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Marc Morial, Ben Jealous, Al Sharpton, Who truly fighting for Black America.

November 26, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Since President Obama was elected with 93% of the black vote, there is now a conversation regarding how to leverage unprecedented political support in order to receive the attention from the Obama Administration that such support deserves.  The Associated Press wrote about the matter this week, quoting Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP President Ben Jealous and National Urban League President Marc Morial along the way.

I think the president heard us loud and clear. The collective message was, ‘Let’s build on where we already are,’” said Rev. Al Sharpton.

Sharpton then continued to speak to the need to “help the black community” by fighting to support President Obama by averting the pending crisis on the fiscal cliff.

Ben Jealous was also quoted, saying the following:

We need Republicans to think hard and to pull back from the cliff 98 percent of our families, who make up the bulk of this nation, from seeing our taxes being raised,” Jealous said.

Marc Morial took the conversation in a different direction.  Rather than simply repeating the agenda of the Obama Administration and pretending that it is the same as the black agenda, Marc Morial actually spoke to the issues that affect the black community directly.  He spoke about a jobs plan for urban areas that have been hardest hit by the recession as part of the path to a full economic recovery.  While banks, corporations and white Americans have  seen their economic condition improve a great deal over the last four years,  due to direct capital injections from Washington, black Americans are facing unemployment rates that would be entirely unacceptable for any other group.

In the context of his request for a jobs program, Marc Morial specifically stated that the programs should be implemented “with a special focus on those communities where unemployment is and remains stubbornly and persistently high.”

We who represent the nation’s urban communities will demand a seat at the table in these discussions,” he also wrote in his letter.

Do you notice the difference in leadership here?  The first two men, Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous, sound like defacto employees of the Obama Administration, as if they are punching a time clock and picking up a check at the end of the day.  The easiest way to manipulate someone with a feeble mind is to give them your idea and make them think that it’s their own.  While Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous are certainly intelligent men, their “special gifts” and validation from the White House have led them to dumb themselves down to the administration’s wishes, like an abused wife standing behind her man under any circumstances.  This is, quite honestly, just shameful and depletes both men of the credibility necessary to engage in legitimate leadership.

Marc Morial, on the other hand, has served as nothing less than a textbook example of how to play the political game at the top.  Marc Morial has preserved his access to the White House by not presenting himself as an adversary to a popular president.  At the same time, he’s never said anything to indicate that he is a water boy for the administration.  Marc Morial has kept his agenda clear and non-partisan, reaching out to leaders from both major parties and all branches of government, with the expectation that the focus is going to remain on urban communities.  Marc Morial doesn’t even force Barack to say the word “black” and has given him enough evasive language to allow him to help his most loyal constituents without worrying about what some bigot is going to think about it.

It saddens me to see our most powerful civil rights leaders bowing to a racist American power structure by giving Democratic leaders carte blanche to leave the black community in ruins.  It’s oddly ironic that nearly every word that comes out of the mouths of Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous is in complete lockstep with whatever talking points they’ve received from Valerie Jarrett and the White House.   This is not leadership – this is followership, and Jealous has unfortunately tarnished the already fragile reputation of the NAACP by allowing his work for the president to override his interest in protecting African American people.

 I am not one to say that Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous don’t deserve a seat at the table, but I can certainly say that they should not possess most of those seats.  These White House meetings with President Obama have as much credibility as a group of white, Republican managers gathering to plan Black History Month.  Their incentives are as polluted as the Hudson River, and the greatest victim of this high-level civil rights corruption is the African American community itself.  This is merely a replication of the kind of corruption that often occurs in some African countries, where well-paid dictators live a life of luxury by allowing large European corporations to extract resources from the people nearly free of charge.
When these meetings at the White House occur, they should include at least some of the following people:  Marc Morial, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, Dr. Wilmer Leon and perhaps even Father Michael Pfleger.  Rev. Jackson’s 40 years of service cannot be erased by any president (black, white or bi-racial) and the White House decision to freeze out one of our most storied civil rights leaders is nothing short of the most blatant and disrespectful display of counter-productive cronyism.  The Obama Administration refuses to deal with Jesse Jackson because they don’t want to have to answer hard questions from a leader that wouldn’t so easily fit into their pockets.

Dr. Julianne Malveaux, as an MIT educated economist, has the expertise necessary to engage in serious conversations about black unemployment.   At least I speculate that she knows more about the topic than a preacher with no formal training in basic economics.  Dr. Wilmer Leon has taught classes on how the presidency works, and would therefore be able to make recommendations that are reasonable and fair to President Obama.  Father Michael Pfleger is a long-time friend of the Obama family, as well as Valerie Jarrett, and has shown a consistent commitment to solving problems that were previously deemed to be unsolvable (note that he single-handedly produced a significant reduction in gang violence by bringing the gangs together for a Peace Basketball Tournament in Chicago).

If the White House is going to gain any credibility in their alleged commitment to African American people, they have to take these cupcake meetings off the agenda and start doing things of real substantive value.  We tried the Sharpton-Jealous-Morial-Obama meetings over the last four years and black unemployment continued to grow to the crisis levels that they’ve reached today.  We’ve also seen no significant advances in the epidemics of mass incarceration or urban violence, proving beyond any reasonable doubt, that these meetings have been highly ineffective.  When one coaching staff can’t win games, you replace it with another.  We can’t afford to drag our feet while millions of families are suffering and children are dying in the streets.  It’s time for a civil rights mutiny.

The Obama Administration spent millions of dollars begging black people to stand in line and vote.  They asked us to have their backs and we put it on the line unlike any other demographic in America.  Now that we’ve shown the courage necessary to endure the political backlash of standing up for the White House to get another four years, it’s time for Obama and his team to return the favor.  The days of this one-sided relationship must come to an end and it’s time for this relationship to be one of mutual respect.  President Obama knows this himself, and I encourage him to do the right thing.

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 “Marc Morial, Ben Jealous, Al Sharpton, Who truly fighting for Black America.”
  1. Nicholas says:

    Both Realman and James Davis make compelling arguments for a solution to improving the lot of Blacks, in these hard times. In my opinion one can’t be effective without the other. Rather then getting into a penis swinging contest, include both arguments into the solution, make that a two fold plan and I believe you brothers have a sound course of action.

  2. Ramses says:

    It’s mighty funny when you actually get specific with these so-called scholars, they get quiet and don’t respond. They seem like the enemy to me more so than white people. To be honest, the biggest hinderance out here to black people and progress is the black devil, instead of the so-called white one. A lot of your so-called leaders are stuck in a 1960, radical, “we hate whitey” stance where he makes himself inoperable, unable to move forward with an agenda. To me, Sharpton, Dyson, Watkins, West, and a whole host of others sound like black women complaining to me. I get sick and tired of hearing black men complaining. That’s a woman’s thing. You didn’t see China complain after their butts got kicked. They studied their enemies system and are beating them at their own game. It’s called due diligence. Until you start running your own think tanks, you won’t get anything accomplished. If the women are not on your side then replace them. Just like with any other group of people, black people have winners and losers in them. Intelligent blacks, stop wasting your time trying to save comfrotable negroes who only want a job and just try to get by. Build with those who seek better opportunities and really want to move forward. Stop making excuses for these coons. It’s time to work. Black people better get their shit straight because after these four years, you might not ever see a black president again for a long time, especially if this second term goes sour. People will say they gave you a chance and you didn’t accomplish anything. Tough luck. If Michelle and Barack don’t do anything for black people, the one thing it should do for all of you is to be better and do better. Isn’t it wonderful to see a black man and woman not arguing with each other, in control, with no drama as an image for all of us to see? But while that image is there, you have these scalawags on these reality shows demonstrating their barbaric behavior. Those pigeon females will never change. So why waste time saving the the unsaved? I see cats on here who seem as if they’re knowledgeable about certain things. Put your heads together and form a plan and get rid of the riff raff

  3. Realman says:

    @James Davis

    I understand your point regarding the role of government and as a U.S citizen and taxpayer I whole heartily support your statement. But to truly have a community of black Americans, a community that can hold it’s own economically while interacting with the main economy, a community that truly has political power and not just token representation, a community that truly values a family structure that teaches it’s young what is right vs. wrong, acceptable/unacceptable and how to be a productive responsible person. In the long run black folks in general will have to change their psyche to survive in America.

  4. James Davis says:

    Realman, here is your answer:

    With all due respect to you and I do mean that from the bottom of my heart, as we all have a right to be heard, no one is suggesting that Mr. Obama personally attempt behavioral modification when it comes to our foolish brothers and sisters. What is being discussed here, is the proper role of government when comes to affecting high unemployment among black people. This government is the richest and most powerful in world and Mr. Obama currently sits at its head due in part, because of a favorable black vote.

    Government was created by the founders of this country because they realized there are some things we can do better collectively, like fight wars when there is a common enemy, share in the cost of building infrastructure, enhancing wealth through trade, and most important providing an environment that is conductive to healthy growth, by leveraging the resources of the whole nation to resolve complex problems, like this economic downturn for instance. This downturn has resulted in an official 14.3% unemployment rate among blacks. Probably unofficially, that rate is more like 18%.

    If you review your history, it was this same government, the federal government’s largess that pulled us out of the Great Depression of 1930’s. However, a complete recovery from the Great Depression arrived after 1940, when mobilization for World War II caused a huge increase in industrial production. I am not suggesting Mr. Obama start a war to increase industrial production. What he should do however is start looking at financing schemes that will pump up the consumer, which is 70% of our GDP. The consumer has literally stopped spending which is why we are in this downturn. This President will not do this unless prompted by people like Dr. Watkins who have a platform from which to speak, because it involves political risk. However, this is a proper role for government to play. So you see this is not about Mr. Obama and whether he is black or white, it is about the role of government. He just so happen to be sitting at the top of this government.

  5. Realman says:

    Answer this question please, can the President stop blacks from wasting billion of dollars each year on Korean hair products? Can he make black people start to buy from black owned business? Can the President force ignorant black athletes with multi million dollar contracts but who end up broke while having white agents managing their money to instead hire honest black sport agents who would probably look after and advise them better? Can Obama make crooked black preachers who steal millions from their congregations to straighten up and act right?

    The answer is no to all these questions.

    In other words Obama can’t make any black person to respect themselves and act right

  6. James Davis says:

    Dr. Boyce Watkins:


  7. James Davis says:

    Can I Be Honest?

    It time for you too Dr. Watkins, while writing about the President’s puppets and their lack of an active solution to black unemployment and underemployment, to step forward and suggest an economic/Job Creation Plan of your own. Why are you waiting for Sharpton, Jealous and Morial? The best way to find out if a pig can fly is to throw it up in the air. The best way to see where this President’s head is, publicly suggest a viable Job Creation solution and either have him refuse or accept it. If that is done, we as brothers and sisters will see and take a position! We are not stupid! We know when someone is BSing us. However, as long you guys who have the stage procrastinate, the black community loses ground. And you guys wonder why we end up rioting?

  8. With the President not having to worry about being re-elected, he has no pressure to focus on helping the Black community. These next 4 years will determine if he is really down with his people. But we can’t expect him or the government to solve all the problems in our community. That’s not going to happen. If we continue to rely on people outside our community to help us deal with the social and economic issues in our community, we are doomed as a people. It’s overdue for another approach. One that relies on us as a people to do this, and if these so called leaders aren’t talking about this, in my opinion, they really aren’t our leaders, but represent someone else’s agenda.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

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