brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

The President Of Coal Miners

At a memorial service for the victims of the explosion in the Montcoal, West Virginia at the Upper Big Branch mine owned by Massey Energy, President Barack Obama said that the twenty nine men died in the worst mining disaster in about a generation.  He said that those men died in pursuit of a better life and he is promising to do his part in developing safer working conditions underground.  Mr. Obama has ordered a review of coal mines with poor safety records and urged the passage of stronger laws to close loopholes that allows the perpetuation of unsafe conditions.

Mr. Obama pledged changes to an industry that provides valuable jobs in an area known as mine country and a valued source of energy.  He said that we cannot bring back the men that were lost and that what we need to do now is try and to keep lives from being lost in another such tragedy.  He made the statement that we need to do what must be done, individually and collectively, to assure safe conditions underground.

A preliminary report from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and mine safety officials suggests the blast may have been caused by a preventable buildup of methane gas mixing with coal dust.  The report also raised concerns about a major increase in safety violations at the Upper Big Branch mine indicated by the rate of serious violations.  Although he placed the majority of blame for the accident on the mine owners, Mr. Obama conceded the government was partly at fault for the disaster, he laid most of the blame for the latest accident on the mine’s owner.  He said that many letters had poured into the White House after the disaster asking him to never forget that miners keep America’s lights on.  The President of the United States is clearly sympathizing with this segment of our national collective.

So far, the President has shown himself to be a very compassionate and sensitive man to this impact to the mining community.  He promises to do his part to assure that these people see the type of change that should lead to a brighter future for families.  The President would never say that he doesn’t have time to be the President of miners or say anything like he doesn’t have the time to be the President for such a small constituency or say that by law he can’t make any laws that favor miners.  Mr. Obama would never say anything to distance himself from the community of miners the way he continues to distance himself from the black community.

Two years ago, when Tavis Smiley invited Mr. Obama to the annual State of the Black Union to discuss issues pertinent to the black community, even though the invitation was made weeks in advance, when he was just a candidate for the presidency, Mr. Obama had to decline due to other commitments.  But now as President, Mr. Obama can change on a dime, put off whatever he has on his busy presidential schedule, to do his part to comfort his constituents.  Mr. Obama would never say something like he is not trying to be the President of coal miners.  Mr. Obama would never tell the miners anything so callous like any fool can go down a mineshaft.  He would never say that miners should pick themselves up by their own bootstrap and work hard to change their conditions because no one can do it for them.  Mr. Obama would never tell the miners and the family members of miners that by law he can’t do anything to help anybody to justify his inaction.  Instead, he will do just the opposite and he will make it plain and clear that he has empathy and he has concern.

Honestly, no one should have a problem with Mr. Obama working the crowd at the memorial for the twenty nine miners that lost their lives.  He is a politician after all.  He knows that the favorable position he enjoys now can easily slip away and those West Virginia miners could put their political clout behind another candidate.  Mr. Obama knows he can’t take their support for granted.

But Mr. Obama is under no illusion that his support from the black community is at stake.  At the moment, after all the stiff arming he gives the black community, after doing everything he can to prove to America that he has little sympathy for the black community, he still enjoys an approval rating in the black community upwards of ninety percent.  The majority of people in the black community stand ready to give America’s first black President a pass for his every refusal to do anything that might change the racial status quo.

And because so many black people are ready to give their political ass up to this man, he knows he doesn’t have to do a damn thing to earn a piece of political ass from black people.  And despite the number of black people who see Mr. Obama’s black community track record for what it truly is, despite the number of black people who see the many offenses Mr. Obama keeps inflicting on the black community, as part of the black community collective their voices are drowned out by all the black people who could not care any less that the black community gets its fair share of compassion from our President.

Mr. Obama is no more the President of the coal miner community than he is the President of the black community.  But somehow, for some reason, he doesn’t have to go out of his way to convince anyone that he isn’t trying to prove himself to be just the President of coal miners.  We see that relationship between the President and those constituents as benign.  But as soon as we see the black President being compassionate to the black community we will see something dangerous and despicable and something that must be avoided at all cost.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Thoughts

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