Saturday, June 25, 2022

Why Barack Obama Is Suddenly Noticing Black People…

October 30, 2010 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( Politicians chase votes the way a frat boy chases women.  Also like the frat boy, politicians can have selective memory when it comes to creating a respectable and reciprocal relationship.  They beg for your votes, promise you the world and then promptly disappear until it’s time for re-election.

That’s a bit of what we’re seeing right now from the Obama Administration.  The Obama camp has rarely used the words “black man” or “black woman” in public for the last year, yet they are suddenly hanging in the hood more than the barber and the local drug dealer.  They are holding forums to rally black voters for the mid-term elections and telling black folks to vote as if Obama were on the ballot.

All the while, the issue of massive black unemployment hasn’t even been a blip on the administration’s radar screen.  Black foreclosures and the wealth gap have been seen as a nuisance to politics as usual.  Mass incarceration of African American men hasn’t become anyone’s agenda item.  Why in the world should black folks feel inspired to go out and vote?

I am not one to say that voting isn’t important, but something has GOT to give.  At what point do we grow beyond the argument which simply says that the Democrats are not as bad the Republicans?  If we choose to support Barack Obama or any politician for that matter, is there a point where we can  actually give justification for that support?  When should the politician show up with clear evidence that he has specifically worked to address needs that directly impact our community?  Perhaps that day will come soon.

Black America must issue a challenge to the Obama Administration:  Will you still be inviting black bloggers to the White House after the election is over the way you did this month?  Will you still be holding events in the inner city to bring together black voters the way you are right now with the rapper Common?  Will we hear about plans to directly address the wealth and employment gaps in America, or are we going to hear the same lame excuses we heard this year?  Can we find a way to help black men to re-enter society after their prison terms are over, or are we going to remain committed to incarcerating as many black men as possible? Are you going to offer us as much as you’re asking, or are we simply going to be expected to be the people who save you from the Republicans who want your head? Oh yeah, it’s been over 200 years; when will one of the thousands of qualified black female lawyers and judges finally be considered for the Supreme Court?

One of the problems that black people have is that we’ve not grown out of the habit of falling in love with our politicians.  The problem with loving a politician unconditionally is that politicians are not wired to love you back.   When it was time to put a black woman on the Supreme Court, the Obama camp chose the president’s less-than-qualified Harvard crony Elena Kagan instead.  When it was time for black unemployment to be addressed, the Obama Administration chose to stay away from the issue altogether.  While black men rot away in America’s prisons and black families are being destroyed by mass incarceration, Attorney General Eric Holder only made time to deal with the Arizona immigration issue.  A serious problem facing many African Americans today is that there is simply nothing about voting that makes them excited, other than the fact that their president has a black face.  We allow images of the Obama family on the cover of Ebony Magazine to control our political decisions, and it might be time for us to grow out of this. Everybody loves the Obamas, but we need the president to have the courage to love us back.  As Beyonce says in her famous song, “Say my name,” meaning that the president must grasp the moral fortitude to express shameless love and support for black America in a way that gives us the same dignity as the rest of the American people.   He doesn’t have to throw a black fist in the air, but he can’t just reach out for us in the dark, when he needs us and when no one else is looking.

All in all, I wish Obama and the Democrats the best.  I challenge leading political figures to prove very clearly to the black community that they are making a difference in our lives and specifically working to confront our issues.  If they are not able to provide clear and convincing evidence that they are doing this, then it might be difficult to justify giving them our votes.  It’s really as simple as that.

Written By Dr. Boyce Watkins

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


7 Responses to “Why Barack Obama Is Suddenly Noticing Black People…”
  1. natalie says:

    Great article! Most have no idea that when obama was ready to push forward on a constructiin and infrastructure jobs plan that he caved to pressure from lobbyist from the National Organization of Women…their complaint? More money should be directed towards service indusyry jobs so that women would not be disprportiinately impacted by job loss even though the evidence sugge st otherwise.. our president truly doesnt get it on so many levels..his inability to stand on his convictions disturbs me

  2. Julian Alien says:

    Right on.Calm down,but look from my point of view.I am a red man and you all are trespassers,in my mind,but I forgive you all because I believe in the Great Spirit.I also support my darker skinned Redmen(Blacknecks…lordy forgive me) and Sisters.Do you want to talk about racism or do you want to talk about defending the Constitution of the United States of America?That is what is on the line here.This is a political discussion and you can not mix the two.Get serious .Your ass is on the line.

  3. Readyformorechange says:

    Dr. Boyce Watkins: Amen, Amen and Amen. We (Black america) are STILL waiting for the promised change! Is Bush not still President? You would never know it! Why can’t we expect notice like others have?

    Example: Bailouts? for whom? Time for unemployment be given a “bailout”!. what happened to all the stimulus? Stimulus for whom? Now he wants to give Social Security to illegal immigrants? Puleeze. We work for years, contributing for years, now to give to those who haven’t contributed a dime?

    I’m SO disappointed in our President. I worked in the campaign because I believed that change would come – I still waiting. Should all this be overlooked because of the color of his skin? I think not, we’re being taken for granted AGAIN.

    Dr. Watkins, please don’t be discouraged by the naysayers, please CONTINUE to speak the truth! You are a voice for the voiceless. The truth sometimes hurt but it still need to be said.

  4. Chris says:

    Has the whole world gone mad. I can’t believe what I’m reading here. Blacks are sounding shades worst than others about President Obama. He is the President (one of a certain hue) we thought we would never see and the lack of support, the level of critique from us is disgusting. His name is OBAMA, not Jesus Christ. I’m very tried of hearing this from all sides when we are in the mist of the worst financial downward spiral of our lives. This newsletter is making me wonder whose really supporting you. Are you being paid to bash Obama to the Black community? I hope it worth it to you for selling your soul.

  5. Lena, A Black Woman says:

    WoW! Dr. Boyce, you are a very, very silly man! You MUST BE a Republican and/or a hater of Democrats! Thank God for the BEST President the United States has ever had, President Barack Hussein Obama II! I can only conclude that you, Dr. Boyce, have not read that our President’s mother was white and of English, German and Irish descent and that his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., was Kenyan, who visited our President only once in 1971! Instead of your self-righteous attitude, thinking you are speaking the truth, you should be writing an article with some truth in it! Further, our God knew that it would be people like you who would criticize our beloved President’s divine calling.

  6. M Dixon says:

    Dr. Boyce Watkins,

    I’ll keep this short but its finally about time someone has had the intellect, knowledge and strength to set things straight. I’ve been feeling this way about the Obama Administration since day one, the honeymoon is definitely over for me…

  7. Sapphire says:

    Once again Dr. Boyce has managed to come up with another petty title to his commentary.

    “Why Barack Obama is suddenly noticing Black people”!

    Well, I though he was black! I thought his wife & kids were black!
    What a supid statement to make.

    The accomplishments of Mr. Obama are for ALL people.

    Some black folks are so small in thought that they feel that whatever has been done does not help them! Truth be told most average people are hurting, not just black people.

    I can just see the headlines now, OBAMA HAS A PLAN TO HELP BLACK PEOPLE GET JOBS! Yeah, right. What about ALL the other people?

    Mr. Boyce, in his effort for recognition in what he does, sometimes takes it too far and he comes of sounding foolish, and yes, petty!

    Please stop making black folks look like they don’t have a clue~

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