A Bird In The Hand
It had been a few weeks since I talked to my brother. I called him the other day to share the news that I have a new job. He wasn’t home so I left him a message to call me whenever he could. That was today. He was happy for me. He knows what it’s like to be unemployed. I’m sure that it’s his opinion that he’s been laid off from his line of week more than his fair share. Combined with the way the economy has been shanghaied by a double dip depression and/or an unremitting recession that refuses to respond to the economic equivalent of Robitessen, my brother understands what it takes to keep a job these days, let alone get one.
My brother isn’t happy about this lackluster economy and he made it known. He has a job in transportation and knows first hand what the economy is doing. In his line of work, when people aren’t trying to move or trying to move things then it’s a sure fire sign that things aren’t going well from an economic perspective.
I laughed at him. As our conversation meandered into something only two brothers could meander through, I asked if he was going all tea party movement on me. It was his turn to laugh. I asked him if it was his black face I saw in the news supporting his local tea party candidate. He laughed some more. But after his chuckles subsided it didn’t take long for him to complain that there are just some people who would complain about President Barack Obama’s governance no matter what. I agreed. No matter what Mr. Obama did, some people, like the people pushing the tea party, would never be satisfied.
I agreed with my brother and took the bait to take things a little further. I told him that Mr. Obama might be in a little trouble this November when his political opponents get back into office and try to undo all the political moves Mr. Obama spent the last twenty moths trying to make. My brother wasn’t buying that conclusion. He thinks Mr. Obama and the Democrats can pull victory out of the jaws of defeat. I said we’ll just have to see.
I asked him to remember that I’m no official predictor of the future, but Mr. Obama has done little to keep his political base happy. I asked him if he saw the town hall with the black woman who asked Mr. Obama if this economic nightmare we’re living in now is our new reality. He said he didn’t, but then he added a comment that can be summed up as the black community was ready to turn on Mr. Obama as quickly as the tea party. It was his opinion that the black community simply refuses to support its own.
I didn’t hesitate to pounce. I asked my brother what has Mr. Obama done for the black community. He replied that Mr. Obama couldn’t do anything for the black community because he’s trying to win a second term. Once Mr. Obama has that second term under his belt he’ll eventually come around. The black community has to remember that he isn’t trying to be the President of black people.
I asked my brother how many times he heard Mr. Obama say that he’s not trying to be the President of black America. He said he heard Mr. Obama say it at least once or twice. I then asked my brother how many times he heard Mr. Obama say that he wasn’t trying to be the President of white America. He said he never heard Mr. Obama say that. I asked how many times he heard Mr. Obama say that white fathers need to stop acting like fools and become more responsible. He couldn’t recall a single time. I then asked him how many times Mr. Obama said the same about black fathers. My brother conceded another point to me.
I then asked my brother that the unemployment rate for the United States. He had no idea. I told him it was just under ten percent the last time I checked. But then I told him that the unemployment rate for the black community was almost twice that figure. The rate for the white community was less than eight percent.
So with all of these factors to shed a little light on our subject I asked why would the black community support a black man who has done so little to help the black community. Why would the black community support one of our own when one of our own does so little to support the black community? He didn’t have an answer for me. But I didn’t really expect one either.
No subset of the American populace has put their heart and soul behind Mr. Obama’s ascension than the black community. True, some black people complained that he wasn’t all black. He did have that white mother after all. But the fact remains that the man is obviously a black man despite the percentage of European blood that may course through his veins. Dude is obviously a black man and he was the benefactor of a lot of black pride. I would estimate that upwards of nineteen out of twenty black voters put their vote behind Mr. Obama. How has the black community been compensated for its overwhelming support? The answer is that we’ve been given by Mr. Obama himself is, among other things, that he isn’t even trying to be the President of black people.
So with that kind of apathetic support, why would black people be trying to get back to the polls during this fall’s midterm elections to help assure Mr. Obama has the most supportive legislature possible? We’ve already seen that we don’t matter. He’s not trying to be our President. He’s got his eye on bigger, more important things.
It was right at this point that my conversation with my brother was interrupted. According to the caller ID a call was coming in that I had no choice but to take. I apologized and without waiting for his reply I quickly switched over. But our conversation resonated in my head ever since. I began to think it would make a pretty good post.
Mr. Obama has forgotten a very simple and yet important rule: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. While he works so hard to reach across the political aisle to grab as much bipartisan support for his agenda, an agenda that his political opponents describe with four letter words like “socialism”, Mr. Obama has let erode the support he had wrapped up with the prettiest bow and given to him on a silver platter. If the black community was a bird in the hand we’d be long dead by the time Mr. Obama got around to giving us anything that even remotely resembles attention. And now we’re supposed to fall back into step behind him so that he can get more of his buddies behind him so that they can continue his agenda.
Thanks…but no thanks!
Come this November if Mr. Obama gets an agreeable legislature to work with him for the next couple of years, it’ll happen without my support. The way things are going I seriously doubt if he’ll get my support for a second term. Yes he was the lesser of an alternate evil. But that kind of self defeating logic just isn’t going to cut it the next time around. I don’t want to vote for somebody who’s going to screw me less than the next guy. I want to vote for someone who has my best interest at heart. If Mr. Obama feels that he isn’t trying to be the President of the black community then I think it behooves the black community to find someone who is trying to be our President as well as the rest of the nation.
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