The Olympics will not be held in Chicago. So has Obama failed Chicago? Not really: hosting the Olympics is a decidedly mixed blessing and this will be forgotten soon. Obama, however, has failed black America, and that failure may linger for a long time. The election of a black president, all other things being equal, is a good sign in American politics. All things, though, were not equal in the case of Barack Obama. He was not and is not wedded to the grand principles of American greatness. The blessings of citizenship are squandered on Barack Obama, just as the honor of being the first black president is wasted on him. It is not that American lacks great black Americans.
Clarence Thomas is a truly great black American. He felt the sting of real bigotry much more harshly than Obama. Thomas faced and then overcame the quiet anger than many blacks of his generation must have honestly felt. Instead of becoming an advocate for his race, Thomas became an advocate for constitutional government. He did not fall into the well of intractable grievances. Justice Thomas rose above them.
J.C. Watts, a great athlete and a great political figure, is also a profoundly serious Christian. Like Thomas, Watts grew up in a region where white racism was real. He turned to genuine accomplishment on the football field and genuine reliance upon a loving God to fill and to fulfill his life. Like many other black athletes, J.C. Watts has lived a life worth emulation, a life grounded firmly in faith.
Condi Rice, whose father was a Republican, because in Alabama Democrats did not want blacks in their Party, has succeeded in many different areas of life. She was Provost at Stanford University; she is a brilliant pianist who has performed with symphony orchestras since she was 15; Rice has studied ballet and figure skates magnificently. She faced very real discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama, but emerged confident of her ability to rise through talent to the top of America society. Rice has also faced the even more vile discrimination of leftist bigotry, which portrayed her in crude racist and sexist caricatures and which protests any appearance she attempts to make in the "leftists only" college campuses.
Thomas Sowell is, I believe, the greatest living analyst of human society. His books on ethnicity and the development of human social history are a joy to read. Unlike many writers, Dr. Sowell fills his books with facts and presents those facts in magnificent prose. Like Clarence Thomas, J.C. Watts, and Condi Rice, Thomas Sowell was born in the South and knew about racial discrimination. And like those other great black Americans, Dr. Sowell's work is not obsessed with racism and reparations. Instead he contributes, through his research and his writing, to the common good of all Americans.
How different these four black Americans, who in the face of racism worked and rose by merit to the highest levels of American society, are from Barack Obama! President Obama has done nothing worth mentioning in his life. His whole "career" (if that is what we might call it) has been resentment politics. He taught "law," but his law was the imaginary law of social justice. He was a community organizer, which means nothing in particular at all. He wrote a good book which actually Bill Ayers wrote for him. He entered the Illinois State Senate and acquired an impressive record of voting "present." Did United States Senator Obama do anything except mouth the tired, failed theories of a cranky, dead German political economist? No.
He spent decades attending a church mired in vicious pseudo-Christian black racism. He learned about politics from champions of terrorism and revolution - dreary, uninspired bitterness cooked into political theory. He offers black Americans, really, nothing good to cherish. He offers nothing noble for black Americans to emulate. Barack Obama has failed black America.
Rather than strike out on his own, like Thomas, Watts, Rice, and Sowell, Obama has immersed himself in the rigid environment of a Chicago political machine which doles out goodies based on crass pandering to voter blocs, rather than true merit and integrity. Rather than do something original, like Thomas Sowell, Obama parrots what he has been hearing in the leftist hothouses which have been his home all his life.
He is just like so many other so-called "leaders" of black America -- Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Charlie Rangel, and others -- who have nothing more relevant to say than "whites are racist" and who sell the votes of black Americans like the bodies of black Americans were once sold in the slave markets. His message is something like this: complain enough, envy enough, politicize enough, and all your problems will go away (even though this recipe has never worked in forty years).
Barack Obama is not leading black America into the sweet lands of love and brotherhood promised by Martin Luther King -- very few of the gaggle of black "leaders" actually practice what Dr. King preached -- but he is rather marching black Americans into the past, into the shackles of slavery, into the misery of hatred, into the hovels of hopelessness. America deserves better from a president, but especially, black America deserves better from the first black president. Obama has failed America, but he has failed black America even more.
Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.