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Dr. Boyce Watkins; Maxine Waters Happy With President Obama Jobs Plan…

September 11, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Rep Maxine Waters, who has been quite critical of the Obama Administration as of late, has come out to express her support for the jobs bill proposed by President Barack Obama last week. Maxine Waters told that she believes that the bill holds promise and should be supported.

I think it holds a lot of promise, and it was more than many people expected. I’m very pleased, the closer I look at the details of the plan, to see the impact on African Americans and the economy. I’m looking at an additional document [pdf] that the White House put out, which focuses on that. We’ve asked for targeting to the areas that have the most need, and basically they have responded with some of the targeting that we wanted them to do.

Gaining the support of Rep. Maxine Waters is an important step in shoring up the black base for the Obama Administration as they prepare for the 2012 elections.  Maxine Waters has been one of the most vocal challengers to the  administration for policies that have been racially exclusionary to-date.   As a result of this political neglect, African Americans have the worst jobless rate of the last 27 years.

The “For the People” jobs tour was a huge success for the Congressional Black Caucus.  The caucus had lost a bit of “swag” over the last three years, as they remained silent out of fear of stepping on the toes of President Obama.  The massive, unconditional love that many African Americans showered on the president only served to make things more difficult for those who really wanted to get things done in the black community.  While many of the president’s protectors consistently screamed that Obama is the “president of all of America, not just black folks,” they were unduly harsh toward those willing to do the work that President Obama was not being asked to do.

Maxine Waters, by stepping out from under the president and touring the nation to advocate for African American issues, immediately positioned herself as arguably the most active and progressive political advocate for black America during a time when our community needs it the most.  Her courageous and candid reaction to one of the greatest black economic tragedies in American history is a reminder that the black community must open the door for strong female voices in our struggle for Civil Rights.  I’ve personally met dozens of young Maxine Waters-like black women all across the country, and it is my belief that we should give them a chance to shine as much as the men.

The fact that Maxine Waters has come back to support President Obama’s plan after being critical of the administration also serves as a political lesson for the rest of us.  Waters reminds us that critiquing the Obama Administration and being vocal about the needs of our community is not treasonous or “Uncle Tomish” (as unconditional Obama-ites like Steve Harvey might believe). It is actually Democratic, patriotic and most likely to lead to your needs being met.  Silent wheels don’t get oiled and I can guarantee that Waters’ passionate, yet calculated outbursts had a direct impact on the structure of President Obama’s plan.

At the same time, I am hopeful that strong Obama critics like Cornel West and Tavis Smiley will get behind the plan, as did the Rev. Jesse Jackson earlier this week.  If one earns the right to criticize the president when he makes mistakes, they must support him when he appears to be trying to do the right thing.  West and Smiley do, however, still have a legitimate concern that President Obama’s jobs speech made almost no mention of the poor in America.  Black people from all economic backgrounds do not necessarily have the same agenda – a complexity that is often overlooked, but serves to complicate our collective political ambitions.

Once again, I say what I said last week:  Hooray for Maxine Waters.  The political emergence of President Barack Obama, in contrast to what many believe, is not an excuse for us to kill off those who righteously advocate for the African American community.  If anything, we need politically-independent and progressive black leadership now more than ever.  We must be careful not to confuse Obama’s access to federal power with some kind of post-racial liberation for the rest of us.  Obama’s fate and the fate of our community are NOT usually one and the same.

Staff Writer; Dr. Boyce Watkins

Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. For more information, please visit



8 Responses to “Dr. Boyce Watkins; Maxine Waters Happy With President Obama Jobs Plan…”
  1. hoodgirl says:

    @Loretta Gregory Bowe, Bloomberg just announced that Walmart will assist Women owned businesses with financing their ventures. I also suggest Dave Ramsey’s book called “The Total Money Makeover” as well as utilizing a trusted Financial Advisor for your business venture.

    Many people are unable to empower themselves because they cannot get their financial house in order. The 7 Principles “Baby Steps” in the Total Money Makeover allows anyone to achieve financial security through properly managing and growing their income.

  2. hoodgirl says:

    What do you mean by openly criticizing our people? Tell that hypocrisy
    to Herman Cain……Allen West……J C Watts……Clarence Thomas and
    of course Powell until he bowed to pressure and became an Obama
    kool-aid drinker!

    I’m not a fan of Tavist Smiley but he has always made an issue of the well being of Black America which is why he didn’t jump on that Obama band wagon that these Uncle Toms continue to promote!

    Also Loretta Gregory Bowe, just take your wherewithals and make it happen. The proof is in the pudding, you just secured 300 7-ll locations without this career politician who has done nothing for Oakland.

  3. Dwayne says:

    Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been in congress a lot
    Longer than President so I assume when it comes to black unemployment
    she is critiquing her term in office as well as President

  4. Darrick Herndon says:

    AND!!!! She changed her tune so fast (24-48 hours) that it was obvious that the White House leaned on her. She back-pedaled quicker than a progressive radio talk show host.

  5. Darrick Herndon says:

    Didn’t take much to calm her, did it? Maxine Waters made a huge tactical mistake in asking black folk to unleash her and the CBC “on Obama”. Was she so meek a Representative that she couldn’t stand up against whom she felt were the POTUS’ supporters and do the right thing. That seemed to be the gist of what she was saying, which reeks of cowardice and the lack of leadership ability. African-America needs new leadership. It is time for a massive changing of the guard.

  6. Patsy says:

    I love your comment Jackie Kidd!!! We seem to always be more hard on our people. If we have something to say why it can’t be done behind closed doors instead of doing it in front of everybody? I am sure this is how Jewish, Asians operate! They don’t put all their business and problems out there!!!

  7. Jackie Kidd says:

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. If we continue to be divisive about the President’s leadership it will diminish his electability. I think that is the game plan for for the TeaParty. We are now marching to their drumbeat. Where were the naysayers, Waters, Smiley and West for the past several decades when the margin for unemployment for Blacks was always double that of Whites? Why wait until President Obama get into office to make it an issue? We are doubly represented and always have been in every facet of this country: foster care, prison population, high school dropouts,etc. Do they really believe he would be able to reverse these trends because he is President? Give me a break. I am disappointed and angry at our people who are on the bandwagon of bashing this man.

  8. Ms. Waters, I am a women and a minority owned business from New Jersey. The name of my company is Simply Britt’s Gourmet. I have taken something fom my kitchen to retail! Of course the challenging is getting funding. But the other frustrating part is when the procurment/diverity department of some of our fortune 500 companies say they are there to help the small business grow but they give us small businesses such a hard time! If you are able to supply give me a shot if not make it a little easier by walking us through the process. Don’t shut me down after one phone call. Help us to make it happen. I don’t and will not take no for an answer unless it is not a fit with the company then I will move on, if it’s no a fit tell me why. I have just secured 300 7-11 locations for my product. Give me a buzz and I will be more then happy to discuss in further detail. In advance I say thank you and look forward to speaking with you.

    Loretta Gregory Bowe
    Simply Britt’s Gourmet

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