by Professor Chris Green
I am a firm believer in the need for accountability. Recently, I have been reading a lot of things said about our president regarding Troy Davis, the African-American male who was executed last week despite clear evidence that the procedures of his trial were miss handled and witnesses recanted their testimony. There was considerable outrage toward our president for his choice to not step in on this matter. Dr. Boyce Watkins published a blog in the Newsone section of Blackplanet.com, arguing that Black America has become a mistress for the president. I write this article in contrast to her thesis.
Dr. Watkins brilliantly argues that President Obama relies on the black vote only when he wants something from them. According to Watkins, its common sense human nature to expect something in return for investing a lot of time and energy into another person, thus, the black vote that helped Obama get into office in exchange, Obama gives a heightened focus on Black America. This you scratch my back and you scratch mine philosophy has come to critical mass in ramification for the president’s recent comments suggesting that Black America needs to stop complaining.
Dr. Watkins’s publishing of the article is excellent for awareness, but it contributes to the complaining. It's like the typical sad example of too many black relationships today---Someone feels they are not getting anything in return for their spent energies but fail to see the red flags, which, in truth in my view, are clearly seen from the beginning.
The obvious red flags that too many blacks failed to realize was the institution of how politics works. We have to remember that Obama is FIRST a politician, he has always been a politician and our black communities failed to remember that. It's like when a woman is attracted to a man even though she knows well the man is not going to return the same investment as she will give him, and relies on WISHFUL THINKING, then after being shown that he doesn’t really care, she gripes and complains to family and friends, who tell her that the RED FLAGS were there in the beginning and failed to see them because of faulty expectations.
Let’s briefly go back into the past for a second. When Obama was running for the office that he holds right now, is it not ironic that he publishes his first book which became a best seller right at the time he was on the road trying to get voters? Another slip of irony is the sheer public relations genius that was practiced to perfection with media spots, use of Oprah (an anointed American leader), Harvard education, public speaking brilliance, and an acceptable W.E.B Dubois classic confrontational swagger with his persona, to match the “It’s time for change to happen” methodology that was sweeping the nation; at the time where people were fed up with W Bush. My argument is, if Black America is now complaining that they didn’t get their share of the investment, Obama isn’t to blame, because the red flags were already in clear sight. The main thesis of direction right now some of you may be feeling is; where do we go from here if complaining and blaming our first black president isn’t the answer?
It’s time in my view that black communities get back to basics. We follow the footsteps left behind by the people before us who died making sure we enjoy the freedoms we have right now. We can’t rely on Capitol Hill or the White House for any help, and according to our black history; WE DIDNT NEED THEIR HELP to ensure justice, unity, and social change.
Throughout our black history, our progress, empowerment, and focus to change to make our lives better came from focusing on the core----our communities OURSELVES. The blacks before us did not COMPLAIN----They were UNIFIED AS A SINGLE UNIT UNDER ONE ACCORD AND CONFRONTED. The leaders of this unity were mentor leaders: they understood that it wasn’t about them, it was about the cause that others deeply cared about. It was about establishing and maintaining an ETERNAL perspective that would last generations after they leave the earth. Sadly oh course, many blacks feel the perspective has been lost.
Personally to me, it's a waste of time to blame Obama, we can hold accountable, but blaming is not a good idea. We are back to the old "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY".
The blame game of complaining is a contributing factor for why Black America as a whole lacks the unity that our fore parents thrived on. Personally, I wished Obama had the political confidence to postpone Troy Davis, but the mindset is too infused with the social complex of politics and the WARNING SIGNS were there in the beginning. If we are going to hold Obama accountable, hold him accountable for his style of leadership as a PRESIDENT, not as a black leader.
Clearly to me, too much of Black America expected our president to be a “black leader” (which I will write about later this week). Such faulty thinking has come back to bite us and the warning signs were there in the very beginning. We cannot be expanding the blame game of complaining on a politician using race manners. This hard felt lesson reminds us that we as a black community need to get back to basics. Remembering that true change in social justice and the betterment of our people comes from inside: our families, our communities unifying under one cause once again. Until we re-establish this covenant, the blame game of complaining in our black culture will continue to thrive.