It's about our community and our spirituality!

No One Makes Social Change Alone

President Barack Obama said it himself in his first State of the Union address.  Mr. Obama addressed the Congress and acknowledged the perception of disappointment with his first year in office.  As a candidate competing for the White House, Mr. Obama’s campaign slogan spoke about change we could believe in.  But he never said he could change everything by himself.  He needs the legislature’s help.  He needs the help of the American people.  He never said anyone could make the change that’s needed alone.  We need everyone’s help.  No one can make change alone.  No one, except for the people in the black community.

When Mr. Obama addressed the black community, he told black people that all we need to do to change our condition is to act more responsible.  Back on Father’s Day in 2008, Mr. Obama stood in the pulpit at the Apostolic Church of God and told black men to stop acting like fools and take more responsibility for their families.  Black people need to get an education and need to stop waiting for a handout.  No one can do it for us.  We have to do it for ourselves.  We had to learn to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and do our own change by ourselves.  No one can do it for us.

After a year of being President of the United States, Mr. Obama has learned first hand how hard it is to change people who are steadfast resistant to helping him change anything of significance.  When someone is working hard to try and change things and needs the help of someone who is dead set against anything changing, it’s a given that the end result will be no change.

The past year with Mr. Obama is a first hand example of how people who are opposed to change can protect the status quo.  When Mr. Obama and his cohorts in the Democratic Party were working hard to pass healthcare reform, the Republican Party minority, for whatever their reasons, worked just as hard to block anything resembling healthcare reform.  The healthcare reform bill became so watered down and toothless that hardly anyone should lament its defeat.

And here’s a real kicker.  The Democratic Party could pick itself up by its bootstraps, put an end to the bullshit known as the filibuster, and pass healthcare reform, true healthcare reform that puts an end to people making money by denying medical care to other people.  They chose not to.  A legislature without a filibuster as a tool for obstructing the majority frightens people.  So instead of putting their money where their mouth is, instead of demonstrating true leadership by showing us how it can be done at any cost, we see how difficult real change is to come by.  And if you thought people are resistant to healthcare reform, something that everyone agrees that we need to some extent, compare that to how hard people will resist the kind of reform that could help the black community reach true self sufficiency.

The idea of making bold steps to end racial disparity is something abhorrent to a lot of people who refuse to acknowledge the plight of the black community and see any help directed at the black community as nothing more than a handout and welfare.  The black community has higher unemployment, a lack of significant business investment, inferior schooling, and less investment in infrastructure and maintenance.  Try to address these problems and people will scream about the evils of affirmative action and talk about reverse discrimination.  And the black community is supposed to make significant change by ourselves.

Real social change takes real effort from both sides of an issue.  To make a change in unemployment numbers, you need help from people who are unemployed as well as from people who are in a position to offer jobs.  I don’t care how hard you pull on your bootstraps, if you’re unemployed and need a job you’re not going to get a job without being offered a job.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s not even political science.  It’s common sense.

So when Mr. Obama says he can’t make change alone, I call him a hypocrite.  If Mr. Obama, as President of the United States, can’t change the status quo by himself then why would he be making the suggestion that black people can make social change by ourselves?  Real change takes real effort from both sides.  Now that Mr. Obama has spent his last year learning this lesson, I wonder if he would be more willing to help the black community change its condition.

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama knows he has more to gain if he supports the status quo that perpetuates the black community’s condition.  Yes, it is true that he can’t make change that the rest of us can believe in by himself.  That’s especially true when he has no interest in changing anything, like the racial disparity that continues to plague the black community.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts


  1. A friend told me the other day that the only people who like being changed are babies. I laughed ’cause it’s true.

    Comment by asabagna | Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. Well said brother peacemaker, well said. If you don’t mind I would like to dedicate your posting to all the Obamites out there who think that Obama is working in “our” interests.You know the people who try and convenience us that Obama is secretly “winking” at us when he gives speeches; that he is waiting for the “right time” to unveil his policies that will be of benefit to the Black community; that he has alot of disloyal people around him giving him bad advice; etc. etc. etc……….

    Comment by Umkhonto we Sizwe | Thursday, January 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Greetings Umkhonto,
      It is very true that Obama is encircled by disloyalty of his own choice unless you think he was tomming.
      However do not make the mistake of thinking that the average american Afrikan expected him to be a drum major in our struggles with global and domestic racism. He has already demonstrated that he hasn’t a clue. And I am not so sure that we can hold that against him considering that he does seem to be clueless. Plus we must always keep the reality of our circumstance and condition ever present in our MINDS.
      No one individual alone is ever going to make the kind of
      difference that will lift us from this miry clay of an existance. We have the intelligence,competence,skills but maybe not the will to COMMIT, make sacrifices, to persevere.
      So lets get of Obama’s case since to me it seems that we are
      resigning to becoming welfare kings and queens voluntarily.

      Comment by Akinwole | Tuesday, February 9, 2010 | Reply

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