This past week, two events happened concerning the Obama presidency. The biggest story of the week (if you push aside the Tiger Woods nonsense) was the escalation of the Afghanistan War. 30,000 more troops are to be sent over the next year and a half to the Central Asian country. This war has dragged on for the last 8 years, and now, has no end in sight. The notion that one has to send more troops to be able to wind down a conflict is questionable to say the least.
Also, it must be noted that much of Black America was against this conflict. Now that we have a Black head of state presiding over the war effort, there seems to be a deafening silence concerning the issue, save the most staunch anti-war voices.
There is a second story that came out this week, but did not garner nearly as much attention. The Congressional Black Caucus has criticized President Obama for not paying enough attention to how the economic downturn disproportionately affects Black people.
His statement was that “We are all in this together” However, that does not take into account how unequal the effects of the recession are. It is easy to say that “a rising tide lifts all boats” but when your vessel has a major leak it in, then you are the one facing certain doom if no one hands you a life line. It’s abundantly clear that no special help is on the way for African-Americans, and basically Obama is saying “I ain’t got nothing for ya.”
Black unemployment is increasing under a Black president, and the alarm is not being rung. It looks as if increasing unemployment will be written off as another particularly Black problem, something that is once again the fault of our wayward and retrograde culture.
Yes, the unemployment rate went down to 10 percent, but that is still far from a state of normalcy.
If president Obama refused to address rising Black unemployment amongst other issues that effect predominantly African Americans, then he risks eroding his most loyal base of support. The political fate of one man is not more important than the predicament of the other 40 million African-Americans. Instead of being concerned with whether Obama has another term, we as a community may need to start asking ourselves some uncomfortable questions. Like, what is the point of having a Black president if Black issues are always going to get pushed to the side?
After Hurricane Katrina, African Americans ought to be wary of “rising tides”.