For Blacks the Obama Honeymoon Is Over
For an increasing number of the blacks who bought a ticket to Obama's 2008 traveling 'hope n change' show, disappointment and embarrassment are replacing their inaugural euphoria.
Obama's support among all groups, including African Americans, has been slipping. Five months ago, 83 percent of African Americans held "strongly favorable" views of Obama. But in a new Washington Post-ABC news poll, that number dropped to 58 percent.
In an exclusive interview with Black Entertainment Television (BET) on September 26 President Obama blamed the falling numbers on his administration's failure to effectively communicate "what they were doing for the American people."
I think that the more you're in this office, the more you have to say to yourself that telling a story to the American people is just as important as the actual policies that you're implementing.
Many black co-workers of mine are finally catching on to the "storytelling." While President Obama exalts himself as the vanguard of the poor and working class, he cavorts with Lady Gaga in Silicon Valley at $35,000 plate fundraiser dinners, takes luxury vacations, hits the golf course and pals around with Wall Street tycoons. Mr. Obama also attended a Congressional Black Caucus awards dinner on Saturday and reiterated his advocacy for "struggling families."
With patient and firm determination, I am going to press on for jobs. I'm going to press on for equality. I'm going to press on for the sake of our children. I'm going to press on for the sake of all those families who are struggling right now. I don't have time to feel sorry for myself. I don't have time to complain. I am going to press on.
This kind of self-absorbed 60's lingo elicits some pretty rough mockery in the employee lounge and has left a lot of Obama's black supporters feeling like traumatized children whose parents promised them a trip to the amusement park and reneged at the last minute.
Of course, all would be well if Team Obama had something to show for their hubris but after 3 years, they got nothin'. In fact, they got less than nothin'. To quote my frustrated coworker "the country's still as jacked up now as it was under Bush."
So how have blacks fared with Obama in the White House?
According to the Department of Labor the black unemployment rate has risen to 16.7% up 67% since Obama took office. Last April, black male unemployment reached the highest rate since the government began tracking the figures back in 1972.
Maya Wiley, director of the Center for Social Inclusion in Chicago, doesn't see much hope stating that "history is going to say that the black middle class was decimated over the past few years." Wiley fails to mention Democrats, those protectors of the poor, had four years before the "shellacking" to get "crazy good."
In the BET interview the president said he has seen the frustration and understands the impatience. "Some of the things, though, that have been plaguing the African American community for too long, those things are going to take years to change," he said. Has Obama helped blacks to see the progressive "plague" that has decimated their communities?
No one likes being used as a tool for agitators who propagate false doctrines to fill their own pockets. Obama and the mouthpieces in the Congressional Black Caucus have engaged in deceptive exploitation of their own supporters for a long time. But the President feels their pain.
Read more M. Catharine Evans at Potter Williams Report