It's about our community and our spirituality!

Not One Positive Plan Of Action

“Not one word from you about what should actually be done. And you are right, you didnt say who you were voting for…..and…..still… crickets — you didnt mention it again. As a matter of fact, you havent said anything about what you, we,anyone should actually DO. Nope. you just complain and criticize…….

So not only are you not about action, you aren’t even about talking about action?

Nothing wrong with being critical if you believe something/someone is wrong but come on, you’ve written 10 pages and not talked about what you’re gonna do to address this. Indeed, its serious business. I said cop-out – meant it — and the label seems to be sticking.

Lets work a little logic here. You have a choice between Obama and McCain. Neither of the candidates makes you happy, but one of them will be president. What cha gonna do……..From what you write, the answer is nothing other than post here.

I submit to you that even if everything you say is true about Obama, and if you dont plan to vote for McCain (you can clear that up right away) then you ought to be talking about how do we influence how Obama would govern. How do we make sure that the Congressional Black Caucus and other right minded members keep him in check? But not one……positive action step from you?

I’ll come back in a few weeks to check in on you. I hope to find you in a place where we can debate what should be DONE with the current situation instead of re-hashing what the stage looks like.

In the mean time, you might want to try volunteering on a campaign or actually make some visits to your elected officials to lobby for what you believe in to gain some perspective.” – philly

When you read Mark Halperin’s book did he list who he would be voting for? Why is this necessary from me at this time? Again I will say, this is not about who people should vote for. This subject is meant to indicate that Barack Obama keeps the black community at arms length while embracing the white community. Who I am voting for is not important in this discussion. My apologies if you require this information in order to take me seriously. What is important is that black people realize that the black candidate may not be the hope that many black people think he may be. Based on his own past behavior he has done little to ingratiate himself to the black community.

Let us revisit some samples of this past behavior? As a young politician he refused to interrupt his vacation plans to vote on a measure that would have helped to eliminate illegal guns from the black community. He cannot fit the State of the Black Union into his schedule with plenty of advance notice but can give the commencement address at Wesleyan at a moments notice. Mr. Obama dismisses his pastor of twenty years as little more than a bitter and resentful old man of a bygone era. He talks about racial healing on both sides of the racial divide and yet refuses to acknowledge blatant acts of racism. He follows Ms. Clinton’s lead in responding to abuses of white power such as the prosecution of the Jena Six and Genarlow Wilson. He can weather insensitive comments from opponents with nothing more than a statement or two but feigns indignant rage when his former pastor makes statements that white people take offense to supporting Mr. Obama.

Where has Mr. Obama demonstrated his great concern for the welfare of the black community? Where is the proof that he’s going to get in the White House and change things for the betterment for the black community? As far as I can tell, the man barely wants to acknowledge that the black community exists.

You write “…if everything you say is true about Obama, and if you dont plan to vote for McCain […] then you ought to be talking about how do we influence how Obama would govern.” Finally! Something from you that indicates you might be willing to listen! However, before we can discuss what to do we have to acknowledge there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Instead of people saying that we need to assure that Mr. Obama protects the black community’s interest we are more likely to give him our support unconditionally simply because he is black.

I understand that the white community is looking at Mr. Obama for any sign that he will betray their trust. It is a scary business for them to elect a black man. But it is imprudent for the black community to support Mr. Obama without getting some assurance that he has the black community’s interest at heart. The fact that he has black skin is not enough. The black community has been betrayed by many politicians with black skin. The fact that he has a black wife is not enough. The black community has been ignored by many politicians with black spouses. The fact that he has gone to a black church is not necessarily a good barometer of his willingness to protect the black community’s interest.

You ask me for a plan. May I suggest that you ask Mr. Obama what is his plan for the black community from a national perspective. As President, what can we expect. Are we going to see him govern from a distance? Are we going to see a President that acknowledges that there are unique issues affecting the black community that are fueled solely by racial stereotypes, prejudices, and perceptions. Or is the black community expected to just be happy that we have a black President that dismisses issues of black subjugation with indignation and outrage.

Finally, you give me the impression that people who use the internet to help spread ideas, people who use their computer to educate others on social conditions, are not part of the solution. You have a bias that people who write blogs are wasting time and are not part of the solution. Why? What is the difference between ideas from a book and ideas from the internet? Do you know for a fact that I have not campaigned, made visits to my elected government officials, or actively lobbied for my beliefs? Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I don’t attend community organized events that affect my neighborhood or are you simply making another assumption in order to provoke me into defending myself?

Too often in the black community, people who speak of unpopular concepts, such as actually holding a black presidential nominee’s feet to the proverbial black community fire, are dismissed because we don’t have the credentials, resources, or time to bundle thought provoking ideas into books for $29.95 a copy. If it’s on the net it means nothing. An idea is an idea whether it comes via a hardback, paperback, postal letter, billboard, television, radio, meeting hall, or website. You may automatically dismiss blogging on behalf of the black community as ineligible for being a positive action step. I beg to differ.

Like most mediums that are used to spread information, the internet runs the gamut from nonsensical, irrelevant fluff to thought provoking expressions of ideas. I put a lot of time into my blog and website. I put a great deal of myself into my responses and comments. You may refer to me and all my writing as little more than a cop out. I’ve been called much worse. However, if I can affect change on others for the benefit of the black community then I believe that to be a very positive step regardless of the medium I choose to do it. You are most correct for I do not have a single positive plan of action but a continuous one.


Thursday, June 5, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Philosophy, Thoughts


  1. It should be noted that yesterday, Barack Obama stood in front of an organization rooted in the Jewish American community and pledged his unconditional allegiance to the state of Israel. Where has Mr. Obama stood in front of the African American community and pledged his unconditional allegiance to the black community?


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Reply

  2. Sir, Mr. Obama pledged his unconditional allegiance to the black community in a 457 page book called Dreams From My Father.

    It is well worth reading.

    Comment by ollie | Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the feedback ollie,

    I will have to read that book. Now that the book is written I guess it’s assumed that it is too much for the black community to ask Mr. Obama to stand at the podium and declare his unwavering support in a ten second statement. I do believe that if someone told the members of AIPAC to go read a book in order to learn how Mr. Obama felt about the Jewish community many would find that type of a response unacceptable. Imagine John McCain or or anyone else running for a political office being asked for confirmation for their consituents and them responding, read my book. I don’t think that would go over very well.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Reply

  4. Brother Peacemaker…We think alike!

    I sat and watched Obama speak to the AIPAC yesterday and said the same thing. Blacks, I believe, are a larger constituency than Jews. I was thinking about how Obama could pledge his allegiance to Israel but has to cut ties with a church that pledges allegiance to the African continent.

    I completely understand why this is but it is the irony and hypocrisy that I cannot take. Black people have been calling me selfish for demanding that the people that I support speak to the issues of blacks yet Jews are allowed to hold conventions were all the leaders of a political party must, MUST prove that they are dedicated to their cause! He promised all types of treaties and land to Native Americans and more to Latinos. I could care less if he is black. Are black not aware of how poorly so many black politicians have represented their constituents. Philly mentioned the CBC? The CBC has problems of its own.

    Ollie, you are another naive one. I will warn you that the Barack in “The Dream of My Father” is the 1994/95 Barack who still had ties to Wright and TUCC. The Barack that attended the Million Man March and was looking for a solution for the issues that affected the black community. That was the Barack before national fame, before he entered into politics and before he was running for president of the United States of America. I believe that at heart he knows the truth yet he cannot express it or act on it. This is just as problematic as him not knowing. It means that he knows better but is grandstanding.

    I will also tell you that telling people to go read a book is pretty disrespectful. I could just imagine the outrage of Jews, or working class white voters being told to go read a book that he wrote in what-1995?

    Once again, I know why Obama has to do that and it’s exactly why I cannot fully buy into his “Change” mantra. Change as transformationist like Wright and myself (along with a history of others) believe that change must be a complete transformation of the way in which a society thinks and operates.

    If you walk into a house and change the curtain and paint the living room, the house is still rotting. Obama is trying to change a system while keeping the problem, the system. He is apart of one of the oldest political parties in the World. They have a way of doing things. They are a part of the problem. Even if he had big dreams of change, he is limited. Then again, he could be thinking about a different change than I am. The change that I want has to be done on the grassroots level not in an oval office. I would like to remind blacks that change does not start in the oval office. Obama’s history proves that he also knows this. I would like black people to think about the change that they can make in their communities and on the local level. We need to be more collective. We need to stop perpetuating the ideologies of the dominant community. We need better lobbying. As blacks, we should not allow the dominant community to tear down our political and religious leaders. We need to not allow them to rewrite and edit our history. We need to stop trying to adapt their delusional worldview.

    I support him because I think that he is the best thing that we have right now for a president. I believe that since he knows better, his conscience will get to him. This is why I have the faith that I do have while giving him the criticism that I do. The people like my friend Leila who grew up in Chicago, Wright and many others have no problem trying to be his conscience.

    Comment by RhondaCoca | Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the beautiful feedback RhondaCoca,

    You wrote, “I believe that at heart he knows the truth yet he cannot express it or act on it. This is just as problematic as him not knowing.”

    Actually, I believe this is much more problematic. You can hope to educate an ignorant individual into knowledge. It is more of a problem to inspire the knowledgable man who may have previously exercised a commitment to the black community but has over time modified his position to a point where he realizes that the black community has no real strength and therefore does not matter.

    Like you I know why this happens. I do not blame Barack Obama for the decisions he has made. Although I am disappointed with his behavior and his choices, he alone is not the problem here. The problem is how the black community responds to the Barack Obama phenomenon. Brainless rhetoric of a black man making history and platitudes of change are pointless.

    Every other community of people are asking Mr. Obama strong questions about his ideas and demanding to know exactly what they can expect in return for helping him win election. Every community but the black community. We give our support and ask for nothing in return but a chance to make history. And when we get nothing in return we have no one to blame but ourselves.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, June 5, 2008 | Reply

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