Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Obama: Campaigning, Constituencies and Colloquialisms

30 Sep

If ever there were a thankless job, I imagine that between drags on his Newport, Barack Obama would be lamenting to Michelle that the aforementioned was that of the office of President of The United States.  Whether he’s getting kicked in the teeth for trying to ensure that all of the nation’s citizens have a reasonable means by which to acquire medical treatment, blamed for the past, present and future fundamentals of this country’s economy or excluded as having had anything to do with the termination of International Enemy #1, President Obama has seemingly been given three years before everybody and their momma has decided that he’s responsible for the current decline of American Society.  But even as Barry makes preparations for a second term while bumping Mystikal’s “It Ain’t My Fault” throughout every room in The White House, it is important that we all take an assessing look at the direction of this country and identify what this administration has done well and what still needs to be timely and wholly addressed, should The President be afforded four more years.

For many Americans though, there seems to be no middle ground when it comes to our 44th.  It’s either Barry walks on water, or he needs to be publicly tarred and featured at the next Tea Party rally.  Unfortunately, thanks to these two extremes, any thoughtful or critical analysis on the job that President Obama has been doing thus far is more times than not seen as either “hate” or groupie love.  And when members of his most loyal constituency (re: black folks) start making some very vocal criticisms of the President, words like “sell out”, “jealous” or my personal favorite, “Uncle Tom” get strewn out into the Blackosphere.

For instance, people like noted philosopher, activist and Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West (don’t let his Matrix Reloaded and Raheem DeVaughn feature fool you, he’s still an academic) and political commentator/activist Tavis Smiley have been on the business end of Black America’s rebuke for publically calling out President Obama and his policies where they concern war, capitalism and the disproportionate effects of the recession on African-Americans.  Even California Congresswoman Maxine “the-Tea-Party-can-go-to-hell” Waters and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been critical of the president and the administration’s jobs record amid a current 16.7% unemployment rate for African-Americans (nearly 47% for younger African-Americans), only to be accused of rabble-rousing and not helping to join the fight in solving what ails America.

Apparently however, Mr. Obama had reached his culpability threshold and found the perfect opportunity to address some of his critics when he attended and spoke at the CBC’s annual Phoenix Awards gala last weekend.  Realizing his inner Reverend Dr. Obama, the president seared some of his detractors with fiery phrases like “stop complaining” and “take off your bedroom slippers.”  The President of course was speaking passionately about his desire to have lawmakers work with him to make legislations like his Jobs Act a reality, but his familiar dressing down of the black lawmakers may not have had the desired effect.

Rep. Allen West, a Republican member of the CBC from Florida, called Obama’s comments “disrespectful and reprehensible,” while Maxine Waters wondered if The President would have spoken so freely with other minority constituencies.

 “I found that language a bit curious because the president spoke to the Hispanic Caucus, and certainly they’re pushing him on immigration… he certainly didn’t tell them to stop complaining. And he would never say that to the gay and lesbian community, who really pushed him on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Personally, while I cringed a bit at Mr. Obama’s house slippers reference (if I’m being honest, it was deliberate and pretty indelicate), I did appreciate  the fact that he actually acknowledged that some black activists and members of the CBC were critical of his record and took the time to respond to it (if not round-aboutly).  What did annoy me a bit however, was the realization that Mr. Obama has not appeared as comfortable addressing his conservative detractors as bluntly as he did the attendees at the CBC Gala.

I don’t think that as a public servant, Barack Obama is above reproach when people are genuinely feeling as though he isn’t representing their interest, but I also don’t think Barack Obama should simply smile and nod or bend over backwards acquiescently as a means to avoid confrontation with those who don’t agree with his politics.  If he truly wants to enact change, Mr. Obama is going to have to be authoritative; he is going to have to be bold, and his is going to have to be confrontational.  And not just with the black people that Al Sharpton reminds “not to compare him with the Almighty, but with the alternative.”


Happy eh, Labor Day?

5 Sep

Although for many of us, the first Monday in September is typically observed by having a day off from work, partaking in the last official cookout of the summer and donning the last of the summer-white in our closets, the true celebration of this day was intended to be so much more.  Labor Day was designed back in the late 1800’s as a creation of the labor movement, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American workforce.  The annual observance is a tribute to the contributions that workers in this country have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of The United States.

Still, the irony in celebrating Labor Day amidst American jobs being shipped to places like China and India by big corporations because of the lower cost to them (translation: cheaper labor), large and small businesses alike going out of business and a national unemployment rate of 9.1% (that’s close to 14 million people out of work, folks) is certainly not lost on me.  That is why, with the American economy in such a state of disarray and the bleak jobs report at the end of August, I am wholly optimistic and looking forward to what President Obama plans to outline to the country in the way of his Jobs Speech before a joint session of congress this Thursday. And this is despite the fact that his speech directly conflicts with the 2011 NFL season opener…all thanks to the POTUS being kinda weak (yes, I said it) and conciliatory by agreeing to reschedule his initial speech from Wednesday to Thursday after House Speaker John Boehner rejected his request for Wednesday, September 7; the same day that the Republican presidential debates in California are scheduled to take place…but I digress.

And although the national unemployment rate has gone down slightly since this time last year (9.6% to 9.1%), the American people are still very jaded and fed-up with the political hostilities and posturing from both sides of the aisle and want some tangible solutions to rectify the current state of this union so that next year, Labor Day will be a holiday worth celebrating.

The “Touch of Gray” Gift I Sent to Obama: Just An Investment in My Future

4 Aug

Thanks to the ever-oblivious extremists on the far right, the unrelenting long form birth certificate media coverage and overall ridiculousness of Donald Trump and his Birthers battle cry, Barack Obama may likely go down in history as the one President whose birthday, the entire population of the United States remembers!  But the circumstances surrounding his birth haven’t been the only issue that the POTUS has had to deal with just two-years into his first presidential term.

With “Change” not taking hold quite as quickly as we had all hoped, a national economy on the brink of collapse, wars abroad on two fronts and the most visceral and repugnant opposition known to man in his own back yard, is it any wonder that the once striking obsidian colored head of our beloved 44th President now looks as though he’s been volunteering to personally wipe clean the chalk boards at Sasha and Malia’s school…sans erasers?

Clearly, on the job stress has played a major factor in Mr. Obama’s rather rapid transformation into Fred G. Sanford.  That is why, before the change takes full effect and he starts using four letter sentence enhancers to address those Tea Party nuts and his GOP adversaries, I intend to send a care package full of Just for Men: Touch of Gray to the White House.  Trust me, while there is nothing wrong with a spicy Silverfox, a Faux News highlight reel of a gray and cantankerous Obama cussing out Boehner, Cantor and Bachmann would certainly not bode well for his 2012 re-election prospects, and my chances at Universal Healthcare Coverage.

Happy 50th Birthday Mr. President!

Not Much Packin’ Going On Today

25 Jan

So…I did have a blog post planned for tonight, but about a quarter of the way through President Obama’s State of The Union Address, I became irreparably distracted by John Boehner’s impervious screw face.

Now I am left wondering if Mr. Speaker attended tonight’s speech in a state of severe constipation, or if he picked up where Joe Wilson’s State of The Union Obama-Hateration left off last year?

Anyway, I promise I will do better tomorrow kids!


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