Here are some numbers. The national unemployment rate is at 9.2 percent. Black unemployment is over 16 percent. For black teens, the rate is through the roof, at 40 percent. I know that financially, things have always been worse for black people than white. But this is ridiculous.
But where is the outcry from black people over these rates? I’ve noticed that the little outcry there is has been rather muted. The white noise seems to be limited to the hushed conversations of men as they stop for coffee at the neighborhood store during their quest to find a little day work. Or a pastor’s declaration that the ‘devil is a lie’ in early morning church services. Or women sharing their ‘out of work’ stories amongst each other while standing in one food line or another.
But no one in the black community seems to mention unemployment, joblessness and President Obama in the same sentence. It’s like the president has nothing to do with the state of the economy and the fact that Granddaddy and Miss Ann next door can’t find a job. If you believe that, answer this question: if a white republican were in office and the situation was EXACTLY the same, would you be just as tolerant? Why aren’t black people talking the same kind of smack they would be if Bush was in the White House and black unemployment was as high as it is? I find this double standard, and somewhat of a protective shield around President Obama, quite interesting.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing against President Obama (that would be an abomination). He has had a number of successes. As one of my facebook friends pointed out, he killed Bin Laden (major success), ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, reformed the student loan program and dare I say it, Health Care Reform (the jury is still out on that one). So, I’m not knocking President Obama. I’m just saying with black unemployment rates so high and more black people in food lines than in recent history, I’ve never seen black people be this understanding and politely tolerant.I wonder why now.
Here is something else I’ve noticed. Since when has calling a president by his last name become inappropriate or disrespectful? If I say Obama instead of President Obama, it’s like I’ve committed some major offense against the Gods. “Don’t call him Obama. He is President Obama.” I agree with that. But funny how I didn’t hear any objections when I said ‘Bush’ or ‘Clinton’. It was no big deal then. Now, it means I’m marginalizing the president.
All I’m saying is, if you want Obama (oops, I meant President Obama) to be respected as president, then you have to hold him to the same standards you have every other president. When he does good, praise him. When he falls short, hold him accountable… talk your trash, just like you did for Bush. My bad, President Bush.
At the end of his term as president, you don’t want people to say that we pitched President Obama soft. That would be marginalizing him and us.