When Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, 95 percent of the black community screamed, cried, hollered, prayed, and thanked Jesus because they never thought they would live to see a black man elected as president.
Many even bragged about how he was going to pay their mortgage, their car note, their light bill. They would have to struggle no more. They felt empowered, enough to want to kill each of us who didn’t holler, scream, cry, and pray, “Thank you, Jesus” for Obama.
So, now imagine my surprise at the growing displeasure among many of them because of his actions in his first 100 days – actions that not only have a chilling effect on the years of progress by a great number of black business owners, but that also may actually kill what some of them have worked so hard for, giving their blood, sweat and tears to build.
As I prepared to be interviewed by well-known Georgetown University professor, the Right Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, on his syndicated talk show, I ran across a video titled “Michael Eric Dyson vs. President Obama” that blew my mind.
First, Dyson complains that, after being the first major black figure to endorse Obama publicly, he has not even been invited to the White House.
My, my, my! Reminds me of how mad Frank Sinatra was about being denied an invitation to the White House by President John F. Kennedy, after having worked tirelessly to get Italians (some say Mafia), and unions solidly behind Kennedy in the 1960 elections.
But Dyson was really angry because it seems that Obama has forgotten about the black side of the family. It seems that when he was asked the perennial question posed to white elected officials, especially presidents, governors and mayors: “Whatcha gonna do for black folk?” Dyson was not impressed with his answer.
Furthermore, as my black Democratic friends were laughing about the fact that Republican donors may have been targeted by Obama’s administration in the closings of Chrysler and GM dealerships, especially by the 31-year old snotty-nosed neophyte running the auto task force, they overlooked the fact that many of Chrysler’s and GM’s black and minority-owned franchises were facing closure as well.
So policies designed for years to create and grow black and minority businesses by Republican presidents Richard Nixon, George H. Bush and George W. Bush, and Democratic presidents Jimmy
Carter and Bill Clinton, were dismantled by Obama in less than 150 days.
How’s that for being “black and proud?”
As black Republican Anne Wortham, associate professor of Sociology at Illinois State University and visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, wrote in No He Can’t, “So you have made history, Americans. You… have elected … not an individual who is qualified to be president, but a black man who…promises to – Do Something!…But you have also foolishly traded your freedom and mine – what little there is left – for the chance to feel good.”
So the honeymoon is over for some folk – those who asked for change, but never asked what the change would be. They were just so happy to see a black man in charge. A black man who beat all the white men (and woman) at their own game. Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
But is it the change they were hoping for? Did they think that someone who many said during his campaign had no experience “being black in America” since he wasn’t here during the civil rights movement, would change his multicultural outlook of life to meld with theirs?
But while black activists, leaders and intelligentsia are asking, “Where is the love,” the masses are still blinded by “the chance to feel good” because a black man is president.
Meanwhile, young and/or inexperienced “experts” and “czars” (more than Russia ever had) are changing our capitalistic society into a socialist system, supposedly taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor. Or, are they just taking money from one set of rich and giving it to another set of rich?
Michael Eric Dyson asks the multimillion dollar question, “Are we being played by Obama?”
I say, “The answer is in the question.”
Barbara Howard is president of Barbara Howard & Associates and the Florida state chair for C.O.R.E. (the Congress of Racial Equality).