I am a real black person. Seriously. I am. I don't have to show my ID, unveil my music collection or disclose my voting record. My blackness is not up for debate.
And I'm tired of people, black people especially, trying to take away my President's right to be black, white or whatever else he claims. Most recently, Kevin Johnson from Philly is challenging our President's blackness. No, he doesn't come right out and say it but he is. Why else would this man jump on the "poke holes in the President" band wagon. Johnson's recent article in the Philadelphia Tribute blast President Obama for not having enough black people in his cabinet. He says that he didn't vote for Obama because he was black but because "he was the best candidate to empathize, understand, and develop policies to help the African-American community, the poor, and previously under-represented communities." But now he doesn't feel that way. Okay, do you now believe that McCain or Romney would have been a better choice? Of course not.
So, what is this really about? Answer: Race. We want Obama to save black people because he is black. Johnson wants someone to blame for the current condition of black people. His recommendations for moving forward are short sited and not sustainable. He suggest that we should have more influence financially on the political process. He ask that we look beyond race when choosing a candidate, which contradicts his entire premise. Like most so called modern black leaders, he is lost.
President Obama's politics are no different from any other President before him. He moves with the crowd. There have only been a handful of "transformational" leaders in the White House; Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, Kennedy and Johnson are the first ones that come to mind. And one would argue that they were transformative because the nation and the world was transforming and they were responding to that change. Which leads me to my point.
The reality is, no President can save black people. Only black people can save black people. And I am honestly tired of folks like Mr. Johnson passing the responsibility of our people on to a "higher authority." The problems that plague the black community are beyond the eyes of Washington but they are right outside of our front door. What kind of legislation needs to be pasted to get Black Men to marry Black Women? What kind of legislation needs to be passed to get black folks to buy goods and services from black folks? These two simple practices would be "transformative" in the black community.
Black people are making progress. We are going to college in higher numbers. We are earning more and saving more. We are graduating from high school at higher rates. We are moving forward and it has less to do with politics and more to do with hard working, community minded families.
Even with all those black people in George W. Bush's cabinet, I don't think my life was improved by his administration. Presidents will do what Presidents do. Let's make sure we pick the right fights for our people. Fighting for black jobs in the White House will never equate to more employed black children in your neighborhood. Never has and never will. I agree with Johnson's assertion that we must make sure that our elected officials are responsive to our needs regardless of their race. In addition, we must recognize the untapped potential that lives within us. I cannot wait for a man from Washington to come down and save me and my people regardless of his race. http://www.phillytrib.com/newsarticles/item/8637-a-president-for-everyone,-except-black-people.html#comment4477