Keeping The Bedroom Slippers
I woke up yesterday morning ready for a fresh injection of weekly political reviews and predictions from the Sunday morning prognosticators that appear on NBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’ Face the Nation, and ABC’s This Week with Christiane Amanpour. I usually tune in to see what stupid some politician may have said in the past week. With all the debates from conservative presidential candidates lately I was anticipating something from the right that might have been over the top and worth notice. But yesterday, somewhat to my surprise, the over the top rhetoric came from President Barack Obama during his address to the Congressional Black Caucus. I saw the video clip of the highlights from his speech and my depth of disappointment with this man reached a new low.
In his usual, don’t give a shit about black people fashion, Mr. Obama threw out the thoughtful and intellectual style he usually gives from the podium with the presidential seal when addressing people he wants to project an air of mutual respect with and is trying to win political favor. Instead of something thoughtful, he gave a speech that resembled a brimstone and fire sermon from some Sunday morning stereotypical black preacher who regularly lectures from more inspiration than preparation. Feeling the love from the crowd Mr. Obama looked as if he decided to throw caution to the wind and began to tell the audience how he really felt about the black community. Despite the fact that the black community suffers from the highest unemployment rates and the highest poverty rates and the highest loss of wealth from this economic crisis according to recent government stats, despite the fact that Mr. Obama has done very little to help the black community with the issues that are impacting the black community, despite the fact that Mr. Obama says that he’s not looking to be the President of black America, Mr. Obama says that he expects the black community to stop is crying, whining and complaining, take off the bedroom slippers and march with him because he has a lot of work to do. I had to restrain myself from throwing the remote at the television and instead used it to cut the damn thing off.
The misses, and considering the volume I used there’s little doubt that a few our neighbors, had to listen to my rant about our President for a few minutes. Just a few days ago this man went to a bridge that connected the states of Ohio and Kentucky that represented the districts of House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and pleaded for help in getting the locals the jobs and infrastructure they needed to make their districts more suitable for jobs and other investments. He went to an area represented by two of the most powerful conservatives in the nation and made a concrete pledge that people could look to and count on that would help those communities. He never told the audience to quit being whiners or complainers because he no doubt understood what this community was going through. Mr. Obama would never insinuate that the people in Ohio and Kentucky were simply loafing around in slippers and waiting for a handout. He would do everything he could to send jobs and infrastructure improvements their way. This is what he says he wants to do for the people who sent Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell to Washington, DC to thwart anything and everything Mr. Obama wants to do during his term.
But black people? Just a few days later Mr. Obama tells his most loyal political base to quit complaining. There’s work to do and Mr. Obama can’t do it if we don’t fall in line to his beck and call. And what infrastructure or jobs will we get for our community? Shut the hell up and quit whining! If all goes according to plan, it looks like we are destined to get the same thing on Mr. Obama’s second term that we got the first time around, the shaft. In fact, Mr. Obama wants us to have a double shaft. We need to help him get back in office so he can do for the constituents of his political opponents and those people working overtime to make sure that his is a one term presidency. And when those people do well, eventually that investment in those communities will eventually trickle down into the black community and we’ll all benefit.
The only problem with that scenario is that we know that trickledown economics isn’t exactly working these days, especially for the black community. These days, the investment that will be made in the communities targeted for direct assistance usually stays in those communities. It’s kind of like the investments to save Wall Street. The vast majority of that money stayed in Wall Street. But be that as it may, if the black community thinks that trickledown economics were a good idea then we might as well put our support on the front running conservative. Everybody knows the conservatives have more experience in taking care of people who are the least impacted by economic hard times. If that’s what we believe, if that’s what we’re being sold, then let’s throw this liberal thinking out and put all of our resources behind a Mitt Romney or a Rick Perry or even a Michele Bachmann or even a John Boehner or a Mitch McConnell. That’s what Mr. Obama wants to do. Let’s cut out the middleman and go straight to the source. Let’s skip the neophyte and go straight to the experts.
I hope people understand I’m writing tongue in cheek. The conservative philosophy of economics appeals to me about as much as a root canal. But really, the way Mr. Obama wants to practice politics for the black community there is very little difference between him and the Ron Pauls of the world. If he truly cared about the black community he would tell us about the targeted investments for the black community just like he has targeted investments for other communities. Unfortunately, I don’t think Mr. Obama wants to go there.
This is not to say that I don’t understand Mr. Obama’s position. Anything he does to directly help the black community will be pounced on by his opponents to show how Mr. Obama is trying to invoke reparations or reverse discrimination and Mr. Obama would have to spend the rest of his political career defending himself. That is bound to be a fact. But it is truly disappointing to see Mr. Obama’s lack of courage to the very people who had the most faith and support in him. He continues to slap us in the face with a political backhand and says shut the fuck up and quit being lazy. Take off the bedroom slippers and put on the marching shoes is rhetoric Mr. Obama reserves only for black people and I am tired of it.
Like a lot of black people I put on my marching shoes and marched down to the voting booth to put Mr. Obama in the white house the first time around. I donated to his campaign. Like most people, I celebrated his election to the white house. And what did I get for my marching? Most noticeable I got a national black unemployment rates that is approaching seventeen percent and a poverty rate near forty percent amongst things. I got a President who routinely treats me with a lack of respect and with condescension. Take off my bedroom slippers indeed. I will be more than happy to don my boots because somebody sounds like he needs one of my boots up his political ass. Mr. Obama needs a reminder that his black constituents deserve the same consideration as any other constituency.
Right now, if I were to march down to the voting booth, it would be to give Mr. Obama the kick in the ass he appears to be begging for. He has truly lost me as a supporter and I seriously doubt if he would ever respect the black community enough to do anything to win me back. I may not vote for his opponent. The idea of going back to the conservative policies that initiated the problems that we face today holds no appeal for me, but the idea of having this charlatan back in the oval office is just as disgusting. I feel like I have no dog in this fight. I can’t even wish this man good luck anymore. From this point forward, unless something truly changes, I think Mr. Obama would prefer I keep wearing my bedroom slippers.