(The following editorial is a transcript exclusive for Hip Hop Republican. The transcript was read during “The Weekend Countdown with Kaela Harmon” on WGCV-AM in Columbia, South Carolina Friday, October 02, 2009.)
I’m sure that there are plenty of people that are disappointed with Chicago losing out in the race for the 2016 Summer Olympics Games. Moreso, it stinks that the Windy City came in a disappointing 4th place after dropping out of contention after the 1st round of voting.
However, one thing that was worse for the Second City is how the Black youth of Chicago have been given 2nd-rate treatment by one of their own, even as he traveled to secure parades in the streets in 2016 while blood continues to flow in the streets in 2009.
Many bloggers, journalists, and pundits – as well as more African-Americans – are becoming more critical of President Barack Obama’s “true” connection with Black America. The shocking silence coming from the White House after such a shocking death in his beloved South Side only indicates a growing sentiment within Middle America, one that has been noted by Black conservatives for decades now:
Just because they look like you and talk the good game at the polls and during election time does NOT mean that they stand with you through thick and thin.
If the past 60 years of domestic policies in our urban cities have not brought that to light, perhaps this latest episode does.
Don’t get me wrong – Black Republicans have a lot of work to patch up the gashes of mistrust between African-Americans and the GOP. These separations are not misunderstandings – many of them were “hard-earned” mistakes, gaffs, and racial residue from years gone past. With that said, Black America is at a crossroads of experiencing one of the biggest disappointments for Black youth and Black people in a long, long time – and our collective ability to focus on what matters and not what is apparent.
We took Black pride in the election of Barack Obama. It was good to do so from a historic sense. I held that pride as well – in January, but certainly not by June. And clearly, whereas the discussions concerning the causes behind continued unemployment, ongoing wars, and a lagging economy can be jostled behind Bush and Obama, it is becoming more evident that the president may have us on our own with issues impacting Black people in very real levels.
Those that point to his efforts on health care ignore Obama’s education record and actions as president.
Those that highlight his defense of all lives ignore his executive order to fund overseas abortion services, a move that increased abortions of ethnic babies throughout the world.
Those that say that Mr. Obama is a president, not a Black leader and should not be held to that higher standard must now question why Black people defend him at a higher level (as one of connection with “our president”) without enforcing any accountability in reciprocation (as in a relationship with “our president.”)
President Obama is not bigger than Black America. He is not bigger than Black History. He is merely a part of it. Dr. King wore a Noble Peace Prize and died defending the rights of garbage workers – because he was a Black leader and understood this.
Now that was a Black leader.
And before you say that President Obama is not seen as a Black leader, tell that to the scores of people that bought Obama t-shirts, commemorative plates, and the like.
President Obama – like other Blacks that have broken barriers that were previously viewed as impenetrable in America - has the historic and moral obligation to wear two hats simultaneously and successfully: one of competent American leader and one of influential African-American historical contributor. That opportunity was lost (again, some would add) when he failed to make a timely and profound (or even relevant) statement about the violence with Black youth in Chicago (throughout the recent period of spiked terror in these communities), even as he was preparing his statements to bring the 2016 Games to the shores of Lake Michigan.
Hopefully, now that the president is back from championing the Second City for the Olympics, perhaps he will make the Black youth of Chicago – and of other urban centers where they continue to die tragically - his second priority.