A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

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A Black Perspective

March 10, 2012

Black Issues, Back Burner


            In 1982 Tom Bradley, the first Black mayor of Los Angeles, ran for governor of California.  Tom Bradley did not win the election and his supporters placed the loss squarely on Black Californians.  Black Californians did not turn out to vote for Mayor Bradley, they cried.  They moaned that, had the Black vote turned out to support Tom Bradley, he would have won the election.

On the other hand, Black progressives cherished this election.  Black voters had  proved that they were too sophisticated to vote for Tom Bradley just because he was Black.  As illustrated by his lack of action during the Eula Love killing, Tom Bradley had made sure that his mayoral administration kept Black issues on the back burner.  Mayor Bradley proved this analysis to be accurate two years later when he refused to support Jesse Jackson in his presidential bid.

President Barack Obama did receive Black support (97%) and a high Black voter turnout when he ran for the presidency.  Most of these Black supporters insisted that President Obama did not receive their votes just because he was Black but because he was the better candidate to address their issues, Black issues.  Time after time, President Obama has refused to stand up for Black issues.  The Obama administration has, thus far, kept Black issues on the back burner.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright

            Reverend Jeremiah Wright was the minister of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois.  The mission statement of this church was based on Black liberation theology.  This was the church that a young community organizer and activist, Barack Obama belonged to.  One could say that this church served as the foundation for political aspirations.  Reverend Wright was not only Obama's minister, he was also his mentor and close friend.  He performed the marriage ceremony for Barack and Michelle Obama as well as the Christening of their daughters.  The title of Barack Obama's book, "The Audacity of Hope", came from  one of Reverend Wright's sermon.

During Obama's run for the presidency, his relationship with the Black liberation theologian was questioned.  Perhaps the most controversial statement of Reverend Wright was, "...... not God bless America, God damn America".  However, when Reverend Wright said, ".....God damn America", he qualified the statement.  Reverend Wright said, "....God damn America when it does x, God damn America when it does Y, God damn America when it does z".  Perhaps it would be asking too much to expect America to be able to take these statements in the entirety of their context.  However it was not asking too much of Harvard educated Barack Obama  to grasp the meaning of Reverend Wright's statements.  Barack Obama could use this moment as a teaching exercise or he could run for the hills.

After an initial reluctance, Obama chose the pragmatic and easy way out.  He dropped Reverend Wright like a hot potato.  Candidate Obama put the Black issue on the back burner.  Black voters enthusiastically supported this decision.  Surely, even Reverend Wright could understand, it would be better to sacrifice one Black man for the greater good of the Black people.

Durban Review Conference in Geneva

            In 2001 South Africa was the site of the Durban Conference Against Racism.  One topic on the agenda was that Zionism equaled racism.  U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and U.S. National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice both strongly denounced the conference.  Each refused to attend and the George W. Bush administration sent a minor dignitary before pulling out of the conference altogether.

Even though they were merely following the instructions from the administration, just doing their jobs, many Blacks were disappointed in the two of them.  The feeling was that since Powell and Rice were people of color, they should have particular sensitivities concerning racism.  Although they were not expected to disobey their instructions, nor to neglect their jobs, some Blacks were disappointed that they did not show some sort of solidarity with the conference.

            In 2009 the Durban Review Conference Against Racism was held in Geneva.  This time the united States was under the administration of President Barack Obama.  Again the question of whether or not Zionism equaled racism arose.  The United States simply boycotted the conference.  If expected sensitivities were sufficient to criticize Powell and Rice, then the same Blacks that criticized them, must criticize Barack Obama.  In deference to the nation of Israel, a Black issue was placed on the back burner.

Professor Henry Louis Gates


In July of 2009 Harvard University professor Henry Gates  returned to his home and found the door jammed.  He and his driver forced open the door and subsequently a 911 call was placed by a neighbor to report an attempted break in.  Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley responded to the call.  It was established the Dr. Gates was, indeed, the lawful resident of the house.  At this point all that Sgt. Crowley had to do was leave.  He instead stayed to argue with Dr. Gates.  The argument, centered around racial profiling, became heated, and Dr. Gates was arrested on the bogus charge of Disorderly Conduct.  That the prosecutor refused to formally charge Dr. Gates is proof enough that the charge was bogus.

President Obama commented on the incident and stated, accurately, that the police acted stupidly.  Law enforcement agencies and the other usual suspects objected to and criticized the President.  President Obama immediately did an about face and said that he was wrong to criticize Sgt. Crowley.  He invited both men to the White House for what he termed to be a teachable moment.  Sgt. Crowley had parlayed racial profiling and excessive police authority into an invitation to the White House.  President Obama was rewarding bad behavior!  The law enforcement agencies were appeased, the Black issue was placed on the back burner.


 President Barack Obama should be elected to a second term in 2012
His re-election should be based on the fact that he is, by far, the best candidate, not because he is Black.  No one expects him to be  "the President of Black people". Everyone expects him to be "the President of Justice".


 Just asking...... When the United States insists that no nation situated in the Middle East has nuclear weapons, why is Israel not included?



Random Thoughts

Common usage dictates that when a color is used to describe people that it is not capitalized.  However I consider that when a color is used to describe people, either as a noun or an adjective, it is intended to be a proper noun.  Therefore I do capitalize the first letter of the color.  It is a matter of respect.   If one man has a right to be written as a Latino, then another has the right to be written as a Black man.  


  A Black Perspective 

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