For most of his term, Obama has studiously avoided any public mention of race. He's even been hard-pressed to acknowledge the disparate impact that the recession is having on black people. To show his concern for the nation's suffering, Obama will take a helicopter from the White House and swoop right over depressed black neighborhoods in the District. Then he'll catch a jet out of Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George's County and roar away from the tens of thousands of foreclosed properties that pockmark the predominately black Washington suburb.
A couple of hours later, he'll land in some swing state to comfort a largely white crowd whose votes he dare not take for granted.
But, oh, happy day, it's our turn.
"I need your help," Obama said at the CBC dinner, referring to his proposed American Jobs Act, which everybody knows is not really a jobs bill but one heck of a political manifesto.
With his job approval rating tanking — especially among white independents — Obama needs a bigger black voter turnout in 2012 than he got in the 2008 election. His reelection team recently announced "Operation Vote," a program to woo what it calls "ethnic minorities." (Hint: That's us.)
Plus, Obama will be spending more time schmoozing with black journalists (not all, of course) and has scheduled a one-on-one interview with Black Entertainment Television, giving BET the kind of special treatment that he usually reserves for, say, "60 Minutes."
Still, it's likely that Obama will have to do much more to win the black vote this time. He's been trying to curry favor with white voters for so long — not to mention extreme right-wing tea party Republicans in Congress — that he appears to have forgotten how to sweet-talk black folks.
"Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying," Obama preached during his dinner speech. "We are going to press on. We've got work to do, CBC."
Funny, isn't it, how Obama always gets the nerve to say shut up when he's addressing a friendly audience?
The unemployment rate among blacks stands at 16.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, up from 11.5 percent when Obama took office. By some accounts, black people have lost more wealth since the recession began than at any time since slavery. And Obama gets to lecture us?
Sep 26, 2011
Posted By:Savvy Sista | At:10:37 AM
In his commentary for the Washington Post, columnist Courtland Milloy takes the President to task for his disregard of the black constituency. Courtland basically says that the President has taken for granted black voters, but now that he is running for re-election he suddenly remembers his key voting-bloc. It is a very interesting commentary and it echos a lot of what has been said about the President as of recently. So ask yourself whether or not Milloy is joining the ranks of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, or does he make some legitmate points in his assessment?