It's about our community and our spirituality!

Any Fool Can Be A Politician

Anybody who regularly reads my writings will know I’m not the most devoted supporter of Barack Obama. While many people are more than willing to give Mr. Obama their unwavering support without fully understanding or even knowing anything about where he stands on issues sensitive to the black community, I feel that the black community, like any other community that has interest that need protecting, should ask Mr. Obama, like any other politician courting a community’s vote, what are his positions.

Without exception every social measurement shows that the black population comes up short to its white community counterparts. Black people suffer higher rates of unemployment, black people suffer higher rates of incarceration, black communities have to deal with inferior quality schools, black workers make significantly less than white people for the same job, black people are less likely to receive or be able to afford quality medical care, black people are more than likely to be shot up by police as they walk down the street, black people are more than likely to pay higher rates and fees for credit, and the list goes on and on without end. If Mr. Obama was President, what kind of assistance or relief can the black community expect from his national leadership? Ever since Mr. Obama made his bid for the White House official I have made the argument that black people need to hold him accountable.

Mr. Obama can go in front of organizations that promote issues sensitive to the foreign country Israel and nobody thinks anything of it. It is a smart political move in fact because everybody is either comfortable with or is naïve about the Jewish community’s influence over our national policies. Mr. Obama can go in front of hardworking Americans, white Americans, and present his argument as to why he would be the best candidate for them. But to promote the idea that the black community should look for the same type of consideration from Mr. Obama is so unpopular it makes people angry.

Black and white people alike argue that it is not in Mr. Obama’s best interest to affiliate himself with the black community. Many black people say that black people who want assurances from Mr. Obama are defeatist who want nothing more than to sabotage Mr. Obama’s historic presidential bid. Black people who are willing to jeopardize the historic opportunity of America getting her first black President are doing the bidding for white people. The fact that it isn’t about Mr. Obama but about the black community is lost on these people. The chance to make history is more important than assurances for the black community.

Many white people make racist arguments that Mr. Obama is trying to be the President of all America and not just the President of black America. That is all the explanation needed to justify Mr. Obama staying distant from the black community. However, Mr. Obama participating and ingratiating himself within institutions of white culture does not invoke the opposite argument that Mr. Obama wants to be the President of white America and not the President of all America. There is an inherent assumption that white America and all of America are one and the same. By his very actions, Mr. Obama reinforces this sentiment.

However, it was reported that on Father’s Day, Mr. Obama returned to the black community whence he came with an appearance at the Apostolic Church of God in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. When I first heard that Mr. Obama ventured back to the black community, I was bracing myself to capitulate to the fact that Mr. Obama is without question a man of all the people. In all honesty, considering the alternative for the President, I’ve always considered Mr. Obama a better choice than John McCain. Once, after hearing a considerably disparaging remark made against Mr. Obama, a remark with racial overtones that called into question his ability to govern the high executive office effectively, I went to the Obama website and made a financial contribution to his campaign. I am beginning to regret that decision.

Mr. Obama, with his wife Michelle and his two daughters Sasha and Malia in the congregation, went to the pulpit at the Apostolic Church of God and delivered a passionate speech calling for men to take greater responsibility for their families. To a series of resounding ovations and hoots, Mr. Obama explained that any fool can cause a child but it is the courage to raise a child that makes a man a father. I actually made a donation to his campaign so I could support him so he could tell me this. I can get the same speech from Bill Cosby for free.

It is true that the black community suffers from too many fathers being absent from their children’s lives. But what can the black community expect from the President to help us reverse this trend? Is it the black community’s lot in life that all we can expect from Mr. Obama as President is more rhetoric? Hasn’t it already been proven that rhetoric alone is not helping the black community? Would the black community tolerate a white politician telling the black community that black men need to get their act together? But we will accept this from the black politician who takes the black vote for granted.

Any fool can stand behind a pulpit and say any fool can be a father. Any fool can be a politician and do what is safe to win the favor of the dominant white community in a political race. Any black fool can be a politician that courts the white community’s favor at the expense of any black community association. But it takes true courage for a black man to stand before the black community and confess true understanding of the issues that affect the black community.

Why are black fathers not in the black family home? Could it be a contributing factor that black people are denied jobs and black families can only get government sponsored financial and medical help if the black man is not in the picture? Is it possible that if black people were getting a fair share of employment and educational opportunities that the black family would be more likely to remain a cohesive unit? Is it possible that if black people were not being disproportionately hunted by police and prosecuted by a legal system hell bent on keeping black people in their place of subjugation that the black family would be in a better position to support the black community?

It takes courage for a black man to stand his ground and say that there is more to the story than the stereotypical argument that black men are the main source of the black community’s problems. The majority of the black men that I know go home to their families every night and do what they can as a father and as the man of the house as responsibly as any other group of men. In instances when the black man and black woman aren’t able to work out their differences and live together, the majority of the fathers that I know do what they can to financially support their children. The idea that black men are irresponsible and are not supporting their children is a negative, racial stereotype that uses a minority of examples to prove the whole.

Any high profile black fool can say that poor black people aren’t doing their fair share. Anybody can say that helping black people would be a handout as they make real policy to handover billions of dollars of our national treasure to American defense corporations. But it takes solid community leadership and courage to say that we need to address the problems of the black community as a society, as a community of compassionate people working to help our own. Any fool can talk rhetoric. To promise real leadership for the black community takes courage.

I have called for Mr. Obama to show courage and come before the black community and give some kind of indication as to what black America can expect from him. He just answered that question loud and clear.

I appreciate Mr. Obama’s return to the black community. However, as a member of the black community, as a black man who takes my responsibilities to my family and to my community very seriously, I cannot in all honesty support Mr. Obama in his bid for the presidency. This is not to say that I will become a John McCain supporter. The chances of that happening are pretty slim to none. Compared to Mr. McCain, Mr. Obama is a better choice as far as I’m concerned. But that advantage is slim and the affect on the black community will be an absolute wash. I have a good suspicion that regardless of who becomes President, the white man that is oblivious to the plight of black people or the black man who feels he has too much to lose by acknowledging plights of the black community, black people will continue to suffer.

Monday, June 23, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Black People, Democrats, John McCain, Life, Michelle Obama, Philosophy, Thoughts


  1. BrotherP,

    I’m with you on this, not all the way but I’m with you. When I have conversations about Uncle Bama people seem to think that he’s really “that” different. I tell them he is not, he is still a politician first. Pandering lying… all goes with the game. I tell them… don’t expect the second coming of Jesus or anything… I’m just hoping he doesn’t mess up the country as much as Bush did. I don’t have high hopes of him but I do have some. As far as for our community… I don’t expect much.
    Brother P, I really don’t expect much to change in this country until the majority isn’t the majority anymore. As far as us in our community, we can’t look high for solutions or changes we have to look around and do our thing… Teach our children the truth, teach them to be strong… Instill morals and appreciation for themselves and their (our) history. When we can get out our homes and help somebody that isn’t in our family. That is the way.
    Looking at a man to change our situation isn’t the way. He is a man.
    Thanks for allowing me to share.

    I must add that I was watching CNN yesterday and it’s like the MSM want so bad to brush racism off the table with this whole Obama thing… I’m like how can you say everything is fine when when I turn on the television all I see are whites when I turn on C-Span all I see are whites…Nahhhh, we don’t have a race problem in America cuz look at Obama. Riiiight….

    Comment by Damien | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the feedback Damien,

    I appreciate your sentiment. I should point out that I don’t look for any single person to help the black community. But I do look for people to help the black community, even politicians. I cannot help but be hopeful that one day, a president will actually be one of the people to actually help the black community out of its predicaments. It would be wonderful if Mr. Obama would have the gumption to be one of those people who would like to help the black community.

    If I vote for Mr. Obama it won’t be because he is black or because he is going to do so much for black people. Mr. Obama has already convinced me that the status quo has nothing to fear from his presidency. If I vote for Mr. Obama it will be because his overall understanding of national policy appears to be the best for this country. And the best the black community can hope for is some trickle down affect. So many white people have jobs that corporate America will have no choice but to hire black people. That sort of thing.

    As far as Mr. Obama goes, like most black people, it appears that it is just a matter of coincidence that we have black skin. As a black man, as a member of the black community hoping for positive change in the black community, I don’t expect much from him at all.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Reply

  3. Brother P…. I feel you on this post. I shook my head when I heard about Uncle Barack O-TOM-A’s speech. I thought to myself, he will find the time to attend a church to re-enforce and give legitimacy to the notion that Black men are irresponsible fathers and worthless men, however he could not find the time to attend the State of the Black Union to address issues and offer his solutions to concerns of the African-American community. I was considering doing a post on this subject, but to be honest, I am tired of Uncle O-TOM-A’s act.

    More and more Uncle O-TOM-A is showing that he will say and do anything to get elected… and the surest way to get “white” people to vote for you is to evoke the spectre of the “black boogey man”. If he was such a “change-agent” or wanted to engage in a new kind of politics, why not give a speech praising and encouraging the many many Black fathers, like you and I, who are being responsible, positive fathers and role models to our children and community. As the “Black Messiah” and future President of the U.S.A, a speech like that could have more of a positive and influential effect to encourage those Black men who are not living up to their responsibilities to do better.

    Have you considered voting for Cynthia Mckinney or Ralph Nader?

    Please consider sharing this post over at the Afrospear. It’s strong!


    P.S. The next time you consider making a financial contribution to Uncle O-TOM-A’s campaign, I want you to know that the money will be better utilized here in Canada. I can send you my banking info. [;o)

    Comment by asabagna | Monday, June 23, 2008 | Reply

  4. Thanks for the feedback asabagna,

    “The next time you consider making a financial contribution to Uncle O-TOM-A’s campaign, I want you to know that the money will be better utilized here in Canada. I can send you my banking info.”

    LOL – I really deserved that. I broke my own rules to make a donation to Mr. Obama. The next time I even think I’m thinking about making a donation I’ll get that banking info from you.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Reply

  5. I am incensed over the comments made my Jesse Jackson regarding Obama’s speech about personal responsibility to a black audience…but not surprised. Jackson and Sharpton have been playing the “blame game” for decades because too many black people don’t feel there is a need to take responsibility for the bad choices they make.

    When I sit in an inner city preschool classroom and hear a three-year-old, with a smile on her face, announce at the breakfast table, “My mama was in the bed naked with her boyfriend”, or when another three-year-old confides to me, “My daddy in jail; he just drink too much, my mama cuss him out”, or when four young, unmarried mothers of children in the classroom, tell me they are pregnant again and I can’t say, “congratulations”, or when I witness a young black man on the bus tell his friend that today is his twenty-fifth birthday and then go on to lament about having five daughters and no son and to solve the situation he says, “I’m gonna keep having babies until I have a son”, or when I’m standing at a bus stop and I witness a young mother getting into her SUV while her daughter, about five-years-old, has to get in the car on the passenger side by herself and has trouble reaching the door to close it and her mother yells, “Get you ass out the car!” and the girl obeys and is finally able to close the car door, or when I’m sitting in church and observe a young black man with his son, about four-years-old, and later share a bus ride with them as he goes on a profane tirade on his cell phone to the boy’s mother telling her she will never see the boy again, as the boy sits and listens, or when I am sitting on a crowded bus and witness a teenage mother, eating a cupcake and drinking lemonade in front of her baby, about a year old, and every time the baby makes a sound she hollers, “Shut up!” and finally when the baby begins to cry, she pops him repeatedly on his mouth and that’s when I had to say something about personal responsibility…(I was the only one), or when a city can’t celebrate “The Taste of Chicago” without gang bangers ruining the festive occasion by committing murder, I don’t hold the Government responsible! These are people who made personal choices to do what they wanted to do. If the Government intervened in the right to belong to a gang, have unprotected sex that leads to serial children, and black folks’ rights to raise a family without family values, Jackson and Sharpton would be the first ones to shout racism…at the Government.

    We are faced with a generation of narcissistic adults who want to do whatever they want to and take no responsibility for their actions. They are not willing to make the sacrifices to put the needs of their children before their own. What can a Government do? We are faced with a generation of teenage girls, having stair step babies by different fathers, who are not ready to be parents. We are faced with a generation of young black men, who not only disrespect women but also sincerely believe that marriage is a more important decision than bringing children into a world when they are not prepared to take care of them. We are faced with a generation who does not have a clue about what it takes to be a good parent. A box of pampers and a Rocawear outfit won’t suffice. It’s not enough to be a father in your child’s life; you must be a positive role model in your child’s life. Black kids are killing each other because they didn’t grow up in a stable home with two parents as positive role models; not because the Government didn’t provide midnight basketball.

    Too many parents, both black and white, sincerely believe that if they say they love their child, it automatically makes them a good parent. What’s love got to do with it? Absolutely nothing if you are not willing to back it up by being a living, breathing positive example in your child’s life. Too many children are exposed to profanity, sex, violence, drugs, and baby mama drama before they enter preschool. When they “play house” in the housekeeping area, they play “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” since the terms “husband” and “wife” are not in their vocabulary. The government does not control the break down in family values; the parents do. No amount of the government’s social dollars is going to rectify the plight of black America when the enemy is “us”.

    Obama had every right to discuss the absence of black fathers in his FATHER’S DAY SERMON! Of course, there will be many blacks who will feel like he’s “airing our dirty laundry” in front of white folks since it was taped, but we need to keep hearing the message until WE do something about the problem instead of waiting on the Government. I am a member of the same church as Jesse Jackson. A few years ago he gave the “Father’s Day” sermon. He criticized Shaq for being estranged from his birth father, who was absent during Shaq’s childhood, and Shaq’s positive relationship with the stepfather who raised him. I was appalled!

    We come from a rich culture that is steeped in religion and our belief in God, even if we aren’t “practicing” Christians. When judgment day comes, “The Government made me do it” is not going to cut it.

    Do I think this will hurt Obama’s chances for the presidency? Black people didn’t make Oprah a billionaire. So, my answer is, “no”.

    Comment by Marcia | Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Reply

  6. Marcia,

    You are so confused as to the real issue it is pathetic. No one cares if Obama decides to “air our dirty laundry” or not. That isn’t the issue. Since it has obviously flown over your head which seems to be deep in propaganda. The problem IS Obama would like to sit and lecture the black community on responsibility of its fathers ON fathers day.

    Like he and others have said before “he is not running for the black president, he is running for the American presidency.” So basically if he wants to sit and start lecturing people on responsibility then do it to the PUBLIC AT LARGE. Not aim directly at the black community with no regards to the foul stench emanating from the white community and others.

    White people have over 50% of fathers NOT living in the home which is no more than the black community but blind people such as yourself don’t even realize this. Not only this a study that was just done right before Obama’s speech showed that black men were MORE LIKELY than any other race of men to have relationships with their children with whom they do not live with. Wow, that sounds to me like you and Obama might be barking at the wrong people “again”.

    The problem as I see it is that this was fathers day. You don’t need to chastise people on a day that is supposed to be for celebrating. You don’t hear Obama or others waiting for Christmas to tell people how they should be better Christians and go to church more often. That wouldn’t fly very well in the middle of the Christmas pageant.

    But for some reason everyone seems to think that it is fine to CONSTANTLY chastise the black community for things that are happening with just as much frequency in other communities. I am not saying that we don’t need to work on our families. I am saying that America as a whole needs to work on our families. For each little kid you say said some crazy bull about their family a kid from every race can be found to be saying the same thing.

    Because I know you aren’t going to tell me that a child seeing his/her mother engaging in sex whether it be with a boyfriend or their father isn’t going to be a topic of discussion for that child. You sit just like Obama and act as if the black community is filled with deviants. You take the lowest 10% of the black community and hold it up as the example of who we are.

    Yet you nor Obama take the bottom of the white community, the pregnancy pact girls, the criminal laden white teens, the sorry excuses for parents, and the absent fathers and hold that up as what makes the white community what they are. You will find just as many bad parents, ignorant children, children exposed to sex to early, teen parents and any other behavior you seem to think screams black in every race including white.

    How come Obama doesn’t tell the Hispanic community about their out of wedlock births to teen mothers about themselves? Seeing as they have a higher instance of it than our community. And don’t tell me that it is because he is black. He already said he is not trying to be the “black” president. So that tells me we don’t need singling out. He should be running that speech to every community out their. Unless you are going to tell me that we ARE indeed more trifling than anyone else.

    And if you are a teacher then you should know damn well that nothing happens in a bubble. You can’t start a fire without fuel or flame. If the black community is neglected by the government. Meaning we have substandard schools and teachers. Substandard neighborhoods and healthcare. This means that we will be uneducated and sick. What happens when a person is uneducated? Being a teacher you should know that ill educated people are more prone to violence and crime. That is not rocket science.

    If you have people who are not educated they will not be able to teach their young. If you can’t teach your young then you have a whole new generation of uneducated people to repeat the cycle. And each time the cycle is repeated the problems intensify until you have a seriously malfunctioning community of uneducated people who are being expected to behave as if they have had this education.

    You of all people should realize this. I shouldn’t even have to break it down like that. Everyone wants to constantly take the governments responsibility out of the equation. If they were to do the minimal amount they do in the white community in the black community I am sure you would see a big difference in people’s behavior. And trust me this is just the tip of the iceberg. I can get into the types of foods that are being served to our kids in these substandard schools not to mention in their homes. Where again uneducated people are ill prepared to make correct judgments concerning the lives of others.

    And don’t get me wrong people have personal responsibility. But it seems to me that there is a different standard of responsibility for different races. And yet people want to hold some to higher standards in spite of their substandard lives. That is a problem that maybe you and Obama should address before making your ignorant blanket statements.


    Comment by theblacksentinel | Tuesday, July 15, 2008 | Reply

  7. Thanks for the feedback jamessandlin,

    While there are plenty of cartoons, videos, and other political commentary painting President Obama as a socialist or a Hitler wannabe with dreams of death panels, I am not interested in furthering hateful propaganda against Mr. Obama for the sake of hatred. If you have a comment to make about the subject at hand then please make it. However, if the only comment you have is something that is not relevant to this subject or a link to a site that does nothing but promote derision against Mr. Obama then please note, unless I feel it is extremely clever and worth support or unless if I find it pertinent to the conversation in some meaningful way, it will not be published.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, December 19, 2009 | Reply

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