They shouldn’t have judged him by the color of his skin

Black leaders turn up the heat on President Obama

If there’s anything close to a political certainty in 2012, it’s that Barack Obama will get more than 90 percent of the African-American vote.

But that doesn’t mean every black Obama supporter will vote for him happily — nor does it guarantee that turnout will approach the stratospheric levels of 2008, even though Obama needs a huge showing from his base to offset the expected loss of swing voters in states like North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

With that in mind, prominent black leaders — fearing Obama is not only taking them for granted but avoiding them in public — have turned up the heat on the nation’s first African-American president, transforming all-in-the-family concerns into open criticism of the president at a time when they had hoped the completion of a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. near the National Mall would bring a moment of unity.

The leaders are tired, they say, of Obama dog-whistling his support for a broad black agenda rather than explicitly embracing the kind of war on racism, poverty and economic segregation embodied by King.

“You can spend a lot of time trying to win over white independents, but if you don’t pay attention to your base, African-Americans, if you have not locked up your base yet, you’ve got a serious problem,” said CNN contributor Roland Martin.

“African-Americans will vote for him again, 88, 92, 95 percent. The question is what’s the turnout? I’ll vote for you. But will I bring ten other people along, like I did in 2008? That’s the danger here for him. He doesn’t have the historical factor to lean on as much in 2012 as he did in 2008. … And the first step is that he has to be willing to speak to this audience, black people.”

In a striking turnabout for a president who has rewritten American racial history, Obama finds himself the target of criticism from the black cultural and political elite that has, for the most part, been leery of airing its disappointment.

The president is reportedly angry that African-American leaders aren’t crediting him for his hard-bought achievements that will especially help communities of color, including health care reform, aid to cities, student aid and protecting Medicaid.

“The whole thing is bull——. … We have met with [black leaders] more than any other group, and we are increasing our outreach,” said a person close to Obama.

I fully understand why the black community supported Barack Obama. They saw him as the realization of Martin Luther King’s dream. But they should have listened to Dr. King’s words a little more closely. They should have judged him by the content of his character.

If Barack Obama was a white man named Barry Dunham with the exact same record, would the black community still have supported him? Would they have still abandoned Hillary Clinton for him?

Would they still be supporting him now?

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18 Responses to They shouldn’t have judged him by the color of his skin

  1. honora says:

    Careful, you sound like that ‘racist’ Geraldine Ferraro.

  2. Obama claims he’s protecting Medicaid?

    Recently Pelosi and Reid and others had to protect Medicaid FROM Obama (wanting to change the rules about who could sue). That’s in adddition to putting ‘entitlements’ on the bargaining table earlier.

    • Mary says:

      As John Conyers said, “It wasn’t Republicans who put SS & Medicare on the table; it was Barak Obama.”

      Nuff said.

  3. angienc says:

    I don’t “fully understand” the AA community’s support of Obama & abandonment of the Clintons who have a proven record of helping minorities. All Obama has in common with the AA community is skin pigment — he has no historical ties to former slaves experience in this country.

    And you know what? I don’t care if admitting that makes me “racist,” at least I’m not intellectually dishonest nor do I vote based on race instead of qualifications.

    • imustprotest says:

      In the back of my mind, if I dust off the cobwebs, I seem to recall that in the very early stages of the primaries this was brought up. That he wasn’t “black enough”. He made a big deal about how taxis didn’t stop for him or something like that and it was quickly dismissed.

      • votermom says:

        I remember that the AA’s were wary of him until MO started campaigning for him.

      • angienc says:

        I remember that, and it was FUCKING TRUE then & it is true now. The AA community choose to ignore it & call the Clintons racists to justify their support of Obama.

    • WMCB says:

      I understand the support, but I don’t understand lying about it. I knew a few black people who openly said that they realized Hillary was more qualified, but chose to vote to break that race barrier. Similar to women who say that they will vote for the woman whenever possible. It’s a strategy, and you own your vote. They were honest about race being part of their motivation, and while I disagreed, I could respect that.

      But I can’t respect those who knew damn well what he was and wasn’t, and tried to convince people he was so much better, while insisting that his skin color had nothing whatsoever to do with their choice. Baloney.

      • myiq2xu says:

        I understand why black people would support Obama back in 2008, but I cannot understand why they would go along with playing the race card on Bill and Hillary.

        • WMCB says:

          Yeah, that part I can never forgive.

        • angienc says:

          But calling Bill & Hillary racists was part & parcel with their support of Obama — it was how the people like Jesse Jackson, Jr. got the AA community to JUSTIFY turning their back on Hillary. You can’t separate the two, IMO. So I stand by my statement: I don’t “fully understand the AA community’s support of Obama.”

    • DisenfranchisedVoter says:

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…well, yeah. The AA community is being fooled a second time and they only have themselves to blame for not being able to see past Obama’s skin color. High unemployment rates and poverty plague the AA population yet many still stand by him. I have an AA friend who continue to posts articles on Facebook that blame Republicans for our social ills but he plans to support Obama. Not once has he posted or said anything critical of Obama. Trust that if Hillary Clinton were performing the same way as President, I’d admit to making a mistake in voting for her. I guess for some people he will always remain a hero in their eyes regardless of what crimes he commits against them. For them, Obama’s legacy as the first AA president is more important than the lives of millions of AAs suffering under his leadership.

  4. Obama is the most disappointing president ever. He’s not the worst, but he’s the most disappointing, becasue we believed in him.
    We worked for him.
    No more.
    Hillary 2012!

    • angienc says:

      Honey, I never “believed” in that fraud.

      • Erica says:

        I don’t think anyone who bothered to look at his past record and the methods he used in his (unusual and meteoric) rise to power could have “believed” in him. In 2008, his believers were not clear thinkers, not at all.

    • DandyTiger says:

      I’m glad you noticed. No one here has been disappointed. We didn’t work for him. We listened to what he said, noticed who he surrounded himself with, and looked at his record. It is very sad just the same. Especially how the Dem brand had been severely damaged.

      Sadly the chance for Hillary was in ’08. That window of opportunity for our country is likely gone. We’re totally fucked. So many of us are just enjoying the ride and having some popcorn. Sad but true.

  5. Erica says:

    The title of this post says it all, really.

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