Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little Things Matter

Y'all know I don't write about politics much anymore.

I made the switch for a variety of reasons, with the main one being work-related. However, I still try to keep up a little bit with the latest political news, and I've seen how criticism for President Obama has grown as the country has continued to flounder. I've also noticed how some black folks are growing disenchanted with the president.

Honestly, I'm not one of those folks who think it's traitorous to criticize President Obama, although I do think some folks are too harsh in their critiques. I think the man has strengths and weaknesses, and his administration has reflected that reality.

Some black folks have criticized Obama for failing to live up to the promises of his campaign and deal with longstanding discrimination against black folks. I don't agree with that. Yes, the president has not made black issues the rhetorical focal point of his administration, nor has he made any grand gestures to black folks. But, I've noticed that he's done some little things that are very important.

A few months back I read how the Justice Department was rededicating itself to handling civil rights complaints, which had fallen out of favor under the Bush administration. Then I saw this article about Obama's plans to address the wrongs done to black farmers. I've seen other stories about small changes in how government works to make it more inclusive and more equitable.

And I think this matters.

Yes, I would prefer it if Obama was more boisterous and challenging to his racist foes. I too get frustrated with his centric positions. But, I also understand that real problems with government went far deeper than the surface. Previous administrations worked very hard to undercut black people's access fair and just treatment. Behind the scenes they made far-reaching regulatory changes that stripped black folks of rights that we had fought hard to obtain, and most of us were unaware of the changes.

Those changes didn't get a lot of media play because most media folks weren't aware of them. Reporting on regulatory changes requires a serious knowledge of system, and the time to pull string on issues. Those things are at a premium these days, and most media outlets aren't going to spare them to report on injustices to black folks. It just isn't sexy enough.

So, Obama's decision to quietly right these wrongs is important. It won't eliminate the damage done, but it may prevent it from occurring again in the future. Most of us don't deal with politicians, we deal with faceless workers who only follow the policies set forth in their rules books. These people wield the real power, not the talking heads scurrying to their next press conference.

Making sure government works properly for people regardless of the their race should be the goal of every politician, but sadly that's not the case. While some folks think Obama has done too little, I take a different view.

I think little things can add up to big changes.



BBCSR53 said...

Very appropriate and thoughtful article,and IMO so true and accurate.

Anonymous said...

Da kann ich nur zustimmen..

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

I hope his approach works. He appears to be treading cautiously, and needs to around the pit of vipers waiting to undo him.

Raving Black Lunatic