It's about our community and our spirituality!

Emotional Connection

When it comes to the fact that oil continues to spew into the gulf from the well dug by British Petroleum, President Barack Obama just can’t catch a break. A lot of people were disappointed to see Mr. Obama face this unnatural disaster with his well known cool and calm demeanor. Some people interpret his composure as Mr. Obama being aloof and uncaring. They will say that he needs to get fired up and has to talk to the people. And so Mr. Obama goes to the other extreme, at least for him. During an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC, Mr. Obama talks about doing what he can to find out whose ass to kick.

Mr. Obama using a four letter word, give or take a letter or two, is totally unnatural. In all his campaigning for the White House, Mr. Obama never even came close to using a curse. And yet, when people say that he’s too detached from the oil spill to look effective to the American public, now Mr. Obama wants to talk about kicking ass. I guess that’s supposed to make him look emotionally engaged.

One thing I must say, Mr. Obama wants to look emotionally connected to what’s happening in the gulf. Wearing his emotions on his sleeve is not his style. But when it comes to this issue, he wants to be seen as if he wears his emotions on his sleeve. You might want to give him a C minus for his effort, but he wanted to look as if he cared enough to use his contrived expletive. Whether or not his want to look emotionally attached to the gulf oil spill is a phony demonstration or genuine really doesn’t matter, at least not for the point I want to make here. People are talking about the President kicking ass or at least saying he’s going to kick ass and is bringing a little more attention to the spill and making some of the people feel like they haven’t been forgotten.

Compare Mr. Obama’s suggestion of ass kicking for what is happening in the gulf to his response to the black community. It’s been nearly two years since Mr. Obama stood at the podium of the Apostolic Church of God in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois on Father’s Day and gave a message to the black community. Essentially, the man who would become President told black men to quit acting like fools and everything in the black community would clear itself up. And with that, Mr. Obama very publicly turned his back on the black community and has never bothered to look back.

Just like the people who live and work along the gulf and have had their lives impacted for the worse, I would like to think that Mr. Obama cares about my community as well. I don’t want the President to dismiss my need for help with a simplistic quip dripping with negative racial stereotypes about black men failing to provide for their families. Some black men do fail in their responsibilities just like men from other communities. But there are black men who do what they can each and everyday. How come the President won’t ask the black men who are hard at work whose ass he needs to kick on their behalf?

While Mr. Obama’s brief display of anger last week may have been contrived, the manifestation of his contempt for the black community two years ago was genuine. During an interview, Mr. Obama was asked why he doesn’t do more for the black community. Mr. Obama replied that by law he can’t make any law that favors one group of citizens over another. Although nobody asked Mr. Obama to change any laws, he wants to perpetrate that his hands are tied. And yet, Mr. Obama can talk about kicking somebody’s ass for what has happened in the gulf.

The people in the gulf are looking to their President for help and for answers and for an emotional connection that says he cares. In order to give his gulf coast constituents the impression that he hears and that he understands, the last thing Mr. Obama would want to do is to go down there and tell those people that by law he couldn’t pass any law to help them. The President doesn’t pass laws. That’s what the legislature is for. We don’t need to hear what the President can’t do by law. We already have a basic understanding of how our government works.

What we really want to hear is what our commander in chief can do for us. A President that says he wants to kick some ass on his constituents’ behalf is a President that is trying to convince me that he wants to take care of me. This President would never kick anybody’s ass about anything that happens in the black community. Do you think Mr. Obama would get fired up about the black community? He wouldn’t even get mildly irritated. There is no emotional connection there and dude doesn’t even want to pretend to have one. His talk about kicking ass may have been contrived, but the black community should be so lucky to get cool, calm, and collected Mr. Obama to pretend to be angry about what happens there.

Monday, June 14, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Thoughts


  1. The biggest problem I have with his statement is a two parter in respect to the oil spill.

    1) if he’s looking for something it should be first, all possible solutions to the problem…then worry about the ass kicking issue

    2) in the process of trying to figure out whose ass to kick, when talking with the brightest minds, he might’ve gone beyond talking with those ‘experts’ who have pretty much only academic and theoretical knowledge, and moved onto talking with people in the industry and subsequent businesses involved with clean-up activities itself, which I hear is (or has just recently?) finally going to happen.

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Mike Lovell,

      I never even thought about the “experts” angle. Our company recently needed a DBA and instead of hiring someone with proven experience in Oracle and SQL and in the development of Crystal Reports, they hired someone who taught database development skills. The guy didn’t know how to access the data from the databases we already had let alone develop a new one. The most simplistic query commands were beyond his understanding. But this was the guy that management wanted to hire.

      When it comes to IT, I’ve learned not to be impressed with people’s theoretical expertise. I should learn to apply that lesson to other areas.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, June 15, 2010 | Reply

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