he's in office only to aid blacks. Even if agreeing to that austerity-inspired debt-ceiling deal -- which will do little to generate growth or really chip away at our debts -- was a political necessity, it was another example of the president giving off the impression that he's not fighting hard enough for those in greatest need of assistance.
To tell people who are in the greatest need to stop whining is insulting and demeaning. It's the oppressors way of telling the oppressed they are not going to listen to or address their concerns because they don't deem you an equal.
And yes, I'm whining about it and will continue to whine about it as long as you continue to give me something to whine about. I was raised to fight for my rights, to stand up to injustice to protest double standards and to encourage others to take the same just stand.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined President Obama tell African Americans to stop whining and complaining. To be honest, I'm surprised and hurt by his actions because I believed him when he said CHANGE had come to America. Things are changing allright....for everybody but African Americans.

In regards to actually getting policies passed, the President's political repertoire is pretty transparent at this point: He gives the Republicans, the rich and the corporations a large amount of the tangible victories they want when it matters, and tosses nothing but an empty, often victim-blaming, "tough-love" populist message towards his supporters when it doesn't matter.
President Obama is the President of black folks too.

One man stood up and strongly defended the president and criticized members of the Congressional Black Caucus who questioned the President’s strategy. Moderator Martin strongly resisted the notion that being critical of the president was off limits for black public officials. “Blacks voted 95 percent for this president, and we should expect a return on the investment,” Martin said.
When the audience member pushed his point further, Martin reminded all of the episode in late 2009 when the 10 black caucus members on the House Financial Services Committee went up against the Obama administration regarding $40 billion they wanted in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The 10 caucus members withheld their votes as they faced off against the Obama administration and pushed for access to capital for minority-owned banks and for consumer protections. Martin asked the audience member if he’d rather have the $40 billion or no one criticizing President Obama.
Are Black voters Obama's political mistress?
If Barack Obama were a white man, that would mean that there would be collective outrage over speeches like the one he delivered at the Congressional Black Caucus Convention, where Black people were told to “stop complaining” about the highest unemployment in nearly 30 years. It would mean that we’d expect the same things from President Obama that we would have expected from Bill Clinton or anyone else during their time in the White House. I would dare to say that if Black unemployment had risen to 17% under Clinton, he would be hammered by the Black community for refusing to consider targeted economic policy.

This is not to say that President Obama is not deserving of the Black vote. But it does say that Black America must cease to make itself into the political mistress of the Obama Administration. For a man whose loyalties lie elsewhere, the mistress is often the woman from whom he expects preferential treatment, but only offers second-class status. The love is often one of secrecy because he may be ashamed of the relationship and fear the reputational consequences of those who may judge him harshly.
This is exactly why I didn't want an African American President, I knew if black folks dared complain we would be accused of wanting preferential treatment and be told to stop whining because America is post racial. *Snark*

So, if the White House expects Black America to treat Obama differently from the way they would treat a white politician, it is only logical that we expect the same. One of the tenets of racial inequality is the idea that Black people should be complacent with being treated worse than others treat us: For example, whites are allowed to moan to President Obama all day about 8.1 percent unemployment, but Black people are told to “stop complaining” about nearly 17% unemployment. Do we realize how sick it is that we allow others to say and do things that we cannot do ourselves? So, when President Obama gives a speech before a group of white folks and says “stop complaining,” then I’ll be satisfied. But until then, we might want to reconsider accepting our role as President Obama’s political mistress.~Dr. Boyce Watkins

My sentiments exactly.

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