It's about our community and our spirituality!

When Not To Take Responsibility For Others


Insurance giant American International Group, Inc. (AIG) was saved from bankruptcy with an eighty five billion dollar government bailout in September.  The bailout has since more than doubled to almost two hundred billion dollars.  And there’s a good chance it will go even higher.  The global conglomerate was rescued because of fears that its intricate web of ties with banks around the world posed an imminent risk of financial collapse for the world wide economy.

This past week, AIG paid over four hundred of its executives bonuses, amounting to over one hundred sixty five million dollars, in the very division at the heart of the company’s collapse.  This has sparked outrage across the country from people who are hurting through today’s economic doldrums.  Unemployment is growing along with housing foreclosures.  Credit markets are tightening.  People are under the pinch of this crisis.  And the very people who are at the very center of this fiscal tempest are sitting fat and happy on the government’s teat.  Talk about welfare queens.

President Barack Obama has accepted full responsibility for the conglomerate’s huge bonus payments.  Why?  Because he’s the President, and that’s how he rolls.  At a town hall meeting in Costa Mesa, California, Mr. Obama said, “Listen, I’ll take responsibility.  I’m the President.  We didn’t draft these contracts.  We’ve got a lot on our plate.  But it is appropriate when you’re in charge to make sure that stuff doesn’t happen like this.  So we’re going to do everything we can to fix it.”

Just a few days later the United States Congress announced plans to slap a ninety percent surtax on bonuses like those given to upper echelons of the AIG staff.  What a difference less than a year makes.

Last year, Mr. Obama returned to the black community from whence he came and made an appearance at the Apostolic Church with his family in the congregation and delivered a passionate speech calling for black men to take greater responsibility for their families.  To a series of 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.

It may be true that the black community suffers from too many fathers being absent from their children’s lives.  But that condition rings true for each and every racial community as well.  What makes the black community so different?  Too many people want to blame the disparity that plagues the black community on the black community without doing much of anything to help us reverse this alleged trend?  Is it the black community’s fate to expect nothing from Mr. Obama than feel good, blame black people rhetoric?

Last year, Mr. Obama accused too many black men of missing from the lives of their children and being the very source of problems in the black community.  That was last year.  And the black community still hasn’t seen any help from Mr. Obama.  The President accuses black men of having abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men and leaving the foundations of black  families weaker.

But rich people from the dominant community who shirk their responsibilities and lead the economy to ruin with barely legal and certainly immoral business transactions are rewarded for their malfeasance with hundreds of billions of dollars invested into their companies and the freedom to use a small percentage of those funds, a still considerable amount of money, to line the pockets of a few.

The thought of Mr. Obama using his political clout to arrange a hundred billion dollar investment into the black community?  Of course we could never allow such a thing to happen.  Black people have to pick their own community up by its boot strap.  That’s a stark contrast to the attitude that manifest when rich people are about to go under.

AIG is much too successful for us to allow them to fail.  We’ll go ahead and give them a nine figure blank check and let them spend it any way they see fit and give them more money whenever they need it.  They shirked their responsibilities?  Let’s give them a few hundred billion dollars more to help them get through their lack of responsibility crisis with a little something extra to buy their selves something special like a retreat to an exclusive spa for upper management.  They used the money for bonuses?  I’ll take responsibility for that.  In the meantime, the black community needs to straighten itself out and black men need be more responsible.

Mr. Obama, your tolerance for racial disparity couldn’t be more blatant.  You’ll proudly take responsibility for the government being duped into funding bonuses and retention payments to people who have run their company into the ground.  But you’ll keep the black community separate and unequal until black men show more responsibility for their children based on nothing more than hearsay and conjecture about black men and your own unfortunate circumstance with your father.  Too bad for the American tax payer your dad didn’t work at AIG.

Thursday, March 19, 2009 - Posted by | Bailouts, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Men, Life, Politics, Thoughts

1 Comment »

  1. Well, really it’s about the different access to power, isn’t it? As nearly as I can figure it, the belief is that AIG still maintains its power in the same way as someone holding a gun to your head maintains the power — the threat that it could be a whole lot worse. It reminds me of the era in New York when we would never go out without a $20 in our pockets so that we could give it to any mugger who might threaten us. You give them the money and be thankful that you live through it. This was even recommended by the police at the time. Mugger bail out, but you live to walk away.

    I suppose there could be other options, and one wonders how we managed to become so dependent on AIG. There’s a wonderful story of my grandmother’s encounter with a guy trying to snatch her purse maybe 50-60 years ago, after she had just cashed a check and had quite a wad to lose. He said to her “Gimme the purse” and she just looked at him, yanked her purse out of his hands and said, “Don’t be silly!” and walked away. I would have loved to see this: then and now.

    Well, I know this is a bit off your point, which is the unfairness of the blame laid on the African American community when maybe what might be more helpful is a “yes we can” kind of message and a clear and easier path to get there. Responsibility should be rewarded, of course, but it doesn’t always happen, and sometimes irresponsibility and criminality are rewarded. I don’t have an answer, though.

    Comment by Betsy | Friday, March 20, 2009 | Reply

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