When members of the black community accuse the Obama White House of behaving disrespectfully toward the black community, this is what they mean:
“Is President Obama finally ready to bite back and throw down with black leaders who have ridden him nonstop for the past few months for his lack of attention to black America? Politico quoted an Obama insider as saying, “The whole thing is bull-[bleep] … We have met with [black leaders] more than any other group and we are increasing our outreach.”
If the mere injection of the African American community into a conversation prompts you to use swear words, then not only are you unsympathetic to the needs of the African American community, you’re openly combative.
I thought this White House was led by the only grown-up in the room? Much to the disappointment of many liberals, the Obama administration has never gone gangsta on anyone. They didn’t call bullsh*t when they were inexplicably held hostage by the Tea Party, but mention the African American community and watch the nasty words fly.
As I noted previously, President Obama recently met with the Urban League’s Marc Morial and the NAACP’s Ben Jealous for all of half an hour. Compare that to the two to three day conference the White House assembled to discuss issues important to the Hispanic community.
And regardless of whom White House staff met with or how many times they met with them, the issue is one of results. What are they doing over there at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to follow-up legislatively on the sparse discussions they’ve had with concerned members of the African American community?
It seems only fair that the reporter from Politico would follow up on concerns articulated by Smiley, West and others. It seems only natural that the White House would have on hand a canned answer to address such a question. Apparently, however, a discussion about the black community wasn’t the discussion that the White House official had in mind. In fact, a conversation on black issues is never the discussion that Obama and his surrogates are desirous of having.
If a reporter were to question a member of the Obama administration about an issue that impacts disabled veterans, Hispanics, or the Tea Party, one seriously doubts that “ bullshit” would’ve been the reply. These aforementioned groups are highly respected by the White House and deserving of a deliberate and well-considered acknowledgment of their concerns. African-Americans? Not so much. We’re expected to be happy with the symbolic victory of having a black man, however far removed from traditional black values, in the White House. Any assertion that issues impacting the African American community be addressed with the same seriousness as those impacting other communities is met with unmistakable anger and condescension.
Obama and his surrogates must begin to make peace with the fact that the African American vote is all they’ve got. According to the August 30th Gallup poll, President Obama’s approval is at 40 percent. He has an approval rating of 44 percent among Hispanics, 32 percent among whites, and a whopping 83 percent among blacks.
I know it’s a hard pill for Obama to swallow, but he’s been largely unsuccessful at brownnosing his way to majority approval. A nice smile and goodwill only goes so far. The Tea Party and independents aren’t impressed with a President who stakes out the position of lackey-in-chief.
If President Obama has any hope of being reelected, he’ll need to play to his base instead of alienating his base. Feeding the hand that turns you away and biting the hand that feeds you (and votes for you) is, well – bullshit.