Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Few Short of a Thousand

Like many black folks, I haven't been overwhelmed by the Age of Obama.

I don't regret my vote, and I respect the challenges dude has faced. I see the ridiculous outrage, the blatant racism, the double standards and the general effed up reality of the world and I'm glad I'm not president.

But, still, I can admit that I'm a little disappointed.

I didn't expect this cat to completely change the world in four years. But, I was kind of hoping, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that his tune on certain issues might change once he'd fully grasped the reins of power. Like many of the white bigots who opposed him, I believed that President Obama was something of Trojan Horse. Only, I thought he would bring a positive change in the racial war being fought in this country, while conservatives feared he would bring the destruction of their world. Neither of us had it right.

There have been changes, but they've been of the incremental and behind-the scenes variety. Truly, I blame myself for my disappointment because if I'd honestly assessed the situation I would have realized that Obama the candidate only addressed race directly when backed into a corner. I should have known that President Obama would rarely be backed into a similar corner.

But, my disappointment has not turned into disillusionment simply because of what's in the picture above.

Air Force One is traveling to do God knows what in the name of the United States of America, and four black folks are involved in the discussions, with one of them being the actual decision maker. They are not serving drinks, or cleaning the cabin. They are making decisions, and appear comfortable in their skins. I don't know about y'all, but as a black man with a decent grasp of the history of my people in this country, that's a mighty beautiful sight.

Just beautiful.



Mr. Noface said...

I had very low expectations for President Obama when it came to being positive change in the racial war going on in America. That's not a dig at Obama its just my opinion that the office of POTUS is too limiting a position to have that kind of affect. That being said, Obama has exceeded my expectations (though there were stumbles and outright blunders).

Darth Whitey said...

It is quite beautiful if I do say so myself.

In spite of all the naysayers I myself am pleased with O's performance so far. I only wish he'd fight back sometimes, he seems to find the bickering to be beneath him, which it is.

The things he NEEDS to do before his term is up however is end DADT and bring the torturers to justice. I fear that he will do neither.

LisaMJ said...

I have tried to alter some of my slightly irrationally high expectations and feel like I have a little more realistic feel (and I should have known better) about how much power and/or desire to make the kind of changes I'd like to see.

A Dem friend of mine seemed to be trying to get me say that Obama has been a bad president or a major disappointment but I told him I think he is doing a pretty decent job all things considered and I think (with all seriousness and Watergate notwithstanding) he is our best President since Nixon who in my opinion (if not for his paranoia and leaving records of all of the nasty things he said on tape) really did a lot of fairly progressive things and came very close to getting health care through in his day.

Clifton said...

The most frustrating thing about President Obama's term so far is that he doesn't want to engage the people who are attacking him personally but he lets the things they say affect his agenda. The Shirley Sherrod indecent was the perfect example.

If everything was just talk and rhetoric and his agenda was more progressive none of the words would bother me. Instead, I cringe when the next talking point hits Fox News because his administration will actually compromise because of it. He's sending his supporters mixed signals.

Big Man said...

Good point Clifton.

I think that if he actually talked more about conservatives' comments, and responded less, it would be so much better.

Because the conservatives are not going to give him credit for responding no matter what he does. So why waste the time and politcal capital it takes to appease him. I think he mistakenly believes that liberals really "like" him no matter what, when they don't. He's forgotten a lot.

BBCSR53 said...

When I first saw this picture, I was really surprise, this is the first time I have seen the president surrounded by all black people. Bill Burton is biracial. It sort of made me feel good. Yes, I too at times have been disappointed with my president, but I would never take my vote back. In fact, I will be voting for him again in 2012. Giving the things you spoke about concerning race in America, knowing American history, it had to be GOD'S DEVINE WILL for a black man to become president of the USA. So BIG MAN I think I know where you are comming from, keep up the great analysis.

Anonymous said...

I told myself that I didn’t have any major expectations of Pres O before his coming into office outside of competency. He's certainly that and more. And I am very proud. What bothers me though is the way in which his admin seems unwilling to acknowledge that PERCEPTION is everything especially for him. On one level of leadership, it doesn’t matter how much he accomplishes when his adversaries are able to plant seeds of discord, contempt and hate while his admin either appears to scurry to appease them or refuses to challenges them in a way that everyday people can get behind. Leadership is about recognizing the different positions surrounding an issue and then taking a stand! His hem hawing on the mosque is a case in point. Wouldn’t it have been better to hear something like “I know this is an emotional issue but I stand for the rule of law that allows muslim to worship wherever they chose” vs reading headlines that say he’s back tracking on previous comments. I am a supporter but I want 2 terms not one! I'm concerned that that won’t happen if his admin doesn't start fighting back somehow.

Constructive Feedback said...

It is critical that Obama be evaluated in the context of the MACHINE that he sits atop of.

Every single voting district that has at least a 35% Black voting base is dominated by the Democratic Party. Last weekend Al Sharpton stood on stage at the "Preparatory High School For Colored Youth" and told of the search for QUALITY EDUCATION for Black people. No one noticed that this school, now named "Dunbar High School" was once the top rated school for Black children, beating many White schools. Today this same school is yet another failing inner city high school in Washington DC despite having favorable people in control over the schools and the city.

I challenge you and other "Progressives who are Black" to stand upon our PERMANENT INTERESTS and stop living vicariously through Barack Obama and begin to defend these interests rather than his presidency and the seats of others who control our community today:

* Safe Streets
* Quality Education
* Thriving Local Economies
* Healthy Lifestyles and Relationship Outcomes

I hear Al Sharpton driving Black folks to return to the polls in November to TRY HARDER, never once having been held accountable for orchestrating the UNITY among Black people and the tepid results that have been obtained for the benefit of our community.

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