As we gear up for the 2012 Presidential election, it’s interesting to see how the White House works to explain the fact that it’s been MIA for the Black community. The last three years have been a relative wasteland when it comes to political and economic progress for African Americans, and even the most ardent President Obama supporters are growing tired. They want to defend him at any cost, but he’s made it remarkably difficult.
Policies and action that have come forth to help the gay community, women, immigrants, and other groups have flown over the head of Black America, like Jay-Z performing in a city where Black people can’t afford to buy tickets. But similar to the Jay-Z concert, some of us love Barack Obama anyway, standing outside the arena hoping to catch a glimpse of our hero as he gets inside his limousine. Our job is to lift the throne and watch it, but we dare not ask the throne to give anything back to us.
When Cornel West lashes out at President Obama, the president’s supporters still get angry at Cornel West, mostly out of habit. They go after West with principled ferocity, calling him nasty names and attempting to undermine his relevance as a scholar. By asking the president to do something for Black America, Cornel West has committed the mortal sin of bothering President Obama while he has more important things to do, like taking care of White people. Some get angry at Cornel West because they believe that he is wrong. But with each passing day, Obama supporters are getting angry at Cornel West, because deep down, they know he might be right.
Many former Obama enthusiasts are disappointed in Barack for giving them no ammunition to use for the battle.
They grow weary of grabbing onto any morsel of hope that allows them to win heated debates on Facebook, e-mail or around the water cooler. For some, defending President Obama is like demanding a better grade for your child when you know that your baby has been lazy in class.
A picture on the cover of Essence Magazine doesn’t have the power that it once had when African Americans are losing their jobs, their homes, and their freedom at a record pace.
The Obama enthusiast is virtually dead. The number of Black people running around with Obama T-shirts, putting signs in their front yard, and putting his picture on the wall next to Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus has plummeted. Obama is not the iconic figure that he once was, no longer a rock star. Far fewer African Americans are begging the Obama campaign to let them join the team and we’re all too broke to give money.
People like President Obama, they respect him, and they are damn sure that he’s better than the Republicans, but that’s about all they can say at this point.